If you live or have lived in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut or anywhere in the northeast, you are at risk for tick-borne illness. If you feel fatigue, migrating joint or muscle pain, have memory problems, confusion or difficulty sleeping, you may have tick-borne illness. If you are not eating lots of fruits and vegetables, exercising regularly and managing your physical or mental stress, you are at risk for tick-borne illness.
International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society (ILADS) is delighted to partner with PA Lyme Resource and Drexel University on a weekend intensive Lyme course. The meeting will begin on April 6 with dinner and CME speakers. The next day, April 7, has a full slate of scientific presentations. Continue reading
Studies by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection show the state continues to be number one in reported cases of Lyme disease in the U.S., with cases increasing each year. This year will be no exception, with the CDC reporting that the combination of last year’s large white-footed mouse population and the mild winter will result in an even larger increase of infected ticks.
Bucks County Lyme holds support group meetings at 4 p.m. on the third Sunday of each month at the Middletown Municipal Building in Langhorne. Those that can’t make a meeting this summer can follow these simple and important prevention tips.
by Julie Vitto
The late Dr. William Fife of Texas A&M University pioneered groundbreaking research into the use of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) to treat a wide spectrum of conditions, including Lyme disease. His extensive research revealed that, in many cases, patients with Lyme disease were able to stop using antibiotics and other medications after HBOT resulted in dramatic improvements to their overall health.
HBOT works to promote healing by increasing the oxygen concentration in the body at the cellular level and is often used in conjunction with antibiotics. Each patient receives an individualized evaluation before starting what is typically a protocol of 40 treatments. As a result, body functions are restored and the immune system receives a massive boost.
by Jack Firneno
Summer is a time for people to enjoy the outdoors. But for many in Pennsylvania, there’s a dangerous underbelly to the season.
There were 7,351 reported cases of Lyme Disease in Pennsylvania in 2015, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). That’s up from 6,470 in 2014, making the state by far the highest in the nation for documented incidences.
Southeastern Pennsylvania has been hit especially hard: Bucks County alone had 287 cases in 2014 and 454 in 2015, with Montgomery County showing 384 and 409, respectively. Even more alarming is the CDC’s acknowledgement that Lyme infections are underreported.
The disease, along with a host of possible bacterial co-infections, is transmitted through bites from blacklegged ticks, also known as deer ticks.
by Karen G. Meshkov
Pura Vida Wellness Shop and Studio, in Huntingdon Valley, is a holistic health and healing resource center with a selection of premium vitamins, supplements, herbs and oils, as well as onsite classes and workshops in a variety of healing arts. The center opened its doors in January and is a destination for Eastern Montgomery County residents seeking holistic, supportive care for a host of chronic and acute conditions, including Lyme disease.
The center is proudly “womanned” by Sharon Doyle, who has worked in health and wellness for over 25 years and is certified from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition, and Lynn Roberts, a longtime yoga and meditation teacher, Western herbalist and Kripalu-trained ayurvedic practitioner.
While Doyle and Roberts are at the ready to provide personalized counsel to help whomever comes into their shop, both are adamant that people see their primary doctor immediately if they suspect they have Lyme disease. “We want people diagnosed with Lyme to utilize our individualized supplements and protocol simultaneously with their conventional treatment,” stresses Doyle. “We work alongside physicians; we are not meant to replace them.”
Summer has arrived, and for so many here in BuxMont, it’s that special time of year when being outside adds enormously to the enjoyment of life. We get to run through the fields, sink our fingers into the earth, lay back on the grass and dip into a cool river or watering hole.
It’s a joy worth preserving; research shows that being in the great outdoors makes us calmer, happier, more grounded and helps to cultivate our appreciation for wonder. It also helps to develop a recognition and respect for the plant and animal life surrounding us, and incentivizes us to learn more about what we can do to conserve and protect it.
Engaging with Mother Nature, though, comes with responsibility, and this year, our attention is on a set of precautions that may be new to some families. In addition to packing our sunglasses, water, sunscreen and first aid kits into our backpacks, we’ll also want to be equipped with the most up-to-date information on Lyme disease and the preventative steps we can take to keep ticks at bay. As Pennsylvania leads the country in new cases of Lyme disease, it’s critical that we are prepared to build new warm-weather habits that keep our families safe this and every summer season.
On pages 16 and 17 of this issue, we learn about organizations like the PA Lyme Resource Network, which has influenced legislative action to support education, prevention and treatment options for Pennsylvanians affected by Lyme disease. Its regional affiliate, Bucks County Lyme, organized by Evelyn Throne and Karen Meyers, holds a monthly support group, which has been an indispensable resource for individuals and families in need of support. We also meet some of the allied healthcare professionals from across the region that are working cooperatively as part of the movement to help boost Lyme literacy.
We are grateful for their excellent efforts to address this important public health challenge, and for sharing their work with the Natural Awakenings community.
Together we are “Making the Awakening” in Bucks and Montgomery counties.
Karen G. Meshkov, Publisher
For local residents affected by Lyme disease, the support group BucksCo. Lyme meets at the Middletown municipal building at 4 p.m. on the third Sunday of the month, unless otherwise noted.
BucksCo. Lyme was formed in 2008 by Evelyn Throne and Karen Meyers and is a region of the PA Lyme Disease Resource Network, a statewide, nonprofit organization committed to education, patient advocacy, support and prevention of Lyme and other tick-borne diseases.
“May is Lyme disease awareness month and BucksCo. Lyme wants to help everyone learn more about tick-borne illnesses,” says Throne. “Pennsylvania is the number one state in reported cases of Lyme.” Throne says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that Lyme disease is actually 10 times more common than reported, which translates to more than 120,000 cases in 2016 in Pennsylvania alone.
Ruschelle Khanna, LCSW, is offering a free, online Fibromyalgia Summit from May 12 through 14, with more than 30 speakers and downloadable resources to aid in healing and recovery. The virtual conference, designed for both caregivers and those healing, includes interviews with some of the top specialists in fibromyalgia healing, as well as with individuals that have recovered, lifestyle experts and more.
“Too many people suffer endlessly with fibromyalgia and chronic pain. Often they have a very difficult time being diagnosed or even getting validation that they are not well,” says Khanna. “This online event will give people the tools and inspiration to heal from within.”
Khanna says she was inspired to develop this summit upon her own recovery from Lyme disease. “I understand the connection between undiagnosed infections and chronic pain, and I want to share the tools that helped me heal,” she says.
Early registration for the Fibromyalgia Summit is open now at TinyUrl.com/FibroSummitBuxMont. Opportunities to purchase the summit for reference, along with a host of downloadable healthy living resources from experts around the world, are also available. The summit will feature a comprehensive wellness bundle and an action plan for those interested in applying the principles to their lives.
Cost: Free from May 12-14 or available for purchase online.
May 2016 Issue
A Natural and Holistic Approach to Immune Health
by Lynn Feinman
When I was told I had Lyme disease 12 years ago, I was devastated. I was healthy, or so I thought. I exercised, was a vegetarian and even took vitamins. What I quickly came to realize was that this has everything to do with my “biochemical individuality”—my unique make-up which provided an opportunity for this bacteria carried by the tick to invade my body and cause fatigue, fever and kick off an autoimmune response. Our biochemical individuality is comprised of our genes, as well as our lifetime of environmental exposures and how our body has responded to both of these factors and our unique nutritional needs resulting from the interplay of these factors.
by Kathleen Downey
Lyme disease and its co-infections, Mycoplasma and Bartonella, attack weaknesses in our body. We are weakened primarily by long-held emotional stress, physical trauma and the environment. If a heart has been stressed by a bad diet for decades or from prolonged emotional pain, it will become even weaker with Lyme disease.