Acupuncture treatment works to treat the many chronic and immediate symptoms of Lyme Disease since medical intervention is necessary for the condition. While there are specific states in the United States that have experienced more of an upturn in cases of Lyme Disease, the incidence of Lyme Disease in general has doubled since 1991 affecting 476,000 Americans. Most cases come from the Northeastern states in the U.S. like New England and the Mid-Atlantic states like Connecticut and Massachusetts. Lyme Disease comes from ticks, which can be as small as the head of a pin. It is important to address Lyme Disease from both an eastern and western medicine perspective, especially with increasing occurrences.
Lyme Disease is an illness which can lead to chronic pain, and in more serious cases can cause inflammation in the brain and spinal cord. Patients who have Lyme Disease may not realize they have it until they notice what looks like a spider or mosquito bite along with a target appearance coming from the bite, and a fever. Eventually, symptoms will ultimately strengthen, multiply, or get worse. These symptoms can range from mild to severe, with severe symptoms having the potential to lead to neurological and/or heart issues.
Lyme Disease Symptoms:
- Headache – can be a sign of decreased blood flow to the brain which can be common with Lyme Disease.
- Rashes – one of the first potential symptoms that would arise with Lyme Disease, and is often purple, red, or pink in color.
- Fatigue – extreme fatigue can occur when Lyme Disease is left untreated.
- Swollen Lymph Nodes – this can be a sign of a bacterial infection in the body from the Lyme Disease.
- Joint Pain – Lyme Disease can cause inflammation in the joints which causes pain.
While these are some of the main symptoms that can arise with Lyme Disease, other symptoms can also occur such as insomnia, muscle pain, fever, digestive issues, dizziness, and more. Unfortunately, there is no known cure in western medicine for Lyme Disease.
Causes of Lyme Disease:
- Tick Bite – this is the most common way that a patient would obtain Lyme Disease. The ticks transfer the Lyme Disease carrying bacteria to the patient causing the symptoms.
- Tick Habitat – Moist, warm areas like forests or grassy areas are places to avoid but especially during tick season.
- Tick Season – spring and summer season are when ticks are most active, and this is when it’s most important for individuals who
- Nearness to Animals – outside pets/animals that we have access to on a daily basis, such as dogs, can carry ticks on their body and Lyme Disease can be transmitted.
Treatments in western medicine usually include antibiotics, and many people make a full recovery from Lyme Disease. However, there are many patients that also may develop syndromes after their initial Lyme Disease has been treated, and may require pain medications.
Acupuncture for Lyme Disease
While some cases of Lyme disease will just need a stint of antibiotics in order to do away with it, for others depending on the severity, will need other interventions or may not work with that particular patient’s constitution. Acupuncture works for Lyme Disease by reducing inflammation, stimulating blood flow to the head, restoring balance, boosting energy to the blood, and reducing muscle and joint pain.
Lyme Disease, in Traditional Chinese Medicine, is thought to be caused by extreme heat, an excess of Yang, and dampness within the body. It is also looked at as a Blood deficiency and is known as Gu Zheng or Gu Syndrome encompassing many outside infections such as viruses, parasites, and funguses.
Gu Syndrome Potential Symptoms:
- Extreme fatigue
- Stomach pain and bloating
- Eye pain
- Sleep issues
- Joint and body aches
- Food allergies/sensitivity
- Brain fog
- Sensitivity to temperature
Acupuncture Lyme Disease Treatment Goals:
- Tonify Blood, Yin, Yang, & Qi
- A multitude of pathogens come to light as they fester within the patient’s body. We must move and detoxify the stagnant Liver Blood and Qi.
- Get rid of pathogentic factors through proper use of antimicrobial herbs to reduce parasites, viruses, bacteria, and other microbes within the body.
- Improve immune system functions to fight the bacteria which causes Lyme disease.
- Relieve Lyme Disease associated pain.
- Balance adrenal function to combat the lack of energy associated with Lyme Disease.
Contrary to information out there, eastern medicine does not make claims of curing Lyme Disease, but decreasing the toxic pathogens caused by it, whether on its own or in combination with western medicine antibiotics. There are acupuncture points and herbs that have been studied and are most useful in the treatment of Lyme Disease.
Lyme Disease Acupuncture Points:
- Primary Lyme Disease Acupuncture Points:
- C1, C2, & C3 Huatuo
- T1, T2, & T3 Huatuo
- C1, C2, & C3 Huatuo
- Secondary Lyme Disease Acupuncture Points:
- T7 Huatuo
- T7 Huatuo
Herbs with the Ability to Kill Borrelia Burgdorferi (Lyme Disease bacteria) According to John’s Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health:
- Cryptolepis sanguinolenta
- Juglans nigra (Black Walnut)
- Cistus incanus
- Scutellaria baicalensis (Chinese Skullcap)
- Polygonum cuspidatum (Japanese Knotweed)
- Artemisia annua (Sweet Wormwood)
- Uncaria tomentosa (Cat’s Claw)