For years I have had intermittent sciatic nerve problems. Generally it is not bad, just a bit achy from time to time, but one spring, while playing on the teeter-walker with the children, I injured my sciatic nerve to the point that I was immobile. I had never been in so much pain in my life! After numerous trips to the emergency room and various doctor visits, I was scheduled for surgery.
Although the surgery was very successful, I was more than a little hesitant to begin the prescribed pain pill regime. I have read account after account of people suffering from intense pain only to have a successful surgery and then become addicted to the pain killers. I didn't want to become such a statistic. And so, we went in search of another answer.
|Smoking the bees|
Hearing this, Maid Elizabeth went to work. She began to research bee stings and their effects on arthritis. Suddenly, she stumbled upon a whole new (to us) method of pain management - Bee Venom Therapy. It turns out that BVT is practiced frequently in Europe and many practitioners carry portable bee hives from appointment to appointment, stinging patients for any number of ailments.
After doing a bit of research, we decided to give it a try. What sold me? Actually it was a combination of anecdotal evidence and scientific research. Most of the people I read about had proclaimed BVT to be nothing but helpful, in some cases curing them, and the science involved seemed to support their conclusions. Bee venom contains Mellitin, and anti-inflammatory that is 100 times stronger than Cortisone! It also contains Adolapin, which is also an anti-inflammatory and pain blocker. Bee venom is also said to increase blood circulation and reduce swelling.
|Very lethargic girls|
- About 1/2 an hour before being stung, I took 2 ibuprofen (just to dull the sting a bit - not necessary).
- I then iced my lower back (over my scar) for about 20 minutes.
- While I was icing, Maid Elizabeth scooped up a few bees (about 4) from our hive, put them in a jar (with air holes poked in the lid) and put the jar in the freezer. The bees become lethargic when they are cold and it is easier to capture one to use - they don't try to fly away when you take the lid off the jar.
- When the bees were ready and my back had been properly iced, I laid on my stomach while Maid Elizabeth capture a bee with a pair of tweezers. Holding the bee (stinger side down) next to the scar on my back, Maid Elizabeth gently squeezed the bee. In the process, the bee responded by stinging me. Leaving the stinger in, Maid Elizabeth stung me again on the other side of my scar. If you look at a honey bee stinger closely, you will notice a little venom sack on the top of their stinger. The venom sacks pulse, delivering their venom, for about 10 to 15 minutes.
- I lay still until both venom sacks quit pulsing, after which Maid Elizabeth removed them with her tweezers.
That's it! The area around the sting burned slightly and raised a small welt that got rather itchy. I noticed a lack of pain almost immediately. I DIDN'T TAKE ONE PAIN PILL! I had no pain. None at all.
My surgery was over 5 years ago. I have had twinges of pain (and I mean twinges) about 3 times since then. Each time, I've asked Maid Elizabeth to fetch a couple of "the girls" and sting me. Each time, I have gotten up with NO pain. None! I, my friends, am a true believer.
|Pulling a frame|
My understanding is that BVT is just beginning to emerge in the United States as a viable medical procedure. Apparently there have been tremendous results for MS patients using BVT. It has become more common to use BVT for the treatment of arthritis. And, it is indicated for patients suffering from sciatica (go figure!).
If you are interested in homesteading, preparedness, survival or simple homemade medicine then you shouldn't be without your own hive of bees. I know that having "the girls" in my backyard means so much more to me than simple pollination or sweet honey - it means living without pain.
NOTE: If you decide to try BVT, make sure you have a sting kit on hand and or an Epi-pen. 1 to 5 percent of the population is allergic to honey bee venom.