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Ayurveda & Chronic Lyme Recovery
Ayurveda adds valuable tools to the Chronic Lyme Recovery Toolbox. Chronic Lyme disease is an illness that is tough to treat. People know and agree on the cause. Lyme is a borellia – sprirochete bacteria-infection, often one of several infections commonly gotten from a tick bite.
The western model for chronic Lyme recovery is antibiotics to treat the infection. This approach works best when the infection is detected early and the treatment is instituted right away. Unfortunately early detection is far from a sure thing. Many people discover they have Lyme months to years later in the disease process.
For these patients there is disparity in the understanding of the chronic nature of Lyme infection, what constitutes a cure and if a cure is possible. Because of this struggle, many branches of health care are working with Lyme patients. Ayurveda seeks to optimize health. Health building can overlay and augment any treatment strategy when fighting Lyme and associated co-infections.
Traditional Doc’s, Lyme literate docs, Naturopaths, Functional medicine specialists and Herbalists are all working on this problem. People have started to reach out and share information to try and help the sickest patients. A person with chronic lyme may easily see 4 or more practioners, just to find help in getting an accurate diagnosis.
By the time someone has chronic Lyme, inflammation is rampant and the disease process is advanced. Multiple systems and tissues are involved. It can take years to control the infections and repair the damage done by the community of organisms that have established residency in the tissues.
In Ayurveda we learn unconscious behavior builds imbalance in the dosha. Chronic Lyme patients are often deeply out of balance, exhausted and depleted. Ayurveda makes the connection between choices and health clear.
The practice of Ayurveda moves you away from burning the candle at both ends to a place where rejuvenation, balance and rebuilding is possible.
A multi-pronged treatment strategy is almost always required for Chronic Lyme recovery. Here are the approaches and how Ayurveda works right in.
Ayurveda & Chronic Lyme Recovery-
1. Reduce Inflammation
Borellia and other tick borne pathogens use inflammation to hide from immune system attack. Inflammation reduces the movement of rasa. It increases stagnation and impairs the ability of the immune system to find and attack the bacteria. Inflammation increases symptom load as well. Ayurveda steps right in to cool things off using nutrition, dinacharya and detoxification.
a. Agni first aid- Ayurveda promotes digestive health as the gateway to total health. Often people with Lyme disease have such compromised digestion that they cannot eat wheat, dairy and eggs, without stirring up cycles of inflammation. They need the digestive repair Ayurveda brings.
b. Dinacharya- Dinacharya is a great first line approach to reduce inflammation. Meditation, movement and self massage have all been shown to lower inflammation.
c. Herbal support
2. Clean Eating-
Migrate to high clean nutrient dense foods and eat to balance your nature. This describes the Ayurvedic approach to eating. Many people go on a vegetable heavy Paleo eating plan.
3. Ease Symptoms-
Symptoms in Lyme disease are all over the map, sore throats, headaches, blurry vision, muscle aches, dizziness, light & sound sensitivity. Ayurveda protocol for chronic Lyme recovery approaches treatment for the individual to treat imbalances and uses less toxic herb, food and practice remedies.
4. Minimize Toxins-
If you use store bought cleaning supplies, make-up and self care products, you are exposed to a hundred plus different chemicals, before you head out the door each morning. Ayurveda teaches food grade products, for makeup and self care. Regular Detoxification is taught as part of daily and seasonal routines.
a. Dry Brushing- moves lymph and toxins to processing sites for elimination.
b. Abyhanga Oil massage– healthy fats help mobilize toxins and move them out into waste streams.
c. Cleanses & elimination diet- reduces toxic loading on a regular basis.
d. Sweating and enemas(basti)- actively pull toxins out.
e. Pancha Karma Clinic- Deep Detox with professional support.
5. Kill Pathogens-
Understand your current infections and work with a practitioner to eradicate them. Ayurveda has history in controlling spirochete infections such as malaria, and syphilis with herbs as part of a structured treatment strategy.
6. Rebuild Health-
Digestive health comes first with Lyme disease, many patients are unable to absorb the nutrients they need to heal. Ayurveda builds healthy agni and then overall health in its regular practice.
b. Oil Massage
c. Healthy Sleep
d. Rasayana foods and tonics to nourish and rebuild
e. Meals with balanced tastes for your dosha
f. Spices in your foods and targeted herbs.
Lyme disease is widespread in certain regions of the United States. Many people have trouble getting treated quickly enough and end up with the chronic form. The practice of Ayurveda can augment any treatment strategy to help these people feel better and heal. Add the power of Ayurveda to your Chronic lyme recovery toolbox.
1. Blum Susan MD, The Immune System Recovery Plan 2013, New York, New York, Scribner, 350 pages.
4. Lee YM, “Effect of self-foot reflexology massage on depression, stress responses and immune functions of middle aged women”, Taehan Kanho Hakhoe Chi. 2006 Feb; 36(1): 179-188.
5. Okun Michele L, PhD.”Biological Consequences of Disturbed Sleep: Important Mediators of Health?” Jpn Psychol Res, 2011 May 1; 53(2): 163-176.