Apitherapy Treatment Miami FL
Coral Gables, FL
Coral Gables, FL
Endocrinology, Diabetes & Metabolism
University of Miami Miller School of Medicine
JC Fleites MD PA
The Buzz on Bee Therapy
By Kristin Bjornsen
Kathleen Miller, of Albuquerque, New Mexico, opened the bee box and with long-handled tweezers, removed a buzzing bee. She softly pressed its hind end on her knee. The bee stung her. At the time, says Miller, “I thought, This is wacko—plus, I’m killing an animal I love. What am I doing?”
But what she was doing was apitherapy, a form of medicine people in Egypt, Greece, and China have practiced for more than 5,000 years. Apitherapy uses bee venom, as well as pollen, honey, and other hive products, to prevent or treat illness and injuries. “Globally, it’s a huge system of medicine, especially in Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and South America, where even many MDs sting their patients,” says Frederique Keller, LAc, apitherapist, acupuncturist, and president of the American Apitherapy Society (AAS), headquartered in Centerport, New York. “The United States is way behind.” Here, although apitherapists can get “certificates of knowledge” by attending the AAS Charles Mraz Apitherapy Course and Conference, no formal certification or sanctioning exists, much like homeopathy.
But that’s changing, says Keller, with a growing number of physicians, acupuncturists, and everyday people embracing apitherapy as a treatment for conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, shingles, tendonitis, gout, carpal tunnel syndrome, Lou Gehrig’s disease, fibromyalgia, painful scars and burns, multiple sclerosis (MS), and Lyme disease. With venom therapy, you can either go to an apitherapist—who will use live bees or injectable bee venom (only doctors can perform the latter)—or do it yourself after learning the techniques.
Miller, 59, turned to bee venom, which has strong anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties, for an arthritic and damaged knee. A world-class marathon runner in the ’80s, she placed fifth at the 1980 Boston Marathon. The pavement pounding pulverized her right knee, however, and in 1990, she tore the cartilage in the already weakened knee while rock climbing. She underwent surgery almost immediately and was running a month later. But in 1991, she tore cartilage again, this time while swimming. Once more, Miller had surgery, “completely unsuccessfully,” she says. For whatever reason, “my knee stayed in a postoperative condition: incredibly red, hot, swollen, and painful.” A pediatric nurse practitioner, she would immediately dive for a chair to take a patient’s history. At parties, standing around chatting tortured her. And every day, from 1992 to 1996, she took the maximum dosage of ibuprofen or other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs with little relief. She tried a third surgery, as well as acupuncture and myofascial relief techniques. No luck. “Those years were miserable,” says Miller. “I was begging for a knee replacement even though I was only 47 years old.”
In spring 1996, Miller read about a farmer whose rheumatoid arthritis was cured when he put on his pajamas and was stung by a be...
Author: Kristin Bjornsen
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