Some people have decided to add stevia to their protocol...but do not overdo it because it can create a strong herx. Other members have decided to add MSM to their protocol if they think or know they have Bartonella.
There are some side effects that people with Lyme Disease undergo while doing BVT. These side effects are due to the neurotoxins that are given off when the pathogens are killed and “die-off.” This process is called the Jarisch-Herxheimer Reaction, known as herxing, or herx. It is believed that herxing results from the destruction of pathogens. The body has trouble handling the surge of toxins into the bloodstream, provoking a cascade of reactions very quickly.
Some people experience: flu-like symptoms, heavy perspiration, chills, low grade fever, a taste of metal in the mouth, nausea, constipation or diarrhea, bloating, swollen glands, facial paralysis, heart palpitations, tachycardia, mental confusion, tinnitus, skin conditions, pain, conjunctivitis, uncoordinated movement, increased fatigue, sensitivity to light, dizziness, feeling depressed or irritable, neuropathy, muscle cramps, insomnia, night sweats, low or high blood pressure, headaches or migraines.
Limit your exposure to chemicals, pollutants, additive-laden foods, medications that are not necessary, bad water, etc. Raise the level of clean air, water, and food. Listen to your body and please rest when you need to. Any herxing symptoms mean the spirochetes are being killed and “die-off” is happening. This may not be fun, but it is a sign of healing. Herxing is like a “healing crisis.” It is uncomfortable, but not life-threatening. Herxing should be mild to moderate and it will lessen over time. If the herx feels too strong you can skip a session of bee stings and increase your detox. Also you can go down in the number of live bee stings for the next few sessions.
I have several cardinal rules when it comes to BVT.
1. Please do NOT drink any alcohol within 24 hours on either side of stinging. The reason for this is that alcohol may increase the risk of anaphylactic shock. Also do NOT use alcohol on the skin before or after stinging, since this may nullify the beneficial effects of the bee venom.
2. You MUST be able to tolerate 3000-4000 MG of Vitamin C every single day, even on non-sting days. Vitamin C is a raw ingredient that the adrenals need to make cortisol, your body's own natural cortisone. Without enough Vitamin C, your body could go into anaphylactic shock, because you are forcing the body to “frantically” make something it cannot make. There is also the possibility that you could burn out your adrenals over time. Also do not drink coffee or consume any caffeine within 2 hours before or after taking your Vitamin C, as it will reduce the potency of the Vitamin C or any other supplement. You need to work your way up to 3000 MG of Vit. C before you start BVT. Go slowly and find the brand that works for you. I recommend taking 1000 MG of Vit. C 3 times a day. You need to be at 3000 MG for at least 2-3 days before beginning BVT.
3. You MUST have an unexpired EpiPen (which requires a prescription from a doctor) and an 8 oz. bottle of children’s liquid Benadryl (alcohol free and preferably dye-free as well).If your tongue and throat start to close up and you are having trouble breathing, this is a systemic reaction, a true allergy (anaphylactic shock). You MUST IMMEDIATELY drink 4 oz. of Benadryl. If you are still having trouble breathing after 30-45 seconds, you MUST use your EpiPen and seek medical attention at once. Make sure you have a charged cell phone with you at all times whenever you are doing BVT. Please read the instructions for the EpiPen before doing any stings at all.
4. You cannot be on a BETA-BLOCKER when you are doing BVT. BETA-BLOCKERS prevent your EpiPen from working if you are going into anaphylactic shock. If you are on a BETA-BLOCKER NOW, check with your doctor to see if either you can wean yourself off it OR if there is another medication that will help you that does not contain a BETA-BLOCKER.PLEASE NOTE: IF YOU HAVE A PACEMAKER THE EPIPEN MAY NOT WORK.
5. DO NOT STING ON AN EMPTY STOMACH. There have been several cases of people fainting doing bee stings on an empty stomach. It is ideal to have some protein an hour before stinging.
6. ICE PACKS - It is totally normal during the first month or so to experience redness, swelling, and itching. This may also happen when you go to a new area on the body. This is a good sign that your immune system is waking up and recognizing the foreign proteins and poison in bee venom. You can control these reactions with ice packs and some people use anti-itch cream. Any cream with cortisone can create a serious burn. Please avoid these creams. Theoretically we want to avoid any creams or pills that will nullify the effect of the bee venom, but if you are desperate in the first month, you can use these sparingly. You can also try a solution of apple cider vinegar and water directly on the red, swollen, and itchy area after several hours.The itching is normal and will subside. I have heard that eating spicy foods fairly close to sting sessions intensifies the burning sensations of the stings. Also eating carbohydrate close to sting times may increase itching. Scratching also increases itching.
7. SCARS BLOCK ENERGY – Please sting all scars on the trunk of the body after the first 2-3 months. You will be amazed at the results. You may even want to take pictures of your scars before and after stinging.
8. Also, do NOT start two new protocols at once, because then you won’t know what’s causing what. Some people have already been on antibiotics for a while when they start BVT. That is fine. I just would not start antibiotics and BVT at the exact same time.
9. DO NOT STING IF YOU ARE PREGNANT. STINGING WHEN BREAST FEEDING IS OK.
10. DO NOT STING YOUR NECK, HEAD, LUMBARS, OR EXTREMITIES UNTIL THE BEGINNING OF THE 4TH MONTH. STAY ON THE TRUNK OF YOU BODY FROM T-1 TO YOUR WAIST FOR THE FIRST 3 MONTHS. After the second month you can sting on the abdomen when needed. Pubic stings can be done at the end of the first month. Please send a private message to me (Amber Rose) if you need to customize your protocol.
11. Be careful with blood thinners since bee venom thins the blood. So for example if you need a painkiller, tylenol is better than ibuprofen (e.g. advil). Heavy duty blood thinners are a bit risky.
12. TEN IS NOT A MAGIC NUMBER !!!
HOW TO BEGIN
The first few months may be quite challenging. DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE THE CHALLENGE. I promise you it does get easier. BVT encourages the body to heal itself. Your goal is to wake up your inner physician and jump-start your immune system. Some people notice that they go through a homeopathic process called retracing. This is when you experience symptoms that you had before, for example in the past or in childhood. The telltale sign of retracing is when you feel like you are "backsliding" or that you are experiencing symptoms you thought you were done with. For example, if you have had poison ivy as a child, you might develop poison ivy while doing BVT even in the middle of winter. This is normal and is a good sign that your inner physician is waking up.
First ice the area you are planning to sting for about 10 – 15 minutes. Use an ice pack not a real ice cube. Ice cubes will drip and make it harder for bees to sting. Some people place a cloth between the ice pack and the skin to prevent freezer burn. Please start slowly with a “test sting” on your back and take the stinger out immediately, sliding it along the skin and placing it into a tissue, to prevent a secondary sting. DO NOT PULL THE STINGER STRAIGHT OUT INTO THE AIR. THIS MAY LEAVE PART OF THE STINGER IN THE SKIN.
If you are left-handed, you may want to do the test sting on the right side of the back, one inch out from the center of the spine. If you are right-handed you will go to the left side of the back, one inch out from the center of the spine. You will remove the test stinger immediately as stated above.
Wait 30 minutes. Watch for any systemic reaction like hives or swelling of the tongue and throat. If you’re going to have a true allergic reaction (anaphylactic shock) you will feel your throat and tongue begin to swell. If this happens, drink 4 oz. of children’s liquid Benadryl. If you have no relief within 30-45 seconds, use the Epipen IMMEDIATELY and seek medical attention right away.
See how you are feeling after those 30 minutes pass. If you have no adverse reaction to the test sting, you can do a second sting on the same day. You can do this on the other side of the spine. Feel free to ice the new area you are planning to sting. Please leave the stinger in about 15 - 20 minutes. (You can place the ice pack near the sting site, as long as you do NOT put the ice pack directly on top of the stinger itself.) When it is time to remove the stinger, be sure to slide it along the skin and place the stinger in a tissue, as described above.
We usually start one inch on either side of the center of the spine. This area is chosen because we want to catch the roots and stems of the nerves as they come out of the spine. We want the bee venom to travel all the way down the nerve pathways. This way we can actually reach the extremities and all your organs without stinging the extremities too early in treatment. The back is the safest place to sting. So since we want to make good use of the venom, while staying on the trunk of the body in the beginning, we sting near the spine in order to reach your extremities and all your organs while staying on the torso for the first few months. After you do 1 inch out from the spine for awhile, you can do 2 inches out from the spine.
I always sting the trunk of the body for a minimum of 2-3 months. You can sting approximately one inch away from the center of the spine or after 2-3 months or so you can sting scars on the trunk of the body, including the abdomen but please check with me first. If you have some bladder issues you may sting in the pubic hair itself. Please stay from T-1 to your waist area for the first 2-3 months. Do NOT sting too high up on the back near the neck, because this will create a strong herx or “healing crisis.” The neck starts at C-7. I do not sting the head, neck, or any extremities for at least 2-3 months. The first few months are more about giving the body a chance to get used to the venom, rather than dealing with or treating any particular symptom. Most people do best stinging the spine area from T -1 down to the waist.
DO NOT PUSH THE RIVER
You do NOT want to try and hurry the process. Slow and steady wins the race. You can actually cause damage to the liver or the kidneys if you push the river and go too fast or do too much. Lyme spirochetes infiltrate the kidneys, and bee venom and all the neurotoxins in the “die-off” or herx are processed through the kidneys. Please be mindful to be gentle to your inner organs. Down the road, you will be grateful that you did.
It is important to increase the number of stings you get very slowly. After the test sting and the first real sting (left in for 15-20 minutes)…Some people start by doing 2 stings on either side of the spine for EACH of the NEXT two sessions, then IN THE SECOND WEEK they go up to 4 stings for THREE sessions, then 6 stings for THREE sessions, etc. In other words, some people increase the number of stings by TWO EVERY THREE sessions. If for some reason this feels too fast for you, you can go up by ONE sting every THREE sessions. You can even stay at the same number of stings for six sessions or more. IF you are thinking of going up one or two stings in a NEW session, you can try a TEST sting.... and see how you feel. This would be like "testing the waters." Everyone is different; so compare is despair. It is very important NOT to jump from eight stings to fourteen stings. Don't give the body more than it can handle too quickly or too early. Remember, "Slow and steady wins the race." You will be doing bee stings for 2-3 years, so "take it easy." We often call our group The Turtle Bee Club.
I have found working up to 10 stings per session and being able to tolerate them well is usually sufficient, although some people like to add a few more or do a few less. I would not go over 20 stings for Lyme disease, as it is overkill. It is more than you need to kill the spirochetes in any one session and may create a stronger, more intense herx. Please remember that 10 is not a "magic number." I have seen people recover doing 8 stings per session. Please listen to your body. Use your own judgment, and see what works for you. But certainly, don't sting the very same area over and over again. It is best to move around. Do not sting where it is already red. That means there is still venom there, so it is not necessary to add more.
So, just to summarize, I increase the number of stings by 2 after three separate sessions. If you have the MTHFR gene, or if you are having trouble herxing or detoxing, I would recommend going much slower. Some people only increase the number of stings by one every three sessions. Others increase the number of stings by one every 6 sessions and so on. Please listen to your body and your own intuition. If you need to skip a sting session due to a severe herx, that is certainly understandable. It will not cause a problem. Just make sure to do extra detoxing on that day and then pick up your stinging on the next scheduled day.
Remember, this protocol is only a guideline. Some people will herx more than others depending on their individual situation. Go as slow as you need to go. Ideally, it is best to sting three times a week to keep the venom in your system. If need be… do not increase the number of stings until you are sure you are tolerating them well. You can go up by 1 sting per week instead of two. Take your time and ask for help if you need it. PLEASE KEEP IN MIND... THAT TEN IS NOT A MAGIC NUMBER... EVERYONE HAS TO FIND THEIR OWN LEVEL. AND THERE IS NO TIME TABLE TO BE AT A CERTAIN NUMBER WITHIN A CERTAIN PERIOD OF TIME.
PLEASE NOTE: If, for any reason, you have a BREAK between bee stings of 7-14 days or more (sometimes I even do it with a 7 day break), you will ALWAYS need to do a TEST STING again and wait 30 minutes. If you want to you can then start again slowly. This does not mean you are starting over. It just means you are being careful to begin again slowly. Listen to your body and your own inner guidance as you increase your stings over the next few weeks. If you are taking a break of several months, please start taking your 3000-4000 MG of Vit. C at least one week before starting BVT again.
After about 3 months of stinging your back and perhaps your abdomen (after 2 months), when you want to sting the extremities, do not immediately go right from stinging the trunk of your body and jump down to your elbows or knees. Instead, slowly make your way down the upper arm or leg, using test stings, creeping your way down to your elbows or your knees. You will only creep one test sting per session on one extremity. Keep in mind that the low back (lumbars), the neck, and the head are all considered extremities. So after the third month if you decide to sting your neck, you will creep up starting with one test sting on C-7. The rest of your stings will be on your spine. Since there are 7 cervicals... you will do one test sting per session on the left side of the cervicals... and eventually one test sting for each of the cervicals on the right side. This brings you to a total of 14 test stings on the cervical spine. They are not done all at once; they are done as one test sting per session. We never sting the head before finishing the cervical test stings.The same thing is true for the lumbar spine.You can start with one test sting below the waist on the left side of L-1. The rest of your stings will be on the spine. Then in the next session you can try a test sting on the left side of L-2, etc. Since the are usually 5 lumbar vertebrae... and you will want to do test stings on both sides of the lumbars, the total number of test stings in the lumbar area will be 10. Stings on the extremities do not replace spine stings, which reach all the nerves in your body. You will continue doing some spine stings as well as the new stings on the extremities. It is very important to keep in mind that the stings near the spine truly take care of the bulk of your problems because we are catching the nerve roots.
A special note for women. It is advisable not to sting around the area of your bra.
Remember, please be mindful and avoid stinging areas that might rub close to your sting sites. The more you scratch or rub your stings the more they will itch. Also if you eat carbohydrates and sweets close to sting times, I have heard that the itching is more intense.
Bee venom returns your body to balance as time goes by. Some people find it beneficial to include other honeybee products (apitherapy) in their diet: honey, pollen, royal jelly, and propolis. This is a great idea, but I caution you start slowly and begin each product one at a time. At some point down the road, you may decide to wean yourself off your meds. If you do this, please be aware that your bee stings may become more powerful. So you may need to reduce the number of stings slowly as you come off your meds. Many things will start falling into place as you continue to sting yourself. You will lose unwanted weight or gain it if you are underweight. Some women have noticed their menses return to a more normal pattern.
As time goes by, you become more comfortable catching bees and stinging yourself. When you are ready, you can now go for more powerful places to sting like acupuncture points. Many acupuncture charts are available online or you can buy my books, “Bee in Balance" or "Pioneers Companion Workbook" on Amazon if you want to learn the theory behind choosing which pathways to sting and which points to select on that pathway. I have been told by many well-known BVT practitioners, especially doctors, that stinging acupuncture points is 80 % more powerful than just stinging where it hurts. Combining acupuncture theory and BVT creates a whole new field of medicine. The whole is greater that the sum of its parts. If you want a beginner's book on BVT and Lyme, the best place to start is our "Pioneers: Healing Lyme with Bee Venom Therapy," which is now a “rare” book and only available from Amber Rose.
Also remember that SCARS block energy. Therefore, it is CRUCIAL to sting any scars you have. You will be amazed that scar tissue disappears when stung over time by honeybees. You can sting directly on the scar. You can sting all around the scar, which in acupuncture theory is called surrounding the dragon. But also if your scar runs across some acupuncture pathways, you will need to sting the closest acupuncture points above and below the scar. In this case, you need to know which way the acupuncture meridian flows, up or down on the body. You will sting in the direction of the flow of the meridian. This means that you will sting the lower numbered point and then the higher numbered point.
Everyone is different. You cannot compare your progress or process to anyone else’s. There are so many different strains of Lyme out there as well as different co-infections. Therefore, you may or may not experience things listed in this protocol. Some people experience a strong need to cry and emotional mood swings. Others do not experience this. Either way, bee venom is balancing out your emotions, along with your hormones, and helping the body heal itself.
Treating Lyme and Co-Infections with BVT is a 2-3 year process. You may go through some retracing and herxing. As previously stated, the first few months can be really challenging. I encourage you to persevere. If after the first year or so, you experience a return of similar symptoms, this is retracing and I promise you it will not last long.
Please feel free to pass this protocol on to your BVT practitioner or anyone you think it might help.
DISCLAIMER: Nothing contained in this document is or should be considered, or used as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment by your physician or acupuncturist.
PS - Even if you do not have Lyme or any of its Co-Infections, you will get a “Healing Crisis,” with flu-like symptoms and perhaps a fever.
Written and copyrighted by Amber Rose