For over half of my life I have unknowingly struggled with Chronic Lyme Disease. This illness has dramatically diminished my health, both mentally & physically. After years and years of debilitating mystery symptoms, I finally discovered the true cause of my ailments JUST this year. As you’ll discover, I have been embarking on my own health journey for almost a decade. Becoming empowered with my intuitive insight, research and integrative healing protocols.
I am a firm believer that everything we are given in this lifetime, happens FOR US and not TO US. Living with Chronic Lyme Disease has shown me my resiliency and physical strength. It has led me to my passion in working with others to heal their own bodies. Through Reiki Energy Medicine, Breathwork Healing and Nutritional Cleansing I have witnessed my bodies ability to heal itself. Though I still have a lot of healing left to do, I can confidently say, I know my body will fully heal and be thriving again very soon!
I grew up on a farm in West Michigan with several horses and other barn animals. Taking care of these animals in the early morning hours was apart of normal life and taught me incredible work ethic at a young age. As a family we would often go hiking up north, deep into the woods outside of our cottage. I’ve always loved the woods and have so many incredible memories from this chapter of my life. Though this is unfortunately where I likely contracted Lyme Disease.
Lyme Disease is contracted when you are bit by an infected tick, but studies now indicate even a mosquito or horse fly could be carrying the Lyme Bacteria. A bulls eye rash around the bite mark occurs in only 30% of people but the rest can be completely unaware of its presence. Others may form different types of rashes in other parts of their body 3-30 days after the initial bite.
THE BITE THAT WOULD FOREVER CHANGE MY LIFE
In 5th grade, I had woken up one morning covered in a head to toe body rash that lasted over a week. My mom brought me into the pediatrician when benadryl wasn’t working and the rash persisted. They told her it was the laundry detergent she was using… We hadn’t changed laundry detergents in years and I had never had a sensitivity to it in the past. Though difficult to pin-point; this was likely when I was infected with Lyme Disease, as soon after my health began spiraling downwards.
After that episode of full body hives, I begin contracting several viral and bacterial infections. I was treated for ear, throat and sinus infections with a myriad of antibiotics. Of course we didn’t know it at the time, but this was leaving my system even more compromised. “Unfortunately, even a single course of antibiotics can permanently alter the gut flora.” Because 70% of our immune system lies in our digestive system, this can be very detrimental to our overall health in the long run.
My once strong immune system, could no longer fight off even small infections and the Lyme Disease (bacterial infection) that may have been lying dormant in my system was now taking over.
BELLS PALSY AND LYME DISEASE
I remember vividly the day I first contracted Bells Palsy which is a form of facial paralysis. I went to the mall with my mom and noticed my left eye was watering heavily. Big tears rolled down my face and I just dismissed it as allergies. I was chronically fatigued all the time and came home to take a nap after shopping. I woke up a few hours later and walked upstairs to talk with my mom and sister. They stared at me with a startled look in their eyes and my mom told me to go look in the mirror. To my horror, the left side of my face was completely frozen. Paralyzed so much so that I could no longer blink my left eye or lift my lips to a smile.
Thinking that I was having a stroke, they rushed me to the ER only to discover I had Bells Palsy. It is extremely rare to contract at just 15 years old but the doctors on staff could not give me a explanation as to the cause. I suffered 6 grueling months with the left side of my face completely paralyzed. As a freshman in high school, it left me in a dark chapter of depression for the first time in my life. I was fiercely jaded by Western Medicine after this whole ordeal and was left confused as to the “WHY” of what was happening in my body.
Bells Palsy is one of the first manifestations of neurological Lyme Disease and often a symptom of Lyme that is completely missed. It was 9 years later that I contracted my second episode of Bells Palsy, this time on the right side of my face. I treated this second round of paralysis completely through holistic modalities and within 21 days it completely dissipated! It was around this time I became passionate about alternative approaches to heal the body from the inside out.
NEW MYSTERY SYMPTOMS
After my first episode of Bells Palsy at 15, I began developing new manifestations of illness within my body. Because Lyme Disease can show up in a myriad of ways, everyone is so unique in what they experience. From ages 15-present day (28 years old), I’ve developed the following conditions:
- Hormonal Imbalance (amenorrhea)
- Joint Pain
- Interstitial Cystitis (painful bladder syndrome)
- Brain Fog
- Hair loss
- Short term memory loss
- Food sensitivities and allergies
- Chronic Fatigue
- Weight gain
- Heart palpitations
- Panic Attacks
- Muscle Weakness
When you feel several of these symptoms in your body at the same time, it can be completely debilitating to the point that some days are hard to get out of bed. Chronic Lyme Disease is often called a “invisible illness” because from the outside you look healthy, but in the inside these symptoms often make me feel as though I’m a prisoner in my body.
In my early twenties, I began trying to improve these symptoms with a healthier diet, exercise and supplementation. I was all over the newest health trends and movements in efforts to optimize my well-being. All the while, my family thought I was a hypochondriac because I was living the healthiest lifestyle out of any of them, but still struggling daily.
DISCOVERING MINDFULNESS AND ENERGY MEDICINE
With no direction and no answers as to why my health continued to decline, I was forced to look inwards. It was here in this place of stillness, that I began to deepen my mind+body connection and enhanced my intuition.
I added daily meditation, journaling and prayer to my morning routine and felt my internal state improve greatly. My mind, which was once over run with worry and anxiety, began to feel more at peace. It wasn’t until my first Reiki Energy Healing Session, that I felt this process accelerate greatly. I remember leaving feeling a inner sense of calm and joy that I didn’t realize was achievable. It was as though the clouds were lifted and my energetic state felt light as a feather.
I was told by many that I had a gift in working with energy and women began seeking me out to clear and balance their own subtle energetic fields. The response was incredible and word spread quickly. After spending years on healing myself, it feels so fulfilling to begin sharing my gifts and knowledge with others in their own healing journey.
BREATHWORK, THE CATALYST
My first Breathwork Session completely changed my life. It was a deeply transformative experience, that put me in direct connection with my inner-wisdom in a way I had never experienced before. I saw memories from my childhood, I didn’t realize I was still suppressing and had a powerful emotional catharsis. I wasn’t ready to put into words what I felt that afternoon when my husband picked me up, and could only describe it as a “magical, out of body experience!”
Conscious, circular and connected Breathwork quickly gets you into a transcendental state of mind. This form of somatic therapy allows you to gently release any heavy emotions, wounds or traumas from your past. This pattern of 2-part breath combined with a powerful playlist and a guide, leads to breakthroughs, as you free your spirit from internal blocks.
Breathwork is now a huge part of my healing work for both myself and my clients. It is the reason why I finally discovered I had Lyme Disease. After one of my own Breathwork Journey’s, my inner wisdom aka intuition nudged me to get the comprehensive Igenex ImmunoBlot Test completed with my Doctor. When it came back VERY positive, I was both scared and grateful that I finally had a answer after all these years!
I’ve had clients transform their inner state, get off medications, re-balance their hormones, and feel self-love for the first time with Breathwork. It continues to amaze as to the powerful shifts that happen after even one session. I am incredibly honored to be teaching this beautiful modality of healing.
MY HOLISTIC HEALING REGIMEN FOR LYME
Since my diagnosis, I’ve spent a lot of time researching the top natural healing options for Lyme Disease. I knew the traditional anti-biotic therapy would only weaken my system further and instead have combined several modalities to heal. If you catch Lyme early enough there is a chance that the traditional anti-biotics WILL work. Since I had been living with mine for over a decade, I made the decision to treat it Holistically.
As I’m well versed in the Nutritional Cleansing necessary to nourish the body from the inside+out, I started here. A whole-foods diet, free of processed foods is truly the first foundational step towards healing any chronic illness in the body.
I’ll go into more detail as to this anti-inflammatory diet in a future post as there’s a lot to cover. But I’ve been focusing specifically on a gut healing protocol. It includes several probiotic rich foods to re-populate my micro-biome along with building blocks like collagen to strengthen the intestinal walls.
BEE VENOM THERAPY
Bee Venom Therapy, is the main method I’ve chosen to eradicate the Lyme bacteria. A enzyme in the venom called Melittin is very potent against Borrelia burgdorferi. I use live honey bees shipped to me from California (at the end of their life span) and place 10 along my spine 3 times each week. Their natural instinct is to sting and once they do, I leave the venom sac in for 15min to allow it to fully penetrate. Its a painful process, but less painful than the debilitating Lyme symptoms so VERY worth it. I will do a full post on this alternative treatment very soon.
Detox is another huge part of this protocol. As the Lyme, co-infections and parasites die-off they release endo-toxins which exacerbates all symptoms. This herxheimer reaction comes and goes which leads to a lot of ups and downs in the healing process.
Daily Near Infrared Sauna, Coffee Enemas, Oil Pulling, Re-Bounding, Breathwork, and detoxifying herbs are now a essential part of my routine. It was difficult to prioritize my well-being this extensively in the beginning, but now its my favorite part of the morning.
True healing often doesn’t happen in a day, week, month or even a year. Its a continuous journey of peeling back the layers of your being to discover your truth so you can thrive.
Often disease manifests into its physical form to wake us up, to serve as a alarm that something is out of balance in our lives. For years I was making everyone else (dysfunctional family) a priority. Trying to police and control their behavior to fit what “I knew” would make them happy, healthy and whole. My natural type A personality wanted to “do it all myself” and I put the weight of the world on my shoulders. My symptoms got louder and louder until I was forced to physically stop. To let go, to surrender, to go inwards and to make my own healing a priority once and for all.
THE PATH TO WHOLENESS
I’ve learned to awaken my feminine energy of pure presence, acceptance, forgiveness and stillness. After years of trying to keep it all together, pushing myself in a masculine dominated career this chapter of slow healing feels like a drink of cool water. Refreshing, invigorating and incredibly cleansing.
I believe deeply that given the right tools, are intelligent bodies can and will heal. When symptoms of panic, anxiety or darkness try to take over, I now am able to let it pass. Coming back to my breath, releasing all that stagnation and aligning my energy back to place of wholeness. I declare health over myself and practice gratitude each and everyday for where I am now.
Know that you too harness this same power and ability to overcome the darkest valleys. This life is a beautiful journey of lessons that make us stronger and wiser each year. Though I still have hurdles to overcome in my own healing journey, I can see that light inside beginning to glow brighter and brighter. I have a solid foundation of faith, and am so thankful to have discovered these alternative modalities to discover Body Peace at all levels of self.
Thank you for your continuous support and encouragement through this chapter in my life!
Magnarelli, L A. NCBI, edited by J F. Anderson, 26 Aug. 1988, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC266646/. Jenny Buttaccio, Jenny L. How To Manage Herxheimer Reactions During Lyme Disease Treatment, Pro Health, 16 June 2019, www.prohealth.com/library/what-i-use-to-manage-herxheimer-reactions-47971. Antimicrobial Activity of Bee Venom and Melittin against Borrelia burgdorferi, Pub Med, 29 Nov. 2017, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29186026. New-onset Bell palsy and Lyme disease, edited by Can Fam Physician, NCBI, Dec. 2017, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5729143/. The High Price of Antibiotic Use: Can Our Guts Ever Fully Recover?, edited by Chris Kresser, 11 June 2019, chriskresser.com/the-high-price-of-antibiotic-use-can-our-guts-ever-fully-recover/. Giorgi, Anna. Chronic Lyme Disease (Post-Treatment Lyme Disease Syndrome), Healthline, 30 May 2018, www.healthline.com/health/lyme-disease-chronic-persistent. Study Shows Evidence of Severe and Lingering Symptoms in Some after Treatment for Lyme Disease, edited by Marin Hedin, John Hopkins, 1 Feb. 2018, www.hopkinsmedicine.org/news/newsroom/news-releases/study-shows-evidence-of-severe-and-lingering-symptoms-in-some-after-treatment-for-lyme-disease.
Antimicrobial Activity of Bee Venom and Melittin against Borrelia burgdorferi, Pub Med, 29 Nov. 2017, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29186026. New-onset Bell palsy and Lyme disease, edited by Can Fam Physician, NCBI, Dec. 2017, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5729143/. The High Price of Antibiotic Use: Can Our Guts Ever Fully Recover?, edited by Chris Kresser, 11 June 2019, chriskresser.com/the-high-price-of-antibiotic-use-can-our-guts-ever-fully-recover/. Giorgi, Anna. Chronic Lyme Disease (Post-Treatment Lyme Disease Syndrome), Healthline, 30 May 2018, www.healthline.com/health/lyme-disease-chronic-persistent. Study Shows Evidence of Severe and Lingering Symptoms in Some after Treatment for Lyme Disease, edited by Marin Hedin, John Hopkins, 1 Feb. 2018, www.hopkinsmedicine.org/news/newsroom/news-releases/study-shows-evidence-of-severe-and-lingering-symptoms-in-some-after-treatment-for-lyme-disease.