Is Chronic Lyme Disease Real?

By A. J. Lindsley, Lindsley Chiropractic

The question of chronic Lyme disease is one I often answer in my office on a daily basis for my patients who have previously been diagnosed with Lyme disease and have been treated with antibiotics. Although they followed the standard of care for treatment and a course of antibiotics, many of their symptoms seem to persist for years after the initial diagnosis. Other patients may fall into another category that have symptoms associated with Lyme disease but have never been treated for Lyme disease due to the fact that they tested negative on the standard Western Blot test and did not have the bull’s-eye rash that is characteristic in some that have been infected by a tick. Often individuals seeking care by our medical system in these situations are told that all of their symptoms are in their head, and some are even referred to seek psychiatric help instead of the medical practitioner really listening to the patient and all of the symptoms.

One of the causes of chronic Lyme is the biofilms that bacteria and parasites are able to wrap themselves in during a normal course of antibiotic treatment, allowing many of the bacteria and parasites associated with Lyme disease to go hide wrapped in these biofilms, waiting for the immune system to become weakened before attacking again.

The truth about so many of these patients are suffering from a hidden case of Lyme disease is that the testing methods are not good enough to detect the chronic cases. A simple blood draw on a chronic Lyme disease patient may show they have made antibodies to the Lyme bacteria, but often the number of bands (five specific bands are required) to create a CDC (Center for Disease Control positive Lyme case) are not present. Chronic Lyme hides in the brain and joints, which is considered outside the blood stream. None of the testing methods that are standard actually test these tissues, and over time they turn into a chronic disease diagnosis with very little understand

Many of the bacteria and parasites associated with Lyme leave the blood stream and invade the joint tissue using the synovial fluid and cartilage as its long-term living quarters. These bugs secrete ammonia which is 46,000 times higher pH than our tissue. Our immune system recognizes these chemical toxins and reacts by creating superoxide and peroxide as part of our immune response to these invaders. Most of us have used peroxide on a cut because it is good at killing bacteria that may be in the cut. The body uses the same peroxide to help fight infections in our tissues. The problem becomes when we have a long-standing infection in our tissues (joint and brain tissue) with ammonia and peroxide reacting in these tissues, we often see the effects as many different diagnoses that are dismissed as part of the aging process.

Chronic Lyme exposure in the brain tissue often results in one of four common neurological diagnosis: MS (multiple sclerosis), ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis—Lou Gehrig’s disease), Parkinson’s, or some form of dementia. Many of these neurological processes are considered partially genetic but have a strong association with autoimmune issues where the body has become confused and overwhelmed to the point where it attacks itself. Slowly we are seeing the number of people with these diseases rising with no known cause and no real treatment. Today one in nine Americans (11 percent) at sixty-five years of age have a diagnosis of dementia, one in four (25 percent) at seventy-five years of age, and one in two (50 percent) at eighty-five years old. Currently 5 million Americans have dementia, and in twenty-five years 25 million diagnosed cases are predicted. Forget about nursing homes; we have a new business called memory care home facilities. Unless we begin to look for the chronic Lyme in the brain tissue and develop specific testing for these tissues, we will see these neurological diseases continue to rise and progress into younger and younger generations.

We are seeing, I believe, the same effects in chronic joint conditions. In the United States we are currently replacing over a million hips and knees per year! The prediction is 4 million joint replacements per year by 2035. Very few people are physically active enough to wear their joints out in a lifetime, so we have to ask ourselves what could be causing this extreme number of failures. Even more concerning is the number of non-contact sport injuries we are seeing in our young children. There have been over a million knee surgeries on children under the age of eighteen for ACL and meniscus tears in our young athletes. These injuries were unheard of just twenty years ago. I hear all the time in my clinic how these kids are pushed too hard in sports year-round. The truth is that a conditioned athlete does not get injured; an athlete with a hidden case of Lyme is chronically injured. Some of these injuries may be attributed to some trace mineral deficiencies but certainly not to overtraining.

Chronic Lyme, I believe, is the main factor involved in most of the “chronic disease processes” we are seeing affecting all generations and much earlier than ever before.

For more information, contact Lindsley Chiropractic Clinic & Natural Healing Center, 1565 195th Ave., Bloomer, WI 54724, 715-568-5058, www.lindsleychiropractic.com

Massage during Pregnancy: Great for You and for Baby!

By Danielle Wagner, licensed massage therapist, Refined Touch Massage

Massage Benefits during Pregnancy

Are you expecting? Experiencing any aches and pains? Massage during pregnancy can help greatly with pain relief during a time when most medications should be limited. It also encourages relaxation and increased circulation, which can help with reduction of swelling. Massage therapy also assists hormone regulation, helping with depression and anxiety (including post-partum depression). Massage therapy during pregnancy helps to address the inflamed nerves that often lead to sciatic nerve pain and tension in the low back and legs from increased uterine pressure.

Massage Is Good for Baby Too

Receiving massage during your pregnancy doesn’t just benefit you. Babies can sense and respond to the mother’s level of stress. Massage is great at lowering your stress level, and lowering the stress level in the mother also helps keep baby stress free. Massage therapy is a great way to take time for you and also connect with baby. Many mothers love to have their stomachs massaged. This is referred to as “baby’s first massage” and can be done during a massage session after you’ve completed your first trimester.

Massage Helps Prepare You for Delivery

The benefits of massage continue through your delivery, as having regular massage during pregnancy has been associated with lower complications during childbirth. Massage during pregnancy helps to prepare the body for childbirth by increasing range of motion and elasticity in joints and muscles used for delivery.

Pregnancy Massage Precautions

A pregnancy massage is a little different than a regular massage. When you receive a pregnancy massage, the therapist uses cushions or pillows to support the pregnant body. We use side lying positions to make sure that you are completely supported. Tables that provide a hole for the abdomen can cause uncomfortable stretching of the uterine ligaments and should be avoided.

There are a few precautions to take into consideration. If yours is a high-risk pregnancy, you have experienced pre-term contractions, bleeding, preeclampsia, are experiencing severe swelling, severe headaches, or have had previous pre-term labor and pregnancy induced hypertension (PIH), you should speak to your doctor before receiving a massage.

It is safe to receive massage during the first, second, and third trimester of pregnancy. Please remember that excellent communication is a must for any therapeutic massage to be effective.

To schedule a massage, contact Danielle today at refinedtouchmassage@gmail.com

Who Says Parenting Is Easy?

By Melinda Gardner, Executive Director of APPLE PCC

Someone recently showed me a book that really made me laugh. It’s called Parenting Is Easy: You’re Probably Just Doing It Wrong. It’s a book of stock photos of “perfect parents” and some funny captions about how “easy” parenting is.

Well–if you’re a parent, you KNOW that’s not true! Having a baby changes everything. It’s one of the most amazing experiences anyone can have. It can also be very overwhelming. We all need help and support and encouragement in raising our children.

The APPLE Pregnancy Care Center has been helping pregnant women and parents in the Chippewa Valley for over thirty-six years. We know that pregnancy can be an emotional time, and we all need support.

That is where our “Earn While You Learn” program comes in. We have an extensive curriculum to offer parents (women AND men) who want to learn about everything from pregnancy, nutrition, childbirth, parenting, and even life skills. Our moms and dads (and pregnant clients) can come in every week and chose what they want to learn. Each hour spent learning “earns” points to purchase diapers, formula, baby clothing, furniture, toys, and so much more.

The items you can earn are donated by individuals, churches, businesses, and organizations in the community. The Chippewa Valley is an amazing place, and we know it is full of people who love to give and help others.

Here’s what one of our moms says about her experiences here: “The staff are all super, caring, and helpful. I have felt very comfortable with them, and learning everything there is to know about having a baby is just amazing. I have gained a ton of knowledge about caring for an infant and what is going to happen when I have my baby. Getting diapers there has helped me out tremendously. I would recommend the center over and over again to anyone.”

If you’re pregnant and needing help and support, or are a new mom or dad who could use formula or diapers or much more, please don’t hesitate to call 715-834-7734 and make an appointment. We’re here for you. All of our services are free and confidential.

You’ll be glad you called.

Late Summer Calls Us to Mindfulness

by Ann Brand, PhD

The practice of mindfulness is beneficial year-round, but let’s look at how it can be relevant in late summer.

Mindfulness in Late Summer

As the summer winds down to a close in August, many of us must shift from the carefree days of summer with little to no schedule (or a schedule that changes each week) to the organization of the school year. For some, this is a challenging transition. Our capacity to be present to our experience is critical, whether it is embracing school shopping or mourning the loss of casual evening driveway gatherings with the neighbors. A regular mindfulness practice helps us cultivate that present moment awareness, so we don’t fast-forward through the last days of summer to the business of the school year in our head.

 

Mindfulness Tools

A daily mindfulness practice of mindful breathing or mindful movement helps us cultivate awareness of our habits and patterns. For example, we notice when we are getting caught up in the to-do list in our head and not paying attention to the laughter of our children as watermelon juice runs down their chin or we hear the sounds of the band playing in the park. A regular practice helps us to show up to the moments of our life as they unfold.

 

Mindfulness and the Season

Each season has its unique joys and challenges. And it depends on the person to some extent. For me, the advent of a new school year is like New Year’s Day. I review my priorities, set goals, maybe even set some resolutions to be more organized, more productive, or eat healthier. I love the school year for the structure it provides to my daily life. But for others, the structure of the school year is confining rather than comforting. Mindfulness helps us to be more aware of our own particular habits and patterns, so we can respond skillfully to our experience.

 

Learn from the Children

Children are naturally mindful. They are in tune with the full range of their experience—the movements of their body, the sounds they are hearing, their emotional experience. They are much less likely to get stuck in the story in their heads like us adults. So we can take a page from their book and pay attention to what are we doing right now, whether that is feeling the sand between our toes or carefully sorting through last year’s school clothes to prepare for school shopping.

 

Benefits of Practicing Mindfulness

Mindfulness practice has many benefits. Because of advances in neuroscience, scientists can see how mindfulness practices work to change our brain and lead to benefits in physical health, stress reduction, attention, learning and memory, positive emotions, empathy, emotion regulation, and interpersonal relationships. Mindfulness practice can help us manage our stress and bring calm, clarity, and peace into our daily lives.

 

Mindfulness is a self-awareness practice. And when we get better at paying attention to our own experience, we get better at noticing others’ experience. This is important as our family members begin to anticipate the beginning of another school year with its excitements and fears. When we listen and notice without judgment, we can respond to others more skillfully and support them in the best possible way. This paves the way for a smoother transition to the new school year.

 

For more information contact Ann at annbrand365@gmail.com.

Trinity Equestrian Center to Partner with Veterans Administration for New Pilot Program

Trinity Equestrian Center, near Eau Claire, has offered mentoring programs for youth, horse-therapy-based programs for veterans, and leadership programs for organizations for several years now. Their programs seek to heal physical, spiritual, emotional, and cognitive injuries and disabilities, as well as building social skills, communication skills, and problem-solving skills.

One of the center’s main programs is its Veteran Horse Therapy, a wellness program for vets designed around equine-assisted therapy. This program is free to qualified vets and their families. They note on their website (www.trinity-ec.com/index.phtml), “Understanding the strategies for combat survival, as well as what symptoms might be exhibited in postwar veterans upon re-introduction to civilian life, is what makes our program so effective. We’ve seen great results with veterans struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, addictions, guilt, grief, anger, panic attacks, sleep disorders, and spiritual injuries.”

As an expansion of their successful program, the center will soon be offering a pilot program in conjunction with the Veterans Administration in Tomah. Recently we asked Toni Mattson, co-owner and director of programs, a few questions about the new program.

A Second Opinion: What are your hopes for the program?  

Toni Mattson: Since 2009, we at Trinity Equestrian Center have provided thousands of free therapy hours for hundreds of veterans and their families struggling with PTSD and other service-related injuries. Additionally, for years we have extended an offer to the Tomah Veterans Administration to join in a therapeutic collaboration and provide a pilot program featuring our equine-assisted psychotherapy for some of their clients experiencing PTSD. We are thrilled to share that we have been given the green light to go ahead with the pilot program!

My hope for this relationship is not only to help many, many more veterans, but also to model a desperately needed alliance between government institutions and non-profits that shows collectively we can accomplish far more than what we all individually can do.

ASO: What do you envision for the program?

TM: I envision a multi-month series of weekly, 50-minute, equine-based therapy sessions. I expect it will be a blend of individual and group sessions with four veterans per group. The Tomah VA will determine who participates in the program, and our therapy team will design the format and approach. This level of collaboration and co-creation will be unprecedented in Wisconsin for this type of program.

ASO: Why have you and Trinity Equestrian Center decided to try it?

TM: I’m so confident with the work we do and immensely eager to expand the community of veterans we can and do serve. I also respect and admire organizations like the Tomah VA that look at things a little differently and embrace the concept of being willing do something different in order to get a different result. I love that!

ASO: How can people help support your work with veterans?

TM: You can help support the work the center does with veterans by participating in the 7th Annual Trinity Equestrian Center Horsepower for Veterans motorcycle ride. It will be held on Saturday, June 24, at the center, located at 5300 State Highway 37, southwest of Eau Claire. Besides the bike run to the Highground in Neillsville and back, there will be a continental breakfast, silent auction, veterans stories, an opening ceremony, a raffle, bike show awards, and, after working up quite an appetite with all of that, a BBQ chicken meal. For more information visit trinity-ec.com or call 715-835-4530.