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Pet Patter - Catrina Skepper's Blog

Don't Worry 'Bee' Happy - Illness, Cures, and Insects

Posted on: 8/4/2010 4:13:44 PM under Catrina Skepper
I hope you all had a wonderful and restful Easter break. In between family activities and dog walking, I found a couple of precious moments to myself to read the papers. In the Telegraph, I read the most fascinating story about bees and their incredible health benefits.

Sami Chugg, 45, is a charity worker from Bristol and she has been suffering from the incurable disease, multiple sclerosis, since 1998. It has left her unable to move, and almost entirely bed ridden.

MS occurs when the body's cells no longer communicate and the person is left feeling entirely numb. It is a degenerative condition and the cells are progressively damaged which can lead to not only physical disabilities, but mental too.

Desperate for some kind of relief she decided to try an unusual therapy, which is not for the faint-hearted, but, incredibly, has helped Sami regain her mobility.

Bee Venom Therapy (BVT) has been around for over 60 years, but it seems that only recently people have been taking advantage of the incredible benefits. During a treatment - you may want to take a deep breath if you are of a nervous disposition - a bee is held in a pair of tweezers and encouraged to sting areas of the patient's skin. It is normal to begin with one or two stings per session and then build, gradually, up to more; Sami now has around 10 to 14 stings in her regular sessions.

She explained to the Telegraph: "Most people would be terrified by the prospect of being stung by a bee. But when you have a condition like MS, that involves the numbing of the body, any kind of sensation is welcome - even if it's from a bee sting."
During the 18-month course, Sami was stung at least 1,500 times - ouch. But it seems to work, she said: "I feel elated when the treatment is over... It has changed my life and my approach to life. It is manna from heaven."

Sami has found it difficult and wrestles with her conscience as the bees sadly die after they sting, but she has now joined the plight of the 'Safe Land for Bees' which campaigns for awareness in the decline of bee populations.

Currently, there is no scientific proof of the benefits of BVT, but there are many patients, like Sami, that believe it works for conditions like MS and arthritis.
What do you think about using bees in treatments like this? Contact me in the usual ways - leave me a comment, join me on Facebook, or Twitter.

I think it is amazing that we can use bee products in so many different ways, and you may have heard of manuka honey. It is said to have been a popular remedy in Ancient Greek times, and I swear by it. The honey is made from bees who feed on flowers from the manuka bush, found in New Zealand, and it is known for its antibacterial uses. A friend of mine cut her hand whilst she was abroad, it was quite serious and required five stitches, during her recovery she used only the honey and now there is no scarring and she was amazed at how quickly it healed.

If you have any amazing and unusual stories of using alternative therapies I would love to hear them. If all this bee talk has got you buzzing, find out more about bees in my previous post.

Best wishes,