Apitherapy, the therapeutic use of bee products and particularly bee venom, has a venerable history going back thousands of years. It may sound bizarre, but some medical doctors report they have achieved excellent results in relieving pain from arthritis, tennis elbow or even post-herpetic neuralgia (excruciating pain lingering after shingles).
We spoke with several people at the meeting of the American Apitherapy Society. Some practitioners apply medicinal bee stings along acupuncture meridian points.
Acupuncture itself is usually considered outside the norm of medical practice, but an anesthesiologist at Duke University School of Medicine has studied its use and found it reduces post-operative pain and complications such as nausea.
Guests: Andrew Kochan, MD, is President of the American Apitherapy Society. He practices physical medicine and rehabilitation in Los Angeles.
Frederique Keller is vice-President of the American Apitherapy Society and practices apitherapy and acupuncture on Long Island, New York.
Fountain Odom is a beekeeper in North Carolina who uses apitherapy to ease his arthritis.
T. J. Gan, MD, is Professor and Vice-Chairman of Anesthesiology at Duke University School of Medicine. He has been pioneering a combination of acupuncture with anesthesia to alleviate post-surgical pain.