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.

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  1. RDD
    Reply

    I was interested in apitherapy and accupuncture relative to autoimmune problems.
    My son has a severe problem in that he incurs very high fevers and joint and
    body pains similar to arthritis. His problem is cyclical in that he will experience an attack and be immobilized for approximately 3 days with fevers of 105-106 degrees.
    His white count goes to 2600 (maybe it was 26000) basically twice the normal level. He will have limited relief for several days and then another attack ensues. He has been hospitalized several times but neither a cause or cure has been identified.
    The show I just listened to seemed to focus more on pain than immune problems. I would appreciate a reference to further information on bee venom therapy/apitherapy and other immune deficiency treatments and if you can, the name and contact info for a practitioner.
    We reside in the Seattle, WA area and have been referred to Sun City, AZ as possibly being of benefit. We would appreciate a reference to either general location.
    Sincerely,
    Bob D.

  2. mf
    Reply

    My therapist has recommended acupuncture for arthritis pain and would like to hear more of how this method has worked for others in this condition? I missed hearing this program but if a podcast is still available, I would like to get it. Thank you, mf I am not allergic to bee stings.

  3. ETD-LCSW
    Reply

    What if you are allergic to bee venom?
    I once had a slight allergic reaction to a bee sting in my teens. Currently I am 56 years of age have not been stung since my teens and would love to learn more about the use of bee venom as an alternative way of health.
    Thank you
    Elaine T. Dill LCSW
    People’s Pharmacy response: Bee sting allergy can be life threatening, so we don’t recommend anyone with such a reaction to try this as therapy.

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