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Lyme Disease

We are having some major freeze over this week in VT, as toks by scientists that kills off ticks. The colder the winter and the more freezing temperatures the less ticks will survive to attack people in the upcoming year.

However if you already been attacked by a tick  that carries Lymes disease, Massage can be helpful in making you feel better and decreasing the unpleasant effects of infection.

Since my office is located in Vermont, ticks that carry Lymes disease are unfortunately pretty common here. I see people periodically who mention that they have Lymes disease. Massage is helpful to ease discomfort and pain caused by the infection.

Lyme disease is an infection transmitted by the bite from a deer tick. The bacterium, called borrelia burgdorferi, is carried by the bloodstream throughout the body – primarily to the nervous system and joint tissues. Discovered in 1982 by Willy Burgdorfer, borrelia burgdorferiproduces flu-like symptoms including fever, chills, achiness, swollen glands and headache; deep nerve and joint pain and damage may eventually occur.

Diagnosis of Lyme disease is not always accurate, as the bacteria do not occur in high concentrations in any one area of the body, but live throughout the body. False negatives are common and – because the symptoms are similar to those of rheumatoid arthritis – many are misdiagnosed. Even after treatment with antibiotics, joint pain and arthritis-like symptoms may persist.

Since massage therapy has proven to be an effective treatment for rheumatoid arthritis, anxiety and headaches – and these conditions have the same symptoms which occur with Lyme disease – it is believed to be an effective treatment for this tick-borne disease as well.

Symtoms

Early symptoms of Lyme disease typically begin three to 30 days after a tick bite, and can include:
  • Erythema migrans rash.
  • Headache.
  • Fever.
  • Chills.
  • Muscle pain.
  • Joint pain.
  • Fatigue.

If you suspect you have been bitten by a tick recently or in the past it is a good idea to visit a doctor who could perform tests and determine if you have substracted the infection.

Always wear protective clothes when in the nature, use spray that repels ticks and shower right after you come home to wash off any ticks that could be too small to see.

More information: http://www.healthvermont.gov/disease-control/tickborne-diseases/lyme-disease

-Jolita Brilliant, Certified Massage Therapist in Burlington, Vermont

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