Hi, I'm Kim

Hi, I’m Kim Christensen, M.Om., Dipl.OM, L.Ac. I’m a licensed acupuncturist, herbalist, and owner of Constellation Acupuncture & Healing Arts in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Back before going to school and becoming a healthcare practitioner, Affairs of Living was my creative outlet while healing from chronic health issues. There's big changes coming to the site - it will soon be the home of my new health coaching practice! Stay tuned. 

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Unless otherwise noted, all recipes on this blog are free of gluten, peanuts, soy, corn, tomatoes, potatoes, shellfish, cane sugar, oranges, and yeast. Most recipes are also free of egg, dairy, and tree nuts (if used, reliable substitutions will be provided for these when possible). Check out my recipe index for a full list of recipes by category. 

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Book Review // Healing Lyme Disease Naturally: History, Analysis, and Treatments, by Wolf D. Storl

Every well-stocked purse should have a BPA-free water bottle and a book.

I just finished reading Healing Lyme Disease Naturally: History, Analysis, and Treatments, a new book by anthropologist Wolf D. Storl.  I was totally obsessed with this book and couldn't put it down. It contains so much information about the history of Lyme, various theories on the disease, as well as treatment methods. Storl's experience as a well-seasoned anthropologist is evident in his exploration of the relationship between medicine, culture, and politics.  He is fairly radical in his assessment of the way that Lyme Disease and ticks are portrayed and the way that the relationship of epidemic disease, advances in medicine and technology, and general cultural trends have effected our relationship to nature.  At times, he is quite esoteric, discussing the possibility that ticks are really messengers from the Earth, encouraging us to listen more closely to nature and return to the wisdom of the ancients.  He even dives headlong into a discussion of shamanistic tradition, mythology, and the planetary bodies.  This book is all over the place - and yet, I think it is totally approachable.

Storl is no stranger to Lyme Disease. He contracted it and suffered all the classic symptoms.  As someone intolerant to antibiotics, he sought out care using herbs. Eventually, he found his way to teasel root, and found it to be a vital part to his recovery.

I really appreciated this book.  It almost reads like an action novel - the pace is fantastic, and  and found myself learning something new with each turn of the page.  He looks tirelessly at the history of Lyme Disease treatment, as well as treatments of its spirochete sister disease, syphilis, and a variety of other degenerative chronic illnesses.  Throughout the book, he stresses the importance of our connection to nature, and dives into the shamanistic, herbal, and healing traditions of a variety of cultures.  And his knowledge of herbalism is admirable.  I already desire deeply to study herbs, but this book really pushed me over the edge!  The back of the book also contains a helpful herb index, something that I know I will be referencing constantly.  What I wouldn't give to shadow him, man. 

Storl also discusses a whole life approach incorporating quality food, exercise, sunshine, and fresh air; it is a refreshing and logical, and there are many excellent suggestions for lifestyle changes that facilitate healing.  I find his discussion of how Lyme Disease changes people and causes them to often become more sensitive and have a hightened perception to be absolutely fascinating - and absolutely true for my own experience.  Storl also discusses the cultural notion of disease, the identity of disease, and the differences in treating a person vs. treating their symptoms.  It is like this book is reading my mind!

A primary focus of the book is the use of teasel root as part of the healing traditions in Eastern and Western herbal medicine. A modest plant with a remarkable history and an impressive medicinal capability, it grows commonly all over the place and can easily be grown in the garden.  The way that teasel combats the borrelia bacteria is completely different than the way that antibiotics do, allowing for a more complete recovery and more thorough cleanse of the system.  He said treatment can last about 3 months, which is exciting, considering that antibiotic treatment lasts at the very least 6 months and sometimes for years and years (I know some Lymies that have been on broad spectrum antibiotics for more than 5 years).  It can be taken as a tincture, as a tea, or as a powder, and has shown incredible efficacy for even very severe cases of late-stage neurological Lyme.

After thoroughly covering teasel, Storl dives headlong into the wide variety of other Lyme treatment philosophies, ranging from the Klinghardt protocol to Salt-C protocol to various "old world"-style treatments.  He gives a lot of information about helpful herbs that are useful, as well as nutritional supplements. My copy of this book is already underlined and dog-eared and written in with points to research further.  Then he dives into a really incredible description of how syphilis - a fellow borrelia bacteria - completely shaped modern history.  It blew my mind.  Then he asks a very intriguing and poignant question: will Lyme Disease have a similar effect?  The rate of infection is of epidemic proportion and the effect on the body is the same, so how will we start to see the larger, cultural effect of Lyme Disease in the years to come?

The thing that really threw me about this book was his absolute denial of the efficacy of antibiotic in chronic cases.  I am currently taking broad spectrum antibiotics for Lyme treatment, along with a variety of botanical medicines.  As someone generally suspicious of allopathic medicine, the decision to take antibiotics was something that I felt hesitancy about for all the reasons Storl lists in his book.  Long-term use of antibiotics has really negative risks, and I am starting to experience some of them - decreased digestive function, yellowing of teeth, and liver fatigue, to name a few.  Those things aside, I have seen massive improvement in my over all health since starting antibiotics, but intuitively, I feel like I need to bring in another tool that we don't yet have.   I want to incorporate teasel - or some of the other healing herbs discussed in this book - in my protocol.  You can be certain I'll be asking my LLMD and naturopath about it at my next appointments in July, and am curious to talk to them about the book.

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone interested in herbalism, natural healing, or the history of chronic disease treatment, and would consider is required reading for anyone dealing with chronic Lyme disease.  Storl puts faith in nature's ability to heal, but also puts responsibility on the patient to create an environment that facilitates healing.  His experience and the experiences of the others in the book are inspiring.  The book is intriguing, and stimulates you to ask many questions and self-reflect.  It has spoken to me so clearly with words that reflect my philosophy and desire for my own treatment.  Truly one of the best books I've read in ages.

Keeping on the Lyme theme (so much for light summer reading), I just cracked open Pamela Weintraub's Cure Unknown: Inside the Lyme Epidemic.  I'll be sure to let you know what I think about it when I'm done.  If you're looking for other good reads, check out my recently added list of Books I .  You'll find a list of some of the books that have influenced and informed my overall worldview and wellness journey over the years, as well as a handful of documentaries that I think are really great.  I'll be updating it constantly, so keep checking back!

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Reader Comments (6)

Fascinating. Thanks so much for this update. I do know of several people who have had complete and successful treatment with antibiotics, so I don't think western medicine is useless in this case ... but I am with you that natural is better if at all possible. I will be reading up on teasel! I suspect there is some info on the net I can take to our doctor too. Thanks so much for the review on this book!

Sorry I didn't participate during Lyme month, things were a bit overwhelming here and I haven't even been able to blog much as of late :)

June 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAlisa

I sure found this information really interesting , I too will check more in to "teasel ". I do not have Lyme disease but so many other autoimmune diseases I could probably bennefit from much of the Herbal information in this book . I am unable to tolerate ANY use of antibiotics , no luck always the same anaphlatic reactions , so then I get to keep my infections and hope to raise my immunity with nutriction and probiotics. I have learned so much from you and I get so much out of your abilty and gift to explain things , you have no idea how much your site means to me .I want to thank you for EVERYTHING you share here . I was sad to hear how hard the antibotics have been on your system . I hope this isn't inappropreate but their is a brand of vitamins that have helped me alot they are by Andrew Lessman sold through Pro Caps Laboratories & HSN.com. He makes several Liver Support suppliments ( Milk Thisle and others ) I wanted you to know about . All vitamins always come with a no questions asked 30 day money back garrantee no matter how much or little of the product is left . If my post in inappropreate because i mentioned a Brand name & selling site I apologize , please delete it I just wanted to tell you about this line incase you hadn't heard of it before .Thanks for the great information . I enjoyed it very much . BYE !

June 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKathy

I will have to purchase this book, I just finished Pamela Weintraub's Cure Unknown: Inside the Lyme Epidemic and found it fascinating. I have two boys with lyme disease, we are lucky to have a NMD that is very familiar in treating lyme with huge success. I truly believe that the mind is very powerful, and with a positive outlook and a strong immune system we can heal from any disease. Keep up the good work, i love your recipes.

January 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDanielle

Try electrodermal screening as a diagnostic tool and homeopathics to cure the Lyme. How wonderful that you learned about teasel! I am a big fan of herbs, which work themselves out of a job, while synthetic drugs usually just make us dependent on more drugs. For the past 8 years, our family of four (kids are now 18 & 15) has gone to a homeopathic practitioner who can pinpoint exactly what bacteria, parasite, protozoan, fungus, virus or WHATEVER you have and where -- using electrodermal screening. This computer program is so incredibly accurate, we don't have to tell her our symptoms. She tells us. Only takes two hours to screen the whole body and she finds out where the problem is. If it's in the lower bowel, we know it's on the way out. The benefits are extraordinary. She treats with homeopathics and therapeutic grade essential oils, but sometimes uses other treatments. When my husband got malaria (from a mission trip to Central America), she had him wear a CD player on the back of his waist and he played a certain "song" that emmitted a frequency that killed the malaria. That's how homeopathics work -- by electromagnetic frequency. I never would have thought something like this could be so effective, but it is absolutely our first choice of treatment for EVERYTHING now. I know she can get rid of Lyme. My son has taken drops for borellia before. They were a very specific, regimented protocol over 8 or 10 days and then he was borellia free. My homeopath is in Dallas. Her trainer is in Columbus, Ohio. I know there are others who do this. The EDS machine is manufactured in Canada.

October 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKim

Hi Kim! I LOVE your blog and get lost in it for hours. Such a positive light you bring to difficult chronic illness. And the recipes!

Ok, I absolutely loved Wolf Storl's book. I t was the 2nd book I read once I goy my Lyme and co-infection dx back in May 2010. (1st book being Stephen Harrod Buhner-Healing Lyme Naturally. I use it still many times a week). But back to Storl, he was so inspiring, I loved his philosophical slant on the existence of disease, particularly the evolution of the borellia spirochete. I am so glad I found someone who admired his book for the same reasons I did.

You rock. Keep it up! Your blogs are a life saver!

Karlyn Miilu-Maxon

October 10, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKarlyn

Great post about a VERY contentious topic. If you'd like to learn more, check out the documentary "Under Our Skin." It is free on hulu and netflix. Keep spreading the awareness! -Kathryn

March 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKathryn
Sorry, no comments/questions allowed right now.
Hi reader! My schedule as full-time grad student with two part-time jobs doesn't allow me the time to manage comments. I hope you enjoy what you find and can figure out answers to any questions you may have. xo