UPDATE (Jan 2012):
Never expected this review to garner so much interest. I responded to some of you in the comments, but realized that hitting them all would take a long time; hence this update. Thanks all for taking the time to share your well-wishes and thoughts - even those who called me names. ;)
More than year after I wrote this review, I am quite well and healthy. My treatment was about ten weeks of Doxy, followed by a period of rest and exercise (odd how those intersperse) to get over "The Crud" that came after I dropped off the antibiotics. It didn't feel like the Lyme symptoms I had...it was just a nasty cold that only I contracted and could not shake for weeks. I was expecting it. I guess the antibiotics goof up the immune system for a little while.
The only supplements I took were standard grocery-store multi-vitamins and lots of fluid. In my original review below, I mentioned that I was was feeling better after ten days. Ten more days after that (or so) I was much better, and within four weeks of Doxy I was feeling normal - though somewhat reduced after so long dealing with Lyme. I stayed on the Doxy - at Doctor's suggestion - to do our best in stamping the little bug out of me. I have had no antibiotics for any reason since, and do not feel any flare-ups. Looks like I got lucky.
As to some of the criticism of my criticism...I understand I hit some nerves. I tried to avoid being harsh, but did want to provide a point of view that I think many like me might share. Lyme has so few real portals of information, and those that exist tend to be aligned philosophically with this book. That is great for those who come from the author's background, but my criticism of the effort was meant to be constructive. Specifically, the use of terminology that might be common for folks like the author is off-putting to someone not indoctrinated into the world of "mind-body strategies" (authors words, which we won't call "New Age" because I don't want to make this about semantics).
I have an open mind about these things - I have freaked out medical people even as a kid by being able to markedly alter my heart rate in seconds just by thinking about it - more than simple relaxation. I have used what some would call meditation to appease pain, and the military (I am a veteran) even teaches similar strategies for everything from pain management to stress management to long-range shooting (getting a long-range shot off between controlled heart beats). I know that the connection between the head and the body is more than an attachment via the neck.
What I didn't know much about was "energetic healing strategies" (author's words), but did feel it important to voice my concern that the text of this book focuses heavily on them while giving an occasional glance at modern medicine. The take-away I got was that non-standard remedies (energetic healing) could lead the reader to believe that herbs, vitamins, prayer and meditation were going to combat a pervasive, physical, biological pathogen. It simply won't. People need modern pharmaceuticals to fight this pathogen. The mind comes into play in maintaining spirit and recovery...but it won't kill a pathogen.
Since getting better, I have cleared a whole lot of brush (fire kills ticks) and do my best to manage the risks. Our risk is high: my 3 year old daughter was bit by a tick and I sent it to Igenix for testing. It carried Lyme. We waited and then testing our daughter - no Lyme. But we intend to keep getting everyone tested annually (expensive).
Overall I am healthy again, but I get a sick more often. Whether that is the result of antibiotics or just getting older, I cannot say. But I went for years cavorting around third-world locales without getting sick, then started getting colds a few years before the Lyme. I'd love to blame a bug, but honestly I suspect this is just another sign of my limited mortality. Oh well. I enjoy it while we can.
Thank you to the well-wishers. I hope those of you who come across Lyme in your own life do well in your recovery.
---------- Original Review -----------
Contracted Lyme...had it for a while. Honestly disappointed the "standard lab tests" did not catch it, but thankfully found Igenex and lots of good info.
This book was suggested to me. I had it sent overnight-express and I was seriously looking forward to it. I think the goals are laudable, the authors sincere (this is compendium of 13 physicians and how they treat Lyme). But here is why I only give this book two stars:
- A lot of New-Age treatments: This might garner five stars from some folks, but reviews are subjective and for me the distracting emphasis on techniques that do not conform to well-recognized and accepted practices is concerning. I wanted to read about the results of double-blind clinical studies and how those lessons could help me. Instead, there significant time is spent focusing on things like the "Emotional Freedom Technique", to "employ training methods anyone can do to influence their autonomic brain and thereby correct poor immune response." (info from an EFT website)
And this gem: "This is a new process that has been developed over the past nine years...the body can heal from disease without any outside intervention..."
In fairness, several of the physicians who talk about "psychic healing" and various potions of herbs, oils, vitamins, drum-beating and crying to the trees also honestly admit that none of it works without...(wait for it)...antibiotics. Not the super-fancy antibiotics, but the really basic stuff like Doxycycline. How simple is the antibiotic treatment? Well, my pharmacy would not even charge for a 7 week supply of it. It was free.
- The tone of the book is really a bit haphazard. This has nothing to do wth content, but more grammar and readability. It appears the book is nothing more than a re-print of answers to a questionnaire. Or at least, that's how it reads. There is little to no narrative, no segue between items and almost zero introduction of concepts and terms.
Which leads to the third issue...
- It has a built-in audience that does not include me. Terms and remedies are name-dropped literally every paragraph. Some quick work with google (I really tried getting into this book) shows that the name-brand remedies mentioned are pretty well-known in the new-age medicinal world. If you know what "Psych-K" is, you will feel at home. The rest of us are forced to wonder, though it is mentioned many times. There are many cases here where I think I am reading an infomercial (the phrase "money back guarantee" is actually used herein to hawk a remedy).
OVERALL: This book contains some tidbits of information that appears acceptable to the larger medical community. There is an acceptance (grudging though it is) of the primary role that basic antibiotics play in treating Lyme.
I will give a special note of appreciation to the info provided by Steven Harris, M.D. regarding the danger of incorporating and using intravenous antibiotics early into a treatment regime. He calls out the medical risks associated with it and notes the lack of clinical evidence that it does much more than oral Doxy for the vast majority of patients. In a society where everyone wants "the best", I have heard many Lyme patients feel let-down when they didn't get plugged into an IV drip.
If you are into New-Age treatments and already know all the vernacular, this book is made for you and I suspect you will cherish it.
If you are like me - not averse to thinking outside the box but still more interested in traditional remedies backed by clinical studies - then you'll want to pass.
This review is going to get panned. But before you post a sharp rebuttal, understand that not everyone comes from the same place. I'm not into the New-Age stuff but am not knocking those who are. If it makes you feel good...go for it. This review is specifically written for other people like me, who wait anxiously to receive the kind of information they want and find it is not here. Rather than be disappointed, they should move on.
As for me, ten days into oral Doxy and my energy is up. The aches are backing down and I see a big response. The next step is clearing all that high grass out back to prevent a recurrence from yet another bug bite. Good luck all.