Katina’s News & Events

Diagnosing a Rampant Epidemic: Lyme Disease

Diagnosing a Rampant Epidemic: Lyme Disease

At the peak of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the early 1990’s the annual cases contracted were 104,000. The CDC acknowledged in August 2013, that over 300,000 Lyme disease cases are contracted annually just in the USA (Australia, Norway, Germany, Canada are stricken perhaps even more densely). That is 3 times higher than the AIDS peak and climbing. Practitioners and researchers in the Lyme trenches estimate the reality is that over 1,000,000 Americans are infected annually with less than 5% being properly diagnosed and fully treated due to poor diagnostic tests and lack of physician education and public awareness. Everyone is at risk; children in tall grass, a hiker in a national park, gardening in your own yard or your pet carrying a tick indoors. Every USA state has Lyme disease and certain regions show over 50% of the ticks carry the dangerous bacteria and other pathogenic infections. Individuals must become proactive in their treatments.

Lyme disease can be a complicated and even deadly tick borne infectious illness. It affects every person in a unique way beyond the initial feverish, flu-like pains and malaise of the acute phase. Lyme morphs and lingers, disseminates and moves its way into the tissues, joints, organs and the central nervous system. Fibromyalgia, MS, Bells Palsy, Lupus, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, bipolar, migraines are all too ugly misdiagnoses when Lyme is not ‘caught’ quickly enough. This illness can NO longer be brushed off as a mild short term infection that the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Infectious Disease Society (IDSA) initially labelled it as back in the late 1970’s. What we are facing is an exploding public health care crisis akin to AIDS in the ‘80s and polio in the 50’s. Billions of dollars are needed to crack the code. Lyme receives a mere fraction of NIH funding or attention, however.

Prevention is essential, as well as more accurate earlier diagnostics, and Integrative Medicine treatments for chronic cases. Some excellent studies are being done to figure out the persistent nature of the illness in certain people, and the reasons why it triggers ‘auto-immune’ style states in so many. Dr. John Aucott of the Lyme Disease Clinical Research Center at John Hopkins Bayview Medical Center is pinpointing some of the genetic predisposing factors.

Also, private sector research is honing in on more rapid, accurate diagnostic tests being developed instead of the only 30% accurate, 40 year old outdated ELISA test or CDC standard surveillance Western Blot test that the average doctor and commercial lab use. Coming from Ceres Labs research is now a cutting edge antigen (not antibody) Nanotrap test. This could identify cases in days versus weeks, and help direct immediate effective early antibiotic usage. There is an indicative marker test to ‘follow’ a patient’s progress when under treatment by Neuroscience Labs, called the iSpot. IgeneX Labs in California is considered the premier Lyme diagnostic test, with their four-in-one ‘initial Lyme panel’. Insist your doctor order the testing with them. Many insurance companies do cover IgeneX.

Most all health care professionals agree that a new acute Lyme disease infection needs to be immediately treated with aggressive antibiotic and anti-malarial medications (tetracycline family), when the organism is still located in the bloodstream. But, borrelia burgdorferi bacteria are corkscrew shaped and whirl their way into tissues, joints, organs and glands, setting off painful inflammation, deep fatigue and eventual ‘autoimmune’ style triggers. The bacteria feed off the fatty layers of our organs, glands, brain, causing fibromyalgia, migraine, or RA or MS symptoms (as the muscle and nerve sheaths are eroded- seen on MRIs often) . The condition can be confusing for patient and physician alike without full training. See ILADS.com for physician training programs.

Clinical findings reveal that the best rates of recovery from chronic forms of Lyme disease are best achieved when Integrative Medicine protocols are woven together. Killing off the infection is one part of the equation, while addressing the major nutritional depletions, mitochondria disregulation, endocrine gland damage (adrenals, thyroid, pituitary, etc) and helping detoxify the body from the ammonia endotoxins the microbes release are all critical. Naturopathic doctors (ND), Clinical Nutritionists (CCN), Functional Medicine doctors, Homeopaths (CCH), Acupuncturists (LaAC) are trained in detox procedures and specialty lab testings to ascertain the rampant systemic depletions such a amino acids, essential fatty acids, neurotransmitters, cortizol malfunction, gut flora imbalances, mineral loss, or heavy metal toxins or mold damages many also suffer as ingredients related to chronic Lyme cases. Dietary and lifestyle changes come into play, too, as gluten from wheat and sugars accelerate the growth of the microbial infections.

Besides antibiotic use, antimicrobial herbals are considered to be quite helpful and even curative when the disease has progressed to systemic tissue status. Dr. Stephen Buhner’s “Healing Lyme Disease Naturally” or Dr. Richard Horowitz’s “Why Can’t I Get Better: Solving The Mystery Of Lyme and Chronic Disease” outline herbals and Integrative Medicine use. The suffering for so many with long term Lyme cases has been frowned upon as ‘imaginary’ or hypochondriacal, or shuffled off as stress problems or even learning disabilities in kids and teens. We have learned the hard way that the climate changes, high EMF overloads in our environment, antibiotic resistant borrelia strains and unusual over population of ticks has festered a public health care crisis. The epidemic’s swath is enormous with migrating birds dropping ticks off all over the world.

Please do not sit on the sidelines regarding Lyme disease. If you are suspicious of infection contact a local Lyme disease support group for practitioner recommendation. If you are a health care practitioner, start learning about Integrative Medicine. If you are curious, go to LymeGlobalAlliance.org, ILADS.org or LymeDisease.org. Seek out Lyme Literate practitioners using the newer testing labs. Global Lyme Diagnostics, out of research triangle park in NC, brings us the best sign of hope in 20 years of research; an annual screening test kit for all of us, to see if we have been exposed and can receive early antibiotics before the infections does damage. Practice prevention!

Finding An Inner Priest

Finding An Inner Priest

“ ‘Dhammapedia’ is the path of Dharma, the right path of life, of light and of love that leads to enlightenment. Turning the wheel of Dharma is a way of saying that as Buddha began to speak he gave the wheel of evolving consciousness a new turn, and so began an age in which Buddha turned humanity toward himself and religion became a deeply personal experience ungoverned by an outside priest.”  – from Buddha by Manuel Dunn Mascetti.

Buddha was teaching his followers how to move within themselves, to find inner resource and comfort. His own evolvement and path towards enlightenment illuminated the awareness that people, things, practices outside oneself are not necessarily the way to find fulfillment.

I sit with this reading now, in my quiet moments after meditation. This was the page I randomly turned to. It rings true to me on so many levels. Most exquisitely, these words mirror my own personal path of discovery during my years of critical illness with Lyme disease.

The hours, months, years I spent alone, in stillness, on my sofa or bed, in contemplation, brought me to this very same awareness- “religion/spirituality became a deeply personal experience ungoverned by an outside priest.” I am a fuller,wiser, more aware and evolved being now, after my 10 year Lyme journey.
It is remarkable for me to actually say, that because of my Lyme disease experience, I have grown in spiritual depth and breadth. I have created my own internal sanctuary.

I learned how to successfully move within, toward my SELF. The inner riches and skills I developed, which in turn prompted a healing at a deeper, more energetic and cellular level, happened ONLY because of this path I took towards my soul’s center. It is with great reverence, I now personally care for this treasured space within, and the energy that is exemplifies.

It is a tricky juggling act, one I manage with alert consciousness daily, to avoid being drawn, pulled, stretched excessively by the busyness, demands, schedules, details of the exciting and sometimes overwhelming opportunities of the outer world, we so rampantly work and play in. I like it out there, I admit. As an extrovert, people lover and excitement “junkie” of yore, it is easy for me to be seduced by the amazing colors, feelings, events swirling around me constantly; the internet, media activities fueling it all exponentially. Plus, the PR phase of “Out of the Woods” has been so deliriously fulfilling for me, meeting and sharing with others. Sometimes I just have to say NO, to doing more.

And yet, I KNOW how essential it is I nurture and preserve my inner spiritual life. To be full (and healthy), I need to tend to the wellspring. Meditation, alone time, gratuities, creativity, beauty, personal blessings and intentions are my daily gestures for renewal, helping me follow Buddha’s message of life, light, and love. I am not a practicing Buddhist, per se, however, his messages that I read or glean, often resonate with a certain truth I just “get.”

I hope you can take this offering of mine today as a reminder to honor and nurture your own inner wellspring and sanctuary. You are too precious to neglect.

~ Katina

Intuitive Healing and Gateless Writing

Intuitive Healing and Gateless Writing

If you are a writer or a hidden creative; are healing from a season of illness or recovering from long-held trauma of any kind; if you have a deep desire to re-imagine your life, this workshop is for you.

Join world-renowned intuitive healer, homeopath, and bestselling author Katina Makris, an internationally-acclaimed author and founder of Gateless Writing, Suzanne Kingsbury, for an experience that will change your life. Katina and Suzanne will show you how to open the seven sacred energy systems of the body so that you can access an astonishing creative wellspring that has the power to heal the energetic body and move a crowd.

You will receive daily Reiki and Thai head massage; guided intuitive healing sessions; a deep dive into an energetic-based model aligned with the pioneering field of epigenetic and the mind-blowing experience of writing from a place of limitless creativity.

This workshop resets your inner coding and opens curative and creative portals in the mind, ceasing activity in the centers of the brain associated with self-criticism and accessing deeply stored memory and high imaginative potential. Feedback is supportive and encouraging and will illuminate your unique talent and the incredible patterning of your internal stories.

You will experience:

  • Increased immune function
  • Restored sleep
  • A faster rate of healing from trauma and illness
  • The firing of “feel good” neurotransmitters
  • …and access the incredible power of the creative mind

Participants who have taken this workshop have reported spontaneous healings, became spirit channelers, started successful businesses based on their creative work and transformed their lives.

This workshop will is for anyone who wishes to become their own intuitive healer and is interested in the written word as a conduit to the higher self.

To register, go to: https://artoflivingretreatcenter.org/event/intuitive-healing-and-gateless-writing/

The Resiliency Quotient: Are You A Survivor or a Thriver?

The Resiliency Quotient: Are You A Survivor or a Thriver?

“Life is not for chickens” one of my friends said to me, shaking his head, as he listened to the litany of my recent 18 months: my husband walking out on me unexpectedly after ten years, a cancer scare and ensuing hellacious kidney surgery laying me up for 6 months, 3 burglaries involving a stalker, a serious car wreck, and 5 house moves all within 18 months time! On top of that I was also writing a health care book on a one year publishing house deadline, raising my teenage son and doing over 80 international speaking engagements simultaneously.

“You are the most resilient person I have ever known,” were his next words. I quietly nodded, for the first time paying attention to the fact that I was exhibiting enormous ‘bounce back’ from relentless crisis. These words gave me a moment to pause and reflect.

Was John correct? Am I truly resilient? Do I just deal with life’s blows and power on, or am I a crumbling tearful wreck behind closed doors yet put a brave on face to the world? In that moment I sensed myself inside, tuning into the real ‘knowing’ me and yes John was correct, I bounce back! I deal with the crisis in phases; go into shock, cry, disregard it, get angry, then finally accept the rotten card I got dealt, think logically and creatively, set a goal and work my ways forwards with intention. I envision myself 100% strong, healthy, glowing and energized. Then, I put it all behind me and look ahead to a better, brighter, more exciting role or place I want to be enjoying. Soon, my ambition and enthusiasm replace the sorrow and overwhelming upset, and sometimes I even get inspired to leap ahead and do something grand, that helps others or changes my life grid all together.

Am I a fluke? No. Epigenetic Medicine says survivors all visualize themselves down the line — even when in wars or chemotherapy trials or after being decimated by natural disasters — in a better place. They typically see themselves happy and united with loved ones in their future. They do NOT crumble to the immediacy of their rightfully fearful or sorrowful feelings, but move through them and beyond to a better tomorrow. The moment of turmoil or terror is not grasped to tightly but more or less stepped over in the moment (to be returned to often when life returns to normal and they can process it). Survivors ignite the powerful mind-body-spirit pathway we all bear, which turns on brain endorphin production, elevates adrenalin release and stimulates the immune system.

According to Dawson Church, author of “The Genie In Your Genes” and leader of the EFT (emotional freedom technique) therapy, we all bear a gene ‘set’ that can be turned on and help us become resilient and actually thrive in spite of disastrous life calamities. “Some families exhibit a natural tendency to pull themselves through near death and catastrophic crisis” says Church. “In these instances, whether by example of pure DNA genetic predispositions, we see a small percentage of people overcome the most extreme adversities and not crumble or get locked into bereavement, illness, phobias from trauma, and conversely many will. The fact is we can all turn on this resiliency gene set.”

My immigrant Greek grandfather left home at age 11 with his 13-year-old brother. They slept on warehouse tabletops in Romania for 5 years as they packed potatoes and sent their money back home to their widowed mother and younger siblings. As street urchins they lived rugged lives, emigrated to NYC, worked 12 hour shifts shoveling coal into the big burbling furnaces of the St Regis Hotel. And then went on to become food market owners and live into their late 90s.

My father was left for dead in the WW2 jungles of the Philippines, survived a hellacious car wreck, and then 20 years later shot 18 pulmonary embolisms post-op to be declared dead and yet make the decision to ‘come back’ to life.

My ten-year battle with misdiagnosed chronic Lyme disease, left me bedridden for 3 years. I lost all the American emblems of success; career & income, marriage & home, health & well-being. Emotionally, physically and spiritually broken, death knocked on my door too many frightening times. With my then 80-year-old veteran father coaching me, I chose to live. I embraced a thorough process of self visualizations, prayer, positive thinking, and the WILL to live long enough to see my then 8-year-old son be a man of 18. Today he is 19 years old and I am 100% recovered, have been for 6 years.

My resiliency quotient is not unique. You too can bounce back and live the life you desire. And, this requires inner mental work and some dedication to yourself and patterns. Psychologists have found certain attitudes and actions to be effective in encouraging greater emotional resiliency.

Here are some absolutely salient factors to mind.

  • Accept responsibility for your life and actions. Some events are out of your control, but you can influence the emotional outcome.
  • Think positively. If you are struggling with this, just saying the words over and over, “everything will work out fine” is a good place to start.
  • Teach yourself to accept change. Rearrange your furniture or buy some clothing of different colors than your usual wardrobe. In accepting change during a low stress time, you can better adjust when an unexpected change does occur.
  • Develop your self-confidence. Learning a new skill is the simplest avenue. Take sketching classes, learn yoga, train for a 10k race.
  • Be true to yourself by practicing authenticity. Facades end up limiting you severely in the end.

Many people experience anxiety during this sort of self-discovery process. You may want to see a therapist or counselor for emotional support and confirmation of your self identity during this blossoming journey.

  • Connect with your inner faith. Prayer, meditation, walks in the woods, and community service are all ways to tune in with your personal power and inner beliefs. Teach these things to your children. It will serve them well in life.

I believe in the power of the mind, of the calling of your heart and the will to make your life your own. Outside help in the form of health care practitioners, therapists, medications or nutritional changes maybe useful supports to a struggling body. But, the greatest potentials lie within your own grasp. The tools are born to you and must be honed. Practicing gratitude and honoring both your ancestors and those near and dear who offer you solace or vision of hope are beautiful allies. Believe in your tomorrow.

Lyme Disease Awareness: What You Need to Know to Stay Safe this Summer

Lyme Disease Awareness: What You Need to Know to Stay Safe this Summer

 

Approximately every 30 years, an infectious disease epidemic sweeps modern civilization: AIDS, polio, diptheria, tuberculosis, smallpox, yellow fever, malaria.

Medicine is initially unprepared and millions of lives are lost or compromised. Then science rallies, treatments or vaccines are discovered, the epidemic is quelled and life begins to stabilize for mankind.

Sadly, we are waking up to the reality that migratory birds have introduced infected ticks of every variety to all regions of the United States and the world. In 2016, Lyme Disease is not just a East coast illness; it is rampant in many areas, from the deep South, to the Great Lakes, the Pacific northwest, Canada, Scandinavia, and over 89 countries of the world.

Statistics coming from ILADS (International Lyme and Associated Disease Society) are indicating that Lyme disease is the infectious disease epidemic of the 21st century and we do not have a vaccine or a frank effective treatment regime for chronic or misdiagnosed cases.

Once considered a two-week infectious illness transmitted by a bite from the tiny deer tick, 40 years of clinical discovery has illuminated that Lyme disease is a far more complex condition. The organism is a spirochete corkscrew-shaped bacteria, akin to syphilis, that quickly burrows its way from the bloodstream into connective tissues, joints, muscle fascia, organs, glands, and eventually to the spinal fluid, brain, and spinal nerves.

The Center for Disease Control acknowledges between 300,000-500,000 cases of Lyme Disease are contracted annually in the United States, but a mere 10% are properly diagnosed in the early weeks of an infection, due to an outdated generic ELISA test the typical physician uses that produces a 70% false negative finding. The remainder of cases are often misconstrued as autoimmune illnesses or mental disorders, such as Lupus, MS, fibromyalgia, CFS, RA, ALS, or others.

Borrelia burgdorferi is a slow-reproducing bacteria – six weeks – versus staphococcus or streptococcus, meaning antibody production is late to manifest via blood testing, yet symptoms are readily surfacing.

Muscle and joint pains, stiff neck, headaches, pronounced fatigue, brain fog, depression and even a bull’s eye skin rash, confuse individuals and physicians into believing a rogue virus or maybe a ‘spider bite’ could have induced the malingering symptoms.

Most often, if not treated with six weeks of tetracycline antibiotics immediately, an individual is left with a constellation of odd symptoms in multiple bodily systems, lumbering along trying to find resolution, typically with little success.

The best steps you can take are awareness, prevention, and early diagnosis by a Lyme literate physician. Follow these tips to minimize Lyme disease risk:

  1. Avoid all areas of tall grasses, forest underbrush, beach dune grass, overgrown foliage.
  2. Keep your grass cut short and woodpiles away from the yard or patios.
  3. Do not feed wildlife, and eliminate bird feeders. It is important to deter rodents, birds, mammals of any type, as they are ‘tick taxis’ potentially dropping them into your habitat.
  4. Wear light-colored long sleeve and full leg clothing when gardening, hiking, fishing, camping, and even running or golfing. Spray kids with permithrin tick repellant before soccer practice!
  5. After ALL outdoor activities, remove all your clothing, including socks and underwear, and run them for 30 minutes on HOT heat in the dryer, as high temperatures will kill and shrivel ticks, since they thrive in moisture. Do a full-body scan for any potential ticks, especially the warm areas of groin, neck, armpits, back of knees. Brush your hair and shower using a washcloth or loofah pad.
  6. Pets can carry ticks! Do not let your pets sleep in your bed. Brush them daily outside and keep them protected with a tick repellant such as Vectra or Frontline. Pets are notorious for carrying ticks into the house, as they brush up against the foliage ticks reside in. Give your dog the LymeVax immunization annual shot.

If you think you may have Lyme disease, insist upon the IgeneX Labs initial Lyme panel which is 4 tests combined, including the more accurate Western Blot test and borrelia b. DNA fragment. The fastest accuracy testing is from Global Lyme Diagnostics in North Carolina, with a state of the art antigen screening. Do not accept a negative on an ELISA test. Seek assistance from ILADS.com and LymeDisease.org.

With the warm weather upon us, we are in peak tick hatch out season. Following these prevention tips will help keep you pro-active and aware.

Katina is teaching with neurologist Dr. Jodie Dashore, at The Rowe Center, Rowe, MA, 10/13-15/17. http://rowecenter.org/wp/events/tick-action-getting-serious-recovery-lyme-disease/

Stay well and get well with Dr. Jodie and Katina.