A multiple sclerosis sufferer was buzzing after she helped bee-t the debilitating condition with a course of 1,500 — BEE STINGS.
Devastated Sami Chugg, 45, was diagnosed with MS in 1998 and it slowly began to attack her ability to move.
The incurable disease stops the body’s nerve cells communicating and she was soon so ill she was permanently bed ridden.
Sami, a charity worker from Bristol, was plagued by numbness and she could barely walk or leave her room.
But she is now back on her feet after she made a bee-line for a revolutionary treatment called Bee Venom Therapy (BVT).
The treatment involves holding a bee in a pair of tweezers and deliberately stinging an area of skin on the patient’s body.
Experts believe the venom in the sting helps ease the pain of MS symptoms and also stimulates the body to fight back.
Sami says she was stung around 1,500 in eighteen months and says it has given her her mobility back.
She said: ”When I started the BVT I couldn’t get out of bed or get out of my room – it was really grim.
”Most people would be terrified by the prospect of being stung by a bee. But when you have a condition like MS, that involves the numbing of the body, any kind of sensation is welcome – even if it’s from a bee sting.
”You use a pair of tweezers and get hold of a single bee. Then you gradually desensitise your body to the sting by injecting it in and out of your skin a few times.
”You have to build it up slowly – you start with two, then four, then six. Ten to 14 was my average for each session.
”It had an immediate effect because it has a kind of psychological, mental effect. I used to feel elated for about two hours after the treatment.”
Bee Venom Therapy, or Apitherapy, uses the stings of live bees to relieve symptoms of MS such as pain, loss of coordination, and muscle weakness.
Researchers suggest that certain compounds in bee venom reduce inflammation and pain and a combination of all its ingredients helps the body to release natural healing compounds.
The alternative treatment remains unproven by evidence-based medicine but it has been used to treat other wasting diseases and arthritis.
The therapy begins gradually as the body needs to be desensitised to the stings, but eventually multiple bees are used at one time and are left in the skin for up to 20 minutes.
Sami was treated twice a week and was stung at least 1,500 during her 18-month course of the treatment.
She said: ”There are three locations we used for the stings, above the shoulders, the middle back, and then the lumbar area. It’s all centred around your spine.
”It’s changed my life and my approach to life. It is manna from heaven.”
Multiple Sclerosis is a disease in which the fatty myelin ‘sheaths’ around nerve cells are progressively damaged leading to a variety of symptoms including pain and physical and mental disability.
Sami now campaigns for the ”Safe Land for Bees” project working to raise awareness of the decline in bee populations.