Woman Reportedly Dies After Live Bee Sting Acupuncture

Huffington Post     By Mary Papenfuss    March 23, 2018 

She suffered a severe allergic reaction, slipped into a coma and died from multi-organ failure.

A woman in Spain has reportedly died after being stung by a bee during an unusual kind of acupuncture treatment. 

Apitherapy, or “bee therapy,” is an alternative medicine practice that uses products made by honeybees, including bee venom, to treat ailments from arthritis to burns to muscle aches. It’s been touted as a beauty regimen by actress Gwyneth Paltrow and holistic health practitioners, but research has shown there can be health risks in using this type of treatment.

One type of apitherapy ― live bee acupuncture ― was administered to a 55-year-old woman as a treatment for stress and muscle contractions. The procedure involved placing live bees on the patient’s body so could be stung and injected with bee venom.

The woman was treated with live bee stings on a monthly basis for two years and suffered no ill effects, researchers wrote in a case study published in the Journal of Investigational Allergology and Clinical Immunology. However, during her last treatment, she suffered a severe allergic reaction, slipped into a coma and died from multiple organ failure several weeks later.

Previous tolerance to bee stings does not mean later stings carry no risk. In fact, the researchers noted that “repeated exposure to the allergen was found to carry a greater risk of severe allergic reactions.”

The study’s authors said they believe this was the first reported case of death by bee venom apitherapy “due to complications of severe anaphylaxis.” The study did not provide a date for the woman’s death.

A 2015 study of apitherapy published in PLoS One found that nearly 30 percent of patients experienced some kind of negative reaction. Researchers issued warnings against the treatment and suggested better training for practitioners and better emergency care.

“The risks of undergoing apitherapy may exceed the presumed benefits, leading us to conclude that this practice is both unsafe and unadvisable,” the authors stated.

In 2016, Paltrow told The New York Times that she found live bee acupuncture “pretty incredible,” adding: “But man it’s painful.”

Last year, actor Gerard Butler revealed that he went into anaphylactic shock after being injected with the venom of 23 bees during treatment for muscle problems. His apitherapy didn’t involve the use of live bees.

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/woman-dies-after-bee-acupuncture_us_5ab47cbee4b054d118e16fed

Practitioner's Corner: http://www.jiaci.org/revistas/vol28issue1_6-2.pdf

The American Apitherapy Society's Response to BVT Incident in Spain on their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/apitherapy.org/?hc_ref=ARTIMrCnyQ36jqRGDD_bgmI5xkvL_lZ1_fdjLKOf-Y9gGBAsv9m6BZ_oZ_R4TSa6HKw&fref=nf

"The AAS is sorry to hear about this unfortunate incident. We recognize that we do not have a complete picture based on the information included in the article but it appears that several aspects are problematic ....

Specifics:

1. Initial reactions to bee venom therapy can occur, and that’s why it's imperative to properly screen patients and ensure they are following recommendations. 
2. Have rescue equipment and an emergency plan in place. Ideally train the provider.
3. One death out of thousands of treatments is very low risk as compared to many standard medical procedures, and far safer statistically than reactions to medication. This particular incident is only one of 2-3 reported in the last decade. 
4. The AAS seeks to promote safe implementation through knowledge and education.

Keep in mind that Apitherapy is defined as the therapeutic use of ALL beehive products to include raw honey, pollen, propolis, royal jelly, beeswax and lastly bee venom. Apitherapy has been effectively and safely used for centuries across the globe.

Best Regards,

Frederique Keller L.Ac
President, American Apitherapy Society Inc."
www.apitherapy.org

Bee Products Used to Treat Cancer, Rheumatoid Arthritis

Apitherapy News  April 14, 2017      Honey bee products used as medicine Guardian, 4/13/2017

Bee products such as honey, venom have been used in folk medicine for thousands of years for treating wounds, ulcers, inflammation, infections, pain, allergies and cancer.

Bee venom therapy, the therapeutic application of bee venom have been used in traditional medicine to treat diseases, such as arthritis, rheumatism, pain, cancerous tumors and kin diseases. Bee venom contains a variety of peptides including melittin, apamin, adolapin, the mast – cell-degranulating peptide, enzymes (phospolipase A2), biologically active amines (that is histamine and epinephrine) and nonpeptide components with a variety of pharmaceutical properties.

Cancer treatment

Bee venom has been widely used in the treatment of tumours. Several cancer cells, including renal, lung, liver, prostate, mammary gland as well as leukemia cells can be targets of bee venom peptides such as melittin and phospholipase A2.

In recent study scientists reported that bee venom can induce apoptosis in cancer cells (in human leukemic U937cells) the key regulators in bee venom induced apoptosis are Bcl-2 and caspase-3 through down regulation of the ERK and Akt signal pathway. Melittin, a water-soluble toxic peptide derived from bee venom of Apis mellifera was reported to have inhibitory effects on hepatocellular carcinoma. Melittin inhibits tumor cell metastasis by reducing motility and migration via the suppression of Rac-1 dependent pathway, suggesting that melittin is a potent therapeutic agent for hepatocellular carcinoma. Melittin prevents liver cancer cells metastasis through inhibition of the Rac-1-dependent pathway.

Treatment for rheumatoid arthritis

Bee venom induces apoptosis in rheumatoid synovial cells through a decrease in BCL2 expression and an increase in BAX and caspase-3 expression. Bee venom induces apoptosis through caspase-3 activation in synovial fibroblasts of patients with rheumatoid arthritis.

http://apitherapy.blogspot.com/2017/04/bee-products-used-to-treat-cancer.html

Also see: https://guardian.ng/features/insects-employed-to-treat-cancer-hiv/

The American Apitherapy Society

The American Apitherapy Society offers and shares information to educate those of you who seek an alternative form of health care referred to as Apitherapy.  Apitherapy encompasses the use of bee hive products including honey, pollen, propolis, royal jelly and bee venom.  Apitherapy is used to treat many illnesses and to alleviate pain from injuries both chronic and acute.  We are an organization reaching beyond traditional Western medicine helping others to help themselves in attaining better health through a holistic approach in harmony with the bee hive, a true gift of nature.

http://www.apitherapy.org/

http://www.apitherapy.org/2750/save-the-date-for-the-2016-charles-mraz-apitherapy-course-and-conference-cmacc/

Alhambra Acupuncturists's 'Bee Sting Therapy' Investigated

Pasadena Star News      By Zen Vuong  August 1, 2015

ALHAMBRA >> An Alhambra acupuncturist’s license is on the line after state medical regulators alleged he was “grossly negligent” when using bees to sting patients as part of a medical treatment, an attorney said.

For the past four years, Xin Sheng “Tom” Zhou has used bee sting therapy to treat diseases and chronic pain, such as multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome and migraines.

The use of honeybee products, such as bee venom and honey, to treat an assortment of ailments is not uncommon. At issue in Zhou’s case is his use of a bee stinger to inject the venom into patients.

The California Department of Consumer Affairs’ Acupuncture Board filed an accusation, or formal statement of charges, against Zhou on July 23, saying he was repeatedly and grossly negligent in his practice because his office doesn’t have an allergic reaction kit, epinephrine or over-the-counter medication for patients who experience severe adverse reactions to bee stings.

• Video: Watch an acupuncturist give himself bee sting therapy

Medical regulators threatened Zhou with license suspension or probation as well as mandatory repayment of investigation and enforcement costs. He is scheduled to appear before an administrative hearing Monday.

“The use of a bee stinger as the delivery mechanism of venom is not within the standard of care and is considered to be an extreme departure from the standard of care,” the legal document states. “The standard of care requires bee venom to be administered in a way which is comparable to the herbals, e.g. topically, orally consumed liquid or tablet or capsule.”

Zhou stopped the alternative procedure when a dispute arose, but his practice at 701 W. Valley Blvd. Suite 53 is still bustling.

“Please give me permission to get bee sting therapy,” Monica Weerasinghe, who suffers from ALS, scribbled on paper because she could barely talk. Needles pricked her body as she lay on an acupuncture table.

• Photos: Elegant Bee Clinic in Alhambra

Unable to pay her doctor’s fees, Weerasinghe, brings small gifts like Toblerone when she comes in for weekly hour-long sessions. Two years ago, Weerasinghe couldn’t speak a single word, said Angelica Ulloa, Zhou’s assistant. But after receiving two treatments involving bees stinging her temple, Weerasinghe could talk and walk again, Ulloa said.

RISKY THERAPY

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not approved bee sting therapy. In fact, it is a potentially risky treatment that could produce life-threatening allergic reactions, said Dr. Michael Levine, an assistant professor of emergency medicine at the University of Southern California’s Keck School of Medicine.

“There is very, very limited data in lab settings to suggest that some of the components of bee venom might decrease lab markers of inflammation,” he said. “There is incredibly limited human data in actual studies to suggest that there is actual benefits to it.”

American Apitherapy Society Inc., which has more than 1,600 members, according to its website, believes the medicinal use of honeybee products such as bee venom, honey and royal jelly could treat immune system, neurologic, musculoskeletal and infectious problems, including hay fever, ALS, shingles, scar pain, tendonitis and spinal pain. These practitioners also use apitherapy to treat wounds, sprains, fractures and tumors, according to the group’s website.

“The board’s biggest problem is the use of the bee stinger,” said John Dratz Jr., Zhou’s attorney. “They don’t have a problem with bee venom. Bee sting therapy is the most effective way to deliver it historically, and it’s still being used. We feel that it’s safe, and we’ve not gotten any solid, scientific evidence from the board side that it’s not safe.”

If a patient experiences an allergic reaction, Zhou could use herbal medicine and acupuncture to manage it or he could employ an EpiPen located in his office to deal with anaphylactic shock, Dratz said. None of his 1,000 or so patients have suffered a severe allergic reaction in the thousands of times he has practiced bee sting therapy in the past four years, he said.

Nevertheless, “the Acupuncture Board stands by the accusation filed against Xin Sheng Zhou,” said Cristina Valdivia, spokeswoman for the medical regulators.

Zhou started his treatments with one sting as an allergy test. He used a pair of tweezers to pluck a bee from a small box filled with hundreds of them, iced the patient’s skin, then forced the insect to stab a strategic spot. He removed the stinger immediately during the test prick but thereafter left it in for about five minutes, he said. The number of bees used depends on the patient’s condition, but it was never more than a dozen, he said.

Dr. John H. Smith Jr., a Pasadena-based allergist and immunologist, said without knowing exactly how much venom is in stingers, a practitioner could subject his patients to too much and possibly induce anaphylactic shock. Some people are extremely allergic, so even a small amount of bee venom could cause extreme reactions. Others have a higher tolerance but are still allergic. Thus multiple tests involving differing amounts is needed, he said.

ANCIENT REMEDY

Bee venom acupuncture has been used in Eastern Asia since at least the 2nd century B.C. and is becoming more popular in Korea, according to a 2005 report published in Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine journal. The therapy is also reportedly growing in popularity in China.

Some people in the United States also practice the alternative therapy. Dr. Andrew Kochan’s regenerative injection practice in Sherman Oaks offered bee sting therapy for six years before he opted for more hygienic bee venom in a syringe, he said.

In the past 25 years, he said he has treated several hundred patients for conditions such as osteoarthritis, acute tendonitis and postherpetic neuralgia — a complication of shingles that could produce blistering pain. Bee venom injections are an extremely safe remedy, he said.

“This is a treatment that’s been around for thousands of years,” Kochan said. “The Chinese used it. The Egyptians used it. The Greeks used it. It’s well documented in all the medical texts from various ancient civilizations and has survived. I’ve done it for 25 years, and I’ve seen people have complete relief of certain problems after my administering of it.”

Read & View Video at: http://www.pasadenastarnews.com/health/20150801/alhambra-acupuncturists-bee-sting-therapy-investigated

Bee Venom Therapy - The Charlie Mraz Story

For those interested in the history of Apitherapy and the American Apitherapy Society, Inc., you might want to check out this video, "Physician Heal Thyself" - The Charlie Mraz Story.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ljcyn0ko7Aw 
http://www.apitherapy.org/

American Apitherapy Society

From the American Apitherapy Society: The AAS is on the VERGE of officially ANNOUNCING the location & dates of the 2015 Charles Mraz Apitherapy Course & Conference CMACC in our February Newsletter! 
SIGN UP for our FREE monthly newsletter at www.apitherapy.org and look for clues on our Facebook page.

APITHERAPY is the medicinal use of beehive products made by honeybees including raw honey, pollen, propolis, royal jelly, bee venom, beeswax, drone larvae.

Visit AAS: http://www.apitherapy.org/

American Apitherapy Society Newsletter: October 2014

Apitherapy is the medicinal use of honeybee products. This includes honey, propolis, royal jelly, pollen, and bee venom. Founded in 1989,the AAS is a community of people interested in this natural, holistic practice.

 
The American Apitherapy Society Newsletter for October 2014 is now available. Subscribe and read at: http://www.apitherapy.org/about-aas/newsletter