Lyme Disease

Mark Sandoval, M.D.
Lifestyle Medicine  


Lyme disease is a multisystem illness caused by infection with the bacteria, Borrelia burgdorferi, and the body’s immune response to the infection. The disease is transmitted to humans via tick bites from infected ticks of the genus Ixodes (deer tick or blacklegged tick).
Lyme disease is the most common vector-borne illness in the United States. Vector-borne disease is the term commonly used to describe an illness caused by an infectious microbe that is transmitted to people by blood-sucking insects. In the United States, Lyme disease is caused by the bacteria, Borrelia burgdorferi sensu strico, which is actually a group of closely-related B. burgdorferi species. In Europe, the disease is also caused by Borrelia afzelii and Borrelia garinii.
The Ixodes tick progresses through four stages of development: egg, larva, nymph, and adult. Only ticks in the nymphal and adult stages can transmit B. burgdorferi. The adult lays eggs in the spring, and the larvae emerge in the summer. The larvae feed once, in late summer, usually on small animals. The following spring, the larvae emerge as nymphs. Nymphs feed once, in the spring and summer, molt into adults the following fall, and feed once on a larger animal. Ticks can acquire B. burgdorferi from feeding on an infected animal host during any of the three life-cycle stages (larva, nymph, adult).
Ticks carry B. burgdorferi organisms in their midgut. The bacteria are introduced into the skin by a bite from an infected tick, and disease is transmitted to humans as the spirochete is translocated from the gut to the salivary glands and then to the person at the site of the bite. The risk of Lyme disease is highest during the spring and summer, when Ixodes ticks in the nymphal stage are seeking a blood meal. Nymphs are responsible for 90% of human disease transmissions because of the great abundance of nymphs; the increase in human outdoor activity in the summer (the peak feeding season of nymphs); and the small size of nymphs, which makes them less likely to be detected and removed before disease transmission occurs.
The risk of transmission of B. burgdorferi from an infected tick to a human depends on several factors, including the length of exposure. The longer the tick has been attached, the greater the likelihood one will develop Lyme disease, with the possibility of infection beginning shortly after the tick attaches and begins to feed.
Location is an important factor in transmission as well. In 2013, 95% of Lyme disease cases were reported from: Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Wisconsin.
Since only 25-30% of people with diagnosed Lyme disease actually remember being bit by a tick, the clinician should determine where the patient lives, works, and vacations, and should ask about specific activities in which the patient participates. The probability of a tick bite—and thus, the likelihood of contracting Lyme disease—is highest in persons who spend time outdoors (particularly in wooded, brushy, or grassy habitats) during the spring or summer in a geographically endemic area.


Once the bacteria is in the skin, one of three events may occur: 1) The spirochete may be eliminated by the immune system. 2) The spirochete may live and stay in the skin, where it produces the characteristic skin lesion of Lyme disease, called Erythema Migrans (bulls-eye rash). And 3) Within days to weeks, the spirochete may spread to other parts of the body through the lymphatics or blood. In spreading, the spirochete prefers to infect the skin, heart, central nervous system, joints, and eyes. But any part of the body can be affected.


Lyme disease generally follows three stages of disease progression.
Stage 1 – Early Localized Lyme Disease
This stage generally begins within 30 days of the tick bite, with many people (two-thirds) presenting with the characteristic expanding rash of Erythema Migrans at the site of the tick bite 7-14 days after the tick is removed. In Erythema Migrans, there is a red spot that develops at the site of the bite, and grows over the period of several days. As it grows, it may have areas of clearing, making it look like a bulls-eye. This rash represents the spread of the bacteria under the skin. Other lesions that develop represent an immune response to the bacteria. The rash may remain for 2-3 weeks.
Typical symptoms of this stage are non-specific, and include things like fatigue, muscle aches, joint pain, headache, fever, chills, neck stiffness, redness of the eyes, and tearing.
Stage 2 – Early Disseminated Lyme Disease
This stage generally begins weeks to months after the tick bite. In this stage, the bacteria have spread to other parts of the body through the lymphatics or the blood, and the bacteria typically infect the muscles, joints, and nervous system. Part of the symptoms may not be directly due to infection, but rather an autoimmune inflammatory attack on certain nervous system and connective tissue proteins. This is because some proteins on the surface of the bacteria look similar to proteins on the mentioned tissues in the body, and the immune system, in mounting an attack against the one, may then attack the other.
Symptoms of Early Disseminated Lyme Disease include inflammation of bursae, tendons, and joints, which lasts 1-2 days and then resolves. Then persons can develop joint pain in one knee, ankle or wrist. Joint pain may last a week or so and then resolve, and may return a couple months later. Sometimes multiple joints can be affected simultaneously. These recurrent episodes usually resolve within 10 years.
Bell’s Palsy (one-sided facial paralysis) is one of the more common neurologic symptoms manifested in Early Disseminated Lyme Disease. Individuals may also suffer from neuropathy (poor or abnormal sensation or motor function in a nerve distribution). Meningitis, with waxing and waning symptoms of headache, neck stiffness, and increased pain with bright lights, is another neurologic manifestation. The final one is encephalopathy. This involves symptoms of confusion, with disturbances in memory, concentration, mood, sleep, personality, and/or language occurring months to years after the infection. Depression and irritability are also common.
Finally, persons may experience a delayed rash, multiple erythema migrans, which has smaller (1-5cm) red lesions, typically oval in shape, which involve larger areas of the body than the initial erythema migrans that presents during Early Localized Lyme Disease.
Stage 3 – Chronic Disseminated Lyme Disease
This stage happens months to years after the initial infection. Joints and the nervous system are most typically affected. It is not clear whether the symptoms experienced in chronic disseminated Lyme disease are primarily related to infection by the bacteria, or from the body’s skewed immune response to it.
The primary symptom of Chronic Disseminated Lyme Disease is Lyme arthritis. This is actual arthritis (not just joint pain) secondary to Lyme disease, and in most cases involves the knees (90%).
A number of neurologic symptoms are seen as well. Individuals can have behavioral and personality changes, with confusion and decreased level of consciousness. They can experience various forms of paralysis or difficulty controlling their extremities, urine, or bowl. They can experience symptoms of fibromyalgia, and a host of other non-specific complaints.


Diagnosis of Lyme disease is surrounded by controversy. General recommendations state that individuals should be tested in a two-step fashion. The first step typically consists of a screening enzyme immunoassay (EIA) or enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), which uses antibodies to B. burgdorferi to help identify if one is infected; if results are positive or equivocal, a Western immunoblot test (which tests for specific proteins in a sample, and is much more specific) is performed to confirm the results.
However, critics of this testing method state that many individuals who are actually infected by B. burgdorferi are missed, because the test is not broad enough to catch the many different cases of Lyme disease. It is estimated that there are over 100 genetically different strains of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto. The test that is recommended to test all Borrelia infections came from a single tick with a single strain of Borrelia, and critics state that there is too much genetic variability amongst the many strains of Borrelia for one test to be sufficient.
One lab that we know of, IGeneX (, claims to have better success in diagnosing Lyme disease by testing three of the most prominent and cross-reactive strains of B. burgdorferi, rather than only one. This, they state, gives their test a greater ability to identify individuals who are actually Lyme disease positive, when the traditional testing may not.


If possible, avoid being in wooded, brushy, or grassy habitats in endemic areas (Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Wisconsin) during the spring through mid fall.
If you cannot or don’t want to avoid these areas, wear long-sleeved, light-colored clothing (this makes it easier to identify ticks on your clothing), and tuck your pant legs into your socks. Use a tick repellant around edges of clothing (pant legs, socks, waist line, end of sleeves, etc.). Geranium oil has been shown to repel ticks as well as DEET. You can make a repellant by mixing 2 ounces of olive oil with 20-40 drops of geranium bourbon essential oil. After exposure, thoroughly check all skin and hair locations for attached ticks and remove as soon as possible (use tweezers and grasp the mouth parts—not squeezing the body—and pull straight out).
There is disturbing evidence that Lyme disease may not be transmitted only by the bite of an Ixodes tick. A study published in early 2014 found that all women and half of men infected with Lyme disease had Borrelia burgdorferi isolated from their vaginal or seminal fluid.8 In one couple, the strain of bacteria was an exact match, indicating that it was likely transmitted through intimate contact. It would be prudent, therefore, for Lyme-infected individuals to use proper barrier protection during intimate contact in marriage.


  • Drink at least 1 ounce of water daily for every 2 pounds that you weigh. (If you weigh 128 pounds, you need to drink at least 64 ounces, or 8 cups of water, daily) If you have a fever or are sweating, you need to drink more. You cannot expect to be in optimal health if you are dehydrated—even slightly—for a prolonged period of time.
  • Drink at least 2 cups of water upon rising in the morning.
  • Do not drink within ½ hour before meals and 1 hour after meals.
  • Avoid very hot or very cold water.
  • Avoid drinks (like sodas, coffee, juice, milk, beer, wine, etc.) other than water and herbal teas.
  • Maintain both cardiovascular (walking, biking, hiking, heavy gardening, swimming, jogging, etc.) and resistance (weights, resistance bands, heavy gardening, etc.) exercise routines.
  • Cardiovascular exercise should occur most days of the week. Walking is best. We recommend walking at a moderate intensity (meaning that you can talk while you walk, but you cannot sing) following meals and at other times of the day, to total at least 1 hour or 4 miles daily.
  • Take a walk after each meal, even if you can only walk for 10-15 minutes. A thirty-minute walk would be great.
  • At least two days weekly, incorporate a resistance exercise routine where you attempt to move against an opposing force (like with push ups, squats, lifting weights, or using resistance bands). Make sure this routine targets all major muscle groups, such as the arms, shoulders, back, chest, abdomen, glutes, and thighs, and involves 10-15 repetitions of each exercise in two sets. For instance, if you are doing bicep curls with a 2-pound weight. You want to lift the weight 10 times, then rest, and repeat for another 10 times. When you get to the point that you can do it easily, increase to 12 or 15 times each. Once that is relatively easy, you can increase the weight to 3 pounds and lift 10 times. This way you can progressively increase the amount that you lift. If you are older, you may wish to go through the exercise routine for several weeks without any weights (just doing the motions), so that you don’t hurt yourself.
  • Avoid very vigorous exercise within a couple hours of meal times.
  • Research indicates that natural killer cells, neutrophils, and macrophages (types of white blood cells) all increase in the blood stream in response to each exercise effort. Natural killer cell activity increases overall with a consistent exercise routine. And the function of several of the other white bloods cells increases in response to moderate exercise, but can decrease in response to too vigorous exercise.1
Live Temperately
  • Avoid even a drop of caffeinated, sugar-sweetened, or alcoholic beverages.
  • Avoid the use of drugs.
  • Avoid overeating at any meal. Eat until you feel satisfied, not “full” or “stuffed.”
  • Spend time every morning in nature with God. Stay in prayer until you know you have given Him your burdens and you are not carrying them any more. Ask Him to reveal Himself and His love to you.
  • Read from the Bible with the purpose to know who God is and what His love looks like.
  • Write down Bible promises that speak hope and assurance to you regarding the issues that you are facing. Keep up to 3 of these verses on 3X5 cards, along with a prayer of faith, and pull it out and read it every time you recognize that you are dealing with the “issue,” whether it be guilt, a feelings/thoughts of helplessness, feeling unloved, etc.
  • Get involved in outreach activities (ministering to those in nursing homes, hospitals, orphanages, homeless shelters, etc.). Helping others who have it “worse off” than you helps you to heal.
  • Try to be the most loving person on the planet, trusting God to help you be successful.
  • Start with a 3-day fast (only drinking water). But check with your doctor first. Some health conditions and medications will cause serious problems if you fast. Fasting has been shown to reset stem cells in the immune system, which improves immune function.6
  • Eat a whole-foods, plant-based diet (whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, beans, peas, lentils, and starchy roots).
  • Avoid processed foods (white flour/bread/pastries, white rice, sugary or fatty/fried foods, etc.).
  • Avoid spicy foods (hot curry, cayenne, black/white pepper, jalapeño, etc.).
  • Avoid high-fat foods (oils, dressings, meat, margarines, butter, cheese, fried foods, etc.).
  • Avoid caffeine in all of its forms (including chocolate).
  • Eat only two meals daily, with a larger breakfast, medium lunch, and if you have to have it, a very light supper (light suppers avoid “heavy” foods which are high in protein and/or fats—like nuts, nut butters, beans, peas, lentils, seeds, avocado, etc. and include only a small portion of food)
  • No meals within 3 hours of bedtime or naps.
  • No snacks (except water or herbal teas without sweetener).
  • Eat only enough to feel satisfied, but not “full” or “stuffed.”
  • Avoid “inflammatory foods” such as dairy, meats (of all kinds), and gluten.
  • Regularly eat anti-microbial foods like garlic3 (5-10 cloves daily, raw or very lightly-steamed), ginger4, and aloe vera2.
  • Get 30-60 minutes (minimum) of sunshine during the day, depending upon your complexion.
  • Do not burn.
  • Avoid the use of creams, oils, etc. on the skin during sun exposure.
  • Research shows that vitamin D, which is produced through ultraviolet light exposure, when at proper levels, improves immune function and reduces inflammation.5
  • Choose a private location where you can maintain your privacy while you are sunbathing.
  • The following factors increase the amount of vitamin D production:
    1. More skin exposed – obviously, the more skin that is exposed to the sun, the more vitamin D can be produced in any given amount of time.
    2. Lying down or sitting – when you are standing, most of your body surface is not exposed well to the sunlight. But when you are sitting (and your legs and arms are exposed), or when you are lying down (and your skin is exposed), more of the light can directly contact the skin to produce more vitamin D.
    3. Mid-day sunshine – the more directly the sunlight comes through the atmosphere, the less scatter there will be, and the more effective the sunlight is at producing vitamin D. Therefore, sunlight exposure during the mid day would produce more vitamin D than sunlight exposure at the beginning or end of the day.
    4. Summer time – similar to the previous point, sunlight during the summer is more direct than sunlight during the winter, and therefore allows for a greater vitamin D production.
    5. Lighter skin – melanin, the pigment in the skin, decreases the amount of ultraviolet light can penetrate to the dermal layer of the skin where cholesterol can be converted to vitamin D. Therefore, if you have lighter skin, more sunlight will be able to penetrate and convert cholesterol to vitamin D.
Thought Life
  • Many individuals with Stage 2 or 3 Lyme disease have associated emotional difficulties, which may arise from, or be aggravated by, their disease state. Depression and anxiety are common, and other manifestations may be present as well. It is important to address these issues at the same time that other therapies are being pursued.
  • Depression, anxiety, and many other psychological difficulties, have their foundation in thoughts and thinking patterns. It is, therefore, important to address one’s thinking patterns in one’s attempt to heal.
  • Thoughts generate electricity in the cortex of the brain, and those electrical signals are carried via axons/nerves to the various parts of the body. Those electrical signals provide the energy stimulation needed by the cells of the body to function properly. If the thoughts are right, the electrical signals will provide the proper stimulation for the proper function of the cells. If the thoughts are not right, the improper stimulation of the cells can lead to dysfunction.
  • Negative thought patterns include—but are not limited to—thoughts of guilt (I brought this upon myself… I’m such a bad person… What did I do to deserve this… etc.), thoughts of fear (What if I die… What if this gets worse and I can’t do anything… What will my family do without me… etc.), thoughts of failure (I just can’t do it… It seems impossible for me to get well… this isn’t going to work… etc.), and thoughts of isolation (I’m all alone in this thing… No one understands what I’m going through… I just want to be alone… etc.).
  • Overcoming negative thought patterns is not accomplished by trying to not think about the negative thoughts. It is accomplished by actively thinking about something else. This is because you cannot empty your mind (your mind was created to be occupied), nor can you focus on two things at one time (no matter how good of a multitasker you believe you are). To overcome negative thinking, you must actively practice positive thinking. You must think about something else. There is nothing that we know of that serves this purpose better than Bible promises.
  • Do you feel guilty? Try 1 John 1:9, John 3:16, or Romans 5:6. Do you fear? Try Isaiah 41:10, Psalm 34:7, or Isaiah 54:17. Do you worry about failing? Try Philippians 4:13, Jude 24, or 1 Corinthians 10:13. Do you feel isolated? Try Jeremiah 31:3, Hebrews 13:5, or Nehemiah 9:31. In essence, identify the negative thoughts or thought patterns that you deal with, and then look for Bible promises that speak to your heart the truth, which is opposite of the negative thoughts.
  • Write the Bible promise on a 3X5 card, and below it, write a prayer of faith. You could use this pattern: “Lord, thank you for giving me the truth of Your Word. I choose to believe __________________ (that I am forgiven… that I have no need to fear… that I can overcome… that I am not alone… etc.) because You said so. Thank you for ______________.” (forgiving me… giving me your peace… helping me to overcome… always being with me… etc.). Every time you recognize that you have the negative thought or feeling, you have 4 seconds to pull out your 3X5 card and begin reading it out loud, concentrating on what you just read. If you finish reading and the thought/feeling is still there, do it again, and again, and again until it is gone or until you are distracted by something else. Consistency is important in overcoming negative thought patterns.
  • Get outside in the fresh air and breathe deeply.
  • Maintain proper posture at all times.
  • Practice deep breathing regularly. For this, breathe in for a moderately slow count of 4, hold your breath for a count of 7, and breathe out for a count of 9. Repeat 10 times in a row. Do this exercise on an hourly basis.
  • Open windows and doors to the fresh air at least once daily, even in freezing environments, to allow fresh air to circulate throughout the house.
  • If possible, get out into nature and spend time relaxing in God’s creation.
  • If you can’t get out, buy plants and flowers for the home to beautify your surroundings and clean the air inside.
  • Maintain the precautions mentioned in the Prevention section above.
  • Wear light-colored clothing, as this helps ticks to be more visible.
  • Avoid clothing with tight bands (tight belts, garters, body shapers, etc.). Ticks prefer to attach to areas just next to these tight bands.
  • Wear long sleeves and long pants (unless sunbathing in a private location, away from trees and shrubbery).
  • Tuck pant legs under your socks and shirts under your pants, so ticks cannot easily get under your clothing.
Sufficient Rest
  • Sleep deficit has been shown to impact health negatively, including a direct negative impact upon the function of the immune system.7 In fact, rats deprived of sleep for two weeks died from overwhelming infection.
  • Optimally, humans need 7-9 hours of sleep on a nightly basis.
  • Also, the body recuperates better if sleep is achieved a few hours before midnight (optimally around 9pm), as this correlates best with daily cycles of hormones related to the sleep/wake cycle. So, get your sleep regularly, and get to bed early!
  • Also, your body has a physiologic need for a weekly rest, called circaseptan bioperiodicity. Certain physiologic functions revolve around a 7-day cycle, and require rest on a weekly basis. Back in the French Revolution, the government chose to adopt a 10-day “week.” As a result, mental health dropped and insane asylums filled to overcapacity. So, get your weekly, Sabbath rest. This is a part of maintaining health as well.
Simple Trust in God
  • Health is a gift of God, which can only be maintained by cooperating with Him in following the laws of health. If we do not cooperate, we cannot expect God to maintain our health, but if we do cooperate, there is still an enemy who seeks to steel, kill, and destroy and there is a world of sin that we live in. Obedience does not guarantee health in this world, but health cannot be expected if you are violating the laws of health. So, trust in God, as the source of your healing, and cooperation with Him in following the laws of health, are essential to gaining and maintaining health.
  • Of all that you know about practicing a healthy lifestyle, do you follow or accomplish everything that you know? If not, you are in good company. I have yet to meet someone who does everything that they know to do to be healthy. In everyone, there is a gap between what we know and what we do. If we simply did all that we knew to do, we would avoid 90% of the diseases and suffering that we experience. So, what is the key to bridging that gap? The key is Trust in God. You see, you and I cannot “do it.” We cannot do all we know that we should do. But God can. So, in order for us to be successful, we must trust in Him to help us to do what we can’t do. In other words, we need a power outside of ourselves to accomplish that which we cannot accomplish.
  • On a scale of 0 to 100, with zero representing nothing, and 100 representing the best your relationship has ever been with God, how would you rate your relationship with Him now? What number would you give? Is there room for improvement? Have you done anything in the past to develop or foster that relationship with God? If so, what worked? What do you know that you should be doing to deepen that relationship that you aren’t doing now? What changes do you need to make?
  • Relationships require time, communication, interest, and cooperation. And this is no different in a relationship with God, for He is the creator of relationships. To foster that relationship, we need to spend time with Him, setting time aside every morning before we begin our day in order to talk to Him in prayer and listen for His answers through reading His Word (the Bible). We gain an interest in Him when we begin to understand how much of an interest He has in us, and our love for Him grows. That love leads us to cooperate with Him in all things that He asks us to do, and He gives us His Holy Spirit to work in our lives to create in us the same character and love that He has. It is when this relationship works that we are enabled to do that which we had never before been able to do—be consistent! And health requires consistency. Trust in God is the most important factor when it comes to gaining and maintaining health that will last.
  • The following herbs may come in various forms. For herbs used in tea, typical doses are one teaspoon to one tablespoon of herb per cup of water. If several herbs are used together, it is still one teaspoon to tablespoon of herb per cup of water (if you have two herbs, you put one teaspoon of herb #1 and one teaspoon of herb #2 in two cups of water, if three herbs, you put one teaspoon of herb #1, one teaspoon of herb #2, and one teaspoon of herb #3 in 3 cups of water). Usually, one drinks about 4 cups of herbal tea daily.
  • Roots and barks are boiled for 20 minutes, leaves and stems are simmered for 20 minutes, and others (powders, flowers, etc.) are steeped for 20 minutes.
  • If you are using a tincture, the typical dose is one dropper full.
  • If you are using capsules or tablets, you simply refer to the directions on the bottle, unless otherwise specified.
The following herbs have known antibiotic or anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Acacia (1-4 teaspoons)
  • Andrographis paniculata (doses between 200 and 6,000mg daily have been used)
  • Cryptolepsis
  • Echinacea
  • Eucalyptus
  • Goldenseal Root (up to 1 gram 3 times daily)
  • Grapefruit Seed Extract
  • Juniper
  • Licorice
  • Oregon Grape
  • Sage
  • Turmeric
  • Usnea
  • Wormwood
  1. Hyperthermia Bath:
Items Needed: A towel, a washcloth or hand towel, oral thermometer, medium-

bowl with ice and water, waterproof stopwatch, a cup of warm drinking water with a straw, and a bathtub.

Cautions: Always perform this treatment supervised (don’t do it alone, as you could
faint or be too weak to get out of the tub alone). Do not perform this treatment on individuals with heart failure, coronary artery disease, peripheral vascular disease, diabetes with circulation or nerve problems, blood clots, or seizure disorder.
  • Fill the tub with hot water (as hot as you can comfortably handle).
  • Pray (with the person if you are assisting them with their treatment) and ask the Lord to bless the treatment.
  • Measure your pulse and oral temperature before you begin the treatment.
  • Get in the water, and once you can handle the water temperature, start adding some more hot water to the maximum of what you can handle.
  • Periodically dip your washcloth or hand towel in the ice water and put it on your head/face to keep your head cool.
  • Every 5 minutes, measure your pulse (making sure your pulse stays 140 or below for those who are relatively healthy, 120 or below for those who have some heart problems or those on blood pressure medications. If your heart rate is above this level, you will need to cool down the water and put a washcloth dipped in ice water over the heart until your heart rate comes down.)
  • Also, every 5 minutes, measure your oral temperature. For Lyme disease, you want to attempt to reach 103-104.9 degrees oral temperature and maintain that temperature for as long as possible (minimum of 20 minutes, up to 1 hour).
  • Take a drink of water with the straw periodically to stay hydrated, but don’t take a drink within 2 minutes of measuring your oral temperature, as the drinking may change the temperature of your mouth and alter the temperature the thermometer measures.
  • Periodically add more hot water to the tub to maintain a high water temperature.
  • If someone is helping you with the treatment, they can measure your pulse and oral temperature at 5-minute intervals, and record them on a sheet of paper, with the time of each the measurement.
  • When you are ready to finish, begin adding cold water to the tub to slowly cool down the water. After a few minutes, either turn on the cold shower for 30 seconds, or pour the rest of the ice water from the bowl on your legs, arms, and then trunk in order to constrict the surface blood vessels in your skin. This helps to strengthen your muscles so you can better get out of the tub, and also helps your body to be able to keep blood flowing to your brain, so that you don’t faint when you get out of the tub.
  • Dry off and go lay in bed under the covers for 1 hour, drinking water in the mean time to remain hydrated.
  • Pray (with the person if you are assisting them with the treatment) and thank the Lord for blessing the treatment.
    • Repeat the fever bath 5 times weekly.
    • Every month, give yourself a 1-week break from hyperthermia baths, and then resume.
    • Continue for 2 months after your symptoms resolve.
  1. Contrast Shower:
Items Needed: A towel, a washcloth or hand towel, oral thermometer, medium-
turn up the heat on your water heater in order to have sufficient hot water available for this treatment.
Cautions: Always perform this treatment supervised, as there is a risk of fainting.
Do not perform this treatment on individuals with heart failure and advanced circulation problems. Be very cautious when performing this treatment on individuals with fainting spells (syncope) or seizure disorder.
      • Pray, and ask the Lord to bless the treatment.
      • Begin the shower with water as hot as you can tolerate and continue for 3 minutes. Then turn the water to cold, and remain under it for 30 seconds. Repeat the cycle of 3-minutes hot, 30-seconds cold for seven exchanges before ending on cold.
      • Use a shower chair, as many individuals become light-headed and weak in the later stages of the treatment. This can help prevent any injuries.
      • Dry off quickly, and get into bed under the covers for an hour and sweat. Drink water while there.
      • Pray, and thank the Lord for blessing the treatment.
      • This treatment can be done on some individuals who cannot tolerate the Hyperthermia Bath or Modified Russian Steam Bath, as it is a milder treatment.
      • Contrast showers can be performed 5 times per week.
      • Give yourself a 1-week break from the contrast showers every month, and then resume.
      • Continue for 2 months after your symptoms have resolved.
  1. Modified Russian Steam Bath
Items Needed: a basin of hot water for a foot bath, a pitcher with hot/boiling water,
2-3 towels, a washcloth or hand towel, a medium/large bowl to hold ice water, a wooden chair, a portable hot plate, a pot with water, a queen-sized or larger sheet, a plastic shower curtain, a queen-sized or larger blanket, 3 safety pins or clothes pins, a large cup of room temperature water with a straw, an oral thermometer, and someone to assist with the treatment.
Cautions: Do not perform this treatment on individuals with heart failure, coronary
artery disease, peripheral vascular disease, diabetes with circulation or nerve problems, blood clots, or seizure disorder.
        • Place the hot plate on a tile or wood floor, and put the pot with hot water on it. You will need enough water to boil for 1-1½ hours.
        • Place the wood chair over the hot plate and turn the hot plate on medium (hot enough to boil the water).
        • Put the footbath basin in front of the chair, and fill the basin with comfortably hot water deep enough to cover the ankles.
        • Have the barefooted person sit on the chair and put their feet into the basin in front of them.
        • Pray with them, asking the Lord to bless the treatment.
        • Add hot water to the footbath with the pitcher until the water temperature is hot, but not too hot for them.
        • Wrap the sheet around them at their neck, allowing it to hang over them, the chair, and the foot basin like an Indian teepee. Pin the sheet in place.
        • Then wrap the shower curtain around them in a similar manner, pinning it in place.
        • Then wrap the blanket around them in a similar manner, pinning it in place.
        • Ask them frequently if the temperature is too hot. If they feel like their legs are too hot, place a dry towel under their legs, between their legs and the boiling pot on the hot plate. Also, turn down the heat of the hot plate.
        • Periodically dip the washcloth or hand towel in the bowl of ice water, wring it out, and place it on their head, or dab their forehead and face with it to help keep their head/face cool.
        • Periodically offer them water to drink, but not within 2 minutes of measuring their temperature.
        • Every 5 minutes, measure and record their temperature. You want to achieve a temperature of at least 102 degrees if possible, and maintain for as long as possible.
        • Continue the treatment for 1-1½ hours.
        • To finish the treatment, unwrap the person, turn off the hot plate, lift their feet out of the hot footbath and pour the remainder of the ice water from the bowl over their feet and into the footbath basin. Dry their feet, and assist them to bed, where you will cover them and let them rest/sweat for an hour. Let them drink while in bed to stay hydrated.
        • Pray with them, thanking the Lord for blessing the treatment.
        • Clean up after yourself.
          • This can be used as a substitute for the Hyperthermia Bath for individuals who do not have a bathtub. The same frequency applies for this as for the Hyperthermia Bath.


Go to the following website: (, or type Pubmed into your search engine. Once in Pubmed, you can type in the Pubmed ID listed below, and it will bring you to the article in question.
1.PMID: 9129268
2.PMID: 26266047
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