Promoted by the American Apitherapy Society (www.apitherapy.org), the art of treating disease and illness with bee pollen, propolis, bee venom and bee’s wax has long been practiced for more than 2500 years. While more often utilized outside of the United States, bee products are becoming more readily available and recommended by not only the alternative medical community but also by general medical practitioners. Commonly seen, in early times, among the Chinese and Egyptian practitioners, apitherapy has taken the meaning of alternative medicine to a new level.
In early times, bee pollen and bee venom was commonly used in the treatment of pain related conditions. With expansion, through the years, bee by products have been used to treat over 500 known illnesses, diseases and conditions including arthritis, inflammatory based diseases and even auto-immune disease. Although the use of bee by products are not currently approved by the FDA, the practice of apitherapy, the administration of bee products for disease and prevention, is widely accepted among alternative medicine practitioners.
With the apitherapist profession, a variety of treatments are administered. Because honey is a natural antibacterial, apitherapists will administer honey in wounds to prevent or destroy bacteria growth. By doing so, honey dehydrates the bacteria resulting in faster response in healing. In addition to honey, apitherapists will administer bee venom, most often by injection, to relieve inflammatory conditions such as arthritis or inflammatory disease and injury. Sports enthusiasts may seek the assistance of an apitherapist in the administration of honey, bee hive propolis and pollen as these items are primarily based of simple sugars providing immediate energy response either before or after an athletic event. For an anti-aging response, apitherapists often administer bee pollen for those seeking a natural alternative to reverse the signs of premature aging. The vitamin C of pollen, carried by bees to the hive, is known to also boost immune system responses. For nutritional responses, apitherapists provide bee products as both healthy meal replacements and natural dietary supplements.
Apitherapists are individuals from all walks of life. College students, acupuncturists, biologists, beekeepers, medical practitioners and, of course, naturopathic practitioners. To pursue a rewarding career, in alternative medicine, as an apitherapist, the first step would be to obtain the educational foundation of the program. For information on international educational programs, visit www.api-centre.ru. Once certification is obtained, working as a sole proprietor, within a health food store, nutritionist office, as a beekeeper and even a clinical setting are feasible options to the apitherapist.