May Is Lyme Awareness Month

By Lorraine Hart

It’s May, and I find myself wanting to be on that grassy triangle at the Purdy traffic lights. This will be the first time in fifteen years I haven’t held our Washington Lyme Rally, holding my, “Lyme Lives Here” sign, and waving to the cars. I began the rallies on my own, earlier in Anna’s twenty-plus years of dealing with Borrelia etc, before she was officially diagnosed—and my frustration with medical politics has continued to make me (and those who have joined me) haul out signs yearly, and wave at passing people. I’m not Chicken Little, the sky is not falling, but the first epidemic of climate change is already here. As our planet warms, cases of vector-borne illnesses double, triple, and we don’t know enough. Our aim is always to reach out to our community with education, not wanting other families to face what we’ve had to, for decades now.

But this is the year of Covid-19 and, trust me, I take the social-distancing very seriously with Anna’s lack of immunities. Though it breaks my heart to cancel, we must. Now, that doesn’t mean I don’t still want to shout from every rooftop:

1.   Yes, there are ticks in Washington, and a good percentage of them carry diseases, both bacterial and viral. We have not responded to this crisis early enough! We need state-wide tick drags to gather statistics, and we need better testing. (That last phrase echoes weirdly in my brain)

2.   Education.

3.   Education.

4.   Education—from the general public, to doctors, nurses, and the rest of the medical system. It’s time to UN-learn the, “difficult to get, easy to cure” mantra of those who seek profit over care. Time to learn the truth about these diseases, their origins (Bitten, by Kris Newby is an education in itself) and how to help patients who really, truthfully, suffer. It’s time for a public-awareness program to teach prevention, and what to do when bitten (save that tick, much easier to test!). This could begin with a Proclamation, declaring May, every year, as “Lyme-Awareness Month” with public-service announcements, perhaps programs through the Parks Department.You won’t see us at the Purdy lights this year, but rest assured, we activists are still working on behalf of our communities.  We may not be able to get together in person, but we’re working on a Bill to present in Olympia.  Nothing but the facts, ma’am—we’re turning our backs on the politics, and presenting a Bill about educating Washingtonians on the basics of preventing tick bites, recognizing ticks, and symptoms of infections.  While we take care, specifically in this C-19 crisis, we still can’t stop trying to warn of the epidemic already creeping through the perfect climate of Washington today.

Gentle QiGong Practice for the BorreliaEtc Community

Update 2021: these classes have been discontinued due to strange new neurological symptoms I’ve been dealing with. If you are at all interested in learning more about Qigong please explore YouTube, there are many wonderful resources. Or send us a message at

AJ, Mum (my Caregiver), and I have been working on a gentle session of Qigong suited especially for the chronically ill.

Movements we explore:

  • Hip rotations
  • Shoulder flexes
  • Arms/Trunk stretch
  • Gathering and moving Qi through the lower dantien and the heart
  • LaChi brain cleanse with Qi Ball

If you are bedbound, let me ask you this: can you still close your eyes and use the power of your imagination? Think of raising your arms above your head, and move what is called your Light Body without any effort from your Physical Body. This will still move your energy around.

Make sure you have a chair or a bed close by so you can change positions when and if needed. These practices can all be done in bed, sitting down or standing up. You do what you can, nothing more.

Moving is a vital part to recovery, and I’ve not found anything else more suited to the healing process.

A couple of videos I’d love everyone in the BorreliaEtc Community to see are:


Viv is a BorreliaEtc patient and activist… but she fought for twenty years and without any recompense (spiritual or physical) she became burned out.  Then a friend mentioned Qigong to her and she was off on a quest of compassion.

Viv explains how she started to practice before she could move any part of her body and why that works. She also takes you through a little practice to relax the body.

If you have any questions please leave a comment below!

See you in the Qi field!


Qigong Sessions by Video

Qigong has been a game changer in my family’s health. My brother AJ brought us this lifestyle after turning his own life around..

He was a fast-paced urbanite living in NYC, selling high end furniture to some very big names. He had a lavish life until the 2008 financial crisis, when he lost almost everything and came out West to be closer to his family. The following depression he experienced was extremely difficult, but he turned his life back around by learning the premise and practice of Qigong.

What brought him so much joy of course had to be shared – our mother found benefit to her EDS with practice as did I for BorreliaEtc. I loved the basic moves, and then one day in mid-winter 2018 made me a “believer”of the whole healing package.

After having a seizure, or seizure-like episode, I was left unable to think nor speak. I couldn’t communicate with anyone, but I could imitate. I started following AJ in the breathing exercise, and just three deep breaths later I was able to think and converse again.

That was all the “proof” I needed.

AJ has been leading Qigong classes at a local athletic club, and now (especially good timing with COVID-19) he’s starting to offer video classes with

So please join these sessions if that pleases you! He will be available every morning (weekends too!) at 9:30a* for an Awaken Vitality session:

Zoom Meeting ID: 113-922-499

(No password needed)

On the android mobile app it will look like this:

All you need to do is download Zoom (a free app – just visit the Play/Apple Store. Also available on your browser) and click/tap “Join” to enter the Meeting ID Number.

There is a second daily meeting available at 4p* called “Qi & Tea ~ Let’s Talk” so we can discuss the focuses of Qigong and so AJ can answer any questions. This might be a time of learning a new move, or doing a simple, guided practice… but it will not be intended for serious practice.

Those with chronic illnesses will absolutely want to join this later discussion and feel the gentle welcome to Qigong without being thrown into a full session that might be too demanding (at first) for a body that is seeking health and wellness. And if we get the interest from people with BorreliaEtc AJ may make another meeting specifically for us. 🙂 We’ll see how the Universe unfolds.

Qi & Tea; Let’s Talk! (4p)

Zoom Meeting ID: 391-063-607

Password: 034453

If you want to talk to AJ directly please email him at


*Pacific time zone always, if you are elsewhere in the world please contact us so we can figure out what time for you!

Picnic is tomorrow!

Harts Of Lyme is happy to be sponsoring WA’s 17th Annual Potluck Picnic for those who live with BorreliaEtc, complex chronic illnesses and their families/caregivers!

We’ve booked Wapato Park, the Main Picnic Area for the 2nd Saturday of September. This is an absolutely beautiful park in South Tacoma; if you’ve never been before you are in for a treat!

Tucked away in lots of trees and behind a waterfall is a lake with a level ground to walk around, a children’s playground, an off-leash dog park, walking trails – there’s even a dock for fishing! (No licence required!)

We have Pranayama Yoga, Qigong and Meditation practitioners among us, I’m sure you’ll find something you enjoy and relate to!

As normal, all we truly “plan” for is an afternoon of relaxation, conversation, support and sharing with wonderful people and equally wonderful food.

There is no cost to attend; if you wish to donate towards next year’s picnic there will be a donation box but it is entirely voluntary.

Important details:

Who: patients with chronic, complex illnesses and those who support them (family, friends, medical professionals, other interested community supporters and even well-behaved four-legged friends).

What: The 17th Annual Lyme in WA Picnic (a potluck) sponsored by Harts of Lyme (patient Anna and her parents Lorraine and Matt).
This is a special event for the Community at large to gather one more time before winter settles in, it’s a low-key social gathering.

If you have any questions or concerns, please leave a comment or email me!

This picnic is a potluck, and we are a community who live with a TON of dietary restrictions, but that has never stopped delicious food!
With your dish please make a list of your ingredients, this information should accompany your potluck contribution on the table.

Please try to AVOID the following ingredients:





We look forward to your delightful dishes! Many thanks in advance.
Some may want to ask for recipes (it’s happened before, we are talking of a very imaginative community!) so you may want to bring a notebook.
Please bring your own beverages (important note: alcoholic beverages are not allowed in parks). The Harts will bring water.

The shelter is reserved with minimal seating and tables. Please bring your own chairs and/or blankets to make yourselves as comfortable as possible.
Do you have extra supplements that you don’t need or old books you’d like to pass on? Please bring anything Lyme-related to the park for others, we will happily set up a Give Away table.
(With supplements, please check expiration dates.)

Thank you in advance for helping and supporting others!

Please don’t bring:

Picnic supplies, such as plates, napkins, table cloths and utensils. We’ll supply all of those.

To maintain a comfortable and safe environment for all, this is a fragrance free event. This means please refrain from wearing any perfumes, scented body-products and scented clothing (from laundry detergent to soaps and shampoos).
No smoking or vaping of any kind will be allowed at this event.

You are more than welcome to take photos (please ask people you don’t know for their preference) but we do ask that you do not record near the pavilion nor the circle. lf you want to do a Facebook Live or IG (etc), there are beautiful trails to walk just a bit away from the shelter, and there is a gorgeous lake to walk around.
To maintain a relaxing environment for our guests loud music, noisy games, sports equipment or the like will not be allowed.
The weather in the Puget Sound region of Washington State is lovely in September. Upper 60’s – lower 70’s and partly cloudy. Perfect for a BorreliaEtc picnic!
We look forward to another year!

Adverse Childhood Events (ACEs)

The topic of Adverse Childhood Events is extremely important and relevant in our community.

Dr. Burke Harris says very simply: when you, as a child, are exposed continually to traumatic events the hormones always in play can physically alter your growth.

If you have one ACE, you’re more likely to develop illness as an adult. If you have 4, those odds shoot up.

Some ACEs are:

  • Physical Abuse
  • Sexual abuse
  • Neglect (physical, emotional)
  • Seeing a family member get abused
  • A family member in jail
  • Divorce
  • A family member struggling with substance abuse

My score is 3. I wonder how my childhood paved the way for my immune system to not handle disease well when I was bitten by ticks.

I was watching this YouTube:

It grabs my attention because Dr. Burke talked about how Lyme disease intrigued her.

*sits up straight*

Did I just hear that right?

The CG had the same look, so yep, I heard that right! She said Lyme disease. She even named the causative bacterium correctly!

I had to put up a comment. I even forgot to change from my old gmail to BorreliaEtc. But this got me thinking and I tend to forget “little” things like that.

I was intrigued when Dr. Burke started talking about Lyme disease being a topic of interest to her (given that a cluster of kids with RA in the same area of Connecticut were found to have the same exposure to disease-carrying ticks). But just like there isn’t just one adverse childhood event on the list, ticks don’t carry only one bacterium. They carry far more than the one bacterium Dr Burke Harris mentioned. Not only are there other types of Borrelia than B burgdorferi – there’s Ehrlichia, Babesia, Rickettsia, Bartonella and more.

So bringing this conversation back to ACEs – before I was 18 I was traveling, and while camping I was bitten by two ticks. I got sick in a matter of days, very sick. I went to my doctor upon getting home. I was so nauseated that I couldn’t keep water down; I threw up every day for 6 months straight. My doctor diagnosed me with heartburn and later I found out he mentioned bulimia in his records. Those appointments were hard on me and I often left in tears.

I had a very real, PHYSICAL problem and was ridiculed by my doctor as an attention-seeking problem girl.

I already had an alcoholic parent, divorce, and emotional neglect on my ACEs score (3). But I’m curious if the doctor’s abuse would be another point?

This topic has brought a whole new level of awareness to my family (my mother and her siblings have 7-9 ACEs scores) and we have Dr Burke’s book. But we do wonder if there is something that might be done for adults that have experienced this, like myself. (I turn 39 in December.) I love the work being done on kids and do hope to see meditation being taught/practised in schools once day just like the epilogue in her book says. But what do we do about the here and now? I and my family have a number of health problems.

Doubt if it’ll get a response, but I’ll never know if I don’t try. Oh, and sorry for the repeats here.


This was a brilliant read from

From ‘s newsletter, this is focusing on energy in the healing process and is a really good read. Sometimes the most simple information is what smacks the hardest between the eyes.

Qigong has been THE most helpful practice (some will say exercise, but that isn’t quite the right word) for my physical, emotional and mental needs. Understanding life-force energy: Qi (or Chi, it’s spelled a couple different ways but said the same) and the way it is integrated into the fabric of the Universe is extremely helpful for healing.

I hope you enjoy reading!

Happy Month of June!

As I mentioned in my last email a few days ago… everything in the Universe is made of the same thing — energy.

Behind all forms of energy finding a unique expression is the formless creative source energy of the Universe. When energy gets expressed in unhealthy patterns we call disease or trauma, we can bring these energies into a state of health (freely flowing harmonized energy) through simple movement practices, sounds, and visualizations with energy healing practices.

Over the course of the next few emails I hope to begin to outline some of the essential teachings of Wisdom Healing Qigong for activating the natural healthy condition. The healing techniques can apply to a particular personal condition, a condition of another person, or a condition in your workplace or the world.

The purpose of Qigong energy healing is to unblock and release the healing power within you and amplify the exchange of life force energy (chi/qi) between you and the Universe. When we bring balance to the energies of our being and the energy of the Universe, we create harmony within ourselves.

Whether you are new to energy-based healing or have been working with energy as a therapist, doctor, or Qigong student, whether you are sick or healthy, we trust both the theory and the practices will bring great benefit to your life and all that you care deeply about.

The beauty of Zhineng Wisdom Healing Qigong’s approach to healing is that nothing is isolated — nothing is excluded, everything belongs. We encourage you to integrate the techniques, practices, and insights from Qigong-style healing with your existing medical and spiritual approach to healing. It all belongs.

Another essential understanding is the Wisdom Healing Qigong principle that we are all in this together. Again, nothing is isolated. So, as you experiment with the teachings, movements, meditations, and sounds, imagine being connected with all of us doing the same… and together we will activate even more energy for each other’s healing efforts!

All of your previous spiritual practices and experiences can be integrated into these understandings. One does not need to ‘convert’ in order to participate and benefit. You can discover how this Wisdom Healing Qigong expression of wisdom adds to your understanding of energetic healing, and then utilize these healing technologies in conjunction with your own specific healing and spiritual methodologies, such as yoga, Reiki, meditation, rituals, prayer, etc. On the other hand, you can start from scratch with this fresh perspective and allow your belief to evolve from your experiences.

More about Qigong, Health, and Energy Flow

When we are healthy and happy our energy is flowing freely in a state of balance, integration, and harmony. The energy associated with our being flows both within and around the body. The energy of our being is intricately interwoven with the creative life force energy of the Universe. Understanding our relationship with this energy, foundational to all of creation, we can seed our own future, initiate our own well-being, and activate our own divine potential and the divine blueprint of life around us.

Disease and dysfunction show up when the energy of any system is out-of-balance. This appears as stagnation, blockage, or in some other significant way. Whether the condition is a dis-ease in your body, such as cancer, Parkinson’s or Multiple Sclerosis, or exists on a larger scale, like the societal problem of prisons, the healing process is the same. We bring the full power of the creative energy of the Universe deep into the interior of the blocked energy by providing energy to this system with a revitalized purpose: the transformation into its natural potential — a healthy, happy, balanced state of freely flowing energy.

When we supplement practice with the transmission of harmonious information (theory and science), we amplify the healing energy’s penetration deep into our molecular structure and deliberately provide a new framework for the transformational process. Integrating the wisdom of the mind, body and spirit, we learn both to generate this new energy and information as well as receive and share it.

Utilizing the Capacity of Consciousness

“Where the mind goes, energy flows” is the operating principle and power behind Wisdom Healing Qigong healing. We use our mind, body movement, visualization, Inner Smile practices, and sound vibration in an integrated manner. Therefore it is important to understand that the purpose of each of these techniques, is to help the mind concentrate and remain focused. Each technology supports the mind by giving a positive frequency to the energy and to the mental information that it is directing. Along the way you will enjoy many positive side effects.

Using our mind (consciousness), we can send our thoughts anywhere, deep into the cells of our organs’ tissues or even deep into the cells of society’s prisons. With our consciousness, we can direct energy anywhere within ourselves and within our world.

All things come and go. The processes of accumulation and dissolution are the natural patterns of energy, just as ice melts to water and then evaporates to steam. We have the power to alter and magnify these processes by using our minds to give neutral energy (known as Huan Yin chi), a purpose and direction.

With strong intention and concentration, we can use our minds to move energy, shifting its state of being, and thus dissolving and dispersing any stuck or sticky energy.

This process of intention and concentration trains the mind to have flexibility beyond our narrow five sensory perception.

We develop an energetic awareness that calms the mind’s tendencies to jump from thought to thought: “What about this? What about that? What about my story? What’s happening with my diagnosis?”

Using detailed imagery and visualization, we begin to perceive like an MRI machine functions — going through all the layers of our being — choosing where we wish to focus our minds on a particular layer in the body, and cultivating the ability to hold the image of health in our mind stream effortlessly.

Soon, the sense of energetic wholeness, the sense of energetic perfection, will become second nature and automatically arise every time you practice.

Energetic Fields

Energetic fields are all around us, and to a large extent, we participate in them unconsciously. Examples of energetic fields include gravity, family habits, and a crowd at a ball game.

Wisdom Healing Qigong uses the phrase “a chi field” to represent the formless energy organized around certain teachings and practices. A chi field is beyond the constraints of space and time, beyond feelings, beyond labels, and beyond physical perceptions.

The quality of a chi field is the accumulative experiences and aspirations of all of its participants, the wisdom and realization of its leader(s), and the generosity of its purpose to benefit all life. All of this energy is available for our healing transformation and awakening.

One of the most precious gifts of Wisdom Healing Qigong technology is the practice of organizing, activating, and cultivating the collective chi field of healing, wellbeing, longevity, and spiritual growth.

I’ll close for now, and share more about the chi field and how it works in my next email tomorrow!

Radiant blessings to you,

Sallena Pool | Director of Operations & Communications | The Chi Center

On behalf of Master Mingtong Gu, Founder of The Chi Center for Wisdom Healing Qigong, headquartered near Santa Fe, New Mexico

#Qigong #energy #BorreliaEtc

There But Not There

My caregiver took this video of me after vaso vagal syncope hit – pulse went down into the low 50’s (edit: my caregiver informed me the day after I posted this that it went lower, into the 40’s) everything went blurry slowly and then started to swim in front of my eyes.

The next thing I knew I was “waking up” on the couch with the CG’s voice calling me back from wherever I went. In the past I would go out for 60 seconds or maybe 90 seconds.. but the CG said this one lasted about 10 minutes until I was back and talking to her. Quietly talking; it was hard to push my voice up to audible tones.

Now I’m back in bed. Each limb feels like it weighs several thousand pounds. I can communicate but more by text than by speaking.

May is Lyme Awareness Month. It’s Spring and ticks are coming out of the brush, climbing the grass and are dangling their legs, questing for a mammal or lizard to come by so it can climb aboard and have a meal.

This hasn’t been a problem for many centuries as this is a way that nature culls the human herd. But after Borrelia was studied and used as a bio weapon with no regard for the overall consequences, problematic cases have popped up.

Then there was the discovery of “Lyme disease” in the 1970’s — but that is from Borrelia burgdorferi, one of the 3 hundreds of types of Borrelia known to us.

Besides Borrelia there is Bartonella, Babesia, Ehrlichia, Anaplasma, Mycoplasma, Rikettsia, Tularemia, etc etc etc

(This is why I’ve defaulted to “BorreliaEtc” even when Borrelia is such a small part of the problem.)

So what gets to my brain and shuts everything down? Wish I knew. I can tell you it’s scary. Quite sobering to see the recording of me there, but not there.

Saturday 4 May our family will be out by the ‘Welcome to Purdy!’ sign, and we welcome anyone who wants to join, or even stop by for a little bit!

Why do we do this year after year?

Tick numbers aren’t decreasing, in fact in recent years we’ve seen significant increases. Disease reports have increased as well. More people are seeking support through this battlefield of illness.

So we come out to remind you to be prepared.

Many species of ticks live here in the Pacific Northwest; each type carries their own risk of different infections.

Be prepared even in your own front and back yards. We are seeing the effects of climate change on ticks – it’s good news for them, bad for us. Ticks are being found further north than ever before. Temperatures don’t go low enough during the winter, any more, for them to seek shelter, they love the mild winters we are having.

The numbers of disease are rising at an alarming rate, yet “Lyme” is still used as a punchline in sitcoms.

The narrative around Vector-Borne Diseases needs to change. So we rally. We talk with people. We share what wisdom we can.

You can show your support! Do you have a shirt or pants that have the color lime green in them? If so, PLEASE wear them this month! You are showing support to a community that is millions strong and worldwide. It will be much appreciated.

You are welcome to pull into the parking lot to say hello, tell us your story and/or ask us any questions.

If you can’t leave your car, please show your support for your neighbors and WAVE or HONK your horns — we’ll be at the Spit from 2-4p.

This year we are donating Tick Ease tools to our Fire Department, our free clinic, our veterinarian, the local nursery, and a professor who teaches nursing students… if we can think of anyone else we will try and provide for them the best tick removal tool we have so far.

We want our community to be as safe as possible and not go through what we do.

For every picture and video that I have of me walking Saathee, playing with her, training, etc… it costs me. It costs mental and physical energy that leaves me exhausted after.

I wouldn’t wish this experience on anyone.

Increase of Borrelia Statistics

The Global Lyme Alliance just shared that:

The latest CDC data indicates that there are more than 427,000 new cases of Lyme disease in the U.S. each year. This is a 30% increase in just one year.

(My emphasis.)

The mice told us from their 2015-16 increase in numbers that tick numbers would increase dramatically by 2017… and with the help of climate change, more tick numbers and species are surviving across the world in places they couldn’t before.

Please, please read Mary Beth Pfeiffer’s book Lyme Disease: The First Epidemic of Climate Change ( for more specific information with resources.

Advocates braced ourselves for one helluva year. We are still trying to sort out this new community landscape; I’ve met more people suffering here in WA State in 2017-18 than I knew in my first 5 YEARS of advocating here put together. The calls, emails, and messages haven’t slowed down now that it’s 2019.

At the least we are still trying to process what is happening in our own bodies and minds, while still helping others with every last bit of energy we have.

It’s exhausting. Think of having maybe 3 spoons left on any given day… what would you spend them on?

Walking in a Real Winter Wonderland

It’s spring (!) some people said. They pointed to warmer temperatures and some flowers blooming in January. The CG (read: Caregiver) and I both said, hang on, it’s not yet February and you’re ready to declare Spring? I know we are headed that way but not there yet!

It just happened to be the day Papa Matt and I are headed into Tacoma to pick up puppy. Thankfully the vehicle is safe for winter travel and we made it home without incident. It’s been months since we had her, my back is taking a while to heal and I have to start some physical therapy. I’m just so happy to snuggle with my baby. My now 1 year old baby!! Feb 28th will be a year since bringing her home.

I’m over the moon to begin with, puppy is very excited and this was showing her a brand new trail Papa cut in the back of the property!

And man there’s a lot of snow. Good thing I have awesome new boots that keep my feet warm. (Thank you Papa!)

Hopefully the snow melts soon so we can plan some socialization adventures. Forecast is saying chance of snow for nearly a week. So, fingers crossed.

Ok. Night night.