Healing Herpes With Self-Love
by: Christopher Ricardo Scipio
When I was a boy we lived in the Ghettoes of Toronto, Canada. We had just immigrated from Trinidad and Tobago. My mother struggled to raise four of us on a waitress’ salary. There was chaos and self-destruction all around us. Many of my playmates are no longer among the living. But none of this touched us- we were living a different life. My mother was a church-lady. She was strong and resilient and strict. All of us grew up in the church. The church kept us insulated from most of the horrors of poverty.
The church still has it’s influence on me. I feel it and walk it everyday and I am happy for it. I learned about love in the church. Not the love you see on TV and in the movies- a bigger love, a deeper love. That’s the one sermon from our Jamaican female pastor that I remember the most. When I was 13 she spoke about love. Jesus was all about love, he was love, he is love.
Bryan Ferry from Roxy music sings “Love is the drug that I need to score”. I disagree, I don’t believe that love is a drug- an intoxicant. That sounds more like infatuation to me. I believe that love is a medicine. The Medicine. For those of us in the sixty percent or more of the population with the herpes simplex virus Love is the most powerful healing tool.
Sarah Mclachlan who went to my alma mater-The Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, sings “Your love is better than ice cream, better than anything I’ve ever had”. I would sing instead that “My love is better than valtrex, better than famvir or anything I’ve ever had”.
Don Miguel Ruiz writes that “healing requires the truth, forgiveness and self-love. With these three points the whole world will heal”. I will write about all three in this brief piece.
First the truth. Sixty percent or more of the population has herpes. It’s not the 20 or 25% figure thrown out by many who wish to downplay the true impact of the herpes pandemic. In a way it’s a cynical attempt to divide the herpes nation between those who get sores on their mouth and face from those who get sores on their genitals. It provides a flimsy excuse for people with cold sores to pretend it’s not herpes, to not get treatment and not to try and prevent others from being infected. Herpes is herpes- it’s one of the few things scientists and us in the holistic healing community agree on. Figures very widely but it cannot be disputed that between 50 and 80% of the population has herpes simplex 1 and between 20 and 25% of the population has herpes simplex 2, so if you factor in the number of people who have both types, the minimum number of people who have herpes simplex has to be at least 60% and is likely more. This is important because the message needs to get out to people with herpes that they are not part of some marginalized minority. If you have herpes you are part of a herpes nation that is a majority of the population. It is common and normal to have herpes. It is becoming uncommon not to have herpes. It is long past time for people with herpes to come out of the closet and speak up about herpes to help educate the people who don’t have herpes and to put a human face on this disease. The stigma only exists because of the shame people with herpes have agreed to carry. There is no need for this, no reason for this. Shame is not a product of love.
It makes no sense to me to be ashamed of getting a virus from an act of lovemaking or kissing rather than getting a disease from self-abuse or catching an air-borne virus from riding on a subway train. Some people do not love sex and therefore wish to denigrate anything that has to do with sex especially sexually transmitted infections. I learned a long time ago in church that true love is accepting and forgiving and inclusive. People with herpes are not lepers and need not allow themselves to be treated like lepers.
The truth is also that there is no cure for herpes and one isn’t likely in our lifetime. So herpes is a lifelong viral infection. The truth is that most people who have herpes don’t know it because they have never had a type-specific blood test for herpes either out of fear or lack of awareness. (Herpes tests are not normally part of a STI screening panel, so unless you demand one you may never get one) The truth is that people with herpes can be contagious even when there are no warning signs of the virus being active so safer sex is something that ought to be considered. The truth is that a person with herpes who does not make peace with the emotional and mental consequences of having herpes will not be able to manage their herpes as effectively as someone who does regardless of how much valtrex or famvir they take.
Forgiveness. Some people with herpes are still angry and resentful with the person who infected them. I can understand this because I hear so many stories. So many people are infected by people who didn’t warn them of their herpes status. Many people are infected by unfaithful partners. Some have been raped.
It’s natural to be angry and bitter when given a life-sentence like herpes. It took me a long time to let go of my negative feelings about my own infection. Everyone is living their own distinct experience with herpes. But I say most sincerely that sooner or later and I hope that it’s sooner, there must come a time to forgive and let go if you want to be healthy with herpes. Hanging on to the negative feelings not only damages you physically and otherwise often causing more outbreaks, but it binds you to the past, which you will never free yourself from until you forgive.
Forgive the person who gave you herpes if you can. And if you cannot, keep trying until you can. But more importantly forgive yourself. I treat so many people in my holistic herpes clinic who are continually punishing themselves for having herpes. They are angry at themselves thinking that they could have been smarter-full of regret and self recriminations. This is not love. Love forgives, love understands.
Be good to yourself, be gentle and loving and patient as if you were your own child. Forgive yourself and reclaim your self-esteem and self-love.
Do you love yourself? Do you really? If you have herpes and love yourself how would you act? Would you be ashamed of your herpes? Would you stop dating and deny yourself love and sex just because you have herpes? Would you be sitting in a vortex of anger and resentment towards the virus? Or would you life be all about love and peace and balance?
If you loved yourself- how would you eat? Would you smoke cigarettes and take recreational drugs, would you drink coffee knowing that it’s a trigger for your herpes and bad for your health all the way around?
If you loved yourself and loved others would you practice safer sex with a condom and/or anti-viral gel to help protect your loved one/s from your herpes, would you practice safer sex to protect yourself from other sexually transmitted infections? Would you perhaps be motivated to speak out and try to educate others on how to deal with herpes if they have it or how to protect themselves from herpes if they don’t, especially the young people who are just starting to explore their sexuality? If you loved yourself would you be afraid to warn your sex partners about your herpes status? The bible says that “true love casteth out all fear”.
You were born with the right to be happy and to enjoy your life and your health to the fullest, having herpes changes none of this.
Holistic Herpes Treatment Specialist
My First Year With My "Friend" Herpes Or How I Was Re-Born A Modern-Day Leper
by: Christopher Scipio
It was 1990, I was 24 years old and I didn’t think my life could get any worse. I had just finished college and my financial situation was worse than dire. The country was in the midst of an economic depression. A long dismal winter had just given up the ghost and to top it all off I was in the middle of a horrific break-up with a vengeful girlfriend.
Of course it was pathetically naive of me to think that life couldn’t get any worse and life wasted no time proving that fact. My relationship with this beautiful, vivacious, urbane woman had begun most promisingly. We had courted very romantically by letter and phone for six months before ever getting together. I was still at University when we first met and we were separated by a distance of about 1200 miles. We started off as friends and the love between us grew slowly with all the optimism and passion expected with us both being in our twenties. Sadly, what was so wonderful by distance was a nightmare close up. When my classes ended and I flew down to move in with her it took no time at all for things to go very very wrong. Our sex life was hot despite the fact told me she had Herpes. She told me that she could tell when she was getting an outbreak and as long as we refrained from having sex at those times, it was cool for us to have a natural unprotected sex life. I believed her, and she certainly sincerely believed that to be the case as well. She had only very recently gotten the disease herself from a man she had casually slept with and who didn’t tell her he was infected.
We got along in bed much better than we ever did out of bed. The tall beautiful fair-skinned princess and her Tall, Black dread-locked artist. The sad fact was that we didn’t get along at all. Instead of creating harmony we created war. And I must say that I am to blame for much it. I was at a time in my life where my tolerance for certain things was very low and I was very angry about how the world was treating me and I certainly didn’t enjoy the treatment I was receiving from my beloved- but I definitely contributed more than my fair share to the discord. Once we were in the same space together the chemistry between us was bad, bad, bad. The relationship ended after a mercifully short time leaving us scattered, raw and dumb-founded.
Two days after the notorious breakup we were reunited by a particularly cruel twist of fate. Less than 48 hours after swearing I would never see her again I was sitting beside her in the waiting room of a hospital. She was looking at me with a combination of guilt, sadness and white-hot enmity. I didn’t know how to feel or what to say to her. I was floating around out in space trying to get a grip on the situation.
You see dear readers I was in the midst of what I would later find out to be my first Herpes outbreak. It has started out as an itchy irritation on my foreskin but had quickly turned into a raging swelling colony of tiny lesions and I was overwhelmed by pain and all the flu-like symptoms typical of first outbreaks. I had no idea what was happening to me. I do remember hoping at the time that it was anything but Herpes or AIDS. I would have even considered syphilis or gonorrhea to have been preferable. The doctors said they couldn’t tell what it was that I had and had insisted that my ex-girlfriend of two days come in with me so we could both be tested at the same time.
Even though we both hated each other at the time- and I’m sure she still does today, I remember feeling sorry for her. I knew even then that if it proved true that she had given Herpes to me, she would have been devastated too. So there we were with all those mixed emotions dreading the worse and hoping for the best.
Of course the doctor’s tormented us by making us wait about a week before the test results would be back. They had taken a swab of my lesions and sent it off somewhere. When the phone call eventually came in the news was good. I had tested negative for Herpes. The doctors said they still didn’t know what it was that I had, that possibly it was just an infection of my foreskin from having rough sex. I was over the moon with relief and wasted no time in calling Her to tell her the good news. For one brief moment we actually had something positive to share together. That test result was a big reprieve for both of us. Sadly, and once again ironically, it turned out only to be a reprieve for one of us.
To her credit she had been upfront with me. At the time I really had no idea what the implications and risks were. I was however prepared to take the risk, I just had no idea that this would literally be a very ironic last interaction in what had been the worst relationship both of us would ever have in our lives.
I went on with my life and forgot all about Herpes. But Herpes didn’t forget about me, not for a second. I got another outbreak two months later and then another one a month later. It was angry as hell and I stormed into a different hospital demanding to know what was wrong with me. At this hospital the doctors were more competent and took one look at my penis and told me that it was obvious that I had Herpes. They confirmed this with their own cotton swab test- there was not blood test for Herpes in Canada available at this point in history. They told me that false negatives were common for Herpes because if there wasn’t enough virus present on the skin at the time of the test, then you would get a negative result even though you had Herpes. They told me there was nothing they could do for me and that I would have this disease for life and that my sex life would never be the same. I wanted to call my ex-love and blast her for what had happened. And even though she at the time was wrecking vengeance against me by trying to destroy my career and telling everyone who would listen how badly I had treated her, I didn’t have the heart to throw this in her face. So I have never told her that she gave me Herpes and I’ll never tell her.
I do not possess the power to describe the world of pain and shame the eventual diagnosis of Herpes would thrust me into. In many ways I felt like my life was truly over. I felt dirty in a way that I had never experienced before. Just saying the word Herpes sent a chill thorough my whole body. The doctors were cold and unsympathetic. I couldn’t discuss this with anyone in my conservative West-Indian family even though we were otherwise close. I didn’t have anyone to talk to. Strange fatalistic fantasies went through my mind all day long, day after day. The mere thought of having to tell someone that I had this thing made me want to run for the cover of enforced celibacy.
I felt cursed like some Old Testament character. Sure I had been an asshole, not unlike most men my age, but I had definitely not been enough of an asshole to deserve to be punished by the Gods this way. This was definitely overkill in all meanings of the word.
My first realization after being able to admit to myself that I had Herpes was that it was forever. No matter what I did or who I became I was never going to be a “whole” person. That I was “marked” for life. That I had joined an outcast caste. I was one of the many modern day lepers- those sad morally challenged people with Herpes. I was a victim and I sure didn’t like the feeling. What a burden to have to carry all the rest of my life.
Yes, I was now one of them. But I had no real idea of what being one of them really meant. To find out would take years and many experiences both liberating and devastating.
Why am I telling you all of this? Part of it is narcissism to be sure. It’s human nature to want your story preserved somewhere in the ether and this is my way of making sure that some people know what happened to me and how I felt about it. But the larger part of my motivation is for my own rehabilitation. I refuse to be a victim to this disease and to society’s mean, irrational fear and loathing of those of us who are stricken with sexually transmitted diseases. I wasn’t living a high-risk lifestyle- I got my herpes in the context of a monogamous relationship. But even if I had been doing high-risk activities, I in no way deserve to be scorned or ostracized because of it. The worst place to be when you have Herpes is in the closet. If you want to feel like a leper and allow others to treat you like one, be my guest, but I am determined not to live like that. Instead of being imprisoned by this disease, I’ve decided to free myself. I am no longer afraid of saying the word and letting people know that I am one of “them”. I have Herpes but Herpes doesn’t have me. I am at peace with the virus and the virus is at peace with me. I am at peace with my place in this world and I have discovered the joy of encouraging others to liberate themselves from the stigma.
In part two of this Story- “Nine Years in the Wildness: My Personal and Professional Quest for a Holistic Herpes Treatment Plan, I will chronicle how I transitioned from being a victim of Herpes to being a Holistic Herpes Treatment Specialist and a Herpes spokesperson. I was able to turn the biggest negative in my life to one of the biggest positives in my life and the journey is just beginning. We are truly living in a Herpes Nation with 60% or more of the general population in North America having either type one or type two Herpes.
About The Author
Christopher Scipio is a homeopath and herbalist with over twenty years of experience. For the past 14 years he has been a holistic viral specialist specializing in the holistic treatment of herpes. His approach which he has had the benefit of proving in his clinic and private practice is simple, effective and without side effects.
Visit Chris' Site
The Immune System in Herpes Infections
Herpes Immune System
The human immune system is an elegant, extremely complex molecularly intricate system but can be viewed simply as the main component of the body's defense system which includes the cells, the electrochemical circuits of the brain, the endocrine glands and the immune system. Although these have been named and investigated as if each was independent, each of the components is integrally and intricately intertwined. In fact, viewed from a molecular level, each is part of a singular control system. If this sounds unbelievable, just think about getting a cold, where the immune system creates fever, aches, and increased sleep; the brain causes sadness and/or depression and the endocrine glands cause a decreased appetite and increased fatigue and sleep. There are, of course, many other symptoms associated with each part of the control circuit, but they are all initiated by the intrusion of a foreign invader, the cold virus (which includes rhinoviruses and adenoviruses, one of which has now been implicated in obesity in animals), into the body and its recognition of something that is foreign.
One might ask, why are some people prone to infections with viruses and other foreign invaders? The answers are both legion and complex but can be simplified by the oft quoted phrase, "nature and nurture". In fact, the groundwork for protection from susceptibility to invasion resides in your genes. The immune response genes provide an obstacle against invasion but each obstacle is defective and will allow some invaders to breach the barrier untouched. Were that not enough, a major aspect of our defenses against invasion resides in our lifestyle choices. Adequate sleep, exercise, enjoying life, eating well, and not "sweating the small stuff" empower the defense. The converse including inadequate sleep, a sedentary lifestyle, overeating, troubled relationships and family life, including loss and any form of stress, as well as recreational drugs including alcohol, among others, weaken your defense circuit(s).
Consider your defense circuits as a scale:
Scale for Dr. Keller's Immune System
All aspects of life that empower the circuits (+) increase the obstacles to invasion.
All aspects or choices which weaken the circuits (-) decrease the obstacles to invasion.
Herpes as the Invader
There are two things to consider when discussing all Herpes Viruses which include HSV1 (cold sores) and HSV2 (genital), although 20% of mouth sores are HSV2 and an equal percentage of genital lesions are HSV1, Chickenpox, Epstein-Barr Virus, HHV6, called Roseola (the initial infection) and HHV8 which causes Kaposi's Sarcomas, a form of skin cancer, among others. The first is that human defense circuits cannot eradicate the herpes virus due to a defect in human response genes. SO, ONCE IS FOREVER! The second relates to lifestyle such that strengthening the circuit(s) protects against, while weakening the circuit(s) promotes invasion. With Herpes Simplex 1 and 2, the elements that promote rather than protect against invasion also are the cornerstones of recurrences. At first, this may appear as a black cloud, but there is a silver lining. YOU can do many things to protect yourself even if you, as most, were caught unaware by this unwelcome invader. These include living a healthy lifestyle, having your physician check your hormone balance including thyroid function with Triodothionine (T3), DHEA, testosterone, and estrogen levels in both women and men. WHAT! Yes, testosterone in all of us empowers while estrogen weakens the defense circuit(s). There are different levels in male and female, which are age dependent, but with similar functions regardless of sex! These are but simple guidelines and further information can be found on the website.
Well, if you have done all of the above but still want to tip the scale further, congratulations! There is more that everyone can do. We live in a stressful polluted environment and must counteract these potential enemy (virus) collaborators; this can be achieved by various supplements. Below, I will list a few of the more important supplements which empower the defense circuit(s).
A wealth of information is found within this website. Reference is made to increasing the amino acid, Lysine, and limiting, but not eliminating, Arginine. These are both amino acids, which function as building blocks for cells and empower the defense circuits, in a balanced hormonal environment but, WAIT, THERE'S MORE!!
Vitamins, Antioxidants, and Minerals
Increasing glutathione, the most prevalent antioxidant in human, empowers all the defense circuit(s)
Replacing the sleeping hormone, melatonin, which is used up by age thirty-five and faster if you are stressed
Adding 5 HTP (5 hydroxytryptophane) as the two combined will not only promote restful sleep, but increase levels of serotonin and prevent depression
A quality multivitamin, multi mineral, antioxidant, which is in conformity with the IOM (Institute of Medicine) not the RDA (recommended daily allowance) standards to replace all the things we do not get from over processed or fast food
A quality probiotic, to replace the normal bacteria in the intestines where 30% of the entire immune system resides, to prevent the overgrowth of yeast, promote proper absorption of food and supplements, and limit yeast production- especially when taking antibiotics from your physician and/or food market
A quality source of calcium and magnesium (2:1) containing vitamin D3, boron and vitamin K to strengthen your bones AND your defense circuit(s)
If you are allergic, and 15%-20% of us are, avoid the problems and seek treatment, as allergies cripple your defense circuit.
Written by R.H Keller MD FACP AAHIV's