Institute for Healing Arts Research : Director, Andrew Kochan, M.D.
Current Research Projects:

 All research at the Institute about the use of bee venom has been suspended for the time being because of an order from the FDA.

Dr. Kochan was told that they want an IND (Investigational New Drug) application completed, which is quite a lengthy process. Considering that bee venom is a substance which has been used for thousands of years by non-physicians and for which there is no control of the production process this seems rather obstructionist. In addition, it is already an accepted drug for the purposes of desensitization of people allergic to bee venom. Also it is not clear to Dr. Kochan that the FDA has jurisdiction over the use of bee venom since it is also in the Homeopathic Pharmacopeias as Apis mellifera and was grandfathered into the medical armamentarium by congress in the early 1900ís. It is Dr. Kochanís felling that the FDA has no jurisdiction in this case but the Institute does not have the resources at this time to contest the FDAís order.

The Institute sponsors ongoing research studies on several major pain-related clinical conditions that do not respond well to modern medicine. In keeping with the Institute's primary (but not exclusive) focus, the goals of these research projects are to explore the long-term safety and efficacy of promising, noninvasive or minimally invasive, alternative and non-drug treatments for relieving chronic, intractable pain.

Case Study of Bee Venom Therapy for Shingles Pain and Postherpetic Neuralgia

Over the past 15 years, Dr. Andrew Kochan has gained a broad understanding of the traditional use and clinical applications of apitherapy as well as emerging research on the therapeutic benefits of bee products. As the current President of the American Apitherapy Society, he recognizes the need to scientifically document both the strengths and limitations of apitherapy in treating a wide range of health conditions. He brings to the Institute his keen clinical observations (based on numerous success stories with his patients) and first-hand research experience in the rapidly growing field of apitherapy.

Despite the many successes of pharmacologic medicine, allopathic drugs are ineffective for relieving the unbearable pain of shingles. This condition is caused by the Herpes Zoster virus which is the same virus that causes chicken pox in children. Acyclovir (Zovirax®), Famciclovir (Famvir®,), and Valaciclovir (Valtrex®) are often used to treat the acute infection. However, these pharmaceuticals do not prevent shingles pain, or the postherpetic neuralgia which may occur in 10% of persons who have had shingles. As a result, most patients resort to pharmaceutical drugs, especially opiate medicines to lessen the pain. These patients may wind up in a vicious cycle of needing more and more medication as they try to relieve their suffering. In some cases, the side effects from opiate and other narcotic drugs may only worsen their condition.

There is an alternative solution. Scientific evidence suggests that treatment with injections of honey bee venom may be effective for relieving shingles pain. Dr. Andrew Kochan is one of a small group of health care professionals who has pioneered research in the field of integrative pain treatment for shingles. Since the 1990’s, he has made presentations at medical conferences regarding the efficacy of bee venom therapy for reducing shingles and postherpetic neuralgia pain.

Dr, Kochan is committed to furthering evidence-based research on this important issue. He is currently accepting participants for his ongoing shingles case study project. Individuals interesting in participating in the Shingles Pain Treatment Case Study Research Project studies should send Dr. Kochan a confidential email.

Bee Pollen and Hay Fever Case Study Research Project

Hay fever and pollen allergy season in southern California is not always limited to Spring or Fall, but instead, can last all year. Preliminary research suggests that bee pollen, when taken orally in doses that are increased slowly over time, may help desensitize some patients to pollen and relieve unpleasant symptoms of runny nose, sneezing, water and reddened eyes. Bee pollen is a safe and promising alternative treatment for hay fever.

Dr. Kochan and his assistant, Mr. Ray Seipel, M.A, are currently conducting case studies on the effects of bee pollen on patients with plant pollen allergies. For more information on participating in this study, please contact us.

Bee Venom and Arthritis Case Study Research Project

For thousands of years, traditional healers world-wide have touted the benefits of bee venom therapy for various types of arthritis. Building on this age-old knowledge, Dr. Kochan and Dr. Boris Ratiner MD, a rheumatologist based in Tarzana, are now collaborating on a study of the effects of bee venom on patients with osteoarthritis of the knee.

The Kochan-Ratiner research team is currently recruiting patients diagnosed with mild to moderate arthritis whose condition has not improved with anti-inflammatory medication or who have had adverse side effects from anti-inflammatory drugs. Early evidence shows that bee venom, when given in appropriate doses, reduces the swelling and pain of osteoarthritis of the knee in some patients. In addition, bee venom is usually free of unpleasant and dangerous side effects such as abdominal pain, nausea, indigestion, and diarrhea linked with the anti-inflammatory drugs like Celebrex® (celecoxib).

Anyone interested in participating or learning more about the nature of this study, what treatments are involved, what the commitment is, possible benefits and risks should contact Dr. Kochan at the Institute.

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