This past year has seen many devastating fire regions that have created added challenges to health and welfare. I still remember the shocking news in June of the fires in Portugal. They were so fast and converged together that 65 people lost their lives, many in their cars on the roadways trying to escape! So rarely do forest fires take so many people’s lives. In Greenland, a huge landmass mostly covered with ice and permafrost, they had unusual and unprecedented fires of melted peat bogs. In the United States it was considered to be the most expensive firefighting year to date. Some of the largest fires were the Lodgepole Complex Fire in Montana during July as well as the La Tuna Fire in Los Angeles in September although the damage to homes was relatively low. Overall California’s fires were disastrous and the most recent December fires forced many to evacuate and destroyed over 1,300 structures. The state will have an economic toll of over $180 billion dollars.
In my home province of British Columbia the fires this year set records with the largest area burnt in a single fire season, the most number of evacuees, and the single largest fire ever recorded in the province. Over 39,000 people were evacuated from their homes and 30,000 cattle were at risk. Not to mention many household pets that were left at home and could not be rescued due to roadblocks. Over 300 buildings including homes, barns and commercial structures were destroyed. So many people have to start all over and rebuild their lives.
I was home in Vancouver in August and the sky appeared like a vision of an apocolypse. There was an orange dusky tinge to the night sky and the moon was blood red. I was standing waiting for my taxi looking up and thinking, “Whoa, that is not normal, what in the world is going on?” For the next week I could not see the blue sky although there was not a single cloud up there, daylight was like it was dusk or dawn but all day and the sun was bright orange while the moon was bright red. The air of course was filled with particulates and smoke and although I did have difficulty breathing, I did not try to exert myself and yet I noticed I was more tired than normal. What I really noticed during this month long visit was how this normally Temperate Rainforest Region is much hotter and dryer than it was 20 years ago. All of August there was no rain, it was extremely hot and the sun was intense. I had several sunburns, something I hardly get where I live in sunny, hot Montreal!
These intense natural disasters have many ways of impacting human health and homeopathy can help whether it is for the physical symptoms from smoke inhalation or the emotional issues related to shock and loss of home and livelihood.
1. Reduced air quality and smoke related issues
When the smoke from burning wood is heavy in the air, symptoms can include watery eyes, burning eyes, sore or scratchy throats, inflamed sinuses, headaches, coughs and difficulty breathing. The very young, the elderly, pregant women, and anyone with allergies or an already compromised respiratory system are at greater risk. Urban areas often feel worse effects of forest fires although the smoke has come from hundreds of miles away. The air in cities is already often polluted during hot, dry times. There less oportunity to improve air quality by large areas of plants and trees, breezes and winds, and fresh air from rural areas.
Natural things you can do to help relieve symptoms
Use a bulb syringe or netipot to irrigate your sinuses. This clears out excess mucus and particulates like smoke or dust, and adds moisture to the nasal cavities to keep them from drying up, bleeding or feeling irritated. A warm saline solution is used and is safe and easy to do, just be sure the temperature is never hotter than body temperature. You can follow this up with a Sesame Oil Nasal Spray.
The eyes can be rinsed as well. You can buy a herbal eyewash or make one with Calendula (marigold), Hydrastis (goldenseal), Chamomile, and or Euphrasia (eyebright). Simply make an infusion by adding a handful of one or more of these herbs, fresh or dried, to a half litre of freshly boiled distilled water. Cover and let steep. When it is still warm, strain and use the water on the eyes.
Reduce the amount of contaminants you bring in the house. Keep the windows and doors closed and as soon as you come indoors change your clothes and take a quick shower to wash the exposed areas such as the face and hair. The same can be done after walking the dog, hose them down or brush them with a damp cloth. Vacuuming can stir up particles so wait until the air quality improves and you can open the doors and windows for fresh air again. Air fresheners are extremely toxic as they emit over 350 different chemicals and allergens including benzene, formaldehyde, styrene, and phthalates. Try using a water/vinegar spray with a few drops of an essential oil instead.
Homeopathic remedies to support forest fire symptoms
Ignatia: When there is smoke exposure with depression, grief or disappointments. Has a headache that feels as if a nail was being driven into the side of the head. The pain feels better by lying on the painful side. Any strong smells make things worse. May crave cigarettes to make things better.
Arsenicum: Smoke exposure with extreme anxiety and restlessness. The eyes are burning and tearing. Nose has a burning discharge. Cough is dry. The symptoms are worse at night and when lying down. There is a lot of worry, restlessness and anxiety about the future. Concerns about financial losses or theft.
Euphrasia: Smoke exposure with only physical symptoms. Simply notes that the eyes run and burn and the nose runs but there is no burning or pain. Eyelids can be red, swollen and sensitive. There can be a slight cough with tearing eyes.
Kali bichromicum: When there is a more serious smoke exposure with irritated sinus, lungs. The nose is blocked and any discharge is ropy or stringy and tends to be sticky. Sinuses are sore, raw and painful. Painful coughs with a sore chest.
Natrum arsenicosum: For very sensitive persons. Can be useful if other indicated remedies have not helped. Eyes are dry and painful. Sinuses are blocked and painful.
Racking cough, lungs feel full of smoke. Headaches.
Bryonia: Worse with any motion with dryness of respiratory system. Headache is worse with motion, better with pressure. Dry and painful coughs. Symptoms are worse at night or with motion. Cranky, wants to be quiet, still and left alone.
Silica: Useful for detoxing and expelling foreign particles. Nose is dry and blocked, no smell or taste. Sinuses are blocked and painful. Dry cough with irritation. Sensation of something stuck at the back of the throat.
Carbo Vegetabilis: Shortness of breath, oxygen starved. Wants to be fanned, or craves fresh air. Feels very weak and may collapse. Severe wheezing. Loss of consciousness or fainting.
2. Shock, grief and loss related to forest fires
Natural disasters like wildfires are difficult to prepare for emotionally. We can set up a system or list of things to do to be prepared, but when a life is lost, animals are left behind, or a home is destroyed the feelings can be overwhelming and hard to recover from. Often roads and highways are shut down and people are forced to evacuate when forest fires get close to residential communities.
Shock is usually the initial acute response to loss
Whether the loss was sudden and unpredicted or we knew it is coming, we can experience a state of shock when it happens. The person feels stunned, numb as well as an increased sensitivity. There can be fear, agitation and even panic, and this can lead the person to do things that are not usual or even possibly dangerous. This is an acute, intense and sudden state and usually subsides quickly after the event. When it doesn’t, or the person is in an extreme state of shock that poses a danger to themselves or others, giving a remedy can be helpful.
Aconite: Here we have a limbic, non-rational state where the person feels shaky, fearful and stunned after a sudden fright or strong emotions. There is great fear, anxiety and worry and they can be very restless and moving around, even shouting, screaming or wailing. There can be panic attacks, or they may be inclined to run away and escape, everything is done irrationally and in great fear.
Gelsemium: This is the opposite of aconite and there is instead of a flailing panic a stoic response. They try to control themselves and avoid the feelings they have, and there is also a weakness and numbness as if they are paralyzed. They will not cry and feel drained of energy, and their mind may go blank. Here the danger is more that they try to avoid anything that reminds them of the situation or their fear.
A period of instability and adjustment
During this time there can be extreme emotions and moods shift dramatically and quickly. This is an intense and unstable period and can seem to as inappropriate behaviours, such as laughing in a moment that is somber and serious, or not replying when spoken to. The most common first aid remedy given for grief or loss is Ignatia and it fits this state very well.
Ignatia: The person is experiencing rapidly changing and intensely emotional states. There can be a bout of tears and distress and then suddenly they are silent and withdrawn. They may sigh a lot and also have a sensation of a lump in their throat. It is a good remedy when grief is “stuck” and lasts excessively or it produces symptoms such as weeping that is silent and controlled or that is brief, irregular and dramatic. There is a sense of being shattered from the loss of something or someone that they had invested a great deal of their emotions.
The feeling of Loss
This can be profound for some and was once described in medical terms as a “forsaken feeling.” There are several remedies that can be a good fit depending on how the person experiences loss and how they react to it.
Ignatia: Same as above. Give this remedy if the grief is “stuck” and lasts longer than what the person considers to be normal or necessary.
Pulsatilla: Here the loss includes feelings of abandonment. It is not just about feeling alone, they feel as if they have been left alone by the loss, that they have lost an anchor of support. They wish to seek comfort and sympathy and are emotional, weepy and distressed. They can seem needy because of the intense feeling of abandonment and want to be hugged or held. There is also a sense of instability as their moods can shift radically.
Natrum Muriaticum: This person does not seek out help but prefers to be left alone to deal with their experience. They don’t want to be fussed over and consolation makes them feel worse. They may have irritable outbursts over small matters and will not cry unless alone and even then the tears may not come. Sleep may be affected as they start to think about past events, old wounds and hurts and dwell on them. There can be depression and tremendous grief after losing a significant person in their life.
Phosphoric Acid: There is a great exhaustion and debility since the traumatic event. They can feel isolated from loved ones due to discord, or being physically distant and not being able to have communication with them as much as they would like so homesickness can be involved. They can have insomnia from worry and anxiety about their loved ones and can have difficulty in their thoughts or finding the right word, as if the pathways in their brain are not connecting properly. There is a sense of being emotionally crushed that shows up as lethargy, despair, apathy and they can seem almost lifeless.
If the angry phase develops
Anger is a complex emotion and can vary in intensity, reaction and causation. The remedies below may help the anger to express itself in more healthy ways and allow the purpose of that anger to become clearer.
Magnesium Carbonicum or Magnesium Muriaticum: There can be rapid flare-ups of anger that disappear quickly. The person feels intensely sensitive and lonely. The sensation is similar to being an orphan or a child whose parents were separated or divorced. Magnesium Carbonicum is when the symbol of anger is masculine and Magnesium Muriaticum when that symbol is feminine in nature.
Staphysagria: Here there are strong feelings of injustice and poor treatment, perhaps of how the deceased was treated in their final days. There is anger and indignation and lots of very intense emotions. They might say it is not fair what happened to them. There is often a lot of pride, and so feeling easily offended or that others are being rude. Or it is the opposite state and the anger is suppressed and controlled, and they refuse to show it due to their strong sense of dignity and pride.
Colocynthis: Also angry and indignant, the person has a very strong opinion of what is right and wrong. They do not like to be contradicted and are sensitive to slights or humiliation. They will try to retain their emotions, will feel unfortunate and discontented, often complaining quite often. They are restless and have a lot of physical pains and maybe even cramps.
Heading to the airport at 2:15am to catch a 6am international flight is one way to start an interesting adventure. Partly due to the excitement and partly to be alert when I arrived at the airport, I did not sleep that last night in Montreal. I was appeased by the very large spider inhabiting the top of one of the check-in kiosks on the way through the entrance to the baggage check. For me seeing a spider is usually a good sign I am doing something right. Nicole Préault who has been on many previous missions was there early but I arrived at 3am due to the infamous Montreal road construction that rerouted my taxi through the city rather than around it on the highways. My being late was not such an issue however and as we waited in the baggage check-in line we realized the Delta staff were all very late and only arrived a bit before 4am.
Our green HTSF t-shirts garnered attention and we started some conversations while waiting in line, and at least we were at the front of the line as it grew longer and longer over that early hour. It was certainly refreshing to run into a couple of women who already knew what homeopathy is, having used it before and who were interested in learning more about our volunteer medical mission and where we were going. Nicole explained what TSF (Terre Sans Frontière) does and how they are different than organizations like Doctors Without Borders since HTSF (Homéopathes de Terre Sans Frontière) works directly for the local people rather than just with local doctors and other professionals. She also explained that it is also possible for us to provide training to non-medical volunteers who can then use the homeopathic remedies when we are not in Honduras during missions.
When asked what we do exactly, we responded that we volunteer giving first line health care directly to the rural people. I had learned that the most common health issues in Honduras are often diabetes and heart disease. Nicole who has been many times before explained that we can also see issues related to violence, including domestic violence. Our new acquaintance seemed confused as to how homeopathy may help in this case and we explained that, as well as for physical traumas from violence, we can also help with emotional issues such as grief and loss, trauma related to sexual abuse, and problems of alcoholism. Homeopathy can be a one stop for all that ails you, which is why it is so advantageous for this kind of humanitarian medical mission. ...
Read the rest of this post and more about this mission on the main blog.
Homeopathy is a system of medicine that heals by “energy” rather than chemicals.
Sugar pills, pellets, and water are used as carriers to transfer energetic information to the body to stimulate a healing response.
While sugar pills are a convenient and delicious way to do this, a mild and temporary worsening of symptoms (an aggravation) may occur if given when not needed, too frequently, or to a person who is highly sensitive to homeopathic remedies. This aggravation is not harmful and settles when you stop giving the remedy.
Aggravations in sensitive people are avoided by giving smaller than normal doses, something that is easily done if the pill is first dissolved in water. The most surprising thing is that its energetic effects are not halved or quartered when this is done – as would be expected with a conventional, chemical medicine – but just ‘softened’ so it is less likely to aggravate; and it still works just as well for those who are not over-sensitive.
Another benefit of turning your pills into liquids is that their potency can be altered before each dose, by succussion, so that each dose works at a slightly deeper level than the previous dose. (Succussion is hitting the base of the bottle on the palm of your hand firmly. This potentises the remedy slightly so that each dose works at a slightly different level and so is less likely to aggravate.)
In addition, because each pill can be turned into literally hundreds of liquid doses it is an easy way to extend the life of your remedies while saving a little money.
So how exactly do you do it? Here are the instructions:
Using a Cup to Turn Your Pill (Pellet) into a Liquid Remedy
Choose the remedy that most closely matches your symptoms.
Drop one pill of the remedy into approximately ¼ cup of water and gently stir until dissolved.
Before each dose, briskly agitate the liquid with a spoon for 5 seconds. This mimics succussion and potentises the remedy slightly so that it works more deeply and is less likely to aggravate (ie., temporarily worsen the symptoms).
Dose according to the intensity of your symptoms, either as advised in How Often Should I Take a Dose of My Remedy, or by your homeopath. A dose is generally one small sip, or a teaspoon amount from the cup. Babies or small animals can be given a smaller amount but this is not essential – they will do just as well with a teaspoon dose if it is not too much liquid for them.
Keep the remedy away from light by covering it with a saucer between doses. Your remedy will be fine to use in this manner for one or two days – plenty of time to treat an acute complaint.
Using a Bottle to Turn Your Pill (Pellet) into a Liquid Remedy
Fill a 20-30ml dropper bottle two thirds full of water. (The remaining air space provides room for the remedy to be agitated during succussion.)
Label the bottle with the remedy name, potency, and date of preparation.
Drop one pill into the bottle and gently “swish” to dissolve. It is now ready to use.
Succuss the bottle five times before each dose.
Dose according to the intensity of your symptoms, either as advised in How Often Should I Take a Dose of My Remedy or by your homeopath. One dose is 5-7 drops, or about a ¼ of a dropper. Again, the amount is not critical, and babies or small animals can be given less.
1. Because the bottle does not contain a preservative to stop the growth of mould and bacteria, store your remedy in the refrigerator and replace it at monthly intervals. If you would like to use your liquid remedies for much longer, brandy can be added – its alcohol content will act as a preservative. Just add 1/3 of brandy to 2/3 of water. Your liquid remedies are now safe to be stored at room temperature for twelve months or more.
2. Homeopathic pills (pillules, gobules, pellets) are made from sucrose or lactose and will dissolve fully in the water. If you have purchased homeopathic tablets instead of pills, binding and bulking material mixed with the sucrose or lactose will not dissolve but settle as a powder at the bottom of the cup or bottle. This is perfectly safe – just ignore it and use the liquid.
Appreciating the homeopathic process
So, you have decided to try homeopathy after being referred by a friend or reading an amazing article that convinced you it might work. You are ready to book an appointment with a homeopath about your issue of say chronic anxiety and the more immediate problem of burn out and fatigue rather than taking medications, asking for stress leave, risking the flow of your career, and maybe upsetting your relationships in the process. With curiosity and an open mind, hopefully anyways, you would like to see what homeopathy can do instead.
No longer a parts based system, but a whole human being approachThe first thing to remember is that homeopathy is going to be very different than seeing a conventional doctor or a GP. Get out of that mindset that you can only bring one problem or issue to each visit. While a doctor may address you as segmented parts containing diseases and symptoms to fix, a homeopath is going to want to spend more time going over all the symptoms around your issue. They see you as a whole that needs some fine tuning, not a nervous system or a gallbladder that needs to be repaired, removed or replaced.
Also a doctor usually works with the short-term results, so if the symptoms can be altered or reduced quickly, then the person is considered better and all is well. The homeopath is looking at your long-term health, and so giving medications that alter or suppress a symptom without first looking into the original underlying reason for the anxiety or the fatigue is considered a risky short cut. A short cut that can lead to side effects from medications, a need for long term medicine use, or further health complications down the road. The better approach is to address the whole person, and to see that the treatment leads to the best possible long-term outcome for that person. The concept of wholeness is further explained in this article by Judyann McNamara, What is True Healing.
Chronic illnesses may be a reality but the idea that we have to feel worse over time is just not true. We can feel better and be healthier, and adapting and adjusting as we go is something homeopathy has the capacity to help us with.
A collaborative and self-responsible relationship of healthAnother major mindset that needs to change is the relationship between the patient and the practitioner. Going to the doctor we have become used to presenting our problem, being questioned briefly, being examined, getting some tests done, and then we go home and wait for the prescription or referral to a specialist. This is easy from the patient's point of view, yet it is also passive. You don't have to do anything other than show up, and then continue to show up for follow up appointments when they are scheduled. A homeopath will want to see you for the initial consultation, and maybe a second time to clarify their direction in selecting a remedy or support. Then, once you are given the suggestion, they would like you to stay in touch! They actually prefer if you give them feed back on how you are doing and what is happening.
This is the only way the homeopath can know what to do next, or what to do in the case you are struggling with the healing process. Your process and experience are going to be different from another person's, even if you came in with the same issue of chronic anxiety and burnout, so to follow a predefined protocol or therapy is not the optimal for each individual. The homeopath understands how significant the process back to health is for you, and by collaborating with you and following your needs, they can offer the best possible support and tools for you.
This is difficult to accept perhaps, but a homeopath wants to work with you, to hear from you and to know how you are doing.
Self rated health outcomes over generic test resultsUnlike conventional medicine where it is the test result that directs the treatment process, homeopaths prefer to use the self rated health scores of each person. Researchers have found that Self Rated Health tests show the best indicators of overall morbidity (rate of disease) and mortality rates. How many times have you wanted to go to the doctor but you don't because you already know what they will say, "Your test results are inconclusive so I have to conclude that there is nothing wrong with you!" This is an unfortunate development of the current medical system and why the hospitals and clinics are seeing so many patients with pathological diseases such as coronary artery disease, cancer, or arthritis. If they had been able to seek treatment when they first felt something was off ... maybe the functional changes in their body systems could have been avoided and they would have been able to adapt and stay healthier, and avoided the need for medications and for painful, expensive and complex treatments later on.
A homeopath is going to work with you at any stage of the disease process, and the earlier the better for everyone. They trust that you know your own state of health and that you also know when you need support and tools for regaining your health. Think about a space ship that at the start of journey is only a fraction off its course to Saturn, many years later and it has little chance of even seeing Saturn! The earlier the course is corrected, the better chance the ship has to reach its destination.
This leads to self responsibility in health. Sounds daunting perhaps, but think about it. You are the one responsible for your health and healing. Not a doctor, or GP, or a blood test, or a specialist. You. Feels good somehow doesn't it to consider it this way?
An open, accepting space to tell it how it isSince the homeopath is looking at the whole of you, you can pretty much talk about any odd, seemingly unconnected, unusual thing that you want or feel like bringing up. It is distracting to the doctor, they want to stay on point and to keep things symptom related to the part being discussed. Homeopaths on the other hand have been trained to sit in discomfort, to be ok with feeling confused as to the what the patient is describing, and to not judge the person for whatever they may have experienced. It is all part of the homeopathic system of case taking. There is also a fundamental trust that everyone has the ability to heal already within them, even if at the moment it is latent. You are not coming to be fixed, but for tools and support, basically a get-unstuck-agent that will put you back on the road to good health and help you on your path.
Unlike a doctor that takes charge of the treatment process, a homeopath is merely the one to objectively fit together the presenting symptoms to see how they express the whole, like seeing a large unfinished jigsaw puzzle. Then they pattern match what they see in that puzzle image to what remedy or other suggestion can help you the most.
And get it out of your mind that a remedy is going to take over the healing for you. It is just a tool that helps stimulate the body to heal itself, as the body would be able to do naturally before it got stuck, and does all the time when we are healthy. We don't pay attention while we feel great, but what is happening to bring about that great feeling? It is essentially the countless natural and internal processes at work keeping us alive and whole. The body is an amazing phenomenon if we stop to ponder it!
What can you do to get the most out of homeopathy?
The global or whole person action of homeopathy means that when we take a remedy or support we may suddenly feel inspired to eat better, to go to the gym, to buy that house we always dreamed of, or to drop the procrastination that is holding us back, to reach out to friends, or to see our loved ones with greater appreciation. Remember, it is the whole of you that has the potential to improve! And the main complaint that brought you to see a homeopath, the anxiety and burnout, that too improves. And if it does not completely disappear, you can see it differently and discover ways to improve it, whereas before it was stuck, and there was only one possible, off course outcome. I encourage you to get the most of what homeopathy can offer! And to appreciate the journey back to health.
In cases with trans-generational trauma, the original, unresolved trauma is carried over from previous generations to the current one. For those coping with this type of trauma it can be confusing to address and understand since the symptoms they are experiencing are not based in their own life history or experiences. I would like to present some of the reasons homeopathy can be a helpful tool for this kind of trauma and to explore one homeopathic remedy with symptoms that link to trans-generational trauma in a very fascinating and beautiful way.
To read more ... go to CleverH magazine.
POSTED BY AUTHORS OF CLEVER H. ⋅ 30/09/2017 ⋅
One of the amazing and yet difficult to accept tenets of homeopathic remedies is that they do not expire! Many master homeopaths state they can last indefinitely. For example modern homeopaths have found that the original remedy collection of the founder of Homeopathy Samuel Hahnemann is still functional. He died in 1843. This means that homeopathic remedies are sustainable, economical and practical for modern times.
According to Hyland's official website, "In the US, the FDA has exempted homeopathic manufacturers from putting expiration dates on their product labels. While nothing lasts indefinitely, homeopathic medicines are safe to use when stored under normal conditions (away from moisture and excessive heat or cold)." Many country's government health regulators have required that expiry dates and posology be placed on homeopathic labels, and the unfortunate thing with this is that many remedies still perfectly usable are thrown out.
Herbs, pharmaceuticals and other chemical based medications usually do not last longer than five years. Some herbal tinctures in alcohol can last a bit longer. Since homeopathic remedies are energetic in nature rather than chemical they can last indefinitely. For any remedy the key is the correct production method, the proper storage and how they are used and administered. The disposal of contaminated remedies does not need to be regulated as it does for expired pharmaceuticals.
There are many laboratories around the world producing homeopathic remedies of high quality and high standards. Although the early homeopaths did produce their own remedies nowadays it is best left to professionals with proper equipment to ensure good quality and consistency. It is important the ingredients they use, especially the alcohol, are of the best quality and that they are stored in glass. Some Indian manufacturers are unfortunately not following these standards and their remedies may not last over the long term, granted they may still last decades. Remedies in liquid made with the proper proportion of alcohol will not deteriorate over time and will not loose their potency. The only loss may occur with evaporation so make sure the lid is on tight! For remedies in granule form, they are considered to be safe for long-term storage in glass when properly sealed.
It is very important that remedies need to be stored in a cool, dry place, away from any excessive heat or moisture. A bathroom, because of its moist environment, is never a good place to store remedies. It is important to store and open them away from strong odours such as camphor or essential oils. This can contaminate the remedy and it may lose its charge. It is also important to replace the lid or cap tightly as this maintains the remedy from moisture and odours. The energetic nature of remedies means that the resonance of the remedy will seep into the container. It is important to store glass and even plastic container right next to other containers holding different remedies. Usually a cardboard or paper 'wall' is enough. The container will also retain the charge of the remedy so it cannot be used to store different remedies in the future or to be used for other purposes. Strong heat such as in a dishwasher will cleanse the glass if it was only used for a short time. If remedies seem discoloured or mouldy they have become contaminated and need to be replaced.
When taking a remedy it is very important that hands or lips do not touch the inside of the remedy bottle, dropper or lid as this can cause contamination of contents. Homeopathic laboratories do not use preservatives for remedies so touching them can contaminate them with bacteria, mould or other microorganisms. Any spilled remedy or granule can contaminate the rest of the contents so don't try to put them back into the bottle! A single granule of a remedy costs around 7 cents, it is best to just throw it out.
It is not necessary to dispose of remedies the way over the counter and prescription medications need to be taken back to the pharmacy for safe disposal. Rather than needing to be burned in a specially licensed incinerator, once a remedy is exposed to air, water or strong smells, the potency fades and disappears. The granule is made of sucrose or lactose and it will simply dissolve. Remedy contents will not pollute the water and later show up in tap water as pharmaceutical medications often do. This is in part why homeopathy is the green medicine of the future, remedies are not harmful to the environment, either in the manufacturing process or the disposal process. Old bottles and containers when recycled or thrown out will also slowly lose their charge as the signal of the remedy fades.
Often laboratories will donate their 'expired' remedies to non-profit groups or give them to students. If you have an old box of remedies simply check the quality, the lids should be tight, they should not have dried up, and the granules should be white and clean in appearance. If you wish to donate old remedies, contact a local homeopath or local homeopathic organization and they can likely put them to good use.
Some of the world's homeopathic manufacturers include:
Boiron in France
Homeodel in Quebec
Hahnemann laboratories in California
Ainsworths in London
Helios in the UK
Dr. Reckeweg in Germany
Lords Homoeopathic in India
Allen Laboratories Ltd. in India
Hyland's in California
I had the chance to talk about what I do on an American radio station. It was great to answer Michael's questions and to explore what it is like to see a homeopath.
From the webpage, Homeopathy Awareness, part of the School of Homeopathy in the UK website.
How widespread is the use of homeopathy?
Homeopathy forms a large and important part of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM), a market which is forecast to grow at a rate of 23% every year.
Homeopathy is used by 15% of UK citizens (around 9 million people)2 and trusted by 27% of German, 40% of French and 62% of Indian citizens.
In 2004, the World Health Organization stated that homeopathy was the second most used medical system worldwide.
It has been estimated that around 450 million people use and trust homeopathy worldwide, every year. That’s a lot of people making homeopathy their healthcare choice.
What is homeopathy?
Homeopathy is a system of natural healthcare that has been in worldwide use for over 200 years.
Homeopathy treats each person as a unique individual with the aim of stimulating their own healing ability. A homeopath selects the most appropriate medicine based on the individual’s specific symptoms and personal level of health.
It is based on the principle of ‘like cures like’ – a substance taken in small amounts can cure the same symptoms it causes when taken in large amounts.
Homeopathy is mainly taken in tablet form and can be used to treat both acute and chronic conditions in old and young including babies and pregnant women. It can be safely used alongside conventional medicine.
What makes people want to try homeopathy?
Most people in the UK are brought up with conventional medicine. When they have tried everything that this has to offer and are no better, or are worse, or cannot tolerate the drugs and treatments, they look around for some other way to get better.
Qualitative research suggests that patients greatly value the therapeutic relationship with their homeopath, the length of consultations and the ‘whole person’ approach; being listened to and treated as an individual. Homeopathy is entirely patient-centred in its approach and patients greatly appreciate this.
There are currently 3,000 registered homeopaths in the UK7, 400 homeopaths who are also qualified doctors, 60 homeopathic vets, 4 NHS funded homeopathic hospitals, several registers and 20 homeopathic schools. People who train in homeopathy tend to be in their 30s and 40s, are highly educated and moving into their second career. Registered homeopaths have undertaken rigorous academic and clinical training, are insured and adhere to a Code of Ethics.
Does homeopathy help people to improve their health?
Yes, it does, particularly with regard to chronic, long term conditions.
For example: an observational study at the NHS funded Bristol Homeopathic Hospital included over 6,500 consecutive patients with over 23,000 attendances in a six year period;8 70% of follow up patients reported improved health, 50% reported major improvement. The largest improvements were reported in childhood eczema or asthma, and in inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome, menopausal problems and migraines.
Another example: in 2008 a study in Germany followed over 3,500 chronically ill adults and children receiving routine homeopathic care from GPs over an eight year period.9 At the start, 97% of participants were diagnosed with a chronic complaint with 95% declaring previous conventional treatment for their condition. The study found that, “patients who seek homeopathic treatment are likely to improve considerably” and that health benefits were steady and long term.
There are more studies of this nature, especially from France, Germany and Switzerland, all countries where homeopathy is widely used.
What sort of people use homeopathy?
Since its development over 200 years ago homeopathy has benefited millions of people, young and old, from all walks of life, in countries all over the world.
Research shows that 79% of the UK population are open to the idea of homeopathy and 15% of the population regularly use it.
Most people prefer to follow up on a recommendation from someone they know and trust. Research suggests that more people would use homeopathy if they knew more about it.
The thing that unites most of these people is that they have already tried everything that conventional medicine has to offer, yet continue to suffer.
For more questions and answers, go to their Homeopathy Awareness page.
Many people can have difficulty going when in a bathroom if other people are nearby. This is not uncommon. However paruresis, also known as shy bladder syndrome, is when shyness, embarrassment, or fear of being judged for not being able to urinate develops into a phobia or irrational fear.
There can be a spectrum of what is ok or not ok. One guy is ok when there are empty spaces and there are large dividers between the urinals, but if there are no dividers or someone is right next to him than he can’t go. Or someone can go if they use a closed stall and don’t consider this as a problem. At the other extreme a person can only go when they are at home and no one else is in the house, or if they use a catheter. I have known people that resorted to using a catheter during a long airplane trip, as there was no other way that they could take a 14-hour flight without intense discomfort and pain.
Why do people develop paruresis?Why does someone have this? Good question! Certainly there is sensitivity, and a heightened awareness of one’s surroundings. Keep in mind that virtually no one can go when their body has shifted into the fight or flight mode. This is part of the biological design of mammals. When we are running away from a tiger the last thing we are going to do is stop and take a leak, we are just going to keep running like mad. Or we may freeze and every non-vital function is going to be put on hold as long as we are gripped by fear. This includes digestion, rational thought processes, and also the sphincters that are related to urination. For a person with paruresis, absolutely nothing they think or will to happen in that moment will loosen those sphincters! Not until the fear passes and they can relax again.
I find the main issues about shy bladder to be one of or a combination of the following:
Unfortunately being teased or laughed at for this particular phobia is common. And usually people either think that they are the only person on the planet who has this thing, and that everyone else can go easily whenever they need to. Some will think, “Am I crazy. I don’t understand this.” Or they are too ashamed to ask for help and to reach out to friends or professional support. The result is that people with paruresis are often very isolated and don't seek help. Then the phobia can easily become the centre of their life.
My own story with paruresisPart of the path to cure is knowing what we are feeling anxious or fearful about. For me it was the amount of time, I couldn't just sit down on a toilet seat and start to go. I finally realized my main issue was the delay. I felt embarrassed about how long it was taking me, especially with people waiting to use the bathroom. I was convinced other people were keeping track and that they could notice my hesitation. That combined with my usual anxiety, and my issues I found through homeopathy of vulnerability, safety and performance, and I started to take longer and longer to be able to go. And eventually I completely blocked.
So in less than six months after moving to a large city, where bathrooms are always filled with people, I went from being a bit shy about going in front of others to only being able to go if I was alone at home with the door closed. It happened so fast, and led to a closing in of my life. I became very isolated in many ways and I also felt ashamed and at fault for what had happened. I was so completely unaware that other people also have this problem at first. I mean really, who can't go to the bathroom! We all need to go, every day, several times a day, and no one talks seriously about not being able to go, they just laugh at the idea.
Social life and isolation
You can see how much this might affect a person's life in terms of relationships, friendships, socializing, work, and career. There is a preoccupation with what you drink, especially before you leave the house, with where you are, and what options are available for using a bathroom. Every day is taken up with these kinds of thoughts. You change your habits and social behavior in order to compensate. It is no longer easy to plan on going to a friend’s house, a party, or the theatre. The longer it goes on, the more the person can forget how it was before they were phobic and not realize how much the phobia is affecting their life and their choices. After time a person is controlled by his or her own fear and shame rather than being able to be spontaneous and social.
What I did to get better?
Since it happened so fast I realized I could not live like that, being unable to go out without extreme anxiety and discomfort. I stubbornly reached out for anything that might help me. Once I found the definition for paruresis online and realized that this was a thing that could happen to people, around 7% of the population, I could at least say to myself that this was a real thing. At that time there was not much online about it. I found the International Paruresis Association in the United States and this encouraged me to start and lead a support group in my city.
I wrote emails to people with shy bladder, I read books, I did the graduated exposure therapy practice in the malls, I went to Baltimore for a workshop for women, I saw a cognitive behavioral therapist, I helped host workshops in my city, whatever I could do I was going to do it to get better. And it helped; I went from a nine to around a five or four in a couple of years. The biggest piece was understanding the cycle of anxiety and how to stop it, and that no matter what I do, I will tend to have a delay before I can go. So if I could sit in the delay and avoid the anxiety, all was well.
Homeopathy and phobiasI started studying homeopathy and got my degrees, and through that process my facilitators and instructors treated me. After several core remedies and exploring the symbols related to safety, vulnerability and performance, I was much less triggered and anxious in general. One day I noticed that I was no longer phobic about going to the bathroom anymore. This is not to say that who I am completely changed, sometimes there are situations where I don't want to go or can’t go. So, as I was before the phobia, I am still a bit shy. However, I don’t feel anxious or uncomfortable anymore.
Needless to say my work life, social life and relationships have all changed immensely for the better. My day is never overshadowed by worry and concern for what may happen, or where I will be, or what I might have to say to avoid discomfort or embarrassment. With homeopathy my perceptions changed in many aspects and now that I don’t feel worried or ashamed and my shyness never escalates back into a phobic condition. I feel I have gone from a 5 down to a 1. And as I mentioned above, lots of people are shy about using bathrooms, they just aren’t phobic about it.
How homeopathy is different?
Homeopathy is based on the principles of individualization, minimum dose and like cures like, and it uses a truly holistic approach. The aim of homeopathy is not to treat phobia, or shy bladder, or any disease diagnosis, but to explore the root source of symptoms and individual susceptibilities. Homeopaths don't separate the mind and the body into various parts and systems that are treated independently of each other. They see that all aspects of any person are dynamically interconnected and directly influence each other. Liver, nervous system, anger, ego, soul, any symptoms the person focuses on are considered during a homeopathic session.
It is always great to start early as well. As a child I was terrified of the dark, timid, shy, and in my early teens developed epilepsy. These can all be treated in children simply with homeopathy. I had to wait until my 30s to find homeopathy and this after having years of living with anxiety, periods of depression, and the shy bladder phobia for a short time. For an adult, symptoms usually get more complex, we have compensated, suppressed, denied our experiences, been further traumatized, and gotten further and further away from our true self. And by this I mean the inner self that is not our personality, or ego, or our social mask. This is one of the best parts of homeopathy, it brings us back in touch with this inner self, and it reminds us of who we really are, of what our purpose is. After all, this is the key question all spiritual paths eventually ask of us, “Who Am I.”
What is the expected process?
The most common response to a well individuated remedy is a nearly immediate reduction of anxiety. We can start to feel whole, the root of the anxiety is addressed and we are able to start the healing process. Healing is not that different than being able to go to the bathroom, we can't heal when we never relax and we are anxious all the time! The rest of the process may take time, depending on each individual person, there is no way to know in advance. However, as the response to a core remedy is global, the results can be wide reaching and often unexpected! And no matter how challenging the process, it is certainly worth the investment if we can regain our life and joy of living.
10 GOOD REASONS TO USE HOMEOPATHY
1. NATURAL ACTION
Homeopathy works by stimulating the body's own natural defence mechanism to promote health and to resist infection and susceptibility to disease. Although gentle, the results can be powerful and long lasting.
2. HEALTH & WELL-BEING
Homeopathy improves health generally, rather than merely alleviating localized symptoms. It treats the whole individual, acting on the mental and emotional levels as well as the physical level, providing a balance in overall health and an increased sense of well-being and quality of life.
3. EFFECTIVE MEDICINE
When used correctly, homeopathy can be an extremely effective system of medicine, providing long-lasting relief from many acute and chronic conditions and illnesses.
4. NO HARMFUL SIDE EFFECTS
Homeopathic treatment offers a gentle and non-invasive approach to health, producing no toxic side effects, no dependency or addiction, and no withdrawal.
5. COST EFFECTIVE
Homeopathic medicines are surprisingly inexpensive to purchase, especially when compared to over-the-counter and prescription drugs.
6. FAST-ACTING FIRST-AID RELIEF
Homeopathy can be safely used at home or on the road to provide rapid relief for minor problems such as bruises, simple burns, sprains, insect bites, gastric upsets, etc. However more serious or long-lasting complaints should be treated by a qualified homeopath.
7. NOT TESTED ON ANIMALS
Homeopathic medicines are tested only on healthy humans in order to determine the range of action of each remedy.
8. COMPLEMENTARY MEDICINE
Homeopathic medicines can be used independently or along with conventional drugs and other therapies (with the full knowledge of your other healthcare providers). It can often alleviate unpleasant side effects of conventional treatments (e.g., chemotherapy).
Homeopathy has no adverse impact on the environment. There is not waste of energy or natural resources in the manufacturing process and no pollution of the water supply, oceans, or dump sites when used. In fact, homeopathy is the ultimate Green Medicine!
10. MEDICINE OF THE FUTURE
Homeopathy is the second most widely-used system of medicine in the world. It is available in most countries and is gaining in popularity as an alternative to conventional medicine.
From the Canadian Society of Homeopaths at www.csoh.ca
What we can do? How can you prevent Lyme disease? What if you get Lyme disease? And what options are available for long-standing chronic Lyme disease? The standard medical treatment for Lyme is antibiotics. However, this may not work for everyone. Read on for ideas on prevention, acute treatment and natural treatments. The body knows how to heal itself with a little help.
Natural Lyme prevention
A natural way to immunize against Lyme would be to take the homeopathic Lyme disease remedy. The protocol is to take 2-3 doses of the Lyme remedy, also known as the Borrelia remedy, in a 200c potency. It is good to do this in the spring, spreading the doses out over a couple of weeks or more.
Lemongrass essential oil is suggested to deter ticks. You can make a spray with water and use a bit of the oil to put on socks, shoes, pants and sleeves. It is safe to put directly on the skin since the oil is diluted.
If you find a tick that is attached, pull the tick out safely. DO NOT use petroleum jelly, a hot match, nail polish, or other products to force the tick out of the skin. This can make things worse and the chances of leaving the head of the tick in the skin are much higher. It also stresses the tick, which may mean greater discharge of toxic materials into the skin. Remove attached ticks with tweezers gently to avoid crushing the tick’s body. Grasp the tick firmly and as close as possible to the person or animal’s skin. With a steady motion, pull the tick’s body away from the skin. Do not be alarmed if the tick’s mouthparts remain in the skin. (Watch this Video by tick expert Kateryn Rochon)
Homeopathically it is good to give a dose of Ledum palustre 200c while removing the tick. I will discuss the use of Ledum in homeopathic protocols later on.
Cleanse the area with an antiseptic or lavender essential oil. You can put a drop of lavender oil at the site right away. It is antibacterial and antiseptic yet will not suppress any symptoms. You can also mix the lavender with coconut oil or other carrier oil to dilute the essential oil so it will not affect sensitive skin.
Calendula helps the skin to repair and heal without scarring. There are some calendula wax-based or cream formulas available that would be good to apply after the lavender oil has set in. Another option is to use a Bentonite clay poultice to draw out anything left in the wound. You can add some lavender oil to the Bentonite poultice.
Recovery from Lyme with Western medicine
Going to the doctor will result in tests and antibiotics. There are cases where there is no response or an incomplete response to antibiotics. In these cases either oral or intravenous antibiotics are continued for months at a time. Some patients ultimately respond well to this aggressive treatment, others do not, or they may suffer extensive side effects from prolonged antibiotic use.
For many with a strong immune system and vitality, the recovery is quick and effective. However, cases in which the symptoms return after months of an apparent cure, or never completely go away with standard or aggressive treatment, there can be serious suffering and health deterioration. Patients in this category are said to suffer from chronic Lyme, or post-treatment Lyme disease. This is not recognized by all medical systems and treatment is therefore often unavailable.
There are also problems that can arise with only using antibiotics as a treatment. All bacteria create biofilms in the body. Similar to a house or roof, they build a stable place to exist. When under assault by the immune system or antibiotics, they form spherical shapes and can thus hibernate in a comatose state like a seed. They then constantly monitor the environment waiting for the opportunity to ‘wake up.’ They are more difficult to remove from the body when in this state. It is also well known that it is not advisable to take antibiotics over a long term. This can disrupt the delicate balance of the body’s microbiome and lead to problems with basic body functions such as digestion and assimilation. It is possible therefore that using only allopathic treatments can suppress symptoms that come back later, and residual effects can be carried for years.
If you do not recover from antibiotic treatment, or have relapses requiring stronger antibiotics, this suggests there is an issue with your immune system response. Although antibiotics can help the body to remove bacteria, without the body’s own adaptive response and immune system response doing that work there is little chance of a full recovery. There are other treatments that can naturally stimulate the body’s immune and adaptive responses. They can help wake up the awareness of the bacteria causing the imbalance, and then the body can remove it gently and completely in most cases.
The Herx reaction
A Herxheimer reaction refers to the release of endotoxins where bacteria die off during antibiotic treatment faster than the body can remove the toxins. Symptoms can include fever, muscle pain, and overall increased Lyme symptoms. This reaction can produce symptoms more severe than the disease itself, and so care must be taken to help the body clear the toxins or to reduce the intensity of the antibiotic reaction. If the issue is blocked lymph nodes for example, then to do an intensive antibiotic course before addressing the lymph drainage would perhaps do more harm than good.
Using Homeopathy to support Lyme recovery
It is always better to treat the current and complete symptom picture of each individual, although there are many homeopathic protocols that may help for Lyme infections. Keep in mind it is possible to combine natural approaches along with antibiotic use, depending on what you feel most comfortable doing. However, it would be good to have the advice of a professional homeopath since antibiotics can complicate the body’s response to the natural treatments.
After the tick bite
If it is the first or second day of the bite, use Belladonna 30c or 200k to wake up the vital force and help rally the immune system to act. Indications are if there is any fever, redness, pain or red swelling. Also take Ledum 200c or 200k. Use only the Ledum if the bite has been there for a while, since the Belladonna is no longer useful once the acute phase has passed. The Ledum is excellent for insect bites and reduces inflammation and itching, redness with swelling, and throbbing pain.
In the case that the person is freaking out and worried they might die after the tick bite, you can easily calm then down from fear with Aconite 30c or 200k. Give them one right away, and another dose shortly after if they still need it.
The best course of action with homeopathics is to individualize the treatment if at all possible. With the help of a homeopath it is good to use the person's core or global remedy to help the body heal completely and fully. This addresses the previous issues that lowered their immune system response and increased their susceptibility to contracting the Lyme disease. This is best done with a professional homeopath, who will determine the complete set of symptoms and then match that to a remedy picture.
A homeopath will explore much more than just the physical symptoms and this unusual approach is only one principle that sets them apart from a general practitioner's methods. After finding a core remedy or specific protocol, a homeopath can suggest the dosage, potency and duration of the chosen remedy. They can also suggest when to switch remedies, or if adding other remedies would be helpful. This makes healing a collaborative process between you and your homeopath, allowing for the best possible outcome.
After the initial protocol or core remedy, it is possible to use other remedies for particular symptoms as they appear during the healing process.
When someone is irrationally afraid of Lyme disease, consider Syphilinum. Their fear will often lead to a profound aversion to dirt or to touching dirty things. Lyme is similar to the Syphilis bacteria. There is an acute phase, dormant phase, and a progressive chronic phase where it gets worse with time. As mentioned above, an acute state of panic and fear of death can also be helped with Aconite. Homeopathy can definitely help with the feelings of despair, depression or even suicidal thoughts that may result from chronic Lyme disease.
Pharmaceutical clean up
In the case where antibiotics or other medications have been used, it can be good to do a drug detox for the system. Sometimes this is required before using natural protocols so the remedies can act fully to initiate the body’s response. This is mostly indicated in sensitive or very fatigued persons, although it can still be helpful for most people. There are various protocols that can help the body detox.
Food and Diet
Whole food supplements can also boost the immune system and help with fatigue. They can be used along with the homeopathic protocols and/or antibiotic treatment. Spirulina contains essential amino acids, iron, protein, B vitamins, and vitamins C, D and E and supports the body, boosts the immune system and helps with recovery from fatigue. Bee pollen is also a potent whole food supplement. It contains beta-carotene, lycopene, zeaxanthin, the complete B and E complexes, vitamins C and D as well as protein and trace minerals including iodine, magnesium, and selenium. It is known as the most complete single food on earth.
Organic alfalfa is one of the most mineral-rich foods with optimal levels of magnesium, calcium, potassium, and trace minerals such as selenium, copper, sulfur, and zinc. These minerals are in balance naturally and promote proper absorption. I prefer these natural whole food supplements to taking specific or multi vitamins that can be synthetic, unbalanced or difficult for the body to absorb and use.
It is important to rebuild the physical structures that were affected such as the collagen tissues, where the bacteria get most of their nutrients to survive. To rebuild the affected structures you can use homeopathic supports, nutritional whole food supplements and herbs, as well as a strong whole food diet. The areas mainly affected will show up in the symptoms that are expressed in each individual. It might be in the brain as neurological diseases, the joints as arthritis, or the heart as heart disease. There will most certainly be a nutrient deficiency.
Quinton’s Plasma is a good tonic to restore nutrients in the more serious cases that have lead to long-term fatigue. Mycoplasmas scavenge B vitamins, so taking whole food supplements can be helpful along with eating different whole foods that contain the range of B vitamins. If they have disrupted the GI tract, this can cause bowel permeability. Taking Aloe Vera gel for a short time can help repair the mucosa. It may also help to change your diet temporarily, reducing foods that cause any inflammation or irritation. Homeopathic intestinal flora remedies can also help with recovery in this department.
After using antibiotics, it is important to repopulate the digestive tract with healthy bacteria again. You can consume raw or unpasteurized fermented foods that still have living beneficial bacteria. There are many probiotic foods as well such as plain yogurt and kefir. Also important are foods that offer prebiotics such as onions and under-ripe bananas. These contain the food that the healthy bacteria need to survive and grow once they are inside the digestive tract again. For a more intensive recovery, the Genestra HMF probiotics are human-sourced proprietary strains that adhere better to the gut lining and more efficiently colonize the intestinal tract. Most probiotics just pass through the intestines and so continued use is required. Many of the Genestra strains will actually repopulate the internal flora for the longer term.
Homeopathic Tissue Salts can be very useful in a wide variety of functional disorders and physical symptoms. They are based on the 12 essential minerals the body needs to repair and maintain itself, and they help to regulate and restore these minerals and their functions. There are other homeopathic supports that can be used as well and if often depends on the homeopath's familiarity with each system.
Other methods to consider alongside conventional medication include following the GAPS diet, osteopathy, cranial-sacral therapy and Traditional Chinese tuina massage and bone setting. It is not recommended to have acupuncture during homeopathic treatment as both methods are energetically based and may counter act each other.
There is a natural way to support Lyme disease, and to recover our lives and rediscover our potential!
I offer support for Lyme disease all over the world via Skype or, at my office in Montreal, Quebec. Ask about a free 15-minute consultation. It is possible to work with the use of antibiotics, medications and other treatment protocols or to use a totally natural approach.
How does holistic treatment support healthy living? Why try homeopathy? Having a life long study in the principles of nature and healthy living, Lauren Trimble DHom, Nd is happy to share her knowledge and experience. The art of retuning the body’s natural healing capacity & developing consciousness in a compassionate and gentle way is the gift that homeopathy brings to her current holistic practice. If you enjoyed this article find out more at Birdsong.
Homeopathy is the only healing practice we currently have that offers long term sustainability. There are healing practices like shamanism or energy healing, but as one of the complete medical systems, only homeopathy offers a Green solution to our ever increasing environmental concerns. More and more people want to make changes in their diet, their consumer choices, their personal care and cleaning products, yet it is also possible to make choices that supports and promotes sustainability in health care.
Part of sustainability’s Triple Bottom Line includes addressing the needs of the Planet. The extraction of non-renewable resources should be minimized and extraction of renewable resources should not exceed the rate at which they are renewed. The absorptive capacity of the environment to assimilate wastes should not be exceeded. Homeopathy does not degrade our environment or health.
“Homeopathy is ideally placed to be part of the solution, rather than part of the problem. Homeopathy is one of the greenest medical modalities. It has a very small, sustainable footprint, it doesn’t pollute, it’s not tested on animals and the experience of taking a homeopathic remedy often awakens us, at a profound level, to the inter-connectedness of all living things and helps us to recognize suppression both on an individual scale and on a global scale.” Mary Aspinwall.
1. It takes very little of the original undiluted substance to make a homeopathic remedy. For example, one honey bee can make enough Apis remedy to help thousands of people. It is the transformation of the medicine from the material form (matter) to energetic signal (information) that makes this possible. Using homeopathy therefore has a very small footprint on the environment and on other living creatures.
2. Except in experiments or clinical testing that copy the modern scientific model so they can be published in research journals animal testing is never used in homeopathy. Neither are remedies tested on unhealthy or vulnerable people. (Don't get me started on the huge medical research industry in Quebec that depends on impoverished and sometimes desperate people to be paid 'volunteers' in pharmaceutical clinical trials and tests.) Remedies are 'tested' on healthy people who are willing to participate in the homeopathic proving process and this method is the original source of the double blind study method.
3. Because so little source material is used and the process is one of dilution and dynamization there is no danger of polluting the earth’s water supplies or oceans during the production of homeopathic remedies.
4. The remedies do not contain any toxic material or matter that can be eliminated as waste from the human body. Unlike pharmaceuticals and herbs that can end up in the water supply or the soil, and even in the plants and animals we might later eat, homeopathic remedies do not pollute.
5. The process of homeopathy involves the case taking session and then the research and contemplation done by the homeopath. Rarely do tests or expensive machines improve the remedy selection process and therefore the healing process of the individual. All that is needed is the time to sit with the person and listen, and the highly skilled training of the homeopath. There is little need for expensive facilities, and there is rarely any medical waste needing to be disposed of.
The more we understand that homeopathy offers us a sustainable and green healthcare, the sooner we can shift our choices in that direction. Otherwise it may be by necessity alone that it becomes the medicine of the future.
A classical musician concerned about a solo singing performance the next day came to see me for a last minute acute case. He had been sick the past five days with a cold and the symptoms of serious congestion, coughing, difficulty sleeping and fatigue. He had been taking several homeopath remedies on his own to get through the phases of the cold quicker but was getting nervous about how his throat and vocal cords would be by the next day. For a choral gig he would not be so worried, however since this was an important concert for his advancing solo career he was worried about his voice!
He had a long history of congestion and ENT issues as well as taking cortical steroids and Benadryl for about ten years during school and the early part of his career to manage his mucus and inflammation. This approach actually made things worse over time as well as creating a dependency to using them. A colleague recommended that he try homeopathy and he was amazed at the quick action of Sinusalia for sinus relief. Wanting to try a more gentle and natural approach to his health issues rather than pharmaceuticals and drug dependency, he saw a MICH method trained Homeopath and was able to get off these medications within a very short time. Over the next couple of years he has been steadily been improving the ENT issues as well as food sensitivities and allergies and related digestive system issues. Most of the digestion and food related issues have cleared up and the ENT was also improving.
He noticed that this acute situation was a return to earlier symptoms and feelings and due to the importance of this performance he decided to get my opinion rather than to continue to self subscribe for the acute cold. We did a session, which included the physical symptoms, and some imagination and sensation based exploration. Once I was able to see some repeated themes and sensations I was able to start to move to the next phase of focusing him on filling them out more.
Some of the themes that repeated were:
Royalty & castle: To him the community of singers has sensations of royalty, it glows, glitters, there is colourful light, honour and stability, magic. It is a glittering kingdom of which he feels honoured to be part of. When he has a performance it is as if he is rejoining royalty. And he was concerned about not causing a riot, mucking things up, disturbing the people who live in the castle, the townsfolk. He saw the castle as self contained, high above, in the heavens, shining, beside the sea on a large pile of rocks. He also felt that the community was whole, it had no holes in it, was viscous and dense, the wholeness was nurturing the kingdom versus how he saw that outside the kingdom was like a patchwork quilt, full of holes as if eaten by moths, without communication and not taken care of.
When I asked about his Performance he responded that it was sad when things are cut down from their full potential, the light dimmed, it needs to be fully lit, like a sea creature of some kind, the light goes on for miles. Communication was important to him in this way: I would prefer to be heard, that they accept what I say rather than be understood. To fail is for momentum to end, illusion to be revealed, as if I am deceiving others, about who I am. This linked to betrayal, if I am in the less than ideal practice room, it will be exposing parts of my voice that don't need to be shown. Instead of being generous, loving and alive, it is static and dead.
Sharp or dull: Clarity sharpens, like a blade, so things are less dull. He did not like when the connection is dulled, as above in not being heard, and when phlegm dampens/constricts the sound of his voice. There are these fine, bright edges that create the shimmer. Lost shimmer equals a dullness in his voice.
Sea creatures: He explored the image of a sticky worm constricting his voice, with stringy bits. Then it was as if he was missing the meat/substance (that he equated with humanity), and there was the light only (that corresponded to purity and warmth). He had an interesting way of seeing his phlegm as he cleared it out. For him it was like giving it a chance to leave the nest, it was done with care, as if they were tadpoles or young fish. He realized that if it is in the way he no longer has as much love for it, yet he has to be respectful towards it. Once it is immobile, he no longer favours it. "If I can show it the path to go, great beautiful, if it is dead, I can't do this. I can't reason, reassure, take care of it, or work to keep it alive." He had the image of barnacles that can get in the way of painting a boat. He also had the image that his phlegm was as if he could shuck open his nose and leave just the shell, that would be great. The nose felt alive yet the chest felt like it was drying out, as if it was sediment or dry sand.
Small separate vs large whole: The image of looking for seashells on a beach, which were valuable and beautiful, and the beach he related to freedom. Or the image of caviar eggs stuck together, one comes out in each chunk of phlegm. Also the patchwork or the wholeness of the kingdom mentioned above.
Water: His mental images were in sea colours, and the sensation was that what he was looking at spends time on the beach but also deep underwater.
I could start to see these themes emerging as we spoke. I was totally lost however, and I had to just sit in the discomfort of knowing that I would not know what he was talking about right away. I looked over the notes and picked out some key themes and asked him to fill them out further. I was curious about the shells and sand realizing as we talked that castles are made out of sand and that water has blinding light when reflecting the sun. I was hoping to find a link with the sea creatures and physical matter with this need for shiny, shimmering light. He continued to describe images related to the sea and maybe a sea creature like an oyster or clam. I looked at my Material Medica as I was starting to feel a Calcarea Carbonica remedy, yet it did not cover the light or castles. I found that by adding phosphorus it would include the shimmering light and the need for the social connection he got from the kingdom/community of singers and that it also covered many of his physical symptoms.
Calcium as a remedy has a need for structure, protection, security and this equates in their being responsible, grounded, steady minded, etc. Anything that stresses them will stress their structure. They often feel feeble and not up to a task. In remedy making it is sourced from Calcarea, the snow white portion of the inner oyster shell. Phosphorus on the other hand enjoys activity, energy transfer of relationships, is sensitive, has a high need for attention, love, consolation, support and they are highly social. Here anything that stresses them will stress their social situation and social connections. Phosphorus is about bringing light, spreading the word, communication. On the physical level it helps irritated, inflamed degenerated mucous membranes, irritated and inflamed serous membranes, destroyed bone, especially in the lower jaw. In the chest the combination of these two minerals as the remedy Calc-phos helps with recurring infections, nose colds that go to the chest, lingering tickling coughs, pneumonia, chronic bronchitis, and asthma. It also helps with inflammation and degeneration of the mucous membranes, the stomach and bowels. For a clinical use it is good for convalescence from severe acute diseases, lungs, and regenerative function of nervous tissue. It is also helpful for emotional states of feeling rejected or feeling unloved and for the fears of illness that can cause anxiety.
Sand is basically Silicea minus the crushed up sea shells and he had been taking a low potency regularly for the past months to help clear out lingering mucus from his ongoing mucus in his chest. I decided to give him the Calc-phos at 30c and Silicea at 30c instead of the lower potency to take alternately that night and if needed in the morning. Both were for the first aid acute situation to get him congestion free as fast as was possible for his body to do overnight.
Things can change quickly in an acute situation. He contacted me the next morning in a panic. Now he was definitely not sure of his ability to sing and was considering cancelling last minute, a choice that he felt could jeopardize his future opportunities with this particular music organization. I had found the right remedy for his particular experience of his main complaint, the congested phlegm. I was considering after the last session that after this busy week of a concert and auditions he could try the Calc-phos cell salt as a constitutional to take daily for a few months to see if he could rebuild the inner structures of his nose and throat after having chronic issues in his ENT region for so long! However, because the congestion had been relieved overnight, that also changed the inner shape of his throat and cords and he was panicking about not being able to adjust to the related vocal changes at such last minute. There was also a sticky mucus now on his vocal cords so he was cracking on the high notes as he was practicing. I did another acute emergency case taking adding in whatever new symptoms he was experiencing.
He expressed how he felt about making this cancellation phone call. The Calc has the feeling about not being up to the task, but this was more, it was a much heavier sense than just a duty to perform. It was also about his mentor that he looks up to and the importance he places on his blossoming solo career. I have worked with singers and remembered reading that Aurum is good for classical musicians and leaders of orchestras (according to Peter Chappel in his book Emotional Healing with Homeopathy, Treating the Effects of Trauma). I decided to look at the Materia Medica for Aurum and there was the need to take responsibility and withstand very high pressure, to perform even in adverse conditions, even the need to be highly responsible in every circumstance. There was the strong need to maintain his career, to hold on to achievement and praise, to keep up social and others' expectations of him. He imagines he has lost the affection of his friends and this makes him sad, even unto tears. This singer had mentioned before that he was able to perform great feats when he sang that were impossible. This was also in there, one must perform tasks which are impossible or much beyond his capacity. I had not remembered that Aurum addresses the nose and congestion. There can be a boring at the root of the nose, severe sinusitis, headaches at the inner angle of the right eye and at the root of the nose, and nasal obstruction. Clinically it can help with sinuses, anxiety, headache, and sinusitis.
Aurum is made from gold, and is not usually a first aid remedy for something like a cold. However, in this intense live or die moment, it did the job. Thinking back to the description of castles and royalty and how much importance he placed on the ability to perform at such a high caliber and the remark that he is usually sick when working with this music organization, it was also there in his first case taking, and neither of us saw such intensity of the situation until the following morning. He was very emotional and anxious when he took the Aurum and immediately calmed down. He was able to focus and he continued to warm up and steadily his voice improved. He let me know that within an hour he regained his confidence and was singing they way he had in rehearsals for the upcoming performance. And that he was able to continue to explore a new level of singing that was freer and more passionate than ever before.
He did not have to make that terrible call and two days later he let me know that he performed magnificently and was given high praise. Homeopathy had saved the day, and without it he was sure he would have been in agony with a sinus infection for several weeks. He was also going to take the cell salts to see how that changes his ENT region over the coming months. With the hep of homeopathy he could enjoy the golden glow of success.
How does homeopathy support healthy living? Why try homeopathy? The art of retuning the body’s natural healing capacity in a compassionate and gentle way is the gift that homeopathy brings to Lauren Trimble's natural and holistic method. If you enjoyed this article find out more at Birdsong.
Hidden just under the surface, anxiety is something we all experience. Anxiety is the experience of worry, nervousness or unease, and is typically linked to an upcoming event or something with an uncertain outcome. Education and outreach on mental health used to focus on depression but a review of 48 studies from across the world suggests that anxiety is now a much larger problem. In the past decade, anxiety has sky rocketed to epidemic proportions, especially in the United States where over 40 million people or 8 in 100 people experience unhealthy anxiety.
Xanax, Valium and Ativan are some of the benzodiazepines doctors prescribe to patients who are suffering from the effects of stress and anxiety. Sometimes anxiety is diagnosed as a depressive disorder and they prescribe selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (or SSRIs) such as Prozac, Cymbalta or Zoloft. These medications are known to stop anxiety or a panic attack within 30 to 60 minutes and generally last 11 to 20 hours. While they may at first seem like a godsend if you struggle with anxiety, there are many reasons to avoid taking them.
In Chinese medicine they say, wherever there is a ‘front’ there will also be a ‘back,’ and these drugs have a very big back. According to Hahnemann,”All medicaments produce two quite opposite states in the human body: the primary effect which manifests itself when the remedy begins to operate, and the secondary effect which appears only after the lapse of several hours, when the primary effect has ceased.” An example is how a laxative purges the bowel shortly after consuming it, but the next day constipation follows. Another example is drinking coffee that at first awakens and energizes, then later creates tiredness and lethargy. This is why the afternoon cup of coffee is so necessary for long term coffee drinkers. This is known as the secondary effect of medications so taking any medication, although providing an immediate relief, will have a bigger back so to speak.
There are still gaps in the science. Medical researchers do not know the exact mechanism by which benzodiazepines work. It is believed they raise levels of the calming neurotransmitter gamma-amino butyric acid (GABA) or increase GABA receptor sensitivity. GABA deficiency is linked to depression, anxiety and PTSD, insomnia and drug and alcohol dependence so the theory that improving GABA levels would reduce these symptoms is logical. In the big picture though, the overall effect of benzodiazepines on the body is not known.
It is no secret that medications often have a long list of potential side effects and how they might affect each person can’t be predicted ahead of time. Benzodiazepines in particular are known to develop an addictive dependency. This makes these medications dangerous to stop and the person can either take them far longer than is recommended, or they have to carefully wean themselves off with medical supervision.
Also, medications are given for a disease label rather than the unique set of symptoms that represent the underlying state of the whole person. It is known that treating symptoms superficially and not treating the deeper source issues may act as a temporary palliative and does not often provide a lasting solution. It can in fact suppress the natural expression of symptoms and lead to more grave health issues in the future. A symptom is like a white flag calling for attention and support, but it is not the real disease.
Relief from overwhelming anxiety problems can come in many forms and there are many solutions that are natural. They do not need to forcefully change the brain’s chemistry and have possible side effects. Some of these include the more well-known methods such as cognitive behavioural therapy, hypnotherapy and high intensity interval training as well there are alternative methods such as meditation, dietary changes and seeing holistic practitioners. Homeopathy is one natural solution that has shown to be very effective for anxiety and stress.
Stress has emotional and physical effects directly related to the person’s response to inner and outer pressures and perceived fears or conflicts. Long-term stress can develop into anxiety and each person expresses behavioural, mental and emotional symptoms. During a homeopathic session the mental and emotional state of a person, the physical symptoms, the perception of the person towards their experience, their susceptibility, a complete family history and whatever else the person brings up are addressed and explored by the homeopath. In allowing for the whole set of symptoms to be explored, this leads to discovering the deeper experience of the person and their inner state. The homeopath will then reach a remedy choice that can help the person with the root issues that produce anxiety.
Einstein said that, ‘We can not solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them.’ Homeopathy accesses the natural principles of healing and does not rely on mental therapy to get us out of the loop of our own thinking process. A lot of the common tools and techniques such as graduated exposure therapy, slowed breathing or distraction are useful and can help manage anxiety and keep a person functional, however getting to the root issues can make real and long term change possible.
With the help of homeopathy we are able to fill in the source of both what inspires the individual and of the unhealthy state that produces disease. This is the beauty of it, the homeopathic process can help in cases of depression, anxiety and stress without causing further harm, and without or in conjunction with medications. Einstein knew what he was talking about when he said that we can only solve our problems with a different level of consciousness than where we started with it. Holistic healing approaches are one way to shift levels and see profound results.
The effect of being bullied can have long-lasting effects and be very traumatic. It can lead to chronic anxiety and stress, and if it happens during childhood the effects can be even more intense. There have been many headline stories of young people ending their lives after being repeatedly attacked by bullies at school. What can we do to protect our children and ourselves?
An urban issue?
The world population has nearly doubled since the year I was born and since 2009 the majority of people on the planet are now living in city environments. This has lead to increased levels of tension, aggression and stress that we deem as the new 'normal.' It is the nature of the urban beast so to speak, so we have to live with it. The word scapegoat refers to a person who is compelled to bear the burden of someone else's guilt, or to symbolically bear the burden of sin. It is essentially a release valve for tension and stress as well as aggression. I was watching a wonderful documentary, The Hidden Life of Wolves, by Jim and Jamie Dutcher and discovered that in wolf hierarchy there is an omega role. Although the observations of the omega have been made mostly in unnatural settings such as in captivity or living in close proximity to human observers (and so may be exaggerated to truly wild wolf behaviour), this mirrors the way most humans are now living in relatively unnatural environments that are enclosed and overcrowded so it is perhaps relevant.
A need for the omega?
According to the Dutchers, the social hierarchy of a pack is what maintains order dictating who makes decisions, who mates with whom, who eats first and who eats last. Although wolves are very affectionate and playful, this order is constantly reinforced by displays of dominance and submission. The lowest position in the pack hierarchy is one or more wolves, usually a male and a female, known as the omegas. These wolves are dominated and pushed around by all the other wolves in the pack. The only apparent consolation for the omega wolf is that they are typically the jester of the pack and are the one who starts up play and chasing games, perhaps to diffuse these very tensions.
You can hear the concern and worry in the Dutcher's narrative about a favoured wolf that is given the role of omega.
"When I first recorded his howl, I was amazed at what was coming through my headphones. Lakota, eyes shut and head thrown back, was just pouring his heart out. His rich, mournful voice soared into the evening and hung in the air for what seemed like forever. I actually found myself welling up at the sheer beauty and expressiveness of his song. I felt as though I were listening to him sing the blues, giving voice to all the loneliness and pain that his social position brought him. Even when new pups were added to the pack in later years, no member of the Sawtooth Pack ever came close to comparing with the beauty and sadness of Lakota’s howl."
Who is the omega?
Once the role is determined, the omega wolf seems to be left without any other options and he must play the role utterly and completely each and every day. He has been delegated to a role not of his own choosing. Even if it seems unjust or unfair, the only way his role changes is if another wolf is given a lower rank. As this omega bears the brunt of the tensions and aggressions of the pack one or many of the wolves assert themselves over him and he will flip over onto his back whimpering in surrender. Generally this is a bloodless exchange but at times, especially during the breeding season, it can get vicious and extremely difficult to watch. Essentially the softest and gentlest of the group needs to become assertive and aggressive to simply maintain his space, have access to food and not be attacked.
Watching the wolves' aggressive behaviour around the omega is similar to the disturbing video I saw recently of a group of young people where the bully is beating on another girl, ending with the bully standing over her and hitting her while the girl is cowering and covering her face. The rest of the youth looked on, no one moved to get involved or stop the violence.
According to Glynis Sherwood, "Usually they are either sensitive, unhappy, vulnerable, ill and/or the outspoken child or the whistle-blower." We make weakness, difference or threat to social order into something separate and maintain that isolation through violence and aggression. The role of scapegoat does not have to remain throughout life however. And the idea that we can stop bullying by campaigning and educating people about the bully's behaviour only goes so far.
What we can do about bullying?
It is the inner world of the person that needs support, their perception of themselves in relation to the world around them is what is possible to change. A bully is a force of nature looking for an outlet, how can someone no longer be a suitable receptor?
I have seen in my own experience how a core homeopathic remedy can change our inner experience profoundly. The child who has an illness can be given a chance to regain their strength, the unhappy an opportunity to discover their joy, the vulnerable a means to develop their strengths, the sensitive an avenue to explore their talents, the outspoken support and encouragement for their voice. In my own experience a core remedy was like going from a 40-watt bulb to a 100-watt bulb. Suddenly who you are burns brighter and gives off more light.
This approach will not directly change a bully’s behaviour, but if it enables the bullied person to feel stronger and less vulnerable, then they often find that they cease to be the target of bullying. With an increase in self-esteem and confidence the cycle can be broken naturally without confrontation and blame. The child can then see a reduction of stress and anxiety and continue with other methods to help recover from the experience and to move on with their life.
How does holistic treatment support healthy living? Why try homeopathy? Having a life long study in the principles of nature and healthy living, Lauren Trimble is happy to share her knowledge and experience. The art of retuning the body’s natural healing capacity & developing consciousness in a compassionate and gentle way is the gift that homeopathy brings to her current holistic practice. If you enjoyed this article find out more at Birdsong.
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