Back to School (or Work) Nerves
Well, this has probably been the longest break most of us have had from school or work. Whatever age we are, it can be a daunting prospect to get back to it.
For most of us, once the first day is done, we wonder what the fuss was about. But for some, the apprehension may be particularly troublesome & there may be difficulty settling back into the routine.
Here are some homoeopathic remedies that can help through this challenge.
Separation anxiety and fear of abandonment. For example, on starting nursery, some children believe their parents won’t come back for them. Behaviour is tearful and clingy. Equally useful for parents who feel weepy and emotional when first leaving their child.
Indicated when people feel overwhelmed at change, struggling to assimilate new challenges. Often obstinate and difficult to distract, they are hard working once they take on a task. They have many fears and nightmares.
Anxious, restless people who need to control their environment to feel safe. They may be irritable, bossy, and critical of others. These characters are very tidy and organised, possibly exhibiting compulsive behaviour. There may be panic attacks.
Performance or anticipatory anxiety, particularly worried about being late, which causes them to rush. Worry, hurry, scurry - picture the while rabbit from Alice in Wonderland!
Another one for anticipatory anxiety. This one has a great fear of failure and of being told off. They tend to wake up grumpy & unrefreshed. Although usually extremely well behaved in school (or the workplace), their worries may be taken out when back in the safety of their own home on a younger sibling/family member.
If, like me, you are way overdue for a dental visit - never fear, homoeopathy is here!
Many dentists are starting to see patients again, but I guess there may be a long wait unless you have an emergency.
Here are some remedies that may tide you over until then (& can be used alongside conventional treatment too):
Symptoms come on suddenly & dramatically. Belladonna pains are throbbing in nature, with heat & swelling. Pains are relieved by cold applications.
There may be infection with thick, yellow, smelly pus. The splinter-like pains are made worse by cold air & touch. The patient is very irritable & unlikely to suffer in silence.
Like a bear with a sore head! Classically used for teething babies who cannot settle & whatever you do is just not good enough. They want to be carried, then put down, then picked up again. They are besides themselves with pain & it makes them angry!
In an adult with oversensitivity to pain, worse from coffee & anything warm, better from cold drinks, with a similar angry response, try Chamomilla.
Infections that come on slowly & linger. The teeth may not be in very good condition; they decay & break easily. May be needed to finish off the work of a remedy used in the earlier, more dramatic stages.
Pains are worse at night & the gums may bleed. The breath smells foul & there may be lots of pus. There can be a metallic taste present, excess salivation & the teeth may leave an imprint along the sides of the tongue.
This is also a great ulcer remedy. Three times a day for three days at the first sign of an outbreak can be a helpful way to treat them.
Sharp, shooting pain & injury to the nerves. Can be helpful after surgical procedures.
Hayfever Remedies (week commencing 25th May 2020)
If the pollen covering my car is anything to go by, hayfever season must be in full bloom!
The best way to approach any chronic (ongoing) ailment homoeopathically is to have regular sessions with a homoeopath for constitutional treatment. This involves taking detailed information about your general health, personal characteristics & a little family medical history as well as your allergy symptoms. Remedies are then tailored to match you as closely as possible.
Consultations usually take place monthly until you start to improve & need less frequent appointments. After that, people often return each spring & autumn for a little "booster" if needed. The aim of this holistic approach is to reduce the individual's susceptibility to the problem longer term.
It can also be helpful to take remedies during the hayfever season to alleviate symptoms. Below are some which are commonly indicated.
Homoeopathy means "like curing like". I.E. a substance that would produce a set of symptoms in a healthy person, can alleviate those same symptoms when prepared as a homoeopathic remedy. Allium Cepa is made from the red onion.
Streaming nose (which may sting).
Worse in a warm room, late afternoon & evening.
Better in open air.
Also known as "Eyebright", it is no surprise that the eyes suffer the most symptoms here.
Streaming nose & eyes.
Eyes are itchy and burning.
Also useful in hay asthma, with a cough during the day but better at night in bed.
A great conjunctivitis remedy.
Streaming eyes & nose, which both sting.
Although the nose drips, it remains blocked up, usually worse in the right nostril.
The eyes may be swollen, especially beneath the lower lids.
Tremendous sneezing is the primary symptom.
The nose tingles & itches & has a thin, sometimes burning, discharge.
Warmth & warm drinks help the nasal symptoms.
Hay asthma, with a dry, irritated cough.
There may be a sensation of something in the throat, causing the need to constantly swallow.
Immense itching in the nose, throat & palate. Sometimes this extends to the ears.
Rubs the tongue over the roof of the mouth to relieve the itching.
Constant need to clear the throat, which can be swollen & irritated.
This can be used as a "catch all" remedy to provide temporary relief, whatever the symptoms are.
Some Cough Remedies (week commencing 18th May 2020)
One of the (many) wonderful things about homoeopathy is that we don't need a diagnosis to prescribe a remedy. Whilst it can be helpful so that we can understand the nature of the ailment, we prescribe on the presenting symptoms of the patient and individualise, even with a diagnosis. This week I write about some remedies as an example of this.
It can be empowering to have help at your fingertips & there is a long tradition of cough remedies in homoeopathy. Here are just a few of the many to choose from.
Emergency services should of course be alerted in any severe cases.
A "nip it in the bud" remedy. This is often the first port of call in the very early stages of an acute illness & may stop it in its tracks.
Dry cough, sometimes barking/croupy sounding.
Sudden, dramatic symptoms.
May be accompanied by high fever.
Symptoms which come on at night after exposure to cold, dry wind.
The patient is often anxious & restless. Even fearing death...
Slow onset of illness.
Dry cough & dry mucus membranes.
Symptoms are made worse by moving. The patient wants to lie down & be left alone in peace & quiet.
A hard cough, sometimes with stabbing pains.
Pains are relieved by hard pressure (e.g. by lying on the affected side).
The patient may hold their chest when coughing.
A rattly cough.
Often suited to the very young or very elderly, where the patient sounds like they are drowning in their own mucus, unable to expel it.
There may be wheezing.
The tongue may be coated white.
The patient may be sweaty & drowsy.
Coughing until you retch (as in whooping cough).
The patient feels as though they are being choked.
The cough is worse at night in bed.
Walking outside in the cool air may relieve symptoms.
Often useful in the later stages of illness.
The patient is chilly & intolerant of even the slightest draft.
There may be loss of sense of taste & smell.
Much mucus & sweat.
There may be sudden spells of breathlessness.
Most likely in the very frail or elderly.
A state of collapse & icy cold (though may not want covers).
There may be fainting, much difficulty breathing, possibly with snoring.
It is important to be aware of the difference between acute (meaning self-limiting) & chronic (ongoing/longer term) illness. Chronic cough could be a sign of other underlying issues & a homoeopath should be consulted as the nature of prescribing is more complex.
Welcome to my Blog!
This week I have decided to take a break from the theme of "Remedy of the week" to write about something close to my heart right now.
Ruthlessness in the Pursuit of Healing!
(Week commencing 27th April 2020)
For many of us, life has slowed down for the moment. Amidst all the challenges, some of us are starting to find silver linings. For me, more time with loved ones is definitely up there. To start with I thought this would be an opportunity to finally learn French, how to play the guitar, speak on the phone to friends I don't see often enough...But the extra time on my hands is giving me the opportunity for something sorely needed - time to heal.
A few weeks ago I embarked on an online recovery program for a neurological condition I have. It requires a lot of work in the form of exercises, but equally (if not more) important, is rest, relaxation and good quality sleep. These aspects are crucial to allow new neural pathways to form. Fortunately, I have the full support and understanding of those closest to me. They are not offended if I interrupt time with them because I have to take a nap, or it's time to do the next activity online.
It has struck me that it is surprisingly difficult to make time for self care such as this - even during this time of enforced inactivity. It's easy to feel guilty for choosing to do a relaxation technique when I've finished my jobs for the day instead of calling that friend I've been meaning to catch up with. Or to feel like I need permission from someone to do this. And yet, I'm sure most would agree that our own health should be top priority. It will make me a better mother, partner, friend, employee, practitioner etc.
For me, this is a great lesson and one that I intend to hold onto when life gets busier again. I hope I manage to continue to be (and support others to be) ruthless in the pursuit of healing!
Remedies of the Week (week commencing 20th April 2020)
Last week was surprisingly busy, adapting to a new way of working and staying in touch with friends and family.
So, as I didn't get around to blogging last week, this week I am writing about two grief remedies that are very closely linked and much needed by many at this time.
Some people have asked if they can buy remedies from me. I can prescribe and post the indicated remedy after a consultation, but if you simply wish to purchase a remedy, this must be done through a homoeopathic pharmacy such as Helios or Ainsworth's.
Ailments from grief
Unrequited or disappointed love
Sobbing, inconsolable...dislikes consolation
Can be defensive, suspicious, verging on rude even
Neurological symptoms such as tics, muscle spasms and twitches - especially when associated with grief
Grief is not always about bereavement. Many of us are currently mourning the loss of our freedom, jobs, connection with loved ones. Relationships can suffer under the strain of these influences, causing its own heartache.
I keep reminding myself, when I feel a niggle towards someone close to me, that times like these can bring out some of these symptoms, so I am trying to be kind and compassionate if I catch myself reacting negatively (not saying I'm always successful in that!).
People needing Ignatia sometimes have the "rabbit in the headlights" look to them. Looking back at photos of myself after giving birth the first time (the gentle home birth didn't quite go as planned!), I can see that Ignatia would have been good for me - if only I'd known about homoeopathy then...
I've seen the same look in clients and loved ones lately and given this remedy.
Also, remember Rescue Remedy for shock/panic/anxiety. It was first given to me when my father died at the age of just 48 (the anniversary is tomorrow - he would have turned 71 yesterday). I had no idea what it was, but a friend told me to open my mouth, popped a drop in my mouth and it was as though the volume was turned down on my shock.
Proud mum moment: in recent weeks, if my 12 year old son is feeling wobbly, he asks for a drop of Rescue Remedy in his water. I love that he recognises the signs and lets me know.
Ailments from grief
Disappointed love - rejection from which they cannot move on
Unable to cry (they may sob hysterically when it finally starts - though not in company)
Bottles up emotions (yet often a great listener)
Perfectionists, serious, overly responsible (children who are mature beyond their years)
May turn to drugs or alcohol to numb the pain
People needing this remedy tend to dwell on past hurts. They are extremely sensitive and easily offended or wounded by careless remarks, rejection and losses. Their defence mechanism is to build a barrier, not allowing anyone in, so they cannot be hurt again.
They are dignified and refined - they would not dream of crying publicly or baring their soul to another. Though they tend to make loyal and trustworthy friends who would never share your secrets and would offer wise advice.
I have experienced being able to let go of feelings of bitterness and resentment and letting down my guard after this remedy at various times in my life.
Physically, it is a great headache/migraine remedy, especially when symptoms are made worse by light, sun, noise, reading and before or after periods.
It is also a wonderful insomnia remedy when past griefs play on the mind.
Remedy of the Week (week commencing 6th April 2020)
Fear of poverty
Fear of disease
Despair of recovery
Fear of germs
...Ultimately - fear of death
Anxiety for the wellbeing of loved ones
As you can imagine, the above fears can easily lead to compulsive disorders. The Arsenicum need for order and control stems from insecurity. Compulsive hand-washing, cleaning, hoarding, planning... They will literally sweep the floor behind you as you walk in the door (sometimes I have to fight this urge!).
Also extreme stinginess (again - this comes from a deep rooted insecurity).
Ringing any bells?!
I have been taking this remedy a lot in the last few weeks. For me this state is manifesting mostly as concerns about money, work, security - for myself as well as friends and family. Scared of spending money in case it runs out...Needing a plan of action amidst all the uncertainty...Cleaning and tidying (too much!).
When I notice these thoughts and feelings creep back in, I pop a remedy in my water and sip it for the day. This is a lovely way to drip-feed the indicated remedy.
On the physical side, this is one of the homoeopathic asthma remedies, especially where it tends to be worse at night (12-2am) and eases when sitting upright.
It is indicated in bronchitis, pneumonia, pleurisy, emphysema - when the picture fits. All worse at night (12-2am), worse in the cold, open air or drinking cold drinks. Breathlessness worse when lying down, better when sitting up or leaning forward.
Arsenicum Album has many other uses, but fits the state so many of us find ourselves in right now that I just had to start with this one!