Do You Dream Of Dreaming…If Only You Could Get To Sleep?

It seems that almost everyone I have spoken to over the last week has had problems sleeping, whether it is in getting to sleep, waking during the night or, for those that are sleeping, having vivid crazy dreams. Insomnia, or sleeplessness, can be either an inability to fall asleep or waking up through the night before the expected waking time. As anyone who has ever experienced a poor nights sleep knows, the impact of sleeplessness shows up the next day as a reduced ability to concentrate, lethargy, and fragile emotions.dream of dreaming

The body actually requires sleep just as it does water, food and oxygen in order to function. Without sleep we would literally go crazy. When insomnia is long term (more than 3-4 weeks) it can have a major impact on your health, leading to memory problems, depression, irritability, with an increased risk of heart disease.

Tossing and turning for hours on end, worrying about not being able to get to sleep, or being unable to switch off can be very frustrating, and can even worsen the insomnia. The more you try to sleep, the more frustrated you get and the harder sleep becomes

For many people insomnia is an ongoing issue that has some pretty big repercussions on their life. While it can be caused by many things for a large number it is often the result of poor sleep behaviour, sometimes resulting from patterns established during childhood.

SOME CAUSES

There are quite a number of poor lifestyle habits that can actually be the cause or sleeplessness, or else worsen it. Here are a few of them that you may need to address:

·         Going to bed at different times each night

·         Daytime napping

·         Poor sleeping environment, such as too much noise or light – your bedroom should be a ‘haven of calm’

·         Spending too much time in bed while you are still awake

·         Working evening or night shifts

·         Not getting enough exercise

·         Using the television, computer, or smartphone in bed 

The use of some medications and drugs may also affect sleep.

  • Alcohol for instance may help you fall asleep initially but generally leads to waking up through the night.
  • Too much caffeine is well known as a cause of insomnia, especially when it is drunk later in the day.
  • There are a number of medications, including cold medicines and diet pills that can cause poor sleep. Be very careful about self-prescribing unless you know exactly what the effects of what you are taking are, as some herbs and supplements can lead to insomnia.
  • Heavy smoking can be a problem.
  • If you take sleeping pills regularly it is easy to become used to them, so they stop working as well as they did initially.

In addition to lifestyle habits there are a number of other physical, social, and mental health issues that can affect sleep patterns, including: anxiety disorders, Bipolar Disorder, certain medical conditions such as thyroid disease, feeling sad or depressed, physical pain or discomfort, stress whether it is short-term or long-term.

CIRCADIAN RHYTHMS

However sometimes there is just no obvious reason for sleeplessness.

We have our own inbuilt body clock called the circadian rhythm, that regulates our sleep patterns. This is what makes us fall asleep at night and wake up again the next morning. The body clock is easily thrown out by overseas flying, rotating shift work, or even a few late nights. When your body clock gets disrupted you experience symptoms like jet lag.

Taking sleeping pills to help you sleep often leaves you with a ‘hangover’ effect which is something you will avoid by using natural cures instead.

For many the prospect of sleeping like a baby, anywhere, anytime seems like a remote daydream. There are some natural remedies with proven success that may offer relief.
For many the prospect of sleeping like a baby, anywhere, anytime seems like a remote daydream, but there are some natural remedies with proven success that may offer relief.

RESET YOUR BODY CLOCK NATURALLY

There are a number of very effective natural ways that you can reset the body clock so you can get back to good sleeping patterns. Here are a few that have proven success.

Melatonin: Melatonin is a hormone secreted by the pineal gland of the brain which helps to relax us so that we can fall asleep. It is quite well-known for its ability to rebalance your body clock and is often used to treat jet lag. It is usually released in the absence of light, but we need to have spent some time in daylight in order to make enough in the first place. This is why it is recommended that you spend time outside after you have flown a long-haul flight. Taking a melatonin supplement can help to reset the body clock. But if you prefer to use food as medicine you can address melatonin deficiency with foods that boost serotonin (melatonin is made from serotonin) such as raw cacao , magnesium, fish oils and herbal tea containing hops, chamomile, ashwaganda and lemon balm.

Homeopathy: Homeopathy has a marvelous history treating insomnia. There are many Homeopathic remedies that work to reset the body’s sleep patterns, calm your mind and get restful sleep. While there are a number of combination mixes available over the counter, the ones that have the deepest and most long lasting effect are those that are prescribed individually by a Homeopath to suit your individual insomnia symptoms.

Some that a Homeopathic practitioner may consider for insomnia are Arsenicum Album – useful when anxiety, fear, or worry prevents sleep; Coffea – when you are unable to sleep because your thoughts are too active or you are excited about a surprise, or good or bad news; Nux-vomica – when very irritable, waking between 2-4am with racing thoughts only to fall asleep again about daybreak, with much stress caused by overstudy or work; Ignatia –  sleepless after disappointment or grief; and Passiflora – for restless sleeplessness with exhaustion – the choice between these and many more would depend on these, and all the other symptoms you were experiencing. But check with your Homeopath as the remedies need to be selected and taken according to homeopathic principles

Herbs: There is a range of herbs that are very useful to induce sleep. Valerian root is one that is quite well known and often used. It is quite powerful and often used when changing time zones for fast results. Valerian is useful when you have difficulty staying asleep. Some people however get the opposite effect from valerian and can get hyped-up after taking it. It is good combined with Passionflower which helps to fall asleep initially. Some of the others that can be helpful are Kava which is again available after having been taken off the market for a while, can be used for short-term relief. It is good to relieve anxiety in the moment. Scullcap is great to use when you are very hyped-up and just can’t slow down, or are experiencing anxiety and are emotionally stressed, and you can use it for longer periods.

Aromatherapy: Using Essential Oils can help bring on sleep. While there are a number of oils that induce sleep, lavender has long been recognized as being the ‘Queen of Calm’, and lavender essential oil will effectively calm down overwrought nervous systems. A few drops added to a warm bath before bed or on a cotton ball under the pillow should bring on sleep.

SETTING A PERFECT SLEEP ENVIRONMENT

Make sure your sleeping environment is calm and serene. THE KEY IS TO SWITCH OFF. Leave your worries at the bedroom door. Switch off all gadgets – phones (put them in flight mode), iPad, laptop, TV etc. Take some time to settle down and relax. Set aside 30 minutes before bed as ‘unwind and de-stress time’ – read a good book, wite your journal, listen to soft music – anything that you find relaxes you and does not involve an electronic gadget. Remember, exposure to artificial light (electronics) before going to bed increases your alertness and suppresses melatonin and so will keep you awake.

So, here’s to a great sleep.

What are some of the ways you deal with sleeplessness?

Worrying about not being able to get to sleep can worsen the insomnia
Worrying about not being able to get to sleep can worsen the insomnia

Disclaimer.

All information and opinions presented here are for information only and are not intended as a substitute for professional advice offered during a consultation. Please consult with your health care provider before trying any of the treatment suggested on this site. 

Source articles:

http://www.movenourishbelieve.com/nourish/are-you-getting-enough-sleep-4-natural-ways-to-create-a-sleep-friendly-environment

http://www.naturaltherapypages.com.au/article/can_i_reset_my_body_clock

http://homeopathyplus.com.au/getting-a-good-nights-sleep

Are You Well Enough To Weather Winter?

A question that is worth asking yourself right now is “am I well enough to weather winter?” If you build your health before winter arrives you are more likely to get through it without falling victim to lots of colds or worse, the flu.

If you build up your health before winter arrives you are far more likely to get through without falling victim to lots of colds or worse, the flu.   Photo credit: Flickr Winter Fog by Larisa Koshkina
If you build your health before winter arrives you are more likely to get through without falling victim to lots of colds or worse, the flu.
Photo credit: Flickr Winter Fog by Larisa Koshkina

During these last weeks of Autumn a really nasty flu/cough/virus arrived alongside the change in weather, and people have been struck down with it all around, including me. It seems to be tagged as ‘flu’ but mine was more of a really nasty cough & cold. Most of the viruses that look and feel like flu are in fact not, with probably less than 20% actually being flu. But this does not stop the others from being downright unpleasant and highly contagious.

Preparing your health for winter really needs to begin as soon as the weather begins to change from summer into autumn, with a careful plan to bolster your immune system. But if you have not prepared yourself and have already had a taste of the illnesses that lie ahead this winter then there are still various tactics you can use to help you get through with minimum damage.

While aspirin or other medications may make you feel better because you can forget your symptoms for a bit they only suppress the symptoms and don’t actually make you better any faster. For that you need to look at other options, as well as making a few changes right now.

When my family catch the flu or any other cough or cold we all reach straight for the best selected Homeopathic remedy, because they are so effective against viral infection (unlike Antibiotics which we would avoid anyway). This is what I took this week to get rid of the bout I have just had fast. Homeopathic remedies are great as they reduce the unpleasant symptoms such as aches and pains or headache dramatically as they clear up the infection. But to get the fast, complete resolution the choice of remedy needs to be made individually – the remedy that did it for me may not be the same as the one you need. So if you would like to use this wonderful treatment head off to a Homeopath or else look for a short course to learn how to home-prescribe for acute illnesses yourself.

While there are many great Homeopathic medicines that are awesome for the flu, it is much better not to catch the flu in the first place.

The very first indication you are coming down with a cold or flu is the time you need to take action. Photo credit: Flickr Sick Again by Miss Rogue
The very first indication you are coming down with a cold or flu is the time you need to take action.
Photo credit: Flickr Sick Again by Miss Rogue

PREVENT THE FLU

Here are some steps you can take to help prevent getting the flu. It is really important to make sure you follow these steps if you have come into contact with someone who has flu. But when flu is doing the rounds you can bet that you have been in contact with sufferers, at work, the train, the shopping centre, at school, or anywhere you have been.

Rest    Get plenty of rest. Your immune system recharges itself while you are asleep. When you are overtired your system is not strong enough to fight off infection. Try for eight solid hours a night.

Water  Drink enough water as it improves the function of every system in your body

Nutrition Increase fresh fruit and vegetable in your diet, preferably organic if you can. Fresh organic produce in a rainbow of colours is packed full of the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants which are crucial for maintaining your immune health. Add spices such as turmeric, oregano, cinnamon and cloves have high ORAC scores   http://www.oracvalues.com which equates to high levels of antioxidants. Adding a high quality daily multivitamin will fill in any gaps in the full range you may have.

Exercise  Get regular exercise. Exercising for 30 to 60 minutes a day improves your immunity although it is not known exactly why. But it does need to be regular and consistent exercise, running occasionally won’t do a lot. However don’t overdo it as too much exercise makes you more susceptible to infection.

Hygeine Wash your hands often, especially before eating. You need to use warm water and soap and to really lather up. This is one of the best ways to avoid contracting the virus. Also, try not to touch your mouth, nose or eyes to prevent the virus entering your system.

Sugars Cut back on sugar and grains in your diet as they are both very weakening to your immune system.

The time you need to take steps if you want to fight the flu off is at the very first indication you are coming down with it because this is when the strategies work their best. Don’t just do a few things, you need to fight the virus off on all fronts by adopting every strategy you can – nutrition, sleep, exercise, supplements, calm.

Take some time off to rest up and recuperate. It is much better to rest for one day rather than getting sick for much longer, simply because you pushed on when your body was telling you to slow down

There are a number of supplements you can take to help to prevent flu which improve your immunity and help your mucous membranes stay healthy.

Vitamin D Most importantly get on to Vitamin D. It produces antimicrobial peptides in your body to kill viruses as well as bacteria. Huge numbers of the population are deficient in this crucial vitamin and because the source is sunlight their levels drop even further during the winter when sunlight is scarce or weak. 2000 IU a day has been found to keep flu away.

Vitamin C Adding a Vitamin C supplement during the flu season will provide your immune system with lots of extra power when it comes to warding off viral illness, as it acts as an antioxidant in your body. You can find it in many foods including lemons, limes, oranges, red pepper and broccoli.

Beta Carotene (Vitamin A) Vitamin A also acts as an antioxidant. It is of huge benefit to dramatically increase the amount you take each day if you do fall ill. Food sources are orange and yellow foods like carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin as well as broccoli and dark green vegetables.

Zinc Strong immunity is dependant on good zinc levels but many people are deficient in this trace element, as the body has no way to store it. It increases production of infection fighting white blood cells and helps your immune system release more antibodies. If your levels of zinc are low you will be much more susceptible to infection. Your natural health practitioner can test your levels for you.

Vitamin E Another antioxidant, it improves immune function. If you have Hypertension make sure to take a water soluble version. Good food sources are olive oil, almonds, avocado and spinach.

Vitamin B6  Vitamin B6 deficiency leads to a weakened immune system. Vegetarians need to be particularly careful as most sources of B6 are animal foods.

Selenium It has been found that viruses tend to mutate easily into more damaging forms that lead to flu-related lung damage in people who are deficient in Selenium.

Olive Leaf Extract is a very effective immune system builder

Probiotics Studies show that long term use of lactic acid bacteria can protect against flu infection.

HERBAL HELP

There are many herbs that support and boost your immune system and help you stave off the flu, while also helping the mucous membranes, such as Astragulus membranaceus, Hydrastis Canadensis, Sambucus nigra, Shitake mushroom and Garlic. Echinacea is useful for the first twenty-four hours of the illness.

Garlic is one food that really gives you a huge boost. If you take your garlic as a food you need to know these first. The health benefits of garlic are destroyed by cooking, much better if it is raw. You need to be able to smell garlic for it to work – odour free tablets are useless. The inside of the clove needs to be exposed to the air to be effective, so cut or crush the clove before you eat it. You should take two cloves a day. If you cut it up very small and swallow the bits with water or  tea they will be easier to eat. Often when I need some garlic I squeeze the cloves right on the top of my pasta or casserole after I have served it and just eat it with the first mouthful. That way it is raw so still effective but the taste is masked by the taste of the food. Chew on parsley after taking garlic to avoid ‘garlic breath’

Reishi, Shitake and Maitake mushrooms have been used medicinally by the Chinese for over 6,000 years as they are excellent for increasing white blood cell activity to better fight off infection. There are many great mushroom supplements in tablet form available as well as the liquid herbs.

IF YOU STILL CATCH THE FLU

If in spite of taking preventative measures you are unfortunate and do catch the flu, here are some suggestions to help ease the flu symptoms a bit.

  • Hot water bottles or heated wheat bags are great for sore, chilly patients
  • Hot baths with Epsom salts: Put 1-2 cups of salts into a warm bath and soak . This helps draw out inflammation and ease muscle pain
  • Gentle massage can help increase circulation
  • Vitamin C in a powdered form in juice or water is easier to swallow than tablets and will ease inflamed mucous membranes as it passes over them.
  • Chicken soup can be good as it helps replace electrolytes plus has other healing properties
  • If you feel nausea ginger or chamomile tea may help
  • Here are some nice herbal recipes for the symptoms of viral colds and flu, including a Cold & Flu Tea and a Sore Throat Gargle

And don’t forget, when you start feeling better it is important to remember that you are more vulnerable than normal and so you should take things a bit easier for a while, cutting back your schedule and keeping down your stress levels.

What’s your best tip for combating the flu?

Take some time off to rest up and recuperate Photo credit: Kate Ter Haar
Take some time off to rest up and recuperate
Photo credit: Kate Ter Haar

Disclaimer.

All information and opinions presented here are for information only and are not intended as a substitute for professional advice offered during a consultation. Please consult with your health care provider before trying any of the treatment suggested on this site. 

Source articles:

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2009/12/03/how-to-prevent-the-flu-easy-as-1-2-3.aspx

http://www.livestrong.com/article/365772-vitamins-for-the-flu/

http://www.livestrong.com/article/546106-selenium-for-the-flu/

http://www.naturalnews.com/019194_flu_the_health.html

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/12/13/zinc-for-colds-and-flu.aspx

Magical Magnesium

My sister is lucky and has a beautiful bathroom with a big, deep bath in it, and so this week I ordered her a bulk order of Epsom Salts for her long, deep bath soaks. She knows, like most people, that they are a great way to relieve tired and aching muscles and bring on a great sleep. But what she doesn’t know is that Epsom salts are rich in magnesium, a mineral that can be poorly absorbed internally.

Epsom Salts are a great way to relieve tired and aching muscles and bring on a great sleep
Epsom Salts are a great way to relieve tired and aching muscles and bring on a great sleep
Photo credit: Monica Arellano-Ongpin

Magnesium is often deficient in our diets but soaking in a bath containing Epsom salts can be a way to boost your magnesium levels, because it is absorbed very easily through the skin.

Most of the population does not get enough magnesium. In 2000 the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (in USA) found that the figure of deficiency was as high as 80% of adults, a figure most likely mirrored here in Australia. This figure is significant because the mineral magnesium plays a part in thousands of functions in your body, and it is also one that is easily depleted. Also, deficiency is often not detected because it manifests differently in each individual.

The mineral magnesium, plays a vital role in building and maintaining good health, working in conjunction with many other nutrients, particularly calcium and Vitamin D.

Most people know that they need calcium. And there is also growing awareness of the importance of Vitamin D. But the third side of this triangle is perhaps not so widely known about. Magnesium also plays a part in this picture, and while magnesium deficiency is quite widespread due to deficient intake, it is frequently not addressed with diet or supplementation in the way that calcium is. head-30160_640

Magnesium, calcium and vitamin D work in unison in the body. All three require the others to actually do their job, and it does not matter if you are getting adequate amounts of one of them, without all three it will not be able to do its job. Which means taking calcium supplements without adequate magnesium is not much use. Your body needs about twice as much calcium as magnesium, but many people actually have much, much more calcium and many times less magnesium.

Magnesium is the fourth most abundant element in your body. It helps to regulate over three hundred enzymes, it plays a vital role in muscle control, in sending electrical impulses along the nerves, in energy production and also it assists in the elimination of toxins.

Many common diseases of our modern life can be rooted in a magnesium deficiency, and it can lead to heart disease, stroke, osteoporosis, arthritis and joint pain, digestive disorders, chronic fatigue, or illnesses resulting from stress. Magnesium deficiency has also been shown to contribute to SIDS. Long term chronic magnesium deficiency damage can even be fatal.

When we talk of muscles everyone usually thinks of those in the legs or back, and most people have experienced muscle cramps at some time, often in the legs or feet. But how many think of their heart as also being a muscle? Low magnesium levels can affect the efficient working of your heart, in the same way that they can lead to cramping of your leg muscles.

Here are some early symptoms of a magnesium deficiency:

  • Restlessness
  • Muscle cramps, tremors & twitches
  • Restless or fidgety legs
  • Pain in the feet

Some other indicators of a possible magnesium deficiency:

  • Migraines, cluster headaches 
  • Anxiety, stress & panic attacks
  • Fatigue, sluggish
  • Poor sleep & waking up tired – difficulty falling asleep or waking with muscle stiffness
  • Low energy levels
  • High blood pressure & cholesterol levels
  • Period pain & PMS – deficiency can also lead to infertility and pregnancy problems
  • Nervousness – heightened sensitivity to external stimuli like lights and noise, with exaggerated emotions
  • Irritability of the nervous system – depression, restlessness, psychiatric conditions including bipolar and epilepsy.
  • Kidney stones
  • Poor memory & confusion
  • Calcium or potassium deficiency
  • Autism spectrum, ADD/ADHD, other neurological conditions

 

Magnesium Foods

Magnesium can be obtained from a number of foods. Good sources of magnesium are

Continue reading…

Disclaimer.

All information and opinions presented here are for information only and are not intended as a substitute for professional advice offered during a consultation. Please consult with your health care provider before trying any of the treatment suggested on this site. 

Source articles

http://truththeory.com/2013/04/02/16-signs-youre-magnesium-deficient-symptoms-of-low-magnesium-levels/

http://truththeory.com/2013/04/02/16-signs-youre-magnesium-deficient-symptoms-of-low-magnesium-levels/

http://www.ancient-minerals.com/magnesium-sources/dietary/

16 Magnesium Deficiency Symptoms – Signs of Low Magnesium Levels

http://unames.com/floating/epsom.htm

The Magnesium Factor, Seelig, Mildred. 2003

Stop And Take Stock – Before Life Whizzes Right On By You

It seems that people constantly speak of how fast the world is today, of how hurried they feel or make comments like “wow, can you believe the year is almost half over, already”! We talk constantly about our fast-paced world and many people feel overwhelmed by the demands of life in 2013. We all know that we should be taking time out to relax, to re-group, to re-new. But, there is no time!

Copy of Lake Reflections

Life races on.

Suddenly it is mid-year, the end of the year, ten years later, and that’s when we really feel confused about where did all that time go to.

In times past there was far more awareness about marking the important times of our lives. Families and communities lived a slower, more measured life and were able to recognize and acknowledge the passing of time more easily. They would gather for birthdays, religious celebrations, housewarmings, engagements and marriages. In many indigenous societies they would also mark the passing of the seasons and the lunar calendar. But today many of these occasions for celebration have disappeared, while other celebrations are done in a way that may not hold the same meaning or have a significant effect on the person. We have all stopped pausing to take stock of our life.

Making the effort to stop and mark points in our life forces us to take the time to look at where we have been and how far we have come since the last time we examined our life.

When clients I am working with are feeling despondent about their health I often read back some of their history notes taken months or years earlier, during their consultation, as it allows them the opportunity to actually recall how bad their health was in the past and how much better they are now. Frequently as they improved they stopped remembering how they had felt or how incapacitated they were when they first came to see me. When I remind them they are able to then appreciate their vast improvement and to go on with a renewed positive outlook.

I don’t see this as simply a time issue however. All too many of us are our own harshest critics. We set standards and expectations for ourselves at impossible levels, we fail to recognize our achievements, let alone acknowledge them.

If we stop and assess where we are in life, what we now do differently, what we have learnt, how we view the world around us, or engage with the people we encounter differently, we then have marking points that we can use to compare and notice changes within ourselves. It allows us to realize that although we feel that we are simply racing through our life we are in fact changing and growing also. When we take this time it affords us a chance to recognize ourselves as the wonderful person we are and perhaps to judge our faults less harshly.

We have just celebrated a 21st birthday in our family and I insisted (of course) that we hold a party for close friends and family. My son was very reluctant and in fact resistant. But partway through the night he told me how glad he was that I had forced him have the event. I have watched with joy as through the week since the party his reflections have allowed a wonderful self-appreciation to blossom, and he is bubbling with plans for the next few months. I am sure that without marking this significant occasion he would have drifted on through the year, and perhaps his life, without this exuberance about himself and the possibilities that life offers him.

Our lives go on now 24/7. Everything seems to be available all hours of the day or night. Stores don’t close up for the weekend any more; movies run non-stop; we can find what we want at any hour, day or night. The world is on permanent ‘GO’. Nobody seems to be making the space to ask ‘where have I come from, and where might I go from here’.

The lyrics of the opening verse of ‘Tapestry’ by Carole King have always resonated for me, and whenever I hear them I cannot help but pause and reflect on my own life tapestry.

My life has been a tapestry
Of rich and royal hue;
An everlasting vision
Of the ever-changing view;
A wond’rous woven magic
In bits of blue and gold;
A tapestry to feel and see;
Impossible to hold.

Instead of racing on with your life, never noticing or appreciating much of the intricate and beautiful pattern of the life-quilt you are weaving, take some time out for reflection.

Try to make a regular time each week to ‘take stock’ of what you have done, what you achieved, what you learnt, how you could change things. Perhaps even start a journal in which to record your thoughts. Then do the same monthly, then every year on your birthday. Find something you love to do, maybe a meal with friends, a facial or massage, walk a labyrinth, maybe see a show – whatever you love, just something you enjoy – and mark the important occasions in your life as an acknowledgement of your worth and of the contribution that you are making to those around you and the earth as a whole.

Take some time out to reflect on the rich and royal tapestry of your life.

Do you already have some practice that helps you to reflect and take stock? Leave a reply below and tell me what you do, or what you plan to do, to make ‘acknowledgement’ space in your life.

Hawaiian Tapestry by Jay Wilson Take some time out to reflect on the rich and royal tapestry of your life Photo credit: Daniel Ramirez
Take some time out to reflect on the rich and royal tapestry of your life
Hawaiian Tapestry by Jay Wilson
Photo credit: Daniel Ramirez

 

Disclaimer.

All information and opinions presented here are for information only and are not intended as a substitute for professional advice offered during a consultation. Please consult with your health care provider before trying any of the treatment suggested on this site. 

 

Homeopathy To The Rescue – Homeopathy Awareness Week

Homeopathy Awareness Week (13-19 May 2013)
Homeopathy Awareness Week (13-19 May 2013)

May is an important month for Homeopaths here in Australia as it marks the celebration of Homeopathy Awareness Week (13th – 19th May). This year the theme is “Homeopathy To The Rescue” and the focus is on the ways Homeopathy can, and has been used in the treatment of trauma and disasters.

The purpose of this annual celebration is to get you all noticing the impact Homeopathy has on a global scale and to start you thinking about how Homeopathy could be useful in your life.

While there is a long history of Homeopathy being used with wonderful results during epidemics  and after disasters , using Homeopathic medicine to deal with the small traumas of your everyday life is where many people first encounter the healing benefits of the remedies.

Homeopathic Arnica is one remedy that I would have been lost without in raising my four sons, and in fact I cannot imagine how the Mums of active boys manage without it. When my boys were young they played a lot of sport, basketball, AFL football, baseball, hockey, netball, gymnastics, and rockclimbing, to say nothing of rough and rowdy games through the bushland around our home.

In addition to the kit of remedies I have at home, I always carried a Homeopathic First Aid kit in the boot of my car so we would have what we needed when we were out and about. In this kit was trusty Arnica.

Homeopaths often reach for Arnica as the first remedy to heal anyone affected by shock, trauma or injury, where it acts on the emotional or spiritual shock as well as on the physical shock.

Arnica has lots of uses but it is perhaps best known for its use when there is damage to soft tissue. It has amazing healing properties for muscle damage showing in symptoms such as bruising, swelling and aching. At sporting events, particularly football, I soon became known as the go-to-girl for help when the boys were hurt on the field, and would often have parents come to me asking for some arnica for their son.

I have to say that one year it actually saved one of my sons team from despair, because Arnica was the remedy that ensured the team a place in the Grand Final (which they then won!) How? At half time the star player, the full forward (the one who does most of the goal scoring) was taken off the field because his hand had been stomped on by a boot with ‘stops’ on the sole and there were four distinct dark bruises on his palm. I gave him one dose of Arnica at the start of half time, and by the time the second half started twenty minutes later, the bruising had almost disappeared so he was allowed to play, and to go on and kick the winning goal.

Over the course of many years of kids sport there were many, many other instances of parents being able to watch bruising or swellings, like ‘eggs’ on the head, actually go right down over a very short time, and so the Arnica was often sought out.

Arnica got these boys through the injuries with minimal fuss and allowed them to get back out to their game.

Arnica is a remedy that I give to many of my patients and not just the boys. Many people use it after they have had a big workout at the gym, or a hard day in the garden to relieve the aches and pains. Others use it after having dental work. It is a remedy that many now value in their home first aid kit, and the first remedy they think of for injuries and trauma.

What is Arnica?

A meadow of Arnica montana growing wild in Belgium
A meadow of Arnica montana growing wild in Belgium
Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/42244964@N03/3939176462/sizes/z/in/photostream/

Homeopathic Arnica Montana is made from a small plant of the Compositae family. It grows in the mountain pastures of mainland Europe where for centuries it has a long history of use as a herbal to treat bruises, sprains, rheumatic pain, emotional shock, hematoma and oedema.

Today, Arnica creams are widely used in the sports industry, and in fact  a number of Olympic athletes have found them helpful in reaching the pinnacle of their chosen sport. Here is the testimony of one and here a long list of other sports stars using Homeopathic Arnica.

Arnica has an affinity with the blood vessels, repairing them so that bruising and stagnation is able to dissipate from the site of the wound.

The benefit of Arnica, as you read in the story of my son’s football team, is that it speeds up the healing process. The bruising passes quickly, aching muscles return to normal faster, swelling subsides quickly, allowing a faster return to training, the game, or everyday activity.

When could you use Arnica?

Although I make some suggestions here for when Arnica may be helpful, I do not advocate using it without consulting your Homeopath first. Whilst Homeopathic remedies are very gentle they need to be prescribed with an understanding of how they work in order to be used effectively and safely. In addition if you have a seious accident or injury it is essential to get checked out for concussions, broken bones or other serious damage. But, even when these do occur Arnica can be useful to speed the healing process.

  • After accidents where there is shock
  • After an injury that leaves bruising of muscles
  • After an injury that leaves soft tissue swollen and sore
  • After over-exerting yourself
  • After surgery or dental work

Because Homeopathy Awareness Week is about using Homeopathy to deal with trauma this year, I am once again running my very popular short course “HOMEOPATHY @ HOME – TREATING ACUTE & FIRST AID AILMENTS”   beginning during Homeopathy Awareness Week, where you learn when and how to use thirty Homeopathic remedies, including Arnica, that will completely change the way you deal with acute illnesses and accidents in your family.

If you have missed this course but would like to join one later, check back again for details of the next course as I run it once every year.

If you would like to read about the latest research and thoughts on how Homeopathy might work, you may like to read Dana Ullman’s summary in this article published last week in The Huffington Post

But for those who have used Homeopathic medicine with enormous success the question is NOT how it works, or even whether it works. They have seen many times, that it does work effectively and that is enough reason to continue to love and use this remarkable treatment.

I don’t know how it works, nobody does yet. No doubt as research delves deeper and our knowledge grows, just how Homeopathic medicines work will become clearer. After all, in medicine there are also many medications and anaesthetics that were used and seen to be effective, long before the mechanism of how they work was known.

If you have had a positive experience with using Homeopathic Arnica let us know about it in the comments below.

Homeopaths often reach for Arnica as the first remedy to heal anyone affected by shock, trauma or injury
Homeopaths often reach for Arnica as the first remedy to heal anyone affected by shock, trauma or injury

Disclaimer.

All information and opinions presented here are for information only and are not intended as a substitute for professional advice offered during a consultation. Please consult with your health care provider before trying any of the treatment suggested on this site. 

Source articles:

http://www.arnica.com.au/arnica.php

http://www.fao.org/ag/AGp/agpc/doc/Gbase/data/pf000462.htm

http://www.anniesremedy.com/herb_detail182.php

http://drnancymalik.wordpress.com/2012/06/30/sports-medicine/

http://homeopathyforyou.com.au/trauma/arnica-to-the-rescue-for-injuries/