Category Archives: Healthy Living

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/

Coasting to Christmas on the Silly Season Tsunami

With the end of the year racing towards us it is very easy to succumb to overwhelm, and here in Australia I believe that we actually do this season much harder than we need to, and perhaps harder than they do overseas. The festivities of Christmas, or whichever of the Holidays  you celebrate, coincides here with the end of the school year, the end of the working year, and the end of the calender year, all in one short week.

coasting to christmas-1386235586MYq

Trying to juggle a myriad of  ‘end-of-year’ school activities, dance concerts, exam study, shopping for the festivities ahead and socialising, together with having so many businesses closing down for at least a few weeks and preparations for the mass post-Christmas exodus to various idyllic beachy places, it is very easy to get caught up in a sense of “approaching the end”. Easy to get that nagging feeling that you need to finish absolutely everything, to tie up all the loose ends in your life.

It seems that the whole nation drives itself into an absolute feverpitch of stress through December and then shifts to the opposite extreme and shuts down totally after Christmas Eve. It is no wonder everyone races around with a sense of impending doom if everything isn’t done and finalized on time.

Perhaps this Australian ‘end-is-nigh’ approach to December actually fuels the stressful emotions that are experienced.

Are You Driving Yourself Too Hard?

How many times do you say to people ‘we must catch up before Christmas’? How much do you drive yourself at work to finalise jobs that realistically might wait a week or two? How many parties do you attend? How many late nights do you have? How much fattening, sugary, or rich food do you eat? How often are you driven to do or buy something which could wait, without really knowing what drives you to do it right now? And these are only what you are actually doing – they don’t even start to address the emotions that get stirred up at this time.

This last part of the year can be a time of escalating stress for so many during the build-up to Christmas with ‘so much to get done’, loneliness, increasingly tired children as they approach the end of the school year, the pressures of self-run businesses to cover added end of year costs such as holiday pay for staff, a calendar that seems to overflow, loss of a job and financial constraints, plus many more difficulties.

Loneliness and Grief

This part of the year is also the time of tremendous emotional stress for many. It is the time when the loss of loved family members, whether through separation or their passing, comes home and strikes with almost paralyzing force. For some people the whole season is wrapped in a tight mantle of grief that draws in around and stifles them.

It can also be the time when singles feel the most lonely, when isolation from family and friends or an abscence of them in your life strikes most intensely.

Family Tensions

For others the experience of returning into a family where everyone is suddenly thrown back into the role they played as a youngster and the family dynamics that played out when they were children, is too difficult to deal with.This is in spite of the fact that in their real everyday life they are responsible and competent parents, partners, employees or employers with wide and admirable skills and abilities.

In this scenario is it any wonder that the anxieties of childhood rear their ugly heads. Is it any wonder that behaviour reverts and childish tantrums or bickering, petulant unhappiness or resentment and various other actions that arise from the uncertain and fearful child that is still living deep within, start to occur.

But whatever the reason the ability to engage in the Christmas spirit eludes many and the season is anything but bright.

There are natural treatments that can help you cope as the Holiday Season gets nearer and stress levels increase
There are natural treatments that can help you cope as the Holiday Season gets nearer and stress levels increase

WHAT YOU CAN DO

There are a number of natural strategies that you can adopt to help deal with these issues. Rather than go into each of them in detail I will give you a link to some that I think are sound and effective. You can have a look and try a few out and then use any that suit you the best.

Even making a little time to get some exercise or relaxation is a good way to start. When we start to rush both exercise and relaxation space often go by the wayside. Schedule the time in your calendar and then stick to it.

Remember that a massage can work wonders especially if you carry your stress in your neck and shoulders, and it will be even more effective if it includes aromatherapy essential oils for relaxation.

Emotions respond beautifully to any of the varied forms of energetic medicine. Medicine delivered in an energetic form can be very effective in ‘re-balancing and re-setting you’ so that you are able to deal with whatever it is you have to face. Hear are a few.

Homeopathy

Homeopathy offers some great remedies for many of the issues such as stress, overwork, grief, over-excitement, anxiety, guilt, exhaustion and so on.

Homeopathic Coffea helps with getting over-excited children off to sleep on ChristmasEve. Ignatia is often a first choice for grieving. Nux vomica can work wonders if you are driving yourself towards burnout with overwork.

Homeopathic remedies need to be matched to your own idiosyncratic symptoms, the particular way you manifest the stress so unless you are familiar with self-prescribing for acute situations, or if your stress is long-standing you should consult with a fully trained and registered Homeopath.

Learn how to choose the best Homeopathic remedies for acute illnesses
Learn how to choose the best Homeopathic remedies for acute illnesses

Acupuncture

Visiting an Acupuncturist is a great way to deal with the stress, but even better, you can do Acupressure yourself anytime and anywhere, and it works along the same lines as acupuncture. Here is a good demonstration of one way to relieve stress by Donna Eden, an expert at using acupressure in her energy medicine work.

This advice and demonstration of acupressure points to use for hangovers could be useful if you are partying hard. And here are some acupressure points to help with feelings of anxiety felt throughout the holiday season.

Flower Essences

Flower essences can have a great benefit when trying to deal with grief. They work very gently, but effectively on the emotions.

The basic Bach Rescue Remedy or Australian Bush Flower Emergency Essence are both good ‘all-purpose’ mixes for dealing with stressful situations but there are a number of others that can be tailored to each individuals requirements. FES Five Flower Formula is similar to Bach Rescue Remedy.

Perhaps my favourite for this time of the year would be the Australian Bush Flower ‘Calm & Clear’ essence – the name says it all.

There are flower essences to help relieve all the other stressful emotional responses to the holidays and they are well worth investigating.

For information about each of the Bach remedies look here, for Australian Bush Flower Remedies look here and Californian Flower Essences here.   And this blogger describes her response to flower remedies which is interesting if you have had no experience of them before

Calm_Clear_Th

Difficult Families

Here are some useful strategies for those who have to deal with intensified extended family tensions. They give you the opportunity to plan ahead and devise strategies for you as well as your family.

Importantly it is all about taking back the reigns and getting back your sense of control. If you are able to clearly identify where your stress is coming from then you have a better chance of achieving this control. If there is a tradition in your festivities that causes more stress than joy, then it is time to give yourself permission to change things. Maybe 2012 is the year to make changes, after all you cannot help others if you are not really coping yourself.

Don’t forget, it is not all about the ‘Big Day’. The stress of the lead up through December can be just as bad or worse, and the significant health effect that prolonged stress can have on your whole system is often not recognized or acknowledged until it gets serious.

Remember to check in with situations and ask yourself whether they are of joy or of stress right through the whole Month of December.

Make this the year where you decide to be a bit kinder to yourself. Sure there are always going to be pressures, but maybe by being aware of the extent of the manufactured pressures you embrace, you can let a few slide, and in easing up your obligations you will be able to deal with those stresses you really cannot avoid.

It is time to allow yourself the gift of self-love and self-care.

It is time to allow yourself the gift of self-love and self-care

 

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.