Homeopathy for Tennis Elbow

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Homeopathy is vastly underused in North America in terms of its ability to speed recovery from injuries.  Remedies are government-regulated in Canada and manufactured to pharmaceutical standards meaning they are safe, even for high performance and professional athletes. There are many remedies specific to sprains, strains, concussions, contusions and all manner of sports-related injuries.  Homeopathic medicines can be used in compliment to other rehabilitation treatments such as physiotherapy, chiropractic, osteopathy and drug therapies.

Tennis elbow,  or lateral epicondylitis, is an inflammation of the tendons that join the forearm muscles on the outside of the elbow. It is a painful condition wherein the forearm muscles and tendons have become damaged from overuse, usually from repeating the same motion over and over again and again.

As the name suggests, playing tennis or other racquet sports can cause this condition. However, many other activities can cause this condition, such as sports which involve throwing like discus or javelin, and repetitive manual labour such as painting.

The pain may be continuous and sometimes severe, and felt in the elbow as a burning or tearing.  Pain may radiate from the outside of the elbow to your forearm and wrist.  It can be a constant ache in the elbow area, or you may only feel it while reaching, grasping or lifting, and it may sometimes force a person to drop things.

Attempting to play through the pain will most often cause more tear and damage; similarly, enough recovery time should be given to ensure the injury has healed before beginning to play again.  Take the opportunity to rest and relax, or to work on strengthening other areas such as legs.

Finding the right homeopathic remedy relies on the particular experience of Tennis Elbow of each athlete. Homeopathy is a holistic and individualized medicine, and details of a person’s unique symptoms are required in order to make an accurate prescription.

Arnica Montana

While there are many wonderful homeopathic remedies for this condition, my sincere wish is that people who play tennis (and other sports) competitively, would learn to use Arnica before every match (as well as Rhus Tox, depending on the person).  Arnica offsets the risk of injury, and quickens recovery time, such that conditions like Tennis Elbow are less likely to occur.

When the pain of Tennis Elbow has first started, Arnica should be given as soon as possible. This remedy works to reduce inflammation and speed tissue healing and is often the only remedy needed in many cases of injury.

Rhus Toxicodendron

A main remedy for Tennis Elbow, Rhus-t fits best when the pain is better for heat, especially hot bathing.  The pain is usually worse in the morning, of after being still for long periods, after which stiffness sets in and produces a state of restlessness. The person feels the need to constantly stretch and move the elbow, wrist, or arm, and can be visibly seen to do so.

Bryonia

Contrary to Rhus Tox, the pain in Bryonia is worse for any motion, such that the person does not want to move the arm, wrist or elbow.  Doing so may result in a sharp shooting pain, and the person may be seen to sit still at length in an armchair or with the arm supported on a pillow. They may be attracted more to cold applications than hot ones, and generally want to be left alone and quiet.

Ruta Graveolens

This remedy is the best known homeopathic remedy for injuries to ligaments and tendons. It suits cases of overuse and overexertion which result in pain and extreme stiffness. The hand and elbow may be very weak and the pain is often worse in cold weather. This remedy can be used alongside Arnica as a first prescription for Tennis Elbow.

Please note that it is always best to have your condition diagnosed by your MD when you feel the first twinges of pain. Homeopathic treatment of injuries is best overseen by a qualified Homeopath.

For more information on homeopathy for athletes, please visit my webpage: http://www.toronto-homeopath.com/Sports-Medicine-and-Rehabilitation-I-Homeopathy-for-Injury–Pain-and-Recovery.html

 

Kerry Walker, Classical Homeopath

647-781-4861

www.toronto-homeopath.com

 

 

 

 
 
 

A Case for High Potencies: Jonah and the Facial Cyst

thuja

Jonah was a 24 year old man who came to see me for a right-sided facial cyst.  He had previously been treated with homeopathy and had been pleased with the results, but after a couple of years, the cyst had started to grow again.  He tried to contact his homeopath but found that she had retired, and so he came to see me.

As with many people who have had homeopathic treatment, he didn’t know what remedy he had previously been given.  I always recommend to people that they take note of the remedy since one of the greatest indicators that a remedy will in the future is if it has worked for the person in the past.

I took Jonah’s case from the beginning, including all of the symptoms around his chief complaint, as well as his case history. His secondary complaint was anxiety, and this was made worse by the self-consciousness he experienced about the facial cyst.

Upon repertorizing the case, Thuja came up strong for Jonah, which may not be a surprise to anyone reading this who is familiar with homeopathy.   This remedy comes from the White Cedar plant which is commonly found in garden hedges in this part of the world.  It is really an invaluable part of our Materia Medica, having such a strong affinity for cysts and tumours in general.

I sent Jonah with a 30C potency in a dropper, to be taken daily.  He was enthusiastic when I suggested that I try to contact the previous homeopath to see which remedy she had given him.  I eventually got an email back from her indicating that she had also given Thuja—she in turn was very curious as to what I had prescribed and we shared a feeling of camaraderie in having seen Jonah’s case the same way.  This is one thing I love about practicing Hahnemannian, Classical Homeopathy is the consistency of the method between practitioners.  This was certainly not the first time that my prescription was the same as one given by a previous homeopath.

Jonah and I followed up a couple of months later as we wanted to give the medicine time to diminish the cyst.  He told me that there had been some initial improvement for the first few weeks both in the cyst and in his emotional state, and that even other people had commented on this.  When he took the remedy he would “feel instantly calm”. However, after some time, the cyst had begun to grow larger again.  At this point, I moved his prescription up in potency  to a 200C.

The second follow up was much the same as the first.  Some improvement, but it didn’t hold over time.   I went over his case again, asking lots of questions to make sure I wasn’t missing something – was this remedy really the Similimum?  Jonah was happy to provide more detail, and we discussed the emotional aspects of his case in great length.  His tendency toward anxiety was still quite pronounced and he opened up a bit more about the quality of the anxiety, and how it was worse in social situations.  Again, the conversation came back to his physical appearance and self-consciousness, feeling he needed to hide from others.  He still had a strong aversion to onions which is such a wonderful confirmatory symptom for Thuja.

Feeling we must still be on the right track with this remedy, I sent Jonah with a dry dose of Thuja 10M, to be take once weekly.  This high potency would allow us to really test this prescription as the higher one goes in potency, the better the remedy needs to fit the case in order to achieve improvement.

It was a few months before I heard back from Jonah, but when I did it was very good news.  He wrote to tell me that he hadn’t been in touch because things had been going so well.  He wanted me to know that the cyst had completely disappeared, and that the anxiety was much ameliorated too.  He was feeling on the whole, quite good.

It is often the case that we don’t hear much from the clients who are doing well, so I really appreciated Jonah sharing this good news with me.  For posterity’s sake, it was very important to note (and to share with you, the reader), the effect of the higher potency in this case.  Looking back in to the literature of homeopathy, we read a lot about the ability of higher potencies to effect a permanent cure. Certainly, Jonah’s case is a good illustration of this.  It is important to note, however, that we need to always be wary of patient sensitivity when prescribing a higher potency (or any potency for that matter), as well as ascertaining that the remedy is the best fit for the case at any given point in treatment.  In this case, the 10M was a straight forward path to amelioration; if only every case could be so clear.

To read more about the treatment of skin conditions, please visit my page on Skin Health.

Kerry Walker, Classical Homeopath

www.toronto-homeopath.com

647-781-4861

kerrywalker@rogers.com

A Case of Concussion and Homeopathy

football, injury, sports, homeopathy, natural treatment for injuries

Head injuries can happen, even with a helmet

A concussion is a traumatic brain injury that alters the way your brain functions. Effects are usually temporary and caused by a blow to the head, they can also occur when the head and upper body are violently shaken. Concussions are common, particularly if you play a contact sport, such as football, and some people can have the injury without even knowing it.  It is important to give the brain time to rest to heal properly.  Thankfully, there are a few wonderful homeopathic remedies that can help to speed healing.

David was an 18-year-old man who had suffered a concussion after being tackled head-on during a football game.  He had been told that symptoms of the injury might last for a couple of weeks, but it had been 4 weeks since the accident and his symptoms were still very strong.  He was suffering from dizziness, headaches, vertigo (separate from the dizziness) and fatigue.  Any stimulation to the brain such as listening to music, or looking at a computer screen could set him back significantly. He had been off from school and work for four weeks and his anxiety was growing.

There were no indications that the symptoms were abating, and he was wanting to get on with his life.  Since David had access to some remedies in advance of our appointment, I asked him to start with Arnica for the injury, and Aconite for the anxiety.  We sat down to do a consultation a few days later and by that time, the anxiety was gone, so I advised him to stop taking the Aconite.  The vertigo, or sensation that the room was spinning, had ceased as well, which I extrapolated was from the Arnica (a most wonderful remedy to take after almost any accident).  However, he was still experiencing headaches, dizziness and fatigue, though these, also, were 30% better.

After consulting and going over his symptoms carefully, the main remedies for concussion were indicated, these being Natrum Sulphuricum and Arnica.  He was very eager to recover as quickly as possible in order to get back to work and, being a competitor and goal-oriented athlete, he had set a goal to be back at school in 5 days.  After a month of being sick, giving the brain only 5 days to heal seemed ambitious.  However, we worked out a fairly intense dosing schedule for him, with instructions to ease off should any of the symptoms aggravate, and hoped for the best.

I heard from David the next day.  He had taken the Natrum Sulphuricum immediately after our visit and reported feeling a quick surge of energy, which is a very good sign of healing.  He had experienced a window of being completely symptom-free for a couple of hours. I advised him to continue and expressed how pleased I was that he was responding so quickly.  Over the next few days, he continued with repeat water-dosing of both Arnica and Natrum Sulph, and by Monday, true to his ambitions, he attended school for a half day. 

This was indeed great progress, but he expressed that she was eager to be functioning at 100% so he booked in for another follow up.  We continued with higher potencies of Arnica and Natrum Sulph, given slightly less often, and a day later, I received a message that he was feeling almost completely better.  I was absolutely thrilled for him that he had to recovered so well in less than a week.  What a great example of how well homeopathy can work.  Especially where the symptoms and etiology are precise and clear, the rights remedies can do wonders for healing.

I do hour long acute consultations for all sports injuries, please click here for details!

Kerry Walker, Classical Homeopath

www.toronto-homeopath.com

647-781-4861

kerrywalker@rogers.com

Feeling SAD?

Blue MonBeat the Bluesday occurs during the last full week in January which is purportedly the saddest week of the year for many people.  With this in mind, here are some simple ways to lift your spirits and fend off SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder).

1. Vitamin D – 4000 iu daily 

2. Thiosinaminum 200C – two pellets under the tongue as needed for melancholy

3. Mustard Bach Flower Remedy – four drops on the tongue twice daily for gloom that descends for no particular reason

4. SAD lamps – find these on Amazon or in many local stores and sit by it for 10 minutes every day

5. St. John’s Wort – either in capsule form or tea.  Try it for two weeks on and then two weeks off.

6. Citrus Essential Oils – such as orange and lime have a brightening effect on the mood.  Wear them through the day or diffuse them in your space.

Remember to check in with yourself and try to be objective about what you are feeling.  Is it possible that the world looks dreary because you are affected by the season?  Are you perhaps affected by others around you who suffer from SAD?

We often come down even harder on ourselves when we feel depressed, beating ourselves up for being so miserable.
Give yourself a break, treat yourself to some TLC.  When you are in a good mood, you make the world a happier place for the people around you too, so don’t feel bad about spending some time on yourself.

Wishing you cheerful days, even if they are still a bit on the dark side...

Kerry Walker, Classical Homeopath

www.toronto-homeopath.com

647-781-4861

kerrywalker@rogers.com

Banish Those Little Red Bumps – Sweet Almond Oil for Keratosis Pilaris

Sweet Almond Oil: Natural Treatment for Keratosis Pilaris

Natural Treatment for Keratosis Pilaris

Keratosis Pilaris (a.k.a. little red bumps on the back of the arms and elsewhere) is a condition often caused by a deficiency of Vitamin A.  The skin is the last part of the body to receive available nutrients which is why, for many people, deficiencies will show here first.  Consider the outer sign as a message from your body and increase the amount of Vitamin A in your diet by making use of paprika, chile, red peppers, sweet potatoes, carrots, kale, or dried apricots, just to name a few.

A particular trick of the trade is to apply a vitamin-rich natural oil such as Sweet Almond Oil.  This will certainly deliver the vitamins the skin needs with no intermediary, and if your case of Keratosis Pilaris is due to a deficiency, you will see healthier, smoother skin within about two weeks.  Why buy moisturizing beauty creams that are often made from petroleum byproducts when nature has provided us with beautiful, rich, raw oils?  Once you start to see the potential of natural oils, you will be a convert for life.

To read more about homeopathy for healthy skin, please visit my page on Skin Health.

Kerry Walker, Classical Homeopath

www.toronto-homeopath.com

647-781-4861

Homeopathic Relief from Insect Bites

Natural Insect Repellant

Natural Insect Repellent

If insect bites are bugging you, here are some great homeopathic options for relief!

Apis:  Made from the stinger of a bee, Apis is indicated for bites that are puffed up and swollen, red, hot, and relieved by cold. There may be painful stinging accompanied by itching.  Apis is the main remedy for anaphylaxis, whether it is from an insect bites or otherwise, so people who are very allergic may want to carry it with them.

Ledum:  Is indicated for bites and any kind of puncture wound.  The leading indication for this remedy is a cold feeling of the affected part that is relieved by cold applications; the part may also turn a bluish colour.

Urtica Urens:  For bright red blotches or hives with violent itching and a crawling sensation on the skin. This remedy can be useful in insect allergies, and allergies in general, when the reaction is to break out in hives.

Staphysagria: Historically used as a parasiticide, this remedy can be excellent for the prevention of mosquito and other bites. Try it when camping, or in any situation where bites are imminent.  For this purpose, you can try it in a very low potency like a 6X and repeat everycouple of hours while exposed.

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Fibromyalgia: From Someone Who’s Been There

Natural Treatment for Fibromyalgia

Homeopath Kerry Walker

Like many people, I lived in confusion with my chronic pain for some years before I got the diagnosis.  When I finally found out that I wasn’t alone, that in fact, my condition had a label and a name “Fibromyalgia”, I did feel somewhat vindicated.  However, the next most obvious question was: what to do about it?

I was younger than most when my body seemed to turn against me and the pain started out of the blue.  In my final year at university and on a large campus, I suddenly found it difficult just to get around.  I could walk only a few steps before the burning pain in my legs seemed to build up and I would have to take a seat.  This made previously simple tasks very complicated.  Taking transit in rush hour, for example, became a prolonged and sad process.  I was unable to stand, but I wasn’t about to ask someone on a full subway car for their seat.  Instead, feeling lost in the milieu, I would sit and wait as train after train passed me by, while I looked for one with a free seat.  Melodramatic as it may sound,  that became very symbolic of my life in general: when illness slows you down for a long time, it can start to feel like life is passing you by.

The chronic pain was a difficult experience but it became compounded by the emotional toll.  What a confusion of feelings it was, especially when the diagnosis was still a mystery.  No one understood what I was going through, and the symptoms were invisible. I recall one time in a subway elevator, full of elderly folks, when a lady gave me grief for taking up space:  “You’re not sick!”  she exclaimed.  ‘But how do you know?’ I thought.

Up until that point, I had always been a ‘strong’ person.  Always playing sports, rarely got ill.  I could lift things that other women wouldn’t.  Suddenly I felt vulnerable and dependant, and this as well, filled me with anxiety. I felt like an emotional mess.  At last I needed a doctor’s note to extend my university final deadlines but when I went to my long-time physician, she was away and someone else was filling in.  I could hardly articulate to him what was going on and why I needed the note.  He looked somehow bemused by my hysteria, and advised that I get some rest.

Perhaps that man did me a favour because I think after that point, I started to look around for alternatives.  I started meditating which helped me greatly in dealing with the pain and in beginning to calm my overwrought nervous system.  Fibromyalgia can be the result of an overextended nervous system–we have pushed ourselves too far, taken on too much, kept too much inside, been shocked once too often, lived a too toxic lifestyle, and so on.  At this point, anything you can do to calm the nerves is a step in the right direction.  Meditation is free, non-toxic, and has great side effects like strengthening the mind and getting you in touch with the inner world instead of obsessing about the outer world.

Mindfulness Meditation such as Vipassana (the practice I was lucky enough to find: http://www.torana.dhamma.org/) provides us with an opportunity to just be in the moment and allow nature’s healing and cleansing energies to rise.  Furthermore, we can become more aware of our thought and habit patterns, which are often destructive.  For me, and probably others with Fibromyalgia, there were very deep lessons to be learned about where my pain was actually coming from.  I was starting to become empowered as I saw that I had the ability to change my own mind, my own reactions, and in fact I started to make inroads into the pain.  I think ‘into’ is a very important word here, because sitting with and actually being with the pain, instead of resisting and trying to get away from it, was instrumental in starting to diffuse it.  I recall the phrase ‘what you resist, persists’–I have found this to be true.

As a result of my Fibromyalgia, my life drastically changed.  In the long run, it changed for the absolute better.  I would never have sought out meditation, relaxation, or homeopathy if illness had not forced me to do so.  I was far too cool for any of that in previous years.  I was fast and furious and running the wrong way with all of my being.  It took some serious pain to put brakes on me.

I found my calling through Fibromyalgia.  It turned me into a homeopath.   My first prescription was two little pellets of Rhus Tox, a great remedy for joint pains, but with pronounced feeling of restlessness, slight amelioration from motion, and an inability to sit still.  That was me to a ‘T’.  Sitting still in meditation was almost an impossibility for me and I have no idea still how I managed the full ten day retreat.  Homeopathy is a medicine which needs to be individualized, and the Rhus Tox was just what I needed.  I am sure the timing was perfect too–everything was aligned for me with that first dose.   I was so blown away by the effect of those tiny little pellets that I signed up for homeopathy college within weeks.

Today, I live a completely different life from the one I had before I got sick.  I no longer have the pain, and I know how to live and how to take care of myself.  It took a lot of work and a great deal of paying attention to what my body was telling me, instead of trying to fight it.  There is a malicious idea floating around out there that disease needs to be fought; that there is some kind of war going on.  The paradigm I work with these days is that the symptoms of disease are the outer expression of an inner disturbance.  They can be taken as a form of communication–the body is showing us what to treat and how to treat it.  We need to listen to it in order to heal, though the messages can sometimes be painful.  We need to be gentle with ourselves: we are not made of concrete and steel like the modern world.

Everyone’s experience of disease is different but I think there is comfort to be found in reading about someone else’s experience, so I thought it might be worthwhile to write about my story.  Having been through it, I know that it is possible to heal from Fibromyalgia, and I believe that the more a person gets involved in the process and helps one’s self, the better one will do.  If you or someone you care about is in a dark place right now, suffering from this condition, just know that there is hope.  May you find your healing too.  Thank you for reading…

Kerry Walker, Classical Homeopath

647-781-4861

www.toronto-homeopath.com

kerrywalker@rogers.com