Impatiens: For Anxiety, Agitation and Restlessness

Natural and Homeopathic Remedy for Anxiety and Restlessness

Impatiens is Used as a Flower Remedy for Anxiety and Agitation with Restlessness

Impatiens: This little flower can be found in gardens and pots everywhere during the summer months. Despite its quiet demeanor, it has great value as a flower remedy. For anyone who has trouble with restlessness, anxiety, and agitation, it can really help to calm the nerves. Use it in situations like long distance travel, before auditions or important events, especially where there is a need to move about in order to relieve. I have used it myself many times for joint discomfort with accompanying restlessness. Like many medicinal plants, its name gives a clue to its use as it is a great remedy for impatience and being unable to sit still.

You can find the flower remedy in many health food stores.  Simply follow the instructions for dosing.  Flower remedies are extremely gentle and beautiful medicines.

Kerry Walker, Homeopath 647-781-4861, http://www.toronto-homeopath.com, kerrywalker@rogers.com

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Happy New Year Hangover Tips

Hangover Tips and Homeopathy

If you are feeling the effects of overindulgence, here are some suggestions to ease the pain…

Nux Vomica 30C: This remedy is readily available at health food stores and is a classic prescription for the symptoms of a hangover including nausea, headache, and intense irritability. It is also a great remedy for ailments from overwork, or from sheer busy-ness which certainly afflicts many of us at this time of the year (and in general). Furthermore, some people use this remedy as a liver detoxification, which can really help speed the healing process. Take two pellets under your tongue and let them dissolve, or add a pellet to a glass of water and sip it slowly.

Ipeca 30C: Ipeca is a fantastic remedy for nausea. Follow the same dosing instructions as for Nux. This is a great remedy to have on hand for acute stomach ailments. It can help with nausea in any situation.

Arnica 30C: Helps speed healing of soft tissues, such as bumps and bruises from inebriated accidents, or sore feet from dancing on concrete for 12 hours straight. It may also help with your headache as it promotes circulation and vasodilation. This remedy is a must-have: it is the easiest to use, and most widely used remedy in the homeopathic pharmacopeia.

Note: If you are taking more than one remedy, don’t take them at the same time; try to leave at least half an hour or more between different remedies.

Lemon water: Helps your liver to detox. Follow up a glass of lemon water with lots of fresh, filtered plain water. Keeping hydrated is a must when trying to flush toxins out of your system. You can also use this as a precautionary measure while you are out for a night on the town. Alternate your alcohol intake with intake of water or lemon water.

ORT – Oral Rehydration Therapy: Get water into your system faster by adding a bit of salt to your water. Many electrolyte or ‘sports drinks’ on the market are full of artificial colours and excess sugars. You can make your own at home by adding 2 tablespoons of sugar and 0.5 teaspoon of salt to 1 liter of water. Traditionally, coconut water has also been used to replace lost fluids. You can use these strategies to combat dehydration in any situation, including acute vomiting and diarrhea.

Eat some good food: Get some vitamins and minerals in your system with something easy on the stomach and nutritious.  A good soup can be soft on the stomach and but stay away from overly processed recipes with excess salt as they will dehydrate you.  Smoothies are fantastic too as you can fill them with all sorts of lovely fruits, vegetables and magic powders.

Rest: The indispensable cure for many ailments. Find a good couch and a favorite film and take some time out. Remember there’s no shame in a good nap. Indeed, people who have mastered the art of a good nap tend to live longer.

A Case of Feline Conjunctivitis or Simbo’s Pink Eye

Cat with Crunk Eye

Homeopathy for Feline Conjunctivits

My good friend, and cat, Simbo was recently afflicted with a case of conjunctivitis. It started two days ago as an increased discharge, which didn’t seem particularly worrying, but by last night, his eye was so agglutinated that it would hardly open. He woke from sleeping with the eye glued shut and looked quite pitiful, staring at me through his only good eye. The discharge was overflowing and I became concerned.

I am not an expert in veterinary medicine and cats have anatomically different eyes from us, so I compared his condition with some photos of cat conjunctivitis from the internet and felt quite sure that this was his case also. Reaching for my trusty homeopathic repertory, I found the most prominent remedy for acute conjunctivitis to be Euphrasia. This is hardly surprising, as Euphrasia is best known for its affinity for the eyes. Indeed, its folk name is “Eye Bright”.
The less precise the prescription is in homeopathy, the less chance there is of its efficacy, so prescribing Euphrasia simply on it’s being “good for the eyes” was no guarantee that it would work. However, my beloved Simbo was suffering so I was inclined to try what I could find in a hurry. I dissolved a pellet of 200C (a good potency for acute conditions) in a small dropper bottle of water, and gave him about 4 doses over the course of two hours. Each dose was about half a dropper full, received with reticence, and most of which spilled on to his fur as I attempted to squirt it onto his tongue despite his efforts at resistance (please see “How to Give a Cat a Pill” for a quick laugh: http://www.thedailymews.com/articles/howtogiveacatapill.htm).
After a couple of hours he had laid down for a nap and appeared to be well out for the count, so I backed off and let him sleep. I awoke this morning to the wonderful sight of both his eyes open, the one still closed just slightly more than the other. There was no discharge, let alone an overflow of agglutination, and he was in a very affectionate mood.
I must say, I thought I was going to have to work much harder at finding a good remedy than I did. This being the case, I wanted to pass along this story in case it might be useful for the lay prescriber, or even for people who don’t use homeopathy. Surely there is more than one parent out there who could benefit from having a vial of Euphrasia in the house, for when the dreaded “pink eye” gets passed around at school. This remedy is a great first course of action, so why not try it? It surely sped up the healing process in Simbo’s case. Today, as every day, I am very thankful to have homeopathy in my life, and Simbo is grateful too, he just doesn’t know it.

A Case of Allergic Pupura: Hahnemann Versus Henloch-Schonlein

Hahnemann and HomeopathyDavid was a 35-year-old man who was seeking treatment for allergic purpura (also known as Henloch-Schonlein Purpura).  When he called to book the appointment, he struck me as a very friendly person: I can remember coming off the phone feeling a sense of ease, whereas first encounters can often be decidedly more tense.  One of my teachers in school used to say “pay attention to your kinesthetic response to the case” meaning that the way the person makes you feel can sometimes be valuable information.  In this case, my feeling upon first conversing with David hinted at a friendly remedy picture that connected easily with others.  This impression, combined with the vascular condition he was dealing with, gave clues as to the remedy he might need.  However, a homeopath should always try to keep an open mind when taking the case, so I put this first impression to the side for the time being.

Allergic purpura is a condition where the capillaries become inflamed and burst, producing an appearance of speckled bruising under the surface of the skin.  When we met, David explained that this reaction had been happening for about two years, and it had started following a bout of flu, which is the typical etiology.  The purpura was widespread, over almost his entire body and it had become a constant in his life.  It was definitely aggravated by alcohol and spices, but he had tried completely eliminating these substances and found that the outbreaks would still occur.  It was not a painful condition, but would take a bit of time to heal after it happened.  He said that his goal in having the condition treated was to be able to have a beer with his friends from time to time.

In addition to his chief complaint, David experienced mild allergies in late summer, and had been receiving chiropractic treatment for a pain in the neck that radiated down the arm. He had suffered earlier in the year from a rectal polyp which had appeared suddenly and sent him to emergency with acute pain and bleeding.  He’d since had this surgically removed.

He had recurring dreams of arriving to class late and not being able to get in.  As for his more ‘constitutional’ symptoms, David tended to be on the warm side and did not enjoy humidity.  He drank lots of water and required that it have ice in it.  He was not a picky eater and enjoyed food in general.  In particular he liked fried fish.

His personal health history was not as checkered as many of the people a homeopath might treat, but he did have a bout of pneumonia as a child.  He had not experienced any major emotional trauma, or big shocks, but he expressed that there were some sad experiences, the accumulation of which had probably served to impact him significantly.  He recounted helping a friend through leukemia about 5 years prior.  He had sat with her through some difficult moments and it affected him deeply.  He felt as though he had been a sort of counsellor for her, and he enjoyed helping people by talking with and listening to them.  He affirmed that he was definitely a sympathetic person, affected by the emotions of others.

It sometimes happens in homeopathy that almost every symptom a person describes falls into the same remedy, and though the homeopath tries to keep an open mind in favour of objectivity, the same remedy keeps presenting itself as the solution.  In this case, the remedy was Phosphorus.  The symptoms and rubrics I used were:

  • Ecchymosis – purpura
  • Worse for spices
  • Worse for alcohol
  • Sympathetic
  • Sensitive to the emotions of others
  • Thirsty for large quantities of ice water
  • Rectal polyp accompanied by bleeding
  • Personal history of pneumonia

 David responded very well to a dry dose of two pellets of Phosphorus in a 200C.   The day after taking it, he felt sleepy and lethargic, but the following days he had an increase in energy and reported feeling clear-headed and productive.  David was a good scientist and he tested his allergic reaction by deliberately consuming 3 beers later that week, which previously would have been sure to bring on the purpura.  That first week he had no reaction to the beer.  A few weeks later, he tested it again and the reaction occurred though it was very mild and localized to his forearm, whereas it had previously been all over his body.

 After the first follow-up, I increased the potency of the prescription to a 1M, which seemed to work as well or better than the 200C and the purpura became localized to his feet, which, according to Herring’s Law of the Direction of Cure, was a very good sign, as the condition was moving from above to below.  David was also progressing in his personal and spiritual life, and this was reflected quite symbolically in his dreams.  He reported that he’d had a new version of the same old dream wherein he arrived to class just in time before the door closed.  So it seemed that he was resolving something deep in his consciousness.

 To this day, David continues to take Phosphorus about once a month and I have given him as high as a 50M, still with good results.  I have not had to change the remedy for more than a year.  He is mentally and emotionally very well and did not have allergies this past summer.  The purpural reactions are now few and far between and when they do happen, they are mild in comparison to how they used to be. He says that homeopathic treatment has helped to increase his powers of self-awareness and to bring him into overall balance, beyond the functions of mere physiology.  David has achieved his health goals for the time being and enjoys a beer with friends on occasion.

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

The Case of Rafael Nadal

New Courts Make Rafa Blue

New Courts Make Rafa Blue

For some years now, I’ve been watching Rafa Nadal and thinking: if only he knew about homeopathy. It seems to me that this man is in serious need of some Rhus Tox, for more reason than one.

Just yesterday, he lost in the third round in Madrid amidst a massive controversy over the new blue courts. You might ask yourself: what difference does it make if the courts are blue? Especially as many of the hard courts around the world are the same glowing blue colour.  Apparently, this clay is more slippery than the regular red clay, which seems a fair objection–this might make it more dangerous for the players.  However, all the players are in the same position in this regard so at least the field is level.

Nadal hates the new blue courts so much that he is threatening to boycott the tournament if they don’t switch it back. Now I don’t mean to be passing judgement on Nadal for his rigid attitude, rather I just see that this inflexibility is costing him in more ways than one, and he obviously needs homeopathic treatment for this, let alone for his chronic physical issues.  One journalist commented how Nadal’s “obsession” with the blue courts laid the groundwork for his early loss. I also saw a quote from the man himself, saying that the courts shouldn’t be blue because “red is the colour of the earth”.  Well, I guess that’s true enough (?).

This seems to me like another glimpse at a problematic mental rigidity lurking beneath the surface of the “King of Clay’s” strong exterior.  The body follows the mind, so attitude is key.  An inflexible mind and body are much more prone to injury. At 25 years old, Nadal has long suffered from tendonitis in both knees.  He’s had a couple of surgeries, and spent a good deal of 2011 out of the game recovering from injury.

Something we can observe about Rafa, which is useful for a homeopathic analysis, is that he is extremely superstitious and ritualistic.  To me, this is an expression of rigid thinking, as well as a key mental symptom in Rhus Tox.  While many pro athletes have their routines and lucky charms (and maybe they need Rhus Tox too), I think it’s fair to say that Rafa takes his rituals a little bit more seriously than average.

For example, he has a ritual about touching the baseline and walking across the lines in a certain way;  before a point, you will see him coming from the back of the court to the baseline which he uses as a path to his next position.  When he drinks his water and creatine during the breaks, he religiously places the two bottles back on the ground in a specific position–kind of on a diagonal from each other.  He will even take the time, after having placed these magical plastic bottles, to adjust them ever so slightly this way or that, so that they are exactly where they need to be.  Perhaps the labels need to be facing in or out.

Anyone who has ever seen Nadal play has doubtless noticed his (infamous) pre-service ritual, consisting of a few bounces, a tip of the foot, adjustment of his shorts, tucking his hair behind one ear, pulling on his nose, and tucking his hair behind the other ear. Every single time.  Apparently this routine has been habitual since he was a child.  Not surprisingly, over the years these behaviour patterns have brought Rafa time violations as well as complaints about speed of play from his colleagues.

As for useful modalities in order to form a good prescription for Rafa, he loves the sun, so we can likely presume that he is better for heat, which is a classic aspect of the Rhus Tox picture.  As a confirmatory symptom, we may be able to claim that Rafa is somewhat better for motion as you will never see his legs still for a moment, even when he is sitting.  This, however, is not uncommon amongst tennis players as many of them try to keep their muscles active during a rest.

So here’s the sure-fire symptoms we’ve got on Rafa:

Superstitious

Ritualistic

Inflammation of the tendons

Pain in the knees

With these four symptoms alone, we have enough to prescribe Rhus Tox.  Add in the possible modalities of amelioration from heat and some restlessness, and I think there’s a pretty good case for this remedy.  It’s very likely that Rhus-t could enhance Rafa’s performance and extend his career by many years to come.  If you know him, you might want to tell him…then again better not, ’cause I’m a Federer fan and now it looks as though Fed could be set to win in Madrid :).

www.toronto-homeopath.com

Autism Spectrum Disorder and Homeopathy

Alternative Treatment for Autism Spectrum Disorder“For success in science and art a dash of autism is essential.”  —Hans Asperger

In recent years, homeopathy has earned a great reputation for its ability to help those on the autistic spectrum.  More and more parents of autistic children are turning to homeopathy for help, and often with inspiring results.

Autism is considered to be a spectrum disorder (ASD) as the symptoms and severity vary from individual to individual; the mild form is called Asperger’s Syndrome.  The disorder is characterized by the underdevelopment of communicative language or social skills.  Individuals on the autistic spectrum show motor and other skills far beyond those of other developmentally challenged people, and sometimes possess abilities that go beyond those of developmentally average people.

Some people with ASD develop extreme talents, for example in mathematics.  Sometimes people with ASD will have a particular preoccupation with a certain objects such as televisions or lights, or they may have a fear of particular things as well.  These idiosyncrasies can be very useful in the process of homeopathic treatment.

There is no single prescription for chronic ailments in homeopathy, since every person’s experience of their disease is unique.   As a result, ten different autistic patients will most likely end up getting ten different remedies, each one being the best match for the whole person, or the ‘totality of symptoms’.  It is the job of the homeopath to find the remedy that best fits each case.

The first visit with a homeopath involves a very careful case-taking.  The homeopath will observe the patient, taking note of all of the symptoms that relate to the autistic condition, as well as those that relate to the person as a whole, such as sleep, eating habits, sweat patterns, physical symptoms, behaviour, and personality. Sometimes the homeopath will do extra case analysis following the visit, or, the homeopathic remedy will be given on the spot. Follow-up appointments are needed to assess the results and keep the patient moving in a curative direction. It is important to note that this kind of individualized treatment is fundamental to the effective practice of homeopathy for chronic ailments.

Homeopathic treatment is gaining popularity all over the world, especially in cases of ASD. Clinical experience shows that results are much better when the treatment is started at an earlier age, but even older children can show remarkable improvement with the benefit of a well-chosen remedy.  You can read more about homeopathy and ASD in-depth in Amy Lansky’s book: Impossible Cure: The Promise of Homeopathy.  Please also see my webpage of Resources for more useful links to clinical trials and case examples.

Kerry Walker, Classical Homeopath

www.toronto-homeopath.com

647-781-4861

On Meditation: Just Breathe…

ImageIf you are feeling wound-up, stressed-out, anxious, and over-wrought, you are certainly not alone.  The more people I treat, the more it becomes apparent that many of us are only just holding ourselves and our lives together.  As social creatures, we try to present an outward appearance of being happy, calm and in control, but beyond this thin veil there is an excess of worry and nervous tension that impacts our health, our relationships, our very enjoyment of life.

As a homeopath, I use remedies to help people deal with the stresses of life, but each one of us has a tremendous healing ability within ourselves all the time.  We can access this through the breath.  All of life is sustained by a loving vital force and our breath is the mechanism by which it comes to us.  Simply by paying attention to our breathing, we can get in touch with the healing forces of nature.

All deep meditation practices rely upon attention to the breath.  A great way to start out meditating is simply to sit comfortably with closed eyes and observe the natural course of the breath as it comes in and then as it goes out. There is no need to change the breath, to make it something other than it is.  All we need to do it pay close attention and the mind and body will relax.

It is difficult at first to sit still, and this is normal.  Even just sitting for 5 minutes at a time, is a good place to start.  It is usually difficult to fix our attention on the breath, or indeed on any one thing for a long period as the mind will keep jumping from thought to thought.  This is the infamous “monkey mind” of humans.  Part of what we learn in meditation is to accept this fact, and as soon as we recognise that our attention has gone from thinking about the breath to thinking about our laundry list of things to do, we simply bring our attention back to the flow of breath.  Fairly soon, our faculties of observation and our ability to focus become stronger.

Through regular meditation, many things become apparant of which we were previously unaware.  For example, we find that when we get stuck in a cycle of repetitive thought, our breath becomes much more shallow and can sometimes stop altogether for a short while.  This is because the body follows the mind.  This is why, when our minds become full of tension and stress, so do our bodies.

When we experience deep meditation, we access a feeling of love, and tremendous healing powers.  This is the given state of natural being that we suppress when we get caught up in the mechanistic workings of our industrial social system.  We are not made of concrete and steel, but rather flesh and blood.  We have needs and rhythms that do not necessarily follow clocks or city grids.

It is a difficult process to try and free ourselves from the habits that we have lived with all of our lives, but it is a most valuable and life-changing pursuit even just to make the attempt.  If meditation seems too much of an alien concept, you can do yourself some good by simply stopping throughout the day to observe how you are breathing.  When you find your breath is short and stifled, simply breath slowly and deeply, allowing the movement to reach all the way down to floor of your abdomen, fulfilling its natural course.

I do hope that these words will be food for thought, or rather, food for breath.  If you give yourself even just a few more good breaths while reading, the writing was more than worthwhile.  Be gentle with yourself…

www.toronto-homeopath.com