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.



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…


Natural Options for Arthritis Sufferers

Homeopathy for Arthritis and Inflammation

Homeopathy for Arthritis and Inflammation

Arthritis is not just a disease of older people – it can affect people and animals of all ages.  The word “arthritis” literally means “joint inflammation”.  Given such a general designation, it is no wonder that the term refers to a number of different conditions.  Different types of arthritis have different symptoms that range in severity from person to person.

For example, Osteoarthritis does not generally cause any symptoms outside the joint whereas other conditions such as gout or psoriatic arthritis can include fatigue, fever, and rashes. Inflammation is a natural reaction to disease or injury and usually includes swelling, pain, stiffness, tenderness, redness and a feeling of warmth.  If the condition persists or recurs for a very long time, tissue damage or structural changes such as arthritic nodules can occur.

Allopathic treatment of arthritis is dependent on the type of arthritis present and may require a referral to a rheumatologist.  Conventional treatments include physical therapy, splinting, cold-pack application, paraffin wax dips, anti-inflammatory medications, immune-altering medications, and surgical operations.

Homeopathy provides a great alternative for sufferers of arthritis.  Not only do we seek to address the pain and limitations of the condition but we seek to heal the source of the inflammation and boost the body’s overall vital reactions.  Where the possibility of  harsh treatments like immunosuppressive drugs or surgery loom, it makes sense to try homeopathic treatment first as it is non-invasive, gentle, and effective.

The precise homeopathic prescription depends on a careful case-taking.  In arthritis cases, we need to know what kind of pain the person is in, whether it is aching or sharp, burning or bruised.  We need to know if the condition responds to hot or cold therapies such as bathing or compresses, as well as what time of day the person feels the discomfort the most.  Mental and emotional reactions to the condition are also of paramount importance as people deal with pain in different ways.  A good homeopathic prescription will reflect these individual variations.

 Along with constitutional homeopathic treatment, dietary adjustments can be beneficial.  A high quality fish oil such as krill or wild salmon, can do wonders for inflammations of all sorts, and can help to expedite the healing process.   Avoiding inflammatory foods, adding anti-inflammatory foods, and investigating the possibility of food allergies are also wise considerations for sufferers of arthritis.


Homeopathic Prescription for a Cold

Cold, flu, sneeze, homeopathic remedy

Homeopathy for Cold and Flus

(Referenced in Morrison’s Desktop):
  • Tickling in the nose in one spot as from a feather
  • Sneezing, especially upon waking in the morning
  • Nose obstructed (nasal voice)

Remedy: Arsenicum Album, 200CH, two little pellets

Result: 5 minutes later, symptoms all gone

Score: Homeopathy – 1, Cold virus – big fat 0

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 starts to feel like life is passing you by.

The chronic pain was a miserable 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 accused me.  ‘How do you know?’ I thought miserably.

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.  The shock of becoming a person who was dependent, incapable, even a burden filled me with so much anxiety, I was 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 amused by my hysteria, and I recall that he told me to get some rest.  His dismissive attitude sent me quite over the edge and I left the office hyperventilating.  That is something I have only experienced that once in my life.

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 is, in fact, 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.  When we sit in silence, and observe ourselves, we allow nature’s own healing and cleansing energies to rise.  Furthermore, we can bring our observations to bear in our conscious lives and 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.  I have found some happiness.  I still have difficult days but I face them now instead of covering them up, suppressing them or simply running away.  It took a lot of work though; 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.  As a homeopath, I now see 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 the more you get involved in the process and help yourself, the better you 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.  With metta….

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