Thursday, 24 December 2009

Grief at Christmas Time

For those who are in grief, whether this is fresh and acutely painful or whether that pain has sunk a bit deeper inside and merely echoes its tears in surges – there is help. And there is concern about you. Your hurt is not forgotten. There are helps available to you to cope with powerful emotions and sadness. It is so natural that Christmas being about love, reminds you of the love that seems no longer to reach you from a person that was always present in your life but now is elsewhere.

Here are some things you can do.
The homeopathic remedy Ignatia Amara is the remedy for you to take. If you know a homeopath you will be able to get hold of it in higher strengths which are more immediate in their effects. If not, then buy it in a health food shop over the counter and take it regularly as it will be slightly lower in strength (30c). These are some of the feelings and symptoms that merit its use:

Deep sadness. An emotional feeling of pain in your heart. Feeling a powerful need to cry or sob but not being able to. A lump sensation in your throat; or developing a sore throat or infected throat from the emotional stress and needing treatment. Sleeplessness and agitation. Feeling snappish, irritable and angry, perhaps bitter; especially when others are celebrating and seem to be unaware either of the person’s death, or your sadness over it. Feeling angry but not knowing why. Feeling disappointed and not knowing why. Having heart palpitations. Feeling angry with the person who died. Feeling guilt, remorse and regret over what was left unsaid in your relation with the one who has gone.

If you have just been bereaved and are in deep shock take Aconite. 1m is the best potency; next best is 200c, and the next best 30c. Beware this will help the shell-shocked state you’re in. But it may suddenly bring you out of coping, automatic pilot-mode to experiencing powerful emotions. Then you must take Ignatia mentioned above. Shock is protective and does help you to manage practicalities but it is not good for you if it lasts too long.

A Bach Flower Remedy mixture to take if you are feeling sad, lonely, guilty, lost and despairing about the future and if you are not confiding or revealing yourself to others and feel unable to turn to them for help. Try a combination of Water Violet, Gorse, Gentian, Pine, Star of Bethlehem and Holly.

Otherwise take Rescue Remedy. Take 4 drops 4xdaily. Or take it more frequently. You can add it to tea or you can add it to a bottle of mineral water and drink from it all day long.

  • Try to avoid alcohol if you are grieving. It is okay to have a brief drink of brandy or whisky or sherry. But do not have more than a little. Alcohol will cause your feelings to surge but not in a productive, healing way. And it can make you very depressed.
  • Do not go hungry. Low blood sugar will make you feel much worse. Eat little and often.
  • Do not numb yourself out through stimulants and painkillers. As painful and exhausting as grief is, it tends to come in waves like the sea. And when the sea of emotion ebbs, peace and sleep follow. Trust it, and do not be afraid of the pain. It is true that the pain fades. When the pain does fade it does not mean you love the person less or that you will forget them either. The memories remain, but the effect of separation is less severe.
At times of grieving, the floodgates inside you open up. Many things flood in. But you will find that many kindnesses flood in. Tenderness and caring come from people who knock on the door, and ask you to talk and who actually care about you. Share it. Grief is overwhelming when experienced alone. If you are a person keeping company with a bereaved person and don’t know what to say, say this “I don’t know what to say to you” and then hug them, or put out a hand. Just be with them. Sometimes the bereaved do not know what to say or do either. At times when people are open to pain, they are at the same time aware of any loving acts. They notice people they didn’t think would be there for them and are surprised. Grief is a good measure of your friends. And people surprise you. Let yourself be surprised. Let yourself be drawn by anyone who is kind and aware of you. Don’t stay in the corner, by yourself. Even if it is years since the death, you are entitled to time spent thinking of the one who died. There are no rules about getting over death. No statutes of limitation.

Talk about the person you miss so much. Write them a letter. Get them a gift. Talk to them. Honour them by speaking well of them to others. Bring their presence to you by telling a loving anecdote about them. Be grateful they were in your life and wish them well wherever they may be now, this Christmas. And love yourself and your own life, which you are still in possession of. Remember when you came into the world, you were welcomed. Somebody’s hands caught you. The same happened to your loved one when they died.

Monday, 21 December 2009

Christmas Tip: Have a bath!

Recently, I have been relishing the help and relaxation I get myself from a lovely hot bath! Bathing has always been known to provide a cure for centuries. Whole towns were built around bathing all over Europe and became known as spa-towns. Think of Bath in the UK, and Bad-Salzuflen in Germany. Towns were either by the sea or a lake, or were known to have some curative water-source. People still feel the benefits of being beside water, bathing in water, and make it an automatic feature of their holidays/vacations every year. Water will always play an essential role in health, relaxation and healing. In Ireland, known water-cures came from Holy Wells which prior to Christianity were Sacred Sites. And the practice of attending a sweat-house for relief of one's ailment dates back at least ten centuries in this country. The highest concentration of sweat-houses in Ireland exists in county Leitrim, where I live today. And of course, the uniqueness and efficacy and healing properties of homeopathy reside in its mystery use of dilution in water. There will be more posts on the topic of water in healing later on, but I want to give you some practical tips for your own self, within your own home, to do during Christmas time!

When you feel stressed or emotional or just tense from the hectic pace of work and preparations for the Christmas celebrations HAVE A BATH.

There are various types of baths you can have to address whatever is going on for you. You can use essential oils, bath salts, Bach Flower remedies and homeopathic remedies to achieve your aim and you may also need to adjust the temperature of the water in your bath accordingly
  • For those with pains and aches in muscles and joints:
  • Use Epsom salts or Dead Sea Bath Salts. Bathing with salts containing Magnesium will ease your pains. Magnesium is a natural muscle-relaxant and works against muscle spasms. Minerals are absorbed into the body through the skin.
  • Use Essential Oils such as Clary Sage or Rosemary or Peppermint to relax and ease muscles.
  • One of the best things to try is to add drops of Arnica Tincture directly into the bath. Arnica is the homeopathic remedy that deals with the consequences of over-exertion or strain of any kind. It has anti-inflammatory properties, pain relieving properties and it aids exhaustion and fatigue. An Arnica Bath is one of the best baths you can have if you have been working out, over-exercising, involved in fitness of any kind. But it is also extraordinary for those with pain and inflammation anywhere in the body.
    Even though many people adore hot baths, if you suffer from rheumatism be careful not to have the water too hot. Especially if your house is not well heated. Some people's health does not bear adjustments from cold to hot, and from hot to cold. It is important to avoid a rebound swing to the opposite temperature and avoid all chills. Warm bathing as opposed to hot bathing is more suitable for people who are sensitive to temperature changes.

For those who are stressed and tense, try a Rescue Remedy Bath! Add drops from Bach Rescue Remedy into your bath. The effects are wonderful. Other possibilities are to pick a Bach Flower appropriate to whatever mood or emotion you are caught in.
For relaxation, try Essential Oils as well; either Lavender or Chamomile.
If you are feeling very anxious, try adding the homeopathic remedy of Aconite 30c or Arsenicum Album 30c to the water of your bath. Aconite will also help you if you have just received any bad news or are frightened or nervous. Arsenicum Album will help you if you have many worries, most especially regarding your health and finances.
Do not forget the candles, the scents, and a little drink! An inspiring book will complete the experience.

Make the bath time a ritual. Allow plenty of time, shut yourself off from other people and use it as time-out. Do not have any background noise, radio, television, or even music necessarily. The sound of your breathing and the splash of the water will quieten you down. For women, I recommend bringing a Rose Quartz crystal with you. Place it either in the water or right beside.

Focus on your breathing and imagine that there is light in the water around you.Take your time; only emerge when you are good and ready!

Friday, 18 December 2009

Indigestion and heartburn

This is a time when many people may over-eat, over-indulge or simply eat much richer food than and drink much more than they do usually. The symptoms of heartburn can range from slight discomfort, acidity, reflux back into the mouth with subsequent increased salivation and a slightly nauseous feeling, or pain mild to severe or burning. It has even been known for the pain to be so severe that it can be confused with a pain in the heart. Many people experience the heartburn either directly after eating or several hours later. And many people suffer it at night but in particular pregnant women. Most people have to resort to the use of over the counter antacids such as Rennie for relief. Long-term use however is not recommended. And women who are pregnant may have to just put up with it as best they can. What can you do to avoid heartburn over Christmas and at all other times? .....

These are some of the natural remedies available to you:

Monday, 14 December 2009

Raynaud's Syndrome

Many people dread the winter cold, and for good reason. They have Raynaud's and it will worsen over these winter-months in the more extreme seasonal temperatures. Raynaud's Syndrome is a condition where the circulation to the extremities; mainly the hands and feet, is severely restricted; causing symptoms such as discoloration of the fingertips (white, blue, purple, red), pain and soreness, tingling and itching, and numbness and deadness. Raynaud's may accompany other conditions such as Rheumatoid Arthritis or it may occur without there being an underlying diagnosed condition. The main causes of this are poor circulation and  inelasticity/constriction of the blood vessels not allowing them to expand in order to allow greater blood supply to that particular part and thus heat and colour.

People tend to tolerate it in misery, while doing their best to always keep their hands warm in order to prevent the fingers being severely affected.

Luckily there are quite a few natural helps in existence. So, what are they?

Friday, 11 December 2009


What can you do to beat a hangover?

Hangovers occur for two main reasons: dehydration and loss of nutrients. And as most people are aware, the liver is the main organ implicated in making you feel ill after drinking. Symptoms of a hangover can be : feeling exhausted, drained, unable to concentrate, headache (with sensitivity to noise), nausea, bloating,  loss of appetite, thirst, weakness, frequent urination etc.
The main solution is obviously not to drink so much that it makes you ill!

However, when you do drink:

Drink soft drinks and water in between alcoholic drinks.

People suffering from Candida and yeast intolerances, beware of beer and red wine. Also, remember white wine has alot of sugar in it. Drink spirits instead.

If you are a wine drinker, try to drink organic. Many chemicals and preservatives are also what constitute the very nasty after-effects of drinking.

Drink with food or after eating. Never drink on an empty stomach.

Ladies, alcohol will affect you more strongly while you have your period. So drink less, if anything at all during this time.
However, in the case where you have had a few too many. Here are some tips:

Most obviously drink plenty of water. But the best time to do this is before you go to sleep after drinking, rather than just the next day.

Take both Vitamin C and a B-Complex vitamin before sleeping and after drinking. The liver uses nutrients it has stored, to do the work of detoxing. Replacing these will help the liver process alcohol faster.  (You can buy handy soluble hangover packs containing these at till counters in health food shops)

Take a liver herb such as Milk Thistle Complex. Do this especially if you are feeling nauseous and unable to eat the next day.

Eat crystallised ginger for any waves of nausea.

Drink Peppermint tea to soothe your stomach and also heartburn, and you may also take Peppermint Oil capsules.

Homeopathic remedies work a treat!You do not need to have all the below-mentioned symptoms listed for each one but see which fits you the best:  Nux-vomica 30c if you are irritable, nauseous, impatient (queues or road rage or snappiness), senses acute or generally nervy and agitated with heartburn, bloating and constipation or cramping pains. China 30c if you are just wiped out, exhausted and  faint accompanied by alot of trapped wind or bloating and possible diarrhoea and your mind is in the clouds. Arnica 30c if you are absolutely wrecked and worn out but with no real stomach symptoms. More a generalised aching all over your body. This state will arise if you have been overdoing it before going out drinking. If your main symptom is a headache and you are like a bear with a sore head; you want to be left alone, and are thirsty for large quantities of water, then try Bryonia 30c.

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Electric Shocks

Have you ever received electric shocks when you touch something? For example, a car door handle, the button on a lift or escalator, some metal surface? It is strange, isn't it? Some people seem to conduct electricity more than others. A lady I once spoke to, asked me did I have any suggestions for receiving electric shocks. She had a serious incident of suffering an actual heart attack when one particular electric shock travelled to her heart and she ended up in hospital. I was mystified as to whether there would be any  solution apart from ongoing homeopathic treatment (as this was a casual request and she did not really want to see a homeopath). So I looked up the symptom in my homeopathic repertory ( a book homeopaths use as an index of a huge variety of symptoms and complaints) and there was only one remedy listed: Cuprum Metallicum.

Now, I would never prescribe a remedy unless I knew there was an overall match with the whole person's health rather than just a correspondence to one isolated ailment. So I did not give her the homeopathic remedy.  But how interesting! I suggested she take a Copper supplement instead, in case levels were low in her body. The electric shocks ceased. Since then, I have suggested this small measure to people and it has always been effective. I have also observed that people who are low in iron often are low in copper. There is a proportionate relationship between the two.  And so, suffering from regular electric shocks can be a pointer to taking an Iron tonic as opposed to taking a Copper supplement to reduce the susceptibility to electric shocks.

To summarise: if you get regular electric shocks - take either Copper or Iron.

Monday, 7 December 2009

Teeth Grinding or Bruxism

Teeth-grinding can cause tension and pain in the jaw and face especially on waking in the morning. This can lead to constant headaches and face pain. Obviously, it is also bad for your teeth as it can damage them.
For many people, the only solution is to wear a mouth guard to prevent them from grinding their teeth unconsciously during their sleep at night.
Bruxism is also very common in children though sometimes less noticeable unless it gets quite bad and the child complains. You may not notice your child is doing this unless you have looked in on them while they are sleeping.

In my experience, there are two main factors related to or accompanying bruxism:

1. Worms.
2. Stress.

1. People who gnash and grind their teeth may have worms. This means that it is quite easy to solve the problem. Deal with the worms and the bruxism will cease. The majority of children who grind their teeth are doing so for this reason.
Other signs of worms apart from teeth-grinding, are:

  1.  Peevish, whining and complaining behaviour – nothing you do for the child or adult satisfies.
  2.  Temper tantrums.
  3.  Pale face, with dark circles under the eyes.
  4.  Ravenous appetite and always hungry. Where does it all go?
  5.  Worms visible in stools and the stools are ‘loose’.
  6.  Itchy bum most especially when becoming warm in the bed at night.

What to do?

The homeopathic remedy Cina 30c is excellent for solving this problem. Take 1 tab/pills twice daily for 2-3 days.

2. Stress is less easy to deal with than worms as it usually tends to be ongoing. And not all circumstances that cause stress are under a person’s control. There are large life-events and then there are work and other stress-related issues. However, that said, a person’s reaction and response to stress can change and be made more resilient, less difficult with less impact on the person’s life. My best tip (I am not biased!?) is to see your homeopath for an in-depth comprehensive support.

But, here are some things you can do to alleviate stress:

Saturday, 5 December 2009

About Supplements

It is so wonderful to have a wide range of supplements to support the health of individuals.
Remember though when you take a supplement – it is to supplement your body with extra nutrients. It is not a replacement for proper nutrition and healthy, balanced eating. Only take a supplement for short periods of time. If you are still experiencing ailments, it is best to turn to a healthcare practitioner to look at underlying causes.

Many people’s diets are inadequately balanced and suffer from varied nutritional deficiencies as a result. These can be helped tremendously by using supplementation while redressing the balance in one’s diet.

How will you know if you have a nutritional deficiency?

You will have signs and symptoms. Every symptom you experience in your body is usually pointing to a problem. But many people seem to think – how on earth would they know if they didn’t get a test?

Try reading up on nutrition. You know, Gillian Mc Keith has a list of ailments which correspond to possible nutrient deficiencies. Read Patrick Holford’s stuff as well. There is a vast multitude of information out there.You can figure it out yourself, rather than spend a fortune on allergy testing.

Factors which prevent absorption of nutrients in the body:

  • Allergies and food intolerances affect the body’s capacity to take in nutrients and make use of them. Also, digestive system disturbances or illnesses affect nutrient absorption. These are topics for another time.

  • Bear in mind, this also affects a person’s ability to make use of vitamin supplements as well as food. Many people are not experiencing the uptake they ideally should from supplements. This means that supplementation will not help as much as anticipated. Addressing assimilation is a fundamental aspect of health and should be done in a therapeutic setting with a qualified healthcare practitioner. There are some risks associated with taking supplements but not being able to absorb them. Not all vitamins and minerals are easily digestible.

  • Some supplements have known side-effects. For example, Iron. If you take iron, try to take Ferrous Gluconate as opposed to Ferrous Sulphate . Take with additional Vitamin C to avoid constipation. I highly recommend Spatone or Salus-Haus Floradix as these brands usually do not cause any trouble.

  • For those who are have assimilation problems, consider Foodstate supplements or Liquid supplements, which are more easily absorbed and have a look at the Schuessler Salts which aid assimilation and balance minerals on a cellular level. Always take your supplement with food and never on an empty stomach. People with Candida, must check that supplements are yeast free. Vegetarians must check supplements are suitable for vegetarians. Follow your own instincts – if you feel unwell, stop taking it. If you feel well again, the supplement is not right for you.

  • Many non-organic vegetables and salads have lesser nutrients due to farming practices. Chemical sprays and fertilisers and non-organic farming affect the goodness of fresh fruit and vegetables. There are many toxins in our environment, the extra stress of which can cause the body to lose nutrients. The recommended daily allowances cited on packaging are based on the body already having adequate levels of nutrients. The RDA’s do not deal with actual nutritional deficiency.This is one reason why you should consider taking a supplement and why food is sometimes not enough.

  • B-Vitamins and Vitamin C are soluble in water. This means if you take too high a daily amount, they will be excreted in your urine which means there is less risk of overdosing on these two in particular. At the same time, be careful of overdoing the amounts you take though, as this puts pressure on your kidneys. When you take B-Vitamins it is best to take them together in a Complex as they are synergistic in nature and work best in combination with each other.

Generally speaking, I am in favour of using a wide variety of supplements to improve health but not in the medium to long-term. People should be aware that even if taking Vitamins helps them with one problem or another, if their problems return once they cease supplementation – there is still something wrong with the way in which their body is functioning. Taking supplements may relieve symptoms but symptoms are a sign and indicator of problems. To mask a problem is to allow it to progress. This should be avoided. Homeopathy works to stimulate the body to function on its own, without help and using its own innate resourcefulness, as the body well knows how to do. All the supplements and herbs in the world cannot replace the body’s own powers.

When my patients do not come to see me because they can manage by themselves without taking remedies – then I know I have done my job well. Life does throw things our way – but we learn to be resilient. Knowledge is power, so education is a significant part of my work.

When dependence ceases – on advice, on remedies, on healing helps from any perceived expert (outside of one’s own knowledge and expertise and one’s own body’s healing powers), then one is free. Free to get on with life, with no anxiety and certainly no need for a remedy or a medicine cabinet.

Friday, 4 December 2009

About Cold Sores

The more you treat them with unnatural medicines, the more they will recur. Also, you may have noticed that when you get very run down, they arrive!

Take an Amino Acid called L-Lysine. This acts as a good preventative. While you have a cold sore you can take this 3-6 times a day. To take preventatively, take 1 or 2 a day or follow directions on the container. Do not, however, take this supplement indefinitely i.e. longer than a couple of months. I never advise ongoing supplement usage as a way of managing any ailments. The underlying problem should always be resolved.

Apply Rhus-tox Cream topically, instead of Zovirax.

Apply Lavender Essential Oil neat, directly onto the skin. Do not use Tea Tree Oil – although it is very good it can be drying and irritate the skin. Lavender has antiseptic properties but is much gentler on the skin. Plus it has a lovely scent!

One of the most effective homeopathic remedies for cold sores, is Nat-mur 30c. Take 1pill 2xdaily while you have the cold-sore. If after only one tablet/pill, the cold-sore starts to clear up do NOT carry on taking the remedy. In homeopathy, the opposite principle of conventional medicinal dosage applies : when it works, STOP taking it. Once the body responds well, you do not need to stimulate it with further doses but instead leave it alone, to complete its good work. There are other homeopathic remedies for cold-sores as well. If Nat-mur does not work for you, consult a homeopath or a person in-store in a health food shop for individual prescriptions. Homeopathy can treat cold-sores and get rid of them permanently. So I would highly recommend you get an individualised, tailor-made prescription for yourself. This will also better your health in general.

Do you find that when you get stressed a cold sore is inevitable? Consider taking a Vitamin B-Complex which feeds the nervous system and acts as a type of stress tonic. A cheaper way to manage stress is to take New Era Tissue Salts Kali-phos which is a nerve soother.

The best way to deal with being run down, is through excellent nutrition, exercise, fresh air and a balanced lifestyle. All easier said than done, of course! Stress will be discussed in more detail later.

Lowering your cholesterol

Have you been stressed out, running on empty for a while to cope with life circumstances, eating a high fat diet including rich foods, large amounts of meat and rich sauces (such as travelling business people or people who don’t have time to cook), have you had constipation for years, been using anti-perspirants instead of deodorants, not eating fruit and not exercising? Are you irritable, likely to fly off the handle and often feel exhausted? If you have 3 or more of these factors you may be a high-cholesterol personality!

Here are some tips to help you lower your cholesterol:

Thursday, 3 December 2009


Sweating is an important function of the skin in your body. Sweating detoxes your whole body, cleanses it, and purifies it. The skin is an organ of elimination and very important as such. Perspiration also has a cooling effect on the skin and body necessary during exercise and during a fever. Efficient perspiration is necessary when you are ill.
Some people do not sweat much. They may not have much to sweat out and are very well. Well, in the sense of proper nutrition, exercise and minimal intake of toxins.
However, some people do have a large build up of toxins in their bodies but are not getting the chance to eliminate properly through perspiration.
Here are some signs of suppressed perspiration or toxicity in the body:

- Complete absence of perspiration
- Offensive perspiration.
- Drenching night sweats
- Foul and offensive perspiring on the feet (in other words, smelly socks!)
- Intense perspiration of one part e.g. hands only, without perspiration anywhere else on the body.
- Perspiration stains clothes and sheets and coverings.
- Little cysts or lumps in concentrated areas of sweat glands most commonly under the arm, in the arm pit or in the groin area (there may be other reasons for these, if in any doubt consult your doctor).

WHAT CAN YOU DO?                       
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