“The physician's highest and only calling is to make the sick healthy, to cure, as it is called.”
Aphorism 1, The Organon Of Medicine, Samuel Hahnemann
(The dictionary defines "cure" as "a means of healing or restoring to health; remedy)
When I graduated from Homeopathy school in 1998 I was given Aphorism #1 to talk about for my speech to our small graduating class of 16. I don't remember what I said at the time about this aphorism, but I am sure I was both lofty and optimistic. I don't remember the promises I made exactly, but the aphorism is clear. Make the sick healthy. It is what we are called to do. And indeed I did feel it as a calling. Homeopaths take on this mission in a very particular way. In the way that Hahnemann taught us. With particular principles to follow. Watching carefully so that we can see if we are going in the direction of "cure" or if we are going in the direction of suppression. Learning what happens in the body if it is suppressed. Understanding deeply the implications of suppression.
Because the body likes to express itself. It likes to tell us how it is doing. Symptoms are clues for us to listen to. And if we listen, really listen, sometimes that is all the body needs. ( I am not kidding!)
But there are other ways to listen too. A remedy is a way to listen to the body. A remedy given with the proper principles also says yes, I see you. Yes I hear you. When seen and heard the body opens up. It breathes a sigh of relief. It heals. So remarkable is the body and what it knows.
So training involves learning to listen.
But it is training we all can benefit from. When was the last time you listened to your body?
Can you hear what your body is saying?
What is it saying to you?
Write it down.
It's perhaps the greatest Love gift you can give yourself.
So this Valentine's Day I invite you to listen to you. Listen to your heart. Listen to your bones. Listen to your organs. Listen to your body. What does every little part have to say to you?
I bet it will tell you it's secrets. I am sure it will declare it's love to you.
Do you want to love it back?
The reason might be for the cure. It might be what brings your body and you back to health.
Restoring to health so that you might be fully engaged in your life. Being a creative force for others and yourself. To enjoy life. To be in Joy. About life, About others. About your "wesen" or being. Your Heart's highest calling.
Happy Valentine’s Day.
One day I was musing a bit about the power of things not seen, and Homeopathy definitely fits into this category. It's often ridiculed because how can something with no substance actually do anything at all. Experience tells me it does, and science may actually be catching up to this notion.
But let me go back and fill you in a bit.
Samuel Hahnemann is the father of Homeopathy, a man…. a doctor who lived in Germany in the late 1700’s. He didn’t, however, practice medicine because for him its ways were barbaric as these were the days of bloodletting. So, he translated medical texts because he spoke several different languages. It was while translating that he came across a Robert Cullen's Materia Medica. He was translating it into German and became curious about Cullen’s assertion that Cinchona bark was a specific for malaria because it was a tonic for the stomach. He ended up taking a bit of the bark himself, observing that he produced the broad symptoms of Malaria. He reflected on all he knew about medicine and about Paracelsus’ and the old therapeutic maxim of “like cures like”.
From there he went on to experiment with a following of students and to develop the practice of Homeopathy based on this overarching principle of “like cures like” or similia similibus curentur. He also discovered that the dosage was important. Many of the substances utilized were poisons. How do you reap the benefits without killing the patient?
And thus, the principle of the “minimum dose” was born. Oh, sure he experimented with it, and what he found was that the more minute the dose the more profound the results. In fact, he discovered that the best remedies were ones that went beyond Avogadro’s number, meaning the best remedies were the ones that had no substance left in them.
Here we are in the realm of “things not seen”.
The other thing about homeopathy is that it is in the realm of things not done. I joke with my clients that the best remedies are the ones that seem as if they have done nothing. And that’s because symptoms go away, and you come back to yourself. I take good notes for this reason.
"How are your headaches?", I ask.
"Oh, did I tell you that I have headaches? Come to think of it I haven’t had any since the last time we talked."
It becomes difficult to get any recognition as a homeopath because if I am doing my job right people’s symptoms go away and they forget a remedy may have helped.
On the other hand, sometimes the changes are so dramatic that you can’t help but sit up and take notice.
My first remedy was for a sinus infection. Something that I used to have quite chronically.
This was my first encounter with a homeopath:
She said, “take this remedy, and if your sinus infection isn’t gone in 24 hours take this other remedy.” I thought she was crazy. After all, I would often be on antibiotics for weeks for an infection to clear.
Guess what? It was gone in 24 hours. It made me sit up and take notice.
But what I most love about homeopathy is that it leaves no footprint. There are never any side effects because if it’s not the right remedy it most often just “misses you”. It’s not on the same wavelength or frequency. And the right remedy just brings you back to yourself. And who doesn’t want to be more of themselves?
Any dis-ease tells us something about our state, or what might be going off track in the body. It can take some subtle awareness. Most often we don’t even pay attention until we are wacked on the backside of our heads (so to speak) and we are faced with pain, infection or inflammation.
You may wonder about how homeopathy works for acutes epidemics and pandemics, perhaps novel viruses? Well, it does. There is evidence that those who used it in the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic survived far better than those who did not. I have a teacher in Africa using homeopathy in the Aids epidemic over there with great success. And me? I’ve seen some novel virus cases at the beginning of symptoms, and I have given remedies. What happened? Nothing. The body system reordered itself and all clients have gone on with their lives.
I don’t know about you, but the turmoil that is out in the world these days seems to be heightening my awareness of the antagonism that I have within me.
My body is talking. Maybe yours is too.
Are you having aches and pains that you just can’t shake? I am. And part of me just wants them to go away. And another part of me knows that there is a message there for me. So, I do what I do to shift the energy and often learn yet another level of self-love and compassion.
Our bodies speak to us.
But we live in a culture of suppression. It’s why we are where we are. You suppress a people for a while, but you must expect they will rise. You suppress pain with a pain killer for so long, but you expect the pain to return. Underlying causes must be addressed for the body to heal, or for a culture to heal.
What is the antagonism that you hold within?
Here are some questions to help you get started:
I’m not saying that it's an immediate change, though sometimes it is. It's more often subtle. More often a coming into oneself. More self-love and acceptance. More of a dropping away of the symptoms that nag.
I took on my healing journey over 30 years ago, first walking into a therapist's office, and then walking into a Homeopath's office. There have been countless offices and classrooms since then. I am way more at home in my body. Heck . . . I am in my body. My life is one of peace and fun. My appreciation of myself and others has grown leaps and bounds.
And ... in extraordinary times like these I can still feel the antagonist restlessness that asks me for a little more. To sink in a little deeper to all that is. To open my arms to the pain in others and walk down the road awhile with them and me.
Hormones. These are chemical substances produced by glands or cells as part of the feedback system of the body in order to create balance or homeostasis. Hormones can sometimes take a while to get back into balance when the body is moving from baby making mode to non-baby making mode.
Isn't it incredible that our bodies, when healthy, just knows how and when to get back into a new balance? And when it has trouble, it speaks to us in the form of symptoms. The symptoms that our body presents tell us a story about what is going on in there, and what might be needed. The trouble is that we sometimes don't hear, or don't listen.
Menopause is one of those times when hormones fluctuate big time. And sometimes it's not so bad riding the wave to the new destination. Sometimes it's more difficult.
Some lucky one's glide through these body changes with ease. With grace even. But most of us can expect symptoms that hale the arrival of what might turn out to be a whole new body.
Here is a list of some of the changes that can happen as the changing of the hormonal guard takes place:
This is quite a list. You won’t have all of these symptoms. And you may have symptoms that aren’t on this list. But even having a few of these symptoms is enough to turn your world upside down.
What is a woman to do?
First, know that it’s time to take care of yourself. Women generally put themselves at the bottom of the list when it comes to self-care. And self-care really gives us some insight into ourselves and our preferences. And maybe that frozen shoulder is indicative of you picking up way too many pieces.
Here’s a simple list for you to consider moving into menopause.
Take care of yourself.
This is not a trite statement. It’s real, and it’s about time. If you haven’t learned how to do this before now, you must now.
Say no. Take baths. Move in a way that feels good to you. Ask for hugs. Eat better. Take that trip.
If none of those resonate, make your own list about what that might mean. We all know inside what that might look like. And if it's still difficult ask for help.
Menopause as a gift.
It’s in the name. A time to pause. A time to reflect on this transformational transition and decide how you will now use all of the wisdom you’ve gained. There are other gifts.
Be open to what they are for you. I see so many women whose lives opened up after menopause. They saw more clearly their purpose, or what made them excited and went for it. At some point we recognize that we still have time.
Protein, Essential fatty acids, Green food, and water.
This is a simplified list but there is lots of information about how good food supports us. And sometimes it's as simple as slowing down enough to just enjoy what we are putting into our mouths. Or enjoying the company we have as we eat.
There are many herbs that support hormone production because of their molecular structure, and therefore can help alleviate symptoms.
Here are some to try: black cohosh, passionflower, chasteberry, wild yam and ashwagandha. Read the instructions or get some help from someone who knows how to take these herbs.
Move your body.
Moving increases endorphins, which elevates our mood, which helps us feel better. It may be as simple as a walk through the woods. Or turning on some music to dance in the kitchen. Or it may be taking on a weightlifting class, a tai chi class or some hot yoga.
If you aren't getting enough sleep at night, try getting a nap in during the day. Or maybe go to bed a 1/2 hour earlier just to give your body a chance to unwind and relax. Also, if you are partnered, consider sleeping in separate beds. Sleep and sexy time are two different things.
And luckily there are Homeopathic remedies that help too.
Here’s a short synopsis of five possible remedies. Remember, however, that having a homeopath help choose a remedy will likely give you better results. We don't see ourselves as well as someone else. And there are hundreds of remedies that could potentially help.
We can and do survive menopause. It’s what we do. Sometimes we arrive a little worse for wear. But we needn’t. On this side of the fence, opportunity abounds for more energy, creativity and thriving.
Two and a half years in one can’t help but notice that a certain virus continues to be with us. I don’t know how you’ve managed it, but besides taking supplements that are Immune system strengthening, Homeopathy is my go-to. I have been lucky enough to escape the virus myself but have helped many others get through their symptoms faster and feel better sooner.
Homeopathy is not a one size fits all system, but it’s also not super complicated to differentiate and come up with a remedy that fits a person’s symptoms.
Here is a case that I just took a week or so ago.
A client called on a Friday afternoon having tested positive for Covid. He had taken Aconite earlier in the day. I have instructed clients to take Aconite as soon as there is an inkling of any acute cold or flu. It is a beautiful remedy for the sudden onset of symptoms. And it has proven its benefit throughout the pandemic, mitigating symptoms and even staving off a deeper expression of the virus. He didn’t have many symptoms. He had some mucus in his throat and was coughing a bit. I told him to continue the aconite for another dose or two that evening and call the next day if things progressed.
Saturday morning, I got a call. His symptoms had progressed. He told me that he slept poorly throughout the night. He kept waking up needing to urinate. Mucus was lodged in his throat which was difficult to clear out and he was coughing quite a bit.
He woke up nauseous with some vertigo. He went to the kitchen to fix something to drink because he was also feeling dehydrated. But he began to feel even more nauseous so headed to the bathroom. On the way, he thinks he passed out from vertigo. He called while sitting on the bathroom floor. He was clammy, sweaty, and feeling warm. He thought he had a fever.
The thought of putting something into his mouth to eat made him gag. But having a bit of cool water helped. He sounded hoarse. Lying down seemed to help.
What follows is an analysis of his symptoms using Heiner Frei’s Polarity Analysis. The remedy that shows up as a number one choice is Scilla (or Squilla). Two years ago Hahnemann Labs put together a COVID kit with this remedy in it. I hadn’t seen it come up at all in any repertorizations. And here it is. The fact that he kept waking up at night to urinate, while not strictly conforming to what we normally think of for Scilla made me more confident in giving it a try. (The materia medica mostly talks about the cough being so violent as to cause incontinence)
Here are the symptoms that I took that pointed most strongly to the remedy Scilla.
( < means worse > means better )
> lying position
> warmly, from wrapping up
< rising from bed, after getting up
> lying down, after
> resting (not moving)
< physical effort
< sleep, during
He had the remedy in a 200C because he had the original Hahnemann kit. I advised him to take several doses throughout the day and get back to me either later or the next day.
The following day I checked in on him because I hadn’t heard from him. He was about 80% better according to his assessment and only had a lingering cough.
We decided that his body could likely take it the rest of the way and if he got stuck to call.
One case. One remedy. Better in 24 hours. Homeopathy continues to amaze me.
Musings and missives.