by Dr. Liat Engel, ND
Now that spring is in the air and we are all finding ourselves wanting to spend more time outdoors. Activities like hiking, bike riding, running and swimming are all wonderful opportunities for getting our bodies and spirits out of the sleepy hibernation mode of wintertime. Naturally, increased physical activity and travel raises our risk for injuries, but don’t let that stop you from exploring the outdoors and enjoying this upcoming season! In this article we will expand upon the writing Dr. Mohammed Shegeft posted in the newsletter on acute homeopathic medicines for a first aid kit. Here we will introduce you to homeopathy, how it works and why it is important in chronic versus acute conditions.
What is Homeopathy?
Homeopathy is a comprehensive system of medicine. Elements of your chief complaint along with symptoms on your physical, mental and emotional planes are considered. This is important in order to individualize a medicine for you. For example, there are several excellent medicines for seasonal allergies, and in order to select the best allergy medicine for you, it’s necessary to understand your constitution, how you respond to stressful events and what makes you tick. All this information is used to find the best match for your symptom pattern. Homeopathic medicines are derived from plant, animal or mineral sources and are prepared in a specific method in a homeopathic pharmacy.
How does Homeopathy work?
Homeopathy promotes your body’s ability to heal itself from within. It is a low force intervention that gently stimulates your internal vitality and allows for a curative process to unfold. When the correct match is made between a remedy and you’re individual presentation, the potential for real healing is greatly optimized. Homeopathic medicine will raise your tolerance levels against stress and improve your immune systems resistance, balance hormones and harmonize emotional states. A constitutional prescription has the potential to improve overall wellbeing where sleep, energy and mood are stabilized, while a more acute prescription provides relief in the severity and shortens the duration of your particular injury or illness.
When is Homeopathy used?
When treating chronic conditions a constitutional prescription is recommended, whereas a sudden injury or infection can be prescribed based off an acute presentation. Keep in mind, that for best results it is recommended that you be evaluated by a skilled clinician who will be able to match you with the correct homeopathic medicine and its proper dosage. Just to name a few, some longstanding issues such as allergies, asthma, arthritis, headaches, vertigo, insomnia, anxiety and depression are all treatable through homeopathy; so don’t lose sight of the power a constitutional therapy can have with more persistent or recurring illness.
For now, here is a list of some of the common springtime conditions treatable with acute homeopathic treatment:
- puncture wounds
- bruising/soft tissue injury
- spinal and head injuries/concussions
- food poisoning
- heat stroke
Let’s use the common sprain as an example to describe how there can be different presentations for the a similar injury, and how a person’s presentation is important to understand in picking the correct homeopathic. Sprains are commonly accompanied by edema and swelling. Joints get stretched beyond their flexible distance and this often leads to tearing of ligaments and even muscles. The general recommendation is to avoid putting weight on the injured part, and its misplaced ligament can often pop back into place depending on the severity. Ice and rest are the common recommendations given. However, bellow are descriptions that show how differently four different types of people can present with the same kind of injury:
- ARNICA – mainly for bruising, or when there is a bruised sore feeling as if they have been beaten, accompanied by a state of unconsciousness or claiming “im ok, im fine, just leave me alone” following an event like a car accident or fall when they are actually injured. At night there is restless in bed, the bed feels too hard. Face and head feel warm while the body can feel cold. Ideal in whiplash injuries after car accidents. Helpful after surgery to speed recovery. Generally ideally given when there is a heavy and exhausted feeling and any sudden movement hurts. Good for simple over exertion situations where the person is out of shape and gets a lot of pain afterwards, especially if its in the muscles, so generally overexertion injuries.
- BRYONIA – the key here is when the condition onset is slow, takes its time, better from pressure and worse from motion. Holding the injured part and bracing against the slightest motion. In sprains needing Bryonia, the joint capsule is commonly affected. There are severe stitching pains that come in and out like from a needle; always worse with any sort of little movement. When a person doesn’t like a warm room and prefers the cool environment. A sprain accompanied by a very irritable, snappish demeanor where the person doesn’t want to be disturbed, holding themselves, trying to put pressure on the painful area.
- RHUS TOX – A “rusty gate” sensation in the back or joints, when there is lots of stiffness, muscular weakness that’s worst from initial attempted motion but then better from continuous movement. Joint and back injuries from over lifting an object that was too heavy. When the pain radiates up the back and even all the way into the neck. Joint pain accompanied by skin rash with intense itching. Generally worse in the cold wet weather and better with heat. Headaches from muscular tension. Lots of cracking and popping of joints, and a constant desire to stretch and move.
- RUTA –useful to heal tendons and the outer layer of bones. Ideal for when there is a bruise over a bony part like the knee or shins, and especially effective in hands and wrists. Great for repetitive strains like tennis elbow. When there are little nodules right around the tendons. Do not enjoy motion and back pain is better lying down. Generally feel weakness all over.
As you can see, all of these remedies are indicated for sprains/strains and trauma after injuries; and although they are all very similar, they are at the same time quite different from one another. So now you might better understand that in order for an effective prescription to take place, it is necessary to match the patient’s presentation with the correct remedy at its proper dose.
Whether you are struggling to recover from an acute ailment/injury, or if you are suffering from a more chronic condition – have hope because homeopathy can help you!