Tag Archives: homeopathy

Into the Wild

“We’re supposed to be different. Thank goodness.”

I posted these words on my Facebook page yesterday evening along with a quote from Susan Cain’s insightful book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking.

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In Quiet, Cain explores the differences between introverts and extroverts. In a society that seems to reward the confidence, charm and exuberant energy of extroversion, introverts often feel the need to step up, speak out and pick up the pace just so they too can succeed at life.

In the questionnaire at the beginning of the book, I scored a whopping 18 out of 20. This signifies that I’m more of an introvert. It means that I enjoy my own company. I need space and time alone. I recharge by spending evenings in with a book or a movie. I get energy from walks in nature and lying in the sun. And I like to sit in stillness and reflect on my feelings and the meaning of life.

I’m a thinker and a writer. And I’m sensitive. Sensitive to beauty, music and wonderfully worded pieces of prose. I’m sensitive to energy, people’s moods and violence on the television.

I feel deeply. I get depressed. An act of kindness can bring me to tears. I marvel at the many miracles of the universe. Spirituality is more important to me than material things. I’m passionate about life. But at times I feel like I’m drowning in it.

When I feel intimidated, I shut up. It can take me a while to feel comfortable around new people. On nights out, I’d rather not compete with the loud music and the din of chatty pub-goers. So I don’t. My voice just doesn’t seem to carry. If someone really wants to hear what I have to say, we have to lean in to one another.

However, when I’ve had a drink, none of that matters. Cain likens an alcoholic beverage to a glass of extroversion.

Most people aren’t exclusively introverts or extroverts. I love being around people and I lead a fairly busy social life. I enjoy meeting friends and trying out new hobbies but I much prefer participating in deep conversations with one or two people rather than chatting in large groups.

I recognise the benefits of team playing and brainstorming but I work best alone in a quiet room where I can retreat, silence my phone, and concentrate.

When something is bothering me, I tend to write, meditate, read and think. Then I discuss my problems, one-to-one, with someone I trust.

I end romantic relationships if they’re not right. I’d rather be alone than with someone who doesn’t help me flourish.

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Last night, I watched Into the Wild for the second time. This true story is based on American adventurer Christopher McCandless. At twenty-four, Chris has fulfilled his parents’ dream of getting good grades and going to college. Then, instead of attending Harvard, he burns the remainder of his college fund, cuts up his social security and credit cards, and disappears, without a word, into the wild.

One of the reasons I love this film is because I feel it’s quite balanced in its storytelling. The different characters have different viewpoints, personalities and lifestyles.

We learn of Chris’ perspective on life. He resents the control and expectations of society and his parents. He wants to roam free. He needs to be independent and true to himself. He’s happiest when he’s diving into lakes, climbing mountains, and living off the land.

When he enters Los Angeles, he regards the skyscrapers and city-dwellers with an expression of disappointment and despair. We can almost see his soul dimming as he trudges through the metropolis. He imagines how his life could have been and he doesn’t regret his decision to break away. He can’t even stay one night there.

We also hear his sister’s version of events. She understands Chris’ reasons for abandoning the family. Her parents desperately desire a particular way of life for their son. Their intentions are good. This is the only way they know how to guide and protect him. But they’ve also caused their children a lot of pain. Ultimately, we watch them suffer too.

This movie really got me thinking. Was Chris acting selfishly? Was he foolish and naive? Or was he right to go on his own journey, to figure out his meaning of life, to really live and experience and come to his own conclusions?

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I’ve often felt different. I’ve struggled to fit in. I’ve felt stifled by society and I’ve agonised over the following:

What is being true to yourself? And what is running away? When do you stop living in the clouds and finally conform? When do you “settle down”?

Then there are the shoulds and norms of society. You should be responsible. That’s what being an adult is all about. You need a good job. You can’t live without money. You need your own home. When are you going to find a husband? Will you have enough time for children? For goodness’ sake, you won’t survive without a pension.

I got 525 points in my Leaving Certificate but secondary school may as well have been a battlefield for all the anxiety I experienced. I did well at swimming and athletics but competition didn’t sit well with me. I dropped out of college twice.

Truthfully, the only reason I went back to college as a mature student was because I felt I had to. How else would I become a functioning member of society?

I obtained a First Class Honours degree and received the Sunday World Cup for Best Student of Journalism with a Language. Though proud of my achievements and happy to gain approval from the people I care about, it added to the pressure I felt to do more with my life, to live up to my potential and to succeed.

And I don’t do well under pressure. So instead of applying for jobs in journalism, I threw myself into an alternative world of acupuncture, homeopathy, personal development and spirituality. And I’ve never been happier.

Of course, I still experience paralysing moments of fear. The voices in my head go something like this: What are you doing with your life? Grow up. Be normal.

So I tentatively move forwards with one eye clamped on everybody else in the world who’s doing things the “right” way. I compare, criticise and compete. I alter my behaviour and try to change who I am in the hope that I will prosper. I worry that I’m not adult enough for this big bad world of business and mortgages.

But what does “adult” mean? How “should” a 34-year-old woman live? Why must we all melt into one right way of doing things? We’re not all the same. That much is very clear.

Yes, there’s a reason why most of us follow the well-trodden path in life. There’s safety and security in the tried and tested route. Most people want to see life’s landmarks so they know where they are and what to expect around the corner.

But some of us thrive on change. The unknown excites us. Newness is revitalising. It’s what keeps that spark inside of us alight.

It’s a relief to realise that we don’t have to be the same as one another. We don’t have to compete because we each have unique gifts to bring to the world.

There’s no point trying to do things his way or attempting to be as good as her because you’re not them. You’re you.

Some of us want to climb the career and property ladders all the way to the top. And some of us are quite happy to keep our feet on the ground.

Whether we’re commuting to our permanent jobs, bringing our children to school or backpacking across the globe, we can be fully alive and true to the essence of who we really are.

Whether we’re writing fantasy novels, saving lives, cleaning the streets or designing websites, we can be the people we’re meant to be.

Whether we’re introverted or extroverted or a dollop of one and two tablespoons of the other, we are unique and perfect just as we are.

We’re different and brilliant in our all of our shade and all of our colour. We blend and we clash and we all come together in this stunning masterpiece of humanity.

We may think we know who we are. We stamp ourselves with neat and convenient labels so we can understand and make sense of the world around us. But life changes. We change. We grow and develop and we dip in and out of lots of different attributes and characteristics. Every colour of the rainbow is available to us to try on and see what suits us best.

And whether we’re paying into our pensions or collecting the dole, none of us can really know what to expect next. Nothing is certain.

The weather is unpredictable. And the terrain is constantly changing. We may want to know the exact directions to a predetermined destination. But we are all, in fact, walking into the unknown. We are all on a journey into the wild.

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Falling into Winter

Right about now, people are starting to complain about the cold weather and shorter daylight hours. “Oo, it’s getting wintry,” they’ll say as they shiver and rub their hands together forcefully. Some of us have not so happy memories of low moods during the long, dark season. Spring and summer are like autumn and winter’s bubblier, more popular cousins; the ones we long to be around and can’t wait to see. However, autumn and winter do have their own unique, positive attributes. Here are some tips for surviving (and enjoying) this time of year:

  • Follow in nature’s fashion footsteps and treat yourself to some autumn-coloured accessories.
  • Wrap yourself in cute woolies and go outside. Who needs makeup when you’ve got fresh air to blush your cheeks and brighten your eyes?
  • Walk through a park or by the water and watch the leaves dance.
  • The most important thing is to continue getting exercise and daylight so, if it’s raining, pull on the waterproofs and connect with nature.
  • Take a good book to your favourite café and allow yourself to relax and enjoy just as much as if you were on holidays.
  • Put together an amazing costume and throw a Hallowe’en party for adults. Except do all the things you used to do as a child – play bob the apple, eat coconut and colcannon, watch movies and buy stuff in for the trick-or-treaters.
  • Make plans. If you’ve something to look forward to, it’s less easy to fall into an apathetic mood. Book a January sun or snow holiday or a city break. Or buy tickets for an upcoming show or gig.
  • Grab your best mates for a comedy night or get all dressed up and go for dinner followed by dancing.
  • Join a dating website and use the never-ending nights to chat up some potentials. Then, line up a few dates.
  • Enrol in a new class like pilates or flower arranging or take the time to learn a new language or instrument. Or be proactive and start your own book or film club.
  • Keep warm. Light a fire and snuggle up in a blanket with a mug of tea or hot chocolate.

If you’re worried that you have all the symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), get support from loved ones and professionals. Then, to help yourself further, try out alternatives like homeopathy and acupuncture, take a vitamin D supplement, and do some research on purchasing a lamp. Also, make sure to get at least 30 minutes exercise in daylight each day.

And if it’s (dare I mention it) Christmas you’re (already) dreading, take the pressure off by buying the odd present here and there, starting from today. Or even better, suggest a Secret Santa arrangement so you only have to buy one or two presents each. Remind yourself that Christmas is a time to spend with loved ones, many of whom will travel home from abroad. So, you can look forward to being together, to fun nights out, good food, movies, hilarious board games, magical fairy lights and the inimitable scent of pine.

And just remember, if it weren’t for the cold, dark times, you wouldn’t appreciate the sunshine, would you?

The Gift of the Present

We spend far too much time in our heads – worrying, remembering, giving out to ourselves, complaining… Imagine how much energy we waste on our thoughts… Do we really need them? Could we go on without them? Picture how free we would be if we cut most of them out…

"I've developed a new philosophy... I only dread one day at a time." Charlie Brown

It’s extremely difficult to break the habits of a lifetime but it is possible and so worth it. Everybody’s got to start somewhere. So, here are a few simple exercises that you can try right here, right now…

1. Close your eyes and really feel what it is that you’re feeling. If you’re anxious, find out where that anxiety is. What parts of your body are affected? Give it a colour, a shape. Allow it to expand. There is nothing to fear. When we move out of our thoughts and into our feelings, we take a huge step towards being present.

2. If you’re experiencing pain somewhere in your body, don’t run away from it. It’s trying to tell you something – that you need to take a rest, slow down, make a change… Give the pain a name. Describe how it feels. I know it’s “sore” but what else? What’s the first thing that pops into your head? Homeopaths find the most effective remedies when people describe their symptoms in peculiar ways as it really narrows down the search (there are thousands of remedies). Is the pain digging or dragging, stabbing or burning? Does it feel like tiny needles or grains of sand? Is it hammering or pulsating? When you acknowledge the pain and allow it to express itself to you, it may shift or alter or even disappear completely.

3. I found this next exercise in Eckhart Tolle’s The Power of Now

“Close your eyes and say to yourself: ‘I wonder what my next thought is going to be.’ Then become very alert and wait for the next thought. Be like a cat watching a mouse hole. What thought is going to come out of the mouse hole? Try it now.”

How long did it take before a thought came in? Are you amazed at how quickly one invades your mind? Did you notice the gap in thinking – the stillness, the “state of intense presence”? Wasn’t that nice? Do you want more of it? Don’t worry, you don’t have to force anything. The more aware you are, the wider the gaps will become.

Being present is being aware. Of what you’re experiencing right now. Not what you think about it or what you think you should do about it. But what simply is. It’s so simple, in fact, that we dismiss it for that very reason.

"Let us not look back in anger or forward in fear, but around in awareness." James Thurber

Images: http://cuzworldisntblackandwhite.tumblr.com/post/13779627654

Anger: from destructive enemy to constructive energy

Living with anger is like swallowing a wriggling baby octopus. As it grows, it expands, and pushes against your insides until you feel so full with it that you’re about to burst. When the pressure becomes too much to bear, it will use its tentacles to pierce and swipe its way out.

Some of you may be welcoming more awareness into your life at the moment. You’re currently coming to many realisations about yourself and about how you’ve been living and behaving. Despite this new-found enlightenment, you’re noticing that you’re getting angrier than ever before. I used to be such a gentle, peaceful human being. This alien emotion may surprise and even scare you.

Think of it this way. You have begun a fascinating journey of discovery and you are rapidly changing for the better. However, you’re still surrounded by people who are not travelling along the same route as you are. Your energy has shifted and what was once safe and familiar now annoys you. You no longer accept bad treatment from others because you’re starting to think more of yourself. Instead of feeling hurt and depressed by others’ misdemeanours, you’re now getting angry, which is a healthier reaction. But you need to realise that you are replacing your passivity for aggression.

Don’t worry about this new way of being. For a while, you will feel as if you’re walking in a field of land mines. You need to finally release all of these pent-up emotions. When there are no more long-buried devices left to explode, you will come back into balance. By this time, you will hopefully have removed yourself from situations that don’t suit you and distanced yourself from people who are not good for you. As Eckhart Tolle explains in the following clip, anger is just energy.

Steps for dealing with anger:

1) Sit with it

Like in a quiet waiting room, if you’re sitting with someone long enough, you’re eventually going to ask them where they’re from. Speak to the anger. Examine your feelings. What is it about the situation/person that angers you so? Is there something that you recognise (and dislike) in yourself? I know a man who became unreasonably irritated whenever his children let out the sofa footrests as they watched TV. Years later, he admitted that it was because he detested his own lazy streak and was reminded of it every time his kids sat back and relaxed.

Maybe you’ll discover that the anger you’re experiencing is directed at yourself. This could be for not living up to your purported potential, for acting in a manner that you’re ashamed of, or for feeling things that you’d rather not admit to. Holding on to anger is an exercise in self-destruction. It has no positive consequences but it will make you do stupid and even dangerous things. It will ruin relationships, fill your days with misery and, ultimately, bring about disease.

2) See where the attachment lies

Understanding what’s charging your anger is like finding the right plug in a large, tangled clump of electric wires. You have to unravel each cable and find which one you’re attached to before you can disconnect it. Recognising where the attachment lies will help you let go of this disturbing emotion. If a loved one has said something to upset you, ask yourself why these words have had such a profound effect on you. Do you care so much what that person thinks of you? Has something in what they’ve said resonated with a part of you that you fear, dislike or distrust?

3) Understand

When you begin to grasp why the person is behaving in a certain way, it makes it a lot easier to handle. Maybe it’s the only way they know how to act in order to get through life. We are all just trying to survive in this world and everyone has a different way of achieving this goal. Know that their behaviour is nothing to do with you. This knowledge will make you a lot less angry and will enable you to accept people for who they are, without allowing yourself to be dragged into their pain. Also, understanding why the person has filled you with anger will push you further on your road to self-discovery.

4) Express yourself

Get it out! Break some glass at the bottle bank. Smash a few plates, Greek-style. Go for a sprint. Take out the punching bag. Scream and shout. Scribble down your rage. And if you can express it to the person who’s brought all of this up in you, do so. Let them know how you’re feeling. You will not let them get away with treating you badly. Aside from relieving the pressure on yourself, this will have the added benefit of ensuring that a similar situation will not reoccur. Now that you’re stronger and more assertive, people won’t dream of treating you with anything less than respect. And if they still feel they have a right to mistreat you, it’s time for you to move on.

5) Energetic medicine

In Chinese medicine, repressed anger can create physical discomfort and disease. Acupuncture is an excellent tool for releasing anger. Staphysagria is a homeopathic remedy that you can take whenever you’re feeling a sense of entrapment, anger, frustration, or resentment.

6) Let it go

If you’ve expressed your rage, come to understand it, and removed yourself from the people and situations that are bringing you down, it is now time to let go. As Siddhārtha Buddha said:

“Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.”

7) Transform

Anger and passion are two ends of the same stream. One comes straight from the source, high in the mountains, clear and fresh. The other leaks into the ocean, becoming lost and bitter. Once you’ve dealt with the anger in all its stages, all you’re left with is energy.

Use this energy for whatever invigorates you. Allow it to ignite your creative spark, light up your spirit, and propel you into a world of power and passion.

Images: Google

Homeopathy: getting “worse” before you get better

Not a lot of people know what homeopathy is. Others immediately dismiss it, deeming it daft or calling it “witchcraft”. And then there are those who have seen homeopathy in action. These people begin to understand how it works and witness how it can heal.

 

A few years ago, I was introduced to a couple of very talented homeopaths, who are part of a wonderful holistic centre (The Lifeflow Centre). I attended, mainly because of depression, but also for the extremely uncomfortable, painful, and all too regular kidney infections that I’d been afflicted by. If possible, I also wanted a boost of energy. And if they could sort out any of my many other problems, that was cool too. I’m delighted to report that my energy started to increase, my confidence has never been better, and I have a brighter outlook on life. My world is lit up with possibility now. As if all that isn’t enough, the kidney infections have ceased. My periods are regular for the first time ever, as are my bowels. My skin, hair and eyes have more lustre and sparkle. And the dermatitis that had plagued me from the tender age of 10 has almost completely disappeared! I am no longer taking any medication (I used to be on antidepressants and the pill, and I have used many steroid creams over the years for my skin. And, like most people, I popped painkillers whenever a hangover, headache or period pain came my way).

My aunt is another example of how homeopathy can improve someone’s quality of life. Before introducing herself to this alternative medicine, she was taking 17 tablets daily! These included antidepressants, sedatives, sleeping tablets, steroid creams for the psoriasis that covered her entire body, pills for her bowels, and for blood pressure, cholesterol, fluid, stomach ulcers, diverticulitis, arrhythmia, and vertigo. Now, she doesn’t take one single pill. And she didn’t drop dead, like the doctors had her believe. The psoriasis is completely gone. She’s looking better than she ever did and she’s a lot more relaxed. Her enjoyment of life has increased dramatically. She is more alive. Her vital force has been reignited.

Homeopathy fascinates me. I attend a full day of class, twice a month, which is given by four homeopaths, who are so passionate about their work that they don’t even charge for the course. I read books on the subject, sit in on cases with a homeopath whenever I get the chance, speak to people who have used homeopathy, and observe, with interest, my own journey.

I won’t go into much detail about the history or principles of homeopathy because that is readily available on the internet. I want to talk more about how to proceed once you’ve decided you want to go down the natural route of getting better. However, I will introduce you to the concept. The principles of homeopathy were first proposed by German physician Samuel Hahnemann over 200 years ago. While conducting  an experiment, Hahnemann took four units of Peruvian bark twice a day, for several days. He began to develop symptoms identical to those of malaria without coming down with the disease. This led him to the conclusion that effective drugs must produce symptoms in healthy people that are similar to the diseases they will be expected to treat. Six years after the experiment, he formulated the theory of homeopathy.¹

Today, this principle is known as the “Law of Similars” and is the basis for the use of the term homeopathy (“similar suffering”). The idea of treating “like with like” can be explained further. For example, drinking too much coffee can cause agitation, sleeplessness, and even palpitations but, when made into the homeopathic remedy Coffea, it is used to treat all these problems. You may have come across this concept in conventional medicine, for example, the stimulant Rilatin being used to treat ADHD, or small doses of allergens such as pollen being used to desensitise allergic patients. However, one major difference in homeopathy is that substances are used in such tiny doses that they are completely non-toxic.²

How does a homeopath know what remedy to use? Think of it like this. We are all made up of energy. Within us, we hold on to every type of energy that has existed on the planet since the start of time, which may make more sense to you after watching this clip.

We access the energy of an animal for times when we need to exhibit aggressive behaviour. We need the energy of a mineral for the structure that we require in our lives. We tap into the energy of a plant to access our sensitivity. However, it is when we become stuck in one of these energies that we get into trouble, and this is when illness arises.

The job of the homeopath is to discover which energy you are stuck in. He/she will then give you a tiny dose of that energy (treating like with like) to blast you out of it. Imagine being stuck in a groove of a record, going over and over the same thing and not being able to get out of it. The homeopathic remedy will lift you out of that groove and move you on. This becomes apparent when you have taken a deep homeopathic remedy. You suddenly feel as if you have arisen above the problems you once thought you were forever trapped in, and you are now looking down on them impassively. When you are no longer caught right in the middle of them, they don’t have as much power over you.

The Sankaran method of homeopathic case-taking is an excellent way for a homeopath to find an individual source (or constitutional) remedy. This method was devised by an Indian homeopath, Rajan Sankaran. The homeopath focuses on the descriptions the patient gives of his/her pain, the sensations experienced in their dreams, and the language the person uses to speak about their passions and fears. Hearing these sensations enables the homeopath to recognise which remedy is needed. This is a very deep and powerful form of homeopathy and I have seen it cure disease and change lives for the better.

Rather than suppress symptoms, as is the norm with conventional medicine, homeopathy gets to the root cause of disease and pushes it out. We can go no further without explaining Hering’s Law of Cure. Healing takes place from top to bottom, from the inside to the out, from greater organs to lesser organs, and in the reverse order in which the symptoms appeared. Watch this for a simple explanation. 

We live in a society that’s obsessed with doing, achieving, and keeping busy. As a result, we demand quick fixes. Conventional medicine speedily suppresses symptoms but it doesn’t get rid of them completely. The disease must go somewhere so it burrows deeper into the body. If you have a rash on your skin, be thankful that it is located on your most external organ, where it cannot harm you as much. However, if you decide you want to get rid of it quickly, you may be prescribed steroids. These drugs will remove the visible symptom from the skin, but will push the disease inwards. Personally, I would rather not take a drug that merely suppresses symptoms, upsets my stomach and puts pressure on my liver.

Alternatively, if you use homeopathy to treat disease, your experience will be very different. Because of Hering’s Law of Cure, once you’ve started a remedy, you will briefly revisit your symptoms in the reverse order in which they appeared. You may develop a rash or get diarrhoea (which is good as the toxins are being pushed out of your body). The pain in your hip may come back for a short period, as will the kidney infection. The earache you often suffered with as a child will return for a short time too. Remind yourself that this is an excellent indication that the homeopath has found a good remedy for you and that things are happening in perfect order.

Hahnemann stated that life is based on the vital force within us. Once the vital force is in harmony, it keeps us healthy. An irritation of this, however, leads to illness. The homeopath’s primary function is to fire up the vital force in each of his patients. And the manner of achieving this will be different for every single person. Mohinder Singh Jus (2006) explains that homeopathy perceives the individual root of disease. In order to be able to do this, one must explore the personality of each patient. Holistic medicine concentrates on the person as a whole. A homeopath will therefore examine the patient’s mental, emotional and physical state so he/she can discover what is upsetting the vital force.

As strange as it sounds, you should be thankful to your disease for pointing out that something is wrong and that you need to change. If you don’t make the necessary adjustments, the disease will keep coming back, no matter how many drugs you take or operations you have. Until you let go of the control, shame, anger, fear, resentment, blame, or whatever it is that’s eating away at you, you will not heal. Thankfully, a good homeopathic remedy will allow your mind to expand and your attitude to shift so that you will adapt to a healthier way of thinking, thus making it easier for you to change. The remedy will also relax you and allow you to finally accept yourself for the way you are, causing the guilt and shame you’ve been dragging around to dissipate.

Understandably, some people grow impatient or get scared when they are being treated with homeopathy. They wonder how long it’s going to take and they fear the return of old symptoms. Here are some tips to follow when you make the switch to homeopathy:

1) Be patient

It takes time but know that you are getting better. Be thankful that you are using a natural medicine that is not going to fill your body with chemicals and harmful side-effects. Remind yourself of Hering’s Law of Cure and take note of the symptoms you are experiencing.

2) Rest

If you are one of the many who constantly pushes yourself, this is going to be very hard for you. However, how hard you are on yourself is probably one of the main reasons why you are sick. A good homeopathic remedy will make you very tired. If you feel like you’re walking through mud and you can barely move any of your limbs, that is a good sign. Your energy is now flowing to your most important organs in order to heal them. So, it’s in your interest, and in the interest of your vital organs, to rest as much as possible.

3) Treat your homeopath like a doctor

Keep in contact with your homeopath as you journey through Hering’s Law of Cure. And if you’re feeling seriously agitated or have any doubts or questions, pay him/her another visit. A good homeopath will want to keep tabs on your progress and he/she may need to administer more medicine or adjust the potency or remedy.

4) Don’t panic

You may feel worse than you ever did and more tired than you thought possible, but don’t panic. Others may urge you to go back to the doctor and because this medicine is so new to you, you may be inclined to agree with them. But give homeopathy a chance. Contact your homeopath. Seek out support from people who’ve already been treated with homeopathic medicine. Give it time. You’ll soon realise that you needed to go through the tiredness and that brief reoccurrence of symptoms in order to heal.

5) Reclaim your power

Take the power back into your own hands. Most of us have grown up in a society that looks up to doctors, surgeons and consultants. Many of us live in extreme fear of tests and results. We take drugs without question. We pump our bodies with antibiotics, steroids, painkillers, and much more. We presume that the man in the white coat knows best. Who are we to question the reasons for taking this medicine and its potential side effects? So, why not educate yourself on medicine, both conventional and natural?

Some of you have been using homeopathy without even being aware of it. Perhaps you have already used Calendula and Arnica for cuts and bruising. Why not take this self-medication further by investing in a homeopathic first aid kit?You’ll save a fortune on doctors’ visits. Start getting rid of your pains and sicknesses by searching the easy-to-use handbook for your symptoms and treating accordingly. I once had such a bad headache, I could hardly see. I made up a homeopathic remedy and drank it down. The headache disappeared in seconds! Children do very well on homeopathic medicine. They love the autonomy that comes with finding medicines for themselves. Homeopathy is also very effective in treating animals. For a deeper constitutional remedy, however, consult a homeopath.

Many people scoff at homeopathy. They dismiss it before trying it for themselves. They wonder why it is not more popular. It is in the interest of rich doctors and powerful pharmaceuticals for homeopathy not to become recognised as a valid, effective medicine. I might ask why so many people believe so strongly in conventional medicine. Can you honestly tell me that you know exactly how a painkiller works? Or an antidepressant? Yet, many of us swallow them without thought. We rarely ponder on where the pain goes or what side effects the drugs will have.

We have become victims of scaremongering. We are so fearful of dying that when we hear the dramatic news reports on the most recent “pandemic”, we rush to get vaccinated. But how many people suffer horrific side effects and even death from these vaccinations? According to this next clip, conventional medicine is the biggest cause of premature death in the U.S.

When a person is sick, the most important thing that needs to be changed is the mindset that is creating the disease. Listen to the way you describe your symptoms. You complain, “I am constipated” instead of stating, “My bowels are constipated.” Is your body ill? Or are you ill? You are what the homeopath is interested in. Naboru Muramoto explains this beautifully:

“Western medicine divides the human into categories and regards each malfunctioning part as separate from the whole. In the Orient, we believe that it is impossible to isolate a part without considering what effect it will have on the whole. We do not concentrate on the illness, but on the entire body. We do not label disease. Because all diseases come from the same source- an imbalance of energy flow throughout the body.”

To me, homeopathy is synonymous with freedom. It is liberating to remove the pedestal that had been so firmly placed beneath doctors and consultants. To no longer live in fear of a test result. To not have to face going under the knife. To be free of the medication that would only serve to dampen my vital force. And, more importantly, to be released from the mindset that had held me captive for so many years.

References

1. Sing Jus, Mohinder (2006) The Journey of a Disease: A Homeopathic Concept of Suppression and Cure. Kandern: Narayana Verlag.

 

2. The Society of Homeopaths (2011) About Homeopathy.

*The Lifeflow Centre runs an excellent class on health two Saturdays a month.

Insomnia: all alone with a pitiless pillow

Every so often, a person will go through a phase of insomnia. Some are lucky enough to be great sleepers. Others have the misfortune of finding it hard to either go to sleep or they wake early and toss and turn, cursing the little sleep fairies that refuse to whisk them back to their blissful land of slumber.

When I was 15, I experienced a torturous month of insomnia. I got so wound up about it that I was scared of going to bed because I knew I wouldn’t be able to sleep. The trick is not to worry about it and recognise that this too will pass. It makes sense that the more you stress about it, the more tense you are going to bed, so the harder it is to doze off.

Here are some tips for surviving insomnia:

1. Relax

What does it really matter if you can’t sleep right now? Be thankful that you have a comfortable bed and a roof over your head. Nestle into the cosiest position and listen to the weather outside. There’s nothing like the sound of the wind and rain at the window to make you grateful for your duvet.

2. Listen to relaxing music or an audio book

At least then you’re not concentrating on the lack of shut-eye you’re getting. Soothing music or the sound of a calm reading voice should send you off to sleep.

3. Soak your feet in lukewarm water

Ideally add some oils or Epsom salts, sit back and relax for an hour. This will take heat out of your body and allow your mind to unwind. A bath would also have the same effect. Add bubbles, candles and relaxing music. Sure why not?!

4. Exercise

This is best done in daylight hours in the fresh air but if that’s not possible, any physical activity (yes that too, ya dirty feckers!) will suffice. You’ll have worn yourself out in a good way and this will aid your sleep. Yoga before the leaba is also wonderful for taking time to stretch the body and switch it into chill out mode.

5. Natural remedies

For me, a homeopathic remedy works a treat for sleeplessness. Acupuncture, reflexology, massage and acupressure also help. There’s an acupuncture point behind your ears, which is great for insomnia and calming the spirit, so rub there when you’re unable to sleep.

6. Have a cup of hot milk

Treat the tired child within you like yer granny would. Heat up some milk in a saucepan and melt in a spoon of honey. Wrap yourself in the softest blanket or dressing gown you can find and enjoy.

7. Get up!

If you simply cannot sleep, get up and do something constructive. Perhaps you’re lying there, thinking about what you’re going to do when you arise. If the matters are too pressing, just be done with them. Sometimes, recognising that you’re just excited or stressed about a particular issue is enough. This period will pass soon so it’s nothing to worry about.

For me, it’s new year’s eve today and I’m off to Kilkee for a fun-filled weekend. I’ve also just started this blog and I’m loving it so I’ve been writing in my head since 6am. By 7am, I decided to cut my losses, toss back the blankets and get typing before the road trip. I know why I wasn’t sleeping and that I will be able to sleep again so I’m not stressing about it. And I’ve got a new post out of it!

8. Do something to relax the mind

Don’t hit the sheets straight after work/studying/a fight/a nerve-racking situation. Watch one of your favourite programmes, take a bath, do some yoga, listen to your iPod, soak those feet, paint your nails, make a bowl of sweet rice… Whatever it takes to soothe your soul before slipping into slumber.

9. Stop thinking!

Easier said than done but if you keep going over things in that self-destructive brain of yours, you’ll never fall asleep! Realise that you’ve all the hours in the day to mull over these things and that bedtime is a period of relaxation and renewal. Say it aloud if you must: “I’ll think about this tomorrow.” The great thing is, by tomorrow, you’ll have had such a good sleep that the niggling issues will seem a lot easier and you may not even need to give them much thought after all.

10. Make the most of your time in bed

If you can’t sleep, you can at least use the time to listen to a meditation on CD. Or do one yourself. Imagine you’re somewhere perfectly beautiful, like on a beach with the sun warming your torso. Or by a river, in the mountains, in a forest. Listen to every sound, see every colour, feel every breath of air and ray of sunshine. Alternatively, tense then unclench every single part of your body. These are wonderful exercises and should leave you feeling totally at ease.

If you’re finding it difficult to snooze, just don’t make a big deal out of it. What you resist, persists. Let go and surrender to slumber.