Charity Commission Consultation ends 19th May – Please Act Now

The Charity Commission (CC) is currently conducting a public consultation on whether organisations promoting the use of complementary and alternative medicines (CAM) should have charitable status. They are seeking your views which you can supply by visiting:

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/consultation-on-complementary-and-alternative-medicines

Homeopathic and other CAM organisations are making submissions but the more received from the pro-CAM public the better.  Please respond to the consultation and take action now!  If you feel uncomfortable answering all of the questions just answer a few, something submitted is better than nothing!

As you will see, the focus of this  consultation is on the evidence for the effectiveness of CAM therapies.  Your submission should be your own, however here are a few helpful points.

  • there are many types of evidence that should be considered when evaluating the effectiveness of a therapy. These include scientific studies, patient feedback and the clinical experience of  doctors  who  have trained in a CAM discipline.  Within Homeopathy there is considerable evidence which can be found (https://www.hri-research.org)
  • many conventional therapies and drugs  have inconclusive evidence or prove to be useful in only some cases, for example SSRIs (anti-depressants).  Inconsistent evidence is often the result  of the complexity of both  the medical  condition being treated and the therapy being used. It is not indicative of a therapy that doesn’t work
  • removing all therapies or interventions that  have inconsistent or inconclusive evidence would seriously limit the  public and the medical profession’s  ability to help treat and ease patients suffering.
  • all over the world there are doctors, nurses, midwives, vets  and other healthcare professional  who integrate  CAM therapies into their daily  practice because they see effectiveness. They would not use these therapies if they  did  not see their patients  benefitting from them.  For example in the UK, within the NHS hospital setting, outcome studies demonstrate effectiveness of homeopathy. (http://www.britishhomeopathic.org/evidence/results-from-the-homeopathic-hospitals/)
  • practitioners of many CAM therapies belong to registering bodies which expect their members to comply to the highest professional standards in regards to training and practice
  • In the UK the producers and suppliers of  CAM treatments (homeopathy, herbal medicine etc) are strictly regulated
  • as well as  providing valuable information to the  growing  number of people seeking to use CAM as part of their healthcare, CAM charities frequently fund treatment for those people, particularly the elderly and those on a low income, whose health has benefitted from these therapies but who cannot  afford them. This meets the charity’s criterion of  providing a public benefit.

You can also find out more of what you do to take action here at the Homeopathy Hub.

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School exams don’t have to be stressful…

Examination stress – fear of failing an exam, loss of focus, brain fog and much more can cause huge anxiety in students says homeopath Ulrike Holzer

Almost every student suffers stress to some degree before or during their exams. Stress can lead to a range of sypmtoms, as well as reducing the function of your immune system, making you more susceptible to colds, sore throats, upset tummies, headaches, to name a few.

BOYSTUDY  Coping with exam stress

  • Healthy diet: A balanced diet is vital for your child’s health, and can help them to feel well during exam periods.
    Avoid high-fat, high-sugar and high-caffeine foods and drinks (such as cola, sweets, chocolate, burgers and chips) as they cause hyperactivity, irritabability and mood swings. Make sure your teenager eats plenty of fresh fruits and veggies, and that they drink enough water to avoid dehydration headaches.
  • Encourage sleep: Good sleep will improve thinking and concentration. Most teenagers need between 8 and 10 hours’ sleep a night. Allow half an hour or so for kids to wind down between studying, watching TV or using a computer and going to bed to help them get a good night’s sleep. Cramming all night before an exam is usually a bad idea. Sleep will benefit your teenager far more than hours of panicky last-minute study.
  • Discuss their nerves: Remind your teenager that feeling nervous is normal. Nervousness is a natural reaction to exams. The key is to put these nerves to positive use. Being reminded of what they do know and the time they have put into study can help them feel confident.
  • Exercise: Exercise can help boost energy levels, clear the mind and relieve stress. Walking, cycling, swimming, football and dancing are all effective.

Natural remedies to help combat exam stress

A carefully chosen homeopathic remedy matched to the individual may help with the mental, emotional and physical symptoms of stress. by triggering the body’s ability to self-heal.

Here are a few homeopathic remedies which might be useful to help with exam stress:

  • Nux vomica: symptoms include hearburn and indigestion, irritability. Wakes at 3am and finds it hard to go back to sleep as having a rush of thoughts. Nux vom is particularly for last minute revisers who have been burning the candle at both ends.
  • Arsenicum: is good for people who feel very anxious, especially after midnight. They may panic and not be able to settle because they feel restless. A runny tummy before the exam often accompanies the symptoms.
  • Gelsemium: may help those suffering from performance nerves who may lack confidence and give up because they feel they may fail.
  • Argentum nitricum: is ideal for impulsive people who behave in an irritable way and then they regret it. They often hurry because they are worried about being late or missing deadlines. “What if …? is the motto of this teenager. Often runny stools from anticipation.
  • Lycopodium: is an excellent remedy for the type of person who is very industrious and tends to over-prepare. Their low self-esteem can show itself by causing them to miss letters and words when reading or speaking. The symptoms are often at their worst between 4pm and 8pm or if they have missed a meal.
  • Aethusia cynapium: is a wonderful remedy for brain fatigue from over-study. Inability to think and to fix attention. Examination fears. 
  • Anacardium: Nervous exhaustion from over-study and loss of memory from fright or mortification. Fear of examinations with lack of confidence. 

* Note: Please consult a professional homeopath if symptoms are serious and persist.

Other natural remedies to help with exam stress: There are certain Bach Flower remediesto help your child psychologically if they are having learning problems, such like Aspen, Mimilus, Chestnud Bud, Clematis and Larch.

Wishing you the best of luck for your exams!

Ulrike Holzer LSECH MSCH MARH

Registered Homeopath

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Just One Drop – A Review

I had the honour of attending the Premier of Just One Drop, directed by Laurel Chiten, who had flown in from America to attend, present and discuss this cutting edge film about homeopathy. Organised by 4H, Mani Norland, Principle of The School of Homeopathy and Cristal Sumner, Chief Executive of the British Homeopathic Association introduced the event and had both worked hard with others to ensure its high quality, on every level.  The ‘VIP’ audience had Royal, political and medical representation, the latter including homeopaths, teachers and medical doctors. The venue was a cinema in Soho, London, which hosts many innovative, pioneering films.

Just One Drop did not disappoint.  It is ground breaking in its content. Several homeopathic success stories are featured, including the poignant tale of a family dealing with a child with autism. Conventional medicine failed them as there was no improvement in his condition. They turned to homeopathy and saw a steady, significant, very moving improvement, which continues. Another case documents the journey of a man with MRSA and his totally inspiring healing journey. It was highlighted that homeopathy is one of the main systems of medicine in India as discussed by Divya Chhabra, one of India’s most influential and reputable doctors; the point being made here, is that it should be recognised as such throughout the world.  The mother of the autistic child beautifully stated that should homeopathy be more accepted and understood ‘it would change the world and medicine as we know it.’

The film goes on to introduce famous homeopaths, including Hahnemann himself and modern day ‘movers and shakers’ and teachers such as Jeremy Sherr, the Queens physician Dr Peter Fisher, Miranda Castro, Dr Massimo Mangliavori, Dr Roger Morrison, Hilery Dorrian and Francis Treuherz. The list here is long; many others were also interviewed and mentioned, all equally eminent! What was apparent amongst this diverse group of highly qualified people, was their total conviction in homeopathy as a valuable system of medicine. This is based on years of experience, and positive results and frankly, in the changing of peoples lives.  It is also worth pointing out that in the few here I have named, over 50 % are also medical doctors with stringent, allopathic training; what is clearly demonstrated, is that they have chosen to recognise and integrate homeopathy into their practice, or in many cases, use it exclusively as their preferred method of treatment. Why would they do this when they are highly qualified in both systems of medicine, should homeopathy not work? Food for thought for those that have difficulty in understanding the complexities involved in homeopathic medicine; but this is possibly all you need to know. The vitriol and the vindictiveness of the sceptics discussed throughout is misplaced, ignorant and without foundation, given the evidence set out so magnificently and clearly in this film.

In keeping with the theme of negative representation and distortion of evidence, Rachel Roberts, CEO of Homeopathy Research Institute, gives an in depth analysis of the Australian report, which stated that no health conditions could be helped by homeopathy.  This was in fact a gross misrepresentation as Rachel explains in the video linked here, the conclusion being that there was misfeasance, and it has been asked that the report to be rescinded.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QvF8KxbCXzA

Lynn McTaggart, editor of ‘What Doctors Don’t Tell You (who I had the pleasure of meeting and talking with) also alludes to the ‘suppressed evidence’ in this report. You can read more of her findings in her article ‘Of Dirty Medicine and Double standards’ accessible at this link: http://lynnemctaggart.com/of-dirty-medicine-and-double-standards/

David Tredinnick MP, stood up and wholeheartedly and unreservedly stated his conviction in homeopathy, asserting that ‘if we can only get a few trials accepted, the dam will burst.’  This together with Dr Peter Fishers erudite insights added gravitas to an already distinguished, historic event.

Homeopathy will always be controversial due to the fact its roots are embedded in a fundamentally different paradigm which is complex, and requires intense study in order understand its philosophy, practice and mechanism of action. Many people will continue to be sceptical in their approach and will go to any lengths (including deceit and fraudulent behaviour) to deny its credibility, as demonstrated in the reports above. The intention of the film is ‘to pave the way for integration between conventional medicine and homeopathy.’  In my opinion, ‘Just One Drop’ should be shown widely in every community, to educate those who are not familiar with the depth of the healing possible. It is positively inspirational and deserves great acclaim and worldwide recognition. And one thing is for sure, millions of people, despite the detractors, continue to use it. My conclusion?  Homeopathy is clearly here to stay and flourish, even more so once the contents of this film have been absorbed and distributed throughout the world. So please share; it is important to inform and educate at the highest level, with the real facts.

Should you wish to see the film and host a screening, please follow the link here : http://www.justonedropfilm.com/host-a-screening/

Gill Graham

www.consultanthomeopath.com

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Put a spring in your step with homeopathy

Here in the UK it’s the first official day of spring and it’s been wonderful over the past few weeks to see the daffodils and crocuses popping up on patches of land. In the woods, the new growth is coming through and it all made me think of our health. How we as homeopaths see that people regain health, and indeed even hope of recovery as they start to feel better. And also how it may have felt like winter for many with no hope or joy as chronic illness continued.

Working with people as a homeopath we often hear this and fortunately homeopathy can help many to start to feel better. The Bristol Homeopathic Hospital undertook one of the most comprehensive patient outcome surveys which was an analysis of over 23,000 outpatient consultations from November 1997 to October 2003. This represented over 6,500 individual patients whose outcome was recorded at follow-up. More than 70% of these follow-up patients recorded clinical improvement following homeopathic treatment.

Interestingly, many of the patients in the analysis had previously received mainstream medical intervention at the secondary care level and had either failed to respond satisfactorily or had been unable to tolerate the medication prescribed.

The conclusion here was that Homeopathy therefore may achieve positive clinical outcomes in certain conditions that have not yet been proven in RCTs, such as Crohn’s disease, depression, eczema, headache, and menopausal syndrome. Full details are given in the original article.

On the website here we’ve testimonials from people who’ve experienced help towards health through the use of homeopathy – and if you’re someone who has also had benefit from homeopathic treatment then feel free to share your story here.

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Homeopathy for Heartburn

What is heartburn?

Despite its name, heartburn doesn’t affect the heart. Heartburn is a burning sensation in the back of the throat and/or in the upper chest, along with a sour or bitter taste in the throat and mouth. It usually occurs after eating a big meal or while lying down. The feeling can last for a few minutes or a few hours. Heartburn is caused by excessive flow of gastric contents back into the oesophagus. The acidic gastric contents, when present in large amounts, irritate the oesophagus and cause the symptoms of heartburn. Medical conditions, such like hiatus hernia, gastritis, peptic ulcers etc can also cause a burning sensation in the upper digestive tract. Pregnancy, stress and certain foods can also make heartburn worse. Some medical drugs, such like NSAIDs (Ibuprofen, Aspirin etc), high blood pressure tablets ( esp. Calcium antagonists), osteoporosis drugs, anti-anxiety drugs (Diazepam, Lorazepam), tricyclic antidepressants (i.e. Amitriptyline) and antibiotics can cause heartburn. Foods that trigger heartburn: black pepper, garlic, raw onions, tomatoes & spicy foods, chocolate, citrus fruits & products, alcohol, coffee and caffeinated drinks, and carbonated drinks.

Conventional treatment include drugs that either neutralise stomach acid, reduce acid production or medication that block acid production. Needless to say that these chemical drugs often carry unwanted side-effects that often call for drugs to counter-act these side-effects. However, the correct homeopathic remedy may help to ease the symptoms of heartburn in a ‘first aid way’. Constitutional treatment is essential as it addresses the causes of heartburn, especially taking psychological factors into consideration.

Here are some homeopathic remedies that may help to ease symptoms of heartburn:

Arsenicum album: Heartburn with burning pains felt in the stomach with food backing up into the oesophagus. Belching and gulping up of acid and bitter substances which seem to excoriate the throat. Burning pains all the way up to the throat. Severe, watery, burning, yellow diarrhoea can occur. Many of the symptoms will feel better while drinking hot drinks like tea, or by applying hot applications, like a heating pad.  They may be thirsty for small, frequent sips of cold water. Their mental state is anxious, restless and fearful of being left alone.

Carbo vegetabilis: The individual needing Carbo veg has heartburn characterised by belching, bloating, heaviness in the stomach and chest and distress from eating simple, plain foods. The person may have an aversion to foods like meats, milk and fats. A very common characteristic of the individual needing this remedy is that they have a great desire for fresh air or for being fanned during attacks. The heartburn creates burning pains extending from the stomach toward the back along spine and the patient experiences temporary relief from these symptoms during belching. The belching leaves a rancid, sour or putrid taste in the mouth.

Magnesia carbonica: The person needing this remedy has a sensation of emptiness in the stomach. Sour eructations and heartburn from cabbage, potatoes, greasy food or milk. Sour belching and vomiting of bitter matter. Eructations can taste like rotten eggs. There is a craving for acidic or sour drinks.

Natrum phosphoricum: The keynote of this Schuessler salt is excess of acidity. There is an emptiness in the stomach and abdomen, even in the chest, worse after eating. Heaviness and pressure in epigastrium. Hyper-acidity of the stomach causes heartburn. Sour belching often followed by vomiting of sour matter. Weak mental state. The person may appear confused.  

Nux vomica:  Nux vomica is indicated when the heartburn comes from overeating, too much alcohol or other stimulants such like coffee. The abdomen is bloated and there is a heavy sensation in the stomach. Sour and bitter taste in throat from heartburn. There can be nausea and vomiting with much retching. Their mental state is anxious and irritable. 

Phosphorus: The person needing Phosphorus for heartburn will complain about burning pains felt in the abdomen, bloating and a feeling of fullness accompanied by great thirst for icy cold drinks, which are vomited back up shortly after becoming warm in the stomach. Belching and vomiting of undigested food are characteristic of the person needing Phosphorus. The person is mild-mannered, and seeks company and affection.

Pulsatilla: The heartburn comes on at different times of the day and after eating various kinds of foods, especially rich, greasy ones. Thirstless. Burps have a sour, bitter taste. Stomach and abdomen feel empty, with gurgling and rumbling & pressing pains. All symptoms are better in the fresh air. The individual’s personality is sweet, gentle, whiny and tearful. They are afraid of being alone and desire sympathy.

Sulphur: There is a burning and heavy sensation in the stomach with great acidity. There is often a history of dyspepsia. The over-acidity in the stomach comes from overeating and over-drinking. There is much rumbling and gurgling in the abdomen. The person is often absent-minded, which is often due to an over-active mind.

Diet 

Avoid foods that make heartburn worse, such like chocolate, tomatoes, spicy food, coffee and carbonated drinks, alcohol, citrus fruits etc. Include low acid foods in your meals, such like melons and bananas, oatmeal, wholegrain bread, brown rice , couscous, green veggies (broccoli, asparagus, green beans, celery, and cauliflower are all low in acid), potatoes and other root veggies (but no onions!), and fish (grilled, poached and baked, just not fried). You can’t tell how acidic a food is by looking at it. It’s not on the nutrition label either. But you can research a food’s pH, which is a score of its acid content. The lower the pH number, the higher the acid — lemon juice has a pH of 2.0. If you aim for foods with a pH of 5 or above, you may have fewer symptoms. You can find the pH level of foods on some websites and in low-acid diet cookbooks.

Disclaimer: This article is for educational purposes only and not intended to replace the advice of your physician or health care provider. First aid situations may require medical or hospital care. Do not use this article as a means to diagnose a health condition. Speak to your doctor if you think that your condition may be serious, before discontinuing any medication that has been prescribed for you, or before starting any new treatment.

If you cannot decide which homeopathic remedy to select or if your heartburn lingers then please book an appointment for a full consultation with a professional homeopath.

Ulrike Holzer  LSECH MSCH MARH (Registered Homeopath)Screen Shot 2017-03-14 at 10.24.27

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Just One Drop: A film about Homeopathy

Just One Drop tells a no-holds-barred look at the most controversial form of medicine ever invented. Homeopathy treats the entire person, not just the disease. It’s a specific form of medicine that uses minute doses of a highly diluted substance that stimulates the body to cure itself. It is these tiny doses that causes the most controversy. Researchers believe there is a release of energy in water that becomes mysteriously dynamic. Others think it’s purely psychological or worse, a form of deception or quackery. Yet millions claim homeopathy cures even though there is not yet a satisfying scientific explanation. It remains a mystery.

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Watch the movie trailer:
www.justonedropfilm.com/trailer/

Public screenings around the UK are as follows:

Date: 7th April
GRASSINGTON NR. SKIPTON
Time: 7pm for refreshments; 7.30pm start
Hosted by: Em Colley
Price: Free
Contact: Em on em@emmacolley.co.uk
Venue: Octagon Theatre, Devonshire Institute, Main Street, Grassington, BD23 5AA
Refreshments available from 7pm and a short Q&A after the film.

Date: 7th April
EDINBURGH
Time: 7-9pm
Hosted by: Margaret Wyllie
Price: Donations
Contact: BHA beforehand – info@britishhomeopathic.org or call 020 3640 5903
Venue: St Andrew’s & St George’s West Church, George St (5 mins’ walk from station)
Refreshments on arrival
Q&A session following screening 

Date: 8th April
STROUD
Time: 7.30pm
Hosted by: The School of Homeopathy
Price: £4.00 – book online before the event
Contact: jennie@homeopathyschool.com or 01453 765 956
Venue: The School of Homeopathy, Hawkwood College, Stroud, Gloucestershire
Q&A to follow with filmmaker Laurel Chiten and Gerry Dendrinos (from Australia, featured in the film.) 

Date: 9th April
TUNBRIDGE WELLS
Time: 17.30
Hosted by: Mary Ellis
Price: Free
Contact: mhellis62@gmail.com or 07711418430
Venue: Salomons, Broomhill Road, Tunbridge Well, Kent

Date: 10th April
LONDON
Time: 6-8pm
Hosted by: The Friends, Faculty and BHA
Price: Must email or call to get tickets.  Limited number available.
Contact: info@britishhomeopathic.org or call 020 3640 5903
Venue: Artworkers’ Guild, 6 Queen Square, London
Light refreshments served

Date: 10th April
BRIGHTON
Time: 21.00
Hosted by: Hilary Dorrion
Price: £11 includes post film discussion with the filmmaker
Contact: hilerydorrian@aol.com
Venue: Komedia Cinema, 44-47 Gardner St, Brighton and Hove
Q&A to follow with filmmaker Laurel Chiten and Gerry Dendrinos

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About the film maker: Laurel Chiten
Laurel Chiten has been critiquing and influencing social issues for over 25 years. Her high-profile films have screened at film festivals around the world; at universities and medical schools; won numerous awards; been nominated for an Emmy and been broadcast on PBS’s Emmy winning national series, Independent Lens, and POV. Her previous films have gained her acknowledgment and respect from doctors, researchers and institutions including Harvard Medical School, UCLA, MIT, and Harvard University

Her films include: Twisted (2006) about people with the neurological disorder, dystonia. Touched, (2003) about people who think they have had contact with aliens and the Harvard psychiatrist who believed them. The Jew in the Lotus (1999), about a group of rabbis that met with the Dalai Lama, and Twitch and Shout (1994) about people living with Tourette Syndrome, nominated for a national Emmy. The intention in all her work is to entertain her audiences while educating them.

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March – Ovarian cancer Awareness Month

In the UK, March is Ovarian Cancer Awareness month. Ovarian cancer is the biggest gynaecological killer of UK women, with UK survival rates amongst the worst in Europe. (Ovarian cancer awareness month, March 2017)

Having lost one of my closest friends to this insidious disease at the age of 45 (diagnosed at 39,) I am actively helping to spread awareness of the symptoms, in the hope that the patient is fully informed of treatment options and care, from the earliest signs. She was originally given a diagnosis of IBS, then PMS, despite the fact she looked 6 months pregnant. It took over a year to get to the route cause of her condition. ‘Three quarters of women are diagnosed once the cancer has already spread, making treatment more difficult. That is why awareness is so important, to drive forward improvements in detection, treatment and ultimately survival.’ (Ovarian cancer awareness month, March 2017)

Because there is much difficulty in its diagnosis, (evidently, even amongst the medical profession!) any help in clarification of the symptoms, and potential reasons for the development of the disease, has to be good. I, as both a health professional and from a personal point of view, would like to see more research into the possible causes. Vibrant health stems from prevention, where possible.

Symptoms and possible causes

According to The Mayo Clinic (June, 2014) symptoms may include:

  • Abdominal bloating or swelling
  • Quickly feeling full when eating
  • Weight loss
  • Discomfort in the pelvis area
  • Changes in bowel habits, such as constipation
  • A frequent need to urinate

Certain factors may increase your risk of ovarian cancer:

  • Ovarian cancer can occur at any age but is most common in women ages 50 to 60 years.
  • Inherited gene mutation. A small percentage of ovarian cancers are caused by an inherited gene mutation. The genes known to increase the risk of ovarian cancer are called breast cancer gene 1 (BRCA1) and breast cancer gene 2 (BRCA2). These genes were originally identified in families with multiple cases of breast cancer, which is how they got their names, but women with these mutations also have a significantly increased risk of ovarian cancer.
  • Estrogen hormone replacement therapy, especially with long-term use and in large doses.
  • Age when menstruation started and ended. If you began menstruating before age 12 or underwent menopause after age 52, or both, your risk of ovarian cancer may be higher.
  • Never being pregnant.
  • Fertility treatment.
  • Use of an intrauterine device.
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome.

(Mayo Clinic, 2014)

Homeopathic management of ovarian cancer

I would strongly recommend that the homeopath ensures the patient presenting with ovarian cancer has a diagnosis and is aware of all the potential routes to healing, which may be conventional, or a combination of both holistic, homeopathic, naturopathic and the allopathic approach (including addressing the diet for optimum nutrition, if necessary.) A homeopath would take the entire case history, and prescribe according to the presenting symptoms.  This would help to balance the system, on every level, emotionally, physically and spiritually. Were surgery required, homeopathy can be wonderful to help both the trauma of physical and emotional healing. The homeopathic approach to the patient in these circumstances (as with any serious, life threatening disease) would be individualised and would be aimed at addressing the route cause of the disease as well as the symptoms presented. Any support at this time which could help healing, would be welcomed. Remedy choice would be determined by symptoms specific to the individual.

Because of the complexity of the disease, a fully integrated expert approach would be optimal, hopefully resulting in the patient’s recovery and enhancing the quality of life whilst undergoing treatment. My dear friend (having had stage 4 ovarian cancer) lived 4 years longer than her original prognosis of 2 years. She was sure it was attributed to the rich, multi disciplinary route she adopted, following high quality, specialist advice from every corner. This valuable, time, allowed her to see her son almost finish his schooling; precious, irreplaceable years. It has taken me a long time to be able to do, what she wanted and asked me to do, which is to try to help and inform others; asking them to look at the bigger picture and take into account everything that constitutes ‘the body.’  I dedicate this to her, her beauty and her bravery.

Consult a registered homeopath at www.findahomeopath.org

Gill Graham

www.consultanthomeopath.com

References

Ovarian cancer symptoms/causes [online] June 2014

Available at: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/ovarian-cancer/basics/symptoms/con-20028096)

Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month [online ] March 2017. Available at: http://ocam.org.uk/

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February, a month of spiritual purification

‘Always aim at complete harmony of thought and word and deed. Always aim at purifying your thoughts and everything will be well.’  -Mahatma Gandhi.

Many of you will have spent January detoxing or abstaining from alcohol or rich food, or at least aware that that you should be more careful with your diet and lifestyle following any potential holiday excesses’.  So, if we see January as more of a physical body detox, then, all the historic evidence implies that February is perhaps a month for spiritual cleansing.

Here are the facts. The etymology of the word February suggests it is from the late 14th century and ultimately from the Latin februarius mensis, meaning, ‘month of purification’ Also, februare ‘to purify,’ and februa meaning ‘purifications, expiatory rites.’ (An expiatory right is like offering an olive branch, an outstretched hand, or the dove of peace etc.)  I see it as balancing the soul to be in harmony with the body, striving for complete homeostasis and state of being; the body having been cleansed, this is a time for an emotional, spiritual purification.

The Romans saw February as a month of purification.  Originally the Roman calendar only had 10 months. March being the first month, December the last.  January and February were eventually tagged onto the end of the year and seen as lifeless, almost boring months, so they used February as a month to atone for their sins. Herein lies the link to the word ‘februum’ which means purification.  Februus was the Roman God of purification.  The Romans, as many of us are aware had their own unique way of doing things, and saw making animal sacrifices in order to please their ancestors as a way of atoning; they would also pray. Purity was not all abounding however as February 13-15th heralded the pagan festival of Lupercalia, known for its wild orgies.  It involved much debauchery, nakedness and strange customs. This is probably not the place to discuss, but interesting we now have valentines on the 14th, with its almost polite quaint customs, by comparison. Valentines was first acknowledged in the 14th century at the time when Geoffrey Chaucer wrote poetically about courtly love and later in the 18th century the tradition of sending flowers and love notes to one’s beloved became common practice.  Again here, we see evidence of birth of a new start, or love.

Imbolc, or  Brigid’s Day to the ancient Celts, is an ancient  Midwinter Festival of Lights.  This special day occurs halfway between winter solstice and the spring equinox, generally February 2nd. Much of the Imbolc celebrations revolved around fire, which was sacred and involved bonfires being lit at sundown to burn away the ‘old year’ and make was for new growth, fertilizing the earth and inviting the rejuvenating, life giving power of the sun and new light. Women would invariably dress up in white robes, symbolizing purity and new beginnings. Early spring flowers were collected, candles lit; colour and light suddenly giving hope in the darkness, of a new dawn.

So, in a month when many are struggling with winter blues and feeling there is no end in sight to the darkness, have faith!  February symbolises the start of new vibrancy, where the sun and the light feature figuratively and symbolically. Should you need help in order to balance both your emotional and physical health, consult a homeopath at www.findahomeopath.org. You are unique, so are your symptoms.  Homeopathy strives to treat everyone as an individual, through in-depth consultation. Significantly still relevant today, words from the Ancient Greek Philosopher, Plato, embody fundamental homeopathic philosophy:

‘The cure of the part should not be attempted without treatment of the whole, and also no attempt should be made to cure the body without the soul, and therefore if the head or body are to be well, you must begin by curing the mind: that is the first thing … For this is the error of our day in the treatment of the human body, that physicians separate the soul from the body.’  (Plato, Chronicles)

 

 

typorama

Gill Graham

www.consultanthomeopath.com

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‘Dry January’ and giving up alcohol with holistic and homeopathic help

‘I drink because I wish to multiply my sufferings.’
― Fyodor DostoyevskyCrime and Punishment

or

‘There comes a time in every woman’s life when the only thing that helps is a glass of champagne.’
― Bette Davis

The above quotes are symptomatic of many people views on alcohol and drinking and the paradox which ensues. Clearly, there are delights for some of us in the odd glass of champagne. However, moderation for some appears impossible and the chronic abuse of alcohol can become toxic in every sense.

Many parts of the world are now taking on an initiative based on England’s ‘Dry January’ which basically means encouraging people to abstain from alcohol for the entire month.  The aim is to raise awareness of the health benefits associated with going alcohol free and to stress the positive impact it could potentially have, both mentally and physically, for us all.

According to Alcohol Concern, drinking alcohol is a causal factor of over 60 illnesses and conditions, some of which include:

  • High blood pressure
  • Depression
  • Liver cirrhosis
  • Liver, stomach, throat and mouth cancer

The term ‘Dry January’ was registered as a trademark by the charity Alcohol Concern in mid-2014; the first ever Dry January campaign by Alcohol Concern occurred in January 2013. In the lead up to the January 2015 campaign, for the first time Alcohol Concern partnered with Public Health England.

Alcohol seems to have become ‘normalised.’ It is very much part of our culture, (unless people abstain on religious and moral grounds) and many social events have alcohol involved. Without thinking, we congregate in pubs; invariably it would be rude not to take a bottle to a dinner party, we toast major celebrations often with bubbly of some description.  We are conditioned to accepting that we are different if we do not imbibe. Companies that sell alcohol have vibrant, buoyant marketing campaigns; we are bombarded with adverts encouraging us to drink to be cool and stylish, often targeted at the young who are often easily influenced. The negative and possible addictive effects are not advertised as strongly as they should be, apart from vague allusions to ‘drinking responsibly.’

The objective of dry January, I feel, is targeted at regular, possibly moderate to heavy drinkers who will notice a difference to their lives by eliminating alcohol, even if it is only for a month.  It is also possible that these drinkers will benefit in the long term by moderating or perhaps stopping their consumption altogether, once they are aware of the massive benefits, mentally and physically.

Many could find giving up alcohol a challenge.  For this reason, there are several homeopathic remedies that could help ease the cravings and calm the nervous system by helping to balance the body. For heavy drinkers and those who may be addicted, symptoms of withdrawal (both physical and mental) could include the following:

  • tremors
  • anxiety
  • nausea and/or vomiting
  • headache
  • increased heart rate
  • sweating
  • irritability
  • confusion
  • lowered blood pressure
  • fits
  • hallucinations

Possible Indicated Remedies

The following are list of homeopathic remedies that have an affinity to symptoms often related to alcohol withdrawal and associated problems. Only the keynotes are listed here as a guide. It is advisable to seek the advice of a professional homeopath, who can tailor a remedy to your own unique symptoms:  www.findahomeopath.org

Arsenicum – Overuse of alcohol. For people with chronic alcohol dependency. Nervous weakness accompanied by great tremulousness. Anxiety and compulsiveness, with nausea, vomiting, and diarrhoea. Indicated also where symptoms of anxiety accompany alcoholism (and sometimes misuse of drugs, legal or otherwise.)

Avena sativa – Indicated where delirium tremens, nervousness and sleeplessness are at the forefront of presenting symptoms. Also useful with other addictions (to help detoxify the body) such as such as cocaine, heroin and opium.

Capsicum – Helps to encourage a dislike for alcohol. Acts well on indolent people who are sedentary with a tendency to obesity. Perspiration and slow digestion, flatulence and intense desire for stimulants. Great thirst.

Cannabis Indica – Where violence, a tendency to talk excessively; delusions and hallucinations also often present. Pupils dilated, flushed face. Useful also in potency for helping to detoxify both marijuana and alcohol.

Hyoscyamus – Indicated also when delirium tremens occurs. Unremitting insomnia presents. Delirium is constant and loquacious. Pulse is fast and skin is cold and clammy and patient is tremulous and picks constantly at objects in the air. Frequent outburst of laughter alternating with weeping is a common symptom.

Lachesis –  Particularly effective for the female social alcoholic who often presents with a headache in the morning; sometimes she has visions of snakes and hideous objects. Loquaciousness a key symptom together with intolerance of tight clothing around the neck and waist.

Natrum Mur – A wonderful remedy used for those that abuse alcohol who also have long term chronic depression and grief issues.

Nux vomica-  Possibly the best known anti-alcoholic remedy. It covers presenting symptoms of irritability, nausea, vomiting, headache and tremors, following abuse of alcohol. Anger in a chronic state and constant desire for stimulants of any kind. It is a wonderful remedy to help reduce alcohol dependence.

Phosphorus – Indicated in nervous or glandular degeneration of alcoholics. Good remedy for alcoholic cirrhosis.

Quercus –Particularly taken as the mother tincture, taken in water, querqus will help to reduce alcoholic cravings.

Ranunculus bulbosus –Reputedly one of the best but little known remedies to treat acute alcoholism, particularly where panic and delirium are key presenting symptoms.

Stramonium – Suitable in habitual drunkards Where the patient presents with a bright red face and is experiencing hallucinations and looks and feels terrified. Often experiences visions of animals seeing him out and from which he is trying to escape.

Sulphuric acid –A great remedy for chronic alcoholism, often where the craving is brandy. (Also seen in those requiring sulphur, nux vomica and stramonium.) The stomach cannot tolerate the tiniest amount of food.

There are many more remedies which could be discussed, however, I stress that it is helpful to see the key presenting symptoms in their totality before prescribing, and a professional homeopath is trained in how to do this.

There are still however a fortunate few who can drink occasionally without addiction and subsequent alcoholism.  In these cases, drinking is not a cause for concern as it is minimal and obviously done for pleasure and the individual who drinks like this appears to be in control; a balance many of us could benefit from. However, In Britain and other countries, there is a growing trend to drink to get drunk.  This is becoming a serious problem and is taking its toll on our health service.  As well as the physical ramifications outlined, the psychological effects can be equally devastating and dangerous.

Adjunctive advice

The benefits of taking time out in January, or whenever in fact, will allow you to listen to your body and nourish it with good food, exercise and lots of water. Your sleep patterns are likely to improve dramatically and generally you will feel less tired. Because of more sleep you will look better. Toxins in the alcohol make skin less elastic and this can be ageing. Liver function will improve as excessive drinking can cause inflammation potentially leading to cirrhosis. In addition, it is worth supplementing vitamins and minerals at this time if indicated. Generally, you will feel more vibrant and clear headed. You may discover new interests as you are not wasting time nursing a hangover. The possibilities are endless and the world is your oyster!

Happy New Year!

 

typorama

Gill Graham

www.consultanthomeopath.com

 

 

 

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A homeopathic approach to dealing with anger

It is Anger Awareness Week from 1-6th December. It is important for us all, that we learn to control what can be a negative emotion, and have huge consequences to our own emotional and physical health and also the wellbeing and lives of those around us.

The British Association of anger management states: ‘The aim of Anger Awareness Week is to identify anger as a disturbing social issue which needs to be brought out into the open and addressed effectively. Anger Awareness Week will help people befriend anger by using the right tools to calm themselves down and to deal effectively with this emotion, be it of their own or that of others.’

Some anger is normal and possibly a healthy reaction to situations that for whatever reason, provoke an anger response.  Such strength of emotion can motivate one to take charge, to change things from a negative to a positive and to stop us being a victim in certain circumstances.  It is, in my opinion, a way of telling ourselves that our limits of tolerance have been reached, to step back and reassess and to change whatever it is that is upsetting us.  So, on a positive side, anger can be both motivating and empowering, providing it is short lived and contained. However, I am sure we have all ‘crossed the line’ at times and acted in a way, which in retrospect, we would change.  Normally, no harm is done, hurt feelings, bruised pride and a sense of being temporarily out of control, which is often, hopefully, balanced by heartfelt apologies and possibly lessons learnt; we are after all, only human and have a right to experience both positive and negative emotions.

It does, however, risk becoming pathological and a danger to ones’ health when it cannot be controlled or channeled positively and in a short period of time. This can cause both physical and mental problems which can become deep seated. High blood pressure, cardiovascular disease and a variety of emotional health problems. Symptoms would depend on the cause but could include violence, rudeness, loss of control, and inability to be rational. Physically, flushed face, increased blood pressure, tension throughout the body, rapid pulse, shortness of breath and shaking. As a consequence, the immune system can become affected as the vital force is knocked off balance There are few things worse than absorbing the vibration of someone who is permanently angry with life. For both the victims and his/her victims, it is essential to focus and address the route cause of the problem and treat with an appropriate remedy. Homeopathy will help to bring the body into a state of homeostasis, balancing the mind and body, by addressing specific aetiologies (causes).  Anger is frequently caused by overwhelming stress and anxiety but the specific state would be addressed and a suitable remedy suggested in keeping with the totality of the characteristic symptoms. Underneath the anger could lie feelings of fear and anxiety, hurt, humiliation, feelings of rejection, physical or emotional abuse, or it could be a physical problem affecting the mind, all of which could be discovered throughout in depth consultation. Specific remedies for other triggers are listed below.

Remedies to consider:

  • Arnica – If the anger follows a fright.
  • Aurum Metallicum – Deep depression, fear, worry accompanying the anger, very sensitive, possibly talks of suicide.
  • Bryonia alba – If everything is irritating and the anger is accompanied by a headache, parched mouth and dizziness
  • Chamomilla – If anger causes colic, perspiration; in teething babies, and temper tantrums in children/people of all ages. Pain for both the victim and the witness is often intolerable.
  • Cina– Anger accompanied by nervousness; children can be particularly abusive. Frequently, intestinal worms are part of the picture.
  • Colocynthis – Anger with indignation, often accompanied by stomach cramps
  • Crocus Sativas – Anger often with violence, followed by laughter
  • Ignatia –Where anger follows grief, shock or disappointment, sighing and sobbing, melancholic
  • Mercurius solubilis – Sudden anger with an impulse to do violence
  • Natrum Mur – Ill effects from anger with fear. Sometimes vengeful and violent.
  • Nitric acid – Hateful vindictive head strong but with hopeless despair, sensitive to noise pain and touch
  • Nux vomica – Violent temper and can not bear contradiction, generally irritable and angry. Anger may lead to indigestion. Person is irritable and can not bear noise or smells. Moody and fault finding and with a fiery temperament
  • Sepia – Sepia is a good remedy for pre menstrual or menopausal anger. Easily offended and indifferent to family; very sad and weepy with anxiety towards evening.
  • Staphysagria – Ill effects from anger and insults, suppressed anger and indignation. A common remedy for suppressed anger that is suddenly explosive.
  • Sulphur – Feels depressed, weak lazy and irritable selfish with no regard for others

In addition to consulting a homeopath, there is much you can do for yourself.

  • Identify the cause and any situations that are likely to provoke anger. Avoid where possible and realize the negative, destructive effect exposing yourself to these situations has on you and others.
  • Exercise helps to work out negative energies as does yoga, and meditation
  • Cultivate your loves and interests and focus on what you enjoy and what gives you profound satisfaction – music, writing, painting etc.
  • Avoid any sort of addictive behavior, (alcohol, drugs, fast food) or at least recognize it, and seek help. This behavior can cause or exacerbate the state.
  • Try and be positive and nurture loving thoughts
  • Be accountable for your actions and reason with yourself; imagine you are a highly esteemed role model for your family, friends and children and act like you would like them to do so.

By controlling your anger, you will be healthier and happier and will be able to radiate your calm to a positive effect on those around you. The change starts with you.  For more advice, contact a homeopath at www.findahomeopath.org.

Gill Graham

www.consultanthomeopath.com

typorama

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