By Angie Jackson
The first time you visit a homeopath you may be surprised at the amount of detail required during the case taking. Apart from recording the symptoms of your presenting complaint, the homeopath will enquire about any other ailments, eating habits, sleep patterns, social behaviour, fears, anxieties and general emotions, medical history, any accidents or injuries, and a broad range of other issues. This is all with a view to building up a complete picture of you, taking into account your physical, emotional and psychological aspects.
The homeopaths job is to prescribe a homeopathic remedy which most accurately reflects this picture and will stimulate your system to return to health.
Homeopathic remedies are made from all the kingdoms of nature – plants, minerals and some animal substances such as bee sting (Apis Mel). After a highly refining process of succussion and dilution in order to make the remedy, the end product, usually in tablet form, is gentle yet potent, safe and effective.
The following case illustrates the observations of homeopaths again and again that any shock, trauma, or impactful milestone experienced at any time in life will be held somehow in the body unless processed or released. It may be deeply held, it may have been forgotten, it may manifest today in a seemingly unrelated way. It does not matter how long ago it happened, sometimes we even hold on to the trauma of birth, but if it is what we call unfinished business, then it is still there for the body to deal with. My experience with homeopathic prescribing is so often that the remedies can support the process of unlocking that door so that the layers of the past can be released, sometimes consciously, other times not. As these layers melt or peel away, so the original healthy being may begin to be uncovered or revealed, enabling the individual to strive, less encumbered, towards their potential. This is one of the aims of the homeopathic process.
A Homeopathic Case
This is the case of a retired businessman in his mid seventies. He presents with catarrh at the back of his throat, which he has had for many years. He has tried many things and homeopathy is a last resort. He has come reluctantly and on the insistence of his wife. The worst aspect about his catarrh is that he can choke with it, especially lying down at night. Usually within an hour of going to sleep, around midnight, he chokes and has nightmares at the same time, about fighting the Japanese. He feels as if he is choking to death, as if he is going to die, while fighting the Japanese. Apart from being very frightening for him, it is also most disturbing for his wife, because he usually ends up on the other side of the room, having flung his bedclothes about the place, shouting at the top of his voice and flailing his limbs around as if in battle.
This has been the case for most of their 50 year marriage, during which time his wife has not had a proper nights sleep. When he wakes in the morning he always feels a sense of relief to be awake and alive, but does not really remember what happened during the night, except that he was fighting the Japanese. His sleep is restless, tossing and turning, and he rarely sleeps for more than 2 hours.
He tells me about the war. He was in a prisoner of war camp. ” It was a terrible war, uncivilised. During the night I would lie in my bunk bed wondering if I would be shot in the night or if I would be alive in the morning. I was paralysed in fear.”
Apart from this problem he has had a reasonably healthy life. He can tend to get chesty, especially in the cold weather. He also suffers from indigestion with burning, acidity and wind in the digestive tract. Emotionally his main tendency is to worry. He says that he will worry about anything and everything, no matter how small or trivial.
I observe how meticulously he is dressed, obviously having paid attention to every detail, and that he is very formal and upright in his manner. This aspect of a person is just as important a part of the picture as the medical detail. It helps to provide the shade and the nuance, for differentiation between homeopathic remedies.
It is very clear in this case that this gentleman was deeply affected by his experiences during the war, and in some sense has not been well since, or has not been able to release the fear and the memory from his body.
As we saw here, he was presenting with catarrh in the throat and another aspect of the homeopaths brief is to look behind the presenting symptoms for the underlying cause. It is this underlying cause that needs to be prescribed on, in addition to each person’s unique presentation of their symptoms.
The prescription then is based mainly on a picture of holding long standing fear and fright in the body, a fear of death around midnight, fear of choking with catarrh in the throat, disturbed, anxious and restless sleep, and a tendency to worry. The homeopathic remedy Arsenicum Album is the one that best matches this picture, and it also well suits someone with chestiness in cold weather, burning and acidity in the digestive tract, and who dresses immaculately. Prescribing the matching remedy is like holding up a mirror to the individual, so that he may see what may now be let go of.
The philosophy of homeopathy is always of minimum intervention, prescribing the least amount required to stimulate the body to do the work. It is not the remedy which does the work: the body is reminded by the remedy of the work that needs to be done to find the way back to health again.
Arsenicum Album is prescribed in a low potency and we meet again a month later. He reports that within 48 hours of taking the remedy he had deep and restful sleep and can hardly believe it. The nightmares have been less frequent, and he no longer feels as if he is choking or fighting the Japanese. The catarrh has gradually decreased and his indigestion is also better than it was. He has realised that his restlessness at night was due to remaining stuck in the idea that to survive at night one had to be alert. 50 years later that is no longer necessary; he can relax at night now, and, maybe in consequence, he also appears more relaxed in himself.
This is a very good response to the initial remedy. There is still work to be done in order to maintain the improvement. So we meet on a monthly basis over the next few months, working with the same remedy, until the catarrh has gone, he feels generally better in himself than he has for years, and he is at a point that he had never thought would be possible, namely he sleeps well most nights and feels rested on waking. This is the potential achievable when we release the past. Homeopathic remedies can be a great tool and support in this process.
[boxibt style=”success”]About the Author
I have been practising homeopathy for twelve years and run a busy practice in South Cumbria. I teach homeopathy at colleges in London and the Lake District and also run training courses.
I especially enjoy working with women’s issues e.g. hormonal problems and emotional issues and prescribe for pregnancy and childbirth and menopausal years. I like to use a broad range of flower essences and herbal tinctures to enhance my homeopathic prescribing. I have been practising T’ai Chi and Chi Gung energy work for twenty years which I feel enhances my practise.
To contact Angie Jackson
Tel: 01539 824099[/boxibt]