You’ve tried all the usual tips for sleeping soundly, yet sleep still eludes you, or you wake up un-refreshed or, even more frustrating, you are wide awake much too early and cannot get back to sleep.
Try a homeopathic remedy: Homeopathy is a form of holistic medicine that works on the principle of treating ‘like with like’ and is administered in minute doses. It is gentle, non-addictive, side effect free and can be used safely and effectively at any life stage.
Each human being is unique and homeopathic remedies are prescribed according to each individual’s symptoms.
Thus when treating chronic insomnia, it is recommended to treat the whole person, rather than just the specific symptom of sleeplessness. These are the most commonly used remedies and their indications:
Arsenicum album (Ars): sleeplessness from worry and anxiety (especially about one’s health) with a fear of dying. Wakefulness after midnight, especially 1-2 A.M. Restless, gets out of bed. Can only sleep with head raised. Hard to fall asleep after waking.
Coffea cruda (Coff): Coffee is well known for producing sleeplessness but because of homeopathy’s ‘like treats like’ effect, it will relieve insomnia when given in crude, or especially homeopathic form. The types of symptoms it relieves are those produced by coffee. Wide eyed at 3 A.M. with overactive mind, excessive joy, feeling excited. Worse for suprises; strong emotions; narcotics.
Ignatia Amara (Ign): Sleeplessness from a recent disappointment or grief. Waking easily from sleep. Waking from the jerking of a limb. Itching of arms with yawning. Child wakes from sleep with screaming and trembling after being reprimanded before bedtime. Worse for: Coffee.
Kali Phos (Kali p.): Sleepless after worry, excitement or from nervous causes. Constant dreaming of fire, robbers, ghosts, falling. Twitching of muscles on falling asleep. Awakens with a fright.
Nux Vomica (Nux-v): insomnia from worries about business, too much stress. Irritability from loss of sleep. Falling asleep before normal bedtime and then waking at 3–4am. Waking at 3-4am with alert and active mind and then falling asleep as daylight approaches only to then wake with difficulty, feeling tired, weak, and not wanting to get up. Worse for: stimulants and narcotics
Passiflora Incarnata (Pass): A very useful remedy for sleeplessness, but it should be given in mother tincture, i.e. 10 to 30 drops a dose. Restlessness, exhaustion, and sleeplessness.
Sulphur (Sulph): Waking between 2 – 5am and unable to go back to sleep. Difficulty in falling asleep from itchiness of skin or perspiration. Drowsy by day and sleepless at night. Worse for: becoming hot; atmospheric changes.
Method: About 1 hour before going to bed, take 1 pill of the remedy in a 30c potency (strength) that most closely resembles your individual symptoms by letting it dissolve under the tongue. Homeopathic remedies are highly sensitive so avoid handling the pills and store them in a cool place and away from strong smelling substances.
If you are experiencing other (un)related symptoms and the remedy matching your particular symptoms does not alleviate your sleep problem, please consult a professional homeopath who will take your case history and treat you holistically.
Further evidence that disease starts in the mind: optimistic and cheerful people are much less likely to suffer a heart attack. Even more definitive, being happy cuts your risk of any heart condition by up to 50%! Researchers from John Hopkins tracked people whose siblings had suffered a heart problem; with a positive outlook on life, the siblings’ risk of a heart problem all but disappeared.
Dying of a broken heart is not just a poetic metaphor – it is a recognised though not widely known medical syndrome termed stress cardiomyopathy. The body suddenly releases a massive shot of adrenaline, stunning the bottom half of the heart’s main pumping chamber, so that it is paralysed, obliging the upper portion to overcompensate. So instead of the heart pumping faster and stronger in the classic ‘fight or flight’ response, the adrenaline causes weakness. Thus sadly, some people die in the few days after an unexpected and devastating loss. Often someone experiencing intense grief after losing a loved one will wonder how to possibly survive the emotional pain. Any intense shock can trigger the condition, not only extreme fear or pain – winning a lot of money on the lottery can be experienced as intense shock, even if it is ‘good’ news.
And what is the connection with homeopathy you might ask? Firstly, as a form of holisitic medicine, homeopaths believe that most disease starts in the mind. Emotions and experiences that are not healthily processed, fester and transmute into physical conditions, warning signs that all is not well. So much of our language confirms it, such as:
I have a broad back (Feeling burdened)
I cannot stomach him/her/it (Sick to your stomach/belching)
(S)he/it is a pain in the neck (Tension or lack of movement in the neck area)
Furthermore, our remedies can help ease processing grief and loss. Shock and grief cause some to withdraw, unable to cry or speak, others to sob hysterically and to speak of their loss incessantly. As homoeopathy translates to similar suffering, each person will be adressed according to individual symptoms and their intensity.
Some individualising symptoms of grief:
- Causes pain in abdomen
- Causes smarting pain in back
- Causes epilepsy
- Fear at night with
- Hair falls off
- Heart problems with
- Causes palpitations
- Causes weakness
- Sighing with
- Silent grief
Physical pains that manifest concurrently with or as a result of grief and loss can also be alleviated by homeopathy. Ensure you first urgently check with a physician that symptoms of chest discomfort, upper body or stomach pain, shortness of breath, breaking into a cold sweat, nausea or light-headedness are not signs of a heart attack.
When the bereaved cannot move on, have difficulty functioning, either close themselves off for fear of further pain or, conversely, become overly reckless homeopathy can gently help redress their imbalance.
I was recently invited to give a talk on homeopathy to a spritely group of elderly people, ranging in age from late 70’s to a very proud 98! Whilst preparing for the talk, I considered that thanks to better healthcare and living conditions, more and more people are living well past the age of retirement. Many so-called elderly are fairly healthy and lead an active life.
This longevity raises the issue of quality of life. We tend to take our health for granted until we don’t have it.
Many conditions of old age are chronic, due to degeneration of bodily functions and tissues, resulting in a natural slowing down. However, we can enjoy good health at all stages of life, by sticking to a sensible diet, regular exercise and mental stimulation.
Characteristic conditions or illnesses in the over 60’s cause life to flow less smoothly. Symptoms can be alleviated with homeopathy, correctly prescribed by a qualified homeopathic practitioner.
On the physical level, the pain and swelling of arthritic joints can be a barrier to fully enjoying life.
Some of the homeopathic remedies one could could recommend, when a person’s individual symptoms fit, are:
BRYONIA: every movement is painful, though wanting to move, so the person needing Bryonia will try to keep very still, even hold the affected part to gain some relief.
PULSATILLA: here gentle continued movement relieves the pain which is constantly changing from one area of the body to another.
RHUS TOX: is very restless, however the first movement of the affected joint is very painful as it has stiffened up with rest. The pain reduces with continued movement. Rhus Tox is adversely affected by cold and damp.
Please note that homeopathic medicines cannot stop the wear and tear of the joints, however, by stimulating the body’s natural process of healing, they can ameliorate much of the stiffness and pain.
A second physical issue that prevents you from enjoying life is constipation. Not the most agreeable subject, but the person suffering with chronic constipation feels uncomfortable, to say the least. Constipation means either an inability to open your bowels every day or when doing so, experiencing pain. Drinking enough liquids and incorporating daily exercise (as in going for a short walk) are extremely helpful.
CALCAREA CARBONICA: is commonly recommended as it proves to be quite useful in chronic constipation, most typically by those who are not bothered by it. Further indications are being chilly, usually overweight and doing everything slowly.
SILICA: strain hard to pass a stool, have rectal pain (perhaps and anal fissure). Indicated when there is a deficient metabolism with a tendency for slow healing of cuts, scratches and infections.
ALUMINA: has constipation with anxiety and ineffectual urging. Cannot pass stool or urine if others are within hearing distance.
Isolation: pain and stiffness in one’s joints or having to go frequently to the loo can create a significant impact on one’s life, making it more difficult to leave the house and so becoming isolated and withdrawn. This can then lead to depression which then compounds the cut-off feeling.
A number of remedies might help relieve, as by stimulating a person’s healing system they then cope better with their circumstances.
PULSATILLA: The Pulsatilla-type will feel weepy, abandoned. They long for company and feel better for sympathy.
MAGNESIUM CARBONICUM: can possibly help when the person is feeling very isolated, sensitive to cruelty, sad stories and especially violence on TV. They also complain that their pains are unbearable and can have short flare ups of anger.
Sleep problems: as we age, many of us find that sleep is not as good as it used to be. We actually need fewer hours of sleep at night and develop a pattern of catnapping during the day.
COFFEA CRUDA: is recommended for insomnia where the problem is an overactive mind. A continuous flow of thoughts prevents the person from falling asleep.
PASSIFLORA: is particularly good for sleeplessness in someone who is weak but without any other significant problems.
CUPRUM METALLICUM: if waking up because of night cramps, a dose of Cuprum before bedtime can ease.
Obviously, if it is pain that is preventing sleep, then the cause must be addressed directly.
In the later years of life, there can also be prostate problems for men, effects of grief and loss, memory problems and dementia, but they will be addressed in a later blog.
There are positives to growing older, it’s not all about suffering and loss. At all stages of life good health, whether mental or physical, can help us grow.
Homeopathy focusses on improving ones health, it recognises that we are all different and each have our own unique way of coping.
A well chosen homeopathic remedy can help to promote health at any age.
THE EXAM SEASON IS SOON UPON US – DOES THAT MEAN IT IS STRESS TIME IN YOUR HOUSE?
Do you recognise any of the following symptoms? They might be occurring singly or in combination in connection with upcoming exams.
- Digestive upsets
- Fear of failure
- Sugar cravings
‘Stress’ does not mean the same thing for everyone. In homeopathy, to clearly understand an individual’s experience, we have to observe their behaviour, listen carefully to how they explain it in their own words and ask them for examples of what they find stressful and how they experience it.
Result: there is a wide range of interpretations of ‘stress’ – some experience agitation, some anxiety or nervousness. Yet others have the feeling of not being able to cope, a fear of failure. The homeopathic approach is to recognise this, thus there is no single remedy for stress – just the appropriate remedy for the individual that best matches their characteristics and experience.
In the run up to exams, consider that a person is perhaps stressed because of anticipatory anxiety. In one remedy you will have the symptoms of trembling limbs and needing to rush to the loo several times before the exam, lots of fears and anxieties, whereas in another the trembling turns into paralysis and the mind goes blank. Yet another remedy will suit the person who lacks confidence, is assertive at home but subdued at school, and usually does well on the day even though they suffer from fear of failure.
Some students are generally struggling, feel inadequate and the competitive exam based education system is a challenge.
You can eliminate your stress of your students’ stress by making an appointment for a short consultation where I can assess the symptoms in full and suggest a remedy to help your exam taker feel less anxious and more confident.
All the information provided is made from the homeopathic perspective. Serious injury or illness should not be treated without expert advice nor should the information provided be seen as a replacement for seeing a trusted healthcare provider. It is your responsibility to seek medical help and diagnosis when appropriate