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Classical Homeopath
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Articles by Tamara Der-Ohanian, DSHM

Homeopathic Medicine For Family Dysfunction and The Holidays

As Published in the December 2014 – January 2015 issue of Vitality Magazine

Last January, a number of my new patients sought help with various ailments such as headaches, digestive problems, anxiety, depression, eczema, and more. As I was reviewing their cases, it became apparent that all their ailments seemed to be triggered by one common denominator – interaction with family members. Turns out that these patients had endured stressful holiday gatherings and faced unpleasant family situations. Their symptoms, even the physical ones, had emerged shortly thereafter.

Some of us go through the holidays asking, “God, grant me the ability to change the things I cannot accept.” Even if we don’t realize it on a conscious level, we want our family members to stop being who they are, and behaving the way they do.

What if there was a little magic pill you could take to feel stronger emotionally, grow less anxious, develop stronger boundaries, and not allow people around you to affect you as they do?

There is such a pill and it’s called a homeopathic remedy. When you take a remedy carefully selected by a Classical Homeopath to match your specific physical symptoms, general nature, and character, the effects can be truly magical.

Here’s the story of one woman who sought homeopathic treatment for her headaches which were triggered by family gatherings and facing her mother.

Mother Daughter Competition

Clara suffered from migraine headaches which escalated in frequency and severity before and after seeing and interacting with her mother. Ever since her parents’ divorce five years earlier, her mother had “started behaving strangely.”

“My mother competes with me,” Clara complained. “She dresses inappropriately for her age, wearing tight clothing and short skirts. She’s loud in public and will do anything to get attention from the opposite sex. If I look good, she’ll tell me I look too fat, or that the colour does not suit me. If I look really good, she’ll tell me I look like a slut. It’s upsetting and embarrassing at the same time.”

During their last Christmas dinner, Clara’s mother drank too much and made inappropriate sexual comments about Clara’s husband. This was the precipitating event that caused Clara’s migraines to soar to new heights, and led to her subsequent decision to try homeopathy.

After reviewing all of Clara’s symptoms and understanding her personality and temperament, I prescribed the remedy Cimicifuga. It took four months for Clara to muster the emotional strength to face her mother again. To her surprise, Clara had begun to feel differently around her mother. “I saw her as a sad, desperate woman clinging to her youth. I felt compassion, more than the usual anger towards her.” Clara felt stronger and interestingly, as Clara’s reactions toward her mother changed, her mother seemed to behave in a more respectful manner.

Clara stopped having migraines.

The Three Person Couple

“My husband needs to grow a pair,” complained one woman who was distressed about her husband’s relationship with his mother. According to Keily, her mother-in-law ran their relationship from the time they were married.

While Keily came to see me for recurring eczema on arms and legs and poor digestion, most of the conversation (more of a venting on Keily’s part) revolved around her mother-in-law.

According to Keily, her husband was unable to say ‘no’ to his mother, or stand up to her in any way. “I feel like the third wheel in my own relationship. The woman is obnoxious! She tells my husband what to do, what to wear, what to eat, and tells me I’m not taking good care of him.

She drops in unannounced and is constantly in our lives. I have no break from the woman because she even invited herself on our last vacation. On Christmas Eve she took our laundry basket home with her so she could do our wash. She told me her son’s shirts were not white enough and she wanted to show me how it’s done.”

After taking her remedy, Natrum carbonicum, for less than three months, Keily was able to stand up to her mother-in-law in small ways. One example she gave: her mother-in-law dropped in unannounced, and Keily told her they were just leaving to visit a friend and could not invite her in. After this incident, her mother-in-law started calling before visits. Keily also reported not being as bothered by her mother-in-law’s presence. Her new sense of confidence had shifted their relationship. “She seems to be more respectful of me,” Keily noted.

Keily’s digestion improved, and the eczema disappeared.

What is a Dysfunctional Family?

While the term is used casually to describe disharmony within families, professionals define a ‘dysfunctional’family as one where the relationships among family members are not conducive to the emotional and physical health of its members.

Extreme examples of a dysfunctional family include ones where there is physical or sexual abuse, alcoholism, and neglect. Less extreme examples include family members who compete, blame one another, tease, or belittle. The parameters of what is ‘dysfunctional’ are far reaching. In order to understand ‘dysfunctional’ it is simpler to describe what constitutes ‘functional’.

A functional family is a safe haven and a place of nurturing. Family members treat one another with respect and consideration. There is an air of openness which allows for freedom of expression. There may be occasional arguments and displays of anger, but peace returns and individuals feel loved and respected. Family members feel supported for their choices and not judged. The rules made by the parents are consistent and reasonable.

How Can Homeopathy Help?

Seeking homeopathic treatment to fix your dysfunctional family may seem unusual, since most people think of homeopathy as a natural means of addressing physical ailments. No one has ever consulted me because they were dreading the family reunion with the alcoholic uncle, or the sister-in-law who is in constant competition with them.

People typically pay me a visit when suffering with hay fever, joint pains, insomnia, indigestion, and the like. During their journey of physical healing, many are pleasantly surprised to find that homeopathy is quite helpful in strengthening their emotions. In addition to having their physical ailments disappear, patients report feeling happier, more motivated, and more confident. With a renewed sense of well being and emotional strength people find that their perceptions change, and they are no longer triggered by family members who once caused them grief.

Homeopathy is a medical system that heals the whole person simultaneously: mind, body and spirit. The Greek philosopher Plato (428-349 BC) said that physicians are misguided in considering the soul and body as separate when treating illness. In the homeopathic model, ‘dis-ease’ is a sign that the person is ill at ease in him or herself, and that his or her soul is fragile. Homeopathic medicine can help put you in touch with your higher self, which can change your perception of reality.

In consulting with a patient, a homeopath’s task is to determine each person’s essence, or the core issues that create the negative energy patterns in their minds and bodies that attract situations of conflict into their lives. The corresponding homeopathic remedy can heal the spirit and allow it to proceed with its higher purpose. When the human spirit is healthy, physical and emotional illnesses cannot exist within it.

Avoiding those family members who wreak havoc on your self-esteem during the holidays may be a good temporary measure to keep your sanity. Consider, however, that there may be a better way.

Imagine gaining the emotional strength needed to accept your family members as they are. You can have the emotional strength to “accept the things you cannot change.”

Try homeopathy to change your perception and change your life.

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Tamara Der-Ohanian, DSHM, is a Homeopathic Physician practicing in Toronto. She can be reached at (416) 385-1001, or visit her web site at www.tamarader-ohanian.com

Winner! 2012 Best of Canada natural health awards