As published in the September 2009 issue of Tonic Magazine
Seeking homeopathic treatment to fix your relationships 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 having marital problems, didn’t get along with a co-worker, were in a dispute with their in-laws, or having the same futile argument with their son. People typically pay me a visit when suffering with hay fever, joint pains, insomnia, indigestion or the like. During their journey of physical healing many are pleasantly surprised to find that homeopathy is quite helpful in dealing with matters of the heart. In addition to having their physical ailments disappear, they report feeling happier, more motivated and more confident. With a renewed sense of well being and emotional strength people find that their relationships also improve.
Homeopathy is a medical system that heals the whole person; 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. Although most people come to a homeopath to address a medical problem, what they really need is to connect with their inner essence in order to heal.
The quality of our relationships is determined by our self-esteem and emotional health. Most of our emotional symptoms result from compensatory strategies we develop in order to deal with difficult feelings such as anger, anxiety, shock, depression, disappointment and loss. Although these strategies initially allow us to cope with difficult feelings, eventually they can become blocks to our emotional growth and psychological health. When left untreated, these blocks can later result in physical ailments.
Poor appetite, constipation and bedwetting were the reasons one couple brought their two girls, ages ten and eight, to see me. To address her poor appetite and constipation, the older sister was prescribed the homeopathic remedy Calcarea Carbonicum, and the younger, Hyoscyamus for bedwetting. Their physical health improved greatly over the five month period I was treating them. The parents were quite pleased with their daughters’ improved health. What was most astonishing to them however was the fact that the girls no longer fought! The girls had grown much less hostile towards one another and even showed mutual respect. The once habitual hostility, exchange of insults and bouts of hair pulling, triggered by feelings of jealousy, was replaced by companionship and peaceful interaction. The girls still had occasional disagreements, but were able to resolve them amicably.
When a patient comes to me for help, I begin the discussion with the “presenting symptom” – the reason for their visit – which is often a physical complaint. If they come for help with emotional issues, I start with those instead. Secondly, I ask questions about other physical matters, such as sleep, appetite, digestion and so on. I then move on to the type of person they are, to discover why the stresses and experiences in their life are expressed in a particular way. Often, I will ask for a chronological history of the emotional and physical traumas they’ve experienced throughout their lifetime. I’m not interested in the details of what happened, but more importantly how they reacted in those situations. The homeopathic treatment targets these traumas and removes them sequentially, according to precise, tried and true, centuries old principles.
If a given substance can create symptoms of a disease, the same substance can cure those symptoms when administered in infinitesimal or homeopathic doses. A simple example is coming into contact with poison ivy. The remedy Rhus-toxicodendron (made from poison ivy) can help relieve the itching, inflammation, pain, blisters and all other discomforts associated with it. The poison ivy example, of course, is a first aid or “acute” prescription. There is no need to get to know the person’s emotional concerns to treat a case of poison ivy. For a chronic case of depression, on the other hand, the chosen remedy must match all presenting symptoms and emotional states. This type of prescribing is called “constitutional”.
Natasha initially came to my office seeking help for interrupted sleep and a dry, irritating cough that remained after she recovered from the common cold two years earlier. During her initial consultation she expressed being anxious about going to work each day. She felt her co-workers excluded her from social interactions and only spoke to her when necessary. She often felt nervous at work which resulted in making embarrassing mistakes. This, in turn, made her feel inadequate. Her constitutional remedy was Ignatia. The core issue of the Ignatia personality is disappointment and grief. In an “Ignatia state” a person will attract situations and repeat patterns that will bring grief and disappointment in relationships. The remedy worked wonders for Natasha. She reported feeling calmer and more confident on the job. Her feeling more at ease helped her create more meaningful connections with her co-workers. She no longer felt as an outsider. In addition, her cough disappeared and sleep improved.
A homeopath’s task is to determine each person’s essence or the core issues that create negative energy patterns in their bodies, which attract conflict into their lives. The corresponding homeopathic remedy, one that matches the negative energy patterns 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. As a result, relationships with self and others automatically improve.
It is important to realize that in order to improve relationships we can only change the way we relate to others, and then others will change the way they relate to us. Homeopathy is a profound medical system that can guide us towards such change.
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