“I mean really, at the end of the day…. homeopathy increases your resiliency to stress. It allows the stress in your life to have less of an effect on you and your body.” This was part of a much longer conversation with a friend about how to explain this complicated system of medicine simply. To Americans. Because coverage for healthcare isn’t the only thing that has gone awry in our healthcare system. And it isn’t the only thing that the Swiss (who are considered to have one of the best healthcare systems in the world) have figured out about health that somehow we still can’t seem to grasp. Switzerland is one of a handful of countries that include the option for homeopathic care in their national healthcare system.
The Elephant in the Room We have an underlying epidemic in this country that is not only making us go broke, but is also killing us. It is an underlying epidemic because most of us do not want to admit it is a problem, almost as if admitting we felt the effects of stress is a sign of weakness. Or, more often, we don’t know what to do about it. Or, we are so overwhelmed by the stress that we just keep going. So, instead of dealing with this proverbial elephant sitting on top of us, we deal with the symptoms our body naturally creates to warn us about the damage being done. We take sleeping medicine for the insomnia, medication for the acid reflux, an anti-depressant for the depression, or a pain killer to stop feeling the pain. Maybe it is a supplement or other natural remedy to stop the symptom. The effect is still the same. In essence, we are telling our body to shut up. And we all know what happens to someone when they are repeatedly told to shut up. Sooner or later, in one way or another, they throw a temper tantrum. Research has shown that chronic stress in our body has been linked to heart disease, cancer, and lung disease. And folks, these are just the top 3 causes of death in this country. It has also been linked to almost all of the other 10 leading causes of death in this country, as well as nearly every other health concern we have from obesity to the common cold. There is little doubt that stress affects us. Nearly 90% of us know that so-called negative stress contributes to chronic disease. Somehow, though, many of our brains get confused along the way because at least a third of us believe that stress has “only a slight or no impact” on physical or mental health. So, we know that stress contributes to disease, but somehow we don't seem to be able to link how we feel on a day-to-day basis with stress. Maybe, just maybe, one of the things that will come out of all of this current political unrest is that we realize how much damage we are doing to ourselves, our bank accounts, and our country. Because, I have seen an awful lot of people being affected by the stress of politics in this country recently. Physically and emotionally. On both side of the aisle.
Getting to the Root Many people don’t quite understand homeopathy. Trust me, I can understand. Even after studying it for 4 years in naturopathic medical school and being in practice for 4 years, I still decided to spend one more year completing one of the country’s only accredited residencies specializing in homeopathy. Then spent a couple of more years teaching it at the renowned Bastyr University. And there are still parts of this intricate system that I don’t quite understand yet. This is what makes Dr. Timothy Dooley’s famous book Beyond Flat Earth Medicine so appropriately titled. Those of us that practice and use homeopathy can see the world and healing just a little bit differently. And, when all you have ever known is that the world is flat, it is hard to even imagine that it could actually be round. Or that your body might actually just be simply trying to talk to you. Through using homeopathic medicines, we essentially train the body to handle the stresses of life a little more easily. We do this by giving very small amounts of medicines that will create symptoms similar to those we are experiencing. A little mind blowing, isn’t it? The medicated pellets create a sort of mirror for the body to repair itself. This mirror spotlights the ways the body is over or under responding to the stress it is experiencing.
It is no wonder the hundreds of thousands of us that practice homeopathy worldwide find it so fascinating. We spend our days studying what causes stress to our patients and the symptoms their bodies create in response to this stress. In the days leading up to the election in November until the current state of affairs, I have seen the stress affect many people differently.
Ailments from Political Unrest Though so many of us in this country have been affected by current politics, the stress has a different effect on different people. Especially if you look a little more closely. Here are a few examples that I have seen in the past few weeks, the names have been changed. Jan is a very kind woman in her early 60’s who came to me with tingling in her arms, anxiety, panic attacks, and “a constant state of alert”. Her body just wouldn’t relax. Her 20+ year regular meditation practice wasn’t calming her body and every small stress was amplified. The homeopathic medicine Aconitum napellus is often used to ease symptoms of emotional shock. And it eased Jan's symptoms nearly immediately. Dan is a politically active man in his 40’s who came in with increased joint pain following the election. He was also experiencing a sore throat and his voice was often hoarse. He was “just having a hard time with all of the injustice... all of the people being treated unfairly” during the recent changes from the new administration. He found relief from homeopathic Causticum which is used in cases when an intolerance to injustice begins to predominate. Most of us have an intolerance to injustice, for some of us though, this begins to affect our ability to interact with the world. This is where homeopathy can and did help. Finally, Ann is a woman in her mid 30’s who was gaining weight. She also noticed more fear that something terrible happening was inevitable and it was making it a struggle for her to sleep at night. She was having a difficult time reading the stories of people on Facebook and couldn’t “handle people being so cruel to each other”. Within a couple of days of starting homeopathic Calcarea carbonica, she lost 5 pounds and was slowly beginning to interact with friends and family on Facebook again.
Other physical concerns that have been eased with homeopathy range from skin rashes to headaches to digestive concerns. Some of the other mental/emotional symptoms I have seen often since this most recent election include profound sensitivity to being contradicted, abusive behavior, significant sadness, and bouts of rage. On both sides of the political aisle. One Size Does Not Fit All These are only a few examples of the many homeopathic remedies that I have recommended to people that have been affected by our recent political climate. None of these examples are meant to replace your current health care providers, nor are they meant to be recommendations for you to self-medicate. The remedy most appropriate for you may not even be one of those listed above. Rather, these examples are shared in the hopes that you might consider reaching out to a homeopathic practitioner during this particularly stressful period in our country.
We need for all of us to be taking care of ourselves in the best way possible. Because, no matter your political views, it is clear that there is a lot of work to be done. And we all need you performing at the top of your game because this is going to be a marathon. Hopefully, it will inspire a little curiosity in you to wonder: what is it that the Queen of England and millions of others throughout the world know that I don’t?
Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane.
- Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.