I'm sure the majority of our members have used or recommended homeopathic remedies at some point in their lives - Arnica being the obvious choice that comes to mind for bumps and bruises. But how much do you know about this amazing therapy and how a homeopath decides which remedies to prescribe? In this week's blog one of our members, Suki Swauger, introduces us to remedies she has used to support clients going through trauma or grief.
Using Homeopathy for Grief and Trauma
Homeopathy is increasingly used in many households to deal with an array of conditions. Whilst traditional treatments have always played an important role, more people are now beginning to wake up to and understand the benefits that homeopathic remedies can also have in improving their general wellbeing. When used appropriately, homeopathy can gently help to stimulate a healing and immune response and increase our sense of health and wellness.
At a deeper level, when we experience emotional pains or low spirits, homeopathic remedies can also be a wonderful resource. They can promote mental clarity, vibrancy and alertness and give us the energy and reserves to be able to cope with the shocks and traumas that life will sometimes throw at us.
I have witnessed some beautiful healings on the mental and emotional plane with the use of homeopathy. Here I share three remedies (one from each of the plant, mineral and animal kingdoms) which demonstrate the healing potential that homeopathy can have to help soothe the body and soul.
Natrum Muriaticum – (Sodium Chloride or Common Salt)
When looking for a remedy to assist with grief and bereavement, Natrum Muriaticum will always be a top remedy to consider. This common mineral is found in abundance throughout the earth. In fact, just as salt is one of the key minerals on our planet, it is also an essential component in human tissue and blood plasma. Perhaps therefore it is not surprising that it is such a vital remedy in many homeopathic prescriptions.
We find in a Nat Mur constitution one who is extremely sensitive and feeling, yet suffering in silence and not wanting to burden others with their troubles. These clients will often put on a false cheeriness and hide their woes so as not to bother others. They are extremely responsible people who will carry on stoically despite inside feeling considerable despair. Often they will relive and dwell on past disagreeable occurrences, repeatedly tormenting themselves in the process.
Nat Mur could be thought of as a perfect remedy for those who have a ‘stiff upper lip’ approach, a stereotypical British national characteristic. This trait could be seen in the population during the Second World War according to many historical accounts. Undergoing years of conflict, there was a prevailing cultural ethos to ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’. Normal citizens suffering the trauma and impact of air raids, food rationing and poverty (as well as bereavement at an epic level from bombings and the war effort), on the whole seem to have just got on with things and not complained regardless of the great pain and anguish they must have encountered. This is a classic Nat Mur reaction and expression.
On the physical front, this remedy will have affectations that show a ‘closed’ theme matching those observed at a sentient level. Ailments such as piles and constipation, general muscle spasms as well as intense pressure headaches located over the eyes are a common complaint. Eruptions of the forehead and surrounding the mouth are also common – as if the skin is somehow expressing a physical turmoil that cannot be elicited verbally. Nat Mur will feel worse for having direct sunlight on them – symbolically we could equate this to them not able to experience joy in their life or having the ability to assimilate rays of sunshine and happiness in their day to day reality. There will frequently be a craving for salt and an intense thirst for water. Interestingly, an indication that someone may need Nat Mur is that they will have a prominent split in the lower lip. In fact, this can be a key indicator to the remedy if other symptoms fit well.
I have found Nat Mur to be a most powerful and useful remedy for those experiencing any kind of sadness or depression, particularly for those who are woefully bereft as a result of bereavement and silent grieving. Nat Mur can help a person to open up and express their feelings with more ease. Allowing themselves to accept consolation or to even just have a good cry, they can begin to move forward to brighter and less lonely pastures with greater harmony, companionship and meaning in their lives.
Derived from the seeds of the delphinium flower, Staphysagria is another wonderful remedy used to help resolve intense emotional pain and anguish. Similar to the Nat Mur constitution, the Staphysagria type will appear demure and sweet tempered on the surface. However, do not be too fooled by this veneer for underneath they are seething with anger, rage and a sense of utter indignation. The Staphysagria person will undoubtedly have suffered a trauma which has left them feeling utterly aggrieved, powerless and unable to protest. The inability to express their fury could be due to many factors - be it worrying about going against societal norms, fearing disapproval or from threat of real danger if they speak out.
For women who have undergone invasive procedures during childbirth in which the genitalia have been cut and incised or perhaps had an unwanted caesarean (in fact for anyone who has undergone intimate surgery and who is experiencing feelings of mortification as a result), Staphysagria may very well help. Physically they will often be overly sensitive to touch and find it most irritating or painful. They can be prone to suddenly losing their temper and hurling items across the room. Those needing this remedy will tremble uncontrollably from the strength of their emotions and the pain and humiliation they feel.
Other indications will be symptoms which have sharp, stitching pains, often in the reproductive area. It is a good remedy for those suffering with
cystitis, pain in the bladder region or any kind of abdominal colic following surgery as well as pain associated with intercourse in women. Staphysagria type can have nightmares and dreams which are in some way shameful and humiliating perhaps pointing to a harrowing theme from the reality of their daily lives. These clients can desire alcohol and spicy food – we can see this as a means to somehow fuel the fire that they have burning inside of them!
Staphysagria can help a person to come to terms with an abhorrent episode or situation and allow them to deal with it more effectively. In relationships that are abusive, it can give the victim the strength to defend themselves or finally deploy measures which empower them to leave and begin a new and freer path.
Lac Caninum – Dogs’ Milk
There are many potentised milk remedies in homeopathy, but Lac Caninum or dogs’ milk is probably the most commonly used one. Breast milk is the first and most basic of substances that all mammals receive as helpless new-borns. It is therefore irretrievably intertwined with themes of nourishment, unconditional love, warmth and security. When something goes wrong in this fundamental building block of our existence then a milk remedy can often help. As with all milk remedies there will often be basic survival themes at play - breast milk being so deeply connected and centred around our primal experiences.
Dogs are frequently associated with literally being ‘underdogs’, viewed in many societies as unclean and filthy animals who are gluttonous, savage and the lowest of the low. The Lac Caninum type may well have suffered some kind of neglect, abuse or poor treatment which has fundamentally damaged their confidence, self- esteem and expectations in life. It is common for these clients to have a problem with food, eating and nourishment at some level. This can be expressed in a tendency to sore throats, allergies or digestive impairments which impact on the person’s ability to assimilate and process basic nutrients. Emotionally the client may exhibit a range of eating disorders or have a tendency to over eat for comfort and security.
Dogs milk can improve self -confidence and allow a person to make decisions in life without feeling that they are doomed to failure and worthless. I have seen it opening up a person’s sense of trust and ability to enjoy the simple pleasures in life (such as food, trusting relationships or a meaningful hobby) which they may not have previously felt safe to do as a result of their conditioning and experiences.
When giving any milk remedy, I generally will always end the case by finalising it with Lac Humanum (potentized homeopathic human breast milk). This is because although we gratefully receive the gifts bestowed on us from our animal friends, it is important to remember we are experiencing our reality here in the human form. Lac Humanum will help to seal the case and bring the client back to their own true essential nature. As with other remedies it should encourage development and growth so that the individual can move on to better horizons and ultimately experience healing and happiness.
Suki Swauger a fully qualified and registered homeopath with a Licentiate from the London School of Classical Homeopathy (LLSCH). I originally trained as a nurse at King’s College Hospital/University and qualified in 1994 as a Registered Nurse (RN) in Adult Nursing. I went on to work mainly in intensive care settings and in transplant but also have had jobs working in theatre recovery, hospice/palliative care and nursing education. After being to see a homeopath and also treating myself with homeopathic remedies I was amazed at how it worked for me and how well I felt physically, mentally and emotionally. I decided to learn more about it and after completing a 4 year professional course I qualified in 2007. For further information and treatments please go to www.swaugerhomeopathy.co.uk or write to me at email@example.com