Author Archives: Mariya B

Understanding the energy of emotions – a Homeopath’s perspective

This article was first published on the Harbord Homeopathic Clinic website.

Whenever a patient asks me whether homeopathy can help ‘cure’ their ailments, admittedly, I get very nervous. The word ‘cure’ puts me in a position of great responsibility and gives the patient a heavy weight of hope, which is unfair to both of us. Even our conventional medical practitioner does not promise a cure – so why that unrealistic expectation with homeopathy? Instead, I tell my patients that homeopathy will help facilitate their journey towards a sense of internal well-being or equilibrium.

I realised very early in my homeopathic career that my role was that of a facilitator – to help patients restore their own equilibrium – and help them find their own balance amidst the chaos. In this world, we are constantly pushed in different directions in our quest to fulfill our myriad roles and expectations. What this brings about is an energetic imbalance – an upset in our equilibrium – that manifests as physical, emotional or mental ailments.

To appreciate homeopathy, we must understand this concept of energy imbalance. For example, when we experience the passing on of a loved one, we are washed with grief – and this is a normal, natural emotion to experience at that time. But what is grief in itself? It is not something physical that we can touch and see, but an emotion that is felt and experienced. Often, I have come across individuals, who after going through immense grief, see a relapse in their skin conditions, develop sudden high blood pressure or heart ailments, amongst other things. How is it possible that grief, which is non-physical, can cause a physical condition that can be diagnosed and measured? Not many of us think about it.

Grief or any other form of stress is a type of energy that permeates our cells and being at an energy level – the physical conditions that result are a mere manifestation of this energy imbalance at the cellular level. Hence, if we want to restore that energy imbalance, the remedy that we choose must also address the patient at an energy level. This is the essence of “like cures like” in homeopathy. We cannot expect a chemical drug to restore our equilibrium at the energy level.

Two years ago, an elderly lady came to me with high blood pressure. She said that she had developed this problem a couple of months after the untimely death of her son. He had passed away unexpectedly, under very tragic conditions. When she came to me, it had already been over a year since the incident but she was still inconsolable during the consultation as she spoke. She was also on medication to control her blood pressure.

Based on her personality and the ‘rawness’ of her state, I prescribed Ignatia, which over a course of several weeks, helped her regain a sense of harmony. She still thought about her son a lot, but the remedy helped restore a certain balance that had tipped over. Over a period of six months with homeopathic treatment, she began to accept her son’s passing and as she healed emotionally, her health improved and her doctor was able to slowly take her off the medication for blood pressure.

In the case above, I did not treat the high blood pressure. The goal of treatment was to help her with the grief. Once the remedy helped address the energetic imbalance brought upon by the loss, her physical condition, ie: high blood pressure, came under control.

The same applies to all the other emotions that are categorised as ‘negative’. Excessive fear, anger and lust can quickly upset the energetic balance of our being and manifest into physical conditions. If we want to achieve harmony and regain our sense of equilibrium, it is important to flush out the garbage at the energy level first. So the next time you are tempted to ask a health practitioner if your physical condition can be cured. Think again. Is there something that you can do for yourself first?

By: Mariya Mustan

Lisa and the Mystery of the Little White Globules – A Story about Homeopathy for Children

This book review was first published on the Harbord Homeopathic Clinic website.

How often have our clients asked us simple questions about homeopathy, which we’ve answered using technical jargon common in the profession? Well, I’m definitely guilty of that. Even for basic questions on how remedies are made, I have taken the long route of explaining the process of trituration and succussion, and received blank stares in return. This delightful little story, takes us through Lisa’s journey and through that, explains the art of homeopathy accurately, yet succinctly.

The majority of those who patronise homeopathy are children – yet, I have not come across a book that is tailored to answer their myriad curiosity-driven questions. This short story is a breath of fresh air and bridges the communication between us and our young patients. From why homeopaths ask so many questions to why all the pills look the same colour; whether homeopathy can work for animals to how poisonous substances can become remedies – you have the answers for all the young ones who walk through the door.

I am a parent of a little toddler and his eyes light up whenever he sees my little bottles with white pills. To put it simply, he is a big fan of homeopathy and one of his favourite ‘toys’ is a bottle of blank pills that he likes to shake while watching Giggle and Hoot. He has not started talking yet – hence, the questions have not started. But I am absolutely sure that the day is not far when his curiosity is perked on why I always offers the same white pills whether he has a fever, diarrhoea or even tamper tantrums. After all, his other friends get white, orange and even pink tablets! Well, I’ll have this book handy by the bedside.

By: Mariya Mustan

Lisa and the Mystery of the Little White Globules A Story about Homeopathy for Children

The author Jörg Wichmann

Jörg lives with his family in the countryside near Cologne, Germany, where he runs his homeopathic practice. He likes to try to help children understand the mystery of how life works and this story delves straight into it.

Rise in Infant Constipation – A Homeopathic Approach

Over the years, I am seeing more mothers seeking homeopathic treatment for their babies’ constipation problems. It seems that our young ones, as little as six-months-old, are becoming less efficient at clearing their bowels – a process which should be rather smooth for them at such a young age considering that their diet consists of mainly purees and milk.

It is common for babies to have stools of a firmer consistency once they start solids, bottled baby foods and formula milk. For some babies, it could be part of their normal stool cycle to void their bowels every two to three days. However, it becomes a problem when emptying the bowels become painful and starts affecting their appetite and energy levels – and we are now seeing this at a much younger age. This is where intervention either from a homeopath or general physician is required.

In my practice, I have seen good results with homeopathic remedies for this problem. The treatment takes into consideration not just the chief symptom or diagnosis – constipation – but a 360-degree view of the child’ personality, lifestyle, likes and dislikes, temperament and even the parents’ emotional  states in pregnancy and at the time of consultation. Hence, the treatment and remedy is individualised taking into account the baby’s unique life situation.

The two most frequently used remedies in my practice for this ailment have been Calcarea Carbonica and Alumina. Calcarea Carbonica is a commonly indicated constitutional remedy, meaning that this remedy can correct energy imbalances on all three spheres – mental, emotional and physical. Most babies do require this remedy at some point in their infancy. Calcarea carbonica babies tend to be flabby, have sour perspiration and give an overall impression of slowness. These babies will be content sitting in one place and observing the world go by rather than being at the heart of the activity. Mother will often say that their child has had some milestone delays. It is no surprise that this slowness also manifests in the digestive system.  A couple of doses of this remedy, prescribed professionally, can have a remarkable impact on the Calcarea carbonica baby’s development.

Alumina is another remedy that has shown to be effective for infant constipation in my practice. The remedy, made from aluminium oxide, is indicated when soft stools require great straining and the stools are passed in very small quantities. It is theorised that an increased use of aluminium-based cookware to heat and prepare meals could have impacted a rise in Alumina-type constipation in our babies.  It would also be worthwhile to read the inserts of skincare products to see if they contain any aluminium-based ingredients that could be contributing to your child’s constipation. However minute the quantity may be, it can penetrate through your baby’s skin and contribute to the problem.

Baby Blues and Lactation Problems

The period after childbirth, to say the least, is an emotional roller-coaster. The excitement of finally meeting your baby, the altered sleeping patterns, physical exhaustion from labour and childbirth, the hormonal changes and not forgetting the feeding cycles – all this can become overwhelming. Post-natal depression or baby blues is very common after childbirth and should not be seen as a sign of weakness. You can approach your local GP and they will be able to give you proper guidance and a referral to a psychologist or counsellor, if required.

Homeopathy can be invaluable to new mothers in such circumstances to help restore a positive outlook and to resolve lactation issues, if any. The treatment takes into consideration your individual symptoms, your mental and emotional state as well as your likes and dislikes. For example, if you are weepy, feeling thirstless and craving cold foods, your remedy will be different to another mother who is detached from her baby and feels better after exercising or dancing. This is the beauty of homeopathy. Even though two people may be given the same diagnosis, the therapy takes into account their unique experiences and hence, each will be given a different remedy. The other advantage with homeopathy is a natural and holistic choice if you are breastfeeding.

When to Consider Formula for Your Baby

Breastmilk is the preferred nutrition for your baby. It is easy to digest and provides the baby with important maternal antibodies or immune factors.  However, in order to ensure adequate supply of breastmilk, mothers need to have proper rest, good nutrition and take sufficient fluids. For this, the presence of a support network in the few weeks after birth is critical. Unfortunately, not all mothers have access to this support. In such circumstances, it is not surprising that a new mother may feel overwhelmed with responsiblity and this, in turn, can have an adverse effect on the milk supply. Other factors that lead to problems in supply include stressful births, baby’s inability to latch, inverted nipples, etc.

The important thing is to keep trying to breastfeed your baby or to use a breast pump to express the milk.  But if the experience becomes too frustrating and emotionally draining, speak to your lactation consultant and consider supplementing your baby’s feeds with formula. Remember, some breastmilk is better than none, and what your baby needs the most is a positive and happy home environment. Another thing to keep in mind is that whilst breastfeeding facilitates bonding, it is not the ONLY way to bond with your baby.

In the next post, I will discuss the homeopathic approach to baby blues and lactation problems.

The Benefits of Breastfeeding

The decision whether to breastfeed or use formula is no longer a straightforward one. Whilst it is common knowledge that breast milk is the preferred nutrition babies, there are circumstances when the use of formula should also be considered.

I will first briefly discuss the benefits of breastfeeding, which are manifold, for both the child and mother. The effects permeate not just the physical plane but also have a profound psychological and emotional impact. The moment a mother puts her baby to the breast shortly after birth, oxytoxin is released. This hormone helps to expel the placenta and promote healing in the womb. Mothers who breastfeed their baby recover faster after childbirth and have a lower risk of obesity, osteoporosis, breast cancer and ovarian cancer in the long term.

For the baby, mother’s milk contains all the necessary nutrients which are in a form that is easily digestible and assimilated by the baby’s delicate digestive system. Colostrum, which is a thin yellow fluid that flows from the nipple before breast milk is produced, is high in its calorie, protein and antibody content. Babies require milk that is high in fat content because they are unable to digest lactose properly. Hence, formula milk, that is generally high in lactose but contains a lower amount of fat, is more difficult for babies to digest.

The antibodies in the breast milk protect the baby against infections. Breast milk also changes the pH of the stool and intestinal flora, thereby protecting the baby against diarrhea. In terms of long term health, babies who have been breast fed tend to be protected from chronic diseases such as Crohn’s disease, diabetes, allergies, etc.

Breastfeeding is also a time for the baby and mother to bond with each other. Babies who have not been breastfed or have been weaned off too quickly from the breast tend to display subsequent emotional problems such as lack of confidence, a feeling of being neglected and eating problems, amongst others.

However, having mentioned the above, it is important to realise that there are situations where supplementation with formula should be considered and mothers need not feel guilty if they have to do so. I will touch on this topic in my next post.

A Pretty Solution for Teething Blues

Before moving to Sydney, I had never heard of necklaces that eased babies’ teething pains. I had always thought I would turn to my faithful armoury of homeopathic medicines if my son ever displayed irritable teething symptoms. But much to my disappointment, he never clearly showed symptoms pointing to a particular homeopathic medicine. Hence, it was very difficult to prescribe for him.

During my strolls, I noticed many babies and toddlers wearing necklaces with orange beads. Some were even sporting anklets. These beads are actually resin from the Amber tree. When worn, the resin warms as a result of body temperature and releases healing oils that contain succinic acid, which has a pain-relieving property. This compound is absorbed into the skin and bloodstream.

I was a skeptic at first but from the day I put on the necklace on my son, his irritability reduced markedly. I am proud to say that he now has six teeth and has not been hassled by the whole teething process.

Although the beads helped my son, I am not sure if I am satisfied with the explanation provided on how it works. Is our normal body temperature of  36.9 degrees Celsius sufficient to warm the bead such that it releases oils? I am not really sure.

As a homeopath, I much prefer attributing the healing to the energy contained in the amber beads. Just like crystals and precious gems, the amber beads, too, contain healing energies which sooth babies during teething. Perhaps what we need to confirm this is a homeopathic proving on the Baltic Amber.

But one thing is for sure, it works – and looks pretty on the babies too!

Antibiotics – What you should know before taking them

Our skin is a reflection of our inner harmony – the proper functioning of our internal organs and the robustness of our vital force. According to Ayurveda and Chinese medicine, skin disorders generally reflect problems in the liver’s ability to detoxify impurities in the blood. This philosophy is also shared in homeopathy.

Often, I have seen in my practice, skin eruptions developing after a person has taken a heavy dose of antibiotics. Besides suppressing the immune system, antibiotics put a heavy load on the liver, thus reducing its efficiency in detoxification. The most common type of skin eruptions that appear after the use of antibiotics is rashes. In certain individuals with a weaker immune system, fungal eruptions may also manifest.

It is not surprising that in today’s world, with widespread use of antibiotics, there are many individuals who suffer from “unexplained” itchiness or skin problems. Allopaths simply label these ailments as “idiopathic” (meaning: of an unknown cause or origin). However, there is a clear causative factor. Thus, caution must be exercised in the use of antibiotics.

In homeopathy, there are remedies which can counter the ill-effects of antibiotics. However, the use of these remedies require careful analysis and individualisation of a person’s symptoms, just like with any other homeopathic remedy. If you develop skin ailments immediately after, or even several weeks after taking a course of antibiotics, just remember that help is available in homeopathy.

Why the Heart “Burns”

Heartburn, acid reflux and stomach ulcers are very common problems of the digestive tract. In conventional medicine, the doctor usually prescribes antacids to reduce the irritation and burning sensation that is experienced. However, anyone who has taken antacids will know that although it is very effective, the relief provided is only temporary. This is because conventional medication is not directed towards curing an ailment. The purpose is simply to provide symptomatic relief.

In order to eradicate an ailment, we must strive to understand why it has manifested in the first place. Physical problems manifest due to some suppressed emotions or negativity. Our bodies are not designed to “house” negative emotions. Hence, to establish order, the body is intelligent enough to “throw out” the negativity in the form of some physical ailment.

In the case of heart “burns”, it manifests because of suppressed fear. If you were to have an intimate chat with an individual who suffers from chronic heartburn or other digestive problems, you will come to understand that there is a lot of fear or insecurity harboured in the emotional plane. Once this fear is addressed, the physical ailment will be alleviated.

The part of the body or chakra (energy meridian) that holds on to fear is the solar plexus. It is also this chakra that is connected to the digestive system. If an individual has a lot of fears and anxieties, the solar plexus will generally be blocked or choked. This blockage, in turn, has an adverse effect on the digestive organs.

In Reiki therapy, energy is directed more towards the solar plexus with the intention that it works on addressing the core emotions behind the heart “burn”. After a session, a client may become more aware about emotions that were previously suppressed and be more empowered to let them go. This process generally takes time. However, the first step is definitely awareness of the problem and this, in itself, is therapeutic.

Homeopathic remedies work beautifully with Reiki in order to hasten the healing process. Since we are on the subject of emotions behind digestive problems, it would be worthwhile to examine the personality profiles of two homeopathic remedies that are prominent in treating such problems.

Arsenicum album (Ars alb) is a very useful remedy for gastric derangements. Ars alb individuals have a tendency towards intense, burning pains and indigestion from cold foods, vinegar, acidic fruits, etc. Personality wise, they have a deep-seated insecurity with fears of being alone, death, poverty. They are also extremely stingy with money and material possessions and tend to be very selfish individuals. It is not wonder that they also have intense anxiety that is felt in the pit of the stomach – the exact location of the solar plexus!

Another remedy worth examining is Nux vomica. This personality typifies the modern, competitive man, leading a sedentary life. Individuals for whom Nux vomica is suited are ambitious and competitive to a pathological degree. Their fear is that they are going to be left behind in the rat race. They tend to overindulge in coffee, alcohol, sex, spicy foods and have a rather short temper. Since their mind is so “inflamed”, they are prone to inflammatory disorders such as gastritis and ulcers.

I have found that by combining Reiki and Homeopathy, a powerful synergy of healing energy is created, and this has proven to be invaluable in my personal practice.

Cases from the File – Skin Eruption in the Gluteal Region

A lady in her mid-eighties complained of intense itching in her gluteal cleft (groove between the buttocks). She said that the itching was worse once she went to bed at night. At times, she could also feel a burning sensation in the region. She could not recall when it had started. She just knew that it had been there for many years.

Upon examination, the region was red and dry. It looked like a fungal infection. She had been managing the itching with an anti-fungal ointment all this while.

Based on the redness, burning and itching in the warmth of the bed, I gave her the indicated remedy on the tongue and told her to keep me updated on how she felt.

The itching gradually reduced and when I examined the area two days later, the patch was less red and much smaller. I did not repeat the remedy as it still was working in her system. Perhaps another dose of the remedy may be required after several weeks to give her permanent relief from the problem.

An important thing to note when taking homeopathic remedies is that as long as the first dose is giving relief or showing improvement, there is no need to repeat the remedy. Only when progress stops, should a second dose be given.

Patients do sometimes wonder why their practitioner is being “stingy” with the remedies. It is anything but that as hasty repetitions do spoil a well-progressing case.

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