Thoughts on the world, homeopathy, mindfulness and food...
A collection of blog posts - feel free to respond with your thoughts and comments - I love to have feedback - thank you!
Today's musings are instigated by a friend sharing a photo of nuns with guns, in response to the recent situation in America. I have to admit a certain level of ignorance around following the events there, though have watched Emma's inspiring speech and followed from a distance. There's been enough on keeping up with what animal needs what, where I've to be (and am still behind on several essays for my college course). As a total aside - or actually, it may be really relevant in fact - I did manage to watch Real Immunity, which was released on the 22nd February and there is a few hours to go to watch it free - if you're quick.
I'll come back to that in a moment.
So if some people have guns, then the answer to them not using them is other people get bigger guns, or more guns, so everyone then has guns. It struck me this morning how similar to the antibiotic crisis this is. The way we've been handling antibiotics hasn't been working for us... I remember watching a documentary on it, Panorama or some similar Horizon like show, with a group of homeopaths. We sat there incredulous as they told us that there was a problem, and their solution, not to look to enhance health so less antibiotics were needed, not to look at a different path... but to find stronger antibiotics.
Interesting as there have been studies in the field of health and dis-ease, including around using homeopathic medicines to treat sepsis, showing that users had better survival rates (statistically significant) which was measured at 30 and 180 day follow ups. A relatively small study with 70 participants, but double blind placebo controlled - and the data suggested that homeopathic treatment may be a useful additional therapeutic measure with a long-term benefit for severely septic patients admitted to the intensive care unit. I'm not suggesting anyone jump on this and not use antibiotics in these instances - but let's keep them for the serious stuff, and also bear in mind that homeopathy could well be worth investigating further for use in general in hospital medicine and outside.
For those interested in exploring the antibiotic reduction and potential of homeopathy idea further, there's a presentation here from Professor Frass (who is one lead on the sepsis trial above).
But the idea that what we have isn't working, so what we need to do is do it more comes up time and again. More vaccines, more drugs, more guns. What if we went with less?!
And that is where Cilla Whatcott's film, Real Immunity comes in. What if we supported health instead of fearing dis-ease. What if we gave information to people and they could make a fully informed choice?
If you've time today, I strongly urge you to watch the film. Cilla has interviewed specialists, parents and practitioners and the result is an informative, engaging piece that I feel will be valuable to many. It's available for another 20 hours and is well worth your 90 minutes if you have an interest in natural health - and who shouldn't have?!
Maybe we've had it all upside down after all?
Love to know what you think,
PS I would like to add that I do not vote for the domination of homeopathy and natural medicines at the expense of what we have come to know as conventional medicine. My vision is an integrative one, where homeopathy sits alongside other interventions, where it may even have a place to play in Emergency Rooms (Vet Chris Day recounts taking aconite and feeling sure it had a huge place to play in saving him), in wound healing, in dealing with infection. Ex ICU nurse Uli talks about how she saw homeopathy working so effectively at the hospital she worked in in Germany, she decided to study it for herself. And I'd love to see it to help in our over use of anti depressant medication. Diabetic medication. Anti anxiety medication. Anti-biotic medication - a case from me this time here. So many places. To use alongside all the options and enhance health in general. That's my wish. Please.
This morning, I spotted a photo my friend Claire had shared. It's here.
That day we had a gorgeous swim in a lake, instigated by our friend Matthew. Matthew died a few years ago, but before he did I had the pleasure to know him, to have him coach me through my first open water swim in another lake, to swim with him in Morecombe Bay, to witness his pleasure in the simple things in life, and to be invited to share that. He taught me to swim better than I've swum before and I'm very grateful to him. I could swim before, and for ages, but now I'm like a graceful fish - ha. Maybe not quite.
Then we drove to school, passing (not unusually) several freshly dead creatures on the road. Being that we're driving country roads in the Yorkshire Dales, it's not uncommon to see a few specimens of road kill on our school run. The deer we saw today though, its life blood spilling over the road, and the birds having taken some prize picks, made me stop and think more. We'd already slowed for a pheasant, and watching these birds move off my path always makes me wonder about eating and killing creatures. They're not offering themselves up to die willingly and are always happy to be able to scuttle away.
But onwards, back past the deer on my return, and to our dog walking. What struck me there, worthy of a share here I felt (you'll probably be the better judge of that - do let me know), was the joy of getting to know somewhere well, deeply and through all seasons. Walking alongside the same stretch of river is something I feel very grateful for. Seeing the seasons, the changing times, the changing water, the vegetation grow, flourish and die feels like being an insider on something that governments and nations resist against all the time. There are cycles. Cycles of growth, of death, of destruction even. It's not all about the summer. Winter is needed, the calm, the dark, the quiet, to balance the exuberance, the growth. We can't just keep on growing, it's against the laws of nature. We need to slow, to stop too.
So here we got to slow, to watch the heron fishing, flying and being. What a gift. To slow down, immerse ourselves (I say ourselves - the dog was busy following some great smells, but I guess she was totally present in that space). We got to see the goosanders (what an amazing name they have!) paddling on the river - sometimes on this stretch and sometimes further down river. We watched it flow, this ever changing, glorious, mysterious substance that we couldn't live without. And I slowed down a little more.
I think it's a whole lifestyle shift, to slow and centre more. I'm learning, but it takes me time. I'm lucky I've people in my life who are so different to me, teaching me, showing me, and whilst sometimes this can frustrate me, it's so wonderful to be shown a different way, one that might be uncomfortable to start with - but I'm determined to explore it further.
I'm off to check out a retreat setting shortly, and then tomorrow I've the pleasure of Trevor Gunn teaching at my naturopathic nutrition course. Happy to have slowed down a while this morning, and I'm planning to carry some of that energy with me through the weekend and times ahead.
So I'm puzzled. We've just watched Fantastic Beasts and How to Find Them, and it strikes me, not for the first time, just how similar the worlds are that are described here, how the attack of something misunderstood, how it must be suppressed and destroyed. The general public it seems though, are fascinated by magic.
What we do is certainly not magical - but equally at times I can understand the feeling that it could be. When you're liberated from feeling a certain way, able to view the world from a different perspective, or that itch, ache or digestive complaint clears up remarkably quickly - well, then there's no wonder homeopathy has earned some skeptical looks and questions over the years.
What we've actually got is a sustainable, cheap, effective medicine that if well prescribed (and that can it has to be said take some time as well as patience in learning and sharing and is not always as instantaneous as may be liked) that can do wonders for a person. Magic? No. Witchcraft? Certainly not. Unless you resonate with what witches actually were - a feminine energy, working often alone or with likeminded individuals, often living a simple lifestyle, in-tune with nature, with herbs and similar medicines to help people, until the patriarchal society of the time decided they didn't have a place to play.
As to the melodrama that's happening at the moment in the media around homeopathy? The is fact [in my opinion] that the inclusion of homeopathy into healthcare plans could save a fortune. Don't ask me why powers that be are turning their backs on that concept, except I guess there's always been battles over understanding homeopathy and the potential of it. I'd encourage anyone who is inclined to be skeptical about it (and that's easy to do - I was there) to read, explore, interview patients, users of it, sit in on clinics, travel, see homeopathy used in lots of places - for example in India where the usage of it is for far more extreme cases than we see here in the UK.
I was a person who thought my grandmother was crazy for using tissue salts instead of antibiotics - it turns out she was perhaps just ahead of her time (or of the antibiotic marketing at least). So where to go from here? If you've a story to tell about the use of homeopathy - please speak it and be proud. We need more like you. These times remind me of the quote:
'The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.'
So please speak up. Share your accounts of healthcare and the options out there.
If you've not already signed the petitions here, please sign and share too:
I'm a Homeopath working in the Skipton (North Yorkshire) area. I am also able to offer food intolerance testing using Kinesiology and advice around diet and lifestyle.
Em Colley MARH, Practitioner of Classical Homeopathy
BSc(Hons) Psychology and Neuroscience
Laughter Yoga Leader
Focussed Mindfulness Practitioner
Dip (SNHS) Kinesiology
Dip (SNHS) Holistic Nutrition
Certificate in Whole Food, Plant Based Nutrition