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!
Homeopathy is an incredible therapy and I’m finding myself more and more amazed by its depth and breadth as I continue my own journey practicing and learning about this wonderful gift I’ve been lucky enough to have found a part of and live alongside. One of the most startling aspects can be the speed at which a correctly chosen remedy can alter and affect what’s happening for an individual, and in first aid or acute situations this is particularly apparent. I was thinking about my Top 10 remedies to have in a first aid cupboard (or kit) and thought would share them here. Remedies can be safely given to any age of person from babies upwards and can be prescribed at home – should you wish for more guidance please contact a qualified Homeopath.
In Homeopathic prescribing we always aim to match the picture the patient is showing to that of a remedy (Law of Similars), so in first aid cases we do this also. Some of the following descriptions may assist you to give Homeopathic remedies in the home to help with common ailments. We work on another rule which we call the Law of the Minimum Dose. This states we only use as little of a medicine as possible to stimulate the body’s own healing mechanism. When you give a remedy give one dose (one tablet) and wait to see what happens. If things improve, leave the patient to continue improving. We only give another dose if the case stops improving before a full recovery is reached or if symptoms return.
So here’s my Top 10 (in alphabetical not favourite order!):
Aconite – No.1 remedy to nip colds in the bud. If you take in the early stages of colds you may even find you suffer no ill effects. Useful for helping with fevers and inflammations especially in healthy people whose symptoms come on suddenly. There may be extreme restlessness and fear shown by the person needing this remedy.
Usually Arnica is the remedy the most people have heard of and, rightly so. I would consider it as an essential part of any alternative (or indeed any) first aid collection. Arnica is best known as a treatment for bruising and as well as the Homeopathic medication you may also purchase Arnica cream to be applied topically. Arnica is less well known for it’s use in shock and exhaustion and is a great remedy to alleviate Jet Lag for those Long Haul Travellers! In the cases of accidents and injuries where given early it will reduce swelling and bruising. They may show fear of being touched because of the pain and may want to be left alone or claim are OK, when clearly they are not.
Belladonna – is the No.1 remedy for high fevers. The inflamed area or even the entire patient may be burning, red and hot. They eyes are glassy, with dilated pupils. Onset is sudden and pains are violent and throbbing, whilst the patient has a rapid pulse. They may be angry, delirious or even have visions.
Chamomilla – No.1 remedy for teething children, especially if the child has one red cheek. You’ll see over-sensitivity and intolerable pains which may appear to be out of proportion to the illness or injury. Suited to hot, bad-tempered, over-tired children who are only quiet when carried and constantly request, then reject things.
Hypericum – No.1 remedy for injury to nerves. This is a useful first aid remedy for lacerated wounds from sharp instruments or any injury to nerve rich areas (e.g. slamming door fingers). Pains are extreme and shoot along the nerves.
Ignatia – No.1 remedy for emotional shock. It’s a great remedy for treating symptoms which follow acute loss, grief or disappointed love. The patient may not accept what has happened and reacts with a sense of disbelief.
Ledum – No.1 remedy for puncture wounds. Also useful in preventing or easing black eyes. Use it to treat deep wounds (e.g. by nails) and bites from animals and insects, where the area is swollen, blue and cold but feels worse for heat and better for cold applications.
Nux Vom – No.1 remedy for hangovers, complaints from over-indulgence of alcohol and/or rich food. For people who work and play very hard, surviving on a ‘diet’ of coffee, alcohol and tobacco.
Rhus Tox – No.1 remedy for sprains and strains. Stiffness, accompanied by restlessness. Pains are usually around joints, which ache, feel sore and bruised. Pain is worse on first movement, with a tearing or stitching sensation, but eases after continued movement. Rhus Tox can also be indicated in Chicken Pox or Shingles.
Silica – the No.1 remedy for forcing out splinters and foreign bodies. In first aid situations this is a great remedy to assist in forcing out foreign bodies or hard plugs of ear wax (especially after swimming), but as a note of caution, do not use if you have a pace-maker, grommets, metal pins etc. It’s useful for helping painless wounds heal that are suppurating and slow to heal.
Serious injuries and illnesses should never be treated without seeking expert advice. Use your instincts and common sense, if you are worried then call for help first and you can give the appropriate remedy whilst you are waiting for help to arrive. If symptoms show no improvement or return always seek professional help.
It seems strange to think it's been a year. Seems like I've eaten this way for a long time, and other times feels like I'm still very much at the beginning of the journey. I think perhaps we always are at the beginning of the journey. It's just a step at a time, and what went before is gone, what's to come is so far away it's only ever about this step.
I've been reflecting a little recently on the year and my experiences and thought I'd share a few...
I love eating raw. I love the way I feel when I totally engage in it and don't nick the odd leftovers off Isla's plate. I can feel totally hungover if I have salty things or too much cooked food.
I totally absolutely love eating whole food plant based and completely feel right doing that.
I really don't like the term vegan. I don't think it describes much, I think it's so broad but narrowing at the same time and I think it has lots of attachment to it for lots of people. I eat whole food, plant based raw foods that enrich and support my body and mind.
It's all just a big experiment. One day I might listen to my body and feel totally great, another I might listen to my ego based mind that tells me I 'need' this or that - I might feel great or not the next day. It's OK. It's all just a big learning curve. Life.
It's just food. There's so much more to life than food. I think if food isn't doing you good then life can be hard but clean up the food and get out there enjoying life. I don't need to talk about it all the time. I am happy to, and to be honest can't talk about Eastenders or other soaps but there's lots more than just where the protein does or doesn't come from. That said, I am happy to engage and discuss it all on an intelligent level. I am totally disinterested in arguments that go along the lines of 'but animals like to be killed and eaten'. Tolerance has run a little low just there!
I love it - have I said that? I love I've explored new foods, that I actually love being in the kitchen, creating new dishes, sharing recipes and writing my raw food book.
I don't need people to agree with me to feel good. Which is probably a good job as I don't know many people who care to eat this way (but so appreciate my lovely friends who are happy to try things, taste stuff and play out raw from time to time). I have some opinions that some people disagree with. This isn't about me, it's their stuff - they can think their stuff and I can think mine. And that's perfect. Whether that be around vaccination, co-sleeping, food, work, whatever - it's all good.
I love life and feel more connected to life, the universe around me and the magic that's out there all the time.
I think that's enough for now. I'm sure I've learnt much much more but now it's time to go play on the guitar.
With thanks and so much love for reading, commenting, liking and sharing my blog posts, recipes and website information,
Within a relatively short space of time, two posts had come to my attention highlighting the naked body. One, a beautiful collection of images of yoga poses, done completely naked, and the other, a blog offering 5 reasons to get naked everyday.
For me, the most beautiful sentence in the blog, or at least the most thought provoking was:
'When was the last time you looked at your body in all its naked glory? I mean really looked at it. No squeaming at chubby thighs or grimacing at lanky arms. Just looking at, understanding, and accepting your body in all its perfectly imperfect brilliance'
How many of us think 'I'd like my body if...' I'm definitely not immune to it, although aspire often enough to elevating myself beyond this place. Elevating may be the wrong word - total acceptance of my body in all it's perfect imperfection is, I suppose what I'd like to aim for. And I have no doubt I'll get there. It's been a lifetime's work so far, and from a place of fairly intense food restriction to gain control in an uncontrollable part of my life story nearly 20 years ago, I've come a long way.
What saddens me though is how young this judgement starts. I hear my 7 year old tell me that 'friends' have told her she's fat and ugly. She's neither, but that's not really the issue here. What are we thinking that these gorgeous beings are calling each other these names? And, more importantly, how do we strengthen their inner knowledge that they too are, imperfectly perfect. People will, at various points, or at least may, knock our confidence in ourselves, in our bodies, in our beliefs. I just wasn't aware that the training starts so young.
For me, mindfulness comes in, self confidence in ourselves, taking time to get to know our bodies, accepting and giving thanks for the beauty that is within and without. Not to be ashamed of our own bodies in front of our daughters and sons and to work on our own stuff with the hope of releasing them from a similar place. I feel lucky I grew up in a house where we could all wander around in with nothing on (not that we often did - it wasn't quite that sort of house...) but there was no judgement - and still I fell into a self loathing trap of telling myself I was fat daily so I would have the resolve to restrict my food (and probably covered up more so no one was aware of my journey at that point). Beating myself up to get results didn't lead to happiness - although I suppose it did lead to an unhealthy level of weight loss at the time. And so now I see the BBC news around obesity suggesting that they use terrorising tactics and light stigma to assist in our obesity crisis.
I don't doubt the crisis - I would call it a health crisis, an overabundance of processed food crisis, and probably a shocking lack of foresight in people who are in government handing out watered down information in the hope that people could achieve it instead of trusting our intelligence and giving real, true information crisis.
Damn I've done it again. My blog was about the beauty of the naked body and it's becoming a food rant. But hear me out, there's a point to it all. If we eat well, we feel well. If we feel good about ourselves we are inspired to eat well and look after ourselves. Making people feel bad - whether it be in the playground, in the workplace, in the consultation space or even just sat at home watching an advert doling out some 'light stigma' tactics is unlikely to lead to an enhanced sense of wellbeing and ambition to give our bodies life enhancing foods.
Let's learn to love. Ourselves, others, our bodies. Our glorious naked bodies which do so much for us and get so little thanks. Today I stood in front of a mirror and thanked mine for being what it is. Doing what it does and helping me everyday.
So let's go naked now and again. Even if that's only naked, unprocessed food to start with. Imagine funding for subsidised fruits and vegetables (or even just buying more ourselves) and a campaign on TV for juicing, upping fruits and veggies, starting every meal with a large salad, increasing the greens, learning to love greens. And ourselves. Loving us for being imperfectly perfect. Just the way we are.
We've just arrived back home from a wonderful year so far, the bad Welsh weather gifted us another day with our lovely friends so whilst not the intended plan I think every cloud indeed has a silver lining. I think I wrote about 3 blog posts on my way back although this one stands out the most right now so will share away.
I was recounting another trip to a friend where my old car started to make a decidedly odd noise. Obviously I took the best course of action that I could and turned the music up so I could no longer hear it. Perfect. Until the noise got louder. Well, if at first something doesn't work - what's a girl to do but try again? Louder still. Problem solved. For a while. After a bit it didn't totally seem to be fixing the problem and after a call home to the number one mechanic in the family (thanks dad!) it turned out the AA was the best bet. Not wanting to hang around on the M60, and wanting to get to my appointment in Manchester there was only one course of action. Full volume and meet the AA at the location.
I've heard people talk about our bodies giving these signals - others have compared them to a warning light on a car... You can either take the warning light out (give suppressive medication) or look to see where the problem is coming from, deal with it and the same outer result is apparent - no warning light.
Homeopathy offers an option to look at where the problem is arising, deal with the issue and allow the symptoms to resolve. A gentle, non suppressive but incredibly dynamic and potent option. So to take the light out or fix the car? It's our choice.
PS It's great to get back home and get started on the New Year calendar with the gorgeous Guy (see below although he does have significantly less clothes on on the calendar and as such is my constant inspiration to get myself doing yoga and pilates) from Finland kick-starting my 2014 in his brilliant way. We do still have a few calendars left (all the funds raised go straight to the wonderful Homeopathy for Health in Africa in Tanzania where they put it towards their life changing work with people who have HIV and AIDS). Just here for gifts and calendars. Thank you so much!
With love and brilliant, sparkly wishes for a fabulous, fun and very fruit filled 2014,
The hayfever season may seem like a long way off. It's not yet been the darkest day. Still, I believe that the best way to treat hayfever is by prescribing on the biggest possible picture, giving the remedy that matches the person as a whole and allowing time for this to work. Whether that be as a catalyst, enabling the body to begin to heal itself, allowing the immune system to repair and mend or however it works. The fact is it works. And starting treatment during the winter allows time for this mending, this healing to happen. My belief isn't that the homeopathy itself is healing. I don't believe anything heals except for our own bodies. I do think though that we get stuck, unable to mend due to a block, a repeating pattern we get stuck in, and sometimes this needs a little help, a nudge, a catalyst, to be able to get on and do it's own thing healthily again. Which I believe homeopathy is able to assist with. I see it happen time and time again. Too many times to be luck, placebo, or all the other things we get thrown at us.
Anyway back to hayfever. Many people have their introduction to homeopathy through effective acute hayfever prescriptions and are blown away by the rapidity of response to the remedies. Acute prescribing is great and can cut down the need for hayfever meds. Sometimes it may be all someone needs. Usually my feeling is that they may need to repeat the acute prescribing, and the hayfever may be likely to return as it's not been addressed on a deeper level. Which is where winter comes in. Now, or January/February time is a great time to get going - to look at the bigger picture, the who someone is as a person and find a remedy to suit them as a whole person, instead of merely isolated symptoms. So give me a shout if you've any questions, or if you'd like to book in to address any issues.
I'm happy to be working from the lovely Studio Pilates now on Tuesdays, from home on Wednesdays and from Craven Clinic on Thursday and Saturdays. And usually can be found with my head stuck into a book studying or appreciating the great outdoors (or both at the same time in summer) Mondays and Fridays (although I can be persuaded to work if people really can't fit into the other days)!
1st December. World AIDS Day since 1991 when a group of 12 individuals brainstormed and came up with a simple idea. The red ribbon bow - a symbol of passion, a heart and love. 12 artists. One huge movement.
I was thinking this morning about how many of us can feel too small to do anything worthwhile. And so we do nothing. But how about the flip side - do something even though it may amount to nothing? How about giving the big issue seller a spare £1 even if you haven't time to read the magazine? Or 'dropping' a couple of 20ps on a street to be discovered by excited children. A kind word to someone you've never met before? My daughter has complimented a train conductor on his tie and it was lovely to watch his face light up. A tiny act that can do so much.
So today being World AIDS Day I'd love to suggest, well I'm going to suggest, that you help out a small but powerful organisation, working with tiny doses of life changing medicine. Life saving, life changing, status altering medication. I was so heartened to read the following from co-founder of Homeopathy for Health in Africa just recently:
'Aids prostitute for 15 years and a patient of ours since 2010, she just phoned me with the news that she has gone negative!! My weekend is fixed. And probably next week too — feeling wonderful.'
Working against huge disadvantages, Jeremy and Camilla Sherr and their team of volunteers in Tanzania are doing phenomenal work. We as homeopaths, I believe, have a duty to get behind them and support it. The boundaries of possibilities are being tested and pushed back and a new day is dawning. Donations can be one offs, monthly direct debits, gifts are available to purchase for elements of the project, our fabulous 2014 calendar is available to brighten up your months with some gorgeous calendar girls (and guys). Even if you just sponsor us £1 right now for our Santa Fun Run we're about to head out and do (you can do this by texting RYJQ35 £2/£5/£10 or other required amount to 70070 or online here) then we'd love it. It's so easy to make a little difference. Or not to.
With love and gratitude,
So worth doing - get out there and do something different. Go for a dawn run, hell stay up and have a dawn run before you go to bed. Enjoy. Appreciate. Love. Find joy in the little things.
So tempting to stay in bed this morning all snuggled up and cosy. But I got off my ass and went for a run. Which I'm going to have to do a bit more of too if I'm off half marathoning. I'm opting for Blackpool half marathon (it's supposed to be flat - and being in April gives me training time) - my friend who has inspired me to get on and do one is doing the Romeo and Juliet half marathon in Verona, Italy. If you'd like to sponsor her (I'm not fundraising for this one - although I am for the Santa Fun Run next week and my Olympic distance Tri later in the year) then please do so here.
Thanks for watching. What're you waiting for? Get off your ass and find out how beautiful it is. Your ass and the gorgeous world we live in.
Isla and I have decided that we're going to do the Skipton Santa Fun Run as a fundraising event for Homeopathy for Health in Africa. The date, co-incidentally, of the fun run is that of World AIDS Day and the Tanzanian NGO does most of it's work with people who have HIV and AIDS. So it felt to make sense to us.
I would love to raise £500 - Isla, who is sometimes a little more ambitious than me - would love to raise more than this. She's gone to sleep tonight full of fundraising ideas to help us to get more. We're apparently off around her school selling wristbands (we do have children's wristbands here so if you'd like one in return for your sponsorship please just let me know).
I would love it if you could sponsor us - even just a little makes a difference (I know it's over said but it's so true)...
Thanks so much,
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