Homeopathy & Cerebral Palsy

I first met Sebby in 2015 when he was almost 2 years old. I have had the privilege to treat him over the last 2 years and would love to share his story with you.

Background: Sebby was born at home in 2013, he presented with a cord prolapse, the midwife called an ambulance and whilst waiting for help had to push Sebby up into the birth canal to hold his head off of the cord, after 5 minutes the ambulance arrived and Sebby was born dead, he was revived and came back to life within a few minutes, it is not known how long he had been without oxygen. Neither the midwife nor the ambulance crew had oxygen masks for a child, or an oxygen stat machine. He was transferred between 2 hospitals and was placed in a cooling machine for 72 hours to try and limit the damage to his brain.
Sebby has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy, and later with a diagnosis of spastic quadriplegia. Mentally he is like any other little boy, he is funny and happy, if not a little frustrated at times by his lack of mobility. For Sebby the handicap he has is physical.

First Appointment: October 2015, Sebby was developing slowly and suffered very large poo for such a young child, teething issues and he also suffered spasms of his neck and had almost no neck control at all due to the brain damage he had suffered at birth. Sebby also had a very peculiar symptom of not being able to breath when outside in windy weather. He would choke and be sick if he was facing into the wind. It was becoming quite a problem for his mum, Ann, who could not take him on walks or even through some shop doorways as they blow air down onto you. After his first remedy that stopped, and has never returned. Ann noticed a positive change in him and described it as “he has woken up” he began to interact more with his surrounding and tried to communicate more. His neck spasms temporarily increased after the remedy Calc Carb, and then subsided. They still occur but with much less frequency.

Dec 2015 At Sebby’s second appointment Ann said she was pleased with his progress and he now seemed like a little boy rather than a floppy baby, family members had commented on the change and yet no one could quite put their finger on what had altered. Sebby sees a cranio therapist and also has regular Bowen treatments to help his mobility and muscles. I repeat the Calc Carb 1M as progress is being made

Feb 2016 The third appointment and improved strength is reported and Sebby is able to support himself better, his neck control is still weak but it is improved. Cranio & Bowen  treatments are targeting the diaphragm and neck muscles so I prescribe him Rainbow 10M to take after these sessions. The diaphragm is important in Cerebral Palsy cases as the trauma of the starved oxygen at birth is held here, cranio & Bowen are working to open up the rib cage which in turn will strengthen neck control. Sycamore Seed 30c was given to take prior to a Bowen treatment as its vital to support the work of all the therapists involved in the treatment of Sebby.

In August 2016 I see Sebby again and Ann reports a growth spurt, since Sebby has been small for his age it is good to see him thriving. This is the appointment where Ann tells me she received the spastic quadriplegia diagnosis. Sebby is suffering spasms in his legs and his toes are contracted and curling up. He is due to start at nursery school in the next month, he is growing up and Ann reports much chatter from him, although it isn’t well formed words, he certainly has a lot to say! I decide on Causticum 30c to see if we can address the muscle spasms and do anything for the weak neck control. A few days after seeing Sebby I pick up an answer machine message from Ann who is delighted by his response, his spasms had reduced and after a few days were barely there at all.

November 2016 the spasms have stopped (although Ann reports they returned over a few days when she forgot to give the remedy). He is chatting more and more and is able to eat and chew now. He’s hit the terrible twos! He dislikes being left alone in a room and it’s clear his lack of mobility is a great frustration to him. His toes are still curling. His arm control is much improved

March 17: At this appointment so much seems to have changed since November, the spasms have lessened, toes still curl. Neck is better, and I was sent a YouTube link to a recording of Sebby walking with help. This is an incredible achievement for Sebby, and a testament to the sheer love and determination his parents have for him. They never limit him and this is very inspirational. They have sought out an incredible Bowen practitioner, Cranio Osteopath and McTimoney chiropractor to work with Sebby. Many therapists having different input into this case, and support each others work. 

I change my approach to this case now, I look at the aetiology of this case, lack of oxygen at birth and brain injury. And i wonder what a high dose of Arnica will do? So i prescribe Sebby Arnica 10M single dose.
I hear nothing for a few days and then I am contacted by Ann who says that Sebby went very quiet and appeared to be in another world for a few days. He was calm and content but occupied in his mind, like he was processing something.

I feel high potency remedies are important here, there is a lot of energy in this child and I do feel he burns through many remedies quickly. Having spoken to other colleagues with Cerebral Palsy experience, we observed that the higher potencies can be powerful in treating the symptoms of this condition. For Sebby it is about helping him to have the best life possible, with as much mobility as possible. We are learning so much about the brain and neuro-plasticity, there is always hope and Sebby is the most determined young man! I look forward to watching him meet his milestones and continue to defy the labels and limitations that modern medicine seem to want to keep placing on him.

Many thanks to Ann for allowing me to tell Sebby’s story and use his gorgeous photo

Homeopathy listens to your story.

I am often asked “Why do you ask me so many questions that have nothing to do with my illness?” The reason is simple, I want to know you, as the unique individual that you are. I want to know what your childhood was like, about your friendships and relationships, what do you dream about? What makes you angry or sad, and what makes you happy?

Just because you are feeling anxious or depressed or in a process of grief does not mean that you are feeling the same way that someone else is, who is going through a similar trauma event. And this is the key to it all. Homeopathy needn’t be complicated or confusing, the answer lies in its simplicity.

We are all individual! We have different desires, different goals in life, different body shapes and tastes in food, clothes and music. We express our emotions very differently and our bodies express physical, mental and emotional upsets in a myriad of different ways. You may think that this doesn’t sound simple at all, but it is.

We are a walking, breathing and animated version of what is going on in our conscious and subconscious mind.

All our fears and traumas are part of who we are and how we behave. Our childhood and early years set a blueprint for how we process and react to life and its stresses. As we grow we are influenced by many factors, from family, school and friendships. We learn behaviours and coping mechanisms when exposed to traumatic events, and these become a part of who we are and how we differ from our siblings and peers. This is why it makes sense to me that a system of medicine should encompass this individuality, in contrast to the one pill fits all ethos of modern medicine.

Homeopathy does not work by suppression, it does not focus on one symptom alone, for this would mean missing the bigger picture. All symptoms are messages from the body that something is out of balance, to suppress the messages does not re-balance the body, it often means the body will create more symptoms to express itself. To a homeopath every symptom is a window to see deeper inside.

As a homeopath, I am not so concerned by what disease you have or haven’t been diagnosed with, I want to know about how that disease, and more importantly how its symptoms, affect you. I want to know your story, told by you.


Nightmares & Sleep Issues – A child’s case treated with Homeopathy

I love treating children, they are often far more open with their feelings and easy to read. I do see a lot of cases of anxiety in young children, school fears and sleep issues being top of the list. Often I find that these concerns can be resolved in a short period of time when using constitutional prescribing, finding the remedy that best matches the symptoms.

Here’s a simple case, treated over 2 appointments, to illustrate the beautiful simplicity of the constitutional remedy.

Lucy’s Story
Lucy came to see me in October 2016. Her mother was worried about sleep issues,anxiety & poor concentration at school.
Lucy was a shy 9 year old, she arrived at the first appointment holding her mother’s hand tightly. She looked terrified and I tried my best to put her at ease. A child of few words but with the weight of the world on her young shoulders.The main worry her mother had was the amount of sleep Lucy was getting. She suffered nightmares although she was not afraid of the dark, she disliked being on her own upstairs, her anxiety around bedtime would start to build up after dinner time. She would go to bed at 8pm but would often still be awake at 11pm, when she did fall asleep she would wake up at least twice in the night with a nightmare, and it could take some time for her to drop off again. Lucy didn’t like the way the streetlight outside cast scary shadows on her curtains and wall.
She liked school and tried hard but her concentration and focus were often elsewhere. She worried about her Mum whilst she was at school.
She had been a sickly baby but now her health was good, if she does get ill it is usually a glandular issue affecting her throat. As a baby she had been slower to reach her milestones than her older sister, she did not start to speak until she was almost 2.

I gave Lucy Calcarea Carbonica (Calc) 200C, the theme of this remedy being centred around security and the home and it is derived from the shell of the oyster,  I knew Lucy was worried about what was happening at home whilst she was at school, Calc is a big remedy for children with insomnia and sleep issues, well indicated where nightmares are involved, they can be very fearful and their imagination can be vivid.
Lucy had been to the dentist recently and had been told she had a patch of thin enamel on one of her adult teeth. Calc has an affinity with the skin, teeth & bones and is reputed to promote development in these areas, often well suited to children who have a sudden growth spurt.
I also gave her some Calc-F and Calc-P tissue salts in 9x potency to take daily as a therapeutic for the dental issues.

The Second Appointment
January 2017: Lucy returned to see me, this time she seemed a lot more chatty! Her sleep was massively improved, she still had the odd nightmare but these were not every night and the anxiety that she had suffered from during the hours before bed had gradually faded. She was doing better at school and her concentration was no longer an issue, although probably her original lack of sleep had likely been a big contributing factor in this.
Lucy had joined an after school club and was enjoying the time with her friends, she did still wonder what her Mum was doing at home whilst she was at school but she didn’t seem to attach the same anxiety to this as previously. I repeated the Calc 200C

9 Months Later
I spoke to Lucy’s mum for a phone appointment in July for a skin rash on Lucy’s arms, I sent her Rhus Tox 30c to take for a few days which cleared things up. Rhus Tox being a complementary remedy to Calc, this was a good opportunity to hear everything was still going well for her and she was looking forward to moving up into the next school year, something her mother says would have terrified her before.
No report of any nightmares for several weeks, and generally a much happier child.

There are many remedies for children (and adults) with anxiety, insomnia and sleep issues. Calc is just one of them. This remedy was chosen for Lucy because it fitted many of her physical and mental/emotional issues, both current and historic. It took into account her specific fears, and the reason behind them. All the issues in this case stemmed from feeling afraid and not safe in her room.
Her fears would become real in her dreams and subsequently Lucy didn’t want to sleep.
Calc children can have very vivid imaginations and this can make their fears very overwhelming. They can be very impressionable to sad and frightening things that they see in films and on TV.
Calc is also a big remedy for throat and glandular issues, and sometimes suited to children who reach their developmental milestones a little later than their peers.



The Beauty of the Constitutional Remedy

Peeling back the layers 

The symptoms of dis-ease in the body build up over time, like layers of the onion. Pathological changes are afoot long before the body gives us signs and symptoms of these subtle imbalances. Symptoms are not causes of ill health, they are messages from the body. To merely treat symptoms of a condition does nothing to address its root cause, only palliate.

Modern medicine in its function is a suppressive form of treatment. Many times it does not look for the cause of a symptom but simply works to control a condition through invasive drugs and procedures. Look at eczema as an example, the body has an imbalance that it is trying to detox out through the skin. The allopathic approach to eczema involves steroid creams to ‘calm’ the skin. In reality these steroids are temporarily pushing the imbalance back into the body. Steroid creams are damaging for long term use, so once they are stopped the eczema will return, sometimes within days, or more gradually over months. The reason for this, I believe, is that the eczema is merely a symptom of a bigger dynamic at work, a dynamic that hasn’t been addressed, only temporarily suppressed. The skin, being the largest organ of detoxification, is attempting to restore balance, taking the symptoms to the surface and away from the more important organs.

Homeopathy seeks to address the root cause of the symptoms being presented. Dis-ease layers build up over time, each layer giving clear markers of imbalance. It often takes the body a long time to get sick, and so it is feasible to expect improvements to also be subtle, gradual and gentle.

The constitutional approach to homeopathy looks for a remedy to match the person on an individual level, taking into account the physical and mental/emotional symptoms. Never has a form of medicine been so unique in its action. The initial appointment with a homeopath can take up to 1.5 hours, this is because we need to gather as much information about you that we can. Through conversation and observation we can begin to work together to understand your present situation/condition and how to improve it.  Sometimes before we can find the constitutional remedy of a patient, we need to address some of the layers that can obscure and cloud the picture.

This can be time consuming in complex cases, and takes commitment from both homeopath and patient. Sometimes a homeopath is only sought after years of treatment under modern medicine fails to cure, years of prescription medication can confuse the symptoms given off by the body, these are false symptoms and are just another layer of the onion, addressing these peripheral imbalances can be helpful to clear the picture and lead the way to the next layer.

Occasionally it is possible to experience a temporary worsening of symptoms under homeopathic treatment, whilst you may feel like this is leading you away from health it is important to realise why these aggravations can occur. Firstly, a layer has been treated, giving the body more energy to put into its remaining symptoms, sometimes conditions that had resolved in the past make a fleeting come back, to a homeopath the return of old symptoms is a great sign! This is because the energy of that condition still exists in a layer somewhere, suppressed over time. As a general rule old symptoms tend to self resolve quickly and are an indication that things are going in the right direction.