Welcome to the Neurotic Mothers Club!

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Are we really becoming a nation of neurotic mothers? This is a question I asked myself a lot 10 years ago, when my son was sick and yet no doctor would take the time to listen to me. He had an ongoing cough, every cold went to his chest, he was diagnosed with asthma initially, then went to bronchitis, he was given antibiotics & steroid inhalers, then diagnosed with atypical pneumonia, 3 more courses of antibiotics followed and still no improvement.

Over my years in practice as a homeopath I have come to realise that we parents know our children, we know what is best for them and we know beyond all doubt when they are not well. As a parent (or a patient) it is frustrating when we are allocated our 5 minute slot with the GP, only to leave feeling at best unheard, and often neurotic.

I’ve sat in GP appointments where my doctor has googled my symptoms, where I have been told completely incorrect information, a diagnosis off the back of a blood test, only to find it was wrongly interpreted. Symptoms were all in my head and that I shouldn’t google! I have to say I have little faith in my GP. Don’t get me wrong, the NHS is a wonderful resource, we are lucky to have it, it saves lives, there is no doubt about this. But for other less serious health issues I feel it fails many.

Daily I hear stories from my patients about how they and their children are lost in a system of contradictory advice, handed out suppressive medications and often patronised by consultants. I know the system is overstretched. I know the intent is to help, but the ethos of modern medicine is a flawed one. Maybe I am biased from my experience, but time has shown me I am not alone in this.

I came to realise some time ago that we must invest in our own healthcare, to a degree. Sure the NHS is free, but if something isn’t helping your particular condition, do you still keep using it? Many of us are not wealthy and the idea of paying for healthcare when a free option is available is somewhat irritating. Many times the people I treat have been through the medical system, on and off of many drugs, and yet when they come to me they say are still in the same place health-wise, or worse.

We budget for a lot of things in life, food, mortgage, holidays etc. We don’t tend to include healthcare in that budget, yet I would argue that health is as important as eating and having a roof over our head. We have to take responsibility for our health. Not buying that Costa Coffee every day would pay for an osteopath, homeopath, chiropractor etc…

We need to ask ourselves this. If the NHS wasn’t free, would we still be prepared to pay for the treatments we get? If the answer is ‘No’ then it’s time to reassess the situation. That’s what I did 10 years ago, and my son got better. I stopped the antibiotics as they were not working, he had been on 4 different ones over a month, I found a homeopath and within 2 weeks his lungs cleared and to this day he has never had any cold go to his chest.

If we could use additional support for our conditions alongside the NHS, or go elsewhere if they weren’t helping us, then this would take the pressure off the NHS. If we stopped stockpiling drugs and only took prescriptions for what we needed this would help the NHS. We need to preserve this service by taking a bit more responsibility where we can.

We will always want and need the skills of the nurses, doctors and surgeons, the diagnostics, blood tests, surgeries, midwifery services etc…but for many conditions we also need to know when to try another approach for ourselves and our family.

First published to Steemit October 2018

Sensory Processing Disorder – Sensitivity on another level

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I’ve seen many children with Sensory Processing Disorder over the years. None were as severe as the case I am presenting now:

Ellie’s Mum contacted me in July this year with concerns over her daughters SPD, emotional meltdowns and aggression. I have never met Ellie and both of our appointments have been carried out online via her Mum.

Ellie is 6 years old. She is a very sensitive child who feels emotions very strongly. She is triggered by noises, over stimulated by screen time and needs to have a set daily routine in order to function. Trips to the shops are impossible. Family holidays are far too overwhelming for her so these don’t happen anymore. Ellie used to be limited by what she could wear, she had a few items of underwear, one dress and flip flops, but she preferred to wear nothing at all, as clothes were such a struggle for her. At this time she hasn’t been able to even wear any underwear for 10 months. The situation has rapidly worsened over the last few months and her Mum is very concerned for her, they have been housebound for the last month as Ellie can not wear anything or tolerate sitting in her car seat. They have tried hypnotherapy, but it hasn’t worked, the hypnotherapist said he could cure Ellie after one session so when this didn’t happen Ellie became very anxious and blamed herself and said she had “a stupid brain” and would hit her head and shout at herself.

Ellie’s birth had been a natural water birth but she was bright red and had high bilirubin levels so spent the first 10 days of her life in special care under lights to address the issue. She was separated from her mother, who recalls Ellie being a red and angry baby, she was good in the day as a baby, but would scream all night. Ellie has huge anxiety around going to the doctors and hospitals, she will lash out at medics and try to escape.Any routine trips to the GP for her little brother are hellish for everyone involved.

At home Ellie will behave aggressively and meltdown, screen time will exacerbate this. She feels bad afterwards, or flips into denial mode, but she has no control over herself when she is in a heightened state. She will kick and spit and her meltdowns start with a vocal growling noise, almost like a warning to others. When she is calm she is a lovely girl and she wants to be able to wear clothes and play at the park like other little girls her age.

I feel that Ellie is living in a very heightened state of fear, she struggles to sleep and needs a parent with her and doesn’t like the dark. Whilst from her behaviour it may appear to be anger, this is just how Ellie expresses her feelings of being out of control. She can keep a lid on things to a certain degree, she is calmer at her grandmother’s house but as soon as she gets home she has to release her tension that has been bottled up.

I give Ellie a remedy called Stramonium 200c to start with. Stramonium is a remedy of fear and terror. There is a desire to escape from a perceived threat, wildness and aggression are seen, but this is not from anger but fear. Fear and feeling out of control, being expressed as anger is how I saw Ellie’s situation.
I decide its best not to tell Ellie we are treating her for this issue. I do not want to put more pressure on her as she blamed herself after the hypno failed. Mum uses homeopathy a lot with her children so Ellie doesn’t ask what its for.

Follow Up Appointment

A month later Ellie’s mum reported that the meltdowns had stopped for the first few days after the remedy, but were slowly building back up again. Initially Ellie tried on some clothes at home but couldn’t keep them on.
The SPD has intensified and now despite being naked most of the time Ellie is super sensitive to her own skin and body. She can’t lie in bed as says her bum feels uncomfy on the bed. She has sensations of her internal organs and stomach and appears in a very heightened state. She has prickling sensations in her feet, which her Mum notes is interesting because when Ellie was in special care they would perform a heel prick test every hour, this went on for days.
Although this doesn’t appear to be progress, I feel it is, my thoughts are that Ellie has carried this feeling of fear, being alone and out of control since her birth. I repeat the Stramonium but go up in potency, quite high this time.

Today I received a message from Ellie’s mum saying the following:

“Hi Tracy, how are you? Well I hope! El has had her third big dose of stramonium now. We have seen some really promising improvements. She’s going to sleep much more easily and hasn’t been complaining about her bum cheeks being uncomfortable anywhere near as much, she’s been able to wear one scarf as a dress a few times but even more amazing is we went to the shops on Sunday (impossible before) and she chose herself a pair of trainers (3 sizes bigger) that she has been wearing! It’s so amazing as she hasn’t wanted to leave the house and hasn’t worn shoes in weeks. She was able to persist with trying different ones on. We’ve also had a lady round yesterday who is going to make her some clothes. She has had a few more meltdowns the last few days but she’s definitely improved so much since a few weeks ago”

This case is far from finished, but the improvement has been staggering, and it can and will be built upon over the coming months. But all this has been achieved in 2 months using one remedy.

In my mind SPD is merely a symptom, an expression of a deeper seated issue. Not every child with SPD will do well with Stramonium, and I certainly don’t advise self treating at home. But I wanted to present this case as testament to the depth and scope of homeopathy and its ability to heal past trauma and allow the body and mind to express and release trauma in a safe and non medicated way.

Ellie is wearing shoes, going to the shops, facing situations that would have been impossible just a few weeks ago. She will get into her car seat now without having to make sure there is a scarf underneath her, the sensation of the car seat is becoming less of an issue for her, she is less aware of the heightened sensations of her skin. I look forward to keeping this blog updated with her progress.

If your child is suffering from SPD, or struggles emotionally with life, please do get in touch for a chat about what homeopathy can do for you.

First published to Steemit August 2018

Why is my child constantly ill?

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Regularly I am seeing and hearing of young children stuck in a pattern of low immunity and repeat infections. Chest infections, ear infections, infected eczema, tonsils etc etc.
An overwhelming majority of these children have something in common. Antibiotics. Several short courses for acute infections and sometimes long term low dose to ‘prevent’ a recurrence.
Shocking by the age of 3 a lot of children have had multiple doses for issues that could easily have been addressed with homeopathy. I’ve seen children under the age of 3 coming to see me after 12-15 courses of antibiotics, which clearly aren’t working.

Children (and adults) become susceptible to repeat infections when their immune system is not performing optimally. There are many reasons why an immune system might be less than perfect but a big reason is the gut.
Antibiotics destroy the gut biome, they kill the gut bacteria (both good and bad) and leave a child in a vulnerable position against repeat infection.
I’ve seen children come to see me that have spend the majority of their short lives on antibiotics and the effect on long term health can be devastating. It can take the gut months (even years) to recover from antibiotics, and during this time the body is weakened in it’s defences, thus creating a situation of infection – antibiotics – infection.

Antibiotic use peaks over the winter months and in vast number of these cases the cause of the infection is viral. Antibiotics are useless against viral infections. We truly are living (and suffering) in the legacy of the antibiotic revolution.

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Now there is a time and place for antibiotics, they have, and will continue to save lives, but in a great many cases they cause more problems than they solve.

With 1000s of different species of bacteria present in the human biome it is our armour against infection, it is our biggest defence to illness and constantly works to multiply and populate to keep us well, it can’t do this without support. When we destroy our own defences then we surrender to infection and it will keep on attacking.

Homeopathy can tackle this immune susceptibility in a 2 fold way. Firstly homeopathy can address the acute infections, with remedies, thus taking away the need for antibiotics. Secondly, we look for a constitutional remedy, a remedy that fits you (or your child) taking into account all the symptoms, susceptibilities, personality traits etc. I never cease to be amazed at the power of the constitutional remedy in boosting the body and mind.

Along with acute and constitutional prescribing I also work with the bowel nosode remedies. I find these to be incredible in cases of antibiotic overuse. These bowel nosodes target specific groups of bad gut bacteria and help to bring the gut flora back into balance. They are powerful remedies at our disposal and each one has different indications for use. I use them a great deal for eczema cases and for children with obvious gut instability like food allergies / intolerances, diarrhoea or chronic constipation issues. They can bring balance back to the body and help rebuild the biome.

The gut really is a wonderful organ system, when it is treated well, when it struggles, the whole body will suffer. When I am presented with long term chronic issues and autoimmune conditions the answer can often be found in the gut.

Our mental health can also be linked to what is happening in our biome. Lots of research is being done in this area and there is evidence to show an out of balance gut has a massive influence on our mood and emotions. As well as the impact this bacteria has on our mood, it can also affect the foods we crave, poor diet choices allow an already imbalanced biome to become even more unstable.

When candida bacteria are able to reproduce and over-populate we see chronic fungal issues such as thrush establish and cause misery to the sufferer. prescription anti fungal treatments do not cure systemic candida, they merely suppress the condition back into the body, temporarily, until it once again rears its ugly head.

If your gut needs some help, or if you have a child who is struggling with immunity issues, please do contact me for a free no obligation chat about how we can work together to bring balance back into your lives.

First published to Steemit, April 2018

Homeopathy – Time for a rethink?

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Homeopathy is energy medicine, but what does that actually mean?

Energy can be a difficult thing to comprehend when used in terms of medicine and the human body. So let me explain (from my personal viewpoint) what homeopathy is and how it affects the body for past and present traumas.

Firstly, Homeopathy is energy medicine because the remedies produced have no raw material remaining in them (or such negligible amounts as to have any real action). The key point about homeopathy is that it harnesses the energetic properties of a raw material (Plant, Animal, Mineral etc) to treat the cause of symptoms and imbalances of an individual. The remedies are diluted and potentised via a process of succussion, this process releases the energy of the raw material and holds it in a water & alcohol solution. The higher the potency, the further away from the raw material we get. Sounds far out, but remember that science shows that water holds a molecular memory See here for video clip.

We know that the human body is made up of almost 70% water, so its feasible that this water holds memory of illness and trauma, sometimes long after the physical elements of that temporary disturbance have passed.

Grief is an excellent example of this. When we go through a process of grief, it can be a lengthy and highly emotive time. Symptoms of grief can rear their head many many years after that moment in time when you lost a loved one. You could argue that is our personal memories that keep the grief alive, and this is not wrong. But what are thoughts? well they’re energy too, and they can have a positive or negative effect upon our well-being, depending on the nature of that thought. Emotional events can have us “stuck” in a moment of dis-ease that linear time does not erase. The moment has gone but the event remains etched upon our memory and ingrained in our personal linear timeline.

This is where I feel homeopathy comes into its own. It sees the energy is out of balance, it sees the physical symptoms that are a result of this disharmony. It doesn’t attempt to address the symptoms alone as it knows that this becomes a suppressive action on the body and does not address the cause. This is where homeopathy differs from modern medicines allopathic approach. Addressing symptoms without trying to find and treat the cause will not bring about balance.

So, for me homeopathy is neither a waste of time nor energy, it is in fact a recognition of what time and energy have done to us. It is not a quick fix, it takes time to become ill, sometimes many many years pass before symptoms of pathology show, but they may have been under the surface for a long time before we are aware.

A homeopath looks at these symptoms that the body has manifested, they look for causes in the timeline of the client’s life, they listen to the language used to express these conditions and they choose a remedy that most matches the totality of the case. Individuality is the key to homeopathy. We are all different, and a chosen remedy should reflect this.

Shock, grief, anxiety, stress etc are all part of our lives, no one is immune from this, and we all suffer to varying degrees from these events, conditions and thoughts.
There are many popular mainstream and alternative treatments for these conditions, from counselling, CBT, EFT, Reflexology, Reiki, Bowen Technique etc, so why not consider homeopathy alongside this? It does not contraindicate these therapies, anyone can use homeopathy, as a stand alone treatment or to support other therapists you work with.

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.

Anxiety in Adolescents.

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Anxiety in young adults seems to be on the rise, in fact anxiety in society in general is becoming more prolific. Why is this happening and what can you do?

Modern life pressures are affecting the younger generation on a huge scale, referrals to CAMHS have escalated in recent years and for every anxiety case I see in young adults they tell me of a handful more of their peers who are under CAMHS and many more on anti-depressants.

My most recent cases all have anxiety in common, but the reasons for their anxiety range from bullying, parental issues and pressure from academic and parental expectations.
It can be difficult to spot the early signs of anxiety, typically teenagers become more private and withdrawn from their parents as they become more independent. I find a couple of the first tell-tale symptoms of anxiety is sleep disorders and eating habits. Anxiety can cause insomnia or the opposite, spending more time asleep, yet never feeling like they’ve slept enough. Disturbed sleep and troubled dreams are a complaint that I hear in almost all of my cases. Appetite can diminish or comfort eating can become out of control.

I tend to find constitutional homeopathic remedies can have a very positive affect on anxiety disorders. I’ve had 2 recent cases that have responded very well to Nat Mur, although I have used many other remedies in other cases. These 2 particular patients were both expressing their anxiety in different ways, with very differing physical symptoms from migraines, irritability & restlessness, difficulty in concentrating, memory lapses, panic attacks, nausea and IBS, aches and pains in the body, eating disorders and self harming, all of these ailments in these 2 cases were caused by a suppression of emotion from within, being unable to express their grief and feeling utterly overwhelmed by life and external pressures, “I cry on my own in my room, no one can see me” and “Whatever I am feeling inside I never let it show on my face” are statements I hear frequently, hence the potential for Nat Mur and its association with suppression of emotions and grief.

The remedies I use are chosen through a process of conversation and observation, getting to know the patient and listening for clues is paramount. Every piece of information offered (or extracted) from the patient is a determining factor in their treatment. There are many remedies indicated in cases of acute and chronic anxiety and seeing a qualified homeopath is beneficial in pinpointing the right course of action for each individual.

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