Approximately 75 million Americans or one in three suffers from allergies. An allergy is a wide variety of reactions to substances the body determines to be foreign. As a result the immune system gets triggered and starts overreacting. This overreaction leads to a variety of uncomfortable and sometimes dangerous reactions. Respiratory, skin and digestive symptoms are common reactions to allergens. Most cells have histamine and various other chemicals locked inside which are released when a person is exposed to allergens. Histamine dilates capillaries, constricts the respiratory bronchioles and increases gastric secretion. A healthy body can effectively deal with the allergens without creating uncomfortable symptoms.
Homeopathy offers a uniquely effective and natural way to treat a person with allergies and related conditions. I decided to share my wisdom and experience with you, as I believe many of you are searching for the answer to the dilemma of allergies. Many of you might be wondering if there is a way to treat allergies without side effects? The answer is YES! I am a consulting homeopath practicing classical homeopathy in Northfield since 1989. In order to write this article I decided to conduct a survey in my office. This is what some of the clients had to say in the evaluation forms. One said, " I am in awe at the way in which my physical body has responded to the healing process brought about by the homeopathic remedy." Another said, " I have at last found relief from symptoms traditional medicine has ignored or been unable to heal." Yet another client said, " Big positive change. I am healthier, stronger, more stable." One woman reported, " I came to Sujata primarily for endometriosis. We discussed allergies at the first interview. When the allergy season rolled around, Sujata gave me the homeopathic remedy for allergies. With the first dose I did not notice any changes, but with second dose my headache, pressure, swollen sinuses, itchy eyes and itchy throat were gone. I am very happy about that. I still need to blow my nose but I am sleeping so much better. Besides, as I stopped my over-the-counter sinus medication, my grogginess and all other side effects have disappeared. What a bonus!" One client says, " It is simply magic. I used to get deathly sick with allergies and would dread the coming of my allergy season. But since I have discovered and chosen homeopathy, I know the relief is just a dose away.”
In November 2000 The British Medical Journal published a study conducted by Dr. David Reilly at the Glasgow Homeopathic Hospital. The study was conducted in London on patients with allergic rhinitis. Twenty-four people received homeopathic remedies and twenty-seven received placebo. Only 3% of the placebo patients said their nasal air flow had improved compared with 28% of the people using the homeopathic remedy. David Reilly said: "Compared with placebo, homeopathy provoked a clear, significant and clinically relevant improvement in nasal respiratory peak flow similar to that found with topical steroids.”
So how does homeopathy get such powerful responses in such a natural way? I will make an attempt to answer this question. As a homeopath, I see symptoms of allergies as a manifestation of the whole. Everything is inter-connected. An allergy is not a separate entity but a manifestation of imbalance at the vital force (energy) level. Symptoms of an allergy are the body's effort to heal itself, but the inimical forces (allergens) are stronger and the body has fallen short in its fight against the enemy. It needs ammunition. A microdose of an individually chosen homeopathic remedy after a thorough case taking provides exactly that. The remedy provides a similar but stronger force to the imbalance. This results in extinction of the disease in accordance with the natural law of homeopathy which states, "in the living organism a weaker dynamic affection is permanently extinguished by a stronger one which, though different in nature, resembles it in its expression." Thus signs and symptoms of allergies are eradicated by this natural, gentle and powerful system of healing.
I will now illustrate and prove this with an example from my practice. I saw Emily in April 99. She was 52 years old, single and a school teacher. She reports, "I am a physical educator. I have been active in all my life and plan on keeping it that way. I believe in what I teach.
My #1 concern is my allergy problems in the spring. I am allergic to the tree budding and the grass. My reactions include itchy eyes, runny nose, congestion, sneezing and headaches. I can get severe bouts of cough. I get severe dry and scratchy throat. I get sniffles. My doctor wanted me to take shots but settled for me using the nasal spray Vacanase. I have had success with acupuncture but don't have time to lay there with pins in me, besides he brutalized me with pins every inch of the way in my body. Last year I was in pain the entire time. My vet has used homeopathic remedies for my dogs. I thought why not me? So here I am.
Regarding the pain I mentioned earlier, I have had two major physical disasters in my life. One was falling eighty feet when rock climbing in 1974. 1 did not break a bone in my body but did tear muscles in my back and neck. The other one was breaking the navicular bone in my right foot in 1992. Because of the climbing accident, my right side was greatly affected. I am now developing pain in my right shoulder. I occasionally have pain in my right hip. Because I spent 4 months in crutches, my left foot hurts a lot. In fact, my feet hurt a lot because I am going, going, going.
My #2 concern is my moodiness. As the Bible would say I need "to curb my tongue." Naturally I blame it on menopause. I have many disappointed parents that aren't pleased with the rules and expectations of the program. Thus, they take it out on me. I try so hard to control my temper and take the abuse but... Therefore, my stomach is acting up from all the stress. Do you have something that will calm me down?
My #3 concern is my weight. Even though I am active, I blossomed up to 210 pounds.
My #4 concern is my feet, knees and hips. Sometimes they ache terribly. My father had arthritis.
I have had two surgeries: hysterectomy and breast reduction. They both made me very happy. I do still have my ovaries.”
The first case taking for Emily lasted for one hour and 30 minutes. There was a lot more information that was shared, but this gives you a general idea of the nature of this woman. Now I would like to give you my analysis about what I saw in her case that led me to deciding on Stramonium over 2000 other homeopathic remedies. In homeopathy we choose a remedy that matches the symptom picture of the client as closely as possible.
I saw the compulsiveness around her physical activity and exercise. She said, "I am married to my job." That is a clear statement of where her passion lies. She is giving me a clue towards where the core of her case lies. I also saw the violence with 80 feet fall from the rock climbing. I saw very tough exterior as she said she did not break the bone with that fall. Stramonium fruit is known for its toughness and being thorny. It would be accurate to I saw her as thorny. I saw an addictive personality. She said, "I love chocolate. I can not just have few, I have to have the whole bag." She came in for her first interview with her 3 dogs. She loves her puppies. She told me they were homeless and were abused so she took them in. There is a soft, gentle person who feels compassion towards the underdog. Her voice had masculine characteristics. That added with breast reduction surgery, hysterectomy, never married made me think she is yang/masculine dominant. There was explosive and uncontrollable quality to her anger and cough. She said she has to urinate a lot. There was water imbalance. Which is also a Doctorine of Signature for Stramonium plant.
I chose the homeopathic remedy Stramonium based on her individual and characteristic symptoms. This remedy belongs to a plant kingdom. It comes from Solanaceae or nightshade family. How a client describes her symptoms becomes important to observe. For example, in regard to her weight she said, "I blossomed up to 210 pounds." I asked myself, "what blossoms?" The answer was a flower. Stramonium plant has a white flower. She said she was brutalized by acupuncture pins. I got the sense that she feels brutalized by the parents in her school system. The choice of word "brutalized" is also a peculiar way of expressing what she feels. It expresses the mistrust and terror of her subconscious state.
The plant can grow in poor soil. It is a weed that people try to get rid of. It has been known to grow near cemeteries. Her state brought to my mind a werewolf, person who grows hair and becomes masculine. Her short hair, her manic way of exercising, opting for breast reduction surgery and hysterectomy all seemed to be about suppressing her femininity, an attempt of the subconscious to be man-like.
The essence of Stramonium as a homeopathic remedy is about violent, uncontrollable eruption of the subconscious. She tries to control her anger but.. .were her words. What that meant to me is she is not always successful in controlling it however hard she tries. I saw her allergies, her 80 feet fall, her cough, her anger as a violent, uncontrollable eruption.
The homeopathic remedy Stramonium is known for night terrors, but absence of night terrors also suggests Stramonium. In her case there were no dreams or night terrors that she could remember. Stramonium also has either fear of dogs or love of dogs. In her case we saw love of dogs.
Over three years Emily has done beautifully with a single dose of Stramonium every three months or so. Her allergies are doing great. Emily enjoys the outdoors, camping and rigorous outdoor activities. Her aches, pains and arthritis symptoms are resolving beautifully. Her emotions are on a much more even plane. She gets along well with the parents in her school system. She still loves her puppies. She is very happy with all the benefits she receives with Homeopathy. She just recently said to me, "You are my Yoda." I take it as a compliment. Wouldn't you?
It is very rewarding to find a substance from nature that resonates in totality with the client picture. I am hoping this case has helped you understand that. There are no generalized medicines in homeopathy. It is always a unique remedy that matches client's individual and unique symptom picture.
About the writer: Sujata Owens is a Consultant in Classical Homeopathy. She practices in Northfield, MN. Her consulting business. Vital Force Consulting, is located at 108 East Third Street. She graduated from Homeopathic Medical College in India with outstanding honors and has studied extensively under the tutelage of world-renowned homeopaths Jayesh Shah, Lou Klein, Rajan Sankaran and Vega Rosenberg. She is certified as R.S.HOM. (N.A.). C.C.H., H.M.C., L.C.E.H., B.Sc. She is a founding member of Minnesota Homeopathic Association. Any inquiries can be sent directly to her. Her office number is (507) 645-4329.
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