Posts tagged ‘stress’

This 27 year young woman with a doctorate in Pharmacology consulted me in October 2004 with a complaint of migraines which had started about 1 year back, a few months after she was married. The migraines attacked her at least 2-3 times a month with each episode lasting 2 days even with analgesics. The headache was concentrated in the right occipital region and when severe, it would radiate to the front. The pulsating pain was brought on by even 5 minutes in the sun, by skipping meals, stress, noise and often by rich, oily food. The pain would get worse after an afternoon nap and was also worse on holidays if she overslept. Movements of the head and jarring aggravated her. She got some relief by hard pressure and by oiling her hair. She mentioned that she always felt a sensation of heat and swelling of the right side of her face along with the headache.

Her job is a rather stressful one and she has a lot of responsibility to handle along with long hours of work. Her mother suffered from osteoarthritis of the knees and her father had undergone an angioplasty.

She had a good appetite and thirst. She disliked sweet things and meat and loved chocolates, sour foods, esp. sour pickles. She took extra salt with her food. She happily ate bitter food like bitter-gourd (karela). Spices aggravated her, esp. in the morning.

She hardly perspired in general but perspired quite a bit on the tip of her nose. She had a feeling of heat on her palms and felt as though she wanted to cool them. She slept more on her left side and was a light sleeper, easily disturbed by noise. If upset, she had great difficulty in falling asleep. She often woke due to starting in sleep as if falling or missing a step. She preferred a cooler climate, disliked crowds; as she said, “I like my space”.

She had a sensitive nature; was easily hurt by statements of others, but didn’t show it. She wouldn’t cry in the presence of anyone else. She was basically introverted and her ability to mix with new people was dependent on how they reacted to her. After an emotional upset, she would brood for days. She liked to maintain relations and hence tolerated a lot. She loved to read and used to paint earlier when she had more time.

Based on her symptom picture, I prescribed Natrum Muriaticum 200 as a single dose and she was given Bryonia 200 to use only when she felt her headache coming on.

At her first follow-up two weeks later, she said she felt happier, slept better and could handle stress better. She had used Bryonia once when she felt her headache coming on from loss of sleep and Bryonia had been successful in arresting it. At the end of a month, she reported that she had had no migraines. She had an episode of migraine in January 2005 when she also told me that she had pain in her knees as well for the last 2 years with swelling of the knees after exertion. Natrum Muriaticum was prescribed in a 1M potency. This prescription helped her further and she remained free of migraine episodes for the next few months.
I prescribed Sulphur 200 as an intercurrent remedy later and she remained free of migraines and knee pain. She later moved to London as her husband had a job-transfer and from what I heard from her family later (her mother and brother are also patients), she remains in good health.

This case appears a simple one with quick resolution. Not all cases respond so well; in fact, very few do. Her case history was uncomplicated making it easy for me to locate her remedy. In complicated cases, Homoeopaths often need much more time to find the right remedy and then the case may also need different remedies and intercurrents as the patient progresses. Not many patients are patient and switch doctors or therapies. In the long run, it is obvious that there are great benefits to being patient during Homoeopathic treatment.

One of the biggest misconceptions about Homoeopathy in the minds of people is that it is a slow form of medicine for acute diseases and is only good for chronic diseases. THIS STATEMENT IS ONLY PARTLY CORRECT. Homoeopathy is certainly one of the best forms of medicine for all chronic diseases, however, even in acute diseases, Homoeopathy can act SWIFTLY and GENTLY leading to a rapid cure.

Let us first understand what acute and chronic diseases are. Acute diseases are a deviation from the original state of health with a rapid onset, rapid progress, and a definite duration. If not treated, they can end in either death or recovery. Eg., most infections like malaria, typhoid, the common cold, pneumonia, gastroenteritis etc., are acute diseases. Chronic diseases, on the other hand, are deviations from the original state of health with a usually slow, imperceptible onset, slow but sure progress, and indefinite, long duration which end only with death, if not treated. All the degenerative diseases of the modern day like cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, etc., are chronic diseases.

It is generally proclaimed by the medical profession that most chronic diseases cannot be cured but can only be controlled by medication, or if cure is to be attempted, it is to be done with surgery by the removal of unwanted tissue or the replacement of malfunctioning parts. Will this be a real cure? Why has the unwanted tissue arisen in the first place? Why has the normal functioning of the body parts gone astray? The unwanted tissue like the growths of cancer and the malfunctioning organs or parts are not ‘the disease’ but they are the outcome of the disease process, an unseen process which has gone on for a long time in the body, much before the visible signs/outcome of the disease could manifest.

Hence, it becomes clear, that to really cure such a chronic disease, we need to deal with and treat the underlying disease process and not just the outcome of the disease process. If the underlying disease process is not treated, after a brief respite, the disease will rear its nasty head up again, resulting in new growths and new manifestations. Targeting the diseased cells and thereby trying to achieve cure is NOT the solution to a chronic disease.

No one can deny that there is a Life Force within each living cell and it is this Life Force that makes us a unity, and keeps our body functioning harmoniously with its millions of cells. This Life Force is dynamic and invisible and can be affected not only by physical factors of the environment, but also by other dynamic, invisible forces like stress, grief and anxiety. These inimical forces of our day-to-day living, after a period of time, bring about a derangement in the normal functioning of our Life Force. Once this happens, it is but a matter of time until visible malfunctioning in the state of health develops. In other words, the derangement of the normal Life Force leads to the underlying disease process which in turn, leads to the visible manifestations of disease, be they just functional signs and symptoms or more serious and dangerous structural changes in the health of the individual.

No two individuals are the same; it hence follows that no two individuals will have the same derangements in health from the same identical causative factors. Each individual has his or her own immune status, own tolerance levels to environmental and other dynamic influences, own in-born weaknesses and strengths. A highly complex interaction of all these factors takes place before an individual gets sick and hence the manifestations of the sickness are also highly individual in character.

Homoeopathy respects the uniqueness of the individual and the Homoeopathic treatment of a person’s chronic disease is begun after a detailed case history which takes into account not only the person’s past and present medical history but also the life history, emotional and intellectual characteristics of the individual to be treated. The focus of treatment is not on the diseased organs and tissues, but on the underlying disease process which has resulted in the creation of the diseased organs and tissues. Homoeopathic medicines never suppress the immunity but attempt to get the immune system functioning at the optimal level so that the Life Force which has been deranged in its functioning, can get back its normal functioning again. Once the Life Force is functioning normally, the diseased organs and tissues can gradually get back their own normal functioning.

It can thus be understood from the above paragraphs that setting an individual on the path of health in a chronic disease is not an easy short-term matter. Setting right underlying disease processes can take time, depending on how long the process has gone on before the patient has sought treatment. There is no standardized treatment for any of the chronic diseases, but in each case, the treatment has to be individualized to suit that particular patient who is an individual in his own right. Only if treatment is undertaken at depth, only if the underlying causes are dealt with, can real cure be achieved. Everything else is only temporary palliation.

June 2005.