I think we all love our NHS and in the Coronavirus outbreak we have stayed at home in order to ‘Protect the NHS’. I kept wondering why it needed protecting if it really was the best health service in the World? I didn’t understand what privatisation of the NHS was and I don’t see any hospitals that aren’t NHS or doctors’ surgeries for that matter. Then I came across this. It’s quite long, but it’s really clear about what is happening. Do you think it’s too late to do anything about it? I’m pretty sure that almost no one wants the NHS to go, but it is is being dismantled. Listen to this podcast and you’ll be surprised.If you like this, please share it
Those of you I’ve talked to about Covid-19 and the strange, strange place lockdown leaves us, will know that, at best, I am confused about what is going on. That is partly because I know that vaccines are NOT the answer to individual and public health issues, but also because there are noticeable positive outcomes from the lockdown that I really appreciate and don’t want to leave behind. I also know that lockdown is causing a lot of problems of loneliness, isolation, suspicion and alienation – as well as damage to our international, national and personal economies.
This is a great video that I think explains what is going on and what we should and should not be doing about Covid-19 and whatever else comes our way. It is a call to all of us to take responsibility for restoring our external and internal environments to the best health we can.
Do watch the video, leave a comment below with your reaction and us know what changes you can make to improve the health of your own system and that of planet.
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Whether you are being asked to shield yourself at home, work from home, not work at all, or you are still working when most of us aren’t, I haven’t spoken to a single person who isn’t finding these very strange times.
There are good things about this enforced change: travel is quick and quiet, lots of people are sleeping longer and better, we are having to get back to basics and we are a lot less distracted by our hectic lives however most people are experiencing a feeling of dislocation from their normal lives. ‘It’s like being jet lagged’ one patient said.
That made me think. In homeopathy we often use Arnica in a high potency for jet-lag; that feeling of not quite being here; not quite being able to navigate our environments.
Today I heard back from that patient. I’d suggested that her symptoms sounded Arnica-like because of the feeling of unreality she was experiencing. She’s much better. Getting used to the way life is now, but still looking forward to getting back to some sort of normality.
Homeopathy is the opposite of a one size fits all prescription, but it is interesting to think that one of the most commonly known remedies, might be helpful in this very uncommon situation.
If you’re uncomfortable, think about what is going on for you and you think your symptoms match Arnica Montana, why not try that? If you find it hard to get in touch with how you feel, try and look for an on line meditation, it really helps to practice regularly if you timetable it in to your day. If it doesn’t help and you are really struggling, you could contact me or a homeopath near you for an appointment.
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Helen is a patient and a singer and she has sent us this brilliant exercise taught to her to strengthen her lungs. Try it. It’s easy and quite fun. It might leave you puffed, but that’s all the more reason to practise and practise.If you like this, please share it
Lots of people are asking me how homeopathy can help them to avoid getting Coronavirus. I think it’s a broader question than that. Homeopathy is a way, my way, of staying well. But it doesn’t work alone.
There’s a new virus out there.
We can’t do anything to change that. Now, it’s disrupting our lives in ways that seemed inconceivable a month ago; streets are empty, shops are empty, theatres and restaurants are closing and we are being asked to practice social distancing (a phrase I wouldn’t have understood until two weeks ago).
It’s frightening, but it is also interesting jumping off point to think again about our health.
We all know that the medical model is to inoculate against it. Right now, even if you were of a mind to do that, there isn’t a vaccine.
So what can you do?
If the government is right and 80% of the population is going to get it, there’s a good chance that you are too. You can reduce the chances of getting it soon if you follow advice; you should definitely ensure that you wash your hands thoroughly and frequently, try to avoid touching your face and eyes unless you have scrupulously clean hands and throw away tissues you sneeze into, keep away from anyone who might have the symptoms or who has been in contact with someone who has, monitor your health closely and keep up with recent advice.
What else can you do?
You can take precautions like avoid contact with people, wear a face mask or isolate yourself for the time being, but it seems to me that, as with all contagious health problems, the most effect use of your energy is to take steps to be as well as possible so you have the best chance if you become infected.
Eat well, drink lots of water, don’t suppress symptoms (from sweat to headaches, bad breath to skin rashes) enjoy your fiends, take exercise, sleep well and try to minimise stress, perhaps by meditation and if that is new to you, you could try an app to help.
I know that!
Yes, me too. All of the above are actions we should always take because a healthy person is less likely to succumb to external pathogens. I’m sure we all know this. But do you do them? I don’t. But I am now.
Could this perhaps this could be the silver lining of Coronavirus; we could stop taking our health for granted? This is a wake up call. It’s up to you whether you pull the duvet over your head or get up and get at it.If you like this, please share it
Amazingly, I do seem to have let go of worrying about events I can’t control. That’s new. The meditation maybe? I’m allowing myself TV that isn’t trash, so yesterday I watched just The Planets and that’s meant I’ve read more and had phone calls with friends.
Tomorrow I will go out and run. It’ll have to be very early or late as I don’t like running in heat.If you like this, please share it
There’s been quite a lot going on in my life recently and this morning, one too many people said that I look tired. I saw this joke on Facebook, the laugh of which presumably is that anyone would feel better after doing that for three weeks, so I decided to do this myself. To make sure I do and that I keep it up, I am going to post every day with my progress.
Join me? Leave a comment if you’d like to do any or all of it.
Day 0: Sleep, some good, some bad. Waking with the early light but I am feeling sluggish.
I can definitely fit everything on my check list into my days, but I feel like going without TV is going to be a challenge. My sluggish default is lying on the sofa reading or watching TV. Gulp. I’ve also realised that although chocolate isn’t mentioned, it is processed food so no more chocolate for three weeks.
Tomorrow is Day 1 of my self-imposed challenge. I have patients to see but I can easily fit the gym into my day. I’m hoping I wake up with determination and ambition to succeed, but I’m not confident at the moment that is going to be how I feel.If you like this, please share it
When people contact me about treatment, nine times out of ten they will ask ‘Can homeopathy help me? Can you treat my asthma, my son’s eczema, my arthritis, my digestive problems?’ whatever is causing them most discomfort right now. My answer is always the same: ‘No, but I can treat you, or your son’.
It’s not surprising that we think of our health in terms of disease labels. That is how we are diagnosed. Each thing that isn’t functioning is labelled and treated according to a proscribed protocol. You are almost never treated as the complete whole that you are.
But arthritis (eczema, asthma, constipation, insomnia etc) aren’t what is wrong with you. They are just a symptom of what is wrong with you. That’s why a homeopathic case taking is nothing like going to the Dr. I don’t particularly need to know when it started. I don’t particularly need to know if it runs in your family. Those things are interesting and sometimes relevant, but what I really want to know is you. What makes you who you are. What is unique about you and how you experience the signs and the symptoms of ill health, of disease. What makes you different from everyone else with the same diagnosis, not what you have in common.
A homeopathic consultation is often quite cathartic, so I sometimes wait to give a first prescription. After catharsis we generally feel a lift in mood, an unburdening and I don’t want you or me to be in any doubt what improvements in how you feel are to do with telling your story and what is to do with the action of the remedy.
That’s why it often takes two hours or more for a first appointment; there’s a lot to know about.
I don’t know how homeopathy works. I only know it does. Sceptics say it’s placebo, and I don’t argue with that, but if it is placebo, well, I’m pretty good at placebo prescribing.
I have an image in mind when I’m working with you that your vital energy comes through a tube, perhaps like a long bendy straw. Life, stresses, the environment, drugs, late nights, whatever, cause the straw to get knots and kinks in it. You can still get a tiny drink through it if you suck hard enough but it’s not what you’d call a flow. A good remedy unbends a kink, unties a knot and things start to flow more easily. As they do that, you’ll experience a lightening of your mood and an increase in your energy which will lead to you being able to undo the things that are causing you problems (the arthritis, constipation, coughs and cold) that you came to see me for.
Once we’ve found the right remedy, sometimes called your constitutional remedy, things will start to get better but they will go at the speed that is right for you. We can start to undo the kinks and knots, but we can’t decide what order they are going to get better in. Some people notice the response immediately and others it is more of a slow burn. Whatever happens will be as unique to you; you get unwell in your own way, and getting better will be your own route too.
Have you watched Marie Kondo’s ‘Tidying up’? It’s a phenomenon and her admonition that we to only keep things that ‘spark joy’ for us has quickly entered into our conversations. This can only be because it chimes with something in us, something we know to be true about life but perhaps we have forgotten about.
Definitions of joy include exultation, delight, great pleasure, rapture. Me, I get feelings of joy when I see a sun shining in the morning, when I have managed to get into the chilly North Sea and I’m bobbing around looking at the sky, exhilarated by the goose bumps, when I see certain friends, when I go for a walk.
But I’ve lived without it too.
There was a year or so in my life when nothing brought me pleasure, when I probably could have won the lottery and not felt joy.
In medical and pharmaceutical terms I think it is considered an inability to pick up on pleasure hormones in the brain and SSRIs (selective seratonin re-uptake inhibitors) are the answer.
But I don’t see it like that.
A lack of joy, a disconnection from life’s pleasures, is an indication that something is wrong. Your mind and body are connected; what happens in one affects the other.
The ability to feel joy is a major indicator of your level of health. I think you might be at the end of your life, still feel joy in art or your family and be in a healthier state than someone in their 30s going about their life without feeling joy at anything.
I’ve been asking people coming to see me about joy in their lives for years. It’s often seen as an old fashioned concept but there is no other word for it and it’s key to the quality of life and well being.
For me, an important factor in the assessment of how remedies have worked is the joy in your life. If your aches and pains have gone, but there is nothing that sparks joy in you, we’re on the wrong track.
A good remedy will bring you back to a place where life can spark joy.If you like this, please share it
Like most students of homeopathy, I must have read that aphorism from the Organon of Medicine 20 or 30 times before I even graduated and several times since. I’ve thought about it, been taught about it, discussed what it means and how to understand it. But amazingly until Sunday morning I didn’t get it at all! I thought it was a discussion of the vital force and its role in keeping us alive. I thought it was an exhortation to do something valuable with our lives. It is both those things, of course, but in essence it is so much more. It says that if you are not well then you can’t make the most of your life.
This is why, however old you are, whatever your health is now, you should be striving for better health. Even as a homeopath you can think that keeping well is simply a way to stay away from pharmaceutical drugs which can do so much harm. But don’t we all want to do more than that – like realise our life’s purpose?
We all know what is right for us to eat and drink and yet we don’t do it and still think things will tick along fine. It’s just foolish – and we all do it. It’s a bit like having a car, going to the petrol station and throwing a few Maltesers in before the petrol, or half a bottle of wine. Your car isn’t going to work well and we know that, you are much more complicated and you won’t work well like that either.
If you are not feeling at your peak, do something about it. Change your diet and eat only what nourishes you; stop drinking too much tea, coffee and alcohol.
If you can’t change what you are putting into your body, if you are stuck in unhealthy patterns and you can’t help yourself be well, then ask for help. Make an appointment to come and see me, or see someone else who can help you live your life to its fullest potential. Do something. Every day you aren’t the best you can be is a wasted day.