Posts Tagged ‘Homeopathy’

What Is a Migraine?

25 Sep

A migraine is a headache with throbbing pain that is usually worse on one side of the head. The pain is often severe enough to hamper daily activities and may last from four hours to three days if untreated. More than one in 10 Americans, including one in 6 women, have migraines, but many have been told mistakenly that they have a sinus or tension headache. Foods, stress, and hormones can be migraine triggers.

Migraine Symptoms

Throbbing pain typically occurs on one side near the temples, forehead, and eyes. Migraines can make you very sensitive to light, sound, or mild exertion, such as climbing the stairs. Many people have nausea, vomiting, or vision problems. The pain can be disabling, forcing people to miss work or other activities.

Migraine With Aura

About 20% of people who suffer from migraines will have an aura about 20 minutes to an hour before the pain. They may see flashing lights, wavy lines, or dots, or they may have blurry vision or blind spots. These are called “classic migraines

Migraine Warning Signs

Some people may have a change in mood before a migraine begins. They may become more excitable or irritable or depressed. Others may detect a sensation, such as a funny smell or taste. They may feel more fatigued, yawn frequently, or experience muscle tension. About 1 in 4 people experience this prodrome phase, which can occur as early as 24 hours before any head pain.

What Causes a Migraine?

The exact cause of migraines is still not well understood, but the problem is considered to be neurological (related to the nervous system). It is believed that brain chemicals, blood vessels, and nerves of the brain are involved.

Trigger: Flashing Lights

Migraines may be set off by some specific cause, such as flickering lights. This could be a reflection from snow or water or from fluorescent bulbs or television or movie screens. Wearing polarizing sunglasses outside and using daylight spectrum fluorescent bulbs inside may help.

Trigger: Anxiety and Stress

Emotional stress is a common trigger of migraines. While it’s impossible to completely avoid stress, relaxation exercises can help you cope. Inhale and exhale slowly, letting the air fill you and then deflate like a balloon. Some people find that thinking of a peaceful scene or listening to favorite music can help.

Trigger: Lack of Food or Sleep

It’s important for people prone to migraines to have a regular pattern of meals and sleep. Low blood sugar from skipping meals can trigger a migraine. Eating too much sugar also can cause a spike, then a “crash” in blood sugar. Drink water throughout the day to avoid dehydration and sleep at least 6 to 8 hours a night.

Trigger: Hormonal Changes

For many women, migraines are tied to their menstrual cycle, occurring either a few days before or during their period, when estrogen levels drop. Some women may benefit from anti-inflammatory medication before their headaches begin, or hormonal birth control such as pills, patches, or rings. Others may have no benefit or worse migraines with hormonal birth control.

Trigger: Headache Foods

Migraine sufferers often report that certain foods trigger their headaches. Common culprits include MSG, red wine, cheese, chocolate, soy sauce, and processed meats. However, scientific studies haven’t confirmed any particular food as a migraine trigger.

Trigger: Tyramine

Aged, fermented, and stored foods have higher levels of tyramine, a substance created from the breakdown of the amino acid tyrosine. Tyramine may cause blood vessels to constrict then expand, and it may be a trigger for some migraines. Some headache experts advise limiting fermented or aged foods, such as cheese, soy sauce, pickles, and pepperoni.

Caffeine: Help or Hindrance?

When combined with some pain medications, caffeine can help provide relief. Most migraine sufferers can drink a cup or two a day of coffee without any problems. However, too much caffeine can lead to headaches when the stimulant effect wears off.

Tracking Personal Triggers

Find out what triggers your migraines by keeping a headache diary. Each time you suffer from a migraine, make a note about the warning signs (the “prodrome”), triggers, and severity. If you can discover some of your personal triggers, you may be able to avoid future headaches.

Who Gets Migraines?

Women are three times more likely to have migraines than men. If you have a close relative with migraines, you are much more likely to have migraines, too. Experts believe migraines may be related to mutations in genes that affect certain areas of the brain. Migraine is also more common among people who have epilepsy, depression, asthma, anxiety, stroke, and some other neurologic and hereditary disorders.

Migraines in Children

About 5% of the children with headache problems suffer from migraines. Both boys and girls can get migraines, but after puberty they are more common among girls. Children may have symptoms other than headache, including stomach pain (abdominal migraine) or forceful and frequent vomiting (cyclic vomiting). If young children become wobbly on their feet, pale, and fussy, or have involuntary eye movements or vomiting, they may have a form of migraine called benign paroxysmal vertigo.

Diagnosing Migraine

Migraines are diagnosed primarily from symptoms, but your doctor may want to do a brain scan to rule out other causes of your headache, such as a brain tumor or bleeding in the brain. A CT scan uses special X-rays to create cross-sectional images of the brain. An MRI uses radio frequency pulses and a magnetic field to create images of the brain.

Treatment: Preventive Medicines

If your migraines are frequent or very severe, you may need to take a medicine every day to prevent attacks.

Alternative Therapy: Biofeedback

Biofeedback and relaxation training can give you relief that is similar to the help you get from medications. Biofeedback uses a monitor to train you to recognize the onset of muscle tension and changes in body temperature that are signals of stress.

Alternative Therapy: Homeopathy


Homeopathic Medicines Boost the Immune System

13 Sep

Changed lifestyles have been instrumental in affecting the immune system in a highly negative way. The immune system is a complex arrangement that involves the liver, spleen, thymus, the lymphatic system and bone marrow, which work in tandem to maintain resistance to disease. This immunity is partly inherited. It also depends upon the lifestyle that individuals choose to adopt. The hurry with which we want to treat minor ailments is probably the main reason behind frequent attacks of common cold and flu or an increased susceptibility to disease. Instead of waiting for the body to heal itself or looking for an antibiotic alternative like an herbal antibiotic , the tendency is to rush to conventional antibiotics for quick relief. In most of the cases, immune system health is compromised due to an excessive use of antibiotics. Moreover, an antibiotic ceases to be effective if it is taken without a proper diagnosis or prescribed without determining the specific bacteria that has caused the disease. Ginger and other dried herbs for immune system steeped in boiling water, for example, will relieve symptoms of a sore throat, common cold while boosting the immune system health.

Homeopathy provides another natural alternative to avoid indiscriminate use of antibiotics. Homeopathy believes that the same substance that causes a disease will cure it in its diluted form. For example, coffee leads to sleeplessness but an extremely diluted remedy prepared from coffee itself will ultimately cure it. Some of the basic principles of homoeopathy include:* The foremost priority should be to boost the immune system so that the body can heal by itself.* Symptoms are manifestations of the body’s attempt to treat itself.* Only natural substances and herbs should be used to prepare a homeopathic remedy.* The focus of treatment should be on treating an individual as a whole, rather than providing temporary and quick relief.

Homeopathic remedies stimulate the immune system to assist the body in repairing any imbalances that may have occurred. The immune system has to be in perfect condition to perform its functions. A hyperactive immune system will cause autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis where the body starts attacking its own cells. A deficient immune system, on the other hand, leads to deficiency diseases like common cold and flu, often extending to more serious conditions.In homeopathy, an appropriate remedy is selected on the basis of the constitution of each individual after considering physical, mental and emotional symptoms.

The homeopathic Materia Medica contains a detailed description of each remedy meant for possible characteristics that can be expected to be present in individuals. Nux vomica is a constitutional remedy for energetic and ambitious people. Sulphur, on the other hand, is meant for energetic but less practical individuals. A Pulsatilla patient is one who is shy, kind and gentle and always ready to be led rather than lead. Arsenicm album is indicated in an ambitious but tense person who is always worried about health.Homeopathic remedies are easy to take, non-habit forming, gentle, good value for money and at the same time focus on strengthening the immune system to increase the body’s capability of self-healing.

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02 Aug

What is Homeopathy?

Homeopathic medicine is a system of medicine invented by Samuel Hahnemann in the mid-18th century. It is based on the Law of Similars, Like Cures Like, and is practiced internationally. Hahnemann named the science he developed homeopathy, from the Greek words “homoios,” meaning similar, and “pathos,” meaning suffering.

Dr. Samuel Hahnemann (1755-1843) was a German medical doctor, disenfranchised with the treatments prevalent in his day. He wrote emphatically about the treatments, such as bloodletting, and the use of arsenic, mercury, and other toxic metals. He also wrote extensively on many topics, such as the misuse of coffee, and the need for hygiene. Many of his medical ideas were well accepted in his time. Goethe himself is quoted as saying he was following the directives of “the good doctor Hahnemann.”

Rather than use the conventional methods of his time, Hahnemann refused to practice medicine. He supported his wife and eleven children by translating medical texts. He was skilled in 13 languages, including Greek, Roman, and Aramaic, and translated numerous ancient medical works.

When he finally discovered homeopathy, he began to practice, and continued to practice until late into his 88th year, only weeks before his death.

Like Cures Like
In the course of his translation work, Hahnemann happened upon the key to healing that he had been searching for. While translating Cullen’s Materia Medica, Hahnemann read about the use of the herb cinchona, quinine, in treating malaria. Hahnemann noticed the affects of the herb were similar to that produced by the disease malaria and proceeded to experiment on himself. He took a large dose of cinchona and developed symptoms similar to those of malaria. Because the herb could create the disease symptoms in healthy people, he hypothesized that the herb was curative to the disease in sick people. This was the basis of curing like diseases with like medicines. Hahnemann used the Latin phrase “Similia similibus curentur” (Let like be cured by like).

Like cures like can be pictured like this…
Coffee acts first a stimulant, then a depressant. Coffee, homeopathically prepared, can be used to cure the abuse of coffee. The same example can be used for bee stings, for which homeopathy uses a medicine made from bees. This remedy is not only used for bee stings. This remedy from bees, Apis mellifica, is also used for other pathologies that involve swelling similar to that of a bee sting. Hahnemann’s work was first published in 1811 in a book called Organon of the Medical Art.

“The highest ideal of cure is the rapid, gently and permanent restoration of health; that is, the lifting and annihilation of the disease in its entire extent in the shortest, most reliable, and least disadvantageous way, according to clearly realizable principles.”
Organon of the Medical Art (Hahnemann, O’Reilly ed.)

Minimum Doses
Hahnemann discovered, through experimentation, that he could use very small doses. He developed a system of succussion and dilution, which potentized substances so he could use smaller and smaller amounts of medicine to exact a cure.

Homeopathic Medicines
Homeopathic remedies are made from plants, minerals, and animal sources. They are produced by homeopathic pharmacies. In the Unites States, this process is protected by the Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia of the United States. The pharmacopoeia is the official manufacturing authority recognized by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Recent research has provided us with further insights into the function and cures available with homeopathy. Articles published in medical journals demonstrate homeopathy’s effectiveness in treating fibromyalgia, asthma, diarrhea, otitis media, diabetes retinitis, and many other conditions. Articles have appeared in many medical journals, including Lancet, American Journal of Psychiatry, Pediatrics, and the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Homeopathy Around the World
Homeopathy is practiced extensively in many countries around the world, including England, France, Germany, Greece, India, Pakistan, Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, and South Africa. In France, over 40% of the population has used homeopathic medicines, and 40% of French doctors have prescribed homeopathy to their patients. In the Netherlands, this number is over 45%. A survey in the British Medical Journal (June 7, 1986), stated that 42% of British physicians survey refer patients to homeopathic physicians, and, as stated in an article in the New York Times, visits to British homeopaths is growing at a rate of 39% a year.

In closing this discussion on what is homeopathy, let me quote the great American homeopath, J.T. Kent. “Then as to the question, what is homeopathy? I must answer, no man knows. God only knows the length and breadth of the intricate unfathomable mystery. The knowable part of this science, if I may use the word, consists in observing the sick-making phenomena of drugs and the phenomena of sickness, gathering and grouping the similars, selecting with the likeness in view and waiting for results.”

Homeopathy has a glorious past and a glorious future. Modern technology will be able to further demonstrate the effects and benefits of homeopathic medicine. As Hahnemann himself dedicated his work, I also encourage you, “Aude sapere.” Dare to know.