Sports & Homeopathy

Using homeopathy in professional sports? Why would they do that?

The sports calendars are now around the clock. Some professional footballers have very little opportunity to rest and repair from an injury While medical drugs have their place, most players would try and stay away from them for the following reasons:

– some painkillers or other medications can make you test positive to doping.
– taking painkillers regularly is not a long-term option. Many players have reported that drugs’ injections have triggered recurrent injuries and even wrecked their careers.
– painkillers are toxic and one of the most leading cause of acute poisoning: for example, Paracetamol toxicity is the foremost cause of acute liver failure in the Western world and liver failure death in the UK.

While this topic rarely makes the news, it is important to understand that professional sportsmen and women had to develop techniques that did not rely on chemical drugs, and this includes homeopathy.

So who uses homeopathy in sports?

A few sports team in the UK have embraced homeopathy. Nelsons, a provider of homeopathic products in the UK will support several English Olympics Teams, such as the women’s beach volleyball. Also, it is claimed that half of Premier League clubs are customers of Welleda, another provider of Homeopathic products.

Doctor Jean-Marcel Ferret, doctor to the French soccer team that won one World Cup and one European Cup has this to say about homeopathy: “I am a doctor that uses homeopathy and not a homeopath. When using homeopathy directly on the soccer field, I find that the results are almost immediate”.

And finally, the Germans teams are also of course big fans as this articles shows – and who would not trust Germans in terms of efficient ways to treat injuries?

Simple advice that you can follow when you play sports

To reduce the risk of injury, there are 3 golden rules:

– stretch as much and as often as you can, and especially every morning when you wake up – cats and children do that first thing, and adults should do as well!
– drink plenty of water on a regular basis and follow a diet specific to your genetic & metabolic type. Please contact me if you want more information.
– whatever your level, follow a practice plan that will keep you away from injury. It can also be good to have a personal trainer. If you are unsure, contact me.

Finally, if injury hits, have a homeopathic first-aid kit. Arnica 30C is a good homeopathic remedy for any kind of injury, and the first to take whatever happens as it will trigger a healing process. Rhus Tox and Ruta are very helpful for muscular and tendon sprains. I recommend people to have some in their cabinet, and take a few pills whenever needed. No side-effects, safe for childen and you will still test negative in anti-doping tests.

However, since discovering the German Traumeel Cream, I now do not bother and suggest people to just use Traumeel. It has all the necessary homeopathic remedies and nourishing nutrients to generate healing at muscular and skin levels… it event helps people with bruise and mosquito bites. Heel’s Traumeel Cream is made by a German pharmaceutical company specialising in homeopathic products, and their product is by far the best on the market. I have seen competitive players coming back to routine training after just a few days of a bad injury, and a lot of customers in my practice now swear by it. Please contact me if you want more information. For any serious injury, it is better to consult a health practitioner.

Images reproduced from homeopathictreatmentonline.com and acuneeds.com

Don’t Let Poor Sleep Ruin Your Life

Sleep is such an important subject for health, because repair for the body and the mind occur primarily during sleep. Because of this, long-term sleep issues can make physical and emotional issues worse. They can also contribute in an increase in irritability, fatigue and low performance. For example, statistics show that people who are short of sleep are more likely to suffer from an accident in the workplace.

Let’s go straight into the subject by clarifying what is a healthy sleep. Individual requirements for sleep actually vary widely, from as few as 4 hours to 9 hours of sleep every night. It can be OK to sleep as little as 4 hours if this is complemented by a nap during the day (to accommodate work schedules or through customs).

What manages sleep in the body?

Medically, sleeping patterns are considered to be driven by the hormonal system: the levels of the cortisone hormones in the blood tend to rise just before waking up, and fall before going to bed. In parallel, the pineal gland secretes the melatonin hormone when it gets dark around us. Melatonin is indeed sometimes referred to as the “sleep hormone”. However, as in general for health, it is not as simple as that: many people can sleep in full light, or during daytime, and with practice most people can achieve “power naps” (a 15/20 minute sleep).

Sleep issues are actually not a disease but a symptom that can have many causes. Insomnia is defined as a partial or full lack of sleep during the night. It is the most critical sleep problem.

Disturbed sleep, excessive perspiration, difficulty to get to sleep or a feeling of being un-refreshed and tired when getting out of bed, are however equally damaging on the long run, and can also lead to problems.

How can I manage my sleep naturally?

Lifestyle has a big part to play in poor sleep patterns, and simple steps can have huge effects. The main approach is to be as relaxed as possible when going to bed. Follow this simple advice:

1. Do not to watch any TV, computers or play video-games one to 2 hours before going to bed. These are big exciters for our brain, and will definitely disturb the levels of cortisone and melatonin just before sleep. Try and replace this with a relaxing or a social activity.

2. Ensure that your diet is low in refined carbohydrate, soft drinks, coffee or tea. You may have sleep issues because of what you eat: foods that keep your brain active are likely to disrupt your hormonal system.

3. If you think that you are sensitive to electromagnetic frequencies (WiFi, mobile phones, DECT phones), then try and not use them one hour before sleep, at night put the DECT phones on their bases and switch off your WiFi and mobile phone. See if it improves over 2 weeks. Electromagnetic Field Sensitivity is not really accepted by the conventional medical sector in France and in the UK but it has been recognised by the World Health Organisation in 2005, and is also recognised among other countries in Germany, Russia and Switzerland. Its main symptoms are headache, insomnia and minor edemas. This can be improved with holistic approaches.

4. Also, strong spices or artificial additives like glutamate (MSG) have been linked to sleep issues. So if you suspect this to be an issue, try and stay off them for a couple of weeks to see if it makes a difference. – Drink at least 1.5 to 2 litres of water a day. Many people are not good at spotting that their body is not hydrated. A poorly hydrated body is usually under stress, and this can lead to anxiety and sleep issues.

5. Practice some form of relaxation or meditation to train your mind to “calm down”.

6. Finally, herbal tea like chamomile, passiflora, valerian or hops can help you find sleep. However, especially for valerian and hops, I have seen people being sensitive to these herbs.

Click here for more tips on a healthy lifestyle and nutritional advice for the nervous system, that will both help sleep in the long run.

What happens if the issue is so deep that the above advice does not help?

Since starting about 7 years ago, I have been seeing many people with sleep issues in my practice. This is definitely a 21st Century issue!

"sleep", "insomnia"The most common cause is emotional (anxiety, depression or linked to a trauma). Homeopathy can help a lot here. Finding a remedy fitting the cause and the symptoms can bring amazing results. If you feel you know the cause, get a first-aid kit and see if you can find the relevant remedy (feel free to contact me for guidance).

The second type of issue is linked to a disturbance to the hormonal system/brain’s built-in clock. This is common after taking some conventional medications, or a long period of poor lifestyle. It can also be linked to a medical condition, like sleep apnoea, nasal polyps Alzheimer’s or even a stroke. In these cases, a consultation is required.

The other big cause is related to life patterns, such as for air pilots/air hostesses or after having to tend a dying relative or a young child. If the issue does not go by itself after a change of lifestyle or diet, then a consultation can help.

What happens if I am taking medications to sleep, and I want to stop?

If you have been a long term user of conventional sleep medications, and find you cannot stop them, then it is because the actual cause of the sleep issues has not been addressed. In most cases, it is best to consult Your health practitioner will have to first help you with any underlying issue impacting sleep and then work in cooperation with your GP so that the latter can reduce your medications slowly and gently.

We hope that your found this article helpful. Please share your experiences or advice on sleep issues by leaving a comment below.

Have a good month and a restful sleep!

Images reproduced from nutritiondietnews.com & sijo.hu

Pain & Homeopathy

Why taking painkillers in not the best long-term strategy for pain

Taking painkillers when nothing else has worked to temporarily reduce it is sometimes necessary. However, this should only be used in last resort and in part of a strategy to try and eliminate the pain in a natural way, in accordance with how the body work.

The various types of medical drugs classified as “painkillers” have serious side-effects and they are just “hiding the pain”, letting the body degenerate while switching off the nerve signals that carry the pain. Painkillers kill about 8,000 people a year in the US, and Paracetamol alone is the foremost cause of acute liver failure in the Western world and liver failure death in the UK.

What causes Pain?

Pain is a complex experience consisting of a physiological (“body”) response to a noxious stimulus followed by an affective (“emotional”) response to that event. Pain is a warning mechanism that helps to protect an organism by influencing it to withdraw from a harmful situation. In acute pain, 2 phases are perceived, an immediate, intense feeling of short duration, sometimes described as a sharp, pricking sensation, followed by a dull, throbbing sensation.

The chronic pain is more often associated with pathological conditions such as cancer or arthritis, it is more difficult to locate and treat. If pain cannot be alleviated, psychological factors such as depression and anxiety can intensify the condition, complicating an already challenging treatment situation.

How can Homeopathy and Nutrition Help

If pain is due to a physical trauma and an accident, then operation and physical treatment may be required (such as seeing a sports massagist or a chiropractor).

As many people know, I have turned to homeopathy when painkillers could not help me for a severe type arthritis that was crippling. me. My homeopath, on the first consultation told me that he had to sort out my digestive system before addressing the joints. Interestingly in about 40% of the cases of arthritis and joints’ pain, people have serious stomach or digestive issues, that need to be addressed first, or the body will not be able to absorb the nutrients to heal.

Then, people need to address their diet, even before taking supplements: supplements will not absorbed if the digestive system is unable to absorb and the right diet is implemented. For more tips, have a look on my website. In parallel, the right homeopathic remedies can be used to start the healing mechanism in the joints, and reduce pain.

For such issue, it is always better to consult instead of self-prescribe, because when the joints start to deteriorate, it is usually harder to reserve.

Painful Periods? Don’t Let Your Hormones Wreck Your Life!

A lot of women come to a complementary health practitioner because they suffer from pre-menstrual tension or find it very difficult to get on with life when they have their monthly periods (known medically as ‘menses’). However, even more women put up with distressing symptoms, thinking these are a normal and unfortunate part of life.

"menstral cycle", "menses", "menstruation", "period cramps"

As I like to point out, a normal cycle should be symptom-free and especially pain-free. Can you imagine life four or five generations ago when most women had to work in the field or in the house all day long? On average, a woman will menstruate about 550 times in her life. Why would nature be so mean?

The menstrual cycle is normally extremely well regulated, and governed by the pituitary gland, located deep in our brain. After ovulation, sex hormones such as oestrogen and progesterone increase heavily in the bloodstream to prepare the body for possible pregnancy. When fertilisation has not occurred, the pituitary gland asks the body to clear the womb, triggering menses.

This big shift puts pressure on the whole body’s resources. Poor nutritional habits, chronic stress and toxicity all take their toll on the body’s ability to deal with these hormonal changes.

The main conventional approach is to prescribe the birth control pill, in effect synthetic oestrogen and progesterone. While this can bring temporary improvement, women on the pill should be aware that this is not a long-term solution and can be a major hormonal disrupter. The most common listed side-effects are:

Liver & metabolic issues – hepatitis, jaundice, nausea (very common), gallstones, diabetes, osteoporosis

Hormonal –  fibroid, ovarian cancer,  endometriosis, breast cancer (with a doubling of chances)

Digestive system – flatulence & weight gain (very common)

Nervous system – mood change (very common), depression, loss of libido

Cardiovascular system – irregular heartbeat (25% increase), thrombosis, blood clots (triples the risk)

This is primarily because the liver has to deal with processing this huge hormonal load, and this has an impact on both the liver’s functions and the hormonal system. If you are concerned, check your prescription or on the following website for your specific pill: www.netdoctor.co.uk .

Some Helpful Suggestions

If you are on the pill, I would suggest that you follow the nutritional advice on my website for the digestive system, and also take some herbal support for your liver.

If you are not on the pill and you suffer from hormonal issues, then a consultation is probably the best way to discover whether your specific problems are caused by stress, diet, or supplements. Some strategies include:

  • support for the liver support and the nervous system (magnesium/potassium for example).
  • provide some natural herbal support to retune the hormonal system, such as Agnus Castus Ginseng or Black Cohosh.
  • provide homeopathic remedies for the acute pain, such as Mag Phos 30C or Colocynthis 30C.

Enjoy a healthy month!

Image reproduced from lifephysio.co.nz

Homeopathy & Heartburn

The common term, heartburn (medical term: pyrosis or acid indigestion) describes very well the condition. This is a a feeling of burning in the chest area, usually after or while eating.

Heartburn is afflicting more and more people in the Western world. This can be due to a physical issue, when the lower oesophageal sphincter is not closing properly, leaving acid go upwards. However, this is more commonly due to an inability to balance properly the level of acidity in the stomach.

Stomach acidity is controlled by 3 hormones. Their levels tend to be severely disrupted by long-term stress, pregnancy and overall body toxicity.

Anti-acid medications help alleviate the pain, but they may also further upset the acidity imbalance. They are not a cure either as they do not address the main underlying cause.

Change of diet, eating more slowly and in a relaxed atmosphere is a very good start. This will put the body in an optimal situation to produce the right amount of acidity.

Starting with bitter-tasting food or a bitter herb, can also help.

Finally, a proper case-taking, done by a clinically-trained homeopath can help to find the cause, and set a plan to address it, and pretty quickly re-balance everything. There are various homeopathic remedies for heartburn and your homeopath will be able to recommend the right one for your symptoms.

For more information about homeopathic remedies for conditions such as heartburn and to book a consultation, contact Cambridge homeopath Thierry Clerc or call your local complementary health clinic.

Image reproduced from homeopathyexpert.blogspot.com

Importance of Good Sources of Calcium

City Connect’s Health Writer Thierry Clerc looks at calcium and discusses the importance of getting good sources of calcium from the foods you eat. You may be surprised to hear that diary is not the best source of calcium we’ve all been led to believe. Read his full article below…

Nearly 3lb of our body weight is calcium, and 99% of this is in the bones and teeth. This calcium is not static and will shift to other parts of the body whenever necessary. The kidneys and the thyroid glands primarily drive the calcium balance in other parts of the body, in response to stress, change of metabolism, or levels of blood of acidity. Calcium is found as a compound, binding with other key minerals. Ideal sources of calcium should also have a high level of magnesium (a 3:2 ratio) and of phosphate (a 2:1 ratio). This is more or less the ratio, you find in nuts, seeds, seaweed and green leafy vegetables are arguably the best sources of calcium and other minerals. This is why cows eat green stuff when they need to produce milk.

If dairy is not a good source of calcium, then why keep we hearing it is a good one?

Dairy has a very high level of calcium and a low level of magnesium, and for this reason is actually a poor source of calcium. People need magnesium, phosphate and vitamins, which are found in whole foods. Dairy is one of the most heavily produced and subsidised food in the West. It is very cheap to make, sell and for this reason, there is money to market it. However, more than half of the world of population, from China, Africa to South America, has a diet low in dairy products, and they do very well with it.

Poor diet and lack of sun explains the explosion on osteoporosis in the West

To ensure that your body processes well the calcium it is important, to have your diet and lifestyle right. Vitamin D is also very important for calcium assimilation, and vitamin D is primarily produced by the skin, when it is in contact with sunlight. Here are some simple and free advice to follow to re-balance your diet: http://www.thierry-health.com/homeopathy_017.htm

What are the symptoms of calcium imbalance, and when to supplement in calcium?

With my patients, I usually prefer to talk about calcium imbalance than deficiency. This is because too much calcium is as bad as too little. The following symptoms are good pointers to a calcium imbalance: brittle and weak nails, weak hair growth, cramps and muscle tics, or nervous twitching, gouty arthritis and gout These symptoms, if not addressed early, will start to lead to more critical symptoms, such as thyroid issues, osteoporosis or osteoarthritis. If someone suspect a calcium imbalance, then it is important to consult, and check if there is a magnesium imbalance, or too much calcium in the diet. Poor nutritional lifestyle, smoking, stress or refined sugar can also upset this balance. The only time, I suggest people to take supplements, is when they are children going through growth spurts, or when osteoporosis is very well advanced. In these cases, calcium amino-acid chelate or calcium citrate are the best source (much better than calcium carbonate). In all other cases, a change in diet and a support plan made of homeopathic remedies and herbal treatment should help putting the balance right.

So shall we stop drinking dairy or eating cheese?

Not exactly! Everything in moderation as part of a healthy diet and lifestyle is usually all right. The issue is that dairy products, just a couple of generations ago were not so widespread.. If you can’t live without it, then organic unpasteurised cheese, butter and yoghurts are excellent food. However, these food are not really as good for calcium intake as they are to nourish and stabilise the digestive system.

For more information on nutritional & lifestyle advice, news about  homeopathy or to make an appointment, check http://www.thierry-health.com.

Thank you for reading this article, and enjoy a healthy month!

Images reproduced from blog.tsemtulku.com, banana-candies.tumblr.com and naturalfoodfinder.co.uk

Homeopathy and Bach Flowers for Hay Fever

According to the British Allergy Foundation, approximately one in four of the UK population will suffer from an allergy, such as hay fever.

At this time of year, people come to see a practitioner with symptoms of hay fever, such as sneezing, runny noise, sore, itchy eyes, itching in the ears and back of the throat.

Symptoms vary for each individual which is why different remedies are used for each patient.  Constitutional treatment is best used to stop symptoms returning, however, during an acute crisis, an acute prescription can be given.  Once the acute crisis is over, it is advisable to go for constitutional treatment which will take into account the imbalance shown by the immune system.

Acute homeopathic remedies used for hay fever can include:

Allium Cepa – this can be given when the nose and eyes are streaming and there is severe and frequent sneezing.  Often symptoms are worse in the morning, indoors and when in contact with flower pollen.

Arsenicum Album – when there is tickling of the nose in one spot “as from a feather”, there is acrid, watery dripping from the nose which is totally obstructed and there are burning pains in the nose, eyes and throat.    Sores can develop inside the nostrils.  They person can feel better in a warm room.

Euprasia– can be given for very watery eyes when you feel that there is something in your eyes and you want to constantly rub them.  The eyelids can be swollen and there can be a discharge from them causing them to gum up.  A soothing eye wash can be used by diluting one drop of Euphrasia  tincture in an eye bath with sterile water and bathing the eyes.

Sabadilla– for persistant sneezing and constant itching and tingling inside the nose.  The nose can feel stuffed up and there can be transparent mucus.  The eyes can water from sunlight, in the open air and while sneezing.  They can be worse in the open air and from pollens, expecially from flowers.

Bach flower remedies

Bach flower remedies can help you deal with the emotional symptoms associated with hayfever.  There are 38 flower remedies, however, the most common ones used in the treatment of hayfever are Beech and Holly.  Beech is given when you experience emotional and physical intolerance caused by the symptoms of hayfever and this can be combined with Holly if you are experiencing fits of sneezing and feeling irritated, angry and resentful.

Other options

Other options include eating honey made locally which has sometimes been helpful to patients, although it should be used with caution due to occasional severe allergic reactions, taking flax seed oil, stinging nettle capsules, Quercitin, Vitamin C and Vitamin B6.  If you wish to find out more about these options, you may consider consulting a naturopath.

Contact me if you would like further details or a consultation.

Don’t let the misery of hay fever affect your quality of life.

This guidance is not recommended as a substitute for advice from a qualified and registered homeopath but a reference to help in the treatment of hay fever. If any symptoms persist you should consult your doctor.  Homeopathy can be used in conjunction with conventional medicine but it’s important that both your homeopath and doctor are aware of any drugs and remedies you are currently taking.

This article was written by Barbara Wyganowski

Can Homeopathy Help With Thyroid Issues?

What is the role of the thyroid

Thyroid is one of the body’s most important glands. Thyroid dysfunctions are some of the most frequent clinical conditions seen by health practitioners. Our thyroid primarily influences our metabolic process, which means how we create and process energy at an organic and cellular level. It is also the key regulator of calcium level in the blood and the bones. Through these two functions, it is indirectly involved in our immune functions, the metabolism of all the organs, blood sugar regulation, emotional stability and hormonal balance, just to name a few.

What can go wrong with our thyroid

The thyroid can either go in over-drive, a condition called hyperthyroidism, or alternatively become underactive, something called hypothyroid. Hyperthyroid will see thyroid gland create an excess of T4 or T3 hormones, which will make the body work over its ideal metabolic rate. Weight loss coupled with increased appetite, heart palpitations, increased body heat, restlessness and anxiety are the main symptoms of this condition. Bulging eyes, trembling hands, sleep disturbances and decreased menstrual flow are also common. Hypothyroidism is much more frequent and on the increase. It is especially common for women over 50. It may affect as many as 30% of this group (from 10% in the 70s). The main symptoms are fatigue, weight gain, dry skin, low motivation, heat and/or cold intolerance, headaches and migraines. More severe issues include, hair loss, fluid retention, unhealthy brittle nails, constipation, low sex drive, depression and decreased memory.

What are the cause of thyroid issues, and can clinical homeopathy help?

The thyroid gland is very sensitive to changes in the body and there can be several reasons impacting the activity of the thyroid, and here are the most common one: – overstimulation of the hormonal system through stress and stimulants, which will force the thyroid to overwork for too long, – a sluggish liver, which will disrupt how the body responds to hormones secreted by the thyroid, forcing again this gland to overwork, – over-activity or disturbance of the immune system, which may generate antibodies impacting the thyroid, – exposure to metals or radioactive iodine, especially Iodine-129 and I-131, which are now a permanent part of the environment and our food chain, – deficiencies of key-nutrients, especially B vitamins and magnesium, – exposure to artificial hormones, primarily synthetic cortisone and oestrogen, as this may disrupt the whole hormonal system, – the Coxsackie virus, quite prevalent in the winter and the spring, the Candida fungus and lowered immunity are also known to impact the thyroid. It is important to understand that behind all these causes lies severe body imbalances, either cause by chronic stress, poor diet or toxicity.

Can Clinical Homeopathy help?

First and foremost, understanding the cause is key. Medical investigation and a consultation with a practitioner trained in clinical homeopathy are a first step. Since the thyroid is controlled by the pituitary and is impacted by stress and toxicity , a nutrition supporting the nervous system and the production of hormones will be key. Immunity and digestive functions may also need to be strengthened. All of this can be helped with supplements and a change in diet. Homeopathic treatment may be extremely useful as a supportive therapy for regulating both over-active and under-active thyroids. Homeopathic remedies work by stimulating the body’s own regulations system, and are generally well tolerated and considered safe.

The Magic of Natural Medicine – Arnica & Bruising

Here is a simple and light condition, that we have all suffered at least once.  A bruise, also called a contusion or an ecchymosis  happens when a part of the body is struck and the muscle fibres and connective tissue underneath are crushed but the skin doesn’t break. When this occurs, blood from the ruptured vessels near the skin’s surface escapes by leaking out under the skin. With no place to go, the blood gets trapped, forming a red or purplish mark and it is tender because of the swelling.

A bruise changes colour over time because our body will have been alerted by the shock, and start breaking down and reabsorbing the blood, which causes the bruise to eventually disappears. A bruise is usually not dangerous and will take from 2 to 14 days to go, depending on the severity of the shock and the vitality of the patient.

If people have a tendency to bruise easily or that the bruise usually do not heal fast, there can be an underlying issue. The main causes are weak thyroid (especially if the person tend to be chilly or have cold extremities), chronic stress or calcium/magnesium imbalance. In all these cases, the immune response is usually reduced. A holistic practitioner should be contacted to work on the underlying issue.

Here is a simple herbal or homeopathic treatment that you can try: Arnica is the #1 remedy for most injuries and bruises. It may not work as well as other remedies in some cases, such as when the bruising is in the head, at the joint or affecting deep-tissues, but it will help in 95% of cases. Most people who use it after a shock, get the bruise cleared between one or 7 days.

Arnica was used by herbalists, and is still used very commonly as a cream for trauma or bruises. In homeopathy, it is potentised and given internally in forms of pills. It is great as it helps the body to “get on with the healing process”. Very often people will not stop and take it easy after bruising and this may switch off the natural healing response of the body. By taking Arnica in a low (9C) or high potency (Arnica 30C), the immune system’s response is increased.

Weleda, the biggest British maker of homeopathic remedies claims in one of their brochures that 50% of the Premier League Football Teams buy its Arnica. Also, the French Football team that won the World Cup in 98 and the European Cup in 2000 had a conventional doctor firmly convinced about homeopathy for acute, including Arnica 9C for shock. This is how good it is. Check his name on Internet: Jean-Marcel Ferret.

If Homeopathy is good for professional sports-people, it is good enough for us!

Holistic Treatment of Haemorrhoids

Haemorrhoids diagram

What are haemorrhoids?

Haemorrhoids, also known as “piles” are the result of swelling and protrusion of a group of veins, called the “venous plexus”, which are located in and around the rectum. In summary, these are simply varicose (swollen) veins, located internally or externally to the anus. They can be painless, but sometimes, especially after stool, the swollen veins can trigger pain or even bleeding.

What can cause haemorrhoids?

Constipation and straining at stool can contribute to haemorrhoids. However, these are usually merely a symptom to deeper underlying issues that cause blood congestion in the veins. This creates back pressure in these veins around the rectum. So, what can cause blood congestion in this part of the body? The most common causes are:

– weakness and sluggishness in the uterus: this slows down the veins’ circulation, and explains why haemorrhoids can occur in pregnancy or after labour.

– weakness and sluggishness of the liver: this is the most common for men, and also more and more often with older women, and is partly a result of poor diet and overall toxicity. Hold on your alcoholic drinks and change your diet!

– weakness of the valves and the walls of the veins of the venous plexus: this is usually more complex, and takes longer to eliminate, as this is caused by multiple issues, which includes most of the time diet. However, a series of consultations with a professional health practitioner should put you on the right track.

What are the best ways to address them?

As a first line of treatment, conventional doctors suggest local applications of creams to relieve the pain. If there is much bleeding, then the veins may be tied off. Except if the pain or bleeding is intolerable, I would suggest trying some alternative approaches first. It is also important to understand that if the underlying issues are not addressed, then the piles will come back at some stage.

Hamamelis (Witch Hazel) tincture can be used to treat piles

For self–prescription, consider the following:

– Use a herbal tincture made of a mix of Hamamelis / Aesculus / Paeonia to act as a tonic to the circulatory system (use as indicated). However, if you can not find these herbs, then contact me.

– Add one or two of these homeopathic remedies depending on the descriptions of the symptoms (take at 9CH, one to 3 times daily, for a month): Collinsonia or Sepia for women and pregnancy issues in particular, Nux Vomica and Aesculus for sluggish liver and circulation. For children, usually constitutional treatment is required (in homeopathy, constitutional treatment means focusing on the whole body & personality).

In terms of diet, follow the general advice on the cardiovascular diet section of my site.

If there is no progress after a month, then the best is to have a consultation and get a good understanding of what is happening.

Images reproduced from colorectalconsultant.co.uk and gardenseeker.com

Homeopathy & Depression

 

Depression is an emotion, we can all identify with. Disappointment, loss, stress or frustration can put anyone in a temporary tailspin. And these are parts of our lives.

However, one is clinically depressed if four of the following are present for at least 2 weeks: sadness, decreased appetite, sleep disturbances, loss of interest or sex drive, fatigue, low self-esteem, excessive guilt, decreased ability to concentrate, indecision and thoughts of death.

This type of pervasive depression is now said to affect between 10 and 20% of the British population, with no proven relations to socioeconomic factors. Women may suffer 2-3 times more than man, and depression in young people have tripled since the 50s.

How can homeopathy and an integrated approach help?

While anti-depressants or herbal therapies such as St John’s Wort can have their place at the start of a depression, especially if there are risks to life or of self-harming, they do not address the deep underlying causes or biological abnormalities that trigger depressive states. Only a deep integrated approach can help someone fully cure its depression. Most of our clients require work in these 3 areas:

Work at a physical level
About two-thirds of people suffering from depression also suffer from a chronic physical conditions, such as arthritis, hypertension, diabetes, chronic pain or lung disease. Improving these issues and re-nourishing the body will be a necessary part of the therapy. One can’t have a well-functioning nervous system if the body struggles.

Detoxification
Thousands of chemicals, pollutants, heavy metals and pharmaceutical drugs are known toxins to the nervous system. Even common food are known to impact some people. Improving your diet, and removing the damage of these toxins is a key part of the therapy.

Addressing the trauma and deep causes of the depression
Many sufferers can link their depression to a sudden trauma, such as a broken love affair, a violent assault, a separation or a diagnosis. These can be addressed amazingly well with homeopathy. However, as common are subtle insidious traumas, such as being brought up in a dysfunctional family, constant bullying or working in an unfit environment will also create unconscious lasting damages that may need to be addressed. Consultations, which allow the client to speak freely and understand and integrate his or her own life drama will then be an essential part of the treatment.

To know more on our approach on helping our clients with depression or in emotional crisis, please find an interview, I gave about approaches to depression.

Image reproduced from depressionfight.com

Hayfever Season: What Should You Do?

For the last few weeks, we have seen the first patients of this year suffering from hayfever, or allergic rhinitis as it is medically termed. While most people put up with this form of allergy, from my point of view, and of many holistic practitioners, hayfever is a major disturbance of the body’s self-regulating mechanisms.

From a holistic point of view, what causes hayfever?

Medically, hayfever is caused by a build-up of histamine, and for this reason, the first type of medications are anti-histamines. Histamine is a naturally occurring substance in the body that has many functions. In essence, the level of histamines will increase locally or generally when there is stress in the body. For example, a cut or a wound will increase histamines in the area, and this will trigger an inflammation and then a healing response. What doctors fail to tell you is that basically everything increases histamine level in the body: the food, we eat (histamine is a key part of the digestive process), emotional stress (histamine is a neurotransmitter), and physical stress…. Even being thirsty will increase significantly histamine levels. Hayfever sufferers have a very high level of histamine when they suffer from hayfever but also at the time when they do not appear to suffer (such as winter). Because of this, their level of histamines can reach the symptoms threshold when being exposed to innocuous stressors, such as pollen, dust, animal hair or plant moulds.

The job of a health practitioner is to find the cause of the high level of histamines, and set up a plan to reduce it.

Profiles of hayfever sufferers

There is usually a genetic link to that condition, and when looking at the family medical history, it seems that this pathology is closely linked to asthma, eczema, chronic constipation and chest infections. The majority of patients suffer from hayfever at the same time every year, depending on their sensitivity to pollen. In London, when I was practicing there, the majority of sufferers were sensitive to the pollen of willow, birch or hornbean (pollen season: March to April). In Cambridge, grass and nettle are quite prevalent (both pollinating from May to September), but agricultural chemicals, heavily used around the city seems also to be a trigger. However, a large minority of customers have actually all-year round symptoms, with permanent itches, sniffles and sneezes, triggered by a wide range of allergens.

How to reduce the symptoms of hayfever

Beside trying to stay away from known stressors, a hayfever sufferer should try to reduce his or her “normal” level of histamines. Drinking more water, reducing coffee, soft drink and possible food allergens, may help. In general, I suggest people to stay off sugar, wheat and dairy during their hayfever seasons until they are symptom-free. You can find more tips here if you wish. On top of this, off the shelf natural alternatives can also help. I really like A. Vogel’s Luffa Complex tincture (which can be found at Revital). It can be found in form of tinctures or nasal spray and has no counter-indications. Liquorice tincture with a good multi-vitamin complex is also fantastic, but I usually advise against self-prescribing liquorice as some people can be sensitive to it after long-term use. I also make a homeopathic remedy with the season’s pollen, that seems to work well. Feel free to contact me for more information.

What is the best way to address hayfever in the long term?

To fully eliminate the symptoms of hayfever however, a more complex support is required. You can not fix hayfever during a hayfever crisis as the body is in such a state of shock. You should try and alleviate the symptoms, and work on reducing your overall “normal” level of histamines on winter. By experience, this is best done with a health practitioner, and it takes about one to three years to be fully symptoms free, with a 50/70% improvement on the first year for most customers.

Image reproduced from thierry-health.com

Homeopathy Works According to Swiss Health Regulators

Under pressure from its own people and the medical profession in general, the Swiss Government decided to set up its own committee to review the scientific validity of the main holistic therapies. The first among them was homeopathy, which was routinely prescribed by about 40% of the Swiss GPs in the 1990’s (according to Boiron), and of course Naturopathy / Herbal medicine, which has a long tradition in Switzerland.

The conclusion is clear: there is sufficient evidence to recommend homeopathy for its effectiveness, safety and economy compared with conventional treatment. This is another evidence that conventional medicine on the continent is more open to homeopathic treatment. The conclusion will allow the national health insurance programme to cover homeopathic treatment at a wider scale. Also, Universities are now busy setting up homeopathic course for the medical comprehension.

The study looked at the evidence for Homeopathy from randomized double-blind and placebo controlled clinical trials. They also took proper scientific account of the many systematic reviews and meta-analyses, outcome studies, and epidemiological research studies that have been undertaken. For example, the report concluded that 20 of the 22 systematic reviews of clinical research testing homeopathic medicines detected at least a trend in favour of homeopathy.

Most of the major European health systems support in one form or another homeopathy. Research is publicly funded in France and Germany, and more and more doctors in Eastern Europe use it in their practice.

Let us hope that the UK will one day accept the evidence shown in the Swiss report and start using complementary therapy along conventional drugs. This report shows that it is in general safer, cheaper and in line with what the public demands.

For more details about this news, which was overlooked by most media in the UK, please refer to:

Huffington Post. The Swiss Government’s Remarkable Report on Homeopathic Medicine. Published 15 February 2011.

EFHPA. L’Homéopathie est efficace d’après un rapport fédéral suisse. Published 03 January 2012.

Homeopathy and Men’s Health

impotenceLike other holistic practitioners, the vast majority of my patients are female or children. However, it is estimated that in Europe, 1 in 10 adult men suffer from erectile dysfunction, or that in the UK, 75% of all suicides are male. There is definitely a psychological block for many men to discuss their inner health issues, even to a practitioner. For example, in my experience, it usually takes longer with a male client to create the level of trust necessary for deeper work.

We will cover a few of the major issues that afflict men, and where an approach based on homeopathy, lifestyle and nutrition can greatly help.

Impotence / Erectile Dysfunction

This is increasingly common for men over 30. Apart from obvious psychological factors such as self-esteem & lack of confidence, there is also a physiological cause. About 80% of sufferers also suffer from circulatory problems, medications’ side effects, diabetes, blood pressure and prostate problems. Smoking, the use of other recreational drugs, obesity and depression are also known possible causes. All of these have an impact on the hormonal system, especially the thyroid and the adrenal glands, who regulate our energy and stress levels. Erectile problems are usually a knock-on effect of this imbalanced hormonal system.

For such a chronic issue, it is important to address it seriously, ideally after a thorough analysis with a qualified health practitioner. A treatment is likely to include a combination of approaches, and is likely to address at least nutritional deficiencies (which are always present for chronic issues) and hormonal support. An individualised support to assist with the main causes, such as circulatory issues, emotional problems and rebalance the whole hormonal and reproductive systems will also need to be included. In spite of its popularity and known side-effects, Viagra does not offer this!

A combination of supplements, herbal support, homeopathy and lifestyle changes is a very effective approach. Contact us if you need more information.

Prostate Issues

The 2 most common issues for men are prostate cancer and Benign Prostate Enlargement, Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy (BPH).

In my consultation, prostate cancer patients have usually opted for a holistic support alongside conventional medicine, and this seems to have made their journey much easier.
For prostate enlargement, medical drugs are not very effective with a success rate of about 37% compared to 90% for herbal therapy and supplements according to a German study. With age, the prostate gland gradually becomes more toxic and enlarges. By doing so, it compresses the urethra, and urinary problems begin to manifest. The toxicity is in most cases due by an over-load of sexual hormones and especially a by-product of testosterone, known as DHT (dehydrotestosterone). Those changes encourages the concentration of Testosterone in the prostate. Other causes are metal toxicity, with nickel and cadmium the most common found.

For optimal results, a holistic treatment should be tried for 6 to 12 months, and be measured by an improvement of overall symptoms (urination issues, sexual weakness) as well as a marked reduction of the size of the prostate.

Image reproduced from zmescience.com

Your Access to Homoeopathy is Under Threat

"homeopathy"There is some good news and bad news related to homeopathy, and its access in the UK. The last 30 years have seen a great increase in evidence and studies that show homeopathy works. This has pushed a few countries in Europe to promote regulations in this sector, which is a very positive idea in principle. For example, Switzerland has decided to include homeopathy as part of medical courses, and France requires pharmacists to have a one-year training in homeopathic remedies.

In the UK. the Medicines Act is being reviewed and this will affect access to homoeopathic medicines. If the current proposals are endorsed by the government the following would occur:

1. You would no longer be able to get homoepathic medicines by telephone or online.
2. Homoeopaths would no longer be able to dispense or prescribe medicines to you.
3. You would have to get your homoeopathic medicines personally from a handful of licenced homoeopathic pharmacies in Britain.In short, homeopathic remedies may be even more restricted that conventional medications with known side effects.

You can change this by filling this online petition:
You can also contact your local MP and expressing your disapproval. You can contact your MP by using the following link:  http://findyourmp.parliament.uk/

Please help us to stop the MHRA from limiting our choices of access to alternative healthcare!

Thank you!

Hay Fever Crisis in Cambridge

hayfeverCompared to last year, hay fever (or allergic rhinitis as it is called medically) has been mild. Only a handful of customers have been coming for every week. More information below to help your friends find the right approach about their seasonal allergy.

While most people put up with this form of allergy, from my point of view, and also of many holistic practitioners, hayfever is a major disturbance of the body’s self-regulating mechanisms, and should be addressed seriously.

From a holistic point of view, what causes hayfever?
Medically, hay fever is caused by a build-up of histamine, and for this reason, the first type of medications are anti-histamines. Histamine is a naturally occurring substance in the body that has many functions. In essence, the level of histamines will increase locally or generally when there is stress in the body. For example, a cut or a wound will increase histamines in the area, and this will trigger an inflammation and then a healing response.

What doctors fail to tell you is that basically everything increases histamine level in the body: the food, we eat (histamine is a key part of the digestive process), emotional stress (histamine is a neurotransmitter), and physical stress. Being dehydrated will increase significantly histamine levels.

Hay fever sufferers have a very high level of histamine when they suffer from hay fever but also at the time when they do not appear to suffer (such as winter). Because of this, their level of histamines can reach the symptoms threshold when being exposed to innocuous stressors, such as pollen, dust, animal hair or plant moulds. The job of a health practitioner is to find the cause of the high level of histamines, and set up a plan to reduce it.

How to reduce the symptoms of hayfever and address it in the long term
Beside trying to stay away from known stressors, there are several simple approaches that can alleviate the condition. To know more, check the full article on my website.

Image reproduced from restorenaturopathy.com.au

Alternative Remedies for Hayfever

London Life Coach & Wellbeing Consultant Sloan Sheridan-Williams talks about hayfever. Follow Sloan Life Coach on Twitter @SloanSW_London and check out Sloan’s Life Coaching website www.sloansw.com

I’m sorry to hear that your hayfever is impacting you to the point where your social life is compromised. You are not alone in wanting to avoid over the counter remedies such as Beconase, Piriton and Zirtek; although these are great for some people I understand and hear your concerns.

If you would prefer to go the homeopathic route, Allium Cepa is a useful remedy if your symptoms are a streaming and/or itchy nose however if it is your eyes that are giving you more trouble then a better option would be Euphrasia. You haven’t mentioned whether you have used homeopathy before so in case you haven’t I highlight here that it’s treatment works on the principle of like cures like and so a homeopathist is also likely to give you a preparation of mixed pollens that may help in alleviating some of your symptoms. As I am not a qualified homeopath, I suggest you go to www.a-r-h.org to find a qualified registered homeopath to make sure you get the best and most appropriate advice for your exact symptoms.

In the meantime, it would be beneficial for you to boost your immune system starting with a good quality multivitamin and mineral supplement along with a course of Echinacea. You do not mention you diet in your question, therefore I stress it would be useful for you to make sure you include plenty of fruit and vegetables in your diet to keep your immunity high. If you have varied quantity of fish in your diet this will also help if not perhaps add an omega-3 oil to your supplement intake.

As you are against taking over the counter anti-histamines whose main effect is to stabilise mast cells which relieves the nastier effects of hayfever, a more natural anti-histamine is quercetin – this is found in onions, apples and green tea. Alternatively a trip to your local Holland & Barrett to pick up some pine bark could also aid in an anti-histamine like effect.

If supplements are your preference, there has been research to suggest methylsulponylmethane (MSM) can help keep mucus thin, enabling easier breathing, however this is a relatively new dietary supplement so do check whether it is suitable for you. If you are concerned about taking MSM you could try substituting it with liquorice which also has an anti-inflammatory effect which could aid in soothing the irritated mucus membranes. Where possible avoid dairy products because they increase mucus production and can aggravate your condition.

Although your symptoms do sound like an allergy and more likely hayfever, it is worth highlighting that there is a lesser known food intolerance based on histamine intolerance. Such foods that can aggravate the situation if you do have an intolerance would be red wine, matured cheeses, cured meats and tomatoes. The symptoms you would have if you were intolerant to these foods would include runny nose, bloating, sore eyes and headaches. It may be worth asking your doctor if you could be tested for such if you are not convinced that you have hayfever.

Good luck – I hope this answer has been helpful. If you have any further questions, please feel free to leave a comment or email me directly.

Image reproduced from medicineforhealthcare.blogspot.com and Getty Images