Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Origin of Homeopathic Remedies and Some Basic Uses

Disclaimer: All posts on WHN's blog are for educational and informational purposes.  Please seek the advice of your medical Provider before using any medicine or alternative remedies. 

By Tim Douglas, AS, LPN, CMT

The European Committee for Homeopathy, (ECH) represents all medical doctors with additional qualifications in homeopathy.  The ECH is organized in 25 European Countries. Their effort is to integrate homeopathy within the healthcare system.  There is a growing demand among Europeans and Americans for homeopathic care within a safe medical environment.

In Europe, during the 1800's, a German physician, Dr. Samuel Hahnemann discovered that patients with certain diseases could be cured with substances that produced similar toxic effects.  The term "similia similibus," meaning "let likes be cured by likes," originated at this time.  It is also known as the "law of similar." Dr. Hahnemann, who was an experienced orthodox physician, was a competent chemist, a good mineralogist, and botanist. He spoke eight languages and he developed the principal into a system of treatment. 

It is rather self-explanatory that he would naturally begin his experimentation using a wide range of substances, such as plants, minerals, and animal origins. In fact, he was known as the father of experimental pharmacology. Each substance was tested on a healthy volunteer who kept detailed records of their physical, mental, and emotional reactions. The reported symptoms were compiled into the "Materia Medica," Latin for "healing material." It is still used today 

My first experience with homeopathy was about twenty-five years ago. My wife Becky was studying some of the aspects of natural healing, in particular, homeopathy. 

I did not take much stock in its efficacy. I knew her studies were intense and that she did not take it lightly; however, I was skeptical. 

One day, I had strained my back by lifting something incorrectly. It hurt. I complained to my wife that my back was hurting pretty bad and she suggested I take some Arnica Montana. I declined. After the third time complaining, I was told to take the Arnica and stop complaining. I took the little white pills, allowing them to dissolve sublingually (under my tongue). Within 30-40 minutes, I forgot about it because the pain had completely subsided. Since that day, I have told hundreds of people about the remarkable results from using just this one remedy. 

While our kids participated in sports for many years during their teens, many an injury was treated with Arnica and ice. The boys were intense wrestlers and our daughter was a competitive volleyball player, so soft tissue injury was a daily occurrence at our house. (Arnica is primarily used for soft tissue injury, contusion, and abrasion swelling. One of the greatest uses is post oral surgery.) Not only is pain managed well, but the healing time seems to be reduced. 

You, too, may be skeptical.  After all, seeing is believing. You can find a study to debunk homeopathy if you would choose. However, the most empirical evidence is first experience. 

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

By Catherine Walker,  LMHC

When the season starts to change and the sun sets earlier, do you notice you start feeling “down” more? If you have noticed some symptoms such as depressed mood, lack of energy, changes in sleep and appetite, loss of pleasure in activities you love, difficulty concentrating, weight gain, relationship problems, or even thoughts of suicide, you may suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Most people notice SAD symptoms starting in the fall and increase in the winter months. Some individuals do experience these symptoms in the early spring and summer, but not as common as in fall and winter seasons.

Symptoms of SAD meet the same criteria that a diagnosis for major depression, but those with winter SAD may also notice unique symptoms of heaviness in arms and legs, frequent oversleeping, cravings of carbohydrates, and relationship problems.

The exact causes of SAD are not known, but some scientists think some hormones that are deep in the brain are triggered at certain times of the year, causing attitude-related change. Those experts believe that SAD is related to those hormonal changes. Another theory is that less sunlight during fall and winter months leads to the brain making less serotonin (a chemical that is linked to brain pathways that regulate mood) and melatonin (a chemical which regulates sleep and mood).

If you notice symptoms that are disrupting your life, major shifts in mood, sleeping and eating changes, withdrawing socially, or activities that normally boost your mood are not working, you can call your doctor and be evaluated. Some Employee Assistance Programs (EAP) may offer free counseling or referrals to providers in your community. 

It is never too late to seek treatment if you are experiencing symptoms of SAD. Seeking treatment can help prevent symptoms from getting worse. There are options to help with SAD. Treatments to explore may be medications, such as antidepressants. They are helpful with intense symptoms, yet they do take a few weeks to feel effects. Psychotherapy can also help by talking about patterns and thinking behavior that impact depression, learning positive ways of coping, and applying skills to restore energy. Light therapy is another way to help with SAD symptoms. The special lamp can produce similar effects to natural light to trigger chemicals in the brain to regulate mood. You can consult with your doctor before purchasing one to make sure it is an effective lamp.

Some easy things to think about that can help some symptoms are getting outside as often as you can, planning a healthy eating menu, exercising and walking, and avoiding alcohol as way to self-medicate. Don’t just brush off your symptoms as the winter blues and hibernate until spring. Asking for help is a sign of strength.

WebMD. http://www.webmd.com/depression/guide/seasona;-affective-disorder?print=true

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Celebrating Physician Assistants Week!

We are celebrating Physician Assistants (PA) Week at WHN! If you would like to read inspiring stories of PAs around the nation, check out this link:  http://cliniciantoday.com/pa-week/