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Another Headache Solved by Homeopathy

by Dr Angela Jones(more info)

listed in homeopathy, originally published in issue 57 - October 2000

Darren has migraine – or at least, he had migraines for the last five years. It had the typical features of associated nausea and dislike of the light, but no visual symptoms. Sometimes it was on the left, sometimes on the right, but always after too much sleep or missing meals.

His wife had begun to wonder if he was going off her and the family. He seemed to get a migraine every Saturday, and it was playing havoc with their family life. Furthermore, she had noticed that Darren was constantly worrying. He worried about work, about money, about meeting people, about everything but mostly about work. Recently, he had started to get chest pains and heartburn. The pains usually happened when Darren was stressed about something rather than with heavy exercise and were causing a lot of concern.

Even when he was away from work, he could not relax and found himself constantly fretting in case the chest pain came back. In fact, his health was beginning to vie with work for first place in the worrying stakes.

What was at the root of all this trouble? Darren worked for a big Japanese conglomerate and had been promoted in the last year to a more highly-paid but also much more responsible job. He had to do night duty and was on-call as well, considerably over the basic working hours. He had never liked meetings, but these were an integral part of the new role and Darren had started to dread each and every one of them. He felt that his workload had gone up and his quality of life had gone down and he wondered if the promotion had really been worth it. All in all, his confidence was at rock-bottom.

Darren's wife had made him see the doctor and he had an ECG and gastroscopy. Everything came back as normal bit the symptoms persisted. In fact, the nerves and the migraines seemed to be deteriorating and they both felt that something needed to be done. Not being too keen on strong conventional medication, Darren decided to try homeopathy.

Generally speaking, Darren's health was good. He took no regular medication and had never had a major illness or operation. His favourite foods were pasta, chilli and lemony things. He did not have an especially sweet or salty tooth and was moderately thirsty but not keen on milk. He could feel the cold quite badly, and had markedly cold and sweaty feet.

Characterwise, Darren described himself as shy and generally lacking in confidence but never as severely as now. He was not tearful and weepy, nor impulsive. Rather, he was very strong on making lists as he was conscientious and hated to let anyone down or to be unreliable. He could get irritable but it was usually about silly little things if he was particularly stressed. On the tidiness front, he was about average – certainly not terribly untidy.

What could be done to help Darren? He was clearly suffering from stress, as evidenced by the gradual decrease in confidence and increase in anxiety and stress-related physical symptoms. He could have possibly benefited from anxiety management techniques or even one of the new SSRI antidepressants. However, none of these things turned out to be necessary.

Darren seemed to fit well into the constitutional type of Silica, the homeopathic remedy made from sand. His build was slight, his colouring fair. He was generally chilly but with super-sweaty feet (which could be smelly if great care was not taken in the sock department!). He disliked milk and fat. His character traits also fitted the Silica picture – shy, conscientious (in a dogged sort of way) and above all, anxious. Silica types can worry about anything but especially about health and about things which others feel are trivial. Finally, Silica types can have very troublesome headaches – either from congested sinuses or as a migraine, typically spreading over the head from the back of the neck.

Darren took a single dose of Silica 30c. After a month he returned for follow up. He reported that his tension and anxiety had improved tremendously but only after a nasty spell which occurred just after taking the tablet. For two days, his chest pain and stress had flared up significantly and he thought that he was going to have to see the doctor again. However, it settled down again and indeed, seemed to be diminishing day by day. He had one migraine since the dose, which represented a 75% reduction in frequency.

But best of all, he said that he had noticed that he had more energy for the children and had taken them down to the promenade on their bikes twice that week!

The flare up which Darren experienced within a day or so of taking the Silica probably represented what is known as an 'aggravation'. This is when the patient temporarily experiences a worsening of their symptoms before the benefit begins to show. There is a technical explanation for this phenomenon – but suffice to say that although not compulsory for a healing response, it can be a good omen, as the homeopathic medicine has clearly spurred the system into action and could only have done so if it had 'hit the spot' in some way. If an aggravation occurs, a healing response of some kind can generally be expected to follow.

We decided to repeat the dose of Silica 30c and after a further month, Darren felt still better and had no further migraines. The chest pains had disappeared and he felt, in his own words, "near enough 100%". He was still a worrier, but the worrying was helping him to do a good job, rather than disabling him. We agreed that he should have a supply of Silica 30c but that he should only take one when he felt the troublesome symptoms returning.

Hopefully, he will find the Silica helpful if he overworks or gets stressed in the future. He is likely to have the odd spell as this is in his nature. Homeopathy cannot change basic attributes but can usually work with them to produce a better-functioning, more balanced individual.

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About Dr Angela Jones

Dr Angela Jones works in NHS general practice and also privately, using homeopathy alongside conventional medicine. Dr Jones can be contacted via the Faculty of Homeopathy on Tel: 020-7566 7800.

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