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Homeopathy – Helping Children Deal with Life Changes

by June Sayer(more info)

listed in homeopathy, originally published in issue 283 - January 2023

 

Homeopathic remedies have such a wide range of uses.  Not only does a homeopath choose a remedy for physical complaints, e.g. upset tummies, coughs, colds, bumps and bruises etc., but the mental symptoms are also taken into account so that the ‘whole picture’ can be obtained and the most appropriate remedy selected.

There are many phases in a child’s life that can cause them to act differently.  The birth of a new sibling can lead to an overpowering amount of love being showered on the new child.  When the older sibling realises that the new addition is taking up a lot of the parents’ time, jealousy can rear its head as the elder child learns how to share.  

The break-up of family partnerships brings its own issues of how each child (should there be more than one), deals with the changes in its own individual manner. Anger, frustration, grief, clinging to one partner or the other, looking for reassurance, sleep disturbances or, depending on the age, ‘playing off’ one parent against the other.  As one parent moves out of the family home the child(ren) can be left wondering what they have done wrong and if they are to blame for the situation.

In the early stages of a break-up, whatever the reasons for doing so, the parents can find it very difficult to be civil to each other and the tensions that they hold within themselves are often sensed by their children, even if the parents do not express their own feelings in front of the children.  Too often emotions can run high where both child and adult are experiencing emotional upset.   

But it’s not only parental break-ups that can be difficult.  Take into account how families have to adjust to change when one of the partners works away from home for any length of time.  The physical contact that is so important for children and adults alike can bring its own set of problems.

Children entering nursery and leaving their parents for the first time, changing schools, exams, moving house, bereavement, can all have an impact on their behaviour.  Sleep can be disrupted, tempers can flare, arguments, defiance and/or destructive behaviour can rear its head.  Children, depending upon their age, can find it difficult to explain their feelings and trying to establish the underlying reason for their change in behaviour is not necessarily an easy task.

How do we interpret their inner feelings, how do we decide if the child’s behaviour is part of a ‘normal’ pattern of development or a cry for help?

Listening in a calm and relaxed manner is essential so that the child can air his/ her frustrations as well as ensuring that should it be a temper tantrum or ‘melt down’, the child is safe from any danger, and that once the situation calms down the child is reassured that he/she is loved.  Keeping routine and structure is beneficial not only to the child but to the adult as well as it helps to keep focus on everyday events, i.e. school and takes the pressure off of everyone for a certain part of the day.

As adults we are able to, more often than not, openly express our feelings of anger, dissatisfaction, frustration, grief etc. and we may do this in a variety of ways from venting pent-up emotions to close friends and family or taking up a hobby that can re-build confidence and self-worth.

As a homeopath we are taught to observe the patient’s behaviour.  That does not mean that we are all qualified as clinical psychologists or counsellors, but rather that we are trained to be the unprejudiced observer and it is our powers of observation that helps us to determine the most appropriate remedy as needed.

Taking a look at some of the remedies and how a child would display the need for a remedy, I give below a range of remedies that could be beneficial and how they would be chosen.

 

Homeopathic Remedies

https://www.homeopathinessex.co.uk/phdi/p1.nsf/supppages/1240?opendocument&part=2

 

Pulsatilla [1,2] is derived from the plant anemone.  It is a plant that has the characteristics of ‘bending and bowing’ in the wind and will in its natural habitat seek the company of others.   The Pulsatilla child is very sweet natured, they are mild mannered and sensitive to the feelings of others. They like to ensure that there is harmony in the family and have a very affectionate nature.  They can be so sweet that they like to climb on the parent’s lap and snuggle in.  If there is the need to reprimand the Pulsatilla child they will quickly apologise, tell you that they love you and seek reassurance that they are still loved.   Their moods can be changeable; we refer to them as ‘mentally an April day’ sunshine and showers – they can cry easily but their crying is easily turned to laughter.  They are generally shy and fearful of strangers.  When they are ill, they will cling to the parent and cry when the parent is out of sight.  Generally, this is a remedy that is suited to females; at puberty she will experience a range of aches and pains and changeable moods and indecision but can also appear to be stubborn.  Little boys that need this remedy can appear to be docile, gentle and clinging and whiney but will generally grow out of this stage.

Ignatia [1,2] a remedy derived from St Ignatius Bean is suited to people who are nervy and easily excited.  It is a remedy that I have used many times for a situation where the person is tearful and displays a mental fragility.  They are easily moved to tears that can sound like sobbing.  They will push themselves at school and this can lead to headaches.  We use this remedy for a number of emotional imbalances.  It is one of the first remedies I think of when a person has undergone a situation of grief or the loss of a loved one and there can be a tendency to lose their appetite.  If a child attends boarding school or goes away for a school holiday, they can show signs of homesickness wanting to return home.  They love to be in the fresh air but dislike the wind.  They can have a tickling in the throat that is not relieved by coughing.  They have an extreme sensitivity to noise, to the smell of odours, especially tobacco and dislike being in a stuffy room.

Natrum Muriaticum[1,2] a remedy from sodium chloride is suited to someone who exhibits a very serious nature and a strong sense of duty.  They have a tendency to harbour resentment and dwell on past grievances and in this instance a child can bear the scars of a poor relationship with parents.  Expressing anger is something they find difficult and so they are not the easiest of people to be around.  Whilst they do require affection, they do not show affection and have a tendency to say “leave me alone” as they prefer to be alone to resolve their problems.  The person requiring this remedy does not like to show their emotions at all, tears may come to the forefront of their eyes but they will not cry as they feel that makes them vulnerable.  Consequently, suppressing their emotions can bring on migraine type headaches.   They are sad and grumpy in the mornings and feel better in the evenings.  Constipation due to their skipping meals and eating at irregular times.  They like to seek out salty foods, chocolate, bread and soup.  They dislike noise and sympathy and feel worse at 10am and better in the open air.

Silica[1,2] from pure flint shows a strong shyness and fear of strangers.  Similar to Pulsatilla they are known to cry easily if their feelings are hurt.  They are not aggressive; they would rather shy away from a difficult situation but will exhibit qualities showing that they will not be imposed upon.   This child has a mind of its own.  Silicas tend to be physically delicate and emotionally sensitive, yet they are even-tempered and reliable and will not dominate others.  They are very conscientious children who like to tidy up.  They can become easily overwhelmed and lack confidence, preferring to sit at the back of the classroom hoping that they will not be singled out to answer questions since they like to avoid attention.  The child will appear to be aloof and standoffish and would rather be alone, but does not wish to hurt others due to their sensitive nature.  Coughs, colds, ear infections, catarrhs and even bedwetting are signs of childhood ailments that can be resolved with this remedy.  Silica types ailments are often aggravated during a new moon.

Lycopodium [1,2] derived from the plant club moss is suited to children that are generally good-natured and easy to deal with, as long as you don’t upset them.  However, as they reach maturity, they can develop a sense of arrogance.  They are able to talk intelligently about facts that they may have heard their elders discuss and absorbed by osmosis.  The person needing this remedy can be fearful or cautious, ill-humoured, headstrong and cross in the mornings.  The child that needs Lycopodium may say they are hungry but feel satisfied after just a few mouthfuls.  They also have a craving for sweets. Their complaints affect the right side of the body (particularly tonsils) and sore throats, coughs and colds that are worse between the hours of 4-8pm.  I have found that teenagers or adults that respond well to this remedy are those who are suffering with a lack of confidence particularly of exams or future upcoming events.  They also have a dislike of change as this makes them feel vulnerable.

Lachesis[1,2] derived from the venom of the bushmaster snake.  The person needing this remedy will exhibit boundless physical energy, those that want to stay up all hours and still be full of energy the following day.  They are vivacious and loquacious in that when speaking their words tumble out and the sentences are unfinished before they are talking about another topic.  Mentally they are prone to jealousy and suspiciousness as well as exhibiting possessive tendencies.  Whilst they demand loyalty from their friends and will return such loyalty, they can for no apparent reason turn against the friend.  They can be subject to painful throat infections, particularly on the left side, and will describe it as a sensation of a lump in the throat so that swallowing is painful or difficult.  They can however swallow solid food.  Children tend to be worse after sleep, from the heat of the summer, the sun, stuffy rooms and hot drinks.

Arsenicum Album (Arsenic).  The person is pale, frail and delicate and with a tendency to be highly strung.  They are prone to colds, asthma and allergies.  They are impatient with an abundance of nervous energy but stress will bring on headaches, sleep disturbances, digestive upsets and these tend to be worse between 12 midnight and 2am.  They are ambitious and conscientious and are very neat and methodical in their habits.  There is a tendency to always be right and if something goes wrong the blame gets placed upon others.   The Arsenicum type when ill is full of fear (am I going to die?) when suffering from flu for example.  They are anxious about being late for any appointment, about money and in this respect will be very careful about whether they can afford to purchase something and can seem to be miserly.  They cannot tolerate dirt or disorder and their room will be neatly organised.   Adolescents who undertake food fads or diets can present a picture of anorexia.  Their ailments are worse from cold air and wet weather and they have a craving for warmth, hot baths, showers, sunbathing.  When they are alone all their fears and anxieties are worse.

Of course, this is only a brief summary of a few of the homeopathic personality types and below I show how the remedies would be presented in our homeopathic repertory.[1]

Mind: Anxiety, Ars, Lyc, Puls,

Mind: Anger, Ign, Lach, Lyc, Nat Mur,

Mind: Confidence lacking, Lyc, Sil

Mind: Fears, Ars, Ign, Lyc,

Mind: Jealousy, Ars,Lach, Puls

Mind: Whining, Ars, Ign, Puls

Headache: Migraine, Ign, Nat-M, Puls, Sil

Sleep: Disturbed, Ign, Phos, Ars,

Throat: Swallowing difficult, Lach

To use the homeopathic repertory takes time to learn how it is presented and then how to differentiate the remedies that are listed under each section.  For the purposes of this article I have only selected a couple from the wide range of remedies shown.  Once the full case is taken and repertorization analyzed more carefully then the best remedy that fits the situation can be selected.

In certain circumstances counselling can be beneficial as the child learns to understand his/her own feelings and coupled with professional homeopathic advice can bring about healing changes in a very gentle manner.

Homeopathic remedies are obtainable from homeopathic pharmacies or from health shops.   I would always recommend that anyone looking to use homeopathic remedies seek guidance so that they feel confident in selecting the most appropriate remedies.  Chronic ailments should be referred to a qualified homeopath and if in any doubt do not hesitate to consult your GP. 

The remedies quoted above are listed in the homeopathic Repertory[2]and Materia Medica.[3]  New provings are continually being undertaken thereby expanding the range of homeopathic remedies a homeopath has to choose from.

References

  1. Coulter, Catherine R. Homoeopathic Sketches of Children’s Types/
  2. Murphy, Robin ND, Homeopathic Clinical Repertory 3rd
  3. Murphy, Robin ND, Nature’s Materia Medica 3rd

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About June Sayer

June Sayer DHom (Med) MARH MRHom DNTh DIridol Homeopath Nutritionist Reiki Master/Teacher became fascinated by homeopathy after seeking treatment for her children and herself some 23 years ago; this dramatic change in their overall health led her to train as a homoeopathic practitioner. She qualified from the Hahnemann College in 1992 and has been in practice since that date. She is one of the founding directors of the Alliance of Registered Homeopaths and has a practice in Burnham-on-Crouch, Essex where she enjoys training individuals in the art and practice of homoeopathy. She may be contacted on Tel: 01621 730664;  june@betterhealthnow.co.uk  www.betterhealthnow.co.uk   www.homeopathinessex.co.uk   

 

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