Homeopathy and Herbal Medicine in Maternity Care

Complementary Therapies in Maternity Care by Denise Tiran is one of our new books from January for midwives, doulas and maternity care professionals who are working with new and expectant mothers. We have an extract from the book, in which you can read how herbal medicine and homeopathy can be implemented into maternity care, both during and after pregnancy. 

 

Click here to read the extract

 

Read more about Complementary Therapies in Maternity Care, or buy a copy here.

 

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More Books by Denise Tiran

Aromatherapy in Midwifery Practice

Denise Tiran shares her extensive knowledge to provide midwives and other professionals with complete information on how to use aromatherapy during pregnancy, birth, and for new mothers. Covering all the necessary scientific, legal, ethical, and health issues, it gives you the knowledge and confidence to use aromatherapy safely and effectively.

Click here to read more about the book.

Travels with my Book – Part 2: Malaysia, Homeopathy and Autism Spectrum Disorder

Mike Andrews, author of Homeopathy and Autism Spectrum Disorder, continues his exploration of how homeopathy is used in other cultures. You can read Part One here

By Mike Andrews

Since publication of my book in June 2014, I have received many invitations to lecture both at home and abroad. I had expected to lecture in the UK and to give presentations both locally and nationally, however the publication of my book raised my profile internationally in unexpected ways.

I have just returned from the 1st Malaysian International Integrative Healthcare Conference ‘Integrative and Homeopathic Management in Children with Special Needs’ at Cyberjaya University College of Medical Sciences. The only university in South East Asia to offer a fully recognised and accredited programme in Homeopathy by the Malaysian Ministry of Health & Ministry of Higher Education.

Continue reading

Some words about Dr. Schrott’s book: ‘Marma Therapy’

by Jonathan Hinde, qualified Sukshma Marma Therapist and an Aromatherapist, based in Cambridge, UK.

There are, broadly speaking, two contrasting ways of viewing the body, and two correspondingly different approaches to healthcare: Modern western medicine has its emphasis on the purely physical; while the approach exhibited by oriental and traditional healthcare systems sees the physical symptoms as the ‘precipitated value of consciousness’ and seeks to engage with the subtle imbalances (which may be emotional, spiritual, etc) which have given rise to physical symptoms. Continue reading

Improve patient’s experience through relationship-building – interview with Jane Wood

Jane Wood

Jane Wood has been involved in reflective practice for the last 20 years.  She is a supervisor and teacher of reflective practice at the University of Westminster and is the head

of practitioner development and reflective practice at the International School of Homeopathy, London.

Jane Wood’s new book The Compassionate Practitioner is now available from Singing Dragon. This handbook, full of practical tips and supportive advice, explains how best to enhance the client’s experience through compassion and mindfulness. This book will be a valued support for anyone working in private practice.

What inspired you to write this book?

I have been teaching the practitioner-patient relationship to students at college and at the University of Westminster for nearly 20 years. At the same time, I have been supervising qualified alternative practitioners and seen their struggles to build up a private practice. Many practitioners talked about the same issues in supervision: their patients were demanding, impatient or simply didn’t return. The practitioners needed to find a way to create trust, loyalty and staying power. They could do this if they improved the patient’s experience during the consultation. I realized I was in a position to write a book that takes the practitioner through every stage of the consultation, giving them lots of practical advice on how to create a healing relationship with the patient – and gain a flourishing practice.

 

Why is relationship building so important for people working in private practice?

I strongly believe that relationship building is vitally important for everyone in the caring professions whether they are alternative practitioners, counsellors and therapists or traditional doctors, nurses and consultants. Unfortunately, most orthodox practitioners do not have the time available to do much relationship building, leaving both the practitioner and the patient feeling dissatisfied and rushed. Many alternative practitioners such as homeopaths, acupuncturists, and body workers have longer sessions with their patients, which allow them more time to work on the relationship.

On the surface, making an effort to improve the experience for the patient will increase their trust and loyalty to the practitioner, but it is more than this. When the practitioner takes time to make the patient feel safe and appreciated, the patient can start to relax and explain themselves better; which in turn enables the practitioner to give a better treatment.

The added bonus for anyone in private practice, is that once there is a good relationship, the patient will help build up the practice by referring other people.

There are many different ways in which the practitioner can improve their patients’ experiences. One way is consider the clinic environment. I suggest that practitioners take five or ten minutes to sit in the patient’s chair, quieting their mind by focusing on the breath. Once they are quiet and relaxed, they can bring themselves into the present moment and use all of their senses to assess the clinic room. What is the feel of the chair they are sitting in? Is it comfortable? What is the room temperature? What smells are there?  Can they hear the receptionist or another therapist working in the next room? If so, does this impact on confidentiality?

 

What can practitioners do to improve their patients’ experiences?

The appearance of the room will make a big difference to the patient. If the practitioner is behind a desk they will feel more secure, but the patient will feel distanced. What do the patient’s eyes rest on when they are not talking? Considering the clinic room through the senses will give the practitioner a taste of what the patient experiences. They then need to consider what they can do to improve the current environment.

Another suggestion for improving the patient’s experience is that the practitioner should explain to the patient what will happen during the consultation. This is called ‘signposting’ and should be done at the beginning of the session. It can be very brief, such as, ‘I’m going to invite you to talk about yourself and your problem for the first twenty minutes, and then I’ll give you a treatment which takes about thirty minutes. You’ll need to take off your shoes and get onto the treatment couch. After the treatment we’ll see how you feel.” Once this has been clarified, the patient knows what to expect and can relax.

 

How can practitioners maintain balance in their work and avoid burnout?

Being a practitioner and listening to many patients talking about themselves is a great privilege and helping them can be deeply rewarding.  But sometimes the price is too high. There are several different causes of burnout, including working for very long hours, anxiety about patients or unconsciously taking on the patients’ negative emotions. The last one occurs mainly when there is a long time spent face-to-face with the patient, such as for counsellors, therapists or homeopaths. Our brains are programmed to read other people’s body language and facial expressions, so that we can empathise or feel their emotions.

The patient’s emotions can be directly experienced by the practitioner who might carry home a patient’s anger or depression. An awareness of this will help them consciously make more breaks in eye contact, and change their own body language more often so they don’t unconsciously mirror the patient so much.

Another way to avoid burnout is to make sure the practitioner has enough personal time to have fun and relax. This might sound obvious but when a single practitioner is running a private practice, they have to be their own marketing manager, record keeper and accountant and this all takes time. The practitioner needs to balance the intense work in the clinic with care for themselves, physically, mentally and emotionally.

 

You write a lot about self-reflection. Who do you think should do it and why do think it’s important?

Wood_Compassionate-P_978-1-84819-222-5_colourjpg-web

Self-reflection is a process of self-examination, of thinking seriously about your own character or actions. In the caring professions this will mean exploring something about the practitioner-patient relationship in order to understand it in more depth and decide what can be done to improve it. It is not nearly as effective if it is done within the limitations of the practitioners mind, and much better if it’s done out loud in front of a colleague or supervisor, or written into a self-reflective journal. If something went well, the practitioner can make a note of it so that they can repeat it. If it didn’t go well they can analyse why and plan how to change things next time. As I see it, all practitioners should be doing self-reflection. Their learning taught them how to work with the average patient. Experience shows them that patients are anything but average and everyone is very different. Self-reflection raises the standards of the practitioner and everyone gains from it: the practitioner, the patient, the clinic and the profession in general.

 

 2014  Singing Dragon blog. All Rights Reserved

 

First steps in promoting hair regrowth, for anyone affected by Alopecia and other hair-loss problems – with Vera Peiffer

Vera PeifferWhen your hair is falling out, you are not just having a problem with your hair, but also something else in your body, no matter whether you have other symptoms or not. As I’m explaining in my book Regrowing Hair Naturally, there is a reason why your hair is falling out. This reason is some form of toxicity.

 

Water and hair loss

Toxicity in your body makes your body too acidic. While some acidity is very important for body processes to function correctly, over-acidity is a problem and can lead to hair loss. If you then also don’t drink any water during the day, the acidity stays in the body undiluted and this is where damage occurs.

If you are worried about your hair at the moment, it would obviously be important to find out which toxins are causing acidity in your body, but even if you don’t want to do this, at the very least start drinking good quality water. Increase your water intake every few days from 1 glass a day to 8 large glasses a day (approximately 2 litres a day). This helps dilute the acid in your body, no matter what has been causing the acid in the first place.
Drinking water is the first phase of detoxing. The second phase would be to take particular supplements (these are different for each person) which bind with the toxins and then take them safely out of the body. A hair sample test can establish exactly which supplements your body needs to carry out this conjugation phase of detox.

When you drink water, make sure the water is good quality. Filter it with a charcoal filter (Brita or similar) or have a water filter installed under your sink. If your water supply is fluoridised, I would suggest to drink bottled water as fluoride is not a great substance to have in your body. Don’t drink unfiltered tap water, no matter what your water company tells you. Chlorine in water needs to be filtered out, and your charcoal filter will do that for you.

Wheat and hair loss

Over 80% of my clients who have my hair/nail sample tests done have a problem with wheat. Some of them have a problem with all grains (rye, barley, oats etc).

Have a think about what you are eating for a typical breakfast, lunch and dinner. If your diet consists of muesli, sandwiches, pizza and pasta, this will have a major negative impact on your hair, even if you don’t have a wheat intolerance. What you need to eat is a little meat, plenty of vegetables and some carbs such as rice or potatoes. I know that this is inconvenient, especially for breakfast, but you are actually better off with bacon and eggs or an omlette for breakfast than with a muesli if you want to help your hair.

Foods you need to avoid are bread, pasta, pizza, biscuits, cakes, pasties and anything else that is made from wheat or gluten-free wheat. It is not enough if you change to gluten-free wheat as many people are not just intolerant to the gluten in the wheat but also to the rest of the grain.

Frequently Asked Questions: 

Water: 

Can’t I have juice instead of water?

Juice has a lot of sugar in it which makes the body acidic, and too much acidity is bad for your hair. Drinking juice also dehydrates you. There is really no replacement for water.

I find it hard to drink water. If I do, I have to run to the loo too often

Start with drinking sips of water throughout the day. If you need to pee a lot it means that you are completely dehydrated and / or that you are drinking too much too quickly.

Wheat: 

I find it very hard not to eat pasta, bread and cakes. Do I really have to give them up for my hair to grow better?

I know it’s hard to give up wheat. Wheat is actually quite addictive, but if you want your hair back, you will need to at least drastically reduce your wheat intake. Wheat and other grains can actually stop the body from detoxing because they produce mucus in the body.

Is it OK to have glutenfree bread instead of normal bread?

Yes, gluten free is much better, but even that type of bread does not contain the nutrients your hair needs to grow, so make sure you have proteins and vegetables most of the time.

 For more tips on hair regrowth, visit Vera Peiffer’s website: http://www.hairgrowthuk.co.uk/blog/ and read Regrowing Hair Naturally

© 2013 Singing Dragon blog. All Rights Reserved.

Restoring Health and Balance to Animals with Physical and Behavioural Problems – An Interview with Bach Flower Therapist, Enric Homedes

Enric Homedes is a professional Bach Flower Therapist and trained at the Edward Bach Institute. He is vice-president of SEDIBAC (The Society for the Study and Promotion of Bach Flower Remedies in Catalonia, Spain), and is the author of The Handbook of Bach Flower Remedies for Animals – now published in English by Singing Dragon.

Here, he shares his passion for Flower Therapy and the difference it can make for animals with behavioural and physical problems – and for their owners.

*This interview with Enric Homedes has been translated from Spanish with the assistance of Daniel Kai. Warm thanks to both!


What attracted you to working with flower remedies?

In 1997 I became interested in natural therapies. I had been observing that many ailments and even diseases could subside if the patient began a treatment such as homeopathy, Bach Flower remedies, acupuncture, chiromassage, foot reflexology or other complementary therapies. Thanks to these, the patient could begin treatment with the hope of healing when modern medicine would not solve the problem.

When I encountered the work of Dr. Bach, I marveled at the philosophy behind his healing system. For him the main goal of treatment was not the remission of the disease, but to find out the cause of the person’s physical or mental illness. Our temperment, our character, the disharmony and imbalance that we ourselves generate when we live in conflict, can open the doors to illness. Imagine a person living with hatred or anger in a sustained manner. They are continually blaming others for what happens and their life is dominated by hatred. Traditional Chinese Medicine, among other ancient medicines, associates all of these emotions with liver diseases and demonstrates that a person could get seriously ill if this wasn’t corrected and balanced. Following the example above, Western medicine would focus on the body itself (in this case the liver) but not the cause that led that person to become ill.

In 1999 I began my studies at the Bach Centre in Barcelona (Spain). The remedies of Dr Bach and his philosophy would open the door to a new vision of how to think about disease and how to relieve it, not only in human beings but also in animals.

Can you tell us a bit about what you do as a Bach Flower Therapist and how you began to work with animals?

I have been a Flower Therapist since 1999 and a teacher since 2006 – the same year that the Bach Classroom Training School was created in Barcelona, which has trained a large number of students in Flower Therapy for use with humans and with animals. I have also taught Flower Therapy in various graduate programmes and courses organised by Spanish universities like the Rovira i Virgili of Tarragona (the public university of Tarragona), the Escola de Prevenció i Seguretat Integral (Comprehensive School of Safety and Prevention) related to the Universidad Autonoma de Bellaterra de Barcelona (Autonomous University of Barcelona at Bellaterra) and the holistic department at Zaragoza Veterinary College.

In recent years, like other Flower Therapy professionals, I have researched and gathered information about the use of flower remedies with animals. One of the main objectives of my work is to disseminate and share this information at national and international conferences, and at workshops in the field of veterinary medicine, canine and feline education, animal training, ethology, etc., so that professionals in these areas might consider the possibility of using them as a complementary tool in the treatment of animals that have high levels of stress and/or behavioural problems, etc.

My dedication to animals began in earnest as a volunteer in shelters for abandoned animals. The animal shelters where I worked gave me a thorough understanding of certain aspects of and behavioural problems in the animal world – and their solutions, with the help of Dr. Bach’s remedies – and at the same time, it catalysed a personal transformation in me. When we help a mistreated and/or abandoned animal we are given a wonderful opportunity to heal ourselves and discover the bond we have with the living being we are helping. These animals have taught me that, despite having been battered by fate, they display neither hatred, nor rancor, nor bitterness. They always welcome you with joy and gratitude in their eyes. They are living beings with unconditional love, always at your side when you need them. They love without expecting anything in return. Unfortunately this love does not always go both ways and they don’t always receive the treatment they deserve.

Because of these animals, and for them, I will do my bit in the hope of making a change and settling a historical debt we owe to our friends.

What is Bach Flower Remedy?

Bach Flower Therapy is a natural treatment system consisting of 38 flower remedies. It is an holistic, energetic therapy (vibrational), which helps to restore health by helping to harmonise the dysfunctions in the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual development of all living beings – whether human, animal or plant. Edward Bach was an English physician (1886-1936) who excelled in research in the field of bacteriology and homeopathy. Guided by his love and respect for nature, and for all living things, he developed a natural therapy that was simple to apply and highly effective.

Dr. Bach’s Flower Remedy has been in use for over 70 years, and in almost every country in the world. In 1983 the WHO (World Health Organization) published a study addressed to the health administrations of its member states, explicitly recommending Bach Flower Remedy (“Traditionelle et Couverture Medicine de Soins de Santé.” WHO Geneva. 1983, p. 162). Bach Flowers are also part of the Cuban health system, since 1998, and are used in many countries with more than encouraging results. Cuba’s University “Marta Abreu” of Las Villas has trained the Cuban Research Group of the Diagnostic-Therapeutic System of Edward Bach (Bach-GC) in order to research, using the scientific method, the system developed by Dr. Bach. The results of their research have been published and can be downloaded (in Spanish) from SEDIBAC’s website.

Why use flower therapy with animals, and how does it work?

Animals, like us humans, are subject to stress and anxiety – they have to adapt to new situations, experience periods of change, feel fear, sometimes experience trauma – and Bach Flowers help them cope with any of these emotional states. There is enough casuistry about how the remedies can help the animals by solving physical problems such as allergies, ear infections, cystitis, etc. Since Bach Flowers are not drugs, and have no adverse side effects, there is no possibility of overdose and they are fully compatible with any drug treatment by a veterinarian and the education standards set by animal behaviourists, trainers and educators.

Bach Flowers, like other flower remedies, are neither herbal infusions nor herbal extracts because they do not contain any active ingredients, i.e., they do not contain chemicals that are incorporated into the cellular metabolism of the animal that takes them.

Bach Flowers are vibrational, or energetic, remedies that help restore the balance of living beings who after experiencing a conflict have fallen ill. In the same way that a tuning resets the tone of a flat instrument, flower remedies restore lost balance and harmony to the living being. The flower remedies attempt to cure diseases and any imbalance (physical, emotional, behavioural, etc.), manipulating one’s energy fields by providing high-frequency life energy.

Can tell us about the first animal you treated with Bach Flower Therapy?

The first animal was a dog called Nora. Twelve years ago, Nora had a behavioural problem that in canine training education is called ‘resource guarding aggression’. Nora was over-protective of her owner – a resource that provided many benefits (food, petting and the safety of a household). Her possessive agression manifested in growls every time someone approached the owner. Having tried to bite a neighbour, Nora became my first ‘dog-client’ to try Bach Flower Therapy. The case was quite urgent as the owner was considering putting her down. This opportunity to start treating animals with Bach Flowers brought me to the question: What flower remedies should I use to treat Nora? Should I use the same flower remedies that I had been using to treat possessive people? I started considering flower remedies for managing her distrust and jealousy (Holly); the low tolerance of anyone who ‘stepped on her turf’ (Beech); her possessiveness (Chicory); and especially her uncontrollable emotional responses to the external stimuli that causes the aggressive behaviour (Cherry Plum).

Surprisingly, after a week of administering the five flower remedies to Nora at least four times a day, her aggressive behaviour significantly improved. After seeing this rapid improvement, I continued to administer the remedies for two months, and consequently Nora achieved complete remission from her behavioural problem.

The rapid resolution of Nora’s case brought me to a new question: Do animals always respond to flower treatment so quickly? I knew that they experience emotions more linearly, with no mental amplification, without intellectual analysis and without having to integrate or accept the emotion. They feel and express them in the moment, fully and intensely. These considerations could justify why Nora had responded so quickly to treatment. Unfortunately, since treating Nora I have not achieved a resolution as quickly as I’d hoped in some cases, especially when dealing with the complex problem of aggression. This has led me to believe that, in some cases where a change in anomolous behaviour is necessary, Flower Therapy should be combined with animal education guidelines. Remember also, that some behavioural problems are rooted in a physical problem and therefore an initial diagnosis by a veterinarian is always essential.

What are some misconceptions about Bach flowers? How does your book help to correct or dispel these?

The first misconception is that the well-known and widely used Rescue Remedy® can change the character of an animal. The book explains at length that the remedy serves primarily to quickly stabilise the animal in a specific emergency situation.

The second misconception is the belief that the remedies are placebos. The book presents several cases where physical situations are resolved, such as allergies, inflammation, etc., by using only flower remedies.

The third is the argument that flower essences can always resolve on their own any alteration in an animal. This is false and the book explains at length that, in addressing the problem of an animal – be it physical, emotional or behavioural – the veterinarian, animal trainer and flower therapist must work in synergy. Unfortunately there is not always a good understanding between these three groups and this hampers the effectiveness of treatments.

The fourth is to assert that the remedies do not work because sometimes the owner hasn’t noticed any positive changes after administering the treatment to his or her animal. The book repeatedly describes that many times the owners fail to correctly interpret what the animal expressed through its body language – its calming signals, etc.; or they haven’t considered that the problem would be solved simply by addressing the needs of the animal properly, such as enhancing the quality and frequency of their walks, considering nature outings, etc.; or they haven’t thought about how much responsibility they, the owner, have for their animal’s anomalous behaviour, such as when they pull on the leash or pick up the animal up whenever they come across another dog or person. This is a common unconscious error that owners make which can cause aggressive behaviour in the animal. I remember the case of a German shepherd that was aggressive towards children. When we went walking together, I saw the owner pulling the leash (fearing it would attack) every time they came across a child. In ‘dog speak’, the owner was unconsciously alerting the dog that children are dangerous. This case could not be resolved properly if, in addition to using Bach Flowers to reduce the animal’s stress, the owner had not been warned that her behaviour was contributing to the problem. In many cases guidelines should be prescribed to the owner as well as the animal. The book provides canine and feline education guidelines and suggests behaviour modifications for pet owners in order to change the bad habits that may have triggered the problem in the animal.

What is your philosophy on health and healing? Do you think more people should look for more homeopathic solutions for themselves as well as for their animals?

When I arrive at someone’s home to treat an animal, I start looking inside the house and at the family members living with it, in order to try to understand their personalities and what kind of relationship each of them has with the animal. Many times I find out that the habits of the family or the personality of one of the family members is contributing greatly to the problems of their pet. All this ‘nonverbal’ information is very valuable in addressing treatment. Many times this leads me to propose the need to also treat some member of the family. Often the animal’s anomalous behaviour is solved by treating these problem simultaneously.

For this reason it is important that an animal’s owners treat their own emotional imbalances using flower remedies, homeopathy, etc. In 70% of treated cases, I have found that the cause of the animal’s imbalance is the lack of affection from their owner, and the owner’s fears and negative emotional states. If we approach the problem together, treating simultaneously both the animal and its owners with Bach Flower Therapy, we can balance the emotions and thus eradicate the disease throughout the whole family.

Copyright © Singing Dragon 2011.