Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Three Ways to Start Using Homeopathy

Most of us have grooves that we travel in- our go-to dinner, our tried and true family outing, black yoga pants. These things are comfortable, meet a need, and have proven reliable.

Likewise, we have health habits. If you are like most of America, you are trying to break the "bad" ones and begin "good" ones. Cleaning up the diet, switching up the exercise, trying some daily meditation. Many of us start these shifts over, and over, and over again. Habits die hard.

For awhile, I was reading Leo Babauta's zenhabits.com blog. I thought he had a great, clean approach to changing habits. Make is small. Keep it simple. Set yourself up for success. That is, if you want to start meditating, don't say you are going to sit for 45 minutes everyday. Start with 5. Just 5 minutes. And, start with just one habit a month. Just one.

I like this, a lot. And while I will rave up and down about homeopathy and how I think everyone should have a kit and get treated constitutionally, I know that this is a bigger step than many are ready or able to do. But you can reap the benefits of homeopathy by taking just one well indicated remedy, just one time. Take it when it's needed and... voila.

I'd like to suggest three ways you can introduce homeopathy into your life. These are simple, do not require huge adjustments to your life, and may help you change a habit.

1. Carry 3 remedies with you- put them in your purse, your car, your backpack. Buy multiple tubes and put one in each place. They will last you forever.

My top three choices are: arnica, aconite, and ledum. 
(the indications listed for each remedy are just examples to give the idea of when you might use the remedy- it is by no means an exhaustive list)

Arnica bruising and swelling, for bumps and kicks at soccer games, for head bonks on metal playground equipment... or another child's head. For fingers slammed in car doors. For accidents- both big and little- where there is mental and physical trauma. For overexerting at the gym (REALLY overexerting), for crossing the finish line at the 5K, for twisting an ankle walking down the steps.

Aconite for shocks and surprises that take our breath away and leave us shook up, for witnessing an accident- or being in one. For kids who are scared stiff by a big dog that barks at them, for fear and anxiety before an activity. For being out all day in a cold, dry wind after hiking/biking/sledding/skiing/kite flying.

Ledum for after a tick bite or any insect bite or sting that causes swelling, for puncture wounds- be it an injection or a nail, for a swollen joint after injury or exertion.

All of these remedies are available in 30c potency at most natural food stores and at about $6.00 each, will last you for years. You can follow the dosing instructions on the tube, but for the conditions I listed above, take a dose (2-3 pellets) twice a day for three days. Stop if you notice marked improvement.

2. Sticky notes- look in your medicine cabinet. If you still stock over the counter meds like Benedryl, Advil or Tylenol, or Tums, then take a small sticky note and either write the name of a remedy that can potentially take its place (for example- arnica for the Advil, or apis or ledum for the benedryl,) or just write "REMEDY!" and stick it on there. Then, the next time you go to grab the meds, you'll see that and have a pause. It may be that you can't take the time to look one up, or maybe it's not one of the obvious ones- arnica for inflammation or trauma for example. But- it puts it in your field, and everytime you *do* make the homeopathic choice, it will get easier and more natural.

3. Fill the information gap- how do you get information about homeopathy? Where do you spend time reading?
 - If you check facebook several times a day, then find good homeopathy sites to 'like' that put regular information out there.
- Put a homeopathy guide in your bathroom reading stash. Join the National Center for Homeopathy and start receiving Homeopathy Today magazine and peruse it when you have a few minutes.
- Sign up to receive my blog delivered to your inbox.
- Buy a home prescribers guide like The Family Guide to Homeopathy. You can find an inexpensive used copy on Amazon. There's nothing worse than wanting to try a remedy and getting lost on the web. Find a book you can become familiar with.

A little reading and repetition goes a long way to aiding a change in habit, and it *is* a habit! Even after I was studying homeopathy, I remember that I once brought my three year old into the emergency room to get an x-ray because it seemed like his arm was hurting him after a fall. I don't think I even thought to give him arnica. His arm was fine, and probably if I had hung tight, and given the arnica I would have seen improvement. If not, then I certainly would have gone to the doctor.

These might seem like small steps and that's because- they are. But every big, lasting change starts with a small step, a small commitment that takes root and then grows. Try one out, and let me know how it goes.

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