Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Take that! Fear of of Fireworks

We are days away from the Fourth of July. Fun and festivity abound on Independence Day, but so does a lot of fear and anxiety. Dogs cower and shake, cats skidaddle. Some children may cling and wail. Even some adults head for the hills. Let's face it- screaming sirens at the parades, booming fireworks into the night. Not exactly a relaxing soundtrack.

A quick Google search will turn up all kinds of suggestions for calming your pooch during the fireworks. The nice thing about homeopathy is that remedies can be used for anyone- dogs, cats, children, adults, the elderly. Heck, I even use them with our chickens. As long as the symptoms fit, you can give the remedy.

One of the key points about homeopathy is that is responds to symptoms. That is, the body is experiencing something *in the moment.* Like cures like... Not, like cures potential.
That being said, homeopaths have found that in certain situations, remedies can be administered in prophylactically. That is, in prevention or protection. And chances are, the animal or person who is scared of fireworks and sirens also has a degree of nervousness and anxiety as a general underlying state. In which case, the remedy is completely appropriate and may be acting both constitutionally, as well as acutely.

Here are four possible remedies to consider:

A primo remedy for fright, shock, and fear. Especially for sudden fear and fright. If you have young children, put a vial right into your bag and bring it to the parade or fireworks. Maybe your young one has never shown fear before at these things, but kids change and this may be the day. If the sirens start wailing or the explosions start and your little (or bigger) one starts feeling scared, give a dose of Aconite. Start with two pellets of 30c, and then give another dose in 10 or 15 minutes. If he or she doesn't settle down, you can give another dose in 15 minutes or so.
Same for dogs, though if you know your animal has a fear of loud noises, go ahead and put some in the water dish that afternoon. It may be easier than trying to give a remedy in the middle of the whole ordeal.

For the individual who already has a sensitivity to noises. Jumps or startles every time a big truck goes by, or another sudden noise. These individuals may also have a fear of downward motion- slides, jumping, being laid down in a crib, climbing down a structure or hillside, sledding, etc... Babies who throw their arms out to the side when they startle.
This is less of an acute remedy, and if there is someone like this in your life, then you know exactly the behavior I am talking about. It's fairly marked.
Give two doses of 30c within an hour (two pellets, each dose) and then see how things go. You should notice a significant difference in the startle and response to the sudden noises. Repeat only if the behavior returns.  You can also give aconite in the moment if necesssary.

Arsenicum album
Arsenicum can be helpful for an individual who tends to have anxiety and fear, accompanied by restlessness. In this case, the person who knows that things are going to be loud and scary, and so is preoccupied, nervous, and fearful ahead of time. There might be pacing, a desire for company and consolation. Think of the dog that sticks to you like velcro, panting, can't be still, anxious. Dose as directed above for Borax: two doses within an hour and then observe and re-dose as needed if you see a shift.

Constrast this to aconite, which is more a reaction to the suddenness, with shock and fear. There needs to be no previous display or fear to justify giving aconite. It is a true acute.
Borax will have a history of startling or fear of noises, but not necessarily a state of anxiety and restless in anticipation or in response.

Another lovely little support to consider is Bach's Rescue Remedy.
Rescue Remedy is a flower essence- made from a variety of different flower blossoms which have been shown to be efficacious for soothing fear and anxiety. Flower essences are an energetic blend, though prepared differently than homeopathic remedies. I find the support to be subtle in its action, yet effective and at times profound. You also don't need to worry about specific indications- it's for garden variety anxiety and fear. Some are more sensitive to it than others. The beautiful thing about Rescue Remedy is that you can take it directly from the bottle, or better yet add to anything you're drinking (though ideally water, you can put a few drops in kids' juice). Add to pet water bowls, water bottles, etc... as a gentle support for the sensory onslaught that is our lovely Independence Day :) 

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