With appreciation to Jenny Calogeros-Smith for her kind permission to reprint this article.
by Jenny Calogeros-Smith
How many of us have sat at our child’s bedside feeling helpless as the child suffers with repeated colds, fevers, respiratory complaints, painful earaches, etc. Not knowing if anything is seriously wrong and wanting to seek some sort of relief for our child, we may take her to see a medical doctor. Chances are likely that she will be given an antibiotic, cough suppressant, a decongestant or maybe you will be told everything is fine and advised to just give her a dose of acetaminophen to ‘keep the fever down’. You do as advised, your child recovers only to relapse again shortly after. Now what? Another round of antibiotics? More drugs?
While we can appreciate that conventional treatment is necessary at times, many of us have felt disillusioned with orthodox medicines and have come to realize that in the long run the quick fix these medicines offer may cause more harm than good. Although conventional treatment may temporarily rid your child of the problem (the symptom), repeated use of suppressive therapies over time can weaken the overall vitality and hinder the immune system. Instinctively you may know that this constant drugging is detrimental to your child’s well being and is not getting to the heart of the matter, yet what else can be done? As parents we do the best we know how for our children with the tools we have. This article simply offers another most wonderful tool: homeopathy.
Homeopathy is an effective, safe, and non-toxic alternative to the harsh drugs that are often given for simple acute conditions. This system of healing assists the natural tendency of the body to heal itself. In homeopathy tiny doses of natural substances are used to stimulate the body’s own healing powers. It works ‘with’ the body instead of ‘against’ the disease facilitating true healing as opposed to the masking or suppressing of symptoms, which may be the case with some conventional therapies. Note some of the common names that speak for themselves such as pain ‘killers’, ‘anti’-histamines, cough ‘suppressants’ to list just a few. Conventional medicine views the virus, allergen, or bacteria as the culprit and, therefore, attempts to attack it, whereas homeopathy views the person’s susceptibility as the true cause, and, therefore aims to strengthen the individual who will then be less susceptible to these environmental stresses. Simply put, conventional medicine attempts to treat the disease, homeopathy treats the person who is sick, as an individual.
Of course children will get sick; it’s par for the course, but each child is an individual and responds to the environment in an individual fashion. Because of this individual response, remedies are always selected individually. Being a truly holistic approach, homeopathy considers not only the nature of the physical complaint but also the mental and emotional state of the child. A successful prescription is based on the ‘totality of symptoms’. For example three children with otitis media (middle ear inflammation) would likely each require a different homeopathic remedy. Child one has marked right sided ear pain that has come on suddenly. He is angry and irritable. His face is bright red, his pupils are dilated and his eyes look glazed. Although he has a high fever, he has no thirst. He feels better sitting upright and feels worse with motion. This child likely requires the homeopathic remedy Belladonna. Child two has pain in both ears. She cries with the pain, a weepy cry that evokes sympathy. She is clingy and feels better if held, pampered and rocked. Her pain is worse at night. She does not like stuffy rooms and prefers the windows open. This child likely requires the homeopathic remedy Pulsatilla. Child three is in extreme pain. She is very irritable, demanding and nothing satisfies her. She is weepy but in a loud, demanding way. One of her cheeks is bright red and the other is pale. Her pain is aggravated by exposure to cold air. Although sensitive to being touched, she is temporarily relieved by being carried. This child likely requires the homeopathic remedy Chamomilla.
There are many helpful reference books on the market for treating first aid situations and simple acute complaints homeopathically. Self-treatment is possible with education. Homeopathic remedies have now become more readily available and many health food stores and pharmacies (natural and otherwise) are now stocking a fair selection of them. However, if a condition is reoccurring often or has become chronic it is strongly advised to seek the help of a professional homeopath who will take a full case history and prescribe a remedy ‘constitutionally’. On the other hand there may be occasions when certain urgent pediatric conditions demand immediate conventional treatment. In these cases, it would be wise to have a medical doctor prescribe a conventional drug immediately and then later have the child treated with the indicated homeopathic remedy.
Conventional medicine needs to be respected for what it can do, yet we must also be conscious of its limitations. Of course every healing modality has its place but why not start with gentler means and save the big guns as a last resort? Let us not forget what Hippocrates said, “first do no harm”.
With appreciation to Jenny Calogeros-Smith, a Vancouver area Homeopath for her kind permission to reprint this article.