<![CDATA[Riverdale Homeopathy Blog]]> 20 Sun, 20 Aug 2017 09:38:51 GMT Sun, 20 Aug 2017 09:38:51 GMT LemonStand <![CDATA[Skepticism vs. Denialism: We are using the wrong word!]]> http://riverdalehomeopathy.com/postskepticism-denialism-wrong-word http://riverdalehomeopathy.com/postskepticism-denialism-wrong-word Mon, 19 Oct 2015 00:00:00 GMT We are forever hounded and dismissed as witch doctors by “skeptics”. I am not sure whether we gave them that name, or they adopted it for themselves, but it is a name that gives them more power and credibility than they deserve. This is an appeal to stop calling those who oppose homeopathy “skeptics”, and to start calling them denialists, because that is what they are. The overwhelming evidence that is put before those who oppose homeopathy that is ignored, by definition, makes them the opposite of skeptics, and this is why.

First we are going to define the terms. What are Skepticism and Denialism?

 

Skepticism:

Merriam-Webster Skepticism as:

1.  an attitude of doubting the truth of something (such as a claim or statement)

2.  an attitude of doubt or a disposition to incredulity either in general or toward a particular object

3.   a.    the doctrine that true knowledge or knowledge in a particular area is uncertain

      b.    the method of suspended judgment, systematic doubt, or criticism characteristic of skeptics

      c.     doubt concerning basic religious principles (as immortality, providence, and revelation)

 

Other definitions I found (yourdictionary.com and Wikipedia) included:

  • Skepticism is a general attitude of distrusting or doubting.
  • The doctrines of the ancient Greek Skeptics.
  • Any questioning attitude towards unempirical knowledge or opinions/beliefs stated as facts,or doubt regarding claims that are taken for granted elsewhere.
  • Philosophical skepticism is a general philosophy that requires all information to be well supported by evidence.


Skeptoid.com asserts that “The true meaning of the word skepticism has nothing to do with doubt, disbelief, or negativity. Skepticism is the process of applying reason and critical thinking to determine validity. It's the process of finding a supported conclusion, not the justification of a preconceived conclusion.”

Encyclopædia Britannica says that “In everyday life, practically everyone is skeptical about some knowledge claims; but philosophical skeptics have doubted the possibility of any knowledge beyond that of the contents of directly felt experience. The original Greek meaning of skeptikos was “an inquirer,” someone who was unsatisfied and still looking for truth.”

Philosophically speaking, the ancient school of Pyrrho of Elis taught that we must oppose dogmatism by stressing the uncertainty of our beliefs. Pyrrhonism (partially synonymous with Fallibilism) was a school that suspended judgments in investigations, and even doubt that their senses are reliable enough to draw conclusions from data collected with them. The word skepticism comes from the ‘Skeptikoi’ a school of philosophy that “asserted nothing” because absolute knowledge is impossible. Philosophical skepticism teaches that certain knowledge and truth are not humanly attainable things, whether through reason, the senses or any other means. This can be applied to a particular subject or to our reality in general.

The use of the word `Skepticism’ in books, according to Google Books, has increased 400% from the year 1800-2000, and by 200% between 1940 and 2000. Perhaps because we came into the age of science and technology, and randomized control trials. Breaking away from traditional knowledge and moving into the industrial and scientific ages, often the old ways were mocked in light of the new, `better`, more modern ways. Being skeptical was a way of preventing being duped by silly old superstition and traveling “snake oil salesmen”. Education systems improved and scientific knowledge was disseminated more widely; rather than just being for those with access to higher education, knowledge of basic science was available for everyone. These are all good things. Questioning is a good thing. It is, after all, what lead Hahnemann to delve into the world of like cures like and gentle homeopathic cures using the minimum dose over bloodletting and high doses of mercury. It is the claim that our current scientific model is the be all, end all in how the world works (aka scientism) that is the problem….enter denialism.

 

Denialism:

Merriam-Webster defines denial as:

1.   refusal to satisfy a request or desire

2.   a.    refusal to admit the truth or reality (as of a statement or charge)

      b.    assertion that an allegation is false.

 

Oxford says a denialist is: “A person who refuses to admit the truth of a concept or proposition that is supported by the majority of scientific or historical evidence: ‘the small minority of very vocal climate change denialists’”

Our `friends’ at Wikipedia say that “denialism is exhibited by individuals choosing to deny reality as a way to avoid dealing with an uncomfortable truth. Author Paul O'Shea remarks, `[It] is the refusal to accept an empirically verifiable reality. It is an essentially irrational action that withholds validation of a historical experience or event’” and uses examples like Holocaust denialists and climate change denialists to illustrate.

So now that we have looked at the definitions and meanings of these words, let’s discuss their implications, and how we are giving away our power and giving credibility to homeopathy denialists by calling them skeptics.

Skepticism is a good thing, and part of the true scientific method. It means having a critical eye, questioning what information is put before you and holding back judgment when personal bias might be a factor. Greek philosophers held that knowledge was limited by the fact that the thing we are trying to learn about is not accessible and/or the limitations of our minds. In other words, the limitations of measurement and personal bias and/or the lack of mental or scientific development to be able to understand the nature of things prevents us from having true knowledge of the universe/reality.

There is even a pathological medical/psychological definition for denial, which is of interest here because the dogma created around homeopathy denialism comes from a place of fear and irrationality: “a psychological defense mechanism in which confrontation with a personal problem or with reality is avoided by denying the existence of the problem or reality”.

“in psychiatry, denial is a defense mechanism in which the existence of unpleasant internal or external realities is denied and kept out of conscious awareness. By keeping the stressors out of consciousness, they are prevented from causing anxiety.” Denialists are so uncomfortable with the fact that homeopathy challenges their known “scientific” view of the world, that they make it into something that has to be nonsense or a lie.

By using the term skeptic to describe someone who is a denialist, it gives them the credibility of a scientist. You are describing someone who has their head in the sand as someone who is ever seeking new knowledge, which just simply isn’t the case.  I’ve already started to work the word ‘skeptic’ out of my vocabulary when it comes to homeopathy denialists. Perception is everything, let’s shift the perception of denialists from scientist to ostrich.

And I will leave you with a quote from the freedictionary.com’s encyclopedia on Skepticism which encompasses the homeopathy debate so beautifully: “But the positivism of many scientists, whether latent or open, is incompatible with skepticism, for it accepts without question the assumption that material effect is impossible without material cause.”

 

Dillena Dillen DHMHS, Reiki Master

http://www.riverdalehomeopathy.com/dillena-dillen/

 

References and further reading:

http://encyclopedia2.thefreedictionary.com/Skeptikoi

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philosophical_skepticism

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skepticism

www.yourdictionary.com/skepticism

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/skepticism

https://skeptoid.com/skeptic.php

http://www.britannica.com/topic/skepticism

https://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?year_start=1800&year_end=2008&corpus=15&smoothing=7&case_insensitive=on&content=skepticism&direct_url=t4%3B%2Cskepticism%3B%2Cc0%3B%2Cs0%3B%3Bskepticism%3B%2Cc0%3B%3BSkepticism%3B%2Cc0

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/denial

http://www.merriam-webster.com/medical/denial

http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/denialist

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Denialism 

http://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Denial+(psychology)

 

Posted in: community, homeopathy, remedies

]]>
<![CDATA[Homeopathic Charities Around the World - How Homeopaths Can Give Back!]]> http://riverdalehomeopathy.com/posthomeopathic-charities-around-world-give-back http://riverdalehomeopathy.com/posthomeopathic-charities-around-world-give-back Tue, 14 Jul 2015 00:00:00 GMT Homeopathy in AfricaI never expected the first lecture of my first homeopathy course to change my life. As an epidemiologist, the only peculiar symptoms of interest were ones that flagged people for isolation. I was educated to think in big picture, at the population level. Nevertheless, I listened politely as our professor outlined the evolution of homeopathy across Europe and North America. When the discussion shifted to how homeopathy was used to treat disease outbreaks of the 19th and early 20th centuries, I recall straightening up in my seat. How were the two connected? She repeated a similar story for typhus, diphtheria, cholera, yellow fever, and even the dreaded Influenza: medical records showed that mortality rates for patients treated with homeopathic intervention were dramatically lower than those treated with allopathic intervention alone. Statistics was a language that I could understand, and I was stunned. In all of my post-graduate studies of epidemiology, how had the word ‘homeopathy’ never crossed my vocabulary?

It was a lightbulb moment. The reason I was sitting in that classroom, and the reason why I made the leap to naturopathic medicine, was because I had become disillusioned. I could calculate what caused or increased the risk of a disease, but I had no tools to help the situation, especially in places that needed help the most. Modern epidemics were too complicated, research money was too hard to come by, pharmaceuticals were too expensive, health systems were too complex... but here was homeopathy. We all know that homeopathic medicines are safe, economical, and easily transportable to countries with few resources. Most importantly, when prescribed by an adept practitioner willing to donate their time and energy, homeopathy works.

If you’ve ever thought about giving back, about sharing your gifts and knowledge with populations who could desperately use it, there are a number of non-profit organizations around the world offering homeopathic solutions for acute and chronic disease burden. One of the most devastating pandemics of our time is HIV/AIDS. Homeopathy for Health in Africa is an initiative by Jeremy and Camilla Sherr to help combat HIV/AIDS in Tanzania. Five years after inception, Homeopathy for Health in Africa has treated thousands of patients, and has shown that homeopathy can relieve both the symptoms of HIV/AIDS, and side-effects of the anti-viral medications that the majority of patients must be on. This has improved the health of whole communities. In fact, this organization has helped create a truly holistic model of community health, supplying nutritional aid, second hand eyeglasses, microloans and vocational programs to patients. For more information, here is a beautiful short film documentary that is worth watching. If you’d like to get involved, volunteers are needed, and welcome.

Other homeopathic non-profits in Africa include The Maun Homeopathy Project (Botswana), and the Ghana Homeopathy Project (Ghana), which use homeopathy as a complementary therapy for HIV/AIDS, other sexually transmitted diseases, and malaria.

If you are intrigued about volunteering as a homeopath abroad, but are looking for a shorter commitment or something closer to home, check out Homeopaths Without Borders and Homéopathes de Terre Sans Frontières. This organization offers opportunities for students and practitioners of homeopathy in both the USA and Haiti. In Nicaragua, Natural Doctors International (NDI) is happy to welcome licensed natural medical practitioners to their clinic on the beautiful island of Ometepe. I had the privilege of volunteering at the NDI clinic myself in 2014, and I can say that a homeopath would be a true asset to the medical team, even if you can only commit to a week.

If you are aware of other volunteer opportunities for homeopathic practitioners, or have had a positive experience volunteering abroad, we’d love to hear from you in the comments!

Laura Hughes PhD, ND (Cand.)

Homeopathic Mentorship and Work Exchange Program

Posted in: community, events, first aid, homeopathy

]]>
<![CDATA[Bed Wetting: How Can Homeopathy Help?]]> http://riverdalehomeopathy.com/postbed-wetting-homeopathy http://riverdalehomeopathy.com/postbed-wetting-homeopathy Tue, 02 Jun 2015 00:00:00 GMT Being a mother of 4 children, I’ve seen it all. When my daughter (3rd born), who was the earliest of my kids to stop wearing diapers, began to wet the bed at age 3, it seemed like it came out of nowhere. I searched for answers. I asked other parents; most told me “she’s young just give it time”. But being the person I am, that did not satisfy me, so I began to do my research and this is what I learned.

Bedwetting, also known as nocturnal enuresis, is the involuntary urination during sleep in children over the age of 5. Many potty trained children who have managed to stay dry at night may suddenly begin bedwetting during sleep this can go on for years. Wetting the bed before the age of 7 is a natural stage in development and is so common it can hardly be called abnormal. The problem will most likely resolve itself over time and single episodes of bedwetting are not a concern. However a growing number of parents are concerned about their school aged child’s inability to stay dry at night. It can be daunting trying to figure out why your child can’t seem to wake up during the night and use the bathroom, when previously this was a non-issue. The common term for this is secondary bedwetting, the child has achieved night-time continence and due to psychological stress or some underlying medical conditions starts experiencing nighttime wetness.

As a parents your first thought is usually that your child is to lazy to get up however, (unless your child tells you directly that they peed the bed because they where to tired to get up like son mine did) bedwetting has nothing to do with laziness. There are numerous factors that can be contributing to your child’s incontinence its important to look at the whole picture and not just the symptom. Here is a list of some of the contributing causes but keep in mind your child may not be affected by any of these:

Physical considerations:

•           Hereditary

•           Difficulty waking up from sleep

•           Delayed development of the central nervous system affects the ability to recognize a full bladder

•           A small bladder

•           Some kids produce more urine at night if their anti-diuretic hormonal levels are low

•           Infection in the bladder or kidneys

•           Defect in the urethral valves in boys or in the ureter in girls or boys

•           Deformity or injury of the spinal cord

•           Sleep apnea

•           Type 1 Diabetes

•           Chronic constipation - full bowels can put pressure on the bladder

•           Caffeine intake like soda, coffee, and chocolate

•           Certain food allergies

•           Children with Down Syndrome, ADHD, developmental delays

Mental and Emotional concerns:

•           Improper or stressful toilet training

•           Stress from new fears or insecurities such as:

                  o   Arrival of a new baby

                  o   A new school

                  o   Sleeping away from home

                  o   Moving into a new home

                  o   Losing a family member

                  o   Parents divorce

                  o   Sexual abuse

                  o   Being bullied or teased

                  o   Being punished

                  o   Feeling rejected

                  o   Parental alcoholism

•           Nightmares

Truth be told, you may never know the actually cause of your child’s incontinence but you can be reassured you that there is a homeopathic solution.  Homeopathic medicine is very effective when it comes to childhood bedwetting. More and more parents are choosing homeopathy because it is safe, gentle and children respond quickly to Homeopathy. The homeopathic remedies act both on the psychological, physiological and physical level to relieve bedwetting. The Homeopathic remedies can prevent unwanted contractions of the bladder, restore normal bladder musculature, function and urethral sphincter control, and hence, prevent any involuntary passing of urine. Homeopathic remedies treat bedwetting naturally without disturbing the endocrine system and they reduce anxiety, which is attributed to cause bed-wetting in children. These remedies are natural, gentle, safe and can be given to children of any age. There is one major positive to having an older child who wets the bed which is the older child can usually explain specifically what he/she experiences emotionally and physically during the night hence making it easier to choose the exact remedy.

Here is a list of remedies to consider:

Belladonna: This remedy is indicated for children who have frequent and profuse urination after midnight approaching the morning hours. A good remedy choice if the bedwetting is due to a bladder infection.

Kreosotum: Indicated when the child urinates while dreaming of urination.

Argentum nitricum: When the child urinates due to restlessness, nervousness or anticipation of an event.

Equisetum: Indicated when the individual wets the bed during nightmares and dreams, experiences incontinence such as passing water without any cause, with involuntary stools, without feeling any relief. It can be used on the child that has the constant urge to urinate.

Sulfur: indicated for the child that loves sweets and spices and who wets the bed in the early half of the night (before midnight). It can also be used on the child that sleeps with his/her feet sticking out of the covers and experiences vivid dreams. 

Borax: When the child urinates frequently at night due to fear.

Rhus Tox: When there is a constant dribbling of urine due to a weak bladder.  The child may wake up with only a small amount of urine on his/her clothing.

Causticum: When the bedwetting is significantly more during the winter compared to summer.

Sepia: This remedy can be used to treat bedwetting and kidney problems. It is often recommended in female children, if they wet the bed during the first half of the night and love to be active and dance.

In addition to these remedies, you should also feed your child a healthy diet rich in nuts and fruit, especially walnuts and cranberries. Have your child eat at least 2 bananas a day and avoid sugary carbonated drinks all together. If you have a teenage child, they should avoid caffeine and alcohol, as these can exacerbate the condition. Do not restrict water! Allow your child to drink as much water as they need, however they should try and not drink an hour before bed and use the toilet just before sleeping.

This is a journey. Be encouraging and positive. Keep in mind that it is much harder on the child than you. Be sure to acknowledge the days when they remain dry. Before you know it, this will be behind you and rest assured homeopathy is here to help.

I gave my daughter Kreostum 30ch and she’s been dry ever since.

 

Sylvia Ssonko

 

Participant, Homeopathic Mentorship and Work Exchange Program

 

Posted in: homeopathy, remedies

]]>
<![CDATA[When Smart Women Call Other Smart Women Idiots]]> http://riverdalehomeopathy.com/postwhen-smart-women-call-other-smart-women-idiots http://riverdalehomeopathy.com/postwhen-smart-women-call-other-smart-women-idiots Fri, 17 Apr 2015 00:00:00 GMT This “open letter” was sent from one of our patients who prefers to remain anonymous because of the strong reactions that both feminism and homeopathy can elicit online.

 

Dear Smart Women in Journalism,

Unless you were paying attention, you may not have noticed that fighting in the ongoing Homeopathy wars broke out recently in Ontario.  If you were paying attention, you have my sympathies; I know it can get tedious – a little skirmish in Australia, a kerfuffle in the US, a long simmering battle in the UK. In each case some precipitating event (or just a whim) causes some of the opponents of Homeopathy to lead a charge, vaulting the trenches of so-called skepticism to throw insults and ridicule at people who practice and/or use Homeopathy. Recently, a few of your number joined up. That’s why I’m writing you now.

Traditionally in these wars, the loudest voices attacking Homeopathy have been men. This makes sense. Homeopathy in the west, like other forms of complementary and alternative medicine, is overwhelmingly used by educated women[1]. There’s a lot of research to show that. It’s not controversial research; it’s pretty much common knowledge. Smart women use homeopathy. Not all smart women, of course. That’s just silly. Homeopathy users are a small portion of the population. To be sure, some smart men use homeopathy as well. But mostly, it’s smart women. Study after study has shown this. Some findings are more equivocal – like whether it’s mostly white women (in the US) or whether wealth is a factor. But that smart women predominate – that’s not controversial. One study even checked for science knowledge presumably to test arguments that those homeopathy-loving smart women must all be pseudo-educated in liberal arts fields that don’t actually count for “smart.” Turns out, science-smart women use homeopathy too[2]. Go figure.  

Now, the smart women who use or practice homeopathy are never all that surprised when the guys start calling them idiots. Men have been calling smart women idiots for a very long time. It’s hardly news. And misogyny is no stranger to the science clubs that serve as the crèches for the so-called skeptic associations and the men who like to mock homeopathy.[3] These men don’t say outright that they think smart women are stupid; they say that people who use complementary and alternative medicine are stupid. That these people happen to be smart women is simply coincidental. Yeah. I won’t insult your intelligence by explaining the gender politics that underline such statements.

Still, I’ve gotta say it hurt a bit to see some of you who in all other ways appeared to be feminists there on that side of the ramparts. It’s always a sad day for the sisterhood when smart women start calling other smart women idiots. Feminism has a wide and varied landscape and I would never say that an embrace of Homeopathy is necessarily feminist or anti-feminist. What is pretty foundational in feminism, however, is the right of women to make their own decisions about their own bodies.[4] Most of the attacks on homeopathy assume a duped, ignorant or anti-science (female) health consumer.[5] If they’re not insulting, they’re patronizing and, well, paternalistic.  In its most banal form, anti-Homeopathy humour belongs in the same circle of Hell as Blonde jokes; at its worst, it denies the agency of women over their own health decisions.  The female journalists I have seen entering the fray have mostly stuck to the former category. That’s something, I guess.

The detractors of Homeopathy like to claim that it is dangerous because it could lead people away from proven biomedical treatments. I, too, am concerned with a danger. I’m not concerned that Homeopathy will jeopardize anyone’s health. There’s scant evidence it’s ever done that, directly or indirectly, and there’s plenty of research showing that this just isn’t the way people who use Complementary and Alternative Medicine make their health care decisions.[6] I am concerned in a much broader sense with the danger to our social fabric when smart women are assumed to be stupid and when people start calling for regulations to protect us from ourselves. Good research shows that the smart women who use Homeopathy are not duped, ignorant or anti-science.[7] They’re making a rational choice to use Homeopathy. Which suggests that there might be a more interesting story here than the one you’re picking up from your pals in the science club.

Yours sincerely,

Smart Woman using Homeopathy

 

References

Bishop, Felicity L.  and G. T. Lewith, “Who Uses CAM? A Narrative Review of Demographic Characteristics and Health Factors Associated with CAM Use,” Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, vol. 7, no. 1, pp. 11-28, 2010. doi:10.1093/ecam/nen023

Flesch, Hannah. "Silent voices: women, complementary medicine, and the co-optation of change." Complementary therapies in clinical practice 13.3 (2007): 166-173.http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ctcp.2007.03.005 

Keshet, Yael, and Dalit Simchai. "The ‘gender puzzle’ of alternative medicine and holistic spirituality: A literature review." Social Science & Medicine113 (2014): 77-86. doi:10.1016/j.socscimed.2014.05.001

MacArtney, John I., and Ayo Wahlberg. "The Problem of Complementary and Alternative Medicine Use Today: Eyes Half Closed?." Qualitative health research (2014): 1049732313518977.

Posadzki, P., Alotaibi, A. and Ernst, E. (2012), Adverse effects of homeopathy: a systematic review of published case reports and case series. International Journal of Clinical Practice, 66 (2012): 1178–1188. doi: 10.1111/ijcp.12026

Stoneman, Paul, Patrick Sturgis, and Nick Allum. "Understanding support for complementary and alternative medicine in general populations: Use and perceived efficacy." Health: 17.5 (2013): 512-529.http://hea.sagepub.com/content/17/5/512 



[1] Many of the studies look at all forms of complementary and alternative medicine together but those that disaggregate them also find that the same pattern holds true for Homeopathy. See Bishop et al 2010 for a review of the literature and Stoneman et al 2013 for an account that focuses particularly on Homeopathy

[2] Stoneman et al 2013

[3] The academic literature is scant on this but a number of journalistic pieces have pointed to misogyny in the so-called Skeptic community: here, here and here, for instance.

[4] For the connection between Complementary and Alternative medicine and feminism more broadly, see Flesch 2007 and Keshet and Simchai 2014

[5] MacArtney and Wahlberg 2014

[6] Posadzki et al 2012 provides a review of the medical case reports attesting to adverse events from Homeopathy. This study found thirty-five reports occurring between 1978 to 2010, most being from toxicity when homeopathic preparations were underdiluted. The authors also reviewed 8 reports (16 cases) of “indirect harm” where physicians reported that a patient’s condition had deteriorated when s/he had foregone conventional treatment but had used Homeopathy. In attributing indirect causation to Homeopathy, the authors assume that the patients passively followed the advice of the Homeopathic practitioner and, had the option of Homeopathy not been available, would have returned to the conventional medicine practitioner sooner. These numbers are remarkably small given the international scope of the study and the assertions from the Homeopathic detractors that this is a large threat. The authors speculate that adverse events could be underreported. Without either a population wide study of Homeopathy users or an in-depth qualitative study of a representative sample of the users, however, we cannot know whether Homeopathy is ever really indirectly responsible for a patient’s choice to forgo conventional treatment.  For a review of studies that rigorously examine the decision to use CAM, see Bishop and Lewith 2010; Keshet and Simchai 2014

[7] Macartney and Wahlberg 2014

Posted in: homeopathy

]]>
<![CDATA[Celebrate Samuel Hahnemann's birthday! 15% off everything in the store!]]> http://riverdalehomeopathy.com/posthahnemann-birthday-sale http://riverdalehomeopathy.com/posthahnemann-birthday-sale Wed, 01 Apr 2015 00:00:00 GMT Samuel HahnemannCheck out our latest deal!

One day only, April 10th, 2015 we are celebrating Samuel Hahnemann's birthday by offering 15% off everything in the store*. Hahnemann was the founder of homeopathy, so help us celebrate his birthday with savings!

If you are shopping online, use the promo code HAHNEMANN.

*Cannot be used in conjunction with any other discount or offer. Not applicable to seminars or events.

 

 

Posted in: books, community, events, homeopathy, remedies, supplies

]]>
<![CDATA[Feeling SAD this winter? Natural Depression Fixes!]]> http://riverdalehomeopathy.com/postfeeling-sad-this-winter-natural-depression-fixes http://riverdalehomeopathy.com/postfeeling-sad-this-winter-natural-depression-fixes Fri, 23 Jan 2015 00:00:00 GMT Use Natural Remedies to Treat your Seasonal Depression and SAD

 

DepressionIt’s the time of year where the bitter cold starts and the days just don’t get longer fast enough. Frigid mornings where it is so cold, even putting your feet on the ground sends a shock through your system so fierce, it often drives you back into bed. You are dragging yourself around, low energy, not sleeping well, aches and pains while recurring colds and flus plague you.

There are varying degrees to how people experience the low in the winter months. For some it is as mild as the “winter blahs”, for others it is a full-blown disorder called Seasonal Effective Disorder, or SAD.

We thought we would share some remedies that are great for this feeling of depression that hits many people this time of year. These remedies can help many people - from the mildest of sufferers to those with clinically diagnosed depression.

 

Vitamin D - 4000-6000 IU a day can really help to stave off both depression and boost the immune system to prevent colds and flus.

5-HTP – This is a pre-cursor to serotonin, and is prescribed as an anti-depressant in Europe.  It helps with sleep issues and depression.

St. John’s Wort – An herb well-known for treating depression and anxiety. Be careful taking this if you are already on conventional anti-depressants, as they are contra-indicated.

1000-2000mg of EPA per day. This is an Omega 3 Essential Fatty Acid that has been shown to help in cases of depression.

Kalium-Phosphoricum tissue salts , made from potassium phosphate, which is needed for proper functioning of the nervous system. It has a calming effect and helps in cases of depression or sleep issues.

Ficus Carica Gemmotherapy remedy is made from the buds of the fig tree that has a strong affinity for the nervous system. It is traditionally used to treat depression and emotional disturbances. It can help to relieve obsessive thoughts and anxiety.

Tilia Tomentosa Gemmotherapy remedy is another nervous system tonic made from the buds of the linden tree. It has a calming and sedative effect on the nervous system. Caution when using this with SSRI’s.

A combination of Ficus carica and Tilia tomentosa is a potent reliever of depression, anxiety and sleep disturbances. I have used these with my patients with great success!

Bach Flower Remedies: Bach flower remedies are great for easing many emotional states and mood imbalances. There are 38 total, each with a different feeling or emotional issue that they help resolve, but here are the top 3 that are great for depression.

Mustard Bach Flower Remedy – For sudden, unexplainable gloom or deep sadness. There is no light or joy, just a dark cloud.

Olive Bach Flower Remedy – When one feels complete mental/physical exhaustion, no more strength left, effort is difficult.

White Chestnut Bach Flower Remedy – For recurring thoughts that circle around in your head disturbing concentration and peace. A great remedy for worries that keep you up at night.

 

And some lifestyle items that can work towards a feeling of wellbeing:

Adequate sleep, proper diet, exercise! – These 3 things are keys to emotional and physical health. Make a commitment to yourself to:

  • Sleep 8 hours
  • “Eat real food, mostly plants, not too much.” (Michael Polan, In Defense of Food)
  • Exercise regularly! - It releases endorphins, helps you sleep better and boosts immunity, plus many other benefits!

This TED Talk is a MUST WATCH! Depression is a disease of civilization: Stephen Ilardi at TEDxEmory

Don’t take on too much and ask for help! – Feeling overwhelmed with tasks can tire you out more. Ask for help, or say no to those things that are not necessary.

Take a minute and breathe. Deep breaths, down into your belly. Close your eyes and get back in your body.

Get a pet companion! Cuddling furry friends are shown to have a marked effect on your mental and emotional well-being. There are many friends who need love waiting for you at your local shelter!

Spend some quality snuggle time with a loved one. Snuggling releases oxytocin, a neurotransmitter that makes you feel happy, bonded and secure. It is the same happy hormone that is released when a new mother is bonding with baby after birth.

Meditate! Start out slow: 10 minutes a day and work your way up. Be gentle with yourself, honouring the place you are each day. Meditation should not be an exercise in feeling bad and berating yourself for your mind wandering. If your mind wanders, notice why, maybe make a note to address those issues later, and then gently bring your attention back to the breath. It is more about taking the time, breathing and being still with yourself, than it is about having a completely empty mind the entire time you sit there.

 

If you suffer from clinical depression or SAD, constitutional homeopathic treatment can help you to beat this challenging disorder and live a happier fuller life! Start on the road to being happy and healthy, book an appointment today!

 

Dillena Dillen DHMHS (Hons), Homeopath, Reiki Master

 

Posted in: cold and flu, homeopathy, nutrition, remedies, winter

]]>
<![CDATA[How To Build a Prosperous Practice - Panel Discussion – Course Notes]]> http://riverdalehomeopathy.com/posthow-to-build-a-prosperous-practice http://riverdalehomeopathy.com/posthow-to-build-a-prosperous-practice Thu, 15 Jan 2015 00:00:00 GMT build a prosperous practice

Learn how to create the practice of your dreams!

 

In December, we had the opportunity to pick the brains of 4 leaders in the local homeopathic and naturopathic community. We wanted to know what made their practices thrive. They told us their best stragies for advertising and marketing so that you too can implement them in your practice. They also shared mistakes they made so you don't have to repeat them!  

Now if you weren't able to attend, we took notes for you! Click on the link below to download the notes and kick your practice into high gear!

How To Build a Prosperous Practice - Panel Discussion – Course Notes

 

Posted in: community, events, homeopathy, marketing, practice management

]]>
<![CDATA[Diva Cup: The Eco-Friendly, Convenient, Economical Period Alternative]]> http://riverdalehomeopathy.com/postdiva-cup-changed-my-life http://riverdalehomeopathy.com/postdiva-cup-changed-my-life Tue, 13 Jan 2015 00:00:00 GMT Diva Cup

How The Diva Cup Changed My Life! All The Reasons to Switch to The Diva Cup and Some Great Tips for Use!

 

A few years ago, I started to have issues of an allergic type reaction with conventional menstrual products. I then switched to organic, which were somewhat better, but didn’t get rid of the problem completely. I resigned myself to redness, irritation and pain during my cycle, in addition to all the other typical discomfort associated with my period.  I didn’t know there was another option, until a friend was raving about her DivaCup. So excitedly…optimistically, I gave it a try.

Now the first couple of months that I used the DivaCup, I HATED it! It was uncomfortable and hard to get in and out. Disappointed, I gave up and stopped using it. Six months later, I was talking to another friend, I mentioned how uncomfortable I found it, and that I had given up.  She told me that this was common, and once you used it a few months and got used to how to put it in and take it out correctly, you should barely be able to feel it, if at all.  I stuck out a couple of months of growing pains and haven’t looked back! No more irritation, plus all kinds of other benefits, including being super convenient!

 

How it works:

DivaCup is a brand name for what is called a cervical or menstrual cup. It is a reservoir that cups over the cervix and forms a seal around it. The blood fills the reservoir, and the seal prevents blood from escaping around the edges. When it is full, you pull it out to empty it, rinse it and reinsert.

 

Benefits:

  • Not having to remember to bring extra tampons or pads with you wherever you go - great for travelers!
  • A person with a moderate flow only has to empty twice a day.
  • Large capacity, so if you have a heavy flow, it means less changes than with pads or tampons.
  • No more bulky pads at night or night-time leakage! The seal prevents leaking, even when laying down
  • Hate that feeling of pulling out a tampon that is not quite full or inserting a new tampon on low flow days? That dry, raw, ripping sensation? Yeah, not a problem with DivaCup!
  • It’s made of medical grade silicone and therefore hypoallergenic!
  • Less garbage! Less garbage! Less garbage! The planet will thank you!
  • Save money! Diva Cup retails for $39.95…how much money did you spend on your period last year? Most people see a $100-150 in savings annually.
  • No panty liner required! If you use tampons, you know, they don’t quite fit exactly, and there is usually some leakage, so a panty liner is required. Not a problem with DivaCup! If you establish a proper seal, it doesn’t leak!

 

Tips:

  • Wet with warm water before insertion
  • Don’t use the nub as a handle to pull it down, bear down to push the cup lower, then grab the cup itself with two fingers and squeeze it enough to break the seal and it will come out relatively easily
  • Be sure to trim that little nub down to a comfortable level! If it is too long, it can rub on the vaginal opening and cause irritation and discomfort. I left it longer thinking I needed it to pull the cup down and that caused a lot of unnecessary discomfort
  • Sometimes (not always) having a bowel movement can be a little more difficult, or knock the cup out of place, so be aware of this, and re-establish the seal after a BM to prevent leaks. Do this by grabbing the end and twisting it until you feel it move back into the right place. Knowing where the “right place” is comes with practice in insertion, so don’t worry if you don’t get it right away.
  • When getting used to the Diva Cup, wear panty liners until you get accustomed to how to put it in properly, as when you insert it, if you don’t form a proper seal, a small amount of leakage can occur.
  • If you ever suffer from severe cramps, keep a few tampons or pads on hand, as, sometimes, on a painful cramp day, the Diva Cup can be somewhat uncomfortable. I have varying degrees of pain, from mild discomfort to severe. I have only had to take mine out due to cramping once in over a year of use.

 

Cautions:

  • I have read and been told that using DivaCup with an IUD is problematic, as it could get caught on the string from the IUD, and inadvertently move it or pull it out. I have also read articles to the contrary. It is best to do your own research (on their website, elsewhere online, speak to women you know) and speak to your doctor or health care professional, and then make a decision that is right for you.
  • Read the care instructions carefully to ensure longevity. If you start to experience irritation from the DivaCup, it likely needs to be replaced.
  • Don’t use lubricants to insert DivaCup, as they can break down the silicone

 

Check out their website http://divacup.com. And buy it here!

And see how menstrual cups are helping women and girls in Africa here.

 

Posted in: Healthy Personal Care Products, supplies

]]>
<![CDATA[Feeling The Stress of the Holiday Season?]]> http://riverdalehomeopathy.com/poststress-holiday-season http://riverdalehomeopathy.com/poststress-holiday-season Wed, 10 Dec 2014 00:00:00 GMT  


10 Ways to Reduce Stress This Holiday Season

 

Are you feeling run down? Last minute shopping have you stressed out?

All the running around, the baking, the wrapping, the driving and holiday get togethers; they can all take their toll. Here is a great guide to getting through the holiday season with a little less stress this year. 

  1. Get active and get outside! – Both sunshine and exercise are great stress relievers! If the cold doesn’t bother you, great! Take the kids out to play, have a jog with the dog. Not keen on the lower temperatures? In-door activities like the gym, yoga and a UV lamp will also help! And load up on vitamin D!
  2. Get adequate rest – Sleep is very important for your mood and stress levels! Make sure you are getting at least a full 8 hours sleep to deal with the extra stress this time of year. Having trouble sleeping? Try meditating before bed and natural sleep aids like Melatonin, 5-HTP, Lavender (aromatherapy), Bach Flower Rescue Sleep or Calms Forte.
  3. Be present, do less - Opt for more time with family and friends, rather than making everything perfect. Find time to laugh and play. You don’t have to be all things to all people. Martha Stewart didn’t have a day job, a house to clean and kids to get to school everyday. Schedule less and feel ok about saying no to some things.
  4. Don’t have family near you? Host an orphan potluck holiday gathering! - Chances are you know more people than you think who are alone for the holidays, and potluck means the work and cost is shared!
  5. Ask for help! - Many hands make light work! Do potluck events rather than one person taking it all on. Get the kids involved with age appropriate tasks, getting the older kids to help the younger ones. This will also make the kids appreciate the effort that goes into the meal, and teaches skills that are useful later in life!
  6. Unplug! - Take time away from email and social media when spending time with friends and family. Turn off your phone so that you can be truly present and reduce the stress of constant notifications.
  7. Honey, honey! - Switch out the sugar in your coffee or tea for honey. It is naturally sweet, and has anti-bacterial effects that can keep you from getting sick! Sugar suppresses your immune system for hours after it is consumed. Nothing increases holiday stress like coming down with a cold or flu when you have shopping, wrapping and baking on your list, and you have to spend a few days in bed!
  8. Take a vacation! – Vacations reduce stress! If you can’t afford to go somewhere warm? Take a stay-cation. Got kids? Grandma and Grandpa, Auntie and Uncle would love an extended visit over the holidays! Or even a day outing so that you can get a little holiday prep done!
  9. High anxiety? – There are several homeopathic remedies that are great for anxiety! Aconite is great if you are going away and are afraid of flying. This can also be combined with Arnica afterward for the emotional trauma. If you or your child are nervous about a holiday performance or speaking engagement, Argentum nitricum can nip it in the bud!  Tilia Tomentosa gemmotherapy remedy is a nervous system modulator and helps to reduce stress levels and aid sleep. And, don’t forget Bach Flower Rescue remedy! Available in drops, spray or pastilles. Keep in your purse or bag and take as needed or if you are expecting a particular stressful day, put a dropper full in bottle of water and sip over the day to maintain a calm and reassured state of mind. And see #10 below.
  10. A relaxing holistic treatment – Treat yourself and your loved ones with a holistic treatment. It will reduce stress for you, and for your family members. Massage, acupuncture, reiki, reflexology are all great to reduce stress! Seeing a homeopath to talk out your stressors and get an individually selected homeopathic remedy can help you to mediate stress better in the short and long term.

Happy Holidays!

Dillena Dillen, Homeopath, Reiki Master

Posted in: acupuncture, aromatherapy, cold and flu, homeopathy, massage, reiki, remedies, winter

]]>
<![CDATA[Going traveling this winter?]]> http://riverdalehomeopathy.com/postgoing-traveling-this-winter http://riverdalehomeopathy.com/postgoing-traveling-this-winter Thu, 20 Nov 2014 00:00:00 GMT Then you need this guide to homeopathic remedies for travellers!

If the winter of 2013-2014 tells us anything, it is that it may get really cold again this year. For many, the drop in mercury triggers thoughts of warm beaches, turquoise oceans and piña coladas. The eagerness to get away can often leave a person forgetful of proper preparation for tropical conditions. More often than not, travellers get sick during their stay due to contaminated food and water, insect bites or too much sun. It would be a shame to come home with more than just lasting memories, such as a nasty parasite that has nestled itself in your intestinal walls.

As an avid traveller, I have seen this one too many times. It's all fun and games until someone ends up spending half of their vacation glued to the toilet with the worst case of Montezuma's Revenge ever!  The feeling of "never well since" can linger for months after returning home leaving you to wonder whether the trip was worth it in the first place. 

Just as you would maybe exercise that little bit harder to look good in your bikini, why not prep your immune system as well? This simple pre-travel protocol can help strengthen your immunity naturally.

In the last few years, I’ve implemented this pre-travel routine to help prepare and prevent any sort of gastrointestinal upset. From my experience, starting this a week prior to travel helps strengthen your immunity for both the journey and the destination.

Increase your first line of defense by strengthening your gut flora.
Start taking or increase your level of probiotics. (disclaimer: when taking probiotics be sure to consult your health care provider if you have any pre-existing gastrointestinal problems)


Increase your antioxidant levels by mega dosing with vitamin C. (1000-3000 mg/day for adults, 250-500mg/day for children aged 18 mos.-12 yrs)


Increase your microbial defense by introducing a few drops (2-3) of Grapefruit seed extract into your water bottle daily.

 While Travel Clinics suggest a full range of vaccinations for exotic destinations, not everyone is comfortable with the idea of getting an armful of shots. I would recommend bringing a small homeopathic remedy kit to prepare for the unexpected. It is best to include a wide range of remedies; some that may even have multiple uses. Of course, the kit can be better adapted to a particular travel area when you know the risks.

TRAVEL ANXIETY AND FEAR

ACONITE- Panic with fear of flying, death, and accidents

JET LAG  

ARNICA - Feeling foggy, in shock, and/or muscles are achy. Also beneficial after any accident or injury. Reduces bruising, ameliorates shock, reduces soft tissue inflammation and prevents hemorrhage.

MOTION SICKNESS

COCCULUS- Nausea; vomiting; dizziness

FOOD POISONING

ARSENICUM- Diarrhea typically associated with exhaustion; restlessness; possible vomiting

FLUID LOSS

CHINA OFFICINALIS – exhaustion from copious diarrhea, sweating and dehydration.

INDIGESTION

NUX VOMICA- hangovers or effects of overindulgence (food, drinks or stimulants). Stomach disorders with nausea that ameliorate with vomiting

ALTITUDE SICKNESS

COCA – first line remedy for all the symptoms of altitude sickness, not available in Canada, but available elsewhere

SUNBURN

CALENDULA - in any topical form for mild sunburn

URTICA URENS - for mild sunburn with itching

CANTHARIS - painful sunburn with possible blistering

HEAT EXHAUSTION

BELLADONNA- weakness, confusion, throbbing headache, nausea, vomiting, skin that is cool, moist and pale.

SUNSTROKE

GELSIMIUM- with cerebral congestion, delirium, drowsiness, thirstlessness, headache, high temperature and tendency to coma – think the 3 D’s: dull, drowsy, dopey

SUN HEADACHES

LACHESIS- dizziness and faintness; hot weather greatly fatigues. Worse after sleep

SUN STROKE  

GLOINOINUM- great remedy for congestive headaches, pale face, fixed eyes, white tongue, full, round pulse, labored respiration and sinking at the pit of the stomach. The temperature is high and oftentimes there is unconsciousness. Cessation of perspiration.  It is also suitable for the after-effects of sunstroke. Sunstroke is a medical emergency.

 

INSECT BITES or STINGS

LEDUM – itchiness and burning even after scratching. As well as inflammation at the site of the wound, amelioration from ice and the ascending pains. The injured part is also often swollen, purple and mottled.

APIS for the treatment of symptoms such as redness, itchiness, slight shivering, hive-like swelling and fever.

 

All of the above remedies are available in the full range of potencies. For very minor injuries consider taking the lower potencies, such as a 6C. Save the higher potencies such as the 30C or 200C for more serious conditions and for very grave injuries the higher and highest potencies are best, such as a 1M or 10M.

Whenever you prescribe for an acute situation, a dose may be repeated very frequently as the remedy can be used up quite quickly. A dose can be given as often as every five to ten minutes. Keep in mind, that once you do see improvement hold off from giving anymore doses unless the symptoms return or improvement stops. Reassess any changes that may indicate a new remedy.

It can be difficult to anticipate those unpleasant scenarios that may arise during your time away. A well stocked homeopathy kit, a strong immune system along with good hygiene and smart sun care is the best you can do to prepare yourself for the unforeseeable.  I hope you find these tips and guidelines helpful as you make your escape for warmer weather this winter season.

Have a fun, safe and healthy trip!

Zuzanna Tabac, Homeopath (click here, to check out Zuzanna's bio and read about our Homeopathic Mentorship and Work Exchange Program)

Homeopathic Guide for Travellers- Roy and Lage-Roy
http://healinglifehomeopathy.com/article_archives/april09.htm

http://www.alive.com/articles/view/22448/homeopathic_remedies_for_travel
http://www.homeopathyforhealth.net/2013/04/02/a-list-of-homeopathic-remedies-for-overseas-travel/

 

Posted in: first aid, homeopathy, remedies, winter

]]>
<![CDATA[5 Ways You Can Become a Master Homeopath by Learning From your Practice]]> http://riverdalehomeopathy.com/post5-ways-you-can-learn-from-your-practice http://riverdalehomeopathy.com/post5-ways-you-can-learn-from-your-practice Thu, 20 Nov 2014 00:00:00 GMT How our practice can empower us! Don’t get bogged down in methods and techniques that don’t produce results. Here are some of the hard lessons learnt from 25 years in practice:


1. Polycrests. These remedies with their long paper trail are well represented in our Materia Medicas and Repertories and have solved at least 80% of all my cured cases. To neglect them is a disservice to the profession. For example how many cases involving skin, digestion, sleep and thermo regulation (in menopause) respond well to Sulphur? How many laudable practices where built on polychrests? André Saine, Farokh Master, Vithoulkas to name a few. Another example is Cuba, where until recently (10 years ago), Cuban homeopaths worked effectively with only some 200 remedies at their disposal.

To this day I spend time practicing my scales (studying the keynotes of key remedies).

 

2.  Nosodes. I confess that it has taken me some 18 years to use nosodes well; the increase of pediatric cases in the last 8 years helped to tip the scales. As an inveterate unicist prescriber, nosodes did not come up often enough in my repertorisations.  And yet if I looked across the channel, at my colleagues practicing French style homeopathy, these nosodes occupied center stage in. The use of miasmatic remedies such as Medorrhinum, Tuberculinum, Carcinosinum  in tandem with constitutional or acute remedies can put turbo jets on our therapeutic engine. Even the Banerjis have observed the miracle of Medorrhinum for urinary infections!

 

3. Stacking of Remedies. Surely it was not for nothing that P Sankaran (Rajan Sankaran’s father) offered such categories as “Complements” in addition to “Remedies that follow well” in his well-used pamphlet The Clinical Relationship of Homoeopathic Remedies. Yes I wish I were a sharp shooter, resolving the case with the single remedy or a string of single remedies, but my practice has informed me otherwise.  The first ten years I was a devotee of classical prescribing which finally served to humble me, given the distressing load of failed cases. It was only when I traded in ideology for practicality that the tide turned in my favor.  Why not prescribe Rhus Tox on a daily basis alongside Sulphur while including the occasional dose of Graphite or Natrum Sulph, and the whole topped up with Staph for a quick and painless resolution of a case of depression, eruptive inflammation and stiffness of the joints? 

 

4. Be grateful for the complexes and the tried and true protocols. How many times have I relied on protocols and complexes, to keep a case afloat while I got my act together? Hahnemann himself proposed Belladonna for scarlet fever almost as a specific and quinine for malaria, which remedies could also be used prophylactically.  Why not empower your clients (many parents) with easy to use complexes?  In my practice, I favor the HTSF First Responders Kit. I find that I am best to enable all willing parties to handle the acutes, freeing me up to concentrate on the chronic.  The kit with its user guide also helps solve the ongoing problem of accessibility to remedies. You save time and effort (minimal after hour calls and emails), get better results and watch your practice grow (mothers are the very best source of referrals).

 

5.  Expanding your view. In the last 20 years we have modulated and refined our view of our remedies while  including new remedies, thanks to the work of the Bombay school, Scholten, Vithoulkas,  Loutan to name a few. It would be foolish for us not to bring this knowledge to bear in our prescribing. For example, the protocol proposed by Marine Jourde for Ebola includes Lac Caninum out of a consideration for the state and sensation of the victims of this epidemic in West Africa, along with such blood toxins as Bothrops, Baptisia  and Carbo veg….but  one must be mindful that prescribing from sensation-soul-essence is more experimental and so perhaps less reliable given the scarcity of  drug provings, rubrics and materia medica.

 

On Sunday November 30th, I will show you how to hold your practice center stage.  After all we come from an empirical tradition where the practice serves to informs us. Above all we must be able to interpret our results and adhere to what works. So if prescribing these two remedies simultaneously moves the case forward that is what we do. If repeated daily dosing of a 200C is what works that’s what we do. All of the examples that I use in the workshop serve to illustrate this. Also any method and technique which promotes our practice must be implemented, for practice enables mastery.  We will delve into the nitty gritty of some of my strategic cases such as examples of tandem prescribing in pediatric cases (important cases to resolve  given the many referrals they represent) , miasmatic prescribing (with some understanding of constitutions), the stacking of remedies all of this without losing control of a case.

In the wake of the regulation of homeopaths in Ontario it behooves us to move our practices forward.  May I share with you my 25 years of experience and welcome you to learn from my mistakes. They say that the best coach is not necessarily he that makes the most impressive presentation but rather he who can improve the game. Allow me to be that coach for a day.  I promise you will not be disappointed.

 

Merci,

Ingrid Bekhor


Click here to register for Learning From your Practice featuring Ingrid Bekhor

 

Posted in: events, homeopathy, remedies

]]>
<![CDATA[Book Review: The Homeopathic Conversation: The Art of Taking the Case – Dr. Brian Kaplan]]> http://riverdalehomeopathy.com/postbook-review-the-homeopathic-conversation-by-brian-kaplan http://riverdalehomeopathy.com/postbook-review-the-homeopathic-conversation-by-brian-kaplan Wed, 01 Oct 2014 00:00:00 GMT All Homeopaths must read this book! It should be curriculum, period.

Brian Kaplan tells his personal story of his journey from a young child who wanted to heal people, through becoming a disillusioned MD and a fated trip to a used book store that would lead him on the road to becoming a Homeopath. A trained homeopath who found that he didn’t know how to properly create rapport with patients that elicited the information he needed to properly prescribe, and he tells how he remedied that.

He combines traditional homeopathic case taking and education with techniques from different styles of counseling, psychology, other techniques to elicit symptoms. There is a very useful chapter on how to deal with those patients who have seen psychotherapists and speak in that psychobabble that masks the patient’s own description of their symptoms, a common frustration for Homeopaths everywhere! It even gets down to the nitty gritty of homeopathic shorthand and examples of intake forms one can use.

This book includes even a great come back for those doctors who argue that homeopathic remedies do nothing and the reason we see improvements in our patients is because of the case taking process!

The following quote sums up what this book will teach you:

 “This is exactly what makes our profession special. The undivided attention of the homeopath to his patient creates an atmosphere in the room in which the patient feels respected, understood and even loved. This is the elegance of the homeopathic conversation.”

Check it out here.

Dillena Dillen DHMHS, Homeopath, Reiki Master

Posted in: books, homeopathy

]]>
<![CDATA[How smells can affect you: Scientific support for Aromatherapy]]> http://riverdalehomeopathy.com/posthow-smells-can-affect-you-scientific-support-for-aromatherapy http://riverdalehomeopathy.com/posthow-smells-can-affect-you-scientific-support-for-aromatherapy Tue, 30 Sep 2014 00:00:00 GMT Ayda Moreno shares with us this great article from Dr. Mercola about how smells affect you and some interesting studies about aromatherapy.

http://www.sott.net/article/285122-Aromatherapy-Essential-oils-support-physical-and-emotional-well-being

 

 

Posted in: aromatherapy, massage

]]>
<![CDATA[First Do No Harm]]> http://riverdalehomeopathy.com/postfirst-do-no-harm http://riverdalehomeopathy.com/postfirst-do-no-harm Wed, 03 Sep 2014 00:00:00 GMT In our old bathroom, anticipating a renovation, we let all occupants, frequent or otherwise, write what came to mind. Most were tasteful, some we had to temporarily paint over.

 “Always have high hopes and low expectations”

“Bad Wolf”

and the one I currently have as my motto:

“First, do no harm”. 

 

The saying is often associated with the Hippocratic Oath – the creed of health practitioners since ancient times. I have discovered that it is simple to say but often difficult to apply; not only to medical decision making but also to the way we approach the world and all the creatures in it.

First, do no harm.

To live by this motto, every decision you make must be filtered through a calculation; the first calculation being “am I doing harm?” and the second “if I am doing harm, is it justified?” It ends up the calculation almost always skips to part 2. Some may even say that every thought or every intent causes harm in one way or another.

I interpret “first, do no harm” as a directive to default to harm avoidance. Any other action must be justified.

In my medical practice, I often shake my head and say to myself: “we haven’t got a clue”. Life on earth has been evolving for 3.5 billion years. Adapting, changing, becoming more complex. Our understanding of how life works cannot help but be miniscule. In the face of 3.5 billion years of evolution, doctors and healers must remain humble. We must tread as lightly as possible in the workings of living creatures.

This is why I love homeopathy. Such a light touch. Such respect for the living organism.

 

David Brulé BA, DHMS(Can.), Homeopath, Homeopathic Researcher

Posted in: homeopathy

]]>
<![CDATA[My Experience With Isaac Golden]]> http://riverdalehomeopathy.com/postmy-experience-with-isaac-golden http://riverdalehomeopathy.com/postmy-experience-with-isaac-golden Wed, 11 Jun 2014 00:00:00 GMT I first came across Dr. Isaac Golden’s work while working at Riverdale Homeopathy. The book Vaccination and Homeoprophylaxis came in, and David started telling me all about it. I was intrigued. It began a heated debate within the store and clinic. Those who believed there was merit to homeoprophylaxis (HP), and those who thought there still wasn’t enough research available, or that it was isopathy – which is clearly not homeopathy. I saw the possibility of what homeoprophylaxis promised and was excited. I wanted to believe.

When the Cuban leptospirosis study was published, the internal debate at Riverdale Homeopathy came to a joyful close. Here was some significant large scale evidence that homeopathic nosodes could indeed prevent illness. The Cuban government, in a time of dire need decide to try something unthinkable in countries like Canada and the US - they went ahead and distributed a homeopathic remedy made from identified strains of the leptospirosis bacteria to almost 2 and a half million people. The results, as many of you are aware, were earth shattering. Within 2 weeks cases of the disease came down below historical levels. And they did all this using Dr. Isaac Golden’s protocols.

Now the debate in other circles continues to rage on. Many people claimed this was not homeopathy, did not use homeopathic principles, and therefore gave us a bad name. Also, we were attracting the scornful eye of the skeptics, the pharmaceutical industry and the medical community that already had it out for homeopathy. We could be getting ourselves in trouble. But according to Dr. Golden, his methodology is based on classical prescribing with a precedent reaching back to Hahnemann himself. To prevent disease a homeopathic prescription does not need to be as exact as is necessary to treat disease. And if one does a proving of a nosode one will find a set of symptoms similar to if the person had acquired the disease itself. (The nosode provings are available by looking at the symptomatology of the disease). In fact nosodes are not necessary for HP - a well chosen homeopathic remedy based on the genus epidemicus will work as well. For example Lathyrus Sativus is a well known remedy for symptoms of Polio and Oscillococcinum has been shown effective for the flu, therefore these remedies are often used for disease prevention as well.

What excited me about HP is that this method provides us with some of the most significant and compelling evidence for the effectiveness of homeopathy.

As for Dr. Golden, I first met this joyful and warm man while filming for my documentary in Cuba. (It is coming – I promise!). He has a passionate and scientific mind. He navigates the world of statistics, numbers and probabilities with ease. His research and study for his PhD in statistics has been a significant asset to the homeopathic community. We wandered the old city of Havana where I learned where his passion originates. His own family was affected by vaccine damage, and he wanted to find out if there were other, less invasive and less harmful ways to prevent disease.

When I later interviewed him for the film, I learned the great depth of his insight and the logic involved in his protocols. His unwavering faith in homeopathy strongly backed by science has been inspiring to me and has greatly informed how I practice homeopathy today. His books back his ideas with hard science, and solid numbers that are hard to dispute.

We invited Dr. Golden to come and teach to a small group of homeopaths in Toronto two years ago. It was an excellent and well received seminar. People left feeling confident to use HP protocols in their practice not only in terms of the protocols themselves but also understanding why the protocols where devised the way they were and the evidence to support them.

Now we’re bringing him back and making the seminar available to the general community. Not only will practitioners be able to immediately incorporate this information into their practice – but this time he’s coming loaded with more recent research and statistics about HP. This time he will also discuss the treatment of vaccine damage - Dr. Golden has treated hundreds of cases of vaccine damage and has statistically analyzed his outcomes to better understand what methodology has led to greater success. Some of this is outlined in his book Vaccine Damaged Children.

So please consider this my personal invitation to you, to join us on August 10th for this rare opportunity to learn directly from Dr. Isaac Golden. I guarantee you will not be disappointed. Click here to learn more about the seminar. And act soon – if we get 40 participants by the end of the month we’ll be able to offer a significant discount of $75. It’s all about us meeting certain minimums to pay for space, and Dr. Golden’s accommodation time and flights. So act soon and invite your friends to join us too.

 

Listen to this, Dr. Isaac Golden calls in the the Health Inn show with Debby Bruck CHom of Homeopathy World Community If you're still debating whether to make it to this unique seminar than you should click here! I suggest you skip the first 13 minutes and get right into the juicy bits.


Ananda More - Homeopath, Doula, Reiki Master, Film Maker

416-778-0085

 

Posted in: books, events, homeopathy, remedies

]]>
<![CDATA[Slipping into Depression and Anxiety: How do you know when it’s time to get help?]]> http://riverdalehomeopathy.com/postslipping-into-depression-and-anxiety-how-do-you-know-when-its-time-to-get-help http://riverdalehomeopathy.com/postslipping-into-depression-and-anxiety-how-do-you-know-when-its-time-to-get-help Wed, 04 Jun 2014 00:00:00 GMT If you suffer from depression and anxiety, you may have noticed that these conditions often move in cycles. Identifying this tipping point can help you to stop a serious bout of depression and anxiety before it gets out of hand. 

I seem to get an influx of depression and anxiety patients around this time of year. It is an interesting pattern because usually this is the time of year when people start to feel better. Days are getting longer, grass is getting greener, flowers are emerging, and the warm days of patios and summer vacations is imminent. You can almost taste the smell of BBQ on the air outside at dinner time.  

I came to understand the reason for this pattern from my own bout of depression last year. I have struggled with severe depression and anxiety myself for most of my life (since I was 16 years old), and was on anti-depressants on and off for many years. I have been happily un-medicated for 8 years thanks to homeopathic treatment. But early last year stress and trauma piled on me, worse than it had had in years, and I fell into a depression that lasted a couple of months. I almost didn’t notice the depression until I saw spring had sprung, but unfortunately I hadn’t. Everyone around me was getting excited, making plans for summer, going outside, getting active…and all I wanted to do was stay inside, on my couch, or better yet, hide under the covers. I was still functional (mostly), but had pulled away from my friends and was burying myself in the distraction of sleep and television, my 2 main coping mechanisms. 

Because this has been a lifelong struggle, I have learned to identify the signs that I’m sliding down the slope and can therefore intervene at that point, before I get too far into the quagmire. In the past I would see myself starting to descend and take a dose of my constitutional/chronic homeopathic remedy. That would pull me up and me back to normality. But this time, the stress masked the tipping point and it snuck up on me, and I was down in it before I realized. Once I identified this, I took my remedy, and after a couple of weeks I was back to my normal self.

I decided I would put together a checklist of things to look out for that might signal a downward slope, so that intervention steps can be taken. If you have a history of depression and anxiety, seeing a few of these symptoms, likely means you may be heading down the bad road and should seek help before you fall even further. 

  • Feeling tired all the time – inability to sleep or sleeping too much, recurrent dreams of unresolved struggle, or recurring nightmares
  • Feeling irritable – now you may not notice this one yourself, but you may notice this through partner, family or friends – they might outright call you on your irritability or it may be reflected in your partner, family, friends (if you are being irritable with them, they may be reflecting your irritability by being irritable right back at you)
  • Identify your coping mechanism(s) - we all have them, and notice when you are relying on them too heavily – when you are trying to loose yourself in something instead of dealing with your life or the world - eg. cleaning, work, sleep
  • Shirking responsibilities – you aren’t keeping your house like you usually do (unless cleaning is a coping mechanism for you), you miss bill payments, walk your dog less, etc. 
  • Missing work or school
  • Isolating yourself – hermiting behaviour, canceling plans with friends/family
  • Over use of alcohol 
  • Headaches, body aches, recurrent colds/flu, appetite changes, constipation or diarrhea, heartburn, gas or indigestion, flare ups of skin conditions – these can be somatic or physical symptoms of depression and anxiety

What to do when you notice that you might be slipping:

  • Talk! – to your friends, family, Psychotherapist
  • Exercise! – I know it might seem like the most difficult thing to do to move, but exercise releases endorphins, endorphins make you happy, nuff said!
  • Get outside! – see above
  • Meditate! - it's not as hard as you think, ask me for tips!
  • Eat well balanced meals – again, cooking a meal for yourself might seem as difficult as climbing mount Everest right now, but lack of certain nutrients can cause or exacerbate depression and anxiety – especially B12 and D
  • Supplement with Vitamin B12Vitamin D
  • Supplement with 5-HTP - a precursor to serotonin, but it is counterindicated with antidepressant medication, so don't take 5-HTP if you are on conventional anti-depressants 
  • Use Bach Flower Remdies! Rescue Remedy or Tromos to calm and reassure, or choose an individual Bach flower remedy specifically for you – you can use it drop by drop as needed, or put a dropper full in your water bottle and sip it over the day 
  • For trouble sleeping, try Bach Flower Rescue Sleep
  • See a Homeopath and get the right homeopathic remedy for you! 

Homeopathic remedies are not counter-indicated with anti-depressants, anti-anxiety or most other medications. And if your goal is to get off your anti-depressant and/or anti-anxiety medication all together, a Homeopath can work with you and your doctor to that end. 

Questions? Want to know whether the above recommendations might be right for you? Give me a call to discuss your specific circumstance. 416-778-0085.

Dillena Dillen DMHMS, Homeopath, Reiki Master

Posted in: homeopathy, psychotherapy, remedies, spring

]]>
<![CDATA[Laughing is Good for You! - A Laughing Yoga Experience]]> http://riverdalehomeopathy.com/postlaughing-is-good-for-you-a-laughing-yoga-experience http://riverdalehomeopathy.com/postlaughing-is-good-for-you-a-laughing-yoga-experience Fri, 23 May 2014 00:00:00 GMT I attended a Yoga Laughter session with Lynn Himmelmann in Withrow Park on May 4th, World Laughter Day. 

I must confess, I was feeling a bit self-conscious, so much so that on my way to the park I even thought about turning back. But I decided to give it a try. Besides, I said to myself, I love laughing and have no difficulty laughing, so why not? The day turn out to be sunny and warm, and slowly the group started to form.

After introducing herself and telling us about her experience with Laughter Yoga for the last 10 plus years, Lynn guided us through a series of "exercises". I thought of them more as excuses to laugh and to share our laughter with everyone around us.

I absolutely loved it! It was amazing to feel my body and my mind relaxing, I completely enjoyed the process and the experience. At the end of the session I felt as If I had exercised vigorously. 

When I came back home that day, I noticed the difference in my energy, in my body and my state of mind. I also noticed that that night I slept very well because when I got up in the morning I felt refreshed, relaxed and very positive.

I've been thinking about the fact that there are lots of reasons to laugh all the time, and the simple methods that Lynn and the other facilitators used are proof of that. Perhaps we need to focus more on all the things that are fun and positive in our lives to allow healing not only at the physical but also at the level of the mind, the emotions and the Inner Self.   

So, Try it! Laugh by yourself or with friends and family. It does not cost anything and the effects are incredible!

There is a lot of information about the effects of Laughter on our bodies, there have been medical studies done in the States, in Europe and in India. You can find Dr. Kataria and other Laughter leaders doing Laughter Yoga in YouTube. Use their guidance to start laughing. 

Remember that laughter is the best medicine. 

To get in touch with Lynn Himmelmann call (416) 469-2033, or go to http://www.laughyourselfhappy.com/

 

Ayda MorenoCertified Aromatherapist, Reiki Master, Reflexologist

Posted in: community, spring

]]>
<![CDATA[Acupuncture - Scientifically shown to be effective!]]> http://riverdalehomeopathy.com/postacupuncture-scientifically-shown-to-be-effective http://riverdalehomeopathy.com/postacupuncture-scientifically-shown-to-be-effective Thu, 10 Apr 2014 00:00:00 GMT The principles of acupuncture are firmly grounded in science.

Traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture is fairly new to the Western world, however it has been used in China effectively for thousands of years. I believe this amazing practice will be more available to the public through education and experience.

Traditional Chinese medicine explains that health is the result of a harmonious balance of the complementary extremes of yin and yang of the life force known as gi or chi.  Qi flows through meridians (pathways) in the human body. Through almost 400 acupuncture points in the body, this flowing life energy in the meridians can be accessed. Physical or mental illnesses are the consequence of an imbalance of the forces. If needles are inserted into these points with appropriate combinations, the energy flow can be brought back into proper balance. So the acupuncture points don't have any magical properties; they are simply convenient locations to needle. For instance, the most important acupuncture points located along the spine are directly connected to the nerves that supply the internal organs.  I don’t think this is coincidence.
In Western societies, acupuncture is explained including concepts of neuroscience.  Acupuncture points are seen by Western practitioners as places where nerves, muscles and connective tissue can be stimulated. The stimulation increases blood flow while at the same time triggering the activity of our own body's natural painkillers such as opioids and serotonin.  

World Health Organization indications ‘for which acupuncture has been proved through clinical trials to be an effective treatment:'

Respiratory: allergic rhinitis

Gastrointestinal: biliary colic, dysentery, epigastralgia (in peptic ulcer, acute and chronic gastritis and gastro spasm), morning sickness, nausea and vomiting

Pain: facial pain, headache, knee pain, low back pain, neck pain, dental pain, periarthritis of the shoulder, postoperative pain, rheumatoid arthritis, sciatica, sprain, tennis elbow

Gynecological/renal: colic, primary dysmenorrhea, induction of labor, correction of malposition of fetus

Cardiovascular: hypertension, hypotension, stroke.

Psychiatric: depression (including depressive neurosis and depression following stroke)

General: adverse reactions to radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy, leukopenia

All therapies have benefits and risks.  

The risks of acupuncture are:

  • It should not be performed if the patient has a bleeding disorder or taking blood thinners
  • There may be bleeding, bruising and soreness at the insertion sites
  • The needle may break and damage an internal organ (very rare)
  • When inserted deeply into the chest or upper back there is a risk of collapsed lung (very rare)
  • Unsterilized needles may infect the patient – I use the safe needle protocol dictated by the College of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturists of Ontario

The benefits of acupuncture are:

  • When performed correctly by registered practitioner it is safe
  • There are very few side effects
  • It is a very effective combination treatment
  • It is effective in controlling some types of pain, a useful alternative for patients who do not want to take pain medications
  • It may be considered for patients who do not respond to pain medications

 

Hulya HeeneyD.Ac.Lc., Acupuncturist

Posted in: acupuncture

]]>
<![CDATA[Treating Allergies Naturally]]> http://riverdalehomeopathy.com/posttreating-allergies-naturally http://riverdalehomeopathy.com/posttreating-allergies-naturally Thu, 03 Apr 2014 00:00:00 GMT Come spring or fall so many people complain about allergies.  Whether it’s sniffling and sneezing or watery eyes itchy ears and throats.  Allergies are irritating, annoying, and tend to interfere with daily function.  There are so many products available to treat “allergies” it gets down right confusing. 

Essentially what’s going on in the body is an auto-immune response where the body is over producing histamine to cope with an influx of foreign molecules (pollen, dander, dust or even chemicals) which are over whelming the body. This is experienced as an allergy attack as certain tissues are overwhelmed.  The question then becomes, why is the body over whelmed?  And how can we help it?  Most allergy medications tend to remove the symptoms but don’t treat the problem, and in desperation for relief we take these medicines to cope instead of fixing the system. 

As a homeopath, when I treat my patients with allergies, I tend to follow a specific protocol.  A gentle drainage of a congested system is necessary. Getting rid of the back log can minimise some of the reactions. Usually some combination of Gemmo-therapy is used.  A Gemmo tincture like Ribes Nigrum helps with the inflammation process by reducing swollen tissue. Rosmarinus tincture is a liver and Gall bladder drainer. Viburnum Lantana helps with respiratory drainage.  Most formulas are personalized depending on the causation and symptoms present.  There are also acute homeopathic remedies for the management of symptoms in allergy attacks for example Allium Cepa which should help with watery eyes and runny noses. 

Then I prescribe a constitutional remedy which addresses the person as a whole and all of their issues simultaneously.  This practice raises a patients overall health and immunity and tends to reduce the intensity of the symptoms experienced.  In conjunction with the Bowen technique’s Respiratory and TMJ moves the symptoms tend to decrease by 25-50% annually. 

Allergy patients are encouraged to use a hydration formula where an infusion of red clover, birch bark, and dandelion root is drunk four times a day.  Patients are encouraged eliminate foods which may increase their personal sensitivity for example lactose or gluten. People are encouraged to eat large quantities of dark green, slightly bitter vegetables, as they are helpful with the detoxification of the blood.

 By utilising these protocols systemic health can be qualitatively improved.  This reduces the likelihood of the body over reacting and producing too much histamine and thereby a systemic overreaction.  It is this overall improvement which will improve the intensity, frequency, and severity of allergy attacks. 

 

Alexis Touyz, Bowen Therapist

 

See part 2 of this blog post here.

Posted in: allergies, bowen therapy, fall, homeopathy, nutrition, remedies, spring, summer

]]>
<![CDATA[Dandelion—Weed or Wonder?]]> http://riverdalehomeopathy.com/postdandelionweed-or-wonder http://riverdalehomeopathy.com/postdandelionweed-or-wonder Tue, 15 Apr 2014 00:00:00 GMT The dandelion is commonly under-estimated.  More often then not it is regarded as a weed or blight in the garden.  Something to be gotten rid of.  But the dandelion is really a Prince of the herb kingdom.  It grows everywhere and is incredibly versatile, it’s leaves for example can be used in a salad of fresh spring greens.  Fresh dandelion greens are one of the most successful greens used in a spring detox.  The yellow flowers can be turned into dandelion wine, and the roots have been used throughout history as a wonderful remedy for the liver.

Its chief constituents are taraxacin a bitter substance and taraxacerin which is an acid resin with inulin which is a sugar that can replace a starch. It combines easily with other remedies as an adaptogenic herb i.e. a herb that adapts and combines well with others This remarkable root is a diuretic, tonic and stimulant to the system especially the urinary organs, kidney and liver. Dandelion has been used historically in complaints of the liver, dyspepsia, as a laxative in constipation, irritated stomachs, and chronic liver congestion, as well as indurations of the liver and even certain skin conditions like eczema.  A strong infusion of dandelion tea is wonderful for nausea and dizziness and in the long term is very helpful for a sluggish liver.  Dandelion in conjunction with other herbs can be used for treating things like jaundice, Gaul stones, and many other liver related issues. 

Homoeopathically dandelion treats bilious conditions, Gaul stones, and liver disorders.  Weakness, involuntary admissions involving the passing of water.  A key note symptom for dandelion is a mapped tongue and generalised weakness and fatigue.

Considering all this, perhaps we should leave the dandelions in that garden and consider them more wonder then weed. 

 Alexis Touyz, Bowen Therapist

Check out part 1 of this blog post here.

References:

Mrs. M Greve, A modern Herbal Vol.1.  Published 1971 dover publications inc.

Robin Murphy ND, Natures Materia Medica 3rd edition, 2006 RR Donnelley and Sons Company.

Posted in: allergies, nutrition, remedies, spring

]]>