Pulsatilla – This remedy is one of the most often used remedies in children in general—for ear infections, teething, and colds. It is indicated when the child wants affection and physical contact. The child may be very clingy and seeks attention in a soft and sweet way (Chamomilla is demanding, as mentioned last week—see the link above). The child may have yellow-green mucus. Pain may be worse in a warm room or at night. Symptoms are usually better when the child is moving slowly (being gently rocked or walking around.)
Hepar Sulph– This remedy is indicated when the symptoms come almost out of the blue. Typically, the child wakes between midnight and 2:00 A.M., screaming in pain with a sharp, severe earache. The intense pain creates intense screaming. Nothing relieves in the moment (unlike symptoms when Chamomilla is indicated, which can be a bit better if you are trying everything). This remedy is used often when there is tonsillitis with the ear infection.
Mercurius Solubilis– This remedy is used when the ear infection is associated with salivation, swollen glands, and smelly breath and discharges, due to the intensity of the infection in the body. Redness or pus may be present in the middle ear. The child may have enlarged glands or pus on tonsils (white or yellow coat on throat). The child can chill or get overheated easily, and it seems hard to regulate the child’s temperature.
Silica– This is used in later stages of an earache. Physical weakness and tiredness accompany the earache. This remedy is great for children who have repeated infections. They may have crackling or popping noises in the ear. You may also notice your child is not properly responding to noise because the ears are stopped up. Also, moving air creates pain.
Many children suffer from occasional ear infections (A.K.A. Otitis Media). There are various manifestations of these infections that I would like to address in order to help you take charge of an ear infection and help your child heal without use of medications.
The rate of healing of an ear infection will depend on your child’s vitality (think energy and immune system responsiveness), history of infections, and depth of infection. Acute ear infections that come on quickly and include lots of pain also tend to clear quickly with the correct remedy. An ear infection that comes on after a cold, followed by congestion and achiness can take a bit longer, and will take even more time if it is your child’s second, third, fourth, (etc.) infection. These require a bit more time for the body to fully resolve the whole infection, including the cold. A third type of ear infection is what used to be called “Glue Ear.” This is when the fluid in the ear becomes very thick and sticky, interfering with hearing. I recommend scheduling a full consultation for the “Glue Ear” situation, as it will require more individualized treatment.
This week I will provide information about four remedies often used for ear infections. Next week I will discuss four others. Please be aware that these are not the only eight remedies that will work for ear infections, but they are the ones most often indicated.
Belladonna – Belladonna is indicated for severe ear pain that is usually throbbing in nature. The child may have flushed cheeks, dilated pupils, and sometimes a high fever. Even so, the child will usually have no thirst. Symptoms may be worse at night, may be caused from teething, and can be irritated by noise.
Ferrum Phos – Used for early stages of an earache before pus is formed. Less severe pain, fever, or intensity than when Belladonna is indicated. Give if Belladonna seems indicated but does not work. Child may be thirsty.
Aconite – Symptoms start suddenly after child has been chilled, or there is a sudden weather change from hot to cold. Symptoms of fear, anxiety, fever with sweating, and great thirst. Child may also have one pale cheek and one red cheek (like Chamomilla-see below).
Chamomilla – This is a remedy that is also used often in children for teething and illnesses. Child may be restless, oversensitive, and may scream with pain. When this remedy is indicated, the child may seem angry, temperamental, and demanding. Your child may ask for a toy or food, then push it away angrily. It’s as if all the child wants from you is to do everything you can to make them comfortable, but nothing helps. Ear or cheek may be red.
Other Helpful Solutions: Using warm oil in the infected ear can relieve pain while you are waiting for a remedy to act. I like using mullein oil, olive oil, or garlic oil for this soothing solution. Use a dropper to put a few drops in the affected ear.
Remember the first warm spring days back when we were kids? We simply ached to kick off the shoes, peel off those socks and run around barefoot . . . for the first time since September (or maybe October for the brave ones). If you want to enjoy that barefoot sensation again, consider this: barefoot walking and running have exploded in popularity over the past few years, and we don’t mean just running in the grass or on the beach.
We’re talking about some rough terrain here . . . gravel and rough asphalt. Maybe your first reaction is, “Yikes!” If so, you’re not alone, but read on, and maybe you’ll change your mind. Over the next few weeks, we’ll address this trend. And who knows? Maybe you’ll want to try it out during these lovely weeks of autumn!
Our first recommendation: start slow and easy. You just can’t jump in full speed. Be wise and avoid injury. For your first barefoot venture, walking on the grass around the nearest park is the obvious choice, as opposed to taking a five-mile run down a gravel road. Another thing to consider is this: barefoot doesn’t necessarily mean barefoot. What we’re trying to say is that there are new options in footwear, sometimes called minimalist running shoes or barefoot running shoes. REI offers a brief, informative article on the topic, explaining how minimalist styles offer a less bulky shoe with a low heel and little or no arch support. Barefoot styles even contain individual toe pockets—like gloves for your feet. Socks reminiscent of those crazy-colored, knee-high toe socks are also available, albeit in athletic form.
Of course, if you wear orthotics—or if you have bunions, hammertoes, plantar fasciitis, or other problems with your feet, barefoot running may not be for you.
For those of us who habitually wear shoes except when at the beach or in bed, this may seem like a foreign concept. Even so, barefoot running has steadily gained popularity over the past few years, and we’d like you to know more about it.
One of the foremost authorities on barefoot running is Ken Bob Saxton, whose website barefootrunning.com claims fame as the “Original Running Barefoot Website,” online since 1997. Interestingly, Ken Bob doesn’t believe that one needs to go barefoot on every run, or even part of every run—or every walk, for that matter. What he does say is that repetitive stress injuries common to long-distance runners can actually be related to wearing those wonderfully comfortable running shoes sought after by most runners. Ken Bob’s claim is that the pounding impact is partially masked by the shoes, thereby allowing runners to go harder and farther than they would if going barefoot, thereby leading to injury. By running barefoot, runners are more easily able to identify those injury-causing forces—and learn to run more “gently,” making it easier on the body. He also warns against using the minimalist running shoes as simply a way to run (or walk!) farther and harder than you can do barefoot.
Again, Ken Bob’s focus is to teach runners to adjust the running style—not just pad it—in order to run more gently and avoid injury. We strongly recommend that you learn more before joining the barefoot ranks. Check out this link for Ken Bob’s website for details and video, but here are the basics:
Keep face and feet pointed forward.
Be upright instead of leaning forward.
Allow the hips to rotate to keep your feet in line.
Bend hips, knees and ankles to act as natural springs.
Lift feet instead of “pushing” them forward to improve cadence, weight distribution, lift off and efficiency.
Lead with your center.
This list just skims the surface . . . please click on the link above. Next week we’ll share more on barefoot/minimalist footwear. Until then, whether you walk or run . . . shod or barefoot, remember: at Body Healing Power, we help your body heal itself naturally.
Now let’s focus on minimalist footwear, sometimes called barefoot shoes. While we’re not advocating the purchase of any particular brand, we’ll point out two companies’ resources that may interest you if you are considering running barefoot.
First, REI points out that many barefoot running shoes are specifically designed for either trail running or road running. Whatever your choice, we recommend doing the research to learn which one best suits your needs. In addition, there are two basic styles of barefoot running shoes: the glove-like shoes with individual toe sleeves, a very thin (3-4mm) sole and “zero drop” from heel to toe; or the shoes described as minimalist, which look like a pared-down version of traditional shoes, except that they have little or no arch support and a 4-8mm heel. Both choices differ substantially from traditional running shoes that are built with padding, arch support and 8-12mm heels. For more info, if you didn’t click on the REI link, two weeks ago, here’s another chance at it.
It’s actually the design of traditional running shoes—which have been around only since the 1970s, by the way—that barefoot runners avoid. Why’s that? According to numerous sources, the 8-12mm drop from heel to toe is one reason. The design causes runners to come down on their heels. Barefoot running experts say the heel strike is hard on the body, especially the knees. They claim that barefoot running and the minimalist shoe styles encourage a mid-foot strike that allows the runner to run more gently, putting less stress on the body. Of course, the shoes can’t be the whole answer. Good running form is crucial. New Balance offers a brief video to point out four keys to good form, and to review info from last week’s newsletter, you may want to review the website of Ken Bob Saxton.
We hope you’re enjoying the fine spring weather! Until next week, whether you walk or run . . . shod or barefoot, remember: at Body Healing Power we help your body heal itself naturally.
Now that we’ve experienced temperatures in the 50s, spring has really arrived! Tiny perennials are eagerly popping out of the ground. Crocuses and Tulips will be blooming any moment, and a few children you know may have received baby bunnies or chicks in their Easter baskets. So, what do all these things have in common? New life!
At Body Healing Power we like the fresh feeling of springtime. The days grow longer. Trees bud out and the grass greens up. When we get outside and become more active in the warm springtime temperatures, we feel energized and younger. If you’ve been feeling dragged down over the past few months with heavy winter clothing and a lower activity level, it’s time to rejuvenate!
So . . . are you yearning to have your youthful vigor restored? Do you want to feel younger? Along with daily activity, massage can be key for rejuvenation. As we age, our range of motion tends to diminish, but your massage therapist, Dawn, at Body Healing Power can help to reverse this problem.
In fact, Deep Tissue/Myofascial Release can be just what you need to increase range of motion. During this type of massage, we use deep, slow strokes to lengthen the fascia and connective tissue. This helps to increase range of motion and relieve chronic pain. Do you want help relieving those spring allergies? Try homeopathy. Because at Body Healing Power, we help your body heal itself naturally.
Like any other health and wellness service you use, massage is an investment in living life well. How wonderful it would be to receive a massage daily, along with a shampoo & style and a chiropractic adjustment, right?! Barring the purchase of a winning Powerball ticket, this scenario is unlikely to play out anytime soon.
So . . . if you’re feeling stiff and sore between your monthly massage appointments, what can you do? Easy answer: self-massage.
What’s even easier, you don’t have to take a class-not even a single session-to learn some simple, effective techniques to maintain that tip-top feeling between massages. A great source for self-massage recommendations is “Learn the Art of Self-Massage,” an article based on the book Stealth Health: How to sneak age-defying, disease-fighting habits into your life without really trying.
The article offers a wealth of information. One tip is to “hammer out the kinks” each morning and evening. “Using your fists, gently thump the outside of your body, starting with your legs and arms, working from top to bottom. Then move inward to your torso and thump from bottom to top.” According to the article, this technique is good for strength, circulation and relaxation of nerve endings; but use caution to prevent bruising if you take a blood thinner.
We recommend that you take a look at the link above to read the entire article. The helpful tips continue for three pages for a total of seventeen tips in all, which is far too much info to include in this brief note. Topics range from aiding digestion to relieving foot pain. Several of the suggestions require the use of simple objects such as a tennis ball, a shoebox filled with golf balls, a tube sock filled with uncooked rice, a padded chair, or lavender oil.
Using a foam roller for self-myofascial release
Do you experience muscle tightness or trigger points? You know . . . those sore-to-the-touch knots in your muscles that cry out for a massage? But maybe your next massage isn’t on the schedule until next week. You may want to try a foam roller for self-massage in the meantime.
Foam rollers look something like the “noodles” kids use at the pool, but they’re shorter and thicker than “noodles.” They’re also made of denser foam, especially designed for self-massage. Basically, one uses a foam roller on the floor, utilizing gravity to place pressure on various trigger points, thus releasing them. While a certain amount of strength and coordination is necessary for some uses of the roller, it can be used for many areas of the body.
An excellent source for instruction on foam roller self-massage is the breakingmuscle.com article “What Is a Foam Roller, How Do I Use It, and Why Does It Hurt?” by Jeff Kuhland. The article contains specific directions and explanations, including photos and warnings, but suffice it to say that “foam rolling can assist in breaking up . . . muscle knots, resuming normal blood flow.” Kuhlman states, “By applying pressure to specific points on your body you are able to aid in the recovery of muscles and assist in returning them to normal function.”
While use of the foam roller can be expected to cause some discomfort; in the end, you’ll be feeling better. Before attempting foam rolling, we recommend reading the entire article and heeding Kuhland’s precautions. For example, be careful to avoid pushing too hard, and drink plenty of water to maintain hydration and allow released toxins to be cleansed from your system.
Now, we know what you’re thinking . . . ice massage? I get a massage for relaxation, and ice massage sounds like anything but relaxing!
Well, have you ever taken a fall? Maybe you lifted something heavy, using the muscles in your back instead of your legs. Or perhaps you’ve experienced a sport injury.
Ice massage is especially useful in the first day or two after straining a muscle in the lower back. If you receive an injury with accompanying back pain, ice massage may just what you need, especially if you are unable to make an appointment with your massage therapist immediately. Applying ice to the affected area can slow the inflammation, reduce swelling, numb soreness and reduce pain spasms, according to the Spine-health website. In fact, “once the cold is removed, the veins overcompensate and dilate and blood rushes into the area. The infusion of blood in the area brings with it the necessary nutrients to help the injured back muscles, ligaments and tendons to heal.”
Ice massage therapy can be done with an ice cube, but you may want to make a larger piece of ice by freezing water in a paper cup. Also, depending on the amount of pain you are experiencing, ice-massage may or may not work as a self-massage technique. In either case, take a look at the link above for complete instructions and precautions. In the meantime, these are the basics from Spine-health:
Apply the ice gently and massage in a circular motion.
Focus the ice massage therapy on the six-inch area of the back where the pain is felt.
Avoid applying the ice massage directly on the bony portion of the spine.
Limit the ice massage therapy to about 5 minutes at a time (to avoid an ice burn).
Repeat the ice massage two to five times a day.
No matter which self-massage techniques you choose between your regularly scheduled massages, remember: at Body Healing Power, we help your body heal itself naturally.
With the snows of winter quickly melting and becoming a faded memory, maybe you’re eager to undertake spring cleaning in the yard. Rakes, shovels and hoes patiently await their turn, still tucked behind the snow shovel and salt bucket. Even so, we’ll soon break them out to make way for the new green grass and springtime blooms!
When preparing for outdoor chores, be aware of the possibility of injury. We tend to be more active as temperatures rise, and in some cases, we may not have used some of our muscles very much during the winter. Stretch to warm up and avoid strains and pains. Work in short bursts with regular breaks, and be sure to stay hydrated. It’s easy to forget to drink extra water on a cool spring day, but hydration is important long before the heat of summer sets in. Also avoid overdoing it on the first day of your spring cleanup. Overworking neglected muscles can result in pain, and perhaps even putting off your project. Finally, when the yard is looking good, and the perennials are leafing out, we like to recommend taking time to relax and enjoy a massage. Along with cleaning up the yard outside, you may want to detoxify on the inside with Lymphatic Drainage Massage.
Lymphatic Drainage is a type of gentle massage that enhances and stimulates the lymphatic system to drain stagnant fluids, detoxify, regenerate tissues and filter foreign substances. Benefits include the following: detoxification of the entire body, minimization of lines and wrinkles, rehydration of the skin, and reduction in fluid retention and swelling. It can also assist in easing side effects from medications and those incurred during cancer treatments, including radiation therapy. Because at Body Healing Power, we help your body heal itself naturally.