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.
Determining the dosing and the potency (strength) of your remedy is important. Finding a balance is key. You need to make sure the body is not pushed too hard, causing symptoms to get more intense (also called an aggravation). Yet, you need to ensure that it is supported well enough to heal at a good pace.
How potent is the remedy? What do the numbers and letters mean?
The higher the number, the stronger and more energetic the remedy is. For example, a 12c is a lesser strength than a 30c. The letters also indicate strength. Think of the Roman numeral system: X=10, C=100, M=1,000. The higher the number, the more potent and more energetic the remedy is; so a 12x is a lesser strength than a 12c.
The remedies can be safely used in conjunction with conventional medication; there is no known interaction.
The number of times you take a remedy will depend on the severity of symptoms and the potency you have available. In general, the more intense and severe the symptoms are, the higher the potency or frequency of the dose. For general colds, teething, fevers and illnesses, if you have a 12c or 30c, take the remedy 3 to 4 times per day, dissolving under the tongue. Avoid eating or drinking at least 10 minutes before and 5 minutes after taking the remedy.
For very high fevers or injuries, you can take the remedy as often as needed. The general rule is to take it more often for a more severe fever or injury.
If a child has a mild fever of 100° or 102°, you may give a 30c of the indicated remedy 3 to 4 times per day, realizing that the remedy will not necessarily take down the fever, but will support it and the healing. If the same child has a fever of 104° or more, you may take the indicated remedy every 5 minutes until the fever drops to a safer level.
If you get hit on the leg with a baseball, you might take Arnica 30c every half hour for a couple hours to minimize pain and bruising. If the same baseball hits the head, you would want to take it every 2 to 3 minutes for the first 10 minutes, and every 10 to 20 minutes thereafter for a couple hours.
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.
Breathing. We hardly take a moment to consider it unless a bit of food or drink “goes down the wrong pipe,” as they say.
But breathing is essential for life. Respiration is the most basic of bodily functions, ranking right up there with your heartbeat. In our society, we tend to pay lots of attention to the external . . . our clothing, hair, makeup, accessories. But what about everything that’s happening on the inside? Like breathing? Interestingly, our natural, normal and healthy breathing patterns tend to change as we grow from babies to children to adults.
Consider a newborn baby who has no concept of those external things. According to Bret Lyon, PhD, “If you watch a baby breathe, you will see a remarkable sight. With each inhale, the baby’s belly fills with air like a balloon, the pelvis rocks forward, the legs open. The chest rises and then falls, like a raft on the ocean. This is natural oceanic ‘full-body breathing.'”
So, how do adults breathe, anyway? Lyon explains that adults have a tendency for shallow breathing, mostly in the chest instead of allowing the diaphragm to move. Even worse, many adults actually stop breathing for a short period up to 100 times each day. That can’t be good!
Why does this happen? The answer is two-part. The first is conscious: we like to look good. We don’t want our bellies pooching out with every breath. How many of us have “sucked in” the gut to look thinner or to wear those favorite old jeans that are now a size too small? Even though doing this may make you look better on the outside, it constricts breathing. The second reason is subconscious: stress, worry and even seeking others’ approval can cause an unconscious tightening of our muscles, in turn constricting our natural breathing patterns.
What’s the answer? Focus on breathing naturally, using your diaphragm to reduce stress and loosen tight muscles. For more information, visit bodybreathbeing.com.
How can we take a lesson from the newborn? According to Lyon, use oceanic breathing patterns. Charlene Crane, LMT, uses a similar analogy to correct what she terms “paradoxical breathing.”
Does this mean that paradoxical breathing isn’t really breathing? No . . . but perhaps it is best described as a pattern of breathing that doesn’t fully accomplish the job that breathing should accomplish, like cleansing the body of toxins. To put it simply, we could call it inefficient breathing.
The way Crane explains it, shallow, inefficient breathing patterns in adults and the resulting “insufficient exchange of air lessens the lungs’ tidal volume and can put strain on the accessory respiratory muscles of the upper chest.” This can result in symptoms such as pain, tingling and numbness in the arms and hands. She goes on to explain the role of the diaphragm in breathing and the importance of “helping the diaphragm to relax fully at the end of the breath wave.” To learn Crane’s simple breathing technique, visit breatheeasymassage.wordpress.com and click on the August 2011 article . . . and avoid paradoxical breathing.
To summarize, avoid shallow breathing and dive into a natural oceanic breathing pattern to improve your lungs’ tidal volume and relax your diaphragm at the end of the breath wave. You’ll breathe easier. Hmmm . . . sounds like a tropical vacation.
Finally, at Touch Remedies, many of our services are designed to reduce stress and relieve the tight muscles associated with shallow breathing. And remember, At Touch Remedies, 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.