My name is David Haubenschild, and welcome to this episode of The Drop on the role of Homeopathy for carers.
By carers, I’m not necessarily referring to paid care workers, but to people who give unpaid care to family or friends to improve their quality of life.
And if you’re not a carer, chances are you know a carer, or may become a carer at a point in your life. According to Carers Australia, there are over 2.7 million carers in Australia, which is about 12% of the population – so this is a very large proportion of our community who provide help and support, and deserve recognition.
The personal situation of each carer is different. Moving into the carer role could be gradual, as the health or ability to of the person being cared for to look after themselves lessens over time. Or a care situation could occur suddenly, after a health crisis or accident.
There can also be great variety in the needs of the individual requiring support. For example, the carer could be looking after someone who has a:
- mental illness
- chronic health condition
- terminal illness
- drug or alcohol issue; or the
- frail aged.
I believe that Homeopathy, having a holistic approach which recognises these individual circumstances, can play an important role in the life of a carer.
And after this short message, I’ll start to unpack this.
Before the break I mentioned that I believed Homeopathy can play an important role in the life of a carer. I believe that this is two fold:
- Firstly, Helping in the caring role, for the person they’re supporting
- And secondly, to look after themselves as a carer, and their own health and wellbeing.
I’d like to explore these two sides of the coin further.
Looking after the carer
Let’s start with looking after the carer.
The demands on a carer can be great, and making sure that your own wellbeing doesn’t suffer is vital. You cannot look after others if you don’t also look after yourself. Sometimes thinking this way raises feelings of guilt; if we’re not there 100% for the person we’re looking after, we feel like we’ve somehow failed our responsibilities.
Both Homeopathy and Flower essences may be useful for addressing our emotions as a carer. But here, I’ll go through some flower essences which may be of use for different states we experience in our role as a carer. There are many more; but this should give you a sense of what is possible.
- Impatiens – there are times where we may be impatient and even irritable with the person we are caring for. Impatiens helps us flow more harmoniously with the time and daily rhythms or pace of the person we care for. We gain greater patience.
- Centaury – for some in the caring role, they may get to the point they feel servile, and even dominated by the needs of the person they’re caring for. This may be more common in people who have difficulty saying “No”, and always aiming to please. They may eventually feel fatigue or other problems due to self-neglect. Centaury can help turn this around by allowing us to serve others from a place of inner strength, while ensuring we nourish our own needs… and even being able to say “No” when appropriate.
- Corn – sometimes the tasks of caring can push us out of our centre in the body; and we feel disorientation and stress. We may feel the demands crowding us in. Corn helps to restore a sense of personal spaciousness, as well as grounding us. It connects us back to Earth, and through this, we can feel apart of Nature, from which we can draw strength for ourselves and in our role as carer.
- Elm – as a carer, we may at times feel overwhelmed. Caring feels like an obligation that we’re unable to successfully meet. There may be competing responsibilities such as between work and our personal commitments, and our response to this is scattered or dysfunctional. We also may feel guilt. Elm helps restore our faith and confidence in ourselves to complete our tasks.
- Pink Yarrow – sympathy and empathy often get mixed up; but they are two different emotions. Sympathy is where we feel sorrow, or pity for the hardships of another person. We might also take on their emotions, as we strongly identify with them. This is especially true when we are caring for someone and participating in their hardships day in and day out. Empathy is when we’re able to put ourselves in the shoes of another, compassionately, but without taking on their emotions. This gives us more emotional clarity. Pink Yarrow helps us here, to distinguish compassion from overly sympathetic identification; learning objective love for others. This helps us with boundaries between the Self and others, especially where they are loose and ill-defined.
Caring for another
Carer’s do amazing work. I may be a little biased here, but a carer armed with a Homeopathic toolkit can be even more magnificent!
To give you an example of how practical Homeopathy can be for a carer, I want to give you a recent example of my own grandmother. She is quite frail, and had a fall – which we know is a risk factor as we grow older. She was quite bruised. This is where the homeopathic medicine Arnica is useful. Arnica is useful for bruises, as well as the trauma of injury. It is given in Homeopathic form internally, and as a herbal cream externally on unbroken skin. I’ve used this medicine many times for this type of situation, and find it indispensable in my Homeopathic first aid kit.
Falls can lead to broken bones. Traditionally, Symphytum is used to encourage the healing of fractures and breaks. Once the bones are set by a healthcare professional, the Homeopathic medicine Symphytum may then be used.
This gives a couple of examples of Homeopathy as a support in first aid situations.
There a many caring scenarios which Homeopathy could be applied, and too many to go through now. If you’re interested in getting a custom Homeopathic kit prescribed for you, make sure you visit my website at holisticnotion.com/kits.
Another scenario is when the people we care for are taking important medications, that unfortunately, may be causing undesirable side effects. Homeopaths have techniques which aim to reduce these side effects, without interfering with the action of the prescribed medicine. Reducing or eliminating these side effects can significantly improve quality of life. For this type of prescribing, you’ll need to book an appointment with your Homeopath.
Homeopathy may also be of use during palliative care. Homeopathy can be a wonderful adjunct to improve the quality of life even for life-limiting conditions. This could be to help manage anxiety, pain, or the side effects of other treatments, such as nausea from chemotherapy. Working with a professional Homeopath, a carer can be trained on how use these medicines.
I should say of course that Homeopathy is a general system of natural healthcare which has been traditionally used for a range of ailments; so if you want to see if Homeopathy could be of service for you or for those you care for, please feel free to write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or book in for a complementary 15 minute appointment at the holisticnotion.com website.
This ends this episode of the drop. And if you’re carer, make sure you check out my resources on the Holistic Notion website at holisticnotion.com/carers. I’ll be growing carers information, and you can stay up to date by subscribing to the Holistic Notion newsletter.
If you know a carer who might benefit from this information, make sure you send them this link.
About carers – http://www.carersaustralia.com.au/about-carers/