Patients and many gynecologists are having second thoughts about these "wonder drugs" and their long term effects. Unless a gynecological condition reveals exactly which surgical procedure is required, the results are far from successful and often disappointing for a variety of reasons. Homeopathy has a real role to play as the most effective alternative, without putting the patient at risk, in frequent problem areas like dysmenorrhea; menstrual irregularities; breast cysts, lumps and mastitis; infertility; anorexia and bulimia; birthing difficulties and miscarriages; menopausal discomforts; morning sickness; feminine discharges and PMS.
In a technological age where patient treatment is dictated by diagnostic machinery, laboratory tests, and computer gadgetry, the patient is frequently ignored and becomes little more than a cog in the diagnostic investigation machine.
As "modern" medicine becomes increasingly sophisticated, it becomes more remote and inhuman. Instead of focusing on the whole patient in looking at the disease process, patients are herded and categorized into groups centered around the results of high tech laboratory equipment. If the patient does not fit into a particular category from these high tech investigations, they are either told nothing is really wrong with them, or they must learn to live with their condition.
Every woman should be encouraged to trust her own instincts and feelings. I encourage my patients to ask some very pointed questions: Is it absolutely necessary to have this operation? What would happen if I do nothing about it now? How long can I wait and try some safer, natural alternative? It is important not to go passively along with every surgical or drug-invasive medical decision.
Now let's look at how homeopathy can be applied in your chiropractic practice as a safe, natural alternative to more directly correct the underlying causes of some common health problems in women.
Anorexia and bulimia, which mostly affect women, are much more common than most people realize. The doctor may have to directly question the patient about eating disorders. Look for signs such as: being emotionally oversensitive; underweight; perfectionism; obsessive behavior; feelings of being overweight; guilt; worthlessness; rejection; apathy; depression or suicidal; indifference to loved ones; fixed ideas about food; and digestive problems.
Any of the above symptoms may possibly be helped by a homeopathic formulation. Such formulation can be safely tried on a trial basis or tested sublingually as a confirmation. Sublingual retesting on follow-up visits will help determine the most effective dosage. If retesting is positive, increase the frequency of dose. If retesting is negative, begin decreasing frequency or dose. Next to finding the correct homeopathic formula, the correct frequency of dosage provides the best results.
Dysmenorrhea is perhaps the most common problem in women during the child-bearing years. Homeopathy provides fast and effective results for many of the symptoms that fit into this category. Menstrual cramps in the abdomen, thighs or in the back are often relieved in minutes. Amenorrhea, menorrhea or menstrual irregularities are often easily corrected with the appropriate homeopathic formula.
A sublingual reflex response test will quickly confirm which homeopathic formula will address the problem at hand. Depending on the severity of this condition, a light dosage could be given during the premenstrual cycle and a more frequent dosage during the symptomatic period: for example, two doses per day premenstrually, as often as every half hour, if symptoms demand. If symptoms are not too severe, dosage could be given only during the symptomatic time of the cycle.
Homeopathy is very corrective in nature, and eventually the formulation will not be needed. Although symptomatic correction is a good sign, retesting will provide the final conformation of correction. It is important for the doctor to test and make certain the correction is complete. Following symptomatic relief, it is wise to retest at various intervals after not taking the homeopathic formula to confirm full correction. This retesting procedure is, of course, more vital with more serious or threatening conditions.
PMS may have a large variety of physical, mental and emotional symptoms. Homeopathy is most effective in correcting symptoms in all three of the above realms. I have found homeopathy to be commonly effective with the following premenstrual symptoms: water retention, weight gain, craving for salt, sugar, chocolate and stimulants, constipation, low back pain, headache, exhaustion, insomnia, swollen/sensitive breasts, changes in sexual behavior, dryness in the vagina, and emotional sensitivities, such as being weepy, contradictive, contrary, hard to please, snappish, argumentative, depressed or even violent.
As with any condition, nutrition, diet, counseling and lifestyle management should be considered with your chiropractic management program. Like dysmenorrhea, a homeopathic PMS formula which tests positive can be given throughout the cycle, in severe cases, as long as it tests positive. In less severe cases, the appropriate homeopathic formula is given during the symptomatic time, especially if it doesn't test positive during the asymptomatic time of the cycle.
Remember, it is always best to look at the entire symptomatic picture of each patient. Using a thorough health appraisal questionnaire which will prioritize the full picture of the patient's symptoms is very helpful. Homeopathic formulas treat the whole person and are corrective in a broad spectrum of ways. For example, a dysmenorrhea formula may also help a digestive disorder, a gall bladder problem, general headache, hemorrhoids or a toothache, and vice versa. Usually your patients will be very happy with these type of side effects.
Many in "modern medicine" still believe that birth is a surgical solution to a nine month old disease. Physicians intervene far too often in the birthing process, turning normal deliveries into medical emergencies. There is no doubt that certain interventions are necessary for a safe birth when complications arise. The problems occur when allopathic drugs and modern technological procedures are utilized in what would otherwise be a normal or relatively normal childbirth.
The American Academy of Pediatrician's committee on drugs recommends that doctors should "use the smallest possible amount of medications when it is needed, and should discuss the benefits and side effects with the mother, preferably in advance of the birth." According to the Academy, countries with the best childbirth statistics utilized the least amount of medical interventions during pregnancy. Eighty five percent of women who have had hospital deliveries in the U.S. had an episiotomy; only eight percent of Dutch women and only three percent of Swedish women received episiotomies. Twenty-five to thirty-three percent of women in the U.S. are aided in birth by forceps delivery, whereas only about five percent of European women receive forceps deliveries. Over 20 percent of American women who have hospital births have a caesarean. The World Health Organization said there is no justification for any region of the world to have a rate higher than 10-15 percent.
Although convenient for the doctor, the lithotomy position, in which the woman lies on her back with her feet in stirrups, is most uncomfortable and an ineffective position for the mother during birth. This position actually slows the labor process, increasing the need for labor inducing drugs, often leading to the use of forceps and episiotomy for delivery, and increasing the need for a caesarean section.
Analgesics and anesthetics used to diminish pain during labor decrease the strength and frequency of contractions, which may require labor inducing drugs and forceps to aid in delivery. All of the above interventions increase the chances of needing a caesarean section. The Canadian Medical Association Journal estimates that 26 times more maternal deaths occur from caesarean section than from vaginal delivery.
Allopathic drugs used during pregnancy can have a traumatic effect on the baby maturing in the womb. Many commonly used drugs can have damaging effects on the developing baby. Dr. Mendelsohn estimates the average pregnant woman in 1980 received four different prescriptions during her pregnancy.
The safety of homeopathic remedies makes them invaluable during pregnancy, labor and postpartum periods. Midwives using homeopathy have found them to be safe, effective and helpful in strengthening the woman physically and psychologically.
Although the FDA requires a warning on all registered homeopathic products, 200 years of clinical homeopathic experiences have found no side effects. Homeopaths have commonly observed that children born from mothers who have received homeopathic care during their pregnancy seem healthier than other children.
Frank J. King, Jr., ND, DC
Asheville, North Carolina
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