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Article by Marie Cargill:
WHY HOMEOPATHY?

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Your cat is acting out. She was always clean and tidy using her liter box, but lately she has been sneaking into closets and behind furniture to urinate. To your horror, she urinated right in front of you on the rug. What happened to her?

Your dog decides to be aggressive to visitors especially men. He continues to be a very loving pet to you but bares his teeth and unless restrained, will nip the ankles of friends. What can you do?

You bird looks depressed. He has not been eating well, has stopped vocalizing, and has started to pluck at his feathers. He attacks his body whenever he can and if he continues, he will hurt himself badly. What’s the answer?

The pet we rescue, the pet we adopt, the pet we breed, whatever the circumstances of our bonding with a pet, sometime in his life, he may fall into an emotional state where intervention is necessary. If we chose the correct solution, we can clear away the negative behavior and restore a pet to his happy personality.

The ideal solution for a disturbed pet is homeopathy. Since we now have potent medicines for emotional distress, why bother to use homeopathic remedies? Antidepressants and anti-anxiety drugs have been prescribed to millions of Americans and are now being given to pets for the same type of problems: anxiety, aggression, panic attacks, obsessive compulsive behavior, and so on. The rationale is that these drugs can help even though there is potential to harm. While there may be optimism in the use of such drugs in the treatment of a pet’s mental health, there is also worry that they are causing damage to the patient particularly in the form of organ change and pathology

What can homeopathy offer? This medicine’s success comes from its peculiar way to get to the bottom of the patient’s difficulties. If seen by a behavorist, the patient’s problem is labeled and drugs prescribed; in homeopathy, the practitioner largely ignores the label being much more interested in how the patient experiences and manifests the symptoms and signs and what led up to his becoming ill.

Nick, the dog patient, was described as a happy, well-adjusted dog who quite suddenly - so it seemed - began to appear depressed, uninterested in food or walks. In our first meeting, Nick’s companion expressed concern over the change in him. I learned that Nick had a very sensitive personality and was especially affected by changes in the house environment.

Just a few weeks prior to our meeting, the family had bought a new house. There was a great deal of upheaval, packing and discarding, and Nick’s possessions - his toys, bed, pillows, etc, - were sent off to the new house. I also learned that Nick had also started chewing and licking himself obsessively.

My first choice of a remedy was Arsenicum album, given once daily for a few days. It was chosen to address the chewing and licking. In a short time the family made its final move and Nick was introduced to his new home. First reports were that things were going better; the licking and chewing had stopped. Nick perked up on seeing and smelling his familiar things and began exploring his new environment. After he was settled in, the first remedy was discontinued and another was put in place. This was Calcarea carbonica, to be given daily for a couple of weeks to ensure no ill effects from this difficult time. Nick settled in quite easily.

A basic premise of Homeopathy is that throughout a lifetime the individual is continually being hit by stressors. If the stressors are too prolonged or severe, illness results. The balancing mechanism we have, called our “vital force” , regulates, supports, and keeps us healthy. The vital force is individual and protective, compensating for all the changes that occur, dealing with the symptoms and adjusting our life-preserving tendencies. The remedies work with this vital force: a well-chosen remedy will alleviate the symptoms, aiding the vital force to heal the body, but in circumstances weaken, suppress, or take control as conventional medicines will.

Samuel Hahnemann conceived the system of remedies to match the symptom picture centuries ago. The system proved vastly superior to other methods of treatment available in his time and for centuries after. Homeopathic treatment lies in choosing a remedy which most fits the picture the patient shows. This is called choosing the “similimum”. Whatever the pattern of symptoms, if a substance is found that can cause the same conditions the patient is experiencing if he took it when well, the substance will be the remedy and subsequently the cure. After experimenting over a lifetime, Hahnemann eventually suggested that his followers use greater and greater dilutions of a substance to achieve the optimum effect and all with no aggravation of the symptoms nor side effects. The remedies used this way will be safe with no potential of overdosing . The dilution dose will give the body just the right amount it needs to stimulate a positive result. As the body assimilates this remedy, sensitive receptors begin
adjustments and response.

If we take a simple problem, intestinal gas, we can imagine the tight stomach with pent-up gas relieved by belching or flatulence. Then we remember that we have used something simple to absorb gases in our refrigerator: charcoal! Charcoal used homeopathically becomes Carbo vegetabilis, a good choice for calming the digestive tract, soaking up the excess enzymes causing heartburn, bloat, and sluggishness and clearing away the symptoms from overeating or overindulging in rich foods. It’s that simple!

Homeopathic remedies are made from a wide array of substances: the plant world, minerals, chemical products such as acids and metals, and of course, poisons. Because a remedy is diluted beyond the point where there is any measurable bit of the original substance left, almost anything can and is used - arsenic, snake venom, honey bee, unroasted coffee, salt, flint, ink of the cuttlefish are a few examples. None of the remedies can poison the patient nor cause a chemical dependency.

The starting point in making remedies is with the mother tincture, steeping one substance in alcohol. Remedies then proceed either on a decimal scale or centesimal scale. In the first case, one-tenth of a tincture is added to nine-tenths of alcohol. Further dilutions reflect the number: 1 becomes 1x (or 1 time diluted); 6 becomes 6x (or 6 times diluted), and so on. The centesimal scale is the tincture diluted to a hundred parts of alcohol and labeled with a “c”. The potencies or dilutions are numbered in Roman numerals: X, C, L, LM, M, etc. Through every dilution the new remedy is vigorously shaken called potentiation.

Homeopathic remedies are available as soft tablets which dissolve easily under the tongue; hard tablets and pellets which can be chewed or crushed; tiny grains similar to the size of a tiny seed which are usually made into liquids with water as the base. The mother tincture is a liquid with alcohol and many remedy mixes now come in liquid form with an alcohol base.

The symptoms picture is not the only consideration when prescribing. The uniqueness of the individual is very important. There is no average definition of health; health is not only individual but also on a continuum. Each individual, human or animal, reacts to trauma or a trigger in his unique way. Normalcy in one patient can be pathology in another. The adaptations we use to cope with life’s blows are our own. It’s important to know who the patient is, what is his general state of health, what does his general appearance say, what are his likes and dislikes, what is the state of his resistance or on the other hand predisposition to disease, how does he describe himself (or in the case of a pet, how does the human describe him)? The answers will create the basis of treatment and identify the personality or “constitution” (if we use homeopathic terms).

We then look at the symptom picture: how deep are the symptoms felt, any peculiar symptoms or trigger to the problem? At the top of the list into the past or onset of the problem is any presence of a “never-well-since” (NWS) episode. The NWS could be physical such as an accident, or may more likely be a mental or emotional blow. Bookshelf was a quiet, aloof cat who sought out his humans only occasionally. Even then, he could scarcely be considered demonstrative; he avoided body contact the closest he came to displaying affection would be to sit next to his humans. Bookshelf has always been an only cat in the house, enjoyed good health, and had very good manners. All of this changed when a new cat was added to the household. Bookshelf went off food, took to staying in a closet, crouching in corners or on the window sills and finally began using a closet in place of his liter box. At this point, he was brought to me.

After hearing the history, I thought the chief cause of Bookshelf’s problem was the dramatic change in his home environment. In homeopathic terms, the cat was showing an ailment driven by grief over the loss of his former life. He may feel caste aside and be acting out of abandonment, jealousy, anger, and indignation. He was after all, a proud and sensitive feline. Bookshelf was a strong candidate for the remedy Natrum muriaticum, homeopathically prepared sea salt. This remedy is extraordinarily effective in cases of wounded pride, in relationships gone bad or causing quiet suffering, grief, indignation, and alienation. It fits an

illness that arises from the ill effects of anger or jealousy as well. The patient wants to be alone to suffer. After a few days on the remedy, Bookshelf started a turnaround. He came out of hiding, started eating well again, appeared to tolerate the new cat, and above all, returned to using his liter box.

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