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Emotional First Aid -     
    Natural Medicine     
                                         special guest author
                                            Burke Lennihan, R.N., C.C.H

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Volume III # 43 Copyright 2013 All Rights Reserved

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Editor's Note  :  We all encounter times when we're an emotional wreck, and need emotional first aid. That's why we're especially delighted that Burke Lennihan, R.N., C.C.H., accepted our invitation to share her special knowledge about what to include in an Emotional First Aid Kit and how to use it when needed. 

We suggest you print out this article and take it to the store with you to purchase your supplies, then keep a copy in the kit itself. When you're emotionally traumatized is the worst time to try to hunt down a set of instructions!   

Burke is a Harvard alumna, a Health Expert on Dr. Oz'  , and a holistic practitioner at the Lydian Center for Innovative Medicine in Cambridge, Mass. This article is based on her book, Your Natural Medicine Cabinet: A Practical Guide to Drug-Free Remedies for Common Ailments, in which she shares her knowledge and wisdom from 35 years working in the holistic health field.
                                                                              Pamela Levin, R.N., T.S.T.A., Editor   

Let's say you get a sudden shock (almost hit by a car) or bad news (your teenager in a car accident) or grief (unexpected death in the family). These sudden emotional shocks often bring physical symptoms including rapid heart rate, hyperventilating, a lump in the throat, insomnia, or feeling totally drained of energy. When they do, you can use fast-acting natural medicines called homeopathy.  

Homeopathic medicines are an ideal way to treat emotional trauma, better than conventional psych medications for many reasons: 

  • safe, non-habit-forming, no addiction or dependency 
  • no side effects 
  • no allergic reactions 
  • inexpensive (typically less than $10 for many doses) 
  • easily available in any health food store, in many pharmacies, and online 
  • unlike herbs and vitamins, they are regulated by the FDA as over-the-counter medicines. 

So if they work so well, why aren't they better known? They're so inexpensive that their manufacturers can't afford the huge expenditures that drug companies make for TV commercials, sales reps visiting doctors, and ads in medical journals. Also they're a little tricky to use. 

The Key Emotional First Aid Remedies     

*Rescue Remedy,  a blend of flower essences, is like a universal remedy for the whole gamut of emotional traumas. Flower essences (similar to homeopathic medicines) can help when the trauma is physical as well, like your child falling off her bike. Rescue Remedy is one of my top 10 recommendations for everyone's home medicine cabinet (see Part 2 of this series). 

For major crises, though, you may need something stronger in the form of a homeopathic medicine. These medicines are made from herbs, minerals and other natural substances using a special process developed 200 years ago in Germany. Here are a few of my personal favorites that have been life-transforming for my clients. To determine which one will work best for you, match your physical and emotional symptoms to the remedies described below. 

*Aconite  is the top homeopathic remedy for a sudden shock or fright, especially when the person almost died or feels like they almost died. If you need this remedy, you're likely to have heart palpitations and insomnia. It's also good for sudden panic attacks.   

*Ignatia is the top remedy for sudden, strong emotions of all kinds: grief, rage, betrayal, indignation, humiliation. You might need this, for example, if you suddenly found out that your partner has betrayed you with your best friend, or that a less-qualified co-worker got a promotion you expected, or that a loved one passed away. You might sob hysterically, with a lump in your throat, hardly able to breathe from the feeling of pressure on your chest. Think of Ignatia when the emotions are heightened, even to the point of histrionics or melodrama. Yes, it's the remedy for drama queens and teenage girls! 

*Gelsemium is another great remedy for hearing bad news, but in this case you go totally numb, feeling like all the energy has been drained out of your body. You have that "deer in the headlights" dazed feeling and you might feel so drained that your eyelids might droop. You might even have that "run over by a truck" feeling like when you're bedridden with the flu (and it's also a great remedy for the flu). 

*Stramonium can be used for children with nightmares and night terrors. They are likely to be terrified of ghosts, of death, of the dark, and - here are the unusual ones - of water (like having their hair washed) and of flashing lights. Physical symptoms can include dilated pupils, a red face, and a twitch or stammer (which of course will require professional attention if it becomes chronic, but you might nip it in the bud with Stramonium). 

There are dozens of other homeopathic medicines for emotional first aid. If none of these work for you,      consult a professional homeopath who can find the one that will work best for you like a custom-tailored suit. The investment is worth it because it may prevent a chronic illness from taking root. In my own practice as a homeopath, every day I see people whose chronic illness began with what we call the "Never Well Since", as in, "I've never been the same since that happened" - typically an emotional trauma. 

How to Gather and Use the Remedies  

First, what to buy:   They are usually available in a 30c potency or strength, the best potency for most people and most situations. However, if you are a hypersensitive (sensitive to just about everything - medications, chemicals, fumes, vibrations, others' emotions) it may be too strong for you. Hypersensitives should get a milder 6c or 12c potency, sometimes available in larger stores, or  you may need to order them online.  

Best brand? There are two common brands: Boiron (the "blue tube") and Hylands. Both are good and can be used interchangeably. All the brands are similar in quality. 

 How much to take for one dose: You only need a couple of pellets, even if the label says to take 5 pellets. Dissolve them in the mouth rather than swallowing them, because they work when they touch the mucous membranes inside your mouth.

 How often: you take them more often when you are really sick or have really strong symptoms, less often for mild symptoms or when you start to feel better. Here's the tricky part: when healing is clearly underway, you have to stop taking your remedy! You only repeat it when the symptoms start to come back.  

 Why it didn't work: Stopping the remedy when it starts to work is totally counterintuitive, and it's one reason why people say these medicines don't work. If you take too much, you get a boomerang effect and you actually start to feel worse. (You may have heard that "you have to feel worse before you feel better" with homeopathic remedies, and this is absolutely not true. If you control the frequency according to how you respond, you won't feel worse.) 

 On the other hand, the most frequent reason that homeopathic remedies seem to not work, in my practice, is that people don't take enough. They'll say, "Oh, I tried a remedy for my cold, and it didn't do anything." Then when I ask them how they took it, they say they only took one dose! Rarely does one dose do anything. 

So let's review : You have an emotional upset. You find a well-matching homeopathic remedy (the symptoms need to match or it probably won't work) and you dissolve a couple of pellets in your mouth. Wait a few hours and check in with yourself: how do you feel? If no better, take another dose. If significantly better, wait until there's a downturn before you take another dose. 

It's often wise to take a dose before you go to sleep, because we heal while we sleep. 

You still don't feel better after several doses: You might need a different remedy that matches you better, or it's not strong enough for you. If you're really, really sick you need to make it stronger and/or take it more often. Also, someone who is sturdy, strong and basically healthy is likely to need an extra-strong dose of this gentle energetic medicine (I'm thinking of a teenage football player who gets a sports injury.) 

To make it stronger , dissolve a couple of pellets in a half cup of water and stir well. You might need to crush the pellets to dissolve them. Again, this is counter-intuitive: why would diluting the pellets make them stronger? You're only using a small amount of water, and stirring well makes the water take on the properties of the pellet. The water will touch a larger area inside your mouth and convey more information to your body's healing energy (which is how these natural medicines work). 

About lactose in the remedies:  Triturated (soft) tablets (such as cell salts) are 100% lactose; pellets such as the Boiron ones (hard ones) are mostly sucrose with a small % lactose used as a binder. One homeopathic pharmacy I contacted uses 15% lactose.

If you are lactose intolerant, you have two options: 

1. Order poppyseed-size pellets from Natural Health Supply, and/or 

2. Dissolve one pellet in 4 oz water, stir well, one tsp. becomes a dose. 

If you dissolve a poppyseed pellet in 4 oz water, the amount of lactose in a teaspoon becomes truly undetectable. 

 For more complete information along with great tips for handling a wide variety of everyday health challenges, see Burke's book,      Your Natural Medicine Cabinet. 


We know that we  recover from any physical trauma much more quickly and easily if our food diet keeps us well nourished .  What is less well known, but at least or even more important, is our emotional  diet - the emotional nutrients we take in from others and feed ourselves. To learn how to replenish yourself emotionally, go to . While there take advantage of the free emotional nutrient samples as many times as you like.           *********************************************  

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Tags: emotional stress emotional distress emotional pain inner healing emotional health emotional healing homoeopathy stress traumatic shock in trauma coping with loss death and grief loss of loved one how to grieve


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Tags: emotional stress emotional distress emotional pain inner healing emotional health emotional healing homoeopathy stress traumatic shock in trauma coping with loss death and grief loss of loved one how to grieve


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