Homeopathy & Trauma
Jane1 was numb. She couldn’t feel love, and she couldn’t feel pain. When blood ran down her arms after she slashed herself with razor blades or pushed pins into her flesh, it truly surprised her. She felt she would like to kill her abusers, but instead focussed the anger inward. The only control she felt she had over herself was her food intake. She volunteered that she saw a connection between wanting to hide, to get small, with her rapidly diminishing weight. She couldn’t scrub her skin hard enough for it to ever feel clean.
Jane had been sexually, physically and emotionally abused by her father, whom she called a “rageaholic.” Later her brothers and other men who came into her life did the same. The only safety she found was in being sick, because only then would her mother keep people away from her, saying she was unwell, and treating her kindly.
Rita was married to an emotionally abusive, physically violent and cunningly manipulative man. He would humiliate her in front of her child, and chipped away at his own son’s self esteem with belittling comments. They were part of a small community where everyone knew everyone else, and they all thought her husband was the salt of the earth. No one had any notion of what went on behind closed doors. She wanted to escape with her son, but had been beaten down on many levels, and felt weak, depressed, alone.
In situations like Jane’s and Rita’s, it is commonly assumed there are only two treatments that might help. One is conventional medicine, using drugs, and the other is intensive psychotherapy. However, drugs don’t solve anything, and also produce tremendous side effects, including kidney and liver damage, and can lead to addictions. They don’t get at the cause, but suppress the condition so the patient appears to function normally – but the patient knows the deeper problem isn’t gone.
Psychotherapy is certainly less destructive than drugs, because it gives the patient a way to cope with the trauma or abuse, but it does not have a high success rate and it still doesn’t do anything to cure the underlying cause.
Homeopathic remedies work in a unique way. Catherine, an incest survivor who very successfully sued her father when Ontario changed the statute of limitations in incest cases, explained, “My therapist offered me a great deal of emotional support. She was someone I could talk to about me, about my stuff, once a week. I learned a lot about my issues and why they were there, and I put to rest many family myths. It was valuable, but all on an intellectual level. Now and then there was an emotional release, but on the whole it was a very intellectual process.”
But after talking with the owner of her local health food store, and having successfully used a few homeopathic remedies in the past, she was intrigued when the owner happened to mention a remedy she had learned could benefit every sexually abused woman. Catherine learned the profound effects of homeopathy.
“It all happened within a half hour,” Catherine recalled. “First there was a numbness on my tongue, and it worked its way down my jaw and into my throat. When it hit my chest I felt the fight that had been going on inside me all these years was gone. And I didn’t even know consciously that the fight was going on, until it left. I think on some intellectual level I understood it, but that was when I truly knew it.”
Catherine’s experience is echoed every day in everyone who takes a correctly-prescribed homeopathic remedy. Homeopaths understand that dis-ease, the energetic imbalance within us all, is a complex issue, and one that can only be fully cured by using a remedy similar in its energy to that of the shock or trauma that caused the imbalance. By understanding the origins of dis-ease and how the symptoms of the imbalance show themselves to a careful observer, the homeopath is able to help individuals cure themselves on a profound level.
Homeopathic remedies are like miniature time-space bombs, which go to the blockage or dis-ease and blow it up, thus releasing the stored energy and facilitating a cure. It is able to destroy these dis-eases because it is based on the natural law of cure, which is the application of medicines based on the principle of similars. Essentially homeopathic medicine is an artificial disease that matches the energetic resonance of the disease of the patient, and the law of resonance states that two similar energies cannot co-exist, so they effectively destroy one another.
The origins of our dis-ease are ancient. At conception we all are given a gift package (whether we want it or not!) that includes a predisposition (called a miasm) to all of the familial tendencies our ancestors have accumulated and exhibited over the years. These can be as simple as eczema or allergies, as serious as cancer, arthritis or heart disease, or as deep as a tendency toward alcoholism, depression, self-mutilation, eating disorders or suicide. They also are the origins of sexual cruelty, aggression and violence.
Whether or not we see these predispositions come to light in our lives has a great deal to do with our lives, the shocks and traumas to our system that, as Dr. Samuel Hahnemann, homeopathy’s founder, termed it, “…bow down the soul.” These traumas wear on our ability to stay balanced and whole, and make themselves known to us in any number of ways (often called symptoms), which homeopaths see as an attempt by our life energy to communicate to us that there is something going on inside that needs to be dealt with.
When Woody Allen said, “One of my problems is that I internalise everything. I can’t express anger; I grow a tumor instead,” he hit the nail on the head. Anger, not the tumour, is the dis-ease. The tumour is a symptom of the dis-ease, and cutting out the tumour, while it may temporarily alleviate the situation, will not cure the dis-ease. As J. Compton Burnett – an old-time British homeopath – once said, cutting off the limb of an apple tree will not prevent the tree from producing more apples.
Psychotherapy on its own seems to allow a release on an emotional level. But because the curing hasn’t been done on an energetic level, we often find in patients we treat who have done extensive therapeutic or intellectual work (and our patients range from many psychotherapists themselves, and their patients, to Buddhists who have worked on the more spiritual levels) that they come to be treated for somatic, or physical complaints. These can include lumps in the breasts, irritable bowel syndrome, chronic fatigue syndrome – the patient is free on the more deeply important spiritual, mental or emotional level, but their energetic disturbances have not been cured, and so they present on the somatic level.
Amanda, an incest survivor and psychotherapist who has been treated homeopathically herself, has seen how profoundly the remedies have removed dis-ease patterns, which were only shifted and partially discharged through psychotherapy alone. “I see a wonderful synergy between using the homeopathic mental and emotional remedies and psychotherapy. When people have been prepared in psychotherapy for what they will release, and then are given the mental and emotional remedies, they then make a greater connection,” she explained.
Paula, a victim of childhood sexual abuse and a homeopath who has also been treated with homeopathy and psychotherapy, explained the power of the homeopathic remedy, saying “Homeopathy can open areas that have been blocked that individuals have had no access to, like boulders blocking a path. The homeopathic remedy can blow apart those boulders, allowing the information to flow through. By regulating the potency of the remedies, the information can flow in a safe, controlled way.”
After being treated homeopathically, Rita not only divorced her violent husband but also won full custody of her son. They moved into a loving and supportive environment, where they both are flourishing.
Jane has come a long way – she no longer cuts herself under stress, is in a very supportive and loving marriage and has a beautiful daughter (which not only motivates her to continue her healing, but also shifts her focus into loving, sharing and caring for another life). She, too, has moved into a new home, and she was able to cut ties to her parents and brothers without guilt. She even testified on her sister-in-law’s behalf in her divorce case, when it became know that her brother was molesting his own children.
Homeopathic treatment embodies what was expressed long ago in an ancient manuscript well known to Jung, the famous psychotherapist:
“If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you.”
1 All names have been changed.