This month I am raising the subject of grief…Homeopathy supports Grief so very well.
Grief is a subject that is actually part of the cycle of life but it can be so difficult and uncomfortable to touch on and it is, therefore, something we might find ourselves “stuck” with or “suppressing” in Homeopathic terms. So often grief is a subject too hard to talk about, not only with the person dying but also for griever and consoler and it is on my heart this month to bring to the surface the importance of working through the grief state and not ignoring, avoiding or delaying it wherever possible.
The British culture is known for its bravery and “Stiff Upper Lip” approach to getting through situations. However, this can now be better understood to interfere with the human’s natural desire to express their feelings and emotions and we can continue to learn from other cultures where customs and rituals involving prayer/meditation, voice and dance are performed to allow the flow of the deep emotional states that arrive.
During the last century, Swiss American Psychiatrist Elizabeth Kubler-Ross (1926 – 2004) introduced the concept of Stages of Grief. In brief, she brought to attention 5 specific stages, as follows: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance. Her work started initially with patients who were dying and needing better recognition of their needs emotionally not just clinically or physically and Elizabeth worked in hospitals with medical teams to bring about some key change in the way terminally ill patients were supported. It then spread rapidly for use by those grieving after a loss of life and it has even been taken into workplace development projects around the world. If you are interested, here is a little summary of Elizabeth’s work and life in this podcast: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/w3cszmjz.
A key takeaway is knowing that we do not need to feel dictated to or under pressure when we come to know of these 5 stages; we can experience them at any time and in any order, thus confirming the crucial realization that Grief is such an individual thing. It can be very beneficial to know of a framework that has helped people to work through the processes that come about concerning death and grieving.
Elizabeth Kubler-Ross extended her work to naming 7 stages of grief but she and others have also recognized more. I mentioned in my last blog about my friend Sharon Rosenbloom who has recently written a book called Widowed with Kids, (ISBN 9781913501105), which she felt committed to publish after her long journey working through the loss of her husband when the children were young. She was prescribed anti-depressants for many years; they helped her “cope” but they did not allow the expression of how the grief truly affected her and when she came off the medication she realized the mask they had instead provided her with. Sharon was functioning but did not feel in touch with her true self and doubted that was ever possible. She also realized that once on the medication, no-one ever discussed whether it was working and how Sharon was actually feeling as she appeared to be “functioning”, and felt “stuck” in being able to talk about herself and numb in her emotions. Her book tells of the journey she then embarked on with a holistic and more natural approach to getting back in touch with her own buried grief states and how she was able to move through them effectively, particularly when she realized there was likely to be a link between the suppression of her emotions and her own deterioration in health. Sharon discusses 12 stages of the grieving process she went through and now helps people using her bereavement counselling training as well as her own story, which I thoroughly recommend.
We can be very grateful for the discovery made nearly 300 years ago, by Samuel Hahnemann, when he furthered his understanding of the effects of suppression on our state of health and wellbeing and introduced an incredible system of natural medicine which he named Homeopathy!
Homeopathy has helped so many people on their grief journey because of its holistic approach whereby each patient’s grief state is prescribed upon with an individual match between the characteristics of chosen remedies and the characteristics of the patient symptoms. It is therefore extremely rare that patients within the same family get the same Homeopathic prescriptions!
Hahnemann discovered the wonders of working successfully with homeopathic remedies, which DID NOT have the same toxicity and side effects on the body compared with other medication being used, but DID allow the patients to heal themselves in a deeper and more thorough way, by the action of the remedies bringing the body back into natural balance (Homeostasis).
As we have come to understand Grief to be at its best when it is an expressed and moving journey forward, we can be thankful too that patients using Homeopathy are not left on repeat prescriptions for lengthy periods of time. As the patient’s state naturally changes during their journey, the appointments simply provide support as needed and often by just having the time and space to describe and understand how grief is presenting itself in a patient, they can also begin to heal without remedies.
In Homeopathic practice, it is never regarded too late to start work on relieving the inner discomfort of unresolved grief in whatever ways it may be presenting in someone. True healing occurs best when getting to the route cause and no matter how long the grief may have been within a patient, I do not believe it needs to be suffered with any more in silence.
Homeopathy can work successfully alongside conventional medicine and in supporting a patient wanting to reduce their current medication.