Breathing in and breathing out, relaxation and concentration, waking and sleeping – we are built on rhythmical processes. Rhythm orientates us, influences our psychology, physicality and affords us the space to heal and grow. Subsequently, falling out-of-rhythm can effect our capacity to think, our emotional wellbeing and our sleep.
Sleep is so integral to our daily cycle that it becomes an important feature in the homeopathic treatment process, even when the presenting concern may not initially seem connected. As we withdraw into sleep, our vital system sets to work on the repair of our physical body – enhancing our immune system, regenerating damaged tissues, creating fresh blood, new muscles and proteins. While this incredible activity takes place we enter the realm of our unconscious. Asleep, our nerve cells synchronise and are reinforced to consolidate the days learning in to knowledge while the often intense feelings and diminished coherency of our dreams connect us to the currents of our unconscious.
There is an honesty revealed during the night when our unconscious takes precedence – the waking at 2am with nausea or the panicked mind-chunter that prevents us falling to sleep, all form the features that can be translated in to homeopathic prescribing. Unravelling the relationship that we have with our sleep – how we settle, the depth, the quality and causations and how these manifest within the fluctuation of our internal rhythm are key.
According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) the organs and their respective energy channels are activated, energised and strengthened by the body’s vital force over a twenty-four hour cycle every two hours. More than two and a half thousand years old this clock remains just as relevant to us today. The timing sequence marks the points of focus throughout the night and day – the liver then gallbladder, bladder then kidney, stomach then spleen and so on. This twenty-four hour cycle reflects the intrinsic and rhythmical movement of energy within each and every one of us and is such a useful tool when it comes to prescribing homeopathic remedies.
A man in his sixties came to see me to help with his recovery from a heart operation. He was feeling low in energy, constipated and increasingly negative about his ability to recover. When asked about his sleep he explained that shortly after his operation he had been waking most nights just after 3am and was once awake unable to get back to sleep for a number of hours. I described how 3-5am is considered to be lung time on the TCM Clock and that our lungs are associated with the colon, with grief and with sadness. He began to talk about the loss of his wife who had died a decade earlier and explained how he had not been able to talk about her or to truly grieve. The vital intelligence of our body’s will always strive to rebalance and resolve, however where these processes are suppressed, the creation of symptoms will result. Without an outlet his buried emotions had manifested in his heart pathology, constipation and the constant waking during lung time in an attempt to express what he was unable to consciously. Understanding and interpreting the qualities of his deep sadness, heart pain and lung energy into homeopathic remedies resulted in the improvement of his sleep, his ability to heal and the return of his healthy bowel movements.
Whether the time you are waking each night indicates a congested liver, unresolved grief or an imbalance in your hormonal system – your body will utilise your internal body clock particularly during the night to attempt to resolve them. Where the ability to achieve deep nourishing sleep is disrupted, it is essential to investigate WHY? Never having slept well since an injury, since becoming pregnant or waking to urinate through the night are crucial aspects that define the nature of your case. Each experience, sign and symptom, forms the threads that weave your unique tapestry, your whole-picture and it is on this that successful prescribing relies.