Until recently, the term “psychosomatic” has been largely associated with over-anxious patients who “create” physical symptoms in order to cope with overwhelming emotional influences. From a homeopathic perspective, it is exactly these emotional and mental states that are meant to be associated with physlcal complaints. They always exist in varying degrees and can be used as a beacon for the homeopath. When working towards finding the homeopathic medicine that is unique to the individual, resonating with his or her deepest distress at every level, these emotional and mental shades are powerful clues. The term psychosomatic describes what holistic medicine is really all about, the intimate connection between the mind and body, the human psyche, and its physical expression. In classical homeopathy, there is no such thing as evaluating random physical symptoms in order to determine a prescription. The patient must be understood fully, and that has to do first and foremost with his or her personality and emotional state, be it chronic or in association with the acute state of illness.
Often when talking about homeopathy, which has become quite popular for anything from teething to constipation to insomnia. It is marketed in formulas and sold over the counter. Homeopathy can be used effectively in this way, and can make a valuable toolbox for a home first-aid kit to treat various accidents, childhood ailments, beestings, and allergic reactions on the fly. But there is so much more to homeopathy than this type of treatment. Homeopathy at its best is a true holistic medicine that works energetically to harmonize and balance the body’s emotions and energetic components that effect health on the emotional and mental, as well as physical levels. As a therapist, many of my clients come in with emotional and mental patterns that have existed since childhood. Often these are habits that can be corrected and re-framed through talk-therapy. Sometimes, the patterns that I see feel beyond the patient’s control no matter how much awareness that is gained around them. These are emotional and mental traits that have been genetically handed down through generations. They are transferred through the patients DNA, much like other physical predilections. This is where classical homepathy can come in very handy. Those issues that have not been touched with a trained therapist can be touched for the first time through this psychosomatic approach to the emotional body that is classical homeopathy. This subtle energetic medicine looks beyond the day-to-day events of our lives that can create pain, and delves into the deeper issues that have been following us around all of our lives. The classical homeopath searches below the surface, like a detective, to find these hidden soul patterns, or shadow material. To route out these negative patterns is what begins the process of true healing and freedom.
A Case Study
Annie was a 38-year-old woman. She came in for a homeopathic consultation for enlarged fibroids that were painful. Her obstetrician also suspected infertility. The doctor had recommended that she consider a hysterectormy but she wanted to try alternative methods first. She also dreamed of meeting the man of her dreams and having children. We had a two-hour initial intake where my goal was to not only understand all about her fibroids, but even more importantly, to understand the psychosomatic connection to her presenting problem of fibroids. She described having suddenly lost her father about a year earlier, and having grieved that as well as a divorce. These were the recent stressors that had pushed her body into its symptomology. Upon further questioning, I discovered some more deep-seated traits of her emotional life and personality that began to point me towards a deeper understanding of her.
Annie’s tendency had always been towards perfectionism. She created a situation in which she drove herself to be the best. She could be self-critical and also critical of others who did not meet her high standards. At the same time, Annie always had a boyfriend who showered her with admiration and devotion. She could not be without a boyfriend it seemed, though none of these men ever turned out to be the “right guy”. The remedy that I chose as her “constitutional” remedy, a deep homeopathic remedy that resonated with her unique constitution, was called Platina or platinum. The highly diluted homeopathic remedy has its own personality or consitution, along with its own physical pathology that it can cure. The “personality” of this metal matched the perfectionism and untouchable attitude of this woman, that had kept her from allowing the “right” relationship over the years. The remedy also directly addressed her fibroids and infertility. Becasue the remedy matched her deeper emotional issues, it was able to help balance her “from the inside out”. This means that in order to cure the physical, the deeper imbalance must be addressed. In homeopathic and other alternative medicines, those deeper aspects are seen as the essence of the individual, the key to unlocking true and lasting healing.
The same philosophy is used when treating children constitutionally through homeopathy. Children are less complicated because of their honesty, and more complicated because they may not be as forthcoming as adults or as aware of themselves. In this case, it helps for the homeopath to have a clear understanding of particular children’s constitutional homeopathic remedies and how they are typically expressed psychosomatically. A child may be especially shy or fearful. He or she may be clingy or dependent. The child may crave milk and hate eggs while being particularly sweaty around the head. These are all unique expressions that the homeopath must investigate and be aware of. Recently, I had a 10-year-old boy come in who was very shy and always unhappy at school because he felt that he didn’t fit in. Even at this age, when new people came over, he only wanted to be in his room. When he was younger, he would hide behind his mother when anyone came over. Physically, his immune resistance was weak. He had been plagued by recurrent ear infections, sinus infections, and even some headaches since he was a toddler. He was easily cold and tended to catch cold if he was not dressed warmly enough. The parents had tried therapy for this boy to no avail. It did not touch his shyness or the feeling of not fitting in. The mother had joined in some of the sessions in order to see if there was some kind of family dynamic that she was unaware of that was fueling his symptoms.
When he came to see me, it was clear to me that this was genetic; the shyness was a psychosomatic expression of his constitution, his essential imbalance that needed a remedy to gently recalibrate him. When I chose a remedy called Silica, in a highly potentized form, his shyness was greatly relieved and he began to feel more at home at school and around his peers. After a time, his physical complaints ameliorated and he got sick much less, developing a more robust constitution. This kind of treatment does not offer instant gratification; it can take a few months to begin to see a change and up to a year or two for a more complete healing depending on the depth of the problem. Consitutional homeopathic treatment involves using very specific and deep-acting energetic medicines. They are chosen specifically to route out profound imbalances that reside in the patient’s inborn genetic patterning. The healing can be profound but we must have the patience and the willingness to delve deep into our psyche without self-blame or judgement.
Katharina Sandizell has a PDHom in Homeopathy, is a licensed Marriage Family Therapist, and has her Masters in Counseling Psychology. She lives in California with her husband and two boys. They love to hike, go to the beach, and make music together. She is also a therapist with a private practice in San Rafael California. You can visit her in her space.