Homeopathy for Older People

Homeopathy education can really help everyone, and certainly older people

Older people find loneliness very difficult to cope with, especially if they are separated from their families {who may live long distances away}, friends and neighbours.

This pandemic has for them thrown up a great deal of anxiety, inactivity and health problems. A lot of older people do charity work, they are also carers, they take up hobbies after retirement; join clubs; all types of social events they get involved in, to keep fit and active; unfortunately the Corona virus has forced them to stay at home.

Grandparents are prevented from visiting families or looking after their grandchildren; a substantial majority of grandparents do child-minding for their working sons and daughters. Long periods on their own without physical contact can lead to loneliness, depression the blues and unhappiness. 

Emotional stress is something that many older people try to keep to themselves {a stiff upper lip approach maybe) and if they have no recourse to company then this emotional stress can turn inwards and affect their health very quickly.

If they are frail or their mobility is compromised this can lead to chronic health problems.

Take bowling clubs for instance; not only is the sport compelling it is competitive and very demanding.  The aim of members is keen when it comes to competitions; and their voluntary work is crucial to keep the clubs going.

Ageing Joint Pains

As people get older, and begin to suffer wear and tear in their joints, pains becomes more intense as time goes on; especially if they have led active working lives that have put stress and strain on limbs over the years. For example, causing rheumatism, muscular pains, lumbago, fibrositis, stiff neck, shoulder pain and the daddy of them all rheumatoid arthritis which can gradually disfigure fingers, hands, wrists, toes, elbows and knees.

When the pain becomes too much they resort to pain killers: analgesics; aspirin, brufen, to stop the pain temporarily. These drugs initially give relief but if taken too often they do not seem to work as well.  

There are also side-effects that add to their suffering such as acid reflux, stomach ulcers, constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, nerve involvement (restless legs), broken veins evident on the face and legs due to toxic overload in the blood; and varicose veins with collapsed valves in the large leg veins so congealing blood is not circulated. The list goes on.

Homeopathy for older people can provide many forms of relief from ongoing pain. Not just relief, but improvement both physically and mentally.

Cold Damp Spring weather

Living in a northerly climate Spring days can be very cold damp; with such weather it is not very pleasant playing out on the bowling green. This is where homoeopathy education can help relieve a lot of the crippling pain that I witness.

Our remedies take into consideration individuality when treating symptoms.

It is not just a part of the body we treat it is the whole person. 

Yes, of course, people want their pain sorted out and that is what we must do. To do that we go by what ails them and how and when it ails them, then by using our law of similimum ‘like cures like.’

Every case is different and the homeopath needs to look for 'modalities' and 'generals' to find a remedy that will fit the individual's case.

  • The modalities might be, for instance, feeling better or worse for heat,  and the same for cold and/or damp; worse sitting or standing or bending etc. 
  • The generals are habitual recurrences such as sweating (where?], sleep or sleeplessness; unusual preferences with regard to of food and liquids; or averse weather. 
  • Any unusual characteristics in a person are also noted.  

Rheumatism occurs a lot as we grow older

  • Arnica a natural pain relief remedy especially for muscles jarring; worse touch; strain and over use. Bowling can be a strain heaving a bowl up the green if the grass is wet.

And Some are worse in Damp conditions

damp weather produces symptoms often needing homoeopathy for older people
  • Rhus tox [poison ivy}; a remedy when it’s easier after continuous motion as initial movement can be painful; muscles will ease once they have limbered up {better for stretching); this remedy can help the pains and stiffness that aggravate if the weather is cold and damp.  
  • Bryonia [the hop]; when cold and damp aggravate; better for social bowlers who just want to sit still; knees strapped, wrists strapped or just rubbing the inflamed part hard; they get relief from pressure.
  • Phytolacca [poke root]; a remedy whose symptoms lie in between Bryonia and Rhus Tox. It is rich in potassium and can relieve stiffness; it hates dampness and humidity, but likes cold application. Like Bryonia it's better for pressure and like Rhus Tox better on movement and worse for damp; and worse for humidity. There are pains in muscles and stiffness in bones; this remedy needs warmth even though there is burning pain. 

Many older people don’t want to cook for themselves. Instead they rely on convenience foods with too much salt. The tendency to stagger or have awkward movement can occur because of lack of potassium, excreted along with the salt. Fresh vegetables have plenty of Potassium but if they rely on convenience foods people may not get this. Too much salt an also lead to lymph nodules, swollen glands; mastitis etc.

Social members don’t usually play bowls: they prefer to watch! This means they don’t get enough exercise.

A sedentary life style with maybe too many refreshments from the club’s bar can lead to toxic build up  - a ticking time bomb; high blood pressure, weight increase, indigestion and bloating.  Getting older does not mean one has to do a penance! But under-exercised, the immune system does compromise; slowly the body becomes tired and there is less energy, in general the system becomes sluggish.

In providing homeopathy for older people one has to address major nutritional deficiences, otherwise they'll get ill again.

Nutrition is part of homoeopathy for older people

To help put a little spring in back in their life and gently restore some balance; the homoeopath can slowly build up their general health by using low potency remedies to gradually detox. 

  • Natrum Mur (the salt remedy); for swelling fingers, joints, feet and ankles, and puffy eyes. Not enough fluid with dry scaly skin. Their intake of too much salt causes fluid retention. Of course, they need some homeopathy education too, to try to incline them to better habits!
  • Apis (the bee); a sedentary lifestyles causing knees and ankles to swell up; hot stingy pain that pits on pressure, skin on feet and ankles feeling tight. A general lack of tone can also lead to a quick dash to the loo before the bladder lets go; with this fluid retention Apis can help to pass large quantities of urine in a short time and reduce the fluid in swollen limbs..
  • Eupatorium Perfoliatum (common name 'bone set'); a great deal of bone pain; back ache, aching bones in legs, arms and wrists; flesh feels sore;  gouty soreness when there is a build-up of too much uric acid crystals in the joints with painful nodules in the muscles; a build-up of the nasties again. Yes they go to the osteopath, try hot baths and massage with liniment that brings short -term relief from aching shoulders and recurring headaches. This little remedy can do wonders if the symptoms fit.

Neck Muscle stiffness

When bowling the neck muscles can get stiff after playing and the headaches get worse especially in the morning after sleep. Not until the afternoon can some get going. They are the 'late afternoon' bowlers! Warmth and hot flannels are best for them. Or, from the multitude of homeopathy for older people choices, a remedy: 

Remedies this brings to mind

  • Lachesis (the Snake) with sore throat worse for empty swallowing but can swallow solids. They have the distinctive blueness around the eyes.
  • Mercury; the bowlers who love the cool air and the rain one wonders about that but their individuality is heat. They lie in bed and as soon as they become heated they sweat and hate too many covers; they complain that’s when the pains in the legs start and can’t sleep.
  • Zincum; for those who tell you they never slept a wink because their legs keep jumping in bed.Sulphur; they heat up far too much: must go sit in the shade and always wear a sun hat. The remedy would help their stiff limbs they are worse for stretching.
  • Lycopodium;  one member in the club had a clicking knee and l was not sure of the remedy until he told me it started in the R leg then sometimes moved to the Left. He was quite a timid man. He always took second helpings from the buffet.

Homeopathy for Older people

Most club members try not to complain although they are always ready to say what the doctor prescribed and tell you if the medicine didn’t work. When prescribing homeopathy for older people, one hears quite a lot!

There are so many of remedies using homeopathy for older people that can help but the modalities must be present. 

  • Pulsatilla for wandering pains but bowlers are never tearful (a frequent symptom associated with Pulsatilla types) in each other’s company! But sarcastic? Yes! That’s the name of the game and if you cannot take defeat, don’t bowl. Although I have come across complaints of pains that move from location to location - another feature of Pulsatilla.
  • Kali Bic; has helped for shifting pains especially if acute and need warmth on the painful limb. These members tend to polish their bowls more often. Slightly obsessive?!

Those who suffer from Rheumatism usually have TB in the family. Tuberculinum; is one remedy that l have not given yet; they would have to be very poorly. Then again you would not see them at the bowling club if that was so. 

But a little homeopathy for older people goes a long way, as they learn better ways to live, with less medication.

Christine Sloan 4/5/20

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