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Three Remedies For the Dying

No matter how good our doctors, our diet or our wellness plans are, our bodies will fail us and will one day expire.  As our bodies fail, there can be much pain and discomfort. There can be a dulling of the mind as well as deep emotional strain. Here are three lesser known holistic remedies for the dying that work with us at all three levels: mind, body, and spirit.  Each of these creates connection between the physical process of dying and the deeper mental/ emotional parts of us; allowing greater peace throughout the entire process.

1: Angel’s Trumpet Bach Flower Remedy – Back Flower Remedies are oral remedies that carry emotional intelligence via vibration. They are given in water and taken orally to help all manner of emotional and mental issues. This remedy has the key word of surrender.  This Remedy is good for the entire family whenever there is resistance and denial of the impending transition. It allows the experience of ‘surrendering to death’ to flow more smoothly by helping us to see death as a more spiritual process.  By expanding our perspective we see death as a part of the full process of life and thereby accept the need to surrender to it.   A great deal of emotional distress can be alleviated with this remedy.

2: Homeopathic Arsenicum Album – Arsenicum is indicated when symptoms are ‘worse at night’ and whenever the thought, ‘I’m going to die,’ is present.  It is indicated when there is both vomiting and diarrhea concurrently and the mucus membranes are inflamed. In hospice settings, all of these symptoms are common and this remedy can be considered whenever any of them are present. The more of these symptoms that are present, the more strongly arsenicum can be helpful.

However, arsenicum has a more profound and important use. When given in very high potency, 1-10M, during the last few hours of life, it offers tremendous peace to the person as they pass. One of its key notes is the ability to help us process fearful thoughts about dying. Its helpfulness holds true even with the intense fears that can be present when death is truly near.

Caution: Working with any homeopathic remedy of high potency should be done with supervision by a professional.

3: Massage For Hospice – Gentle touch can be very palliative; easing stress, anxiety, and pain.  Patients report better sleep, clearer minds, and are more capable of processing their stresses after even the gentlest of massage.  While all of these things are a normal part of the massage experience, they are incredibly valuable for hospice patients and their families. Massage releases the distractions of pain and stress from body and conveys compassion in a profound way. These benefits are received even by those who have an impaired ability to communicate.

Remember: Death is a part of life that you will eventually face.  Processing the stresses, emotions, and changes that it brings is vital to staying well.

 

Medical Theories Of The World

There are many healing systems used throughout the world.  Medicine as we typically know it here in the west is called Allopathic Medicine.  It has its own assumptions, theories, and modes of practice.  But, it isn’t the only system of medicine out there. It’s good to know that medicine is a universal human need and that we have successfully created many different systems and theories to help restore health and wellness.

Medical systems tend to develop within cultural frameworks. Every tribe and culture throughout history had its own wise women, shamans, and the like.  Today, three of the most widely practiced medical systems are from three great cultures: Ayurveda from India, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM,) and Allopathic Medicine from the west. Even within our western culture, we have sprouted homeopathic medicine, naturopathic medicine, chiropractic medicine and several others.

All of these types of medicine stand apart from each other in some of their major premises.  Ayurveda and TCM both believe that disease is a result of imbalances within the individual.  They have very different language and practices, but they share the assumption that health can be restored by bringing the body back into balance energetically.  Allopathic medicine uses germ theory, genetic theory, and deficiency theories to halt disease and its symptoms.

Let’s take insomnia for example. One of homeopathy’s primary theories states that ‘like energy cures like symptom.’  So a homeopathic cure for insomnia where your mind, ‘just won’t shut off,’ would be a very dilute dose of something that stimulates your mind, like coffee. This is very different from a chiropractic theory of spinal alignment, which would work to adjust subluxations in your spine in order to calm the nervous system and reduce insomnia.  TCM might look to balance your gall bladder or spleen meridians with acupuncture using meridian theory.

While we can’t define all the differences here, we can get a sense that there are very real and substantial differences between medical systems.  Those differences can result in very different prescriptions from your doctor for the same health problem. Many times I have seen someone switch systems, from allopathic to alternative or vice versa, to great personal benefit. Their new doctor had different foundational assumptions that created a different framework of medicine, different diagnosis and different prescriptions for cure.

Caution: We often get into the ‘Ford vs. Chevy’ argument in regards to medical systems. While we may be firmly entrenched in our own beliefs, we must recognize that all of these different viewpoints on health and disease are being used in the real world.  They have all been around for hundreds if not thousands of years.

Caution:  Finding great practitioners who practice all these different medical theories… that’s another issue altogether.