I hear this question often in clinic and see it frequently on Facebook.
“Why is my child always getting . . . and here you can pick whichever applies or add your own! . . . worms, head lice, ear infections, UTIs, colds, croup, school sores, gastro”.
This is a common and recurring question in many families and is often followed by “we eat well, nourish the gut, give supplements, but still they are unwell”.
We are certainly much better informed these days about reasons for poor health and ways to improve on this and I’m always impressed by the lengths some parents will go to for the health of their children. All of the above is obviously hugely relevant – diet, gut, supplementation – but it does often overlook the fact that if you already have a compromised immune system (through family inheritance, environment, conception, birth process, vaccination, etc), sometimes the body doesn’t actually have the strength to work with what is being offered.
And from a homeopathic perspective we can’t just treat the child’s physical health or try to rely solely on addressing poor gut health. Gut health is so often talked about as being inherited from the mother during her pregnancy and thought of as the root of all health woes in small children. This is certainly the case, but is not the be all and end all to achieving perfect health.
So what then is the problem?
We are a potted history of all of the previous generations – all those who came before us – down both sides of our family line, and this is what creates our susceptibility to disease.
Our family medical history is the soil for our child’s health.
What we experience as our current state of health is a result of the many individuals who came before us, and while we are obviously not going to get everything that everyone before us had in terms of health, this determines (a) the strength of our immune system and (b) the types and families of illnesses we might get in our lifetime. To a large extent it also determines our experience of life generally.
Add to this the toxic load of our food and environment, immunisation (not just in the child but in the parents and grandparents), the working environment of the parents – and this is very interesting to look at – again from the viewpoint of toxic load which may be passed on, the mental health of the previous generations and also the shocks, traumas and stresses they may have experienced. So yes, I am saying that what a grandparent or great grandparent experienced in their life can be passed on.
Just as an example, a family history of tuberculosis, which was so common prior to the discovery of antibiotics in the 20th century, or bronchitis in Granny or childhood asthma in Dad, may predispose a child to asthma, allergies, eczema and/or hayfever – basically a weakness of the respiratory system. Not everyone down the family line will have the weakness. Sometimes it needs a trigger for it to reveal itself and there are times things will skip generations.
From a mental health point of view suicide may be a generational theme, and history of abuse or abandonment in previous generations may be picked up as a theme by a good homeopath when taking a child’s case.
And let’s not forget that the mother’s health in pregnancy is all important too – of course it is! But what is more telling in a child’s own health is what the mother’s mental and emotional state was during this time, so a bereavement, a shock, abuse, depression or anxiety may all manifest in the child, and homeopaths often say that the remedy the child needs now is what the mother needed during pregnancy!
Luckily not everyone gets everything. There are certainly children who are hale and hearty while a sibling seems to have got the lot and this does seem to be the luck of draw! There are so many reasons for this and while looking at DNA markers seems to be the trend, a common sense look at the family medical history can tell you a lot.
What about the gut?
Certainly you need to support the gut and rebuild the flora – nutrition is important, as is appropriate supplementation, and here I consider “less is more”. Again my comment on supplements would be that if you are giving a whole plateful of supplements in a day with no improvement, more so in a case where an immune system is already below par, you need to consider that the system is not able to cope with this level of supplementation and that sometimes backing off and just offering basic support may be better in some cases.
Allergies are obviously a big problem these days and I’ve written about these in the past. Again, what you need to understand about allergies (and this applies to most things in actual fact) is that they are a symptom of the overall problem and not the cause. They are the body’s way of letting you know there is a problem that needs to be addres
So what can you do in addition to what you are already doing or have done?
Obviously because I am a homeopath I say “homeopathy” but this is not because I’m passionate about homeopathy (which of course I am!), it’s because over the years I’ve seen the many ways homeopathy can be used in these cases.
I should say here as well that children have become more and more chronically ill over the more than 20 years I’ve been in practice. Some of them are more complex to treat and improvement is certainly harder work than in the past, with a multitude of layers to work through in some cases.
Homeopathy may be one of the few modalities where we can actually identify and then specifically target the inheritance from the family and that is important. To my mind you are never going to get a good resolution in some of these ongoing and tricky cases without addressing that inherited level.
But I do see there is hope if there is patience and persistence
Many of my patients work with integrative medicine doctors or perhaps a naturopath or herbalist, as well as using homeopathy. From the homeopathic perspective it’s possible to work out a plan which can address the level of the inheritance, bring the individual’s system into balance and helping the body to detox itself, if that is necessary. Yes, that’s right. I have seen in many cases that as the body rebalances itself heavy metal toxicity and high copper, for example, begin to resolve as well.
Constitutional treatment is all important, so supporting the whole child with an individualised remedy, addressing the family inheritance (medical history) with remedies which treat this layer, and looking at whether there is anything stopping treatments from resolving the problem. With some clients, by the time they arrive at the homeopath – sadly often the modality of last resort – we realise this is a case which is complex and will need time and patience and some good investigative work.
What tools do we have?
We have over 5000 remedies to work with so we have plenty of tools to do the job and occasionally the problem is not that we don’t have any more choices, but that we have too many, so a good plan is always key.
We can chelate heavy metals gently and quickly using homeopathic remedies, we can detox vaccines and we can encourage absorption with tissue salts and low potency homeopathics. We can support the gut, the liver and kidneys or any organ which is under functioning, again with homeopathics.
We can talk about the mother’s mental state in pregnancy, a huge factor in a child’s health issues as mentioned above, the father’s, grandmother’s or grandfather’s childhood situation which can impact over the generations and we have remedies to address all of these as they present in the child.
And if a little extra nurturing or support is required at Elements of Health we can pick a WyldChyld Essence, use an EnviroSpray to regularly clear negative stress from the house or help negate toxins such as EMFs or off gassing from new carpets or furniture which also add to the load.
And why am I saying homeopathy can do so much?
Homeopathy works differently to supplements, herbs and conventional medications. A remedy can provide gentle encouragement to the immune system to work a little harder to achieve balance and release, but as with anything where a health issue has been evident for some time, it does take a little time, persistence and patience to unravel the story and rebuild it into good health.
Homeopaths are rare beasts these days in Australia, but you should be able to find a good and experienced homeopath in your area of Australia. You can go to the Australian Homoeopathic Association and see if there is someone on the listing or you can find someone who works distantly, like myself. We may be a part of the bigger healthcare picture for you or your child, but homeopathy has a lot to offer because we treat the person and not the diagnosis!
Melanie Creedy trained in the UK in the early 1990s and holds a Bachelor of Health Science in Homeopathy. She is registered with the Australian Register of Homoeopaths (AROH) and is a member of the Australian Homoeopathic Association.
She was Vice President and Professional Development Coordinator of the Australian Homoeopathic Association from 2011 to 2015 and is editor of the AHA National Newsletter.
Melanie has used homeopathy for 30 years and has been in practice since 1998. For many years she ran The Children’s Ear Clinic in Western Australia, but since her tree change to Tasmania, has a special interest in women’s and children’s health generally and helping individuals manage their journey on the spiritual path with homeopathy and her range of essences. Melanie has developed her own methods of dealing with complex cases over the years and offers distance consultations via phone and skype to allow people Australia-wide to access her services.
Homeopathy is a traditional medicine. It may be used in conjunction with other medicines. For any ongoing chronic condition or serious acute illness, it is important to be assessed or examined by your GP or specialist. Always seek medical advice in emergencies. The information provided in this blog does not constitute medical advice but is for information only. If in doubt as to the appropriateness of a suggestion or treatment seek advice from your healthcare professional.