I Can’t Remember What I Was Going to Blog About Today…..
One of the most common symptoms which my patients complain about is their memory. Or more specifically, their lack of it. This is a broad-ranging topic, with many different types of symptoms, along with a variety of different causes and treatments. At the most general level, memory is a function of self-consciousness, as we know from the fact that most people do not have any memories of their life before about the age of three, when their sense of “I” first awoke.
Impairments of memory can occur at different levels — anywhere from short-term memory issues such as forgetfulness to long-term issues such as amnesia. Memory loss may result from a shock or trauma, such as a contusion, or even a strong emotional shock, where remembering a certain incident would be too painful. This is true in various ways in patients with histories of extreme abuse. Other factors such as nutritional deficiencies, particularly ones which have a direct impact on the brain are known.
All this to say, that there is no universal homeopathic remedy, or even nutritional approach which will solve all memory problems. Part of maintenance, of course, goes back to the “use it or lose it” principle, where our mind and memory function in particular needs to be used and exercised on a regular basis. But beyond this obvious level of care and maintenance, there is a much deeper exploration that is needed on a case-by-case basis to determine what is getting in the way of a healthy memory function.
Even looking at Kent’s repertory (of homeopathic remedies), under the “weakness of memory” section, we can already see that there are very different presentations of weak memory, including:
Weakness of memory for:
- What he has just done
- What he is about to say
- What he is about to do
- For proper names
- For what he has just thought
And so on. Each one of these categories (and there are several others) is connected with a different potential set of remedies that may help the patient, and needs to be matched precisely.
Now, given all of these factors of the pathological side of memory, keep in mind that there is actually a healthy function to forgetting — there is a state of hyper-memory which is not healthy, which is described by the state of mind of Natrum Muriaticum. This is where someone pathologically attempts to “hold on” to everything, including memories and sentimental thoughts and feelings about past events in their lives.
The healthy mind lives somewhere between these 2 extremes, where there is a healthy amount of remembering, as well as a healthy amount of forgetting. Like all healthy functions, there are extreme forms which move outside the range of “healthy”, and into the pathological.
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I also find folks who have a stronger “emotional mind” tend to have better memories as they are breathing more into their bellies to connect more to themselves and their present circumstances. In my experience they also just have a better visceral relationship also with their intuition and imagination so when someone asks them if they’ve seen their keys, they can more often discern where they are just by tracing the patterns of that persons habits through their more threaded body-mind. Parents often do this innately. When a person is more anxious, and their breath of a more “panting” nature, operating more from the intellect, I find that they report forgetfulness more as a function of being less “incarnated” in their body-minds. For example I had an 80 year old woman that I served some years back complain of losing every day items, however, she recalled clearly when she was 8 years-old the death of a cow in a field. You see, she’d felt very badly for the cow. I suggested that if she felt very badly also for her keys, she’d remember where she put them every time!
Excellent comments, Ally. You illustrate another link between memory and consciousness, in the sense that the more emotional constitutions (Sulphur, Pulsatilla, Phosphorous) have a more direct or natural residue of ‘participation’ of the world around them, while more IQ types (Silicea, Lycopodium, and Calcarea Carbonicum) are more separated out of nature, and need to work harder to connect back in.