At this time of the year when we start to enter the latter phase of the fall (at least in the Northern hemisphere), our life force begins to resonate with and potentially manifest the symptoms and state of mind of the chronic miasm of malaria. All miasms originate in an infectious disease, which may also become a genetic pattern that passes from one generation to the next. The characteristics of malaria are a hybrid between Psora and Tuberculosis, which are the miasms related to the early fall and early winter respectively.
Starting with the classic symptoms of a primary malarial infection, we see generalized aches and pains, weakness, and a number of gastrointestinal disturbances including diarrhea or vomiting. This symptom picture is partly reminiscent of the overall disturbance of the psora miasm, which also lies predominantly at the functional or more surface level. There is somewhat more intensity to the feeling in malaria, and it is a foreshadowing of the following miasm (tuberculosis) which displays quite a bit more charge than psora.
The state of mind of malaria is one of irritability, and to an even greater degree than in psora. It also surpasses psora in its degree of fatigue, as well as pessimism. The core feeling in malaria is of being victimized, which departs from psora’s feeling of simply not having enough (energy, time, money, etc.). In the classic infection of malaria, the typical carrier is the mosquito, and if you think of any time you’ve ever felt ‘bugged’ or even ‘victimized’ by mosquitos, then you will start to have a sense of this feeling in the malaria miasm. Malaria may feel overly sensitive, either physically or emotionally, and that their environment is hostile towards them. Both psora and malaria are diseases which primarily affect the warmth organism, and the patient suffering from these miasms will typically be very chilly.
Whether you are a student dependent on cafeteria food, or are otherwise displaced from your home and usual regimen, such as during travel, maintaining your healthy diet can become quite a challenge. When someone has put in good effort to consciously improve their diet, and put their life on a new program, sooner or later, they face their first challenge of how to deal with a less than optimal situation of food available in an unusual context.
While “cafeteria food” has improved in some ways over the years, it is certainly not representative of the model diet I recommend to my patients. The nature of feeding a large group of people is that the lowest common denominators of convenience, familiarity, and price are the driving force behind the menu design, and preparation methods. Also, issues of keeping the cost down will play in, both from the point of view of the cafeteria, as well as from the budget-conscious needs of students. This generally means a lower quality of ingredients, which include the use of canned or frozen or otherwise artificially preserved foods, along with faster cooking methods, including a ubiquitous use of microwave ovens.
A few general points to consider, and adapt to your particular situation:
There is nothing better for proper hydration than pure water, and the more you can leave behind sugary or caffeinated drinks, the better. Even fruit juices are too concentrated in sweetness, and not a good regular part of your diet.
The less control you have over your diet, and other aspects of your environment, the more important it is to do everything which you do to maintain a healthy state of mind. The impact of toxins or stress are greatly mitigated by a healthy immune system, which is made up both of physical as well as emotional factors.
Know which dietary typologies are the best for you, so that you can make the best possible choices within the available parameters. Some do better when their diet is carb-dominant, while others with a protein-dominant.
Supplement your diet, if you can, with a whole greens powder, which is a great way to take in a ton of nutrition in a very small package.
Celebrate if the cafeteria has even a half-decent salad bar — although it is not likely to be organic, this opens up much more freedom for you to offset a less-than-optimal main course with a side dish much better than fries.
Choose the items which are prepared with healthier methods, such as baking or broiling instead of frying.
If you are conscious of maintaining a low-grain diet, try to find options where the bread can be left aside, such as ordering a burger without the bun. When available, stick to the more natural sugars (cafeterias will often have pieces of fruit available), rather than the dessert counter.
If it is possible, ask the kitchen to heat up your meal in an oven or stove top, rather than a microwave. This one is highly dependent on the resources and willingness of the staff.
Following the cycle of chronic miasms in terms of the seasons of the year, we now come back around to the original chronic miasm which is linked to the Autumnal Equinox. Psora, which comes from the same root word as ‘psoriasis’, is the beginning of treating the complete cycle of eight chronic miasms. There are eight, as there are two per season. This first miasm in treatment corresponds to the oldest, or original chronic miasm in human history. As such, you can imagine that it’s symptoms relate back to an original loss of health, and the beginnings of a weakened immune system.
The symptom picture of Psora is related to our most superficial organs or functions. The skin is primarily affected, with all forms of rashes or general conditions such as eczema. Other outer aspects of our immune system are affected, as we see in cases of simple head colds or coughs — irritation of the mucous membranes and other first defences of the immune system are included here.
All Psora symptoms are related fundamentally to an underlying condition of dehydration and dryness at all levels — dryness of our cells and their basic functions impaired; also dryness of our minds, in terms of our modern predominance of intellect over feeling. Also, the fundamental state of mind of Psora relates to this theme of dryness, in that the theme is of ‘lack’ — lack of energy, lack of time, lack of money, or lack of love, etc. If you observe the frantic energy of animals in the fall as they are gathering their food stores for the winter, you’ll see an example of this feeling of lack, and behaviour based on fear for future survival.
Many issues presenting at the clinic level have at least some root back into this miasm. Many complaints of a lack of energy, as well as constant catching of colds will be related. Seasonal allergies related to the fall are very much rooted in this miasm. In fact, my own lifelong suffering of hay fever was completely eliminated when I was treated for this miasm. Physically, the patient suffering from Psora will tend to be quite chilly, and have a hard time warming up. The classic expression of this in the old materia medicas referrered to those who wear their fur hats in the middle of the summer. Along with the skin symptoms comes much itchiness, especially driving the patient mad when they get into bed. With or without itchiness, there may still be a lot of restless sleep.
Mentally and emotionally, Psora is characterized by much anxiety and restlessness. More deeply, a feeling of having been forsaken may become apparent.
This blog is part of a series; its original title was Heilkunst Basics : Graduating From Elementary School Level
Congratulations! If you’ve incorporated all of the basic suggestions from grade one to six in this series, then you have completed the Heilkunst elementary school curriculum, and are ready to graduate on to Heilkunst high school. You may recall that there are three fundamental jurisdictions (Regimen, Medicine, and Education), and the elementary level of our analogy relates primarily to the area of regimen.
While it is conceptually true that you must get your regimen in order before tackling the medicine realm, at a practical level, most of my patient’s health issues have enough complexity to warrant the judicious mixture of two or more jurisdictions at the same time. It remains true, however, that the more of regimen which a patient is ignoring, the less effective will be the application of anything from the higher jurisdictions of medicine and education.
To summarize what we’ve covered so far:
Grade One – Understanding the quantitative and qualitative aspects of nutrition — The difference between feeling full and feeling satisfied. Also, the use of sequential eating to optimize digestion and assimilation.
Grade Two – Focussing on your unique nutritional typologies — Blood type diet; Glandular type diet; and Metabolic type diet.
Grade Three – Some “health” foods aren’t very healthy after all : Soy, grains, and dairy.
Grade Four – Unhooking from one of the biggest addictions – sugar!
Grade Five – The basic protocols for detoxification – how to keep your system functioning optimally despite the toxins in your particular environment.
Grade Six – Exploring even more individualized aspects of nutrition – we examined the concepts of nutrigenomic science of diet, as well as the purpose of challenging your system with tonic regimen.
There are more topics in between and around the basic curriculum that we explored above, but this is more than enough to establish a well-grounded regimen for you, and to prepare your system to fully benefit from the next level, which is therapeutic medicine.
This blog is part of a series; its original title was Heilkunst Basics : Grade One
The next step along the Heilkunst treatment process, if we are following along with our education analogy, would be grade one. Once the basic foundations have been set from Kindergarten, the next challenges are taken up:
Quantitative and qualitative aspects of nutrition : Once the basics of nutrition have been learned from Kindergarten, further refinements can be employed. At one level, the quantity of food can be considered. This parallels the need in the medical jurisdiction of correctly adjusting the dose and potency, once the correct remedy has been selected. Likewise with food, someone may be choosing all the healthiest foods for themselves, but consuming more than they need. The general tendency in North American culture is to eat more food than necessary for sustenance, and as the expression goes — “you can have too much of a good thing”. One of the most important factors behind longevity is a concept called CRON, which stands for “calorie reduced optimal nutrition”. The idea is not simply to reduce the calorie intake, but also to ensure that the calories which are consumed are of high quality. This leads more to the healthier experience of feeling satisfied, rather than simply feeling full. Foods with greater nutritional density are full of living energy, and have very little ‘packaging’, which wastes our body’s resources. This is the problem with a highly grain-based diet, for example, which offers up very little nutritional value compared to the amount of packaging that the body has to process in order to extract the tiny bit of nutrition.
Sequential Eating : Another factor beyond simply eating the right foods in the right quantities is to eat them in the correct sequence. In order to optimize digestion, and the amount we are able to assimilate the available nutrients, a conscious ordering of our meals from the most watery to the most dense foods will do this. Since the foods we eat are layered in our stomach, if we stack these layers from most watery to most dense, then the co-ordination of different enzymes can be done in a much more efficient way, one layer at a time. The traditional sequence of a meal service unconsciously follows this order : first drinks are served, and then a soup or salad, followed by a light entree, and then finally the (densest) main course. Tying this back to the principle of hydration, it becomes clearer why the glass of water about 20 minutes before a meal is the optimal time for hydration, as well as to prime the digestive juices for the upcoming meal to digest.
This blog is part of a series; its original title was Heilkunst Basics : Senior Kindergarten
Once you’re getting a good rhythm with all your new habits you learned in Junior Kindergarten, you’ll probably feel ready to tackle your next lessons in Senior Kindergarten.
Water – while you learned about the importance of drinking enough (quantity) of water in Junior Kindergarten, now it’s time to learn something about the quality of the water you drink. This is topic with a number of factors and dimensions which can’t all fit into this article, but it is where we will start to address issues of water filtration (where needed), and how to assess the variety of quality available in terms of bottled water from different sources. The ideal form of water is one which naturally contains levity forces, and which has spontaneously bubbled up to the surface from an underground spring, without the need to be drilled or pumped up. As an example, Fiji Water fits into this category.
Recreation – This word is preferable to ‘exercise’ which most people think of as a 4-letter word. There are two aspects to recreation – one which involves a movement of the physical body, and the other which involves the application of the creative mind. The key to recreation is to find activities which are a pleasure for you to do, and that you won’t have a hard time to do on a regular basis. In terms of the physical side of recreation, the dual principles of “slow burn” contrasted with “PACE” or “Peak 8” are the ideal model to strive for. If your current routine involves a lot of couch time, then build up to this very slowly. On the creative side, it is important to understand the proper rhythm between activity and rest. True rest doesn’t mean to do nothing, or to “veg out”, but it is a sort of “active” rest, when the creative mind is engaged.
This blog is part of a series; its original title was Heilkunst Basics : Junior Kindergarten
As I outlined in a recent post, the approach to Heilkunst treatment can be likened to the progressive, or ‘graduated’ system of education, from elementary, to high school, to post-secondary education in university or college. These thresholds ensure that a student does not move into a given level of education without first being prepared by completing the requirements of the preceding lower level. Particularly in the context of treating more complex chronic illness (which is typical for more of my patients than not), this understanding is critical in terms of moving a patient logically and surely through various stages of treatment in a safe and effective way.
To stick with the analogy of the educational system, here are some of the first things a patient must “pass” in order to complete the “Junior Kindergarten” level of their Heilkunst treatment:
Sleep. At the foundation of the whole treatment system of Heilkunst lies the critical importance of sleep. In particular, it is identified that it is the hours slept before midnight which are some of the most valuable, and which set the rhythm for a proper night’s sleep. There is a basic seasonal rhythm related to the length of daylight, which allows us to have less sleep during the summer, and requires more of us during the winter. Also, the closer one can come to creating their sleep environment as one of 100% darkness, the deeper will be the quality of sleep. Eliminating sources of electromagnetic fields, such as from clock radios or cell phones, also contributes towards this goal.
The Basics of Nutrition. A focus on the source and the quality of food, as well as methods of preservation need to be addressed here. At this most rudimentary level, questions of a food’s freshness is the key guiding principle. Locally grown produce doesn’t need to be picked unripe in order to be shipped thousands of miles, for example. Simple cooking and preparation methods, such as light sautéing of vegetables, helps maintain this goal of freshness. Learning how to go grocery shopping in a way which minimizes the content of additives, preservatives, and other factors of food storage which interfere with its nutritional value is an essential skill to learn at this level of the journey. Starting to learn the reality of food and nutrition as something different from the corporate-driven media messages from the “food industry” is part of the curriculum here. The most fundamental food groups include : Water. High quality animal proteins (organic meat, fish, eggs, and unpasteurized dairy). Lots of vegetables, and a moderate amount of fruit. Nuts and seeds.
Breathing. This is something which most people don’t even realize they are not doing well. A chronic state of “holding the breath” is often found upon examination of a person’s breathing patterns. A conscious engagement with your breathing at least a few times during the day will help to begin to re-establish this most critical phenomenon.
Sunlight. Get as much as you can, in a safe way. During the intense sunlight of the summer, the beginning and end of the day is a safer time for general exposure, although a few minutes during the noon hour can be beneficial, if it can be tolerated. The need for sunscreen is eliminated the healthier a person becomes, and in fact is an important goal to aim for, as sunscreen is ultimately detrimental to our health.
Hydration. Last but definitely not least is the critical importance of becoming and staying hydrated. Most people are living in at least a sub-clinical state of dehydration, which produces many symptoms and imbalances. Waiting for the sensation of your mouth to be dry is actually a danger sign that dehydration is occurring, rather than simple thirst. Pure water is required, and it is NOT fruit juices, tea, coffee, or other beverages which are going to increase your level of hydration. Start slowly, and progressively increase your water intake while your cellular metabolism learns to adjust, and actually start to retain the water for necessary cellular functions. Your urine should become a very light straw colour as you become hydrated.
Chlorine is a ubiquitous element in our modern life. Whether our household water comes from a municipality which treats the common drinking water, or we regularly swim in a public pool which is treated with pool chemicals that include chlorine, it is an important element to understand in terms of its toxicity and negative health effects. When it comes to the chlorine in our drinking water, or showers, it can be eliminated with a suitable filtration system. While its use as a disinfectant may be necessary in large-scale water distribution systems, its adverse effects are not minor, and is strongly implicated as a cancer-causing agent. This is one of the common toxins which I need to consider aiding my patients with in their regular detox protocols.
To consider Chlorine from another perspective, I would like to illustrate when it may be used as a homeopathic remedy (Chlorum) for reasons other than physical detox. Understanding its properities as a physical element (disinfecton; killing pathogens) gives us the best clue as to its use at this level. All mineral elements, as catalogued according to the periodic table, represent, in their dynamised (homeopathic) form, a particular aspect of our ontic organization (sense of self) which may have gotten caught up in a particular conflict.
The conflict of chlorum relates to the general issue of identity, and more specifically to the pattern of taking on a negative identity – by this, I mean that a conscious decision has been made at some point to never be like a certain negative role model which one has suffered earlier in their life. The typical youthful rebellion against mom and/or dad often takes this form, where the conscious decision is to NOT become like them, and instead to foster qualities which are lacking in the negative role model.
The thing is, though, that this is hardly a way to create a unique identity, as it functions entirely in terms of the characteristics to be avoided — whether you take on characteristics of your mom, or their opposite, your identity is still defined in terms of her. A truer process of maturation is one which is not defined at all in terms of a positive or negative role model, but instead from characteristics which are unique to the individual and their particular desire function and resonance pattern. In this light, it is fascinating that the physical toxicity of chlorum contributes to cancer, as this particular state of mind around identity formation is also strongly related to the formation of the cancer state of mind.
Today’s blog post is a response to a comment on a previous post about hydration — the level of detail and scope of this article is general, so I’m publishing it for the benefit of all readers.
I finally realized I am very dyhrated so started drinking a great deal of water. I am finally thirsty but the cells are not taking up the water for I have increaced edema, esp. at night. For years I have tried to avoid salt and would drink hebal teas to try and reduce the edema. How can I get the cells to take up the water they crave?
This is actually a common issue, Pamla, and while I’m not familiar with the dynamics of your health, or your particular history, I’d like to offer up a range of general points which could have a bearing, some more so than others in different cases.
Water AND Salt — While it is true that commercial, iodized salt is not healthy, and should be removed from everyone’s diet, a source of healthy salt is necessary to maintain optimal health. There’s a special relationship between salt and water, which is evident at the cellular level, and as we see in particular in cancer cells, where the relationship has been turned completely on its head, with the sodium content dominating inside the cell, and the potassium having been displaced outside. A Solé solution (a saturated solution of pure water and Himalayan salts) is a brilliant tonic first thing every morning, and will do wonders for properly balancing the mineralization and pH-balance of your cells, as well as encourage a more healthy form of hydration as the cells will better accept the water.
“Letting Go” — The state of mind of unresolved grief is actually one of the primary causes of swelling or oedema. This is a point where we leave the realm of regimen behind, in order to address this at the medical level. Natrum Muriaticum, which is the homeopathic remedy made from sodium chloride (ie salt), is the primary remedy to allow the body and the cellular memory to “let go” of all that it is holding onto, and reach a much more balanced state. Physical symptoms, including oedema and headaches, will also dissolve along with the emotions of old grief.
Unresolved Shocks or Traumas — In addition to unresolved grief, there may be any number of unresolved shocks and traumas still held in the cellular memory, including car accidents, pharmaceuticals, or other major emotional life events. While your body may have all the water it should need to be healthy, the absorption function of your cells may be blocked by such a residual event.
Chronic Miasms (genetic patterns of disease) — This one is the most invisible, but can have the most powerful effect on our health. Disease patterns of previous generations will carry forward into our own bioenergetic structure, and have a direct influence on the behaviour of our cells. Again, a body which gets enough water, yet suffers from a genetic Psora miasm will create cells which believe that they are in a desert, even if that is not true.
Of course, in an individual case, a mix of any of these factors, along with others, need to be thoroughly addressed in order to come to resolution about being able to fully absorb the water. I’ve outlined some of the most common issues behind lack of absorption, but they’re not the only ones, and need to be assessed on a case-by-case basis.
For any number of reasons, our exhaustion formula is used by many patients at some point during their treatment. Whether the patient has begun with issues of insomnia or fatigue, due to shift work or having babies awake during the night, or for some other reason they just simply don’t wake up feeling refreshed in the morning, this formula at least will help them get through their day while working on eliminating the root cause of this condition.
The exact components used in the exhaustion formula will be selected and adjusted on a case-by-case basis, most likely including some of these remedies:
Arnica – You probably know this remedy for bruises and sore muscles, but it is also useful with fatigue, especially when you feel as if you’ve been hit over the head with it. Someone in a chronic unresolved arnica state can have a particular form of insomnia, where they toss and turn, and can never feel like they can get into a comfortable position in the bed.
Cocculus – This helps with the “zoned out” feeling from sleep deprivation, when it feels like you’re passing through a very different dimension of time and your mind is processing things extremely slowly. It has been one of the traditional homeopathic remedies used for overnight care-taking, typically seen in a parent taking care of a sick child. It is particularly helpful for resetting the inner clock for someone who does shift work, or travels through multiple time zones and suffers much jet lag.
Phosphoricum Acidum – This is for a form of exhaustion which comes primarily from emotional causations. Extended periods of stress, grief, or other emotionally draining situations will create this form of phos-ac state. You’ll see someone in this state in a “flat lined” or indifferent emotional state.
Picricum Acidum – This type of exhaustion comes from mental fatigue. Students cramming for exams or trying to meet deadlines to complete their term papers would be the quintessential Pic-ac picture.
Muriaticum Acidum – Along with Arnica, this remedy relates primarily to a physical form of exhaustion.
Olive – This isn’t a homeopathic, but a Bach Flower Remedy, which is very supportive and restorative in a case of exhaustion. It works well in combination with whichever homeopathics are appropriate for the given case of exhaustion.
Hornbeam – This is also a Bach Flower Remedy, and for that “Monday morning feeling” of not wanting to get out of bed and start a new week. Larger questions need to be addressed behind this mental state, such as the degree of resonance which the patient has with their work, but are usually not being asked in the short term focus of making an exhaustion formula.
Also, at the regimenal level, it is quite helpful to stay focussed on proper hydration, which can help the energy flow as optimally as it can within the state of fatigue. A good vitamin B complex is useful to nourish the nervous system which is bearing a high stress load. Depending on the cause of the fatigue or exhaustion, the course of deeper Heilkunst treatment will work to uproot it, whether it is coming from genetic influences, emotional factors, or nutritional imbalances (or all of the above).