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Athlete's Guide to Homeopathy

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Remedies for healing minor pains and strains. For small aches and pains, minor injuries from sports or other traumas, you can use homeopathic remedies.

For small aches and pains, minor injuries from sports or other traumas, you can use homeopathic remedies. For more chronic complaints, consult with a naturopathic physician, homeopath or holistic practitioner trained in homeopathy.

Use the symptoms below to help you choose the correct remedy. In general, take lower potencies (anything under 30c) of the remedy every half hour until improvement is noted, then the treatment should stop. If there is a relapse, take the indicated remedy again. Remedies are taken under the tongue and held for approximately 30 seconds. Take 20 minutes before or after you have eaten–the further away from food, the better. Coffee, peppermint, toothpaste, essential oils or camphor can neutralize the activity of homeopathic remedies. You can, however, take these remedies with water.

Physical Injuries: Stage One

Consider using one of these remedies in the first 24 hours following an injury. Take a low potency (under 30C) every 15 minutes for severe pain, then take once every 24 hours as symptoms improve (usually after one to four hours).

Arnica is the number one homeopathic first aid remedy and should be considered first for any injury. Basic symptoms are: aches and bruises, dislocations and sprains and soreness after overexertion. If the injury feels better when you lie down, improves with a cold compress or feels worse when you touch it, consider using Arnica.

Bryonia acts on the serous membranes, joints and muscles. It is recommended when you have aching in every muscle or muscle tearing, dryness of the mucous membranes and when you are grumpy. Injuries that feel better when heat and pressure are applied but feel worse when cooled or in motion should be treated with Bryonia.

Bellis perennis: Use if Arnica didn’t work in the first one to four hours. Bellis acts upon the blood vessels and muscle fibres. This is the first remedy to consider when there is muscle soreness or injuries to the deeper tissues and nerves. If you feel cold and chilly, or the injury is black and blue, Bellis is recommended.

Physical Injuries: Stage Two

If after 24 hours you have not found relief from the stage one remedies, try one of these from the following list. Take four times daily.

Hypericum is the greatest remedy for injuries to the nerves, especially in the extremities. Consider using Hypericum to alleviate sharp nerve pain such as when your fingers are caught in a door or when you injure your tailbone.

Phytolacca has a powerful effect on fibrous and osseous (bone) tissue, and on muscle; it also works particularly well on the Achilles’ tendon and ankle joints. Aching, soreness, restlessness and prostration should be treated with Phytolacca. If the injury feels better with rest and elevation and worse when you move, use Phytolacca.

Rhus tox. A good remedy for pain in the small of the back and knee joint. Rhus tox affects fibrous tissue, particularly joints and tendons that are painful and stiff. It is always good to consider Rhus tox in cases of sprains and strains, tendinitis and plantar fasciitis (tissue inflammation on the sole of the foot). It is also very good for arthritis. If the injury improves with continued movement and applications of heat, Rhus toxis recommended.

Ruta acts on cartilage and periosteum (connective tissue). It is excellent for healing strained flexor tendons and when all parts of your body feel painful as if bruised. Ruta is good for bruised shins, bursitis, sprains and when your hamstrings feel shortened.

Fractures

After taking Arnica for initial trauma, the most common remedy for knitting together fractured bones is Symphytum, the homeopathic form of comfrey. Take every two hours until pain is diminished, then four times daily.

Head Injuries

Always consider Arnica for a head injury. Other remedies include Nat sulph for chronic headaches that have plagued you since an injury and which are accompanied by personality change or depression. Consider Hypericum for sharp, shooting pains and nerve damage.

Your Basic Remedies

Arnica: for any injury, aches, bruises, dislocations, sprains and soreness after exertion.
Bryonia: for membranes, joints and muscles, aching muscles or muscle tearing.
Bellis perennis: for muscle soreness and deep tissue or nerve injuries.
Hypericum: for nerve injuries, especially in the extremities.
Rhus tox: for painful and stiff joints and tendons, sprains and strains.

Source: Excerpted from The Complete Athlete, by John Winterdyk, PhD, and Karen Jensen, ND (alive Books, 1997).

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