Monthly Archives: April 2009

COMING OFF TRANQUILLIZERS: ANDREW’S STORY

Andrew, aged twenty-nine, was prescribed Ativan eight years before for examination nerves. He was not sure why he carried on taking them. He had increased the dose twice during those eight years, but had not changed it during the past two years. He was then on 6 mg per day.

He complained to a friend (a dentist) that he had burning spinal pain, numbness, pins and needles in his limbs, and blurred vision. The friend said that it sounded like multiple sclerosis, and urged him to seek medical help. His doctor sent him to a neurologist who said he could find nothing wrong.

The doctor and neurologist suggested a holiday. During Andrew’s second miserable week, he saw a report in a local paper about a support group for people having trouble with tranquillizers. It was explained to him by the group that his body had become accustomed to the drugs, and that he was having withdrawal symptoms, even though he was still taking the tablets.

Three months after complete withdrawal, the spinal pain and other symptoms had disappeared. He made a weekly telephone call to the support group for reassurance when he felt down, or had the occasional panic attack. He cut down on coffee and cigarettes, and ate a balanced diet with vitamin and mineral supplements. He feels that swimming helped him to recover, although he admits it was a tremendous effort at first to go to the local pool twice a week. He is now very well, and supporting (by telephone) several people in his area who are withdrawing.

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FEW FACTORS OF WITHDRAWAL SYMPTOMS

Sound

The hypersensitivity to sound causes many family arguments. The sufferer has to turn the sound on the television so low that no one else can hear it. Doorbells are often disconnected, and telephones covered with blankets or cushions. Sounds not normally noticed, like the click of a light switch, or a clock ticking, can be distressing to some.

Touch

Some people complain of pain when they are touched, or of discomfort when they touch a rough fabric. Others do not feel pain, but say everything feels odd—water feels like slime, objects that should feel rough feel smooth. For a time, one woman could not cook because everything felt like jelly. Even if the joint of meat was burnt black, it still felt like jelly when she put a knife in it.

Taste

Loss of taste or altered taste sensation is common. It may be a surprise to find chocolate tasting salty or something savoury tasting sweet, but it is only a temporary nuisance. Enormous numbers complain of a metallic taste in the mouth, others say it tastes bitter, sweet or creamy.

After several months of loss of taste, one woman was delighted when she could taste sprouts. Gradually the number of foods she could taste increased (so did her weight).

Smell

Some users report loss of smell, but others say even pleasant smells like perfume become unpleasant. One man had a smell like petrol in his nose for several weeks.

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WITHDRAWAL SYMPTOMS: CREATIVE VISUALIZATION

This means using your imagination in a positive way to cure symptoms of depression (or any illness). You may wonder how this simple measure could help, but try it and see—it takes time for the body to react to the positive images but it does work. By imagining scenes where you look well and confident, you are stimulating the chemicals necessary for your well-being. A woman in hospital who was immobilized after an accident, made a remarkable recovery when she started using this technique. In most of her waking hours she imagined she was playing tennis and her body responded to these positive images.

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WITHDRAWAL SYMPTOMS: STRESS

We all have a part of the brain that works to keep us normally restless and anxious at an acceptable level. During stress and illness, this mechanism may become over-stimulated, so we become over-anxious.

The body reacts to the chemicals poured into the bloodstream, and this gives us the distressing physical feelings which we associate with anxiety: heart beating wildly, stomach churning, shaking and sweating.

If your arm was injured and needed rest, you would put it in a sling. You can learn to give your exhausted nervous system the same kind of comfort and rest.

Dr Claire Weekes gives excellent advice in her books and tapes. In Self-help For Your Nerves, she asks you to accept your nervous illness, float through, and not fight against the physical symptoms and let time pass. This may sound difficult, particularly if you are coping with misery in your life. However, her advice is sound. If you fight your symptoms, you will further stimulate your over-sensitized nerves, and end up even more exhausted and ill. Accepting your fear may be the hardest thing you have ever done, but think of the rewards.

If you have a weak chest, catching a chill, or getting over-tired, could result in bronchitis. In the same way, if your nerves are over-strained, an unexpected gas bill or even a door banging may make you feel ill.

It could be that the anxiety feelings are too much for you to cope with so you retreat (although not consciously) to ‘not being you’. If this is very severe the sufferer may hallucinate, ‘seeing’ themselves or their faces. As anxiety decreases the feelings and hallucinations completely disappear.

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OTHER FORMS OF FOOD ALLERGY: FOOD AND KIDNEY DISEASE

The question of whether foods might produce excess immune complexes in the blood and thus cause the same sort of damage to the kidneys is a highly controversial one. Two groups of doctors, one working in Japan, the other in Miami, Florida, have made a special study of children with kidney disorders, and they believe that food is the source of the problem for some of these children. When put on an elemental diet (a synthetic food mixture that contains a minimum of antigens, children with certain types of kidney disease may improve. Those who do recover are then challenged with various foods and some reproduce their original symptoms – protein loss in the urine, and retention of water leading to puffiness in various parts of the body.

The food most often implicated is cow’s milk – the most common allergen of childhood. But the majority of these children appear to be sensitive to several foods, and to various airborne allergens, such as pollen. By putting these children on restricted diets, their symptoms have been fully or partially controlled. There are reports that neutralization treatments are also useful, where the food or foods concerned are difficult to avoid.

It must be emphasized that children such as these are rare, and the vast majority of cases of kidney disease are due to other causes. Nevertheless it does seem that food allergy can cause kidney damage in some children. Whether it can affect adults in this way is an open question.

Almost all the children affected in this way are atopic – that is, they show one of the classical allergic disorders, such as asthma or eczema. This raises the possibility that IgE and mast cells are somehow involved in the damaging reactions in their kidneys. While this is possible, it does not seem that IgE has a central role. Neither is it entirely certain that deposition of immune complexes is to blame. Some of the available evidence suggests that it is, but other studies point to different forms of immune reaction producing the damage.

Finally, Type-I allergic reactions to airborne allergens, such as pollen, may sometimes be linked with kidney disorders. Reactions of this type are thought to be extremely rare. It is not known whether IgE and mast cells are responsible for the damage in the kidney, or whether some other mechanism is at work.

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THE WONDER JELLY FOR QUEEN BEES – POLLEN

Every time sensational articles about pollen appeared in newspapers and magazines, the questions would be asked. ‘What actually is pollen? Is it a product of the food industry or of nature?’

According to the biblical account of the Creation, pollen existed long before man. The earth had to be thoughtfully prepared for man’s existence. For this reason, the plant world had to be made first, then came the animals and finally, man. So pollen existed even before the bees started flying from flower to flower. Pollen contains the male gametes of plants, which are essential to their propagation. Perhaps the wind carried these reproductive cells; otherwise the plants could not have been fertilised or pollinated before the arrival of insects. Today, bees are especially responsible for pollination, together with the wind. We have probably watched these busy insects in their constant activity many times. When bees visit individual flowers with their untiring zeal in gathering nectar, they collect something else at the same time. Their little legs touch the pollen, which in turn sticks to them in tiny grains, making the bees look as if they were wearing tiny yellow pants.

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THE EFFECTIVENESS OF CABBAGE POULTICES – TESTIMONIALS (CONCLUSION)

The marvellous effect of cabbage leaves is truly remarkable and no doctor or medical practitioner who has the well-being of his patients at heart should ignore this lowly plant.

Here is another example, taken at random from the many testimonials I have received. A worried mother wrote asking for advice on how to deal with her child’s swollen neck glands. Having followed the prescribed treatment, this is what she wrote:

‘The trouble was soon put right by the remedies and cabbage poultices. Cabbage, in general, seems to be a marvellous thing. It seemed our thirteen-year-old son, who is 175 cm [5'9"] tall and whose voice has already broken, would not be able to get rid of a cold before having to go back to school the following Monday. He then complained of a really bad headache and yesterday afternoon, of a pain in and above his right eye. I was afraid of sinus trouble, so I put a cabbage poultice on his head just above the eyes and left it on for two hours. Monday came and off he went to school, returning in the evening still cheerful. The pain had completely gone.’

It is quite peculiar that the humble cabbage should have such outstanding healing powers and can give unexpected relief without any harmful side effects. What explanation is there? Well, cabbage not only supplies curative elements to the tissues but also eliminates toxins and other harmful substances from these same affected areas. This kind of remedy fills an important place, especially where nothing else seems to be effective.

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VARIOUS DIETS AND TREATMENTS – WATER AND ITS THERAPEUTIC EFFECTS

Several years have passed since I visited the headwaters of the Amazon river, but I still remember watching the natives bathe in the dirty waters of a tributary of the Marafion. In other tropical areas I often saw the same thing happen, natives enjoying themselves in the muddy water, in some cases the water being absolutely black, while other streams appeared more yellow or red. The Indians and, especially, their children would romp about in these dirty

rivers without any fear of becoming sick as a result. At any rate, they always seemed very happy and seemed to enjoy their dip. In spite of the obviously good effect a swim seemed to have on them, I never mustered enough courage to go in the water myself.

However, one day* I felt exceptionally tired and worn out and decided to derive some benefit from the refreshing water. After all, the temperature was 40 °C (105°F) in the shade and took a lot out of me after a while, especially as it was combined with extremely high humidity. I had to keep reminding myself of the need to breathe deeply in order to cope a little better with the unbearable atmosphere. All I wanted was a refreshing bath to bolster my spirits. Even so, I still did not have the courage to jump in the river, but it occurred to me that I could ask a native woman to go and fetch me some water in a large earthenware jug. I stood on a bamboo footbridge between two huts and as she brought the water I poured it over my head, letting it run down all over me. The Indian woman was kind enough to keep bringing one jug of water after another, and it was not long before I felt quite refreshed, even though the water was not as cool or as clean as I would have wished it to be.

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NATRUM MURIATICUM (COOKING OR TABLE SALT, SODIUM CHLORIDE) – GENERAL INFORMATION

It has an immediate effect on infants and small children when there are disturbances of the bowels or liver, and it is a splendid worm remedy if taken regularly for a long time.

Patients with Graves’ disease (exophthalmic goitre) will find speedy relief by taking Natrum muriaticum. In cases of vasomotor disorders, palpitations with a feeling of faintness, and an irregular pulse (such as every third stroke out of rhythm) the medication has a very good effect. Skin eruptions with light-coloured watery secretions, eczema, acne and skin blemishes, especially when accompanied by dry mucous membranes, also respond to treatment with Natrum muriaticum.

In cases of constipation, the potency 3x is indicated. All other

disorders will benefit from a medium potency, such as 6x, or better still, a higher one, from 12x to 30x. Highly strung persons always respond better to higher potencies.

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A SELECTION OF MEDICINAL HERBS – PURPLE CONEFLOWER (ECHINACEA PURPUREA AND ANGUSTIFOLIA) – SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE

Scientific research has confirmed that Echinacea improves and builds up immunity, even though it has not been possible, to date, to isolate a specific substance that is responsible for its remedial effect. I myself am convinced that no such active substances will ever be discovered because it is not some specific chemical that can be credited with the medicinal effect, but the complex of vital substances contained in the plant as a whole. It is the same with all other medicinal herbs; it is the entirety of substance – all the active and supporting substances in the plant – that achieves the desirable results. This is especially true in the case of a herb whose properties stimulate the immune system, since it acts not just on a single organ but on the body as a unit.

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