Homeopathic Guide to Stress: Safe and Effective Natural Ways to Alleviate Physical and Emotional Stress

Language
English
Type
Paperback
Publisher
B. Jain
Author(s) Miranda Castro
Out of stock
$23.99

In Ms. Castro's usual clear and engaging style, she focuses on many common physical and emotional stresses, suggesting homeopathic remedies and common sense solutions to help with their resolution.

More Information
ISBN9788131903346
AuthorMiranda Castro
TypePaperback
LanguageEnglish
Publication date1997-05
Pages399
PublisherB. Jain
Review

This book review is reprinted with the permission of the Homeopathic Academy of Naturopathic Physicians

Reviewed by Alice Duncan

Homeopaths are not strangers to stress-in fact, we couldn't work without it: When taking a case, we willingly explore the patient's response to stress, and assess how the individual's vital force expresses this through symptoms. But this curiosity about the stresses in our patient's lives does have another side: when we encourage patients to explicitly describe their problems, some of them (amazed to have found an attentive listener) try to place us in the role of psychotherapist or counselor.

Miranda Castro's recent work, Homeopathic Guide to Stress, is an excellent book to recommend to patients who need to identify the stresses in their lives and learn to understand and work with them. It is also a reasonable and thoughtful introduction to homeopathy and the safe and practical use of remedies for self-care.

A section entitled Emotional Stresses includes succinct, insightful chapters on various states (that call to mind familiar rubrics)-among them betrayal, bullying, conflict, depression, failure, fear, guilt jealousy, loss, resentment, shame, transitions, worry, and many others. Under each heading, she offers practical "Do's and Don'ts" for dealing with each kind of situation, helping the readers identify and feel their own emotions, and move through them in a healthy way, then suggests some likely remedies, with short but relevant descriptions.

A later section includes good general, emotional, and physical pictures for more than 40 remedies-wisely avoiding mention of the drastic mania states that spring to the mind of the homeopath for certain medicines. Another informative section of the book discusses Physical Stresses, reminding the reader of chemicals and toxins in the environment and how one might be exposed to them (building materials, cosmetics, industrial waste, etc.); also addressed are effects of everyday stimulants and sedatives (alcohol, tobacco, caffeine), of illness, injury, medication, weather, strains of work and travel, and so on-with suggested remedies to help resist an array of ill effects. Practical approaches to exercise, sleep, and relaxation are also discussed.

Following the Homeopathic Remedies section, a brief Index of Stresses, like a mini-repertory, is included-listing remedies for certain states. I think that, to be really useful to persons who are new to homeopathy and learning to self-prescribe, this section should have been a little longer and more carefully compiled. For instance, only one remedy (Nitric acid) is mentioned under 'Compassionate"; only Ignatia under "Idealistic"; only Arsenicum under "Insecure"; better from light, Stramonium worse from winter, Aurum ... when other remedies, of course, would also be appropriate. Finding only one remedy mentioned next to a symptom could be confusing to a novice.

Considering the vastness of the subject, Stress, (and the vagueness with which it is sometimes approached in mainstream medicine) this book is very thorough, sympathetic, useful, and clear. Patients who read and use this book will emerge with better skills in taking care of themselves, and will have a personal entry-point for understanding homeopathy ... Which will make the prescriber's job a little easier. I recommend this book, for the general public and for practitioners to suggest to patients.

Fall 1997 Volume X No. 3 / SIMILLIMUM

This book review is reprinted with the permission of the International Foundation for Homeopathy

Reviewed by Karen Allen, C.C.H.

My 10-year-old daughter curled up beside me and declared that she was "stressed out." We had just returned from a weekend away hiking in the rainforest, which she had enjoyed but had left her a bit worn out. While there, she had spent plenty of time at the hotel's indoor pool getting much more than anyone's minimum daily requirement of chlorine and other pool chemicals. Now we were back home and in her present state the challenges in her young life grew bigger and bigger.

As we talked, her concerns and fears and heartaches poured out along with the tears. Her father is planning to get married again, and although she is fond of his new partner, she is worried about her new step-siblings. She has a birthday coming up in a few months and is worried about growing up. She doesn't want to become a teenager and listen to weird music and dye her hair purple like her older sister. She doesn't want to be a little kid and play pirates with her younger brother very much anymore either. The new litter of kittens which the cat moved into her bedroom over the weekend are mewing at night and keeping her awake, because she worries if they are okay or not. She is riding horses twice a week and is beginning to learn to jump which both excites and frightens her. The list went on to cover friends, food, the weather, books she has read, Mom's busy schedule, a pair of pants which she has outgrown, a medley of the bits and pieces that make up a life. And her self-diagnosis for the sum total of everything that what was wrong was stress.

Miranda Castro says she got tired of hearing that word, so much so that she felt a need to define it for herself and her patients. Actually, she has done that for everyone in her new book, "Homeopathic Guide to Stress," which provides a way to define, measure, and relieve stress using lifestyle changes and homeopathy.

This book is an introduction to homeopathy using stresses and responses to them as an initial point of focus. It includes a very pragmatic section on lifestyle guidance for dealing with many of life's everyday stresses such as diet and rest, etc.; several cases; separate sections identifying specific stress patterns for mental, emotional, and physical stresses along with suggested remedies; and a concise materia medica. In addition, there is a stress scale with separate sections for children and adults to quantify a person's current level of stress.

She describes stress as a stimulus which in itself is neither positive or negative; it is the inevitable result of being alive. It can have positive results such as the stress of a challenge which enlivens and excites, or negative results like boredom from too little stimulus or breakdown from too much stimulus. She illustrates the need for balance between passive and active principles, between relaxation and action. Stress symptoms are discussed as individual indicators, warning flags which are asking for a better balance.

As I read the initial section on what stress is, I was reminded of early lectures in homeopathic school discussing susceptibility, the importance of the language of symptoms, the accelerated growth of the sycotic miasm, and the breakdown of the syphilitic miasm because all of that philosophy subtly underlies the comments in the book.

Since I was reviewing this book, I took the opportunity to use the stress scale and specific discussions of various stresses on my daughter's behalf. Her stress score was in the moderate range, where 50 percent of the people in that range would be likely to fall ill. Since many of her stresses were emotional, my daughter and I discussed the ideas laid out in the section on emotional stresses for things to do or things to avoid when experiencing disappointment, jealousy, fear, and worry. I was struck by the practical wisdom of the comments for the topics we addressed.

This is a book I will recommend to my study group students and patients who are interested in learning about homeopathy for their own use; I will have copies of it in the lending library I maintain for my office as well. It is well organized, and easy to read. It is in some way comparable to Cummings' and Ullman's Everybody's Guide to Homeopathic Medicine in its discussion of useful advice and remedy choices for common complaints.

But the type of complaints covered in Miranda's book are not the usual litany of common acute ailments. There is a much larger focus on the mental and emotional complaints that are common in our lives, and there is also information on dealing with environmental factors that is well done. The remedy discussions are concise and to the point with clear keynotes as well as general tendencies. Throughout the book is woven the depth of experience as a practitioner which Miranda brings to her writing; she writes effectively because these are situations she has covered with many patients.

Karen Allen practices in Bellevue, Washington.

RESONANCE - November/December 1997

Review

This book review is reprinted with the permission of the Homeopathic Academy of Naturopathic Physicians

Reviewed by Alice Duncan

Homeopaths are not strangers to stress-in fact, we couldn't work without it: When taking a case, we willingly explore the patient's response to stress, and assess how the individual's vital force expresses this through symptoms. But this curiosity about the stresses in our patient's lives does have another side: when we encourage patients to explicitly describe their problems, some of them (amazed to have found an attentive listener) try to place us in the role of psychotherapist or counselor.

Miranda Castro's recent work, Homeopathic Guide to Stress, is an excellent book to recommend to patients who need to identify the stresses in their lives and learn to understand and work with them. It is also a reasonable and thoughtful introduction to homeopathy and the safe and practical use of remedies for self-care.

A section entitled Emotional Stresses includes succinct, insightful chapters on various states (that call to mind familiar rubrics)-among them betrayal, bullying, conflict, depression, failure, fear, guilt jealousy, loss, resentment, shame, transitions, worry, and many others. Under each heading, she offers practical "Do's and Don'ts" for dealing with each kind of situation, helping the readers identify and feel their own emotions, and move through them in a healthy way, then suggests some likely remedies, with short but relevant descriptions.

A later section includes good general, emotional, and physical pictures for more than 40 remedies-wisely avoiding mention of the drastic mania states that spring to the mind of the homeopath for certain medicines. Another informative section of the book discusses Physical Stresses, reminding the reader of chemicals and toxins in the environment and how one might be exposed to them (building materials, cosmetics, industrial waste, etc.); also addressed are effects of everyday stimulants and sedatives (alcohol, tobacco, caffeine), of illness, injury, medication, weather, strains of work and travel, and so on-with suggested remedies to help resist an array of ill effects. Practical approaches to exercise, sleep, and relaxation are also discussed.

Following the Homeopathic Remedies section, a brief Index of Stresses, like a mini-repertory, is included-listing remedies for certain states. I think that, to be really useful to persons who are new to homeopathy and learning to self-prescribe, this section should have been a little longer and more carefully compiled. For instance, only one remedy (Nitric acid) is mentioned under 'Compassionate"; only Ignatia under "Idealistic"; only Arsenicum under "Insecure"; better from light, Stramonium worse from winter, Aurum ... when other remedies, of course, would also be appropriate. Finding only one remedy mentioned next to a symptom could be confusing to a novice.

Considering the vastness of the subject, Stress, (and the vagueness with which it is sometimes approached in mainstream medicine) this book is very thorough, sympathetic, useful, and clear. Patients who read and use this book will emerge with better skills in taking care of themselves, and will have a personal entry-point for understanding homeopathy ... Which will make the prescriber's job a little easier. I recommend this book, for the general public and for practitioners to suggest to patients.

Fall 1997 Volume X No. 3 / SIMILLIMUM

This book review is reprinted with the permission of the International Foundation for Homeopathy

Reviewed by Karen Allen, C.C.H.

My 10-year-old daughter curled up beside me and declared that she was "stressed out." We had just returned from a weekend away hiking in the rainforest, which she had enjoyed but had left her a bit worn out. While there, she had spent plenty of time at the hotel's indoor pool getting much more than anyone's minimum daily requirement of chlorine and other pool chemicals. Now we were back home and in her present state the challenges in her young life grew bigger and bigger.

As we talked, her concerns and fears and heartaches poured out along with the tears. Her father is planning to get married again, and although she is fond of his new partner, she is worried about her new step-siblings. She has a birthday coming up in a few months and is worried about growing up. She doesn't want to become a teenager and listen to weird music and dye her hair purple like her older sister. She doesn't want to be a little kid and play pirates with her younger brother very much anymore either. The new litter of kittens which the cat moved into her bedroom over the weekend are mewing at night and keeping her awake, because she worries if they are okay or not. She is riding horses twice a week and is beginning to learn to jump which both excites and frightens her. The list went on to cover friends, food, the weather, books she has read, Mom's busy schedule, a pair of pants which she has outgrown, a medley of the bits and pieces that make up a life. And her self-diagnosis for the sum total of everything that what was wrong was stress.

Miranda Castro says she got tired of hearing that word, so much so that she felt a need to define it for herself and her patients. Actually, she has done that for everyone in her new book, "Homeopathic Guide to Stress," which provides a way to define, measure, and relieve stress using lifestyle changes and homeopathy.

This book is an introduction to homeopathy using stresses and responses to them as an initial point of focus. It includes a very pragmatic section on lifestyle guidance for dealing with many of life's everyday stresses such as diet and rest, etc.; several cases; separate sections identifying specific stress patterns for mental, emotional, and physical stresses along with suggested remedies; and a concise materia medica. In addition, there is a stress scale with separate sections for children and adults to quantify a person's current level of stress.

She describes stress as a stimulus which in itself is neither positive or negative; it is the inevitable result of being alive. It can have positive results such as the stress of a challenge which enlivens and excites, or negative results like boredom from too little stimulus or breakdown from too much stimulus. She illustrates the need for balance between passive and active principles, between relaxation and action. Stress symptoms are discussed as individual indicators, warning flags which are asking for a better balance.

As I read the initial section on what stress is, I was reminded of early lectures in homeopathic school discussing susceptibility, the importance of the language of symptoms, the accelerated growth of the sycotic miasm, and the breakdown of the syphilitic miasm because all of that philosophy subtly underlies the comments in the book.

Since I was reviewing this book, I took the opportunity to use the stress scale and specific discussions of various stresses on my daughter's behalf. Her stress score was in the moderate range, where 50 percent of the people in that range would be likely to fall ill. Since many of her stresses were emotional, my daughter and I discussed the ideas laid out in the section on emotional stresses for things to do or things to avoid when experiencing disappointment, jealousy, fear, and worry. I was struck by the practical wisdom of the comments for the topics we addressed.

This is a book I will recommend to my study group students and patients who are interested in learning about homeopathy for their own use; I will have copies of it in the lending library I maintain for my office as well. It is well organized, and easy to read. It is in some way comparable to Cummings' and Ullman's Everybody's Guide to Homeopathic Medicine in its discussion of useful advice and remedy choices for common complaints.

But the type of complaints covered in Miranda's book are not the usual litany of common acute ailments. There is a much larger focus on the mental and emotional complaints that are common in our lives, and there is also information on dealing with environmental factors that is well done. The remedy discussions are concise and to the point with clear keynotes as well as general tendencies. Throughout the book is woven the depth of experience as a practitioner which Miranda brings to her writing; she writes effectively because these are situations she has covered with many patients.

Karen Allen practices in Bellevue, Washington.

RESONANCE - November/December 1997