In this podcast, we cover:
1:01 Length of time needed to treat a chronic condition
5:00 Take copious notes
8:58 Homeopathic remedies for vomiting
10:13 Take note of the improvements
16:21 Joette’s magic markers of improvement
“Being able to take responsibility for your family’s care in such a meaningful and committed way is the substance that makes for a life well lived.”
This week’s podcast is about starting and using homeopathy for your family’s chronic conditions.
First, when addressing a chronic illness, the length of time that we need to stick with a protocol is generally about 4-8 weeks. It’s a matter of pacing. Think of it this way…allegro for acutes and adagio for chronics.
I talk about the crucial need to take notes at the onset of the case. And the need to continuously take observational notes, for only then will we be able to see the proof that things are getting better.
The 3 questions to ask when taking notes for your case records.
3 Magic Markers of Improvement: the presence of any one of these indicates that we’re on the right track and have chosen the correct protocol.
2 Top remedies for horrible vomiting.
Being a wife and mother is one of the noblest jobs on this earth. Use this free blog and incorporate my homeopathy tips, and you’ll accomplish this like a sovereign.
Podcast 6,7 and 8 are supplemental to blog articles that are titled: What to Expect Using Homeopathy Parts 1-3
You are listening to a podcast from JoetteCalabrese.com where nationally certified American homeopath, public speaker, and author, Joette Calabrese, shares her passion for helping families stay healthy through homeopathy and nutrient-dense nutrition.
Jendi: This is Jendi and I’m back again with Joette Calabrese and I am looking forward to learning more on the subject of what to expect after using a homeopathic remedy. So in our last podcast, we talked about using homeopathic remedies for acute conditions and I have used them for colds and headaches for my kids. So I now turn to the homeopathic remedy instead of a store-bought drug, and I’m looking forward to hearing what happens when there’s a condition that continues or has been for a while, as you call it, a chronic condition.
Length of time needed to treat a chronic condition
Joette: Yes. So last week in part one, we covered the kind of results we would look for when using homeopathy to address acute situations such as fever, like you said, otitis media, sore throats, headaches, bee stings, things like that. So acute problems are relatively straightforward compared with what to expect when dealing with chronic conditions. That is, it only takes a few minutes, hours, or maybe a couple of days to know that you’ve chosen the remedy correctly. But in a chronic condition because it’s a longer lasting one, it’s different. Certainly, there are also signs along the road that we can look for to reassure us that we are in the correct path or to redirect us if we’re on the wrong path.
So here’s the first one. When addressing a chronic illness, the length of time that we need to stick with the protocol is generally about a month to two months. So that gives us information in and of itself. That tells us that it is a matter of pacing. Think of it this way. Allegro is the acute pace and adagio is the chronic pace. So we don’t expect something that’s a chronic illness that’s been going on for many years or decades, sometimes months, but more often it’s years or decades, to completely clear up overnight like we would a headache that just started three hours ago. So in general, it’s usually best to observe a chronic protocol over that two-month period of time before there’s an assessment.
And to give you an idea of what this means, for a 4-year-old, expect sleep to be reestablished within a few weeks, whereas someone who’s older, it might take a lot longer for it to be reestablished. Someone who’s had insomnia for, say, five years, it might take many weeks. So it will be a couple of months. Mind you, these are examples of what might occur so don’t hold these degrees of length of time to specific scrutiny. I’m kind of giving you an overview. So it can take time, perhaps months, but it is a march in the direction of wholeness. So we have to remember that along the way, that we’re looking for improvement, prompting you to continue with your remedies in the same fashion.
So if you’ve decided to use a remedy twice daily and you’re going to use that every day for a full month, you need to stick with that. Don’t waver because if you waver, you’ll certainly question yourself and wonder whether or not you’ve made the correct decision. So when a remedy is working, we must not tinker with success. And this is one of the catches that most people get stuck on. As much as we want the remedy to move quickly because we’re so, again, accustomed to seeing an acute situation resolve so quickly, we must hold our ground. Once the remedy no longer acts and there’s no improvement at all and there’s nothing left to be realized, then and only then is it time to abandon it and move on.
So undeniably, there are three steps forward with a step or two back. So you might see, “Oh, my gosh, I’m doing so well! But oh, no, now it’s not doing so well again.” So if we think of it as a moving up the ladder and we’re getting closer and closer to wellness, we might take a couple of steps forward and a step back. But we’re looking for greater and greater strides over this time that holds vital evidence. And what I mean by that is if this information is not realized simply because the information wasn’t logged properly and referred to with accuracy, it will toss the prescriber and the sufferer about like a schooner without a rudder. So what I mean by that is you need to keep really careful notes when it comes to a chronic illness, and even acutes, for that matter.
Take copious notes
Jendi: How do you keep track of all this? And I know you said write it down. Is there any way that I can make it easier because I’m a busy mom doing all kinds of things through the day?
Joette: Right. This is where I stress how important, how absolutely crucial it is to take notes at the onset of taking the case. Don’t think you’re going to remember this. And also, you want to, along with numerical values, compare them to a two-month outcome. So what I mean by numerical values is you’re going to be asking yourself if it’s for yourself or for a family member, on a scale of 1 to 10 how severe is this pain, for example. Ten is the worst; zero is no pain at all. You want that number. Let’s say it’s a headache. We want that by the headaches that are coming. On a scale of 1 to 10, it’s, let’s say, a 7. We have to know this because if in two months the headaches are still occurring but now they’re a 4, that shows improvement. We have to make the assumption that the remedy did that.
Now, we don’t always know that it’s the remedy that did it. It could be, indeed, the sun is out. It could be life is better. But life does that. It has its ebbs and flows and this is the only constant, the remedy. So we at least have to consider that as our baseline and always be open to the possibility it could have been something else. But since we have no way of holding life to a constant, it’s all we’ve got. So I want to remind folks that we’re prone to that forgetfulness and inaccuracy, especially when it comes to illness. This is particularly so when dealing with the suffering of loved ones. If your child is suffering and they say they got another headache, “Mom, it’s another headache,” you can’t help but say, “Okay, well, I guess the remedy is not working.” When really, you have to go back to your records.
So when we have clear proof in the form of our notes showing us that yes, things are getting better, not only does it let us know that we’re on the right track and that we should stick with it but it reignites our hope, of course, for the future of it being resolved completely. Hence, when taking notes for the case, the questions to ask and then compare every two months need to include, again, on a scale of 1 to 10, what is the intensity of the symptom, number two, how often do the symptoms occur, and how long do they last? But remember, don’t force this to fit. In other words, be honest with yourself. If you blew it, own up to it. We don’t want to pretend that the remedy worked when it didn’t. We really want real science here. We want this as close as we possibly can to the truth. So don’t encourage the person or yourself to believe that they are better if they’re not.
Jendi: And sometimes, if it’s a kid and they’re in the middle of vomiting or diarrhea and I’ve given them the remedy but you want them to feel better right away, you think that there should be more that you should do, right?
Joette: Right, right. And the hardest part of being a mother/homeopath is the pressures that arise by simply being available to the person, to their child. Just by being there, they entreat you. This is where being a mother and holding their head, giving them a hot water bottle, encouraging them with gentle words can make the difference until the remedy kicks in. Now, again, what we’re talking about here is closer to an acute problem. I just talked to someone who said her mother used to distribute cuddles instead of drugs, and it’s a great way to look at it. If someone is vomiting relentlessly – let’s go back to an acute for a second – if they’re vomiting relentlessly and they want you to give more remedies or a different remedy because it hasn’t stopped even though you’ve just administered it, you want to hold firm to it and give it a chance to work. We have to give it a chance.
Homeopathic remedies for vomiting
Speaking of relentless vomiting, I always like to give a remedy if I can in these podcasts and a little information that you can kind of tuck away. My two top remedies for horrible vomiting. The first is Arsenicum album 30 and the second one is Veratrum album 30 every hour or so. And you use only one. You choose one and stick with it. So these are good ones, and they’re worthy of writing down. So it’s Arsenicum album 30 or Veratrum album 30. They’re not the only ones but they’re my two top favorites for horrible vomiting.
Jendi: And those are for acute symptoms. But if it’s chronic, then we have to be patient even longer, right?
Joette: That’s right. You have to stick to your guns, unless of course, the person is worse. We need to give it a few weeks at least. But when someone you love isn’t treating, it’s awfully difficult to stay firm but firm you must be. So I urge listeners today to be sure to read my corresponding article to this podcast called What to Expect When Using Homeopathy Part II for further details. There’s a little bit more information in little areas that I’ve gone off on tangents here that I didn’t in that article.
Take note of the improvements
The problem is that expectations are sometimes unrealistic. Some who are familiar with homeopathy’s swift results in an acute condition expect the same for the chronic and I can’t emphasize this enough. So here’s another common occurrence after administering the medicine to a loved one. Folks often don’t take full notice of the degree of their improvement. So when someone is suffering, they’re saying, “I’m vomiting, I’m vomiting. I’m still vomiting.” The reason for this is that we want to get better so much that we entreat those who we believe are in power over us, our mothers or our wives or whoever it might be, to do something sooner.
I’ll give you an example. I’ll use the example of my cousin Maria in my article. She was suffering from anxiety and insomnia and some hot flashes for approximately 10 years. So, of course, this was a chronic issue. And when asked to give me a number as to how severe she’d rate her insomnia now after having had the remedies for a couple of months on a scale of 0 to 10, with 10 being horrible, referring to my notes because I asked her the same question two months earlier, she responded, “Oh, it’s about a 4, and I was hoping it would be gone by now because I’ll be in a play next week.”
So her expectation was based on the fact that she needed to be in a play. Now, it’s up to me as the homeopath to note that she had said it was a 10 before. Now, it’s 4. We’ve got a 60% improvement. So my notes – and I might not remember this readily so that’s why I have my notes – revealed that she rated it as a 10 last time. And when I asked her how often she’s sleepless, she reports that she’s able to fall asleep most nights now with the exception of the night before the dress rehearsals. And I’m thinking that’s great. She’s thinking, however, “No, no. You don’t understand. It’s before the dress rehearsal.”
But when someone is sleeping consistently after complaining that insomnia was one of the biggest issues, and there is a night or two without restful sleep, then we have to be satisfied with that. We can’t expect necessarily perfection. And so her anxiety, when I asked her about that, she said, “Oh, I forgot about that. I guess I haven’t had any since the first week of using the remedies.” So it’s easy to forget, you see, when you’ve taken these remedies, that this is how we used to suffer, this is how I used to suffer, compared to how you feel now. So my job is to put things into perspective, just as it’s the homeopath’s job to put it in perspective, remembering that we might have to face that things are indeed not improved.
And remember, we’re not going to guide them to lead us to believe that things are better when they’re not. We don’t tell them what it was last time until after they’ve given us all this information so that we can compare. Because we may have to go back to the drawing board. We may have chosen the wrong remedies. There’s no doubt about it. And we have to be honest. I’ll be talking more about that, actually, next week, when we’ve chosen the wrong remedy and what to do about that.
So there’s no doubt that folks are impatient to feel well. So dates or goals are set as though gaining health is like a financial goal. But the nature of the human body simply doesn’t work that way. And if it’s clear that Maria has improved, I have to point that out to her. That’s my job. And my aim is to uproot the problem, not mask it with drugs or supplements or with synthetic vitamins. We all know all about that. Even if we take two steps forward and a half step back, the goal is we’re going for the gold. Hence, our standards are solid and they may take a little longer to achieve. But meanwhile, we can at least enjoy knowing that improvement has been shown and there’s more to come.
Jendi: So we need to not be an average person in our microwave society that wants everything fast. We need to learn that slow and steady is sometimes the only way to achieve genuine health, right?
Joette: That’s right. That’s right. And having said this, interestingly, there are plenty of others who report to me that they’re very much improved after two months of taking the remedy. And once you see that happening in your family and your neighbors and your relatives and friends, you gain a little bit more confidence and the anxiety is melted away and you can start saying, “Okay, I’m really getting this.” So it’s the job of the homeopath to assess the problem, choose the remedy and its application, keep high-quality notes, and gently remind the sufferer how things have improved, if they have, and tell them that you’ll make the adjustments if they have not.
Jendi: You mentioned about seeing improvement in other areas. That’s an indicator that the person is improving. Like emotions or energy, mood, or overall vitality. Can you explain that a little bit?
Joette: Yes, yes. In other words, what we want to see is that perhaps vomiting is not better. We’ll use it as an acute for a moment. Perhaps the vomiting is not improved. The person is still in the bathroom. But they’re not as frightened, or they’re not as cold, or they say, “You know, mom, I think I’m okay now. I think if I just sit here for a little while, I should be better.” When it’s a chronic problem, they might still have that insomnia. But it doesn’t seem to bother them as much. There’s maybe fewer emotional discords. They may need fewer naps. There might be even improved mental acuity. And again, you’re observing, always observing this in people and not telling them. You don’t want to tell them that they’re improving unless you absolutely need to. But you want to allow this medicine to act properly without giving them too much encouragement into believing that it is working when indeed, it may not be.
Jendi: And I know you have some kind of markers or rules. Would you share them with us again?
Joette’s magic markers of improvement
Joette: Yeah. I call them my magic markers of improvement and if you want to jot them down, you may do so. But certainly, that’s in the article that accompanies this. The first marker, and I’ve already discussed it, I touched on it just a few minutes ago, but the first marker is that the symptoms now appear, once the remedy is given and it’s correct, appear with less intensity. So on a scale of 1 to 10, it’s no longer an 8. Now, it’s becoming more like a 6 and then maybe like a 4. So we want to see that pain scale reduced.
The second magic marker is a shorter duration of the event of the sufferings. So in this scenario, for example if it’s vomiting, that it’s not happening for as long. And so it’s shortening up. And even though the person may have vomited two days ago and then yesterday and then today, now we’re seeing that it’s only lasting a few minutes instead of hours. So we want to see it lasting for a shorter duration.
And the third magic marker is that there are larger spaces between each event. So if someone again is vomiting and they’re in the bathroom and you’re noting that they’re actually actively doing so, that after they’ve taken the remedy, now it’s been three hours since they’ve had the last episode. So we want to see a larger space between each episode.
Jendi: These are such good things to write down and to keep with the remedies. Because when you’re in the middle of dealing with the sickness or the condition going on, then there’s something to look at. And of course, they can listen to this and write them down or they could print them out probably right from JoetteCalabrese.com.
Joette: Yes, certainly. That’s right. But I’ve had these techniques through the years and I’ve fine-tuned them, but you should have seen my medicine closet, what it looked like when I was raising my kids. I had all my notes pasted all over the inside of the cabinet door. No one would ever see if the door is closed, of course, but when I opened it up where my remedies were, there were all these reminders and notes and remember to do this and remember to watch for that and be aware of this or that. And that’s how I learned a lot of this. I mean, I want the inside of your closet door to be plastered with protocols, too, like this information. Otherwise, it’s easy to forget this kind of information. We really need someone nudging us and it’s really us reminding ourselves.
Jendi: I kind of have the things in a kitchen cupboard and I don’t know if I would be able to keep that very organized because it’s like open-shut a lot. But I definitely want to have a notebook or something that I can have the information that I collect and I already have a book to read. So I would like to keep the things I print out from your blog and the books that I get on homeopathy and keep them together.
Joette: Yes. Yeah, it’s great. It’s very important to keep yourself organized. Otherwise, when in a crisis, you won’t know where to go. You won’t know what your resources are.
Jendi: And I really liked your idea of having the file folders because you said if you scribbled it on a napkin, you could just throw it in the right file folder.
Joette: Right, right. I have sons and so I was always thinking, “How can I make this easy?” And I color coded the file folders. So my oldest son was a blue folder, my next son was a light blue folder, and then my youngest son was a green folder, so that I knew instantly to grab their file folder when something was going on and I could find out what happened last time. Because a lot of times, what we see happening today in someone, let’s say it’s nausea and vomiting, etc., we might see that one person is prone to that. And if we open up that file folder, we might find that, oh my goodness, we did this two years ago. And look here, Arsenicum album really did it, 30, and I only needed to use it three times. I have a record of it happening at that time. It makes it so much easier than to start from scratch because you have a history already. So I think it’s very valuable to have as much organization as possible.
Jendi: An organized home is a less stressful home.
Jendi: And I’m working on it. You constantly have to work on it, keeping it straightened up and organized. I do have a question about what if you are working on a chronic condition and you missed a day. Does that affect the duration at all?
Joette: No. I don’t believe it does. Many times, people ask me that question and I said, “Just continue where you left off and you’ll see it just pick up. No, it’s not a problem.” Sometimes, it’s difficult to remember or you leave for the day and you don’t get home until late that night and you were supposed to take the remedy. No, it really has very little bearing on it. The timing is more critical when it’s something that’s acute because you’re going to want to deal with it and get it done as soon as possible.
Jendi: The next thing that I’m wondering about is what happens if I choose the wrong remedy. So will we talk about that soon?
Joette: Yes. I wish we had more time today to do that but it really is another subject in and of itself. So yeah, we’re going to cover that in our next meeting.
Jendi: All right. So I am looking forward to hearing part three in our next podcast. Do you have any parting words for us today?
Joette: Yes. What I always want to tell moms is that this is a great place to be ambitious. We can be ambitious mothers, we can be ambitious grandmothers, and you want to find like minds. You want to find other moms and grandmothers who are also ambitious in treating and taking care of themselves and their families. And they can be found everywhere. You can find them in your church, in your synagogue, in your homeschool group, in your local PTA. They’re everywhere.
So I urge you to find like minds. If you don’t find them readily, just go to my blog. Hang out there. There are lots of people there, a lot of mothers, families there. And I believe my blog is brimming with motivated mothers. Just read their responses to some of these blogs. They share their successes and failures after having taken classes or if they’ve only just been reading the blogs. Find like minds. This is the way you will accelerate your understanding of this and encourage your life forward in this way. Procure those friendships.
Thank you for listening to this podcast with Joette Calabrese. If you liked it, please share it with your friends. To learn more and find out if homeopathy is a good fit in your health strategy, visit joettecalabrese.com and schedule a free 15-minute conversation.