Transitions, spring into summer, closing one chapter and starting another. This month my middle daughter Olivia graduated from university and is transiting into a life no longer structured around academia. Being a journalist and music blogger means creating her own road less traveled from scratch – and for now, being willing to make cappucinos and serve food in support of her future dreams. How many brides and grooms walk down the aisle this month, closing the chapter on single life and turning into wife and husband? June’s many transitions are often marked with ceremony, honoring the completion of one phase but leaving us hovering on the cusp of the unknown.
Not all transitions are easy or desired. Some may challenge us beyond our capacity to manage. Illness or death of a loved one, divorce, moving, children leaving home, a job termination or personal illness/injury are transitions that can rock our world and leave us floundering. Even “happy” transitions such as graduation or marriage bring stress as we leave the familiar behind and are forced to step out into a new reality.
When we are facing any transition and feel a sense of loss or trepidation, homeopathy can be a gentle but powerful aid. Whether we have sustained a physical blow, a hit to the heart or a push into the unknown, here are a few homeopathic remedies that can help ease the process.
Trauma/Traumatic Remedies to Ease and Support our Transitions
Arnica – the most well-known homeopathic remedy, Arnica is heralded for physical injury and trauma, with the keynote of bruising pains in the body. The person can experience physical restlessness, irritability if others try to approach, anxiety (especially at night), forgetfulness or absentmindedness. But such symptoms can also come up after an emotional trauma, with restlessness and sleeplessness at night, withdrawing from others, irritability, dictatorial behavior and a stubborn refusal to let others in.
Ignatia – known as the classic remedy for grief or emotional shock, this can also be needed when even a good transition is overshadowed by a feeling of loss. Ignatia’s symptoms can be paradoxical – on one hand hysteria with sobbing, or alternately an inability to cry. Brooding over what has been lost, sighing, changeable moods, sensation of a lump in the throat, easily excited, but above all feeling grief and disappointment.
Gelsemium – although a favorite influenza remedy, this is also excellent for “ailments from anticipation.” Weakness (even with trembling) from anxiety, feeling unable to cope, stage fright (or exam nerves) and timidity are keynotes to this remedy. There can be dullness and exhaustion even to the point of paralysis in the face of having to take on new responsibilities or rise to a new occasion.
Symphytum – another injury remedy, especially to deeper tissues such as periosteum and bones, this remedy could also support during times of painful transitions. Its symptoms “Ailments from reversal of fortune” and “Desire for Stability” indicate it could be helpful when someone is forced to go through a difficult and unwanted transition. Signs for this remedy include obstinacy, insisting things go their way, withdrawal, irritability and feeling vulnerable – to others’ criticisms as well as physical vulnerability, such as a fear of falling. When the reaction to a sudden change is one of trying to force a return to previous stability rather than moving forward into change.
If any of these remedies seem well-indicated during times of change, take 2-3 doses over 24 hours in a 30C potency.
Life IS change, whether we want it or not. Homeopathy can help give us confidence and inspire trust as we move forward and meet each new transition.
If you realize that all things change,
There is nothing you will try to hold onto.
If you aren’t afraid of dying,
There is nothing you can’t achieve.
Trying to control the future
Is like trying to take the master carpenter’s place.
When you handle the master carpenter’s tools,
Chances are that you will cut your hand.
(Tao te Ching, chapter 74; Stephen Mitchell translation)