Unexpected Help for Victims of Traumatic Brain Injury
Categories: Health & Healing
The recent and tragic death of New York Rangers hockey player, Derek Boogaard, highlights a serious deficiency in the conventional medical approach to head trauma. Although his death remains a mystery it cannot be overlooked that this young man had been sidelined by a season-ending concussion five months earlier. It was the 28 year-old’s fourth documented concussion. With the increasing participation of America’s youth in many different sports, often at very young ages, the issue of head injuries and their impact is receiving a great deal of attention. The Center for Disease Control estimates that there are 300,000 sports-related traumatic brain injuries in the U.S each year. And this doesn’t even take into account motor vehicle accidents and military-related trauma.
It is generally understood that there is no truly effective treatment for mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI), also known as concussion. Medical intervention focuses upon diagnosis, which involves history taking, physical exam and brain imaging technologies like CT and MRI. Conventional treatment, however, is limited to rest, symptomatic relief such as analgesics for headache, and continued observation after concussion to ensure that the condition of the patient does not deteriorate. In most cases of concussion there is no overt organic pathology. Unless a head injury involves detectable physical damage to the skull or brain, in which case surgery may be indicated, there is little else that standard medicine has to offer.
Any homeopathic practitioner, on the other hand, knows that not only is there very effective treatment for the acute phase of concussion but also for the long-term consequences of head trauma. I know this may seem hard to believe but the lack of awareness of this therapeutic option for head injuries is largely due to the medical establishment’s obstinate refusal to take homeopathy seriously. Such medical ignorance, which really borders on negligence, is based almost purely on ideological grounds.
The medical profession decided long ago that homeopathic medicine couldn’t possibly work because it defies their limited pharmacological/surgical conception of what constitutes a viable medical therapy. Since the results repeatedly observed by homeopathic practitioners and their patients could not be explained in mechanistic terms, conventional medicine tended to dismiss the phenomenon without further consideration. Undeterred by such unscientific bias, thousands of practitioners have successfully used homeopathy to treat millions of patients over the past two hundred years. I have personally witnessed the tangible results in the treatment of the acute and chronic effects of head injury many times in my own medical practice.
Clinical experience indicates that homeopathic medicines are quite effective in all stages of concussion and post-concussion syndromes. The homeopathic medicine, Arnica montana, is well known for its rapid and powerful healing capacity in many cases of physical trauma. Some surgeons prescribe it for their patients post-operatively and some sports teams use it routinely when athletes are injured. Arnica can minimize, stop, and reverse bleeding, swelling, and the effects of blunt trauma and can even be of benefit for internal injuries as is often the case with concussions.
Given that there is no other comparable treatment option, homeopathy should be used as the first line of defense in all head injury cases. Arnica should be stocked in all emergency departments, doctors’ clinics, military facilities, schools, workplaces, home medicine cabinets and first aid kits. Since side effects are virtually non-existent, any responsible adult can use Arnica safely and effectively. This, however, is not a “how to” article and anyone interested in pursuing this option should properly educate themselves in the use of homeopathic medicines.
Although Arnica can be used without hesitation within seconds or minutes after a head injury, it is not the only homeopathic medicine suited for such situations. Other homeopathic medicines, however, require greater knowledge and experience to use and should therefore be taken under the supervision of a professional. The use of these other medicines often comes into play in later stages—days, weeks, months, or even years after the original injury occurred—and depend upon a careful evaluation of the symptom picture of the injured person. The following are some examples of the symptom patterns that can emerge after concussion and the homeopathic medicines indicated for their treatment.
Hypericum is a homeopathic medicine that can be particularly valuable in trauma of the nervous system, which often occurs in head, neck or spine injuries. Post-concussive complaints like stiff neck, whiplash, and pinched nerves may respond well to this medicine. Numbness, tingling, burning, and neuralgic pains that shoot along the course of nerves are indications for Hypericum, especially when these symptoms develop subsequent to a head or spine injury.
The homeopathic medicine, Helleborus, can be very helpful in the event of psychomotor slowing after head injury. These individuals exhibit a markedly noticeable delay in their thinking and their ability to respond to questions. They tend to have a blank facial expression and may lack the normal range of emotional responses. They have a great deal of trouble thinking, concentrating, and remembering things. Their slow passive demeanor can resemble a type of apathetic depression. These patients may also complain of chronic headaches.
If a head injury or concussion is followed by depression in the ensuing weeks or months, Natrum sulphuricum may be the indicated medicine, especially if the depression involves suicidal ideation. Natrum sulphuricum can also be helpful in cases of asthma that develop after a head injury, particularly if the asthma is triggered early in the mornings or by damp conditions or humid weather. It may also be useful in chronic headaches following a concussion.
With proper medical supervision even post-concussive seizure disorders and paralytic symptoms may respond favorably to expert homeopathic care, especially if care is initiated soon after an injury takes place. Again, these few examples are provided just to illustrate some of the homeopathic medicines and their profiles and do not represent an exhaustive discussion of all available homeopathic options.
It must be emphasized that homeopathic care should not replace common sense and standard medical care in the event of a serious injury. If I suspected that my child had sustained a concussion, I would administer Arnica immediately and proceed to the nearest emergency facility. An enlightened green medical system employs the best of all medical options, both conventional and alternative.
It is time for the medical profession to step up to the plate to acknowledge its limitations; the health and well-being of too many people hang in the balance. To deprive so many individuals of safe and effective care for their head injuries and sequelae out of ideological prejudice reflects poorly upon a medical system that claims to be so advanced. The technological prowess of conventional medicine must ultimately be balanced with humility and a willingness to be receptive to alternative modalities like homeopathy. Although homeopathy may not be able to be explained to the satisfaction of medical science it, nevertheless, has much to offer its patients.
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This article was originally published by Dynamic Living Magazine.
Image source: Gutenberg Encyclopedia
Chapman, E, Weintraub, R, Milburn, M, et al., Homeopathic Treatment of Mild Traumatic Brain Injury: A Randomized, Double-blind, Placebo-controlled Trial, Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation, 14,6, Dec, 1999, 521-542.
American Institute of Homeopathy: www.homeopathyusa.org
National Center for Homeopathy: www.homeopathic.org
Homeopathic Educational Services: www.homeopathic.com
JoAnn Jarvis, RN, DHM, Brain Jolt: A life Renewed After Traumatic Brain Injury, 2008
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