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 Naturopathic Medicine: An Outdoor Lover's Guide to Homeopathy 
 
Lauri Aesoph M. ND ©
Although organized sports have been around for millennia, homeopathy is no newcomer either. Homeopathic philosophies are age-old concepts; but it wasn't until a couple hundred years ago that Samuel Hahnemann, MD refined and developed these principles. Disgusted by the then conventional practice of bloodletting and giving dangerous doses of mercury as cures, Hahnemann instead explored how microscopic quantities of minerals, plants, animals and other substances removed the same symptoms they caused in higher amounts.

Like any diagnostic work-up, homeopathic practitioners rely on symptoms to guide them toward a correct remedy. Unlike most medical routines, homeopathy includes the subtle nuances of a person's injury. Your emotional state, foods you crave, sleeping habits, as well as other normal symptoms like pain, are considered before a homeopathic remedy is given. For complex conditions, you should visit a trained homeopathic caregiver. If your sports injury is serious, see your doctor.

However, for simple exercise-related mishaps, you can treat yourself. Before you break out your homeopathic first aid kit, remember these rules:

1) You can't just swallow your medicine. Most pills can be downed with a glass of water. Homeopathic granules or liquid are taken a certain way. First, your mouth must be clean. That means no food or liquid 15 minutes before or after the remedy is placed in your mouth. Then instead of swallowing, homeopathic pills must be placed under the tongue and allowed to dissolve.

2) Coffee is a no-no. Coffee and anything containing volatile oils, like peppermint tea, tiger balm and eucalyptus-based chest rubs may antidote your homeopathic remedy. If this happens, retake the remedy providing your symptoms haven't changed.

3) Homeopathic remedies should fit like a glove. Unlike aspirin or acetominophen, there isn't just one homeopathic pill you can take for pain. You need to match your particular set of symptoms to the most fitting remedy. The closer the match, the more effective the remedy will be.

Whether you rub a homeopathic cream on a bruised shin or take a pellet for pain, find the remedy that suits you. Here are some common athletic symptoms and the most frequently taken homeopathic remedies for them.

Shock
There are many kinds of shock: anaphylactic shock, electric shock, insulin shock, and traumatic shock. Strictly speaking traumatic shock refers to inadequate circulation due to severe injury, blood loss or disease. This potentially life threatening condition, exhibited as confusion, sleepiness, lethargy, shallow breathing, weakness, rapid pulse, and cold and pale skin, doesn't result during every accident. However, the disorientation you experience after an injury or even bad news is often referred to as "shock".

Arnica is a good first step against most injuries including any type of shock. William Boericke, MD, author of the classic text Homoeopathic Materia Medica lists this remedy as appropriate for "traumatic injuries" and "after mental strain or shock". Although Arnica remains the post-injury favorite, several other remedies are apropos for shock.

Guided mainly by mental and emotional symptoms and renowned for calming children, Chamomilla fits when pain throws you off guard. You don't want to talk or be touched, and moan constantly. Even though you're perspiring, warmth feels good. Sulphur is the antithesis of child-like Chamomilla. Although faint, trembling and weary, Sulphur shock victims crave alcohol to quench thirst.

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