Here is Rhus Toxicodendron!
The person who needs Rhus tox has a sensitivity that makes him very irritable. With Rhus tox, it’s all about having to move! Anything that causes stagnation within the body such as cold or cold water or ice will aggravate. Ice, for its hard, cold quality and the wetness of frozen water, is what a Rhus tox hates the most, perhaps this is why Rhus tox is easily comforted by anything that is warm and encourages a flow within the organism, including vigorous massage.
The central idea of Rhus tox is stiffness. They become all bound-up and unable to release the inner tightness they feel. This is seen throughout the Rhus tox symptomatology on all three levels–mental, emotional and physical.
Rhus tox’s character is a picture of anxiety and restlessness, they are unable to relax. Rhus tox constantly needs to stretch. They feel the urge to move to loosen up to keep from becoming the image of ice–cold and hard.
Now, with Rhus tox constantly moving they become anxious. The anxiety is from never being able to stay in one place for very long (“Anxiety, House, in“), progressing into a state where they think something bad is going to happen (“Fear, superstitious“, “Ailments from anticipation, foreboding“). These foreboding feelings come from delusions that something terrible is going to happen (“Mind: Anxiety“, “Anxiety, future, about, Delusion: Murdered, will be“); these are examples of the well-known Rhus tox “Restlessness” on the mental plane (“Mind: Thoughts, rush, flow of; Mind: Suspicious“).
The Rhus Tox cycle:
Let’s see if we can find a Rhus tox or two! Now where are those little Rhus tox people? I can hear them but I just can’t see them, let us see if we can catch up with some of them.
Look way over there! What fun! All those children enjoying themselves at their school athletics carnival. “BANG!” The starting gun fires and they all run off down the track.
They are having a beautiful day, the sun is shining. The children, with all their might, race off down the track, it looks like a day full of racing and getting many ribbons for their achievements. Let’s see if there is a Rhus tox amongst them!
And there he is now!
Our Rhus tox boy has had a monumental day. “The best day ever,” he remarks and he has ribbons to prove it. He got three 1st Prizes , four 2nd Prizes and a 4th Prize. Yes, you’re right he does look over-heated. In fact he says that he’s been getting very hot and even perspiring from all his fine effort. He has really over-exerted himself most of the day and is now looking forward to getting home to rest and have a good night’s sleep.
Twilight finds him still hard at work, however; packing away the equipment and carrying the heavy podium back to the equipment shed. Unfortunately, the temperature has dropped considerably, and twilight is not a good time for Rhus tox anyway as this is when many symptoms of the tensing up start. FASTFORWARD PLEASE!!
Later that night Rhus tox is now home drinking tea. He starts to feel an anxiety within himself rising, no doubt because of night coming on (“Fear, night“), he has an emotional fear setting in and as this begins to happen, he feels more stiff and tight. He explains to his mother that he has a general bound-up sensation everywhere throughout his body. (“Generals: Constriction“)
His mother can see he is emotionally irritable and to touch he is cold, his limbs especially. This cold, tight sensation is making him twist and stretch the muscles to stop the limbs from being so constrictive. (“Generals: Position, change of, ameliorates“) This is frustrating him immensely not to mention his mother having to watch him squirm around the kitchen. He keeps getting in her way so she tells him to go and relax in front of the T.V. She is hoping this will take his mind off his discomfort, but once he goes to watch TV with his older sister, he tries to settle down but he just can’t sit still! He moves this way and that. The urgency that he must keep on moving and changing position becomes too much for Rhus tox and he groans (“Mind: moaning“) as he becomes more restless, and his sister’s complaints of “Sit down, I can’t see the TV!” irritate him still further (“Mind: Irritability, night“). He wants to sit still but “ggrrrr!” What an aggravation!
We see the dance of the Rhus tox begin. He gets up and moves, he changes position. In doing so he stretches and contorts his ligaments to stop the stiffening and the build-up of toxins in the muscles. The lactic acid builds up and this causes a restlessness that spurs him on. To stop moving now would mean an increase the toxins, not to mention the irritability.
The pain sensations of Rhus Tox include numbness and prickling (“Generals: Formication“). His legs also feel dead and heavy like wood (“Legs: Wooden, sensation“). After much effort to continuously move about, Rhus Tox begins to tire from all the activity. The dilemma now is that he must rest. The relief he was experiencing from moving about is diminishing as he is now being over-powered by the urge to rest his tired body. Rhus Tox rests!! This rest causes again a build-up and intense irritability and so he has the urge to move and here the cycle starts again and continues many times.
Mother comes in to see what all the commotion is about and sees her son squirming all over the TV room. She suggests to him to go and have a hot shower. Finally, something that’s going to make Rhus tox feel better!
As he walks out, she asks him to stick out his tongue. As suspected, there is a red area shaped like a triangle on the tip that he says also is painful, but more importantly for us a good conformation that Rhus Tox is needed (“Tongue: Red, tip, triangular“). Mother packs him off to the shower by telling him that she has put on the heating lamp in the bathroom and is warming his towel. Normally they are worse for bathing but that is only if they get cold and today everything is all set up for him to have a nice HOT soothing shower. The shower will help him immensely as the heat will stimulate the flow within the body, easing the discomfort he feels. While he is showering let’s look at why he is suffering. The causations are many. He had a successful day, nothing wrong with that!
However, on top of winning all those races, he might also have won a medal for Over-Exerting, Heavy Lifting, and Going from Hot to Cold rather suddenly. It’s the Rhus Tox Triple Crown! What he needs are some warm clothes, a massage and anything else that will stop the stagnation he feels within his body.
Now let’s look at some other Rhus tox people. Picture Henrietta Housewife;
she’s a Rhus tox too. She doesn’t have a lot of energy and looks somewhat worn out (“Generals: Weariness). Henrietta becomes exhausted easily and quickly (“Generals: Weakness, sudden“). She can only do a little housework and then she needs to rest as her energy quickly depletes on any exertion. The nature of her energy comes in fits and starts; she is helpless in harnessing this erratic energy into a nice steady flow. Instead she must just be content to work on her house chores when she has a burst of energy and work until the energy is depleted and again she becomes exhausted. She has no choice, but must wait to recharge her energy and then is off again trying to clean the entire house before she again is exhausted.
Another factor is that she also has been very irritable, much like Nux vomica. She gets annoyed if anything gets in her way, so the pets need to be extra diligent in these households!
Rhus tox, as said before, has many delusions and so they are better if they are kept active. By keeping active they have less time for reflection over what the future may bring. He or she is very suspicious generally and has a great deal of hostility (“Mind: Reproaches others“). She blames others and this quality has isolated her from society. Her life is a struggle and she starts to have the sensations of drowning in more ways than one. The metabolism slows down and liquid pools in the body. The body’s tissues become oedematous eventually leading the Rhus tox patient into congestive heart failure as their system is overwhelmed. As the body has slowed down and become congested with fluid the mind too degenerates, making the Rhus Tox confused and forgetful (“Mind: Confusion“).
If they live in a cold, wet climate these conditions will come on faster for the suffering Rhus tox. Activity, warmth and dryness are the answer.