Clinical Cases

The Power of Dreams

Written by J. Claire Niala

A case that shows how dreams can guide to the choice of a suitable remedy.

She was a tiny slip of a girl no more than 10 or 11 years old. I never once heard her voice and taking her case was quite protracted.

Initially, her guardian’s employer approached me – she wondered if I might be able to help. No one knew anything about her past. Her guardian had found her disorientated and hiding, lost on the outskirts of a village a few hundred kilometers from Nairobi. She was in a state of trauma so extreme that she was almost catatonic.  Her parents were likely dead and she had been separated from her family ( note : it is rare in Kenya for someone not to have extended family).

Her guardian brought her to Nairobi. It was not known whether she had ever been to the city before.  However, once she was in Nairobi she started to recover.  It was clear that she had been brought up well – her manners were impeccable and even in her silence she was a delight to have around.  When she finally began to speak (before our first session), she said that she had absolutely no recollection of what had happened to her since her parents died.  She couldn’t remember the way home or how to get to her relatives.

Her guardian had tried in vain a couple of times to revisit the areas near where she had found the young girl, to see if anything would trigger her memory, but the visits had ended in disaster.  What her guardian’s employer was hoping is that I could help to ease the trauma – perhaps using cranial osteopathy.

When I first saw her I was struck by her presence.  She had a good command of herself.  She seemed very well aware of me and even though she greeted me with great respect, she wouldn’t talk to me, and so our dance began.  I would ask her guardian questions, she would then ask the young girl, who might answer or not, and revert back to me.

Two weeks on – the pieces only slowly coming together, I got a phone call from her guardian’s employer.  It turned out that the young girl (I’ll call her Susan) was actually quite a talker.  It seemed that she had left Susan with her children one afternoon and returned to the house unexpectedly.  Unaccustomed to her voice she heard this incessant chatter from the kitchen. Thinking it a visitor, she looked in, only to find Susan talking away!  It was quite unlike her usual verbal interaction with adults and was full of passion.

After this incident I encouraged her guardian to ensure that she spent more time with other children. Susan began to open up even to her guardian.  The big problem was her sleep.  She was having terrible nightmares and would startle awake in the middle of the night as if she couldn’t breathe.  At these times she was inconsolable and also scared.

I had only met the girl once and decided that part of the trauma she was facing was the repeated exposure to lots of strange adults she did not know.  I decided to treat her homeopathically which would not be as invasive and would not necessarily require my meeting her again.  I could not have imagined the effect that the homeopathy would have had.

First, I gave her some flower remedies (Australian Bush Flower Emergency Essence) to help calm her down when she awoke from nightmares, while I tried to find the appropriate remedy.  I decided to pursue the nightmares. She was dreaming of snakes of which she was terribly afraid.  When she would wake, she said that she felt trapped and had to get out of the house into open air, in order to regain her composure.

I prescribed Lachesis 30c a split, complete dose and waited.  A month passed and as I had heard nothing, assumed it must not have helped.  Then a chance meeting with her guardian’s employer revealed the whole story.  Less than a week after taking the third and final dose of the Lachesis, a huge shift occurred.  Instead of Susan’s usual startling soon after she had gone to sleep -she awoke in the middle of the night one night speaking quickly and full of excitement – and she could remember where her aunt lived!

The following day her guardian followed her directions. What a joyous reunion there was with her aunt who had been searching frantically for Susan and had given her up for lost.  The sad story was that robbers had violently murdered her parents in front of her and her younger brother.  It appeared they had taken Susan with them and eventually left her somewhere about 50kms away – where her guardian had found her.

Her aunt could hardly believe the description of this quiet and shy girl, having known Susan to be outgoing and hyperactive.  It was the core of this presence that I had felt  the only time she entered my practice.  There is still quite a lot of healing yet for Susan, but the gentle power of homeopathy has started her on her way.

About the author

J. Claire Niala

Dr. J Claire Niala, Bsc (Hon), Ost Med DO ND (UK) is on the Board of Abha Light Foundation in Kenya.  She runs a family natural health practice that combines Homeopathy, Osteopathy & Naturopathy in Nairobi.


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