When we consider how often sleep problems are main symptoms or an accompaniment to other symptoms, you get the impression that normal sleep has become an exception. If someone says: “I had a refreshing sleep I am rested and fit for my work”, it sounds like a fairy tale. Everyone seeks for a restful sleep, but why has it become an exception?
The modern life style has changed us into workaholics who haste forward like a “stretta” in music: quicker and quicker and ending in a big bang. Unfortunately this big bang in human life is a collapse, a burn out syndrome and a severe disease. The English word “dis-ease” describes very well the situation and surrounding where sleep problems are created. There is no ease, no proportion between action and silence. To say it in one word, sleep problems rise from the lack of life rhythm. But rhythm is it! Our whole organism is based on almost numberless rhythms which, again, can be compared to musical phenomena: a symphony of many instruments and musical parts which are in perfect harmony. Our physical and emotional existence is meant to be like that. The secret of music is melody and rhythm. Transferred to human life it means the creative change between activity with its duties of daily life and pause with its beauty of “dolce fa niente”, the sweetness of doing nothing. This “nothing” means doing something just for fun, means real relaxation with no special aim. I call it nourishment for the soul like painting, calligraphy, writing, dancing, creating fairy tales, playing etc, without any call for achievement or professional result.
What I say is no sophisticated philosophy; it is my starting point of treating sleep problems. First of all, the patient has to find out his individual daily life rhythm. Patients with sleep problems in most cases are addicted to medical help. Of course, tablets can be an acute help to overcome the terrible state of the nervouse system. But the focus cannot rest on tablets or even homoeopathic remedies. The focus on consuming medicine is the normal situation and has to be changed in the first step. Concerning sleep problems I presuppose that the homoeopath himself has no sleep problems, can relax and sleep, has found his own life rhythm. Otherwise he or she is no convincing therapist. To know what is good for others is simple. To live what we teach is something else! If you are honest we touch a very delicate open secret that many medical doctors, many therapists and homoeopaths have sleep problems due to the lack of life rhythm. I know it because many of them ask me for treatment. Healing without a change of conscious mind is not possible. Therefore I start on this disliked field.
To get a feeling for life rhythm I explain the following exercise which can be easily done by everyone. I call it “instant-meditation”:
- Stop for a minute (60 seconds), feel your breath, concentrate only on your breathing. Feel where you tongue is, relax it. Relax your lower jaw.
Do this “instant meditation” 12 times a day, wherever it is possible. I do it at least 20 times a day and I have seen that these little breaks in the flow of activity create their own rhythm.
The relaxation of the tongue which in most cases sticks to the palate is related to the back muscles. Many patients with sleep problems have back problems as well. The lower jaw of most patients is tensed and this relates to the mental faculties. The same relationship is between the ankles of the hands and the brain activity.
It drives us to the next exercise which I call with a big humour “arthritis good-bye”:
- Choose a pop music with a moderate rhythm. Relax your lower jaw and at the same time turn your ankles first forwards, then backwards as quickly as possible in the rhythm of the music.
You will see, it is not easy but very helpful to coordinate body and mind.
Now we come to homoeopathy. To say it frankly: there is no perfect sleep-remedy. You may experience it only as a rare exception that you administer a remedy and all sleep problems are gone. No, unfortunately not. Sleep problems are the tip of an iceberg. Do study the remedies which are referring to sleep problems and you will find different conflicts which have to be solved.
What is the causative problem?
We have to find out the cause, because constant awakening during the night, disability to relax and sleep etc. speaks a clear language of the body. We have to understand the body language which stores all information and does not rest until an active conflict is released. Something which happened during daytime when awake has not been released, and flows into the sleeping state to the level of the unconscious mind. But there, conflicts cannot be released, but only create dreams, pictures, anxiety, horror and wakefulness. The waking up is the sign that something has to be looked at with the conscious mind. So this has to be done! See some examples of insomnia:
Borax: Conflict: something cannot be said, because it is too disgusting and has hurt (emotions)
Bryonia: an uneasy or disgusting experience had been “swallowed” and could not be spoken about.
Cyclamen: guilty feelings about one´s mistake.
Hyoscyamus: great jealousy, cannot speak about it at daytime
Ignatia: dispute, anger, disappointment, sorrows cannot be solved at daytime
Stannum: sexual conflicts (s.o. feels rejected), disharmonious partnership cannot be cleared up at daytime.
The list of remedies could be continued, but the point is already obvious: what distresses and troubles us happens at daytime or at least when we are awake and there it has to be released. It is necessary to speak about it. If it cannot be done the problem remains actively. If it remains for more than several days, no restful sleep is possible. If it continues, the emotional or mental problem finds its individual manifestation in the physical body. No wonder then that Borax is chosen because of problems in the nervous system, mucous membranes, mouth and skin. Bryonia is well known with unproductive cough, Ignatia with the weak nerve system, and Stannum with problems in the female sexual organs and mammae.
We may think: I administer the proper remedy and the sleep will come. No, unfortunately not. At the same time we have to explain the conflict behind the insomnia and the patient has to solve it. We can advise how to do it but the patient has to realize it.
Another big problem of bad sleep or even insomnia is the habit of having a heavy meal at late evening. If it happens rarely there is no problem. But as a regular habit it slows down the liver metabolism and creates a lot of digesting and intestine problems. Again, it makes no sense to focus on a remedy, only. The patient should be advised what to eat and when. The organ clock is no fiction; it is bare reality and natural law. There is no reason to ignore it if we want to be healthy. But reality is that patients are ready to swallow many remedies for weeks and months and years instead of changing their bad food habits. On the other side, it is astonishing how wonderfully the healing process develops when we give food advice. Remedies with a connection to eating and food problems like Ambra grisea, Argentum nitricum, Calcarea, Coffea, Citrus vulgaris, Lycopodium, Nux moschata or Sulphur fall on a well prepared soil. People may come with physical, emotional, mental problems; you select one of those remedies. But if insomnia or any variety of sleep problems are part of the disease, you have to overcome your phlegm as homoeopath and take the organ clock to heart:
From 17:00 – 19:00 h the kidney-organ system has its energy climax. Our body starts its detoxicating. Within this time we better take our last meal, latest at 18:30 h because at 19 h starts the blood-circulating systems. That makes sense as the detoxication needs free chanels for delivering all unhealthy stuff. Most of the circulation problems are caused by ignoring the kidney-time! The next problem rises at liver-time, 1:00 – 3:00 h, if we eat too late. The metabolism is disturbed, means, the nutritive elements of our food cannot be changed into life force – what metabilism actually means. Many people wake up at liver-time.
Again I must say, even as homoeopaths we should disclose homemade problems like food quality and the time of meals. It makes our treatment much more effective.
In my practise I have seen many patients with sleep problems, more accurately, very rare patients with no sleep problems. The symptom is so common that I looked for easy solutions. Easiness is the hardest thing as we have to look for the relationship between body and mind, between organ manifestation and conflict. Therefore I wrote 12 volumes about this relationship and mentioned many well proved remedies to accompany the healing process.
Concerning sleep problems I want to expose two healing reports:
1st healing report
A female Lutherian priest of 50 years came because of terrible hurt in the spinal cord. Besides that, she described the strange phenomena that she regularly awakens at midnight, starts trembling, feels cold and is frightened. She had already consulted several psychologists, but with no relief. She was a nice, polite lady, she smiled and was ready for cooperation as she knew that in my practise patients have to be active in their healing process.
My thoughts and perception was:
- She looked naïve and her hairstyle was like a young girl. I saw a child of 6 – 8 years, not an adult lady with my inner eyes.
- The regular time of awakening was immediately clear: there must be a traumatic experience which the lady (or the child) had cut off her memory.
- The fiery pain in the spinal cord – that I knew from other cases – is caused by strong sexual experience like an orgasm.
I asked the lady if she has any explanation herself for the awakening time. She said “no, not at all.”
So I started the treatment with Thuja C30 in the splitting method: 6 times a day for maximum 3 days, then stop. This way of giving Thuja is very helpful to disclose a forgotten or a hidden experience. This is a natural surviving strategy; the trauma falls down to the unconscious mind but produces symptoms at the same time.
Thuja helped immediately. The lady came after 6 days, trembling, weeping and confused. I gave her first one dose of Astacus fluviatilis C30 to feel safe and strong. Then she told the hidden story:
Her beloved (!) grandfather came almost every midnight to be together with her in her bed for sexual contact. This happened for 6 years (age 6 – 12). He shared a top secret with the child. The guilty feeling of the lady which broke her heart was the fact that she enjoyed the sexual touch, the petting and later the sexual intercourse. She knew it was wrong but loved her grandfather. At her age of 12 years the grandfather died during a heart attack. The child felt lonely and terribly unhappy. She could not disclose her secret to mother or father or anyone else. She went to school, then studied theology and became a priest. She said she never could accept any male relationship.
I chose Staphisagria C200 for the hurt and I taught her a ritual to release her guilty feelings. Every day she had to follow these 12 steps:
- Take 2 chairs, one for you and one on the opposite side for your grandfather
- Sit down and put the opposite chair in a convenient distance for you.
- Visualize your grandfather on the opposite chair.
- Say these words:
- You are my grandfather and I am your grandchild
- I respect you as my grandfather
- I get released from our secret
- Whatever you did with me was wrong
- I suffered from this and now it is time to let you go
- I give you back what I carried for you
- I give up my guilty feelings
- I take responsibility for my life, only
Here and there the lady added her own thoughts and words, but as a whole she was pleased with these 12 steps of the ritual and did it twice a day. Within one week she felt better and one night she slept without break. The second week she had vivid dreams of her grandfather. She said he seemed to have understood her ritual. In the third week she was sure to have heard her grandfather´s voice saying “I am sorry and I take my responsibility”. That night was the best sleep she ever had.
After 4 weeks she came to my practise and said that now she feels heaviness in her lower abdomen, i.e. sexual organs. I continued the treatment with Stannum C30 once a week to release her tension. I gave her the task to write down her ideas about her future aims, wishes, emotional needs, professional developments etc.
After another 4 weeks she phoned me and with an exited voice she told: “I did the exercise and all of a sudden I got a phone call of a friend asking me if I am ready to go to Peru for a social project. I agreed! What do you think about it?”
I was happy, of course. Before she went to Peru we did a special treatment for her immune system as she refused all recommended vaccinations. When she settled down in the little village near Lima she gave me the news that she was very happy and healthy.
2nd healing report
A successful businessman of 47 years complained about headache, restlessness and progressing insomnia. He had to travel a lot and ate irregularly fast food.
In front of me sat a nervous person taking his I-phone, stared at its display, then it rang, then a second ring and he jumped up to talk with someone. When he sat down again he asked me: “How long does the treatment go? I have not much time; I am a very busy man, you know.”I answered: “Why are you here?” He was puzzled. “Well, I told you my problem.” “Yes, and I told you that you are the boss of your disease and you can keep and continue it. In case you want healing it depends on you how you take part in releasing your conflicts. I will accompany you with hopefully good ideas.”
“Do you not have a top-ranking remedy for urgent cases?”
“What do you consider as being urgent?”
“Well, that I can continue my work immediately after the treatment.”
“I am not a specialist on instant-homoeopathy, I am sorry. You suffer from a chronic disease since two years, as you say. The quicker you change your conscious mind, change your lifestyle more to a life-rhythm, the quicker you are cured.”
The way the patient tried a provocation or a challenge lead me to Lycopodium or Nux vomica. I started with Nux vomica C200, one dose and the above mentioned “instant-meditation”, 10 times a day to stop working. Further on I recommended to take a meal by sitting down and chewing the food as well as to take the last meal at 18 h.
He was not excited about the rules of my holistic treatment but tried. After three weeks he phoned me: Digestion was better, headache disappeared and he felt more relaxed. Unexpectedly he liked the instant meditation and expanded it to 16 times and more a day. But the insomnia increased.
When he came after a month I focussed on the sleep problem. The nucleus of it was “circling thoughts”. He could not switch off his thoughts about his work. Day and night he was busy with reflecting what could be improved, changed or given up. I decided to administer one dose Phosphorus C200, the simile to circling thoughts which cannot be stopped. He got the task to decide what creative way of self expression he is ready to do. As I noticed a talent for telling and writing stories, I recommended starting to write short stories about his experiences with his customers.
Together with the healing power of Phosphorus he got more and more excited to write down in his laptop whatever came to his mind. More and more he relaxed and opened up his hidden humour. He did not write regularly but together with his instant meditation, slowly his busy life got its own rhythm. At the end he worked more effectively than before, he had better concentration and was just happy and content with his life. He had no more sleep problems, felt refreshed in the morning and changed his food quality. We stopped the treatment with one dose of Sulphur C200 (the disease leaves the system via skin) to make sure that his immune system works properly.
You see in both cases that I prefer the combination of remedy and exercises. This helps to shorten and intensify the healing process.