Aches and Pains of Autumn
Autumn is the season that brings with it a plethora of changes in temperature, light and lifestyle. Along with these changes in the environment and in our school, work or social lives, the sensitivities of our bodies give us clues as to the uneasiness with which some of us make this transition from summer to fall.
As a Doctor of Chiropractic as well as a homeopath, this season brings to my office those people who have aches and pains in their back. Their joints are painful and much aggravated by the barometric pressure changes. It is common during the months of late September, October and November to have wide fluctuations in temperature throughout the day. For instance, one may wake up to damp, cool, windy weather only to have it change to hot, humidity by mid-day and back to damp and cool in the evening. People with compromised integrity of joint structures, as in curvatures of the spine, or in those with articular deficiencies such as loss of cartilage in arthritis or degenerative disc disease do not have the inherent flexibility within the spine or the hip joints that is necessary to accommodate rapid changes in barometric pressure.
These people suffer with the weather changes from damp to cold and from the temperature changes from warm to cold. Rubrics that generally represent this population of people are: Spine: Lumbar region, complaints of Cold: becoming after aggravates Generalities: Curvature of bones Generalities: Pain, joints Generalities: Autumn, aggravates Generalities: Temperature, change of aggravates Generalities: Weather, change of aggravates Generalities: Weather: warm to cold aggravates Generalities: Wet (damp) aggravates These rubrics are a place to start your repertorization and then, of course, the individualizing begins. Rubrics like Mind: Sadness, are very commonly associated with these physical complaints as the autumn is a melancholy time for some people, especially those predisposed to Seasonal Affective Disorder.
The top three remedy types that I am likely to see in my chiropractic office are Calcarea Phosphoricum, Pulsatilla and Rhus Toxicondren. Both Pulsatilla and Calc. Phos. have curvature of the spine and I find that the weakness of the back, poor posture and the evils of carrying heavy backpacks make this a remedy that I use frequently in school age children. The obvious Pulsatilla symptoms of weepiness and moodiness along with the wandering pains can help to distinguish the person who needs this remedy. Anticipation anxiety from new school or social environments are also characteristic of Pulsatilla. In teenage girls look for menstrual abnormalities. In preschool and grade schoolers look for clingy behavior and anxiety preventing sleep.
Concentration issues from mental exertion make it difficult to study while reading for a long periods of time. This is true of Pulsatilla as well as Calc. Phos. Both are day dreamers which is not a trait typically embraced by the educational system. This gives them anxiety and the Calc. Phos. child may be the one whose parent complains that they go to the nurse’s office frequently with pain so they can go home. ( Rubric: Home: desires to go). I see children of all ages in my office and the adults that predominate also have ailments from mental exertion. At this stage in their lives, their ideas are more fixed or rigid and this is reflected in their bodies. Generally, they have anxiety over money, business and family issues. Both affect quality of sleep and this too is a cause for back pain.
Our bodies reflect the mental/emotional states that we may not have the language to express. Seasonal sensitivities can give us clues that bear investigation into these realms as causative and preventive factors when treating musculoskeletal or neurological issues. Homeopathy offers us a dynamic counterpart to the chiropractic adjustment. Samuel Hahnemann, in the Organon of the Medical Art, describes his understanding of treating Innate in this way, “ Our life force, as spirit like dynamic, cannot be seized and affected by damaging impingements on the healthy organism….the only way the medical-art practitioner can remove such morbid mistunements (diseases) from the dynamis is by spirit-like tunement- altering energies of the serviceable medicines upon our spirit- like life force. These energies are perceived through the ubiquitous feeling-sense of the nerves in the organism.” (Aphorism 16).