What is a Homeopathic Aggravation?
A homeopathic aggravation is the temporary appearance of new or old symptoms, or a temporary intensification of existing symptoms, following a dose of a homeopathic remedy.
Aggravations are harmless, usually mild, and short-lived. They sometimes occur following the first dose of a remedy as part of the initial rebalancing and healing effect and are actually indicative that the remedy is working.
For example in a child with autism or other developmental or behavioural challenges receiving homeopathic care, aggravations may sometimes include new symptoms of loose stools, a skin eruption, a runny nose, very rarely a mild to moderate fever, an intensification of behavioural symptoms such as greater irritability, increased sleep disturbance, a greater fixation on favourite activities, more stimming, more echolalia etc, and/or a return of old symptoms.
Again, these symptoms generally only last a few hours to a few days and are most often followed by an improvement in the child's state.
If the parent is concerned they should immediately discontinue the remedy to help the body catch up on processing the remedy and contact their practitioner for guidance.
Sometimes, what looks like an aggravation is actually a 'proving'. A proving occurs when a person experiences the symptoms the remedy is meant to help. Homeopathy is based on the similarity principle, which means that a substance that can cause symptoms in a high dose may be helpful for similar symptoms in a very small or even just energetic dose.
Traditionally in homeopathy the effects of a specific substances are determined by experiments, called provings, a somewhat inaccurate translation of the German word 'Pruefung', which means to test. In an official proving of a homeopathic remedies several (usually 10-30) volunteers agree to take a certain remedy until they notice changes in their health, including physical, mental and emotional changes. This information is then analyzed and, if significant, added to a huge database known as our Materia Medica. In homeopathy the idea is always to match the symptoms of the client to the data in the Materia Medica.
So if someone takes a remedy for too long - usually without proper supervision, or in rare cases, if they are very sensitive to the remedy, they may develop symptoms the remedy is meant to help.
This is why it is so important to follow the advise of the practitioner and have proper follow-ups on time, rather than just continuing a remedy, especially when any symptoms of concern are developing.
Concern is also relative, some parents are more anxious than others, but if there is any concern please just let your practitioner know right away so any dosages can be adjusted.
A Proving Story
Provings in well-managed cases are relatively rare, entirely harmless and can even be beneficial. Symptoms will start to go away as soon as the remedy is discontinued. However, if a remedy is continued when concerning symptoms appear a proving can be quite disturbing.
I have only witnessed a small number of accidental provings in clients of mine during my lifetime as as a homeopath consulting with over 10,000 clients, but I have seen some bad ones due to mismanagement from other practitioners, including with CEASE.
In my own cases, all but one case the proving was not my fault so to speak, but the result of the client taking a remedy incorrectly.
The one that stands out most was not in a child with autism, but I will share it anyway as it is so illustrative of several factors that often come into play when caring for children with autism with homeopathy.
The client was a woman in her late 30s whom I had known and cared for for a number of years. I had not seen her in about a year when she came to my office complaining of feeling unwell.
"Anke, I don't know what's wrong with me, I feel horrible, like I'm dying or something. I feel very cold and clammy and sooo bloated, I have zero energy and the strangest thing is I want a fan on me all the time or else I feel as if can't breathe. This has been going on for about a month, I'm really worried." In all honesty, she looked a bit bluish-green around the edges, I was starting to feel worried, too.
I carefully inquired as to what had been happening in her life in the past few months. After about 20 minutes she confessed that she had been taking a new homeopathic remedy, which had been recommended by the boyfriend of her massage therapist, who was not a trained homeopath. She had taken this remedy in a 30CH potency, 4 times a day. The remedy was Carbo vegetabilis, made from vegetable charcoal. In homeopathy we have a special nickname for this remedy, which is 'The Corpse Reviver'!
That should give you a hint!
In other words, this remedy may be used in cases of total collapse and in patients near death. She had been taking this remedy in a medium potency, which I would never give more than once or twice a week in a chronic case, four times a day for two months!!! So a total overdose to say the least. She was now experiencing the feeling of collapse and being near death, which the remedy is normally used for. I explained what had happened to her, we both had a good laugh, she discontinued the remedy and was fine in a few days.
Children with Autism, CEASE Therapy and Aggravations
Back to children with autism or other more serious developmental or behavioural challenges. I have been using homeopathy for these kinds of cases for almost 30 years and the CEASE therapy system (an integrated approach of different kinds of homeopathy as well as nutrition more specifically for the special needs of children on the autism spectrum) for the past eleven years. Basically, I have used various kinds of homeopathy (classical, isotherapy, tautopathy/detox homeopathy) with many hundreds of these kinds of children.
Honestly, I've only once seen what could be considered a more 'serious' reaction, a moderate to high fever of a few hours, ONCE. After that the child totally turned around and he is now completely normal and has been for several years. You can read his case here.
Another case that aggravated was a small boy who screamed for a couple of hours after his first dose of the remedy, you can read his case here. He had lost all of his language after a massive dose of vaccines. The day after the remedy he started to say a few words again.
Why the Comments Online that Scare Parents?
I think there could be several reasons why there are some more concerning stories of 'serious' aggravations with homeopathy and especially the CEASE approach online.
Pharma and/or Anti-Homeopathy Trolls
I think that some of those comments may not actually be from parents but from pharma and/or anti-homeopathy trolls who are trying to dissuade parents from using homeopathy and esp CEASE/tautopathy for children on the spectrum as it would unmask the damage vaccines and medications are doing to them.
I myself cam under heavy fire from public health officials, the media and trolls three years for my work, so I know it does happen.
Pharma does not want us to know just how much their products are hurting us, especially children. Even now with the coronavirus situation we can see how effective the propaganda, using totally inaccurate models and selective reporting, has been and how many people, if not the majority, were and still are scared out of their wits over a corona-type of virus with 0.25% mortality rate.
Entire economies were shut down around the world. Please just don't believe everything you read. Much of what you see in the media and even the CDC and the WHO is fake news and propaganda, especially when it comes to health information. Follow the money, whose interests are at stake?
Practitioners not Properly Trained
Clients not Closely Followed
Some practitioners may not be following clients closely enough and may have them on remedies for weeks and months on end without checking in between. I've seen a couple of clients which were previously seen by other practitioners who had exactly this experience.
The practitioner sent a batch of remedies to last for a couple of months and instructed the parents with a routine recommendation. But that is not how homeopathy works, it has to be tailored to the individual at all times.
So some of these children may be aggravating, but instead of changing the program and/or allowing time for the healing to happen, or adding extra organ support etc, their bodies may be confronted with the next dose of a remedy before they have finished processing the previous one. It is much better to follow clients more closely. I like to be in touch with my parents at least every two weeks in the first few months.
Parents not Following Directions
Another reason may be that some parents are not following directions properly and are giving the remedies too often and/or do not report responses properly; I have seen plenty of the latter two, which is another reason why I monitor my clients very closely. The below examples all happened withing the last two months alone.
1) I just now messaged with a client who did not follow up for nearly three months even though I clearly explained that I wanted to check on her child after two weeks. The child is still taking the same remedy, which is helping, but not really healing things, it's only ameliorating the symptoms. This child should have been moved on to higher potencies by now to actually support healing on a deeper level. Meanwhile precious time was lost for his recovery.
2) Another client kept her child on a remedy for 6 weeks even though I asked her to follow up after two weeks. The child's main complaint did not improve and he developed new symptoms in the meantime because this was not the correct remedy. Had she followed up after two weeks I would have changed the remedy, instead, he developed a proving.
3) Another parent gave a remedy three times a day for several days even though I instructed her to give it only twice in 24 hours and then to wait. The child had an aggravation with screaming at night.
4) Yet another parent also gave a remedy every day for several days instead of twice a week as instructed. Her son suffered from an eczema flare-up as a result.
5) Another one ran out of the recommended potency of the remedy and on his own gave a different potency without checking with me. Then I had to question him for several minutes to find out that this was what happened.
Unfortunately, in some of these cases either the homeopath or homeopathy as a system ends up getting blamed, either for an aggravation or for the child not improving as expected.
To Sum Up
1) Aggravations can be a normal and even somewhat desirable part of the healing process and most of the time the parents just need to wait a few days for things to settle down. They should get in touch with their practitioners right away if the symptoms persist and/or if they have any concerns.
2) Some horror stories of aggravations may be fabricated by special interest groups who don't have our best interests at heart.
3) Parents should find a properly trained and experienced practitioner and interview them about said training and experience.
4) Parents should read the book by Tinus Smits - Autism Beyond Depair if they want to consider CEASE. I recommend it to all my autism parents. I also recommend 'Impossible Cure' by Amy Lanski for a better understanding of classical homeopathy for autism care.
5) Parents should follow directions closely and not continue to give remedies on their own or change remedies without proper supervision.
So please take any online reports with a grain of salt and if you see any, please forward them to me so I may investigate them and/or share this blog post.
Meanwhile please be assured that homeopathy is a very safe and gentle method to help children, including and especially children with developmental challenges and please don't let any anxiety caused by reading negative online reports get in the way of helping your child improve and thrive with homeopathy.
Anke Zimmermann, BSc, FCAG
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Anke Zimmermann, BSc, FCAH
Classical and Modern Homeopathy
Sooke, BC, Canada
Serving families in Sooke, Metchosin, Langford, Colwood, Victoria, Greater Vancouver Island, BC, as well as internationally via zoom/telehealth.
Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 10-6 and alternating Saturdays from 10-4