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Friday, June 27, 2008
With a personal friend who just experienced a wonderful VBAC birth of her big, healthy baby at home, I am more inspired than ever to share with other people that you CAN certainly birth naturally, normally, healthy and safely no matter what - even after a previous c-section or doctors telling you that you "couldn't".
Thursday, June 19, 2008
Dear BOBB Friends and Supporters:
We wanted to make sure you are all aware of the news story that has exploded over the last 24 hours regarding the recent AMA Resolution against homebirth and Ricki's response to being named in it.
In February of this year, one month after the premiere of BOBB, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) reiterated its long-standing opposition to home births. In an obtuse reference to The Business of Being Born, ACOG stated, "Childbirth decisions should not be dictated or influenced by what's fashionable, trendy, or the latest cause célèbre." If that wasn't enough, ACOG, this past weekend, introduced a resolution to the American Medical Association (AMA) at their annual meeting. The resolution commits the AMA to "develop model legislation in support of the concept that the safest setting for labor, delivery, and the immediate post-partum period is in the hospital...". The reasoning for this resolution begins, "Whereas, There has been much attention in the media by celebrities having home deliveries, with recent Today Show headings such as "Ricki Lake takes on baby birthing industry: Actress and former talk show host shares her at-home delivery in new film...". (Resolution 205, click here to read).
Since when did Ricki become an evidence-based data point? What are they so afraid of?
Just last week, Medical News Today reports that "about 8.2% of infants born in the US in 2005 had low birth weights, the highest percentage since 1968." US infant mortality rates in the hospital continue to rank us below 30 other countries, 22% of pregnancies are induced, and most worrisome of all, in the last 4 years, the maternal mortality rate has risen above 10 per 100,000 in hospital births for the first time since 1977. To us, these seem like the troubling trends, not home birth.
News outlets including the AP quickly picked up this story yesterday as it hit TMZ, E! USA Today, Daily News, FOX.
Ricki will be featured on Good Morning America this Saturday discussing the controversy. (If you Google "Ricki Lake, AMA" you will see the bloggers are all over this!)
Filmmakers Abby Epstein and Ricki Lake teamed up with journalist and Pushed author Jennifer Block to pen the response (following at the end of this email).
Late yesterday, the AMA changed the final wording on resolution 205 to omit the mention of Ricki. (Hmmm...) The AMA says that the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) drafted the initial statement so any issues should be taken up directly with them.
Stay tuned for more news to come...
The BOBB Team
DOCS TO WOMEN: PAY NO ATTENTION TO RICKI LAKE'S HOME BIRTH
Ladies, the physicians of America have issued their decree: they don't want you having your babies at home with midwives.
We can't imagine why not. Study upon study have shown that planning a home birth with a trained midwife is a great choice if you want to avoid unnecessary medical intervention. Midwives are experts in supporting the physiological birth process: monitoring you and your baby during labor, helping you into positions that help labor progress, protecting your pelvic parts from damage while you push, and "catching" the baby from the position that's most effective and comfortable for you-hands and knees, squatting, even standing-not the position most comfortable for her.
When healthy women are supported this way, 95% give birth vaginally, with hardly any intervention.
And yet, the American Medical Association doesn't see the point. Yesterday it adopted a policy written by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists against "home deliveries" and in support of legislation "that helps ensure safe deliveries and healthy babies by acknowledging that the safest setting for labor, delivery, and the immediate post-partum period is in the hospital" or accredited birth center.
"There ought to be a law!" cry the doctors.
The trouble is, they have no evidence to back up their safety claims. In fact, the largest and most rigorous study of home birth internationally to date found that among 5,000 healthy, "low-risk" women, babies were born just as safely at home under a midwife's care as in the hospital. And not only that, the study, like many before it, found that the women actually fared better at home, with far fewer interventions like labor induction, cesarean section, and episiotomy (taking scissors to the vagina, a practice that according to the research should be obsolete but is still performed on one-third of women who give birth vaginally).
Which is why the American Public Health Association and the World Health Organization supports midwife-attended home birth. The British OB/GYNs have read the research, too, and have this to say: "There is no reason why home birth should not be offered to women at low risk of complications... it may confer considerable benefits for them and their families. There is ample evidence showing that labouring at home increases a woman's likelihood of a birth that is both satisfying and safe."
The other trouble with the American MDs is that they seem to have lost all respect for women's civil rights, indeed for the U.S. Constitution - the right to privacy, to bodily integrity, and the right of every adult to determine her own health care. The "father knows best" legislation they are promoting could indeed be used to criminally prosecute women who choose home birth, say, by equating it with child abuse.
Research evidence be damned, the doctors want to mandate you to go to the hospital. They don't want you to have a choice.
We think they're spooked. The cesarean rate is rising, celebrities are publicizing their home births (the initial wording of the AMA resolution actually took aim at Ricki for publicizing her home birth on the Today Show!), people are reading Pushed and watching The Business of Being Born, and there's a nationwide legislative "push" to license certified professional midwives in all states (The AMA is against that, too, by the way).
The docs are on the defensive.
After all, birth is big business-it's in fact the most common reason for a woman to be admitted to the hospital ($$). And if more women start giving birth outside of it, who will get paid? Not doctors and not hospitals.
"The AMA supports a woman's right to make an informed decision regarding her delivery and to choose her health care provider," the group said in a statement. But if it really supported women's birth choices it wouldn't adopt a policy condemning home birth and midwives.
Because if U.S. women are to have real birth choices, everybody needs to be working together to provide them, not engaging in turf wars at their expense.
By Ricki Lake, Abby Epstein and Jennifer Block
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Why did you decide to become a midwife?
I knew from a very early age that I was destined for a medical profession. A series of events led to the decision, but the first birth I attended is what got me hooked. So much of what we do is helping women navigate their own process by giving them reflection and feedback about the normalcy of what’s going on from the outside—when they think they’re dying, splitting apart, falling into oblivion.
You started your career as a lay midwife in your early twenties. What made you decide to become a certified nurse-midwife?
When I was apprenticing for home birth I heard about a maternal death at home. I immediately thought, “I need to pay attention so I’m doing the safest thing.” I knew there was more education I could get. I also wanted legitimacy and legal protection. I didn’t want my entire career to be at risk in the event of an unavoidable bad outcome.
Cara’s Home Birth Stats:
Years of Midwifery experience: 17
Years in homebirth: 13
Births attended: 750+
Transfer Rate: 9%
C-section rate: 4%
Did you ever consider becoming an ob/gyn?
When I went to college, everyone wanted me to be a physician because I was first in my premed science classes. I did consider becoming an ob/gyn for a while, but the one thing that held me back was that I did not want to do surgery. I was worried about becoming inured to the sacredness of the body and possible intervening unnecessarily in a natural process. Midwifery seems to be a better fit for me.
What made you choose to practice in a home setting?
I worked in a freestanding birth center for four years in New York. I loved the birth center, but I had to leave that setting in order to graduate to midwifery based on experientially honed clinical judgment call, rather than what I view as restrictive protocols. Adherence to institutional protocol can be a first step, an essential one for securing safe outcomes while working as a novice. Practicing at home allows me to make clinical birth plans based on the unique circumstances of each birthing woman’s labor and contributes to lessening the interventions that often make up the slippery slope of the descent into resolution by cesarean section.
How do you view your colleagues who practice midwifery in hospitals?
I’m not interested in promoting a division between home birth and hospital midwives. All midwives are making headway in the battle to bring the power of birth back to the woman—who is actually doing most of the work. If we legitimize home birth and hospital birth, people are going to naturally find their comfort level. Opponents of midwives will just use the old “divide and conquer” to keep us from our deserved triumph.
How did you get involved with The Business of Being Born?
Abby Epstein, the film director, approached me by telephone and said she was working with Ricki Lake. Synchronistically, a couple of weeks earlier, I said to one of my student midwives who had just gone to film school that we needed to make a film. Abby and I first met at a neighborhood café, Ciao for Now, and talked about the proposal. And I said “The film you are proposing is the one I wanted to make, but not being a filmmaker, I’d rather you do it.”
What was it like making the film?
It took us over two years. I created a persona that could completely tune out the cameras most of the time. If I hadn’t been able to do that, I can imagine things would have been quite difficult. Allowing the filmmakers into such an intimate personal and professional space was clearly an act of faith. At the end of it all, I can pretty much attest to Ricki and Abby´s adherence to portraying midwives as we would like to be seen.
How do you feel about how you are portrayed in the movie and what would you like to have changed?
First of all, I want to say that I’m very grateful for this film. However, it leaves some questions unanswered. One is that there is no clip of me listening to the baby’s heart beat in labor. I’m one of the stricter home birth midwives in terms of how closely I follow ACOG guidelines for intermittent fetal heart rate monitoring. It would have been better for the public to know that we do check on their babies when they’re in labor.
Abby ends up being one of your clients in the film, but it looks like she visits several care providers during the course of the movie. Were you Abby’s prenatal care provider?
I was not until very late in the game. I had two prenatal visits with her and another scheduled two or three days after she went into preterm labor at 35 ½ weeks. At 32 weeks, I knew the baby was breech.
The film ends with a lot of drama when Abby goes into preterm labor at home. What do you think about the emergency transfer scene?
They don’t show all of the clips of me executing the decision to go. They don’t realize the drama in the lobby scene makes it look like I was not in charge of the transport. We were only at the house for about an hour, and Abby and I arrived at the hospital before the physician. I was in the operating room during the cesarean section at Abby´s head. Click here for more on The Emergency Transfer Scene: What the Cameras don’t Show.
What do you envision as a positive future for midwifery?
The Business of Being Born can help initiate a necessary conversation between the birthing public and birth professionals. Here is an opportunity for an honest exploration and evaluation of what home birth midwives really do instead of reliance on the convenient and self serving projections of a suspicious and undereducated governing body. We need to make a stance and we need to make it strong. The women of this country desperately need midwives on their behalf to help them birth normally.
**The Emergency Transfer Scene: What the Cameras don’t Show**
If you’ve seen The Business of Being Born, you probably have some questions about the preterm labor and emergency cesarean section at the end. ACNM member Cara Muhlhahn, CNM shares the details that didn’t make the final cut.
What do you think about how you are portrayed in the movie and what would you like to have changed?
First of all, I want to say that I’m very grateful for this film. I feel that midwives are portrayed in a very positive light. However, there are a few lapses that leave some questions unanswered. One is that there is no clip of me listening to the baby’s heart beat in labor. I’m one of the stricter home birth midwives in terms of how closely I follow ACOG guidelines for intermittent fetal heart rate monitoring. It would have been better for the public to know that we do check on their babies when they’re in labor.
Abby Epstein, the film director, ends up being one of your clients in the film. But it looks like she visits several care providers during the course of the movie. Were you Abby’s prenatal care provider?
Not until very late in the game. She was undecided about her choice of birth site and provider until after 28 weeks. Her early prenatal care was done by the physician in the film, Dr. Moritz. I had two prenatal visits with Abby and another scheduled two or three days after she went into preterm labor at 35 weeks. At 32 weeks, I knew the baby was breech.
Can you explain the events that led to your decision to do an emergency transfer to the hospital?
The night Abby called me, she didn’t sound like she was in labor on the phone. She said that she might be having contractions, but she didn’t know. Since I live in the neighborhood, I decided to walk over and spend some time with her face to face. When I got there, I checked the baby. The baby was fine, but still breech. Abby was lounging in the tub, but I was watching her contract and saw that her affect had become less rational. When I examined her, she was already 3 – 4 centimeters. I also knew that Abby’s mother had a six hour labor with her first child, which meant that Abby was likely to progress quickly. So that’s when I said, “Let’s get this show on the road.”
The emergency transfer scene seems pretty rushed. What are your thoughts on that scene?
Of course documentaries are edited for dramatic effect, which may be the source of my discomfort with how Abby´s labor transfer is portrayed. It appears that we were home for hours, which isn’t true. She had a precipitous labor for it being her first baby, which didn’t give us a lot of time. But they don’t show all of the clips of me executing the decision to go. They don’t realize the drama in the lobby scene makes it look like I was not in charge of the transport.
You and Abby take a taxi to the hospital. Why didn’t you call 911 instead?
911 is a slower transfer. It takes the ambulance an average of eight minutes to get to the house and a lot of important time can be lost just registering the patient to EMS. EMS would also take Abby to the hospital of their choosing, allowing institutional protocol to outvote my judgment call as an experienced midwife.
After Abby’s water breaks, you do not appear on camera during the rest of the emergency transfer and cesarean section. Were you still with Abby?
Yes. Abby’s water broke in the driveway of the hospital. I examined her in the wheelchair on the elevator ride so that I could hold the head up in the event of a cord prolapse. (The baby ended up having the cord around his neck, which is why he didn’t turn vertex.) Abby and I arrived at the hospital before the physician. I was at Abby’s head in the operating room during the cesarean section.
Although Abby’s baby boy arrives safely, the physician says that Intrauterine Growth Restriction (IUGR) occurred. Do you want to talk about that?
In the film it appears like the baby was starving, everybody missed it, and the doctor saved the day. But the situation was misconstrued because of a critical detail that was lost during the emergency transfer. The physician who received the transfer was under the impression that the baby was 40 weeks. Abby’s baby was actually born at 35 ½ weeks. A 3 lbs, 5 ounces baby at 40 weeks would have been much more serious than at 35 ½ weeks.
* Original Interview Published on ACNM site Here: http://www.midwife.org/Interview_with_Cara_Muhlhahn.cfm *
posted with permission
I will be the first to admit that completely avoiding all refined sugar is not the easiest thing to do. I also understand that it might not be desirable for every parent—a little sugar here and there isn't going to do any real harm, however, I have also found that most parents would like to avoid sugar as much as possible in their children's diet.
So for anyone who is interested in trying to limit empty, sugar-filled calories and get their children to eat more nutritious foods, the following are some practices I have found useful.
1) Start early.
Really early. A mother's nutrition during pregnancy influences the long-term health of her child by shaping her baby's metabolism and food preferences. A child's sense of taste actually begins to develop prenatally, with taste buds emerging at 7-8 weeks of age. Research shows that both flavors and smells from the mother's diet can pass into her bloodstream and then into both the amniotic fluid and fetal blood. An unborn baby is actually able to taste the different flavors of foods his mother eats and will swallow more amniotic fluid when the mother consumes something sweet.
In a recent study by the Monell Institute of America, researchers found that babies whose mothers had been given carrot juice regularly while pregnant preferred the taste of carrots far more than babies whose mothers had not. This study and others like it show that you can actually program your baby to be a healthier child and adult by the choices you make while pregnant. When I was pregnant with my daughter, I ate tons of broccoli—I was probably craving the extra calcium. After my daughter was born and I started her on solids, she had such a strong affinity for broccoli that her dad would joke that she was going to be the first human to weigh 50 pounds from eating solely breastmilk and broccoli!
The days when people believed that pregnancy was a license to eat whatever you want are over. We know now that if there is ever a time to be overly cautious about what you put in your body, it is when you are pregnant; your choices either nourish your baby or not. Just as you avoid things such as alcohol and tobacco that are bad for your unborn child, you might also consider avoiding sugary foods that are packed with lots of calories, few nutrients, and also encourage the development of a sweet tooth later in life.
When I first introduced foods to Lukas, I avoided all sweet fruits and focused on nutrient-dense, dark, green vegetables. If given the option, who wouldn't choose a banana over broccoli? Lukas' first solid food was avocado, followed by plain, steamed, mashed vegetables. When I went to our local health food store, I would get a large cup of juiced green vegetables and share it with him. One of my in-laws' preferred stories is when they asked Lukas at two-and-a-half what his favorite food was, and he replied, "Kale."
2) Only offer healthy options.
We have a rule in our house that you have to try something before you say no. When Lukas says he doesn't want a certain food and I make him try one bite, many times he'll look at me and say "Mmmm, I like that." If he doesn't, I won't force him to eat it, but I will continue to re-introduce it to him one bite at a time. By repeatedly offering healthy foods to children, the foods eventually become more familiar and your child is likely to develop a taste for them. In fact, research shows that it can take up to 10 times of tasting the same food before this happens, so be patient.
Also, if your child complains about a certain food and refuses to eat it, try not to quickly substitute it with one of his favorites. If he knows that when he complains and makes a fuss that you will simply prepare him something else to eat, then be prepared to do just that. If you explain to him that this is dinner and if he doesn't eat it then he will be hungry (and you are consistent with this message), then he is much more likely to give it a real try. Don't worry—he won't starve!
In the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers note that the reluctance to try new foods may have had an evolutionary advantage in preventing exposure to potentially toxic foods. Keep this in mind when you think your child is trying to drive you crazy! It may be hard work, but your investment now will pay off for your children throughout their lives. Also, offer new foods when your child is hungry and more willing to try something different.
It's also helpful to familiarize your child with lots of fresh vegetables and fruits before she reaches an age when she doesn't want to try anything new. As I mentioned, at two-and-a-half, Lukas' favorite dish was steamed kale, broccoli, and cabbage in a miso dressing, but if you tried to give him a bite of pizza he acted like you were trying to feed him a mud pie. The only possible explanation for this strange rejection was that he was simply avoiding something unfamiliar. This demonstrated the importance of first foods in developing food preferences and the need to make those first foods the most nutritious options. One food which he has always happily eaten is avocado—his first food!
3) Eat and discuss.
Help your children understand why certain foods are good for their bodies, while others are not. From the time Lukas first started eating (he breastfed exclusively until 9 months), I have always explained to him how the protein in certain foods makes his muscles strong and how the vitamins in others helps his body fight germs. As he gets older and understands more, I can really see the pride he takes in eating foods that he believes are keeping him healthy. He tells me that he eats fish and flax seeds to make him smart, and he eats dark green vegetables like kale, spinach, and broccoli to make him strong. He also understands that sugar is not good for his teeth. I had a good laugh as I was writing this article, and Lukas came up to me with his belly sticking out as far as he could and said, "Hey Mom, look at my big belly! I ate some donuts like Grandpa."
4) Ignorance is bliss.
Don't let them know what they are missing for as long as possible. I believe a part of my success in avoiding sugar for as long as I have is that he doesn't crave what he hasn't tried. Lukas has still never had a donut, ice cream, or any candy. For now, as far as he knows, a donut may taste like his whole grain bagel, and ice cream may be no tastier than his fruit smoothie popsicle. Now that he is older, he does eat cookies, cakes, and popsicles like all other children his age—only Lukas' treats don't contain any refined sugar. Today there are several healthier sweeteners available other than refined sugar such as fruit juice, honey, molasses, agave, maple, stevia, and so on. Here  are some of our favorite recipes for homemade sugar-free treats.
5) Cook together.
Shopping and cooking with your children can be a lot of fun and also a great learning experience. You can start teaching your children to read labels and help them begin to understand that most of the long, difficult-to-read words are probably ingredients that shouldn't be in their bodies. At the store, let your children choose a new vegetable that they think looks good, and then try to prepare something with it together. Whenever we make a meal together, Lukas really takes pride in what he has made and is much more likely to eat and enjoy it. It always surprises me how much more willing he is to try new healthy foods when he has helped prepare them (even if a recipe doesn't turn out as tasty as I hoped!). Another important thing you can do for your child's health, as well as for your own, is to concentrate your grocery shopping on the outer aisles of the store. Most of the sugar and preservative-laden foods are in the middle of the grocery store—the whole, fresh, live foods are along the periphery.
6) Spread the word.
Make sure you communicate to the people who may be caring for your children what you prefer them to eat. It is also helpful if your child can articulate what he eats and doesn't (this is also important if your child has any allergies). Early on, I let my family and friends know that Lukas does not eat sugar. When he goes on playdates, I discuss this with the parents and I have yet to have any problems. What I am finding is that most people have read or heard enough about nutrition and the negative effects of sugar that, even if they themselves choose to give their children sugar, they respect the fact that I do not. As far as childcare providers and schools are concerned, I would hope they are not using sugar as a way to reward, discipline, or pacify your child.
7) Plan ahead.
It does take a little extra time in the kitchen planning and preparing foods for when we are away from home and on special occasions. That said, the additional time it takes to pack a cooler or some small snack bags when we are on the go is worth it because of the satisfaction I feel when my children are enjoying their treats instead of the sugary, preservative-laden foods available at most convenient locations. It only takes a couple of minutes to grab some fruit (apples, grapes, bananas), nuts, cut veggies (carrot sticks, peppers, celery), muffins, whole grain bread with almond butter and jelly, hummus, avocado, and so on.
8) Practice what you preach.
I really try not to eat anything around my children that they can't eat as well. You send a very mixed message to your children when you tell them they can't have certain foods, and then you eat them yourself. Remove temptation—keep sugary foods out of the house and find alternatives to satisfy you and your child's sweet cravings. As your children watch you nourish your body with wholesome foods, you are teaching them by example.
My sister and I were raised in a sugar-free home, however, when we reached the age where we were making our own decisions about what to eat, we went through phases where avoiding sugar was not a high priority. I'm sure there will come a day when Lukas will do the same from time to time, however, as my sister and I proved, and as studies support, most children return in adulthood to the way they ate as a child. Habits formed early in life can last a lifetime. The best we can do for our children is to give them a healthy foundation and the knowledge to make educated decisions about their own health as they get older.
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
The photos you are viewing here are history in the making – literally!
Captured by Dr. Jacques Donnez for the first time in clear photograph, these images show ovulation just as it occurs in the human female. Because ovulation happens so infrequently (13 times per year in the average American woman), happens rather quickly (max of 15 minutes from beginning to end), and because we never know for sure when ovulation will exactly take place, it has been very difficult to clearly video or photograph this event. The release of a mature egg from the ovary in a woman’s body is so sensitive to hormones and various factors at play, that to perfectly photograph the spectacular event is, so far, a once-in-human-history type of occurrence.
These images were taken when Dr. Donnez, department head of gynecology at UCL in Brussels, Belgium, accidentally happened upon ovulation occurring while preparing to perform a partial hysterectomy on his 45-year-old client.
Side Note: Hysterectomies continue to be the most common (some claim, unnecessary) surgery performed upon females (as adults) in North America. While circumcision is the most common, unnecessary surgery performed upon males (as newborns) in the United States.
Donnez' photos will be published in the professional journal, Fertility and Sterility. They provide us with new information on human ovulation. Prior to this series of images, it was still commonly believed that ovulation took place quickly - in an almost explosive manner. Donnez' images capture the event occurring over a series of almost 15 minutes, from beginning to end. "The release of the oocyte from the ovary is a crucial event in human reproduction," reports Donnez. "These pictures are clearly important to better understand the mechanism."
Dr. Alan McNeilly of the Medical Research Council's Human Reproduction Unit in Edinburgh, UK reported that, "[This] really is a fascinating insight into ovulation, and to see it in real life is an incredibly rare occurrence. It really is a pivotal moment in the whole process, the beginnings of life in a way." McNeilly stressed that up until Donnez' images, we've only successfully (clearly) photographed ovulation occurring in other animal species - never in humans. Images we previously used to study human ovulation were fuzzy at best.
In these photos you will see the mature follicle - a fluid-filled sac on the surface of the ovary containing the ovum (egg). Shortly before the ovum emerges, enzymes break down the tissue of the follicle leading to the ovum's release. We then see a red-colored ballooning and a miniscule hole that appears at the top of the follicle. The ovum leaves the ovarian follicle, protected by a sac of support cells. It travels into the fallopian tube where it makes the journey into the uterus.
After the release of a ripe ovum, about 24 hours exist before it is no longer viable. It is only during this 1 day that a woman may become pregnant. However, if live sperm were already present at the cervix or in the uterus before ovulation occurred, pregnancy could take place without consecutive sperm introduction. Sperm typically remain viable for about 72 hours (3 days) within the confines of a woman's body.
More on Dr. Jacques Donnez for those interested:
Photographer of these landmark images, Donnez graduated from the Catholic University of Louvain in 1972. He completed his internships in obstetrics and gynecology and surgery there in 1978, and went on to complete his residency internship in the Department of Gynecology. Currently, Donnez is Professor and Chairman of the Catholic University of Louvain and is Department Head of Gynecology.
Donnez has authored more than 800 publications in the field and is a reviewer for a number of journals including Fertility and Sterility, Human Reproduction, Journal of Gynecological Surgery, Gynaecological Endoscopy and Références en Gynécologie Obstétrique.
Donnez was a founding member of the International Society for Gynecological Endoscopy, the European Society of Infectious Diseases in Obstetrics and Gynecology, the European Association of Gynecological Laser Endoscopy and the European Society for Gynecological Endoscopy. He is a member of a number of other organizations, both locally and internationally. As an acknowledged expert in his field, Donnez has been invited to speak at universities all over the world.
Friday, June 06, 2008
Arnica: head feels bruised and aching, or may be sharp, is made worse by stooping. It is often a result of an injury to the head (recent or old injury), or from lost of studying, reading or intense concentration.
Apis: Stinging, stabbing or burning headache, rest of body feels bruised and tender, symptoms are worse if it's hot and stuffy.
Belladonna: throbbing, drumming headache that comes on suddenly. Face with be flushed, head hot, pupils dilated and symptoms are much worse from exposure to the sun.
Bryonia: head feels bruised; with sharp, stabbing, tearing pain, usually right sided. It is made worse by any movement, even of the eyes, or lifting the head. The person of often constipated and grumpy. Pain is from stooping or coughing.
Chamomilla: grouchy person, not able to get comfortable or be consoled. wants to be left alone, hard to please, often arching the back helps some.
Coffea: another hangover remedy, mind is in overdrive; restless and sleepless; made worse by coffee or tea (or may be in withdrawal from caffeine and that is why the headache).
Gelsemium: head feels full and swollen, pace purplish and congested - looking; expression dull and heavy; dilated pupils, weak and shaky in the legs; common for summer colds, this headache may follow a cold.
Glonoinum: violent headache when every heartbeat makes the head throb, much worse from stooping or shaking the head; may have come of after exposure to heat or sun exposure, with dehydration.
Hypericum: hypersensitive scalp, feels like the base of every hair hurts; bursting, aching headache' worse from damp, foggy, overcast weather, especially before a storm. also after head or spinal injury.
Ignatia: Feels like a tight band across the forehead, or like a nail being driven through the side of the head. Sighing is a keynote symptom. They are worse from exposure to tobacco smoke.
Iris versicolor: (migraine) blurring of vision before headache comes on; tight feeling in scalp; headache right-side. may vomit bile, is not as bad for them if they move around gently.
Kali bichromicum: this is the usual one for the sinus headache, it is worse in the mask area for the face, worse from bending over. It is in the area around, over, under or behind the eyes, also at the base of the nose. Pressure int eh areas with the fingers make the pain worse, but in the open air (unless the cold air hits their face). Heat applies in the areas of pain usually improves the symptoms.
Lycopodium: (migraine) worse on the right side, feels like the temples are being screwed together, trying to concentrate makes the pain worse, person often feels dizzy. Symptoms often worse from 4 to 8 PM.
Natrum muriaticum: (migraine) throbbing, blinding headache; warmth and movement make it worse; head feels overstuffed and congested; headache preceded by numbness and tingling in lips, nose and tongue.
Nux vomica: (classic hangover headache) irritable and oversensitive; dull, dizzy, bruising headaches; worse in the morning, better after being up awhile; nausea; aftereffects of overeating, rich food, sweets or alcohol; head feels as if it has been beaten. Person intolerant of advice, noise or cold. Better after nap.
Pulsatilla: (migraine) headache worse in the evening, during menstrual period; aggravated by rich, fatty foods; head feels like it is going to burst; person teary, craves sympathy and often very emotional.
Sanguinaria: (common migraine remedy) worse in the Am; bursting pain that is right-sided and seems to start at the back of the head, spreading upward and over the eye; pain often extends into right shoulder; "sick headache"; may increase as the day progresses and some improvement later in the day; may have nausea, vomiting and dizziness. Worse from sweets, or touch, better in darkness.
Silicea: (migraine) pain starts at the back of the head, then shifts and settles above on eye; aggravated by cold, helped by wrapping the head warmly and tightly; person prone to head sweats. Hunger headaches.
Spigelia: (migraine) sharp, darting, severe pain over left eye; pain seems to pulse with every pulse beat; stooping or even moving suddenly makes the pain worse.
Thuja: (migraine) left-sides, as if the head is being pierced by a nail.