Friday, March 7, 2008

Homeopathic healing

A lot of people have expressed amazement on how quickly my bruising and swelling went away. While I maintain that a positive attitude does make a difference when you're healing from major surgery, I certainly don't credit alone with my progress.

Before my surgery, I went to see my naturopathic doctor and she prescribed a number of homeopathic remedies and supplements.

Homeopathic remedies operate on the principle that like cures like. So, if something in great amounts causes a headache, then the theory is that a very, very, very small amount of the same thing will cure a headache. Homeopathic remedies dilute those substances to microscopic levels and then use them to treat that ailment.

There is a constant debate going on as to whether or not it really works. In my experience, it has. But everyone is different. The way I see it is there's no harm in trying. If it works, it works. If not, the remedies are relatively inexpensive (I paid $7 per vial, Canadian Dollars, for mine), so you're really not losing anything.

My arsenal of non-drug remedies.

This is what my naturopath recommended for me (please consult your doctor/surgeon/homeopathic practitioner before taking any supplements):

  1. Arnica Montana, 200K pellets. One or two pellets at a time, taken away from food, as often as needed to reduce bruising and swelling.
  2. Hypericum Perforatum, 200K pellets. One or two pellets at a time, taken away from food, as often as needed to reduce nerve pain.
  3. Calendula, 200K pellets. One or two pellets at a time, taken away from food, as often as needed to heal wounds post-surgery.
  4. Thiosinaminum, 6CH pellets. One or two pellets at a time, taken away from food, as often as needed to break down scar tissue.
  5. Wobenzym N., enteric coated tablets. One tablet three times a day, taken away from food, to break down inflammation. (Note: Wobenzym contains Bromelain, a digestive enzyme made out of pineapple. I know of a lot of jaw surgery patients who just take Bromelain, which would have the same sort of result if you're unable to find Wobenzym.)
  6. Traumeel, oral drops. This is a complex homeopathic with a variety of compounds in it. Five drops, three times daily, taken away from food, to reduce swelling, bruising and inflammation.
  7. Vitamin B12. She didn't give me an amount on this, but said that it helped encourage nerve regrowth and reduce nerve pain. I found these great dissolving Vitamin B12 strips that I could put in my cheek while my jaw was wired shut and they would dissolve. Awesome!
  8. Mediclear, protein and vitamin powder. One scoop in rice milk in the morning with breakfast. Provides protein essential for healing and liver support post-anesthesia.

If I had to do it again, there were some changes I would have made.

Firstly, I would have found as many of the homeopathic remedies in tinctures/oral drops to make them easier to take when I was wired shut. I used a method for taking the pellets called "pulsing" where you put a very tiny amount of water in a glass and dissolve the pellets in it before swallowing. It worked fine, but the usual method is to dissolve the pellets under your tongue. Drops would have been much more convenient.

Secondly, I would have started taking the Arnica and the Traumeel several days before surgery. You get a much better result that way. I took the Arnica just one day before, and I didn't start on the Traumeel until three weeks after the surgery. It turned out well for me, but it would have been even better to start earlier.

Otherwise, it's been going very well. I wasn't able to take the Wobenzym while I was wired shut, but I am taking it now. While I was wired, I focused more on taking the Arnica and Calendula as much as possible. Now that the swelling is mostly gone, I'm concentrating more on the Hypericum and the Thiosinaminum as well as making sure I'm taking my Mediclear every day. I added the Traumeel because I noticed there was just a tiny bit of swelling left that wasn't going down as much as I would have liked and I figured it would help.

The really nice thing about homeopathic medicine is that it is so diluted that it's impossible to take too much of it and it is not going to interact with any drugs, or so I'm told. It's kind of idiot-proof, which serves me quite well.

5 comments:

Mylene said...

I'm printing your list right now for future use! Thank you!

caroline said...

Hi Bella,

Does the vitamin B12 stuff work then, or is it too early to say?
I'm really struggling with numbness - i'm 2 weeks post surgery - as well as pain, pain, pain in my chin from the nerve regrowth.

Any other tips?? Any ideas on how long it takes to get back to normal ? I've had both upper and lower jaws done, but not really having problems on the top...

Bella said...

Caroline,

My two-year surgery anniversary is next Friday and I have pretty much full feeling back in my chin. So, either I'm very lucky or what I did worked.

How is your swelling? Sometimes, getting the swelling down takes some of that pressure/pain off - it might not just be the nerves. If you haven't tried lymph drainage massage yet, it's really good for bringing the swelling down fast.

Otherwise, try acupuncture. That really helped me with getting the feeling back and it also helps with pain in general. Another thing that weirdly helped was the Neutrogena microdermabrasion system. It's one of those vibrating face exfoliators. I noticed that after I used it, I had more feeling in my chin. It's worth a shot.

It makes sense why the upper jaw wouldn't be giving you problems, as it's the nerve that runs through the lower jaw that gets damaged in the surgery and there isn't a comparable nerve in the upper jaw.

It's hard to say how long it takes to get back to normal. All of my posts about nerves/numbness are here: http://www.smilingbella.com/search/label/numbness

Good luck!

caroline said...

Hi Bella,

Well happy anniversary!

Thanks so much for your response. I was wondering whether anything like masssage would work. I think i have a ROC version of the dermobrasion system you are talking about....(somewhere!)

Accupuncture sounds like a brilliant idea too!

Re the swelling - that's mainly in my cheeks and isn't giving me too much pain. Its coming down gradually, little by little every day.

Thanks for the link - i'll check it out. I'm writing my own blog too. Feel free to check me out at http://karolina08.wordpress.com.

Cheers for the advice

Cynthia said...

Bella,
I long ago have ditched the regular pills and switched over to homeopathic medicines. I didn't have the jaw surgery, but my gums were swelled a lot from wearing braces and a friend recommended a homeopathic medicine (sorry, forgot the name). It worked slower than pain killer, but had a much longer lasting effect and helped to easy the swelling.

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