A holistic approach to hormones

17 months ago

Holistic therapies seek to address the underlying disturbance giving rise to a complaint and support the system to re-dress any imbalance.

One of the beauties of holistic therapies is how they can be used alongside conventional medication and often in combination to achieve an equilibrium for the system. Rather than forcing the body into an unnatural state and simply suppressing symptoms that are actually trying to compensate for a primary disturbance, holistic therapies seek to enhance the body’s innate mechanisms for healing and remove blocks that are impeding it and causing it to deviate from its inherent balance.

At the natural practice with any dysfunction we seek to identify the underlying precipitants of that disturbance, which may include stress, overwhelm and dysfunctional relationships. The way an individual responds to these stresses is unique and therefore whilst some mechanisms for addressing this will be fairly universal, such as rest, meditation, exercise and self-care, other aspects of it will need focussed interventions, by means of homeopathy or identification of specific unhelpful thought processes and programming, often from childhood, to enable the patient to understand this, re-model it and potentially make changes.

These days we are bombarded by environmental toxins, antenatally, from the air, in the water, in our food and in the environments in which we live. These toxins can interfere with our bodies’ natural homeostatic (balance restoring) mechanisms. Reducing our exposure and helping the body eliminate these can be fundamental in allowing the body to restore its natural flow. Homeopathy and supplementation of essential nutrients can facilitate this process. The female hormones come as an array of hormones with differing purposes and benefits. Deficiency of specific nutrients can push the body into producing these hormones in ratios that are unhealthy. Ensuring the body is replete with these nutrients facilitates a healthier profile.

The female hormonal system is entwined with the stress hormone axis and so again is subject to disturbance as a result of either excess stress or deficiency of certain essential nutrients. Herbs in the form of adaptogens are very helpful in supporting the adrenals, neither upregulating nor down regulating but optimising their function to resolve dysfunction borne out of excessive stress and also in supporting the adrenals in dealing with ongoing stresses.

Remember that there are herbs and supplements that have oestrogenic activity. There are also ‘exogenous’ and harmful oestrogenic compounds that we are frequently exposed to in our environment that disturb the natural balance. It is not only the ovaries that produce oestrogen, which is why the menopause does not eliminate oestrogen from the body, merely resulting in a different profile.

We have homeopathic remedies with known affinity to the female system, commonly used in menstrual and menopausal disorders and with a long history of use, some dating back to use by Native Americans in pre-colonial times.

And finally we have remedies in potency (homeopathic preparations) which can be used in a ‘never well since’ fashion in addressing disorders which seem to date from an intervention with synthetic or natural hormones in the past.

The complexity of the system demands a flexible approach and the ability to individualise a treatment plan to the unique individual experiencing the symptoms. Homeopathy is one of the most finely tuned instruments to achieve this level of individualisation.