Nux vs. Sepia
Joseph Kellerstein, DC, ND
Francine is a tall and slender chiropractor. She has always been very athletic and a devotee of the outdoors. I have treated her over the last six years for seasonal allergies, which were intense initially but minimal the last three years or so. Historically she has responded quite well to sulphur in single doses.
There have been occasional acute emotional crises when this normally cool and level-headed lady felt as if she was up against a wall and acted irrationally. Ignatia has been magic in these situations.
Now the tough economy has hit. Her husband, who is an engineer, has been out of work for several months. He loves computers and online gaming and has lost himself in that world. He and Francine seem to rarely communicate. Although verbally intent on finding a new job, in fact there has been little ostensible effort to do anything except perhaps get to the next level in whatever shoot-’em-up game is hot.
Francine has two adult sons, one recently divorced and attending grad school, the other recently unemployed. Both are now back living at home. The latter son arrived with his most recent girlfriend, who is five months pregnant.
Francine is passionate about her work and her family. For months now she has stoically supported the whole brood. Lately, however, thoughts are creeping in. How can her husband not seek employment more actively? The admission that she feels less respect for him brings on a wave of tears. The kids are grown and yet not contributing. Money issues are on the horizon. “We are sinking and they do nothing.”
None of these things, however, were Francine’s chief complaint. This emerged from behind after some inquiry.
The commanding reason for coming to the clinic was premenstrual headache: Two or three days before menses there will be headache, much emotion (sadness) and severe cramping.
- There can be a mounting anxiety to the point of panic
- A desire to sell the house and move … an impulse to just get out
- A craving for chocolate
- Coldness, especially at night. Without a hot water bottle at the feet there is no sleep
- During the day the hands are very cold
Both Nux and Sepia seem to be competing for top spot here; both make a certain amount of sense.
We have a case of PMS syndrome in a person characterized by this chronic frustration and anxiety. How do we differentiate these remedies clinically? Which questions might I ask to get this person the most similar remedy?
Joe Kellerstein, DC, ND graduated as a chiropractor in 1980 and as an ND in 1984. He graduated with a specialty in homeopathy from the Canadian Academy for Homeopathy, and subsequently lectured there for two years. He also lectured in homeopathy for several years at CCNM; for eight years at the Toronto School of Homeopathic Medicine; and for two years at the British Institute for Homeopathy. Dr. Kellerstein’s mission is the exploration of natural medicine in a holistic context, especially homeopathy and facilitating the experience of healing in clients.