When I meet with Julia Edgley, homeopath, she has just returned from her native Ireland and is full of natural cheer and infectious positivity. But then, Julia always is. I’ve been lucky to know Julia since I moved to France 4 years ago, and I’ve been to see her for my own well being, as well as that of my children. Her guidance to me has been entirely holistic, touching on nutrition, lifestyle, the ingredients and their effects of household products and always homeopathy.
Homeopathy is Julia’s absolute passion. She is a waterfall of information, knowledge, experience and her passion to share with the world has led her to create her blog; http://juliahomeopath.wordpress.com/. Over 2000 people connect to Julia over social media where she shares tips on natural make up, health, culture and a holistic lifestyle.
We sit on the lawn of the beautiful Mas Candille Hotel in Mougins, over looking the mountains and the olive groves of Grasse, and as the sun starts to set, we begin.
What is it that attracts you so intensely to homeopathy?
I think homeopathy is really empowering. Our well being comes with no instruction manual, its so much more than not having an illness. Its about living life to the full, with energy and vitality.
“Through the process of homeopathic consultations, the patient learns to listen to their body.”
They start recognising the signs and symptoms that are guiding us to what we need to do to get them back to full health. My patients and I tune in to their holistic health and slowly the patient learns to listen to their body. That’s what I love about homeopathy – its so empowering to take control of your own health.
Can homeopathy help a Mother stay strong and connected to her Self?
Yes! Motherhood is an incredible healing opportunity. A woman travels through the life stages of maiden / mother / chrone. Each is a powerful transition. With motherhood your inner child comes out screaming, it can be overwhelming and we make powerful projections onto our children. I think is important to know that there are therapies out there to help at every transition in life, and that you don’t have to walk this path on your own.
Being aware that other mothers go through the same path is reassuring and hearing stories of mums who have come out the other side after those charged first few months or years, is encouraging, so being part of a like minded community is an important support system.
Have you ever dealt with a patient suffering from postnatal depression?
Absolutely. There are so many faces of postpartum depression, which is why it can be easily missed. Well meaning family members and even doctors can miss the signs, its a complex state, and people are still scared of the association with mental illness. What I have seen through my patients is that there are 3 main faces of postpartum depression.
The first is best described as a blatant chemical imbalance, where the woman feels waves of despair, which pass. This is the classic idea of postpartum depression, where the mother can be cold, detached, weepy. In an appointment, when describing symptoms, the mother can be completely in the moment, aware and sometimes has to convince the health practitioner that at home, they have symtoms of depression.
The second face can be the result of a trauma around the pregnancy or birth, and the symptoms can be similar to those of Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome; recounting the incident many times, not being able to forget its tiny details and reliving the event in one’s mind.
The third can often be referred to as Postantal Anxiety Disorder. The mother presents with feelings of extreme disappointment and frustration. Often the mother finds she is extremely argumentative, because deep down she is angry towards a situation that is not her ideal.
I often see this situation in mums who, even before pregnancy, had extrememly high expectations of themselves. The birth or entire pregancy did not work out as they had planned or there was a difficulty breastfeeding.
The mum feels extreme guilt over the resulting outcome. Her high expectations are not being met; expectations of herself, the child, her partner, life.. these are all learned behaviours which can be changed.
The problem with these high expectations is that when the are not met, the mother feels overwhelming guilt. The perfect example is breast feeding; most of my patients want to breast feed, and sometimes, when that is not possible, they feel guilt that they have failed and are not giving their child the best.
Sometimes this situation can be a result of previous learned behaviour or ideals. This behaviour pattern “worked” in your pre-baby days but becoming a new mum means this behaviour pattern doesnt “fit” into the new routine. Mums can go through an identitiy issue, it can be hard to find your feet again.
How can homeopathy help?
Homeopathy turns everything on its head. Treatment can help mums distance themselves from the symptoms, so they are not as overwhelming. Over time, the frequency and intensity of symptoms can be reduced.
This has been described to me as if the clouds have cleared or a mother’s head has come above the water; the fog has lifted. Mums can see thier situation clearer and without the emotional haze that can be distracting.
During the appointment, we do an initial analysis after which I prescribe remedies to be taken for 2 weeks. The patient then comes back and we assess what the effect has been, what changes have taken place, and how she is feeling. This process helps the patient to distance herself from her situation and look at it with a calmer, cooler energy. All 3 postpartum characteristics need to have cortizol levels managed – cortizal is the stress hormone – but in homeopathy we try to look at the trigger and treat the whole picture, not just the symptom.
The symptom may be physical, but usually that us a manifestation from an emotional state. All symptoms to a homeopath are important. We look at the physical, but equally important are the emotional and mental states. Usually, the physical and emotional states are a reflection of one another.
If someone is interested in trying homeopathy, where would you recommend they start?
I would start with a home kit, which you can buy from Ainsworth, Helios or Nelson. They do specific sets for birthing and mother&child. The sets give you a selection of basic remedies and a little book to guide you. Start here and then see a hoemoapth to help analyse the reaction.
Otherwise, go and see a local homeopath. The key is to find someone who gets you, each practitioner has their own way, so you need to find the relationship that works for you. Speak to the nearest college to get a recommendation, or find a professional register.
What advice would you give someone pregnant and wanting to prepare for the journey ahead?
Pregnancy is like a magnifying glass, it manifests emotional blockages lying dormant which need to be addressed. That is why it is such an incredible opportunity for learning and growth.
During pregnancy is the perfect time to focus on your nutrition, sleep patterns, and letting go of a lot of stuff. New Mums often suffer an identity crisis after birth, as the layers of their ego-life are stripped away. This is all good stuff, but it can be uncomfortable, so time spent preparing for that, reassessing what is important to you, is time well spent.
And advice to new Mums?
I would recommend every new Mum make an appointment with a Cranial Sacral Osteopath for their baby as soon as they are able – the effects are just incredible and can often stop much of the crying, cholic, reflux, breast feeding and sleep issues.
I would also say to them, don’t be in such a rush. It takes at least 6 – 8 weeks to recover from the birth. Take time to settle in to this new role and sleep. Sleep is the most over looked healing system in the world, and just for a while, your sleep pattern will not fit in with the rest of society, so embrace that, and sleep, guilt free, whenever and wherever you can.
Which homeopathic remedies for stress and emotional support would you recommend to get started with?
There are a classic set of 4 remedies for after birth;
aconite – helps with feelings of panic and ultimately fear of death.
gelsemium – helps with anxiety and panic attacks
pulsitila – helps with hormone imbalances, when a Mum desperately needs support, does;t want to be left alone & feels weepy for o reason
sepia – helps with anger and hate towards life and the world.
So, in summary, where does homeopathy fit into being a Happy Sexy Mama?
Homeopathy can lead you through the layers of behavioural patterns. Every body can heal, and if it isn’t healing, then it could be because the body doesn’t have enough energy or that there is a insurmountable blockage. Homeopathy, like most holistic health systems, helps you to strengthen your energy and remove blockages, allowing you to survive, heal and then thrive.
Julia Edgely practices homeopathy in Mouans Sartoux, France. Here are her links to social media where you can read more and keep in touch with her incredible stream of wisdom.
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