is a form of learned behaviour and
is not likely to disappear suddenly just by taking a medicine
, whether that is an orthodox
. Some form of behavioural modification
is going to be necessary. Modifying behaviour
I favour a graded reduction
of the habit and usually advise a period of observation
of how often the activity is done. This can be quite informative
to the individual, because they may hardly be aware of the extent
that the habit
has taken over their life. For example, how many cigarettes
or how many drinks are consumed? A small notebook is useful
to record whenever the person feels the urge
to carry out whatever habit
is causing the concern.
With some habits,
after the observation period
comes an agreed, realistic reduction programme.
With cigarettes, for example, you decide on a definite stop smoking day. Then, leading up to this day, you agree a schedule of reduction. Splitting the day into
three-hour increments, for example, from waking
up until going to bed.
Then allocate a maximum number
over each segment, but without being able to borrow
from one segment or store up
for later. And over this period reduce the number of cigarettes.
This way you will reduce the physical dependence
, so that by stopping day it will only be the psychological dependence
that has to be dealt with.
It is a good idea to have habit substitutes
. In the case of smoking I advise cutting carrots, celery sticks
or liquorice roots to cigarette length
and chewing them whenever the craving comes on. Changing habitat
Think of a habitat
as the places that you indulge the habit. Smokers
have had their habitat severely restricted
and many people will have given up j
ust by virtue of having been forced out
onto the street
to indulge their habit
With problem drinking
then avoiding the places where temptation
lurks is obviously sensible.
Taking up new interests
may help. Choose something that you have never managed
to get round to, or which may seem out of character
. If you want to change habits,
you are changing yourself, so these sorts of changes
of how you can make it happen.Homeopathic treatment
Alcohol and tobacco dependence need behavioural treatment
, but the following homeopathic medicines
have all performed well in treating people
with these problems. My approach is to prescribe
30c potency twice
a day for three days and repeat at intervals of two weeks.
- Caladium is a keynote remedy for tobacco addiction, especially in men who have noticed that they have become impotent or have erectile problems. These problems are probably due to the toxicity of nicotine.
- Capsicum is a good remedy for people who crave drugs, tobacco or alcohol and who tend towards being overweight, of a peppery temperament, and who easily feel homesick.
- Nux vomica is for fiery, irritable types who are always in a hurry and who are impatient with everyone. "Give me the remedy now," they almost demand.
The above article
is part of a longer version published in Health and Homeopathy,
autumn 2009.Keith Souter
MB ChB FRCGP MFHom MIPsiMed DipMedAc is a part-time GP
in Yorkshire and has a private holistic
medicine practice and is a newspaper
columnist as well as the author of Homeopathy for the Third Age
and Homeopathy: Heart & Soul