Trans-generational trauma and homeopathy
In cases with trans-generational trauma, the original, unresolved trauma is carried over from previous generations to the current one. For those coping with this type of trauma it can be confusing to address and understand since the symptoms they are experiencing are not based in their own life history or experiences. I would like to present some of the reasons homeopathy can be a helpful tool for this kind of trauma and to explore one homeopathic remedy with symptoms that link to trans-generational trauma in a very fascinating and beautiful way.
What do we know about trans-generational trauma?
Research is now confirming how stress and trauma may be carried over to children and grandchildren. This includes studies of DNA, genetics, social patterns and behaviours, stress and resiliency, attachment disorders, PTSD and many other categories that can be isolated and studied. For example it is understood that genetic imprints of traumatic experiences can be passed from one generation to another epigenetically and not just by learned behavior and social patterning. Why is this so important? DNA is the part of our cells that provides the instructions for cells to be created. As long as the DNA is healthy, it can give healthy instructions for newly created cells that comprise a healthier body. If there is continued degradation of the epigenetic structure of our genes this could mean lower immunity and fertility, and an increased susceptibility to cellular mutations.
There are also scientifically unexplainable experiences of trans-generational trauma, such as experiencing our ancestor’s memories in some way, or holding onto an energetic pattern of a trauma that is repeated in the next generation. These can be explored with homeopathy regardless of whether they seem unusual or implausible. I have studied TCM and acupressure and these old traumas and wounds can be treated and resolved as well with acupuncture or the gentle touch of an acupressurist. All of these modalities acknowledge the immaterial, energetic part of the person and how that may be blocked or stagnant since the trauma happened, whenever that may have been in the past.
As well as there is ‘collective’ trauma where the traumatic experience is shared by a group of people or even an entire society, and can remain chronic and carry over into future generations. So far the best approach to these group recovery efforts have been truth and reconciliation commissions such as the those created for South African Apartheid, the Indian residential school system in Canada and the 1994 Genocide in Rwanda. However, it would not be beyond the scope of homeopathy in my opinion, to aid in the processes of resolution and to help the individuals within a group who have been affected. This could be done similar to how a small number of remedies are found to fit the pattern of an epidemic and then given to those affected or at risk of being affected. In the case of a mass trauma of some kind, a selection of remedies could be given to ease the suffering collectively and help to restore clarity and peace before the situation gives way to violence and social disorder.
I think it is clear that we all carry some traumatic resonance from our ancestors in varying degrees. There have been recent large-scale historical situations that have left traumatic impacts on large numbers of people such as WWI & II, the Holocaust, and slavery. There have been witnesses and refugees of genocide, as well as the effects of colonialism, totalitarianism, invading military forces, and terrorism as sources of traumatic experiences. And on the personal level there may have been domestic abuse, sexual abuse, bullying, addiction, poverty and inequality, lack of medical care, insecure attachment parenting, and isolation due to mental or physical illness. All of this and many other situations can leave the imprint of trauma that without treatment can lead to trans-generational trauma.
Homeopathic treatment for trans-generational trauma
Since homeopathy is an energy-based modality, it can reach a deeper, more global level of treatment than medications or talk therapies and it offers some unique solutions to resolving inherited traumas. At this time, standard medical treatments for DNA and genes are experimental and may have unpredictable risk, however researchers have been looking at how homeopathic remedies may affect the DNA and epigenetic coding. The positive effects of remedies on stress responses and resilience and adaptation are clearly linked. (For more information please see my article, Anxiety, The Tiger That Will Eat Us and The Noumedynamic Human by Judyann McNamara). I have noticed in my own practice that stress and anxiety are often the first issues to improve after a well-chosen homeopathic remedy is given. As the anxiety lifts there is an immediate return of energy and resilience, which can then support the person to go through the difficult and consuming process of healing.
The homeopathic case taking method is an effective means to look at the amorphous and hard to prove experiences of trans-generational trauma. A homeopath is not looking for facts, test results, or any scientific and logical explanations for the symptoms that are shared with them. Instead the revealing of a symptom that starts with, “It feels like _____,” or “It is as if _____,” are entirely useful clues to explore. A well trained homeopath is not confounded by a non-rational hodgepodge of symptoms and sensations, an only slight knowledge of family history, gaps in the medical history, or by the surfacing of hidden, forgotten or suppressed events and traumatic experiences. This is because it is not the ‘story’ but the emotionally charged residual trauma energy that is still held in the nervous system that requires the most exploration.
So even if the trauma is not something a homeopath can trace to a specific etiology or event, they can still work with the inner experience of the patient and reach a global enough understanding to find a remedy that may help them. Due to the wide range of treatment of homeopathy, this help can come in many ways. It can help to resolve a block or suppression of energy, to remove physical symptoms, to develop greater resiliency, to open up the spectrum of adaptive possibilities, or to let a trauma play itself out to its end rather than to remain on a permanent loop.
As Hahnemann states so poetically in the Organon, “In the healthy condition of man, the spiritual vital force, the dynamis that animates the material body, rules with unbounded sway, and retains all the parts of the organism in admirable, harmonious, vital operation, as regards both sensations and functions, so that our indwelling, reason-gifted mind can freely employ this living, healthy instrument for the higher purpose of our existence.” This achievement can mean a future of quickly resolving acute illnesses rather than ongoing and worsening chronic illnesses, and less dependency on medications and long-term supports as well as a more positive and energetic experience of life, and the fulfilling of our innate goodness and purpose as Hahnemann proposes above.
The role of the homeopath in breaking the cycle
Why does trauma occur in the first place? We can all reach a point where we can’t manage what is happening. An experience is too overwhelming and at the time we may not have the tools or skills to cope and adapt. The sympathetic nervous system can go into overdrive and we get stuck in fight or flight mode for far longer than our body is designed for. Sustaining a state of high alert causes depletion and disruption of the normal functions of our system and acute cases of this are referred to as PTSD, post-traumatic stress disorder. However, any stress that does not seem to have an end can be harmful on so many levels. As homeopathy is a global treatment, it can address all the levels affected, help the person to cope, and to restore health. As Susan Pease Banitt, an expert and thought leader in the field of traumatic stress, describes it, “PTSD is a whole-body tragedy, an integral human event of enormous proportions with massive repercussions.” Practitioners and clients will appreciate the work of recovery more fully when we cease to divide the body into parts that are to be treated individually.
Homeopaths also knows that it is best if we do not hide, avoid, self-medicate or push away our feelings of pain and discomfort. This only drives the problem or issue deeper and makes it more complex to resolve. Yet it is incredibly difficult to experience the pain again, and to see it objectively while we do so. This process requires an enormous level of non-judgment and acceptance that we cannot always rationally and intentionally reach. The homeopathic session is meant to encourage a place of safe exploration and resolution. A part of the training of a professional homeopath is to learn to provide the safe and non-judgmental environment where a client can explore their experience and inner world.
As with other modalities, the relationship offers the safe container in which the therapy can take place. A person can return to an earlier experience where they became overwhelmed and the safe space provides a chance for the person to relax their nervous system. The homeopathic remedy does exactly the same thing, thus further allowing the person to recover and to integrate the original impact of the trauma.
Where are we at today?
As mentioned above, homeopathy is able to work directly on the basic symptoms of trauma such as stress and anxiety, and is known to help with chronic issues related to fears, phobias, addictions as well as autoimmune disorders. In such confusing and complicated cases as trans-generational trauma, the process is the same regardless of whether there is a medical diagnosis of the problem or not. The process includes looking at the case history, the current symptoms, the areas of suffering and exploring the inner experience to facilitate a greater awareness and knowledge of the self. Remarkably it has been observed that by going through the homeopathic healing process, immediate family members not receiving treatment are also affected, as well as those close to us and even those we work with. Healing and resolution can radiate outwards, and it all begins with the choice to make a difference in our life.
A growing number of therapists and researchers are expressing a need to work on collective and individual trauma as well as trans-generational traumas. By healing these wounds, they are suggesting that we humans may become less aggressive, less directed by our fears and limbic responses, and more capable of seeing our unique purpose and potential within the greater society and culture.
In homeopathy we have the potential to develop a way to work on large groups of people as we do with the work in epidemics I mentioned above. The world needs this more than ever now. Otherwise the old traumas will keep repeating themselves over and over again, as we see happening now. Until then it starts with the treatment of one person at a time. The outcome will be an eventual shift in societies, cultures and actions, as Malcolm Gladwell suggests with his Tipping Point theory, where the majority of us wish to put the pain and the suffering of the past behind us and to get on with the hope and potential inherent in human beings.
A look at Plutonium-nitricum
From a homeopath’s perspective I will explore the controversial remedy Plutonium-nitricum, and how it relates to trans-generational trauma. It is controversial because the original matter used to make this energetic remedy is so dangerous and toxic. It is important to note that any remedy above the 12c and 24x potency no longer has any molecules of the substance left, so it then becomes a safe homeopathic remedy that can be stored, used and transported securely. Plut-nit is usually used at the 30c or 200c potency. Once the original remedy is made, it is safe to energetically replicate the remedy indefinitely so that development process from the original matter does not need to be repeated for each new batch of remedy made.
I think it is interesting that Plutonium was first produced and isolated in 1940. Plutonium has been a component of many nuclear tests and atomic bombs since 1945. It is also a byproduct of nuclear power plants and of dismantled weapons. The 50’s were known as the nuclear age and the era of the nuclear family, which was regarded as the basic and normal social unit. By the mid 60’s Western societies, especially in America, broke out in revolutions that sought to defy the traditions of the past. It was a period of intense change and instability, but also one of hope and transformation. The intent was the breaking down of culture, society, rules, moral codes and behaviours, and the creation of a new, modern society that was open to life beyond the norm of a nuclear family unit and to words like alignment, transformation, freedom, awakening, empowerment, awareness, mindfulness, shadow work, love and light, and self-responsibility. There was also an increasing movement away from the importance placed on belonging to the group to one of being an individual self.
In nature Plutonium is an Actinide on the periodical table located on the ‘bottom’ row and comprising what are called rare earth metals. They are used in high-performance lasers, superconductors, and other high-tech applications and are the building blocks for our current Information Age. Energetically and symbolically the Actinide elements represent destruction as a universal phenomenon, as if the whole world is moving towards destruction. Sounds familiar to those of us alive in 2017, no? Anyone on Facebook or keeping up with current events will have considered that the end of the world could indeed happen, at least as we know it now. The Internet is full of articles about how we are on the brink of total destruction due to climate change, the collapse of the financial system, or the increasing toxicity of food, air and water.
The experience of the Plutonium picture in a human being is an extreme despair and gloomy mood paired with hope and optimism. ‘Nothing new comes without ending the old.’ There is intense destruction, aggression, pain and suffering, yet also the hope of possible positive outcome. Symptoms can include heavy emotional outbursts, power complexes, self-destruction, and the power behind metamorphosis. There can be a desire towards everlasting renascence, ‘Dying and being born anew.’
Chemically all radioactive substances disintegrate in order to go through metamorphosis and form a new element. This process releases a lot of energy, which has the potential to powerfully create and to destroy equally. Plutonium is the element with the highest atomic number to occur in nature and the most naturally radioactive. Vermeulen writes that Plutonium’s central themes are a need for power, transcendence, and the surfacing of suppressed and unconscious content. The latter could be relatable to Jung’s theory of the Collective Unconsciousness.
Jeremy Sherr describes Plutonium with, “The Pandora’s box of radioactivity has been opened and has released the dark into the light. To rekindle the light our only option is to enter this dark side fully. These radioactive materials, plutonium in particular, affect the deepest levels of the human being – bone marrow, DNA, genetic structure, inner organs, and the deepest emotions.”
Some other themes related to Plutonium are Intensity and Depth relating to the deep nucleus of generative will, and how it’s inner essence must forever remain hidden. Incredibly Heavy and Weighed down, as if weighted from the very core. And on the other side of the spectrum is Light and Elevated, as if a great burden is lifted off shoulders.
The Core is that which energizes our being, such as bone marrow, and has enough energy to generate a life force yet also for intense violence, enough to destroy the world. There is also Deep Isolation with intense despair, as if one is totally alone in the world, yet it is linked to the sense of hope and the ability to learn from past experience. Plutonium also relates us to Our Primal Nature represented by dreams of warriors fighting and of original peoples throwing stones. It allows us to delve deep into the center of our being where the basic instincts for survival lay buried. Symbolically it is linked to Pluto, God of the Dead and the Deep Suffering originating from our ancestors and Punishment echoing down through the generations. Since the radioactive decay of Plutonium is so long lasting, the sensation is that it lingers and effects the generations to come.
Anger also plays a large part of Plutonium and it is therefore linked to the Ferrum series (Iron) of remedies. There can be a frightful black depression and enormous rage. There is a fear of unleashing this destructive power, which is perhaps contained by the addition of the element Nitricum to the remedy. (A 1995 American study at John Hopkins University in Baltimore found that male mice lacking the enzyme that synthesizes nitric oxide in nerve cells showed constant aggressiveness. These lab mice constantly attacked other males and kept trying to mate with females that had rejected them. The conclusion was that nitric oxide helps stimulate brain signals that dampen aggression.)
From the proving was a sense of dissolving the “sins of the Fathers.” Provers responded with, “I have the feeling of battling against something evil out there that is actually inside of me but not quite part of me.” And “I feel it is something to be done alone, balancing the light with the dark. I feel heroic, full of courage.” There was also isolation, as if feeling separate from the rest of the world and just observing. Physical symptoms included a vacant sensation, as if out of my head, feeling depressed, paralyzed, and almost possessed by heaviness. These symptoms can be seen in recently acknowledged diseases that are unexplained and often discounted such as Fibromyalgia, CFS and MCS (multiple chemical sensitivity).
On the resolution side of Plutonium-nitricum was the feeling that, “I stand and watch the world, so slow I can almost live forever. I feel stripped naked before the world. I feel full of love again. I thank the heavens for this experience.” There is a chance for a rebirth; a new dawn as it were that is lighter and more hopeful. Along with every gloomy and fearful news story in 2017, there is also story of new possibility, a different way of looking at our problems, and a solution to the impending destruction and devastation.
How intriguing to look at a mineral in this way. I will conclude this mini study to say that not every case of trans-generational trauma or CFS requires the remedy Plutonium-nitricum. Homeopaths know that every case is unique and has its own picture that may fit one remedy better than another. I simply wished to show the ongoing relationship humans have to nature, and to the evolution of our collective experience and how trans-generational trauma can be explored through the remedy Plutonium-nitricum since it is fascinating what was revealed through the proving and symbolic understanding of this remedy.
About the Author:
Lauren Trimble DHom, Nd Having a life long study in the principles of nature and healthy living, Lauren is happy to share her knowledge and experience. The art of retuning the body’s natural healing capacity & developing consciousness in a compassionate and gentle way is the gift that homeopathy brings to her holistic practice.
Lauren is a member of Ritma, MICHpa and HTSF, and a graduate of the Montreal Institute of Classical Homeopathy (MICH) Homeopathic/Naturopathic program. She began her career in alternative health with acupressure and later trained at the Montreal Gongfu Research Centre where Traditional Chinese Medicine is combined with martial art practices. She co-founded the Montreal Healing Arts Community (MHAC), a local non-profit offering networking, outreach and education to the healing community and also founded a Montreal support group for social phobia. She has studied NVC and Bohm’s Dialogue methods as well as Active Listening by Carl Rogers.