Author: Tanja Baker

In 2016 I have had the opportunity to publish one article about Homeopathy each month in our local newspaper. 


Newspaper article in September 2016 - Never been well since



Some events in our life can have such a traumatic effect on us that they might be the beginning of a chronic illness. Especially if we find it difficult to shake that memory and carry the after effects from that event with us throughout our life. 
Not always are we aware of the causation of our illness. After many years of suffering it may be lost on us what had actually caused our dis-ease in the first place.
This “never been well since” phenomenon is a crucial aspect in the homeopathic consultation. Becoming aware of what caused our problem initially will help to figure out a homeopathic remedy that will relate to the situation back to where the problem started, even if it has been a very long time ago. 
Such traumas can range from near drowning incidents, an unresolved relationship, the death of a beloved person or pet, to a hurtful comment that somebody once made. No matter how small or huge the trauma caused may be if it still feels like “this was the moment in my life when my health deteriorated” then this situation needs healing.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder that can develop after a horrific event. Also migraine headaches, stomach ulcers and other conditions can be caused by one single event that we just couldn’t recover from.
Often clients are not aware of what has caused their discomfort. It is then our job as homeopaths to gently unravel the trauma that has been wrapped up in layer and layers of bubble wrap. One might think now “Why not leave all this trauma tucked away in the closet?” That would be absolutely fine if the person remains in a happy and healthy state. If that monster in the closet peaks its head out every now and then though and is creating havoc in a subtle and detrimental way, it is time to do something about it.

Newspaper article in august 2016 - Painting the picture



Matching a homeopathic remedy with the case of a client can be like painting a picture. In an acute situation where we a have few but clear symptoms the picture can be rather small but the more precise the symptoms are described the clearer the image will be. Any unusual symptoms and telling us of when, how and where the symptoms occur defined by the stroke of the brush. The more information the more colour and lucidity the whole image will have.
When working with clients with chronic illnesses the picture is a lot more complex. It rarely emerges as a clear picture after one consultation. For any person to be aware of their own feelings, physical state and cause of their un-wellness it can take a long time to understand how they arrive at that junction. Only then do the brush strokes become neat and defined.
If you were asked to paint your life story in just one picture, would you know what to do? You are given a white canvas: you can choose any materials, colours and brushes you like. The goal is not to create something beautiful and it is not even important to finish it. It is an exercise to see how much we are aware about our selves, our past, our present and our life. 
It is very common that people only mention a small portion of a their life story in the first consultation. Often people don’t find it relevant to talk about certain issues, especially emotional issues when they come for a physical complaint. The body and mind connection is the way our body responds to how we think, feel and act. If we are for example stressed, fearful or sad, our body will sooner or later let us know through physical symptoms that it needs help. We, as homeopaths, can help guide a person to that awareness.
As soon as we become more and more aware, long forgotten memories and experiences can be added to the picture. We are then able to look at our life, learn to accept our past and let healing take it’s place.

Newspaper article in July 2016 - Winter blues



We are well and truly into winter now with more and more snow falling in the mountains and frequent crisp winter mornings.
For some people cold weather and reduced sunshine hours can throw them into a downward spiral with their energy decreasing, feeling irritable and lethargic. Changes in sleep patterns and craving carbohydrates or “comfort food” can lead to weight gain as well as a deep feeling of loneliness.
These winter blues are also called Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and can be more or less debilitating. The further away people live from the equator, the more people are affected by this disorder. It is believed that SAD occurs because of our decreased exposure to sunlight. 
Lack of sunlight does reduce the production of certain hormones (Serotonin and Melatonin) that regulate our mood as well as sleep. 
Walking for 35 minutes a day at least five days a week can improve symptoms of mild to moderate depression. Spending time outside on sunny days also helps soaking up Vitamin D that our body provides once exposed to natural sunlight.  Taking a Vitamin D3 supplement may also improve mood in Seasonal Affective Disorder patients.
Every person that does struggle with winter blues symptoms will have different symptoms. 
In Homeopathy we match the symptoms of the individual person with the remedy picture of the homeopathic medicine. One homeopathic remedy we may choose to combat winter blues may suit a person that is generally restless, sensitive to cold and wet weather and has a tendency to joint pain and stiffness which improves with movement. This remedy would suit a person that is generally quite cheerful but can get quite irritable, frustrated and morose from the end of autumn until the start of spring. Another remedy often used this time of the year suits more the gentle, sensitive type person who find that her moods change quite often. That person would appreciate comfort and support from close friends and relatives when feeling down and also would find it difficult to make decisions by herself. One remedy often prescribed suits a person that feels the cold very much, especially during clear, dry and cold days. They do feel slightly better – emotionally and physically – on milder, wet weather days. Another remedy worth considering suits someone who doesn’t cope well with any change in temperature or weather. They need the sunshine to feel alive and well and tend to become depressed during cold, dark and cloudy days.

Newspaper article in June 2016 - Difficulties losing weight



Almost one third of New Zealanders over the age of 15 are considered overweight or obese.
Losing weight has become an ever increasing battle in today's society. In cases where the weight issue is food and drink related and people simply don't take enough care of themselves their poor diet choices will eventually lead to health risks such as diabetes, heart conditions and other serious illnesses.
But what about those people that eat healthily and in appropriate amounts but still carry too much weight. There are plenty of overweight health conscious people who would have tried all sorts of diets and fitness programs that may have helped them lose a little weight but not in the long run.
Some people do really well on weight loss programs while others tend to lose weight only to later put it back on again and gain more.
What is often not taken into consideration is the reason behind the extra weight we are carrying around. Often it is some emotional trauma we are holding onto and haven't been able to let go of.
The first step to getting rid of that "old baggage" is to become aware of it. It might have been shelved for many years at the back of our sub conscience, never to be dug out again. The second step then becomes a choice. Do I want to hold on to my baggage or am I ready to let it go. What was happening in your life when you first started putting on the extra kilos? Was there some trauma that may have led you to compensate the emotional pain with snacking on foods you desire? Or could the overeating be some form of self punishment from lack of self worth? There are so many possibilities why a diet change has not been successful in your attempt of losing weight.
A homeopathic consultation can help figuring out where the cause of the weight issue might be. A well chosen homeopathic remedy will then guide you through dealing with whatever emotion presents itself while going through the process of self-awareness and letting go. Many people choose homeopathic treatment in conjunction with a personalized weight loss program and an exercise program. The weight loss goal has to be set realistically to avoid predictable failure and disappointment. If you are overweight but eating healthily, choose to let go of "the old stuff". We are here to help you along the way.

Tanja Baker is a qualified and experienced Homeopath, Natural Health Practitioner and Massage Therapist working from the Napier Acupuncture clinic and her clinic in Te Awanga.

Newspaper article in June 2016 - Pregnancy



Pregnancy should be one of the most exciting times in any woman's life but for some expectant mothers in can be a challenging period. 
Some women have delightfully easy pregnancies whilst others have degrees of physical unpleasantries and or emotional imbalances that may require some form of treatment.
Many pregnant women prefer to use natural medicines to ease their complaints and to protect their unborn child. Homeopathy is often the treatment by choice for many because it is a proven safe medicine for the pregnant mum and her unborn child. Homeopathy is safe to use during pregnancy, childbirth, the post natal period and breastfeeding.
It works quickly and is effective for many symptoms and conditions that may occur. Physiological changes within the progress of pregnancy require constant readjusting and rebalancing. Every pregnant woman will experience different complaints and the totality of all her physical and emotional symptoms will match a particular homeopathic remedy.
Homeopathy will also complement other forms of treatment and medicine systems such as prescription medication,acupuncture,osteopathy to name a few.
Before a baby is conceived Homeopathy can ensure that both partners are at their best health mentally, physically and emotionally. Conception is a time where man and woman have the chance to pass on their genes to the baby in their optimal state. 
Your local homeopath can put an individualised homeopathic remedy kit together with instructions on when to take which remedy for pregnancy niggles or supply a "Birthing Kit". These kits are great to have on hand before, during and after birth.
Morning sickness, muscle cramps, heart burn, achy legs and back, varicose veins and tiredness are some of the possible "niggles" that can safely be treated with Homeopathy. 
Recommendations for relief of Morning Sickness in addition to Homeopathy:

  • Eating small amounts of food frequently
  • Salty crackers and ginger drinks can relieve nausea
  • Drinking plenty of herbal teas and water
  • A light snack to eat in bed before getting up in the morning

Taking walks, getting enough fresh air, resting and relaxing whenever possible and keeping up with mineral supplementation will also help promote a healthy pregnancy.

Newspaper article in April 2016 - Sports injuries



In my other life I tend to drive my two teenaged sons from one sporting activity to the next and keeping a well-stocked supply of homeopathic sport remedies, ointments and bandages on hand has been invaluable.
From the word “Go” bumps and bruises have been part of their growing up. 

Many people choose to use Arnica as a cream or tablet/pill homeopathically for initial trauma and bruises. It’s certainly useful to have Arnica in your First Aid Kit and as the initial remedy to give in case of an injury. It will reduce pain and swelling, reabsorb bruises and speed up healing in the first phase of recovery. Plus it helps with emotional as well as physical shock.

If the injury is more than just superficial bruising another homeopathic remedy may be needed to assist with possible ligament, tendon or deep tissue repair. In case of a more serious injury such as concussion, broken bones, tennis elbow etc. homeopathic remedies can still be taken alongside other medical treatment. 

Homeopathy can improve performance in an athlete as well as speed up recovery. It can’t replace common sense though: If your injury is serious seek an appropriate practitioner’s advice. If you experience pain during exercise – Stop. 
Eating healthy food, hydrating frequently and scheduling rest periods will also help to prevent injury and speed up recovery. 
An individually chosen homeopathic remedy can improve the athlete’s performance by addressing possible anxiety or confidence issues.  

Having a homeopathic Sports kit handy and taking a remedy soon after the injury increases your chance of a speedy recovery.
Knowing around half a dozen homeopathic remedies and their uses can be a useful tool for any sports person. Your local homeopath can set you up with a basic kit and advise you on how and when to take the remedies.

Many successful athletes including the German National Football team use Homeopathy for prevention and treatment of sports injuries on a regular basis. 

Tanja Baker is a qualified and experienced Homeopath, Natural Health Practitioner and Massage Therapist working from the Napier Acupuncture clinic and her clinic in Te Awanga.

Newspaper article March 2016 - Anxiety and Panic attacks



Have you ever had sudden breathing difficulties, heart palpitations or felt faint? Or have you been breaking out in cold sweat, having to dash to the toilet a lot or had a complete mind block when put in a new situation?
You are not alone. It is estimated that more than 25% of all New Zealanders experience anxiety to some degree at some stage in their life.
Anxiety is a common complaint in patients that come to see me in my clinic. The reasons and causes why people suffer from anxiety are all different, which is why Homeopathy can be so helpful because it treats the individual with their unique symptoms rather than suppressing the symptoms of general anxiety.
Symptoms can vary from nervousness to full-blown panic attacks. Some people struggle being in crowds, some find it difficult driving a car whilst others can’t even leave their home. 
Some anxiety is short-term and may disappear as soon as a stressful situation such as giving a public speech is resolved. Long-term anxiety can lead to muscle tension, migraines and more serious medical conditions.
Anxiety symptoms can last for hours or days and can have a big impact on your work life, family life and social life. There is also a link to depression as long-term anxiety can get people quite down and knock their self-confidence. Other common emotions that people with anxiety experience can be fear of failure and loneliness.
There are a number of homeopathic medicines that have anxiety or nervousness in their remedy picture and to decide which one will be best suited for you a Homeopath will ask questions to work out what homeopathic medicine is best suited to you. 
Sometimes it takes a few consultations for patients to realize what is causing their anxiety in the first place and it is that awareness that will help overcome their problem.  
Having experienced anxiety myself, I know that there is a lot that can be done to help overcome those feelings and Homeopathy is one way of treating anxiety that is well worth trying.
Coping mechanisms such as relaxation techniques or exercise can be helpful but if anxiety is reducing your quality of life and you are struggling to control and manage these intense emotions it is time to seek help. 
Tanja Baker is a qualified and experienced Homeopath, Natural Health Practitioner and Massage Therapist working in Napier and Te Awanga.