– THOMAS E
Some remedies are well known for their effect of delaying the onset of fatigue and aiding recovery from exercise. Use them with care because it is possible that the vital force can respond by insisting that the organism rests immediately and for as long as it needs to recover. I have known someone given Arnica for his tiredness to fall asleep immediately. He woke one hour later, full of life and thoroughly recovered. The following remedies will help prevent fatigue:
Every participant in long distance endurance events of any sort will benefit from taking one tablet of Arnica 30c before and after the event, and at any time that he feels exhaustion coming on during the event. It will delay the onset of fatigue and promote recovery. Typically the person who will respond best to Arnica is the one who denies he needs it and says he feels fine.
Dosage: One Arnica 30c before and after an event, and at any time it is needed.
This remedy is especially useful for exhaustion and fatigue generated by performing at altitude, but will also work at sea level. Mental and physical prostration from exertion. Exhaustion is mostly felt in the muscles. The mental prostration can alternate with a sense of exhilaration. There may be a loss of the sense of right and wrong. If an athlete who is given to silly and irrational lapses in behaviour at sea level intends competing above about 5,000 feet he should take Coca before doing so. It will prevent fatigue, and may help his control.
Dosage: One Coca 6c, followed by one Coca 30c when needed, and one Coca 200c at any time it is needed. This combination should not be repeated until some days have elapsed after the event and the athlete or dancer has rested and recovered.
At altitude give one Coca 30c before the first event, and repeated as necessary until the athlete feels fully acclimatised to altitude.
One dose of this remedy has the ability to enable a person to exercise without fatigue. More than two doses will produce intense torpor and tiredness. It should only be used if the athlete or dancer is exhausted yet needs absolutely to continue. The person who will respond best to Piper Methysticum is someone who is highly strung and excitable, cheerful, enjoys dancing and entertainment, and eats hurriedly. Then suddenly he becomes bored, solitary, irritable, dull and sleepy, seemingly without cause. He has a headache, is restless, very sleepy during the day but sleepless at night, and very weak.
Dosage: One Piper Methysticum 6c when it is needed. Do not repeat!
Combination Remedy: Calcarea Phosphorica, Magnesia Phosphorica and Kali Phosphoricum
These three low potency remedies in combination have the reputation for increasing awareness, response to stimuli and endurance. The combination can be so powerful that it must be followed by another tissue salt, Natrum Phosphoricum, to enable the athlete to calm down and rest following the event.
Dosage: Calc. Phos., Magnesia Phos. and Kali Phos., all in the 6x potency: one of each before an event or performance. Follow this by Natrum Phos. 6x when the event is over.
Anxiety and Stress
A certain amount of anxiety before a performance is essential. The acceptable level of anxiety for each athlete or performer is a uniquely individual matter, but no-one performs well unless they are nervous. It is the high state of arousal generated by the big occasion that produces the great performance. When there is insufficient anxiety the performance may not reach the athlete’s optimum level.
There is, however, a price to be paid for over-arousal. Over-anxiety depresses performance. When the anxiety becomes too much for the athlete, then there is a significant deterioration. Personal expectations and ambitions, and the expectations of family, coaches, sponsors and the public, the additional, stresses of long-term competition (for example a long cricket tour), minor injuries, the stress of high-level competition, jet lag and loss of sleep can all contribute to anxiety, reaching proportions which cause a drop-off in performance. Stage-fright before an important performance is often experienced by dancers.
Mental and Emotional Balance
The successful person functions in a balanced way which enables them to achieve a level of stress that stimulates better performance. This balance is the same as that achieved by a healthy vital force. The organism is capable of functioning at its highest potential on all levels without adverse effects to the organism. It is a sign of imbalance when the athlete or dancer succumbs to overanxiety or infection after a long and strenuous competition or training programme.
Assessing and prescribing the constitutional remedy will enable the vital force to maintain its balance under even the most strenuous circumstances. This will be the best remedy for overanxiety.
A dancer’s performance is not only physical. It is essentially expressive, artistic, interpretative and controlled. Performance demands that the dancer prepares with relaxation, meditation and mental preparation for the predominantly artistic elements of the performance. Many dancers, however, report panic attacks on stage, blanking-out in performance, being unable to move or else a sensation as if wading through glue. A remedy that helps the dancer overcome the anxiety and nerves should help with the artistic element of performance.
Remedies for Anxiety
There are a few remedies that have the reputation for calming anxiety, especially in anticipation of an ordeal. Taken with care, they should improve performance by reducing tension and increasing the potential for relaxation.
Warning: Although they do not have side effects and cannot be detected by conventional drug tests, these powerful medicines can sometimes work too effectively and reduce anxiety to below optimum levels. Coaches and performers should work together to find exactly the right level of remedy and dosage for the best results. It is very difficult to ‘self-prescribe’ homoeopathic remedies successfully for essentially mental and emotional problems or symptoms such as anxiety. One has to be objective when choosing the remedy, and it would be advisable to consult a qualified homoeopath in these circumstances.
For the athlete or dancer who is nervous, impulsive, hurried and anxious. Dreads ordeals, and fears impending failure. Imagines minor illnesses. Imagines accidents and injuries vividly. Visualises them. Nervous headache. Anxiety affects the digestive system and performance. Diarrhoea before an event. It may be frequent, immediately after eating or drinking. Active thoughts prevent sleep. Sleep is very restless with horrid dreams. Craves sugar and sweets.
Dosage: One Argentum Nitricum 200c the night before, and one an hour before an event.
Anxiety in response to expectations of others. Becomes breathless, weak and restless. Cannot live up to expectations, and becomes full of fear and nervousness as a result. This person is obsessive about routine and very superstitious about everything being exactly right. Has a reputation for fastidiousness, and may exasperate other people by demands that everything is exactly right. Very restless. Moves from place to place, chair to chair, or bed to bed. Sleep is disturbed and anxious. Gets up and moves around. Trembling in limbs with nervousness. Very thirsty for sips of cold drinks. May be sick with anxiety.
Dosage: One Arsenicum Album 200c the night before, and one an hour before an event.
This remedy is almost a specific one for dancers. Anxiety increases with each event or performance, and experience does little to resolve it. The long-term buildup of excitement and anticipation results in a final attack of uncontrollable anxiety and nervousness, and a feeling of having lost control over the senses. Self-confidence disappears. Support and kind words worsen the state, and he avoids conversation. Fears failure, yet is convinced that he will fail, and suffers from inner conflict. A notoriously bad sleeper, not only before an event. More fastidious about details, cleanliness and punctuality (especially) than Arsenicum Album, but less concerned with routines. An athlete or dancer whose achievements are the culmination of long preparation by parents and coach since childhood. Conscious of the effort and cost of their training.
Dosage: One Carcinosin 200c a few days before an event.
Overanxiety causes the muscles to become weak, tired, heavy and uncoordinated. The motor nerves are affected, causing loss of function and tension during normally relaxed and intuitive actions. The athlete or dancer may become totally relaxed to the level of prostration. Too anxious to perform at all. Urinates frequently and feels better. Really dreads the event. Wants to be left alone and quiet. Becomes solitary. Answers questions very slowly, as if in a daydream. Brooding and worried. Develops flu-like symptoms; cold, shivering, heavy-eyed, aching joints, in anticipation of event or performance.
Dosage: One Gelsemium 200c the night before, and one an hour before an event.