Homeopathy for Athletes
Remedies to Address Common Sports Challenges
by Lauri Grossman, DC, CCH, RSHom(NA)
Being physically active is vital to good health, but accidents and injuries are bound to happen. This is where homeopathy can shine. The soccer star David Beckham used homeopathy for his broken foot before competing in the World Cup. James Ellington, the British Olympic sprinter, used homeopathy for muscle and joint pain before his competitions. Champion figure skaters Jayne Torvill and Elvis Stojko used homeopathy for their bruises. These world-class athletes recognized that homeopathic medicines speed healing and get them back in training quickly, and without troublesome side effects.
Arnica, bryonia, hypericum and ruta are go-to remedies for sports injuries. According to the National Institutes of Health, more than 6 million Americans and 200 million people worldwide use homeopathy on a regular basis.
Evaluating sports and activity injuries has changed. The most helpful remedies may turn out to be those that are not typically thought of for sports injuries. A person’s underlying sensitivities may necessitate a different remedy, one that addresses the whole person, even when their chief complaint is a sprain, bump or bruise.
At other times, athletes are looking for ways to get their mind in gear for fierce competitions and extreme training. The following remedies often prove helpful in such situations. These remedies are based on traditional homeopathic practices and have not been evaluated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. For dosages, consult with a local homeopath.
Gelsemium sempervirens can bolster the timid athlete that reports a weak stomach, a jittery feeling and weak knees before the starting gun goes off. It can restore their calm and equilibrium. This remedy can ease performance anxiety in other settings as well; it’s a favorite of actors and musicians to relieve stage fright, and executives choose it to calm nerves before major business deals.
Nux vomica can help the athlete that is irritable, on edge and needs to chill out before climbing onto the racing block. It can also help the super-competitive kid that loses a game and lambasts fellow team members about how their actions led to the loss. Nux vomica helps them become more amenable to the idea that it is not okay to yell at teammates and shift their focus away from the loss and toward enjoyment of their sport.
Aurum metallicum is suited to the intense, idealistic competitor that sets impossibly high goals. From their perspective, it is their duty to win and become depressed if their team does not win. These people, young and old, are hard on themselves. Aurum metallicum can help soften the perspective on winning or losing and shift the mood away from depression. This remedy is also known for its ability to heal headaches that come on after experiencing loss or failure.
Natrum sulphuricum can help the athlete that becomes seriously depressed after sustaining a head injury in football, field hockey or other contact sport. It can also help with other types of mood changes after head injuries, as well as troubling physical symptoms.
Magnesia phosphorica, which is made from magnesium and phosphorus, can help alleviate cramps and muscle spasms that would be improved by heat, such as those earned after a hard workout or challenging day on the golf course. It also offers temporary relief of menstrual cramps.
Cuprum metallicum is another approach to managing sudden cramps, especially those in the limbs, hands and feet.
Arnica, which is made from a type of mountain daisy, assists the athlete and weekend warrior to relieve muscle aches and stiffness, swelling and discoloration from bruises. It is also available in topical gel, cream and ointment forms that may be applied to the affected area.
Lauri Grossman is a chiropractor and certified homeopath in New York City. She has been practicing, teaching and presenting on homeopathy for more than 40 years, and she serves as president of the board of directors for the National Center for Homeopathy, a leader in homeopathic education for 50 years.