What Can we Learn from Poison Ivy


Health has to be considered not as a stable state but dynamic state. Loss of balance is an invitation to resolve deeper underlying problems and to grow in consciousness to a deeper understanding of the purpose of life and to attain a higher energetic level.  Therefore, the purpose of therapy is no longer to obtain a stable healthy state, but to engage in a process of growth on the physical, emotional mental and spiritual level.

          -Tinus Smits, MD

We tend to think of poison ivy as a rash, an itch from a plant that attacks us or we suffer from. Yet, it’s actually a really great metaphor for the way in which wounds affect us. We receive and suffer pain from our experience of being out in the world. While most people don’t want poison ivy and don’t like to get it, when poison ivy turns into homeopathic remedy called Rhus Toxicodendron, it becomes a very powerful healing tool.
RemediesWhen Tinus Smith worked with it, he uncovered the universal experience of healing from having suffered, a pain, or a wound that we carry around. The wound becomes something that we dwell on, we keep with us such that it becomes part of our body armor. Because we have this persistent experience of this pain, we tend to not be able to sit still. We keep moving, trying to alleviate our suffering. So the remedy, Rhus Tox, as the Inspiring Homeopathy remedy is about resolving old traumas and allowing those feelings that go along with having received trauma a vent, to act out and to integrate.

Based on my own experience of having taken Rhus Tox as part of the Journey of Inspiring Homeopathy, and using this remedy with clients for 28 years, I’ve watched people unravel their traumas of the past with this remedy. When any of us have the experience of having been threatened or abused, emotionally, physically, and we carry this experience around—Rhus Tox helps one integrate and heal these wounds. What makes this experience so potent is that often it brings up these feelings of repressed or expressed anger.  They may not know they’re angry. But often there’s a way that that anger pervades their approach to life. That could be a sense of feeling mistreated. It could be not being able to forgive. It could be being hateful and mistrusting. It could be the tendency to swear or suspicious or a sense that something bad is going to happen.

shutterstock_162316025In general, it’s interesting to see that this place we call home, our body temple, becomes uncomfortable. So in a way, I don’t trust my own experience. And  there’s this incessant desire to move, to go away, to ride, to travel, to walk, to be outside, to be out of the constrictions of our daily sense of home. I don’t trust my experience, I can’t settle, just being present. The feeling is that there’s really no escape. I’m on the move all the time. It’s just exhausting thinking about it.

The keynote of this state is that when I’m in that journey, I’m on that move, I feel better. As soon as I stop, up comes the suspicion, up pops those wounds again. So I often see this remedy for someone that keeps coming back to having suffered unjustly. They keep pointing at what someone’s done to them, how their body isn’t doing the right thing. There is a persistence of a feeling that this wasn’t supposed to happen or how unfair this is that I had to have this experience.

shutterstock_161224193This universal sense of that I’ve suffered reminds me of the work of Arnold Mindell in the Dreambody where he offers the perspective that every pain has two sides. Every pain has a giver and a receiver. Often we focus on the receiver, I receive that pain or I’m a victim to that pain. We consciously or unconsciously have a sense that my experience of being in my body I am a victim to. My symptoms, my headache, my pain, my stiffness, my swelling, my own being, by having these symptoms, I blame something. But what Mindell suggests is that every symptom also has a giver. That symptom is part of us that is saying something that’s giving us information. So my physical sensations, emotions, feelings, are actually information about what my experience is like, and we can learn from rather than squash it down. We can start to integrate these elements of my experience as part of me. That’s a key thing. It’s often that we see our physical and emotional issues as not me, something I want to get rid of, something I’m uncomfortable with. However, it’s all me. I am both my healthy state, my happy state, my calm state, and I am also my suffering and my experience that’s having pain.

So through the use or Rhus Tox, the fifth remedy in the Journey of Inspiring Homeopathy, we start to make friends with that element of self, with my scars, and my wounds. I can begin to feel into that stiffness and that hurt. Rather than saying, “That’s not me,” I can begin to say, “Oh, that’s me too. Can I love myself? Can I forgive myself? Can I start to integrate my past experiences as if those are the bruises, those are the calluses that created me for who I am,  that actually help shape me into the soulful person that I’ve grown up to be?”
Working with poison ivy, Rhus Tox, in a therapeutic setting of the Journey of Inspiring Homeopathy offers a profound experience of integrating self, including not just the happy parts of me but also the parts of me that have suffered, those wounds that still linger that I tiptoe into and say, “Ha, I’d like to know more about me.”

I invite you to journey with me in the Journey of Inspiring of Homeopathy. I’ll be beginning another journey in April, and you can find out more on my website, www.InspiringHomeopathy.com and at the Teleosis Institute. I look forward to becoming whole with you.


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