Restoring Impaired Connections - the Cerebellum and Agaricus Muscarius
Over the years as a practising homeopath, I have observed the struggle that children in current society face due to the evident reduction in unstructured and adventurous play which has been increasingly denied them. This manifests in more and more cases of compromised balance and core strength weakness. It further affects healthy levels of muscular strength and endurance.
According to Angela Hanscom, a paediatric occupational therapist and author of the book 'Balanced and Barefoot: How Unrestricted Outdoor Play Makes for Strong, Confident and Capable Children', (1), "the vestibular system located inside our inner ear, is responsible for our sense of balance and spatial awareness. It also plays an important role in focus and attention, visual skills, and emotional regulation".
She goes on to state "This sense is key to all the other senses. If that is not working right, it can affect everything. Children are naturally driven to move in all sorts of ways during unstructured outdoor play. They climb things, they chase one another, they jump from high places, they spin until they get dizzy. That wide array of movement helps develop a well-functioning vestibular system, along with countless other important physical and mental skills. The reduction in movement is not just leaving children with undeveloped vestibular and proprioceptive systems, but it is also making them physically weaker". It's possible this is exacerbated in today's technological age, because screens seem to substitute for outdoor play while parents are increasingly reluctant to allow their children the freedom to explore and thereby develop their faculties.
This whole scenario reminds me very strongly of the remedy - Agaricus Muscarius - also known as Fly Agaric - a plant carrying mystical qualities throughout history. It acts mainly on the brain structure known as 'the cerebellum' to do with agility and balance, as well as supporting coordination. If undermined, all these aspects combine together, leading to delayed thinking and speech, as well as unformed handwriting. When damage occurs to this structure, the patient becomes disconnected and cannot learn regular routines. In the type of dyslexia complying with this remedy picture, the patient will describe the letters actually jumping out of the page. There seems to be a 'dis-connect' between the way the words are seen and how the brain interprets this visual information. The technical name for this condition is Meares-Irlen syndrome, (2). It can occur in isolation or alongside States on the Spectrum such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, autism, and dyspraxia as well as epilepsy, myalgic encephalitis, and multiple sclerosis. Given that there is often a background of dyspraxia in Agaricus - one can perceive a lack of spatial awareness running through this remedy which translates into the way messages are received through the senses.
There is an issue in this remedy with the lack of conscious reflection observed through the visual field as well as auditory channels. A condition called 'auditory processing disorder' has recently been identified, where a similar dis-connect occurs, (3). This is because the same brain structures are likely to be compromised as in the visual field.
There may be a background of alcoholism in a parent or a history of punishment in the Agaricus patient. Anger can escalate to a point where strength is increased, as seen in the remedy - Lyssin. Both Agaricus and Lyssin are very easily offended and affected by reproaches - these aspects can provoke the type of responses mentioned here.
In one specific case, I placed the rubric 'chaotic, behaviour' first in the hierarchy of symptoms for analysis even though this related to the mother's state during pregnancy rather than that directly of the presenting patient. It is so easy to overlook this vital aspect, bearing in mind that so much of a case is 'informed' during the actual embryonic stage of life.
Sleepwalking is another key feature of Agaricus - in order for this to develop, the trauma layer must be marked to create the 'soil' contributing to this phenomenon. In cases where this is a feature, there is often a history of suppression of expression of emotions in the background. This early trauma is often unidentified and unarticulated, which feeds into the learning difficulties so commonly seen in this remedy (4).
I believe Agaricus Muscarius could be a major remedy with the increasingly evident challenge our children are currently facing with the type of background in the history mentioned above.
(1) Angela Hanscom, (2016), 'Balanced and Barefoot. How Unrestricted Outdoor Play Makes for Strong, Confident and Capable Children', New Harbinger.
(2) Meares-Irlen Syndrome, www.dyslexiasw.com/advice/all-about-dyslexia/meares-irlen-syndrome.
(3) Auditory Processing Disorder, www.nhs.uk/conditions/auditory-processing-disorder/Pages/Introduction.aspx.
4) Elizabeth Adalian, 'Touching Base with Trauma: Reaching Across the Generations - A Three-Dimensional Homeopathic Perspective', 2017, Writersworld.