By Mina Weight – Homeopath at IMI Hong Kong
You may be surprised to hear that a number of top athletes use homeopathy to help them maintain their highest levels of fitness. These include 100m world record holder Usain Bolt, former England football team captain and global icon David Beckham, British sprinter James Ellington, and 1992 Olympic 100m gold medallist Linford Christie to name but a few.
“I’ve been coming here since I was 16,” Usain Bolt said at a press conference in Munich, referring to his German homeopathic physician. Bolt was born with scoliosis, a curvature of the lower spine, which makes him more susceptible to back pain and injuries.2 “It’s been a long relationship. Every time I have a problem, he always gives good advice and treatments. He’s the best at what he does. We are very close.”
“My health is my top priority, from eating a balanced diet to the types of medicine I use,” said James Ellington. “Training six times a week is incredibly demanding and it’s more important than ever to keep my body in the best possible condition. Homeopathy offers me a positive and natural way to prevent sporting ailments such as exertion, muscular pain and aching joints, without any residual effects on my performance.”
“I use remedies such as Ruta grav, which helps treat sprained ligaments, Gelsemium for pre-race jitters, Arnica for bruising and Bellis perennis to treat exertion. They all offer athletes a natural alternative to traditional and sometimes harmful medicines.”3
Homeopathic medicines, also known as remedies, have been used for hundreds of years to treat a wide range of health conditions as well as sports injuries. According to WHO, Homeopathy is the second largest system of medicine in the world with a growth rate of 20-25% every year.4 In the area of Sports Therapy Homeopathy’s popularity has been growing.
Homeopathic medicine does not produce side effects, nor interfere with standard medical treatment. The right remedy enables a quicker recovery, reduces inflammation, heals bruising and sprained muscles, which in turn gets the athletes back to training and performing sooner.
Homeopathic medicine is made from extremely small quantities of nanoparticles of substances extracted from plants, animals or minerals. The remedies are highly diluted that in chemistry and physics it is difficult to objectively measure the effects of those diluted remedies in the human body. Neither do these active ingredients show up in any rigorous drug testing undertaken by athletes. Homeopathic medicine is approved by the International Olympic Committee. The world anti-doping agency (WADA) considers homeopathic remedies free of restriction, unless they have been produced from substances listed as prohibited.
The most well-known Homeopathic remedy is Arnica Montana. This humble mountain plant is traditionally used for bruising and muscle soreness, as well as a wide range of other symptoms.
“I am a fan of Arnica and recommend all the athletes in my Street Athletics programme have it in their kit bag to help with sprains and strains,” said Linford Christie.3
A research published in 2003 studied 82 marathon runners from two separate randomised double-blind placebo-controlled trials. The runners assessed muscular soreness immediately after the marathon run. Runners taken Arnica reported a lower scale in soreness compared to those who were given placebo.5
Other commonly used remedies:
- Ruta graveolens, or Rue, which is commonly used for joint, tendon or cartilage injuries
- Rhus tox, which is used for dislocation, tendonitis, neuritis and arthritis.
- Hypericum, which is used for nerve damage particularly at the extremities like fingertips.
- Symphytum, which is used for bone damage or fractures.
There are over 3000 Homeopathic medicines currently in use of which at least 60 can assist the recovery of musculoskeletal injuries. Homeopathic remedies are light and small and usually come in little sugar balls, with long use-by dates, thus can be packed into the athlete’s first aid box.
Although there are well known remedies for general health concerns, ideally the right homeopathic medicine is chosen based on the individual’s specific symptoms and their constitution. Only after a thorough initial assessment does a homeopath match the most appropriate remedy to the individual.
If an injury has resulted in headaches or referred pain, or numbness or sciatica, then a patient can also benefit from modalities such as, osteopathy or chiropractic to help with mechanical realignment. Naturopathic medicine practitioners can also help in areas of nutrition and supplements to aid recovery and optimise athletic performance.
- Secondary source : https://drjafersadiq.wordpress.com/2016/08/10/why-do-world-famous-athletes-use-homeopathy/
- Transparency Market Research new report entitled “Homeopathic Products Market – Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends and Forecast 2016 – 2024”
- Effect of Arnica D30 in marathon runners. Pooled results from two double-blind placebo-controlled studies. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14587684