The following article involves a patient from my practice, and exemplifies the body-mind connection, our body’s self-healing abilities, and how insight into our coping style helps us tailor a treatment designed to nurture our nature to facilitate healing. It also highlights an attitude toward dis-ease that is ruled by mindfulness rather than fear, promoting curiosity and a willingness to change, rather than mere avoidance.

Jane (for the sake of anonymity her name is fictitious) is a 33 year old woman who sought my help a year ago concerning recurring bladder infections, during which time she suffered from pain and urinary frequency. At its worst, there were sharp excruciating pains in the urethra, like a pinching, accompanied by a dull ache in her back, exhaustion, and chills. She felt constant pressure in her bladder, and at least every ¼ hour she needed to relieve herself, with a need to void even just after voiding.

“It pisses me off. I am constantly on antibiotics, yet the problem keeps getting worse. I can’t go anywhere or do anything without first knowing where the bathroom is. It’s unnerving; I can’t get much accomplished, and there’s a lot of anxiety about having an accident, that I won’t be able to reach the bathroom in time.”

Her problems began some years ago while working as a caterer for the film industry, what she describes as an over-demanding, exhausting, draining job. During this time, she would often work non-stop for 37-40 hrs, and had difficulty taking care of her own physical needs, not taking any breaks to rest or to go to the bathroom, doing whatever it took to get the job done at her body’s expense. Working 40 hours non-stop was nerve-wracking, which lead to difficulties falling asleep, always feeling on edge while wondering whether she could cater to all the demands from her clients. This lead to sleep problems which, which lead to fatigue, which she feels contributed to her tendency toward bladder infections.

When asked to elaborate on “pissed off”, she describes feeling grumpy and joyless, but keeps it inside. “No one knows that I’m not feeling well. When people are rude or selfish or irritated, I may feel like yelling, but that’s not nice, it’s rude, and I don’t want to piss anyone off.
I know I’m too accommodating, but I’m afraid of putting anyone out, and go out of my way to cater to everyone’s demands, no matter at what cost. I can’t stand conflict. I’m afraid of letting my anger out, that if I did I’d end up crying and feeling embarrassed.

When asked to elaborate on her aversion to conflict, she says it has to do with her upbringing and that despite years of psychotherapy she still struggles with it. “There was a lot of fighting in the family, between my parents who were loud and strong personalities. My way of coping was to accommodate everyone, protecting my brother or my mother when they fought with my father. I just wanted peace at all cost, and that’s become my coping style.

Listening to our body:
When a baby cries, do we ignore it or tell it be quiet? Our body is our baby, to be approached with love and curiosity. What is it trying to tell us? Our approach to symptoms can be either loving or fearful. When ruled by fear, we tend to do everything to get rid of the symptoms, even if the side-effects are more harmful than the actual condition!
Nurturing our life force

We humans are a sophisticated, integrated and dynamic being manifesting our vitality either through health or dis-ease. In the holistic tradition of Chinese Medicine, this mysterious vital energy that runs us is called Qui(chi), while in Ayurvedic Medicine they call it Prana. In the homeopathic tradition, we call it Vital Force.

As a holistic practitioner, I am trained to interpret what the Vital Force is asking for when it manifests itself as dis-ease, recognizing and honoring the gist of the message as teacher and motivator. The psychology of Jane’s bladder infections is that when she’s “pissed off”, her obsolete coping style keeps her in avoidance mode; fear of conflict rules her coping style, robbing her vitality, predisposing her to dis-ease. In order to help her shift and evolve, I offered a homeopathic medicine that would help enhance resilience and resilience toward conflict, freeing up her life force to help heal her bladder.

Plant, animal, or mineral?
Because she was so sensitive to conflict, I chose a homeopathic preparation from the plant kingdom (mineral remedies are more about structure and a feeling of deficiency in oneself. Remedies made of an animal substance are more about competition and survival). Staphysagria (delphinium) is a lovely flowering plant growing in many a North American garden. Its nature is suitable to those of us who are hyper-sensitive to rudeness, priding ourselves on our gentleness at the risk of suppressing our "uncivilized" anger. Bladder problems are commonly seen in this personality type.

Over the following year, Jane needed to take Staphysagria only a few times. She almost immediately noticed an inner strength and calmness, and as her courage increased her ability to deal with conflict in a more empowered way improved. The bladder infections became less frequent and less painful, and then subsided entirely, and she required no more antibiotics. Her sleep improved, as did her overall energy. Her new found positivity about herself helped her recognize that she was unhappy in her work and with her life partner. Her ability to stand up for herself helped her find a more appealing work space, and she became clearer in communicating what she wanted from her partner, which dramatically enhanced the quality of her relationship, leading to better sleep and a happier life experience.

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Julek Meissner, N.D. has 30 years of experience in holistic health care.

After receiving his BA in anthropology from the University of Victoria in 1978, he went on to study naturopathic medicine, graduating from NCNM (National College of Naturopathic Medicine) in Portland, Oregon, in 1983. His passion for homeopathic medicine as a tool for helping us heal and evolve knows no bounds, and he has studied cutting edge homeopathic techniques with many of the world’s finest homeopaths both in Europe and in.

How we approach our symptoms determines how quickly we heal. Judged as a problem, we do everything to get rid of them, often at the expense of our overall wellbeing. Viewed as our body’s invitation to care for ourselves better in order to return to balance, symptoms can teach us what our deepest nature needs to promote our evolution. A homeopathic medicine tailored to nurture our nature is then chosen, awakening our life force, the most powerful therapeutic healing tool available to us, enhancing the quality of our life experience.

Julek emphasizes mindfulness as a fundamental lifestyle skill for self-mastery. He continuously researches the writings of mindfulness experts such as John Kabat-Zin (Wherever You Go There You Are, Full Catastrophe Living), Daniel Siegel (The Mindful Therapist, Parenting from the Inside Out), and Marsha Lucas (Rewire Your Brain for Love). Much of his practice revolves around counseling, lifestyle coaching, and appreciating the body-mind-spirit connection.

At the age of 13 Julek was deeply influenced by reading Paramahansa Yogananda’s Autobiography of a Yogi. He has been fortunate to study meditation under many remarkable spiritual teachers, including Yogi Bhajan, Pir Vilayat Khan, Sant Darshan Singh, and most recently his Kriya Yoga teacher, Swami Shri Yogi Satyam. He applies all that he has learned from these Masters toward helping himself and others on the journey toward self-mastery.

Julek is happily married, and a father of 3 children. He has been in private practice in Canada's capital since 2000. As a naturopathic doctor, his services are covered by most private group insurance plans. Check out his other articles on children's health, women's health, stress management, mindfulness, headaches, etc, by visiting his website,