The Third Age


Mmmm, what is this?  A polite way of describing advances in age after the menopause in a woman, and/or pre and post retirement from full time paid employment for men and women perhaps?

Okay, most of us hope to reach this stage in life at some point even if at 30 or 40 we could never imagine it.  Reaching it may also come as a bit of a surprise. What happened to all those years and our youth?

Why do we need a separate page on Health Topics for this subject?  All sorts of reasons.  Let’s find a comparison which is not to do with our own ageing process.

We have cars which we regularly pay to have serviced.  Do we expect them to continue to function efficiently without a service?  Do we look after ourselves in the same way by having regular services? Most of the time the answer is an emphatic NO!  Unless of course we have a health crisis of some sort and we are forced to think about our health. Consider that we have used our bodies for many years without thinking about how they run or without looking after them.   We wouldn’t expect a car to run like that.  After years of use (and possibly abuse) our bodies (and maybe our emotions?) could also do with a bit of TLC.  Finding ways of keeping healthy or regaining health is a good idea.  After all, this is probably the point at which if we don’t start looking after ourselves, matters may just deteriorate without us noticing.  Ageing bodies are hard enough to manage anyway so we need to find ways of retaining/ restoring their health as much as possible.

What we want to do is be as fit and healthy as we can.  Homeopathy may help.  In a homeopathic consultation we review all areas of health and wellbeing.  We will be looking at what we put into our bodies, any problems we may feel we are developing, and looking towards the future to keep as well and lively as possible for as long as possible.  Remedies may help with this and so may other adaptations and/or changes to our lifestyle.

On a life happiness level, we may be feeling that now life has calmed down a little.  We may no longer have the same focus and sense of purpose and therefore feel a bit low, or even very low, about the future.  We may worry about our memory and intellect not being as sharp as before, or losing our mobility, or our mobility being restricted in some way.  Looking at what we eat, how we spend our time, what we do and lifestyle, can be very helpful in ensuring the best health and happiness.  Or we might be really low……  Rather than immediately thinking antidepressants for example, are the answer, homeopathy is certainly worth thinking about and trying.  Remedies can help to rebalance you and make you feel better in yourself, and even give you back the motivation for life and living.  Hopefully they can also help by putting off the need for pharmaceutical drugs.

Or we may be very happy and never have felt better, but the odd physical part of our body is not performing as well as we might like.  One example, on a very basic level, is that for the bulk of our lives we have confidence in being able to go to the toilet and pass urine when our body tells us to because the bladder muscle passes messages to the brain telling us when it needs to be emptied.  However, later in life, women, especially if they have been through childbirth, and men, whose prostate gland may have enlarged over the years, may find that this messaging process and/or the sphincter muscles has been weakened, so confidence in being able to make it to the loo on time or empty the bladder effectively may not be quite as good.  Homeopathy has remedies that may help to tone the urinary system, as in this example and save the anxiety and embarrassment.

The effect of a good constitutional remedy should make you feel better in yourself on many levels.  What is there to lose?

Contact Details

How to contact Alison to find out more about Homeopathy

To contact Alison call 01234 315022

Alison is happy to discuss her approach to the consultation with you before you decide to book an appointment.

Appointments are available Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm.

Alison Jones is based in Bedford, she sees homeopathy clients from Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire and Northamptonshire and surrounding areas.

If travelling is difficult for you, Alison offers homeopathy consultations with her clients via telephone or Skype worldwide.

15 Glebe Road, Bedford, MK40 2PL United Kingdom


Introduction to Detoxification 


First and foremost I am a homeopath. That means that I consider the whole person; their mental, emotional and physical characteristics, in deciding what remedy will benefit a patient.  As homeopaths however, we recognise that sometimes there may be something in our patient’s lifestyle that may be affecting their health and we need to address that problem alongside homeopathy as until it is dealt with, the patient cannot recover as well or as quickly as they would have done without it. Problems with allergies and intolerances are discussed under a separate health topic (see banner above).

This page on detoxification is of relevance more for example, for situations such as patients who say that they have never been well since a course of antibiotics; or, that their child did not seem the same after he received a course of drugs, or after an illness such as glandular fever,  or it could be that as part of the preparation for getting pregnant we discover from hair analysis that the patient’s  body has been discharging high levels of metals such as lead which could for example be as a result of  old lead water pipes in their house.

The first thing to do usually on the initial consultation is to start with the constitutional remedy to see the patient’s reaction.  We can then consider whether there is anything in their background which may be an obstacle to them getting better.  So an easy example might be a hair analysis showing what the patient’s body has been getting rid of over the last eight weeks.  If the levels of lead (to follow the example above) are higher than are the recommended considered safety levels, we can give remedies to help the body get rid of that substance faster.  This may be by what we call isopathy: giving lead (the same substance) in safe homeopathic dilution to encourage the body to discharge the offending substance, or by homeopathic remedies which we have found encourage the detoxification process.  We would also look for the cause so that cause, in this case the lead pipes, could be removed or water filters that will filter out most of the lead, be fitted.  Dealing with these issues is especially important before trying to get pregnant as studies have shown that high levels of lead in sperm and/or egg can lead to hyperactivity in children.

A more difficult example would be where the cause of the problem is not clear, or where it could be a number of causes.  In this case the homeopath becomes like a detective in trying to work out when the problem(s) may have started, what may have caused it (them) and then dealing with the most likely possible causes one by one. So if say a patients says they have never been well since antibiotics  we may give a general homeopathic clearing remedy, and  perhaps follow it up with the possible offending cause (in this case the antibiotic in homeopathic dilution), using the principles of isopathy as explained earlier.

A patient’s experience of homeopathy and thoughts on Richard Dawkins

I can feel a rant coming on so you can either leave now or hold on tight and stay for the ride.

This one is for Richard Dawkins and his warped logic which states that because he is an atheist, Homeopathy is merely a health fad and is a waste of time and money.
Well Dawkins put this in your pipe and smoke it.
I have been using homeopathic first aid since my kids were little and they were very happy with the results for bumps, bruises, teething and serious hay fever.
I also used it in that way for myself from my 20’s, relieving sinus and catarrh, sciatica and other irritations.
What I could never get to grips with on my own was treating my ‘constitutional’ ill health which has been with me in one form or another since childhood.
Entering too much information territory here, but I recall having a sluggish bowel since I was 19. I also have low thyroid, and the two are probably not unrelated. But allopathic medicine as practiced by the NHS in its ‘one size fits all’ way had no answers. In fact the doctors told me it was probably all in my head and sent me off into oblivion with a prescription for anti-depressants. Doctors were not allowed to treat my low thyroid because it was not low enough.
They could suggest fibre products but these only addressed the symptoms not the cause and contained lots of other nasty ingredients. They mentioned diet, but I already had that one sorted.
Since I have been consulting my wonderful homeopath Alison Jones Homeopath I no longer have this problem.
I wish I could tell you all to rush out and buy a particular remedy, but what she prescribes according to the rules of homeopathy is particular to the individual. In my case we started with Sulphur and have now moved on to Sycamore Seed and Moxa.
She has also prescribed many other remedies along the way to help me through major life events causing stress, fatigue and extreme grief. All this in addition to dealing with dental abscess, extraction, fillings, hay fever, colds and flu etc. You know the ordinary things that life is made of.
I’m not saying I haven’t made my own contributions to my health and well-being with meditation, therapeutic walking, a very good diet and supplements, but those have never been enough to lift me above the parapet before. Now with homeopathy I can see a future for me that is not all doom and gloom and a slow, downward trajectory into old age.
Hell, I may never work again, but then again who would want to, but at only 57 years I will enjoy the rest of my life to the best of my ability.
Long live homeopathy.

(This is given voluntarily and is my own opinion and experience.  I authorise Alison to use them for the purpose of illustrating how I believe homeopathic treatment has helped me.)

Difficulties adjusting to changing school


Last September [in 2011] my then 11 year old son moved up to secondary school with all the usual anxieties that go with the transition.  He is a sociable, open and confident child in many ways and was excited and ready for the changes ahead.

However, a few weeks in to the new term he started to talk about feeling sick at mealtimes, stomach aches and headaches often and feeling generally unwell.  He started to “confess” to us about things he had said and done that he realised were not his usual behaviour, mainly concerning foul language.  We put this down to “trying to fit in” and spoke to his teachers and the pastoral care team at school about this on an off the record basis as he was getting more and more distressed.

He complained of thoughts in his head calling us names and insults that were hurtful and out of character.  It was brought to a head when he started to be physically sick with worry about what he was thinking.

I had once before used homeopathy myself at a time of crisis and it had worked for me so with the thought that it had to be worth a try and with my son’s desperation to make everything better we approached Alison.

From the first appointment Alison listened and spoke to my son with full attention and understanding.  He totally engaged with her and opened up to the questions asked.  As it seems the remedies treat the whole of the person some of the questions seemed random but he sought to find answers to a whole variety of issues.  At the end of that first meeting my son felt extremely unburdened and a remedy was given to him.

The thoughts and worries did not disappear overnight, indeed he was a little worse before he started to improve.

We had regular appointments for a few months and there was a definite change in my son as his confidence grew.

He has learned to deal with the emotions he felt at that time and put them behind him.  He has won several awards during the first year and has been pinpointed by many of his teachers as being a wonderful child.

When the new year began in September I was a little nervous as I knew there would be more and more changes and indeed more work to be done.  My son confirmed that he did not feel that he needed Alison’s help again at the moment but he knows that if he starts to feel anxious again we would not hesitate to go back for a further consultation.

Thank you Alison for your help in making us all understand ways to assist my son get through this difficult time.  He will always be a “worrier” no doubt but he now has the tools to cope.

I can confirm that this testimonial is given voluntarily and is my own opinion and experience.  I authorise Alison to us this for the purpose of illustrating how I believe homeopathic treatment has helped my son.

Influenza vaccine


If you’re thinking about having the influenza vaccine, the independent Cochrane Collaboration produced a meta analysis of the efficacy of various vaccines in 2010 which can be found at this link:

In a nutshell they conclude that: “Inactivated influenza vaccines decrease the risk of symptoms of influenza and time off work, but their effects are minimal, especially if the vaccines and the circulating viruses are mismatched. There is no evidence that they affect complications or transmission.” I think you can make up your own mind about whether to have the flu vaccine or not. I am not even going to comment on how much this has costed the NHS.

Food intolerance

I was delighted by my visit to Donna Milligan of The Cottage Therapy Studio last Friday for a follow up SCIO test. Friends and patients know that I am very careful about advising them to cut multiple foods/ food groups out of their diet as a restrictive diet may cause further health problems. Sometimes the cause of “intolerance/ allergy” is obvious, other times there may be a number of possible agents causing the problem. In the latter case it is really useful to experiment with “sensitivity” testing to try to narrow down the possible problems.

One way, which Donna uses, is the SCIO, a radionics machine. The idea being that everything and everybody has its own frequency, so the machine tests that frequency against your own frequency and will suggest that your body may be having a problem with a certain food/ food group/ toxin or, for example, a mineral deficiency amongst many other things. Areas that may be causing a problem are tested and retested to try and narrow them down.
Donna says that the SCIO offers suggestions of problem areas rather than a diagnosis but I have been amazed over the years at how accurate the testing is for me. After 10/12 weeks you have a retest to see how you compare with the earlier test. Why was I delighted? Apart from it being lovely to see Donna as always, in the tests I showed considerable improvement in a number of areas and a biological age of 40. Who needs 10 years younger!

Empty nest blues!

Seven years ago my youngest daughter flew the nest and went to University.  I have always professed that going to University is probably the easiest way for most young people to leave home and gain independence as there are lots of them and they are in the same boat.  Much easier than moving to a new city to start a job with no social life and potential friends provided.  And that is what we want, parenthood is about nurturing, supporting and watching our children develop into independent (relatively!) human beings and starting their own lives.  Well that’s the theory, and all of it is true.

We want our children to be happy.  However, that is not allowing for our feelings, those of the parent who has enjoyed the previous 18 or more years and has now got to adjust to not being needed in quite the same way.   I know that as we dropped, first our oldest daughter and then youngest daughter at University, and then my husband went away on a business trip for several days, I was left reeling.  It was like the tug of the umbilical cord again: love, passion, emotion, wondering how they were but not wanting to bother them if they were having a good time, and wondering what to do with myself.  I had just qualified as a homeopath and although I had patients they were not enough to fill the time.  How much time can one adolescent take up in your life?   I had tried to prepare for it.  I had made plans to occupy myself and gave myself lots of treats (how self indulgent!) but it didn’t fill my chasm.  However as time went on I adapted, my practice became more busy and then strangely, I became used to it, delighted to see the girls when they arrived home but occasionally relieved when they went back (what an admission!).

I have recently met with a number of friends whose children are off to University in the next few weeks and, although they are glad for them, it is raising questions over their own lives.  “What is my purpose in life?”, “Is my life right for me now I no longer have the children to run around after?”, “Is my relationship what I want?”  This is especially the case if we feel we have never found our purpose and/ or are in relationships that are perhaps not what we had imagined.  How many of us wonder if we have found our purpose?  Sometimes we don’t or can’t talk to our partners about how we and they are feeling.  A lot of people find talking about feelings really hard.   It is most likely that even if they don’t talk about it they are feeling the “change” or the “loss” whichever description you prefer.  Children flying the nest can bring you closer together and/or help you develop your purpose, but it can also drive you apart.

Whatever else you do don’t rush to change things.  Let your life settle down and see where it takes you.  If you’re still unhappy in six months it is probably time to re-evaluate things and talk to whoever you think will help, someone independent or your partner.  Homeopathically Ignatia helped me cope with the grief and my guilt at feeling the grief.  It might help you.  If you don’t feel any benefit within a few days see your homeopath as there are so many different remedies.   What comforted me may be different to what you need.

Spicy Butternut Squash Soup

Measurements for the ingredients are a guide. Depending on your taste, increase or decrease the spices. I use organic wherever possible. Cooking is a joy. Feel free to experiment.

2 onions
Oil to cover the bottom of the pan
2 butternut squashes
1 inch piece of root ginger (peeled)
3 cloves of garlic
2 sticks of lemongrass
1 litre of vegetable stock (Saved water from cooking vegetables is good)
100 grams of creamed coconut
Chopped fresh coriander
Salt to taste

1. Chop the onions and sauté gently in oil (I use rice bran oil as it has a high smoking point) until they are soft. Add the root ginger, crush or chop the garlic and add. Crush the lemongrass with the back of a knife to release the oils and add whole. Stir.

2. Wash the squashes and cut into cubes discarding the seeds. If they are not organic peel them, otherwise the skin will soften and blend into the soup. Add to the pan with the vegetable stock. Bring the soup to a boil and add the creamed coconut, stir the soup until it is dissolved.

3. Simmer until the vegetables are soft. Add the fresh coriander and salt to taste. The blend or liquidise until you like the consistency. You may wish to add more stock if it is too thick for your liking!

Dairy and gluten free banana bread


A lovely Sunday spent cooking and adapting recipes for gluten and dairy intolerance. Here’s the recipe:
3 ripe bananas
150 g light brown sugar (or a substitute) Experiment if you don’t have a sweet tooth.
125mls sunflower oil
3 large organic eggs
225 grams of gluten free flour (I used Doves Farm white bread flour)
1teaspoon of gluten free baking powder
30mls of coconut milk
1) Preheat the oven to gas mark 4/180 degrees centigrade. Oil and line the base of a loaf tin.
2) Put the sugar into a mixing bowl and using an electric handheld blender whisk in the oil, coconut milk and then the eggs, one by one.
3) Sift the flour and baking powder and mix in. Mash the bananas and stir in.
4) Pour the mixture into the loaf tin and bake for about 40 minutes. Test the loaf is cooked by inserting a skewer at various points. It will come out clean when the bread is cooked. Cool for 10 minutes and then tip onto a wire rack and leave to cool after peeling the lining off
5) Cut into slices and enjoy!