Every year, just after sweet Spring made her appearance, people start calling me in consultation times between 5 and 7 to ask what they can do, because they have shingles. The pain shooting through your body, the paralysed feeling like you are carrying a bag of cement in your inside, is something you don’t even wish upon your greatest enemy. So it happened that this November I also suffered the brunt of shingles. And this you should know of this illness: if you had it once, you will have it again, especially every time you experience a lot of stress or if you worked too hard and suffered burn-out. In the beginning I was very upset when my shingles striked, but this year (2014), I was very proud of my body for warning me early on that I should take it slow.
Every physical illness has an emotional cause and with shingles the causes are extreme stress and fear. Caroline Myss speaks of “waiting for the other shoe to drop”, you feel like you can’t possibly handle any stressful situation because you feel over-sensitive. Despondency and depression can also lead to inflamed nerve-endings – this is what happens in your body when you have shingles. I always feel very sad and emotional when I have shingles, and then I make time to cry, about anything, because in this way you get to discharge some of the pent-up negative emotional energy. Shingles is about that one straw, that single piece, that breaks the camel’s back. It is therefore also extremely important to make time to rest, to lie on your bed and listen to your body when it tells you it is too tired to get up. In the beginning I felt guilty for just wanting to lie on my bed, until I realised that my overworked, stressed body will only heal when I listen and stay down.
The rash caused by shingles is hyper-sensitive to touch; the first time I got it it felt like I couldn’t bear the soft touch of clothes on my body. It helps to apply Aloe gel, which helps cool the affected area. Sour figs, also known as Hottentots’ figs, can also be applied. It’s a succulent and is easy to grow with a cutting and essential for every garden. Castor oil can be applied to the rash, as it works to relieve pain and calms the skin where it burns.
You can also use a teaspoon organic turmeric 3 times per day after meals. Turmeric helps those inflamed nerve-endings to recover. Now would also be the time to start using the King of Herbs, Kankerbossie. Kankerbossie strengthens the immune system, and if your immune system is strong, it will help you recover faster. This herb is the only one that you can take every day of your life. With other herbs it is necessary to stop using it for three months in between uses, so that the body gets the opportunity to heal itself. The dosage of any herb is important: you take 1 teaspoon Kankerbossie, put it in a glass bowl, and pour 1 liter boiling water on it. Let it cool down, decant in a glass bottle or jug, keep in the refrigerator, and drink half a cup three times per day. One’s dedication to the healing process is very important here, so it is important to keep drinking the herbs.
If you work on being good to yourself emotionally, to cherish yourself and to acknowledge yourself, you will find that the shingles will disappear. This is also then a good time to take stock of the things that stress you out unnecessarily, to change and digest this, and with stress in your workplace which you can’t necessarily control, to change your attitude towards the problem.
The old folks believed that ingesting turmeric is very wholesome, and in the case of shingles it is definitely true. A teaspoon of turmeric, in the morning and evening, helps the body fight against shingles. The overwhelming pain in the wounds can be relieved by applying Aloe gel. Take an Aloe leaf, preferably the Kanniedood (Aloe variegata), and put it underneath warm ash. The leaf will expand and the gel will become soft. Cut the leaf open and apply the lukewarm gel to the affected areas, and you will feel the sensitive areas “cool” down and that the sensitivity lessens.