• Dr Kendra Clifford ND

Let's Talk About Grief

This week has been a tough one in our house. Sunday we lost a cousin to cancer, and Monday we lost our senior dog due to a silly injury. Needless to say, our house is grieving 

Grief is the sensation and experience of loss. This loss doesn't have to be the loss of a person. It can be the loss of a pet, a job, a home, a relationship, or following the diagnosis of a serious illness.

People experience grief in many different ways. You may feel shock, sadness, anger, fear, or anxiety. You may want to be around people for comfort, or you may want to retreat to a space by yourself. Grief can be complicated too. You may experience conflicting emotions such as wanting to be around people but not wanting to talk. 

People can experience many symptoms during a period of grief. These can include:

  • Irritability

  • A sensation of numbness,

  • Bitterness

  • Detachment

You may also experience physical symptoms including:

  • Fatigue

  • Headaches 

  • Chest pain

  • Anxiety

  • Aches and pains

  • Weight loss/gain

  • Digestive difficulties

  • Difficulty sleeping (insomnia).

  • Decreased immune system

Know that it is very important to take care of your physical self during your time of grief. Some people may need to seek the help of a mental health professional, family doctor, or naturopathic doctor to help them through their grief. 

From the Naturopathic perspective there are many things we can do to help an individual through their period of grief. Acute homeopathic remedies including Ignatia can help someone going through an emotional shock. For an individual whose grief is deep rooted, the homeopathic Nat-mur may be the right remedy. 

Acupuncture can be a wonderful treatment for grief and can be tailored to the symptoms of the individual. Acupuncture is useful for fatigue, headaches, digestive difficulties, insomnia, and many more of the symptoms of grief. Similarly botanical medicine has traditionally been used to help with the symptoms of grief. 

  • Lavender: a very calming herb that can be used in a variety of preparations - tea, salve, capsule

  • Skullcap: is great for anxiety, muscle relaxation, and is also considered a calming herb

  • Valerian: for those individuals suffering from insomnia valerian is traditionally used for promoting relaxation and helping you to fall asleep

  • St John's Wort: this herb is traditionally used for the depression relating to grief 

  • Passionflower: like valerian, passionflower is great for relieving anxiety and lulling those with insomnia to sleep

This list could continue. This is just a small sampling of what herbal medicine can do. 

If you think you need help with your grief, please don't hesitate to reach out to a trusted healthcare provider who may help you through this troubling time. 

We all experience loss at some point in our lives. 

Missing Murphy and David. 

- Dr Kendra Clifford ND

This post is intended for educational purposes only and should not be substituted for medical advice.



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