For the love of my Mother...
When my mother contracted cancer, my eyes were opened to a whole new level of pain. She suffered more from the muscular pain of being bed bound, than from the pain of cancer itself. Once the maximum pain medication dose was reached and she was still in pain, there was nothing I could do to help her. As an osteopath, that was a hard pill to swallow. She was also worried about the high levels of pain medication she was needing to take long term and started to reduce them, increasing her pain as a result.
It literally broke my heart to see her suffering. I needed to find a way to relieve her muscular and joint pain when she was unable to move or stretch.
So I researched natural alternatives. And was utterly amazed at what I discovered. I realised that many pain relief drugs are made from plants. The Wintergreen plant is composed of 98% methyl salicilate. Which is aspirin. Aspirin is made from wintergreen. But wintergreen oil is not toxic. The more I researched, the more excited I became at the potential for a natural pain relief cream. Research papers were everywhere showing the natural products to be equal to and sometimes more effective than drugs.
I noticed that sometimes ibuprofen (an anti-inflammatory) would help my mum’s pain and sometimes it wouldn’t. That’s because sometimes her pain was from inflammation, and sometimes it wasn’t. It was from muscle spasm. So I knew that I needed a product that was more than an anti-inflammatory. It had to also have a muscle relaxant effect like diazepam. It had to also be an analgesic like paracetamol. It had to address all 3 routes to pain relief in one product.
After many years as an Osteopath, I knew that what I needed didn’t exist on the market. There was no product that addressed all 3 routes to pain relief.
So in desperation to help my mum, I went on a course to learn how to make creams, gels and oils. I interrogated herbalists and I trawled through all the research papers I could lay my hands on to find out which ingredients were necessary to have the effect I needed it to have.
With great glee I presented my mum with a jar of lumpy home made cream stuffed full of natural magic.
But it didn’t work. It gave her slight relief, but not enough.
So I went back to the cooker, and started again. I changed the ingredients. I started to add tinctures as well as oils to increase the potency. I found out the maximum amounts I was allowed to add to a 100ml jar and threw it in. I researched suppliers of higher quality ingredients, extracted correctly to maximise the viability of active components. I changed the base oil to make it deliver better through the skin. 5 times.
If nothing else, for a year I made my mum smile with my constant supply of lumpy cream (which eventually became smooth and silky as my skills improved).
I was a dog with a bone. Because I had someone I loved suffering right in front of my eyes. And if the research was right, I should be able to help her.
I think it was ‘Soothe formula 12’ that was the game changer. I handed it to my weary mum and she smiled a grateful smile, “It smells different this time” she said. “You’ve reduced the lavender”.
“Yup” I replied. “I had to reduce the lavender to make space for arnica tincture and a new thing called St John’s wort”. She laughed, and looked full of a pride.
10 minutes later her face changed. She looked quite shocked. She sat up in bed, eyes wide open. “The pain is going” she said “Quickly and noticeably”.
My eyes welled with tears. Bingo.
She was able to apply the cream as much as she wanted. Layering it up every 2 hours, allowing the ingredients to build up in her tissues to have maximum effect. Her muscles started to relax enabling her to start stretching and moving.
You see pain is cyclic. We call it the “pain-spasm-pain cycle”’’. You feel pain, so you tighten your muscles. This increased muscle tension increases your pain, which causes you to tighten your muscles even more....increasing your pain...etc. It’s a cycle you get stuck in. To break out of this cycle you have to stop the pain and reduce the muscle tension.
I started making the cream for my patients too. And quickly discovered that it was helping them with their joint pain too. Presumably due to the anti-inflammatory effects. One patient even paid for my first batch of factory manufactured cream because I was out of stock and didn’t have time to make any. He handed me a cheque and said “please get it manufactured – it is the only product that helps the gout in my toes”.
The research told me that the ingredients were shown to have tissue healing effects, so I started giving it to athletes to try. I advised them to use it before and after training to minimise injuries and speed up injury recovery. They were amazed at the reduction in post-training muscle pain.
I gave it to my brother to use on his children. One day he called me up and said “What’s in that cream?” My son banged his head so hard we took him to A&E. We put the soothe cream on immediately and he had no bruise, no swelling and no redness.
Friends started calling me telling me they were no longer waking with tension headaches if they put the cream on their neck muscles before going to bed.
It got a bit ridiculous when I started getting reports from families that the cream was causing family arguments, as members of the family started hiding it from each other so it wouldn’t run out! My aunt, a Consultant Oncologist, had a hip replacement and was utterly reliant on soothe cream during her recovery. When my uncle called me to ask where the supply of cream was that he ordered, I told him I had sent it a week before. He then discovered my aunt had received all six jars and hidden them in a cupboard!
So out of my mother’s suffering was born a gift to the world.
So please accept and make the most of this gift. From my mum and me, to you and your family.
"my mother the sparrow
my mother the nest
my mother the branches
my mother the leaves
my mother the tree who cut and whittled herself to build me
a boat offering safe passage"