I was first introduced to homeopathy serendipitously when my son Alan, now a handsome 44 year old man, was just 2 years old – he was diagnosed with bronchial allergies and subjected to eventual medical protocol of adult dosage of oral bronchial dilators and antihistamines, supported by his physician’s instructions to dose him with a 10 day course of antibiotics whenever his nose started to run – in anticipation of aborting an acute cold and flu attack that could potentially lead to an asthma attack.
Poor little Alan – as a result of following these recommendations he slowly deteriorated over a period of time. He became lethargic and quiet. His face was pale with little hard pimples, and of course, regularly subjected to antibiotic dosage. Eventually the system broke down and there I was, a young and innocent mom, standing in front of his MD’s house, (he happened to live just down the road) Alan cradled in my arms, blue lips and frantically gasping for breath.
Alan Nathan says
Alan was hospitalized immediately and given adrenalin shots. His breathing slowly returned to ‘almost’ normal. We were there for hours. Eventually, the hospital physician stepped in to the room and he recommended to follow up with steroids.
This was when my intuitive self stepped in. Although I knew little about other options, this was a ‘no no’ for me. It sounded much too invasive for a two year old little boy. So with that, I whipped him out of the hospital and went home, very relieved that he was breathing easily again, but internally frantic about where next to turn.
Just 2 days later, Arianne Koven, a friend of a cousin who happened to be living with us at the time, came over to visit him. I had never met her before. Fast forward – by the time she left, my ‘new best friend’ had called and set up an appointment for Alan to see Dr Phil Sherwin who was a homeopath and naturopath.
The first thing that impressed me was the time he took with his intake. He showed great sympathy towards me, a sobbing, almost hysterical, young mom – listening carefully to every detail. He prescribed 2 different bottles of homeopathy remedies and also asked that I modify what he was eating. He suggested that Alan stay away from refined grains and sugar.
He said to continue with the drugs Alan had been given while I introduced homeopathy and then to slowly reduce the amount of drugs he was taking on a daily basis.
The changes that occurred were remarkable. Within weeks, the lethargic, pale-faced little boy was climbing trees in the back yard. All the little pimples that covered his forehead and cheeks disappeared. His eyes were bright and sparkling; his whole countenance changed. I was amazed. As apprehensive as I was to cut back on the drugs, these were certainly encouraging signs to give me confidence to follow through. I slowly reduced the drugs.
Over a period of about 3 months, the drugs were no longer needed. He was using homeopathy remedies on a daily basis as maintenance. I also purchased a homeopathic first aid kit so that at the first sign of any change in his symptoms, as a result of an acute cold or flu episode, we were able to address it immediately and treat the symptoms using a natural and drugless approach, homeopathy.
I only came to know many years later, that the ‘magic’ formula that worked so well for Alan was D43
BronchoAsthmonol – a particular combination that I still prescribe today.
I was amazed! These homeopathy remedies really worked! I couldn’t quite believe it, given Alan’s history of daily doses of adult strength dangerous drugs that weren’t helping anymore.
My younger daughter, Carly was just a few months old at the time. She had already been subjected to several rounds of antibiotics for acute infections. Immediately, I started using Dr Sherwin’s recommendations for the nursery as well. A B C, or Aconite, Belladonna and Chamomilla, were the three remedies that worked like a charm for almost all the acute symptoms that she would display. Soon, I was using homeopathy for all three kids, as well as making appropriate recommendations for their wide circle of friends in the neighborhood.
This was what motivated me to enroll in a four year program to become a Doctor of Homeopathy at Lindlahr College in Johannesburg. Homeopathy worked like magic. And I wanted to know how. At first it was hard to embrace concepts like ’the vital force’ and ‘the law of the minimum dose’. It was as if I had been wearing pink colored glasses and now I was wearing green colored glasses. In other words, I was looking at the same child and the same set of symptoms, yet from a different perspective.
To start with it took time to adjust, but after a while, there was no problem at all. Now, I forget sometimes, that the public at large is not necessarily familiar with these concepts. Let me give you a quick synopsis:
Dr Samuel Hahnemann
Dr Samuel Hahnemann is regarded as the father of homeopathy. He was a physician in Germany. Hahnemann was very dissatisfied with how medicine was practiced in his time. He particularly objected to practices like bloodletting. He thought that the medicine he had been taught to use sometimes did the patient more harm than good.
He gave up his practice around 1784, and worked mainly as a writer and translator. It was while he was translating William Cullen’s A Treatise on the Materia Medica, that he questioned the claim that cinchona, Peruvian tree bark, was effective in treating malaria because of its astringent nature.
Hahnemann challenged this statement by experimenting himself and he, himself, took doses of cinchona. What he found was that cinchona induced malaria-like symptoms in himself. He realized, then, that this would happen if given to any healthy individual and so he began to postulate a healing principle i.e. “that which can produce a set of symptoms in a healthy individual, can treat a sick individual who is manifesting a similar set of symptoms.”
This is the principle known as similia similimum curatur, or like cures like. It became the basis for the approach to medicine that he gave the name homeopathy. He tested many remedies this way, on himself and others around him, making careful notes about what symptoms were associated with taking them.
Now he had to figure out how to deal with the effect of taking a gross amount of the remedy that would cause some toxicity. That’s when he started exploring the use of dilutions of the compounds he was testing. He used a preparation technique of diluting and ‘succussing’ of the compounds. This meant that he diluted the remedy several times, in a systematically way, also using a vigorous shaking method i.e. succussion, which he explained, ‘potentized’ the compound, making it even more effective in reducing symptoms of those who are sick. His new techniques attracted lots of other doctors. He then published The Organon which explains his theories.
Hahnemann continued practicing and researching homeopathy, as well as writing and lecturing for the rest of his life. He died in 1843 in Paris, at 88 years of age, and he was entombed in a mausoleum at Paris’s Père Lachaise Cemetery.
Homeopaths talk about the vital force. What is that? Hard to explain. We are so used to thinking chemistry and pathology in conventional medicine. Yet. both Homeopathy and Acupuncture embrace the concept of something intangible.
The Viral Force
The vital force is an invisible energy that gives each person his or her own individual, unique qualities. Its the ‘force’ that everyone has within themselves from the time they are born until the time they die. If this energy is blocked, it creates stagnation and allows illnesses to develop. However, when the vital force is strong, the viruses, bacteria and parasites do not have an effect on the body. If the vital force is blocked the pathogens can make the individual sick.
Classical approach to homeopathy looks to find the correct homeopathic remedy for each individual. In other words, the energy of the ‘correct’ homeopathic remedy would ‘match’ the energy of that person’s vital force. The homeopathic remedy ‘unblocks’ the person’s ‘stuck’ energy.
According to Homeopathy, the body is self-regulating and given the right environment like healthy foods, beneficial nutrients, exercise and mental stability, the body has the ability to heal itself.
Based on the principle that ‘like cures like’ when a person is ill, the right remedy stimulates the person’s own vital force to re-balance and allows the body to heal itself.
In those days, few people really understood the concept of ‘energy’ and so for the longest time, the medical profession regarded homeopathic remedies as placebos. Now there are far more sophisticated methods of measuring energy.
I met Dana Ullman when I first came to live in San Diego thirty-five years ago. He has been a staunch advocate for the safe and effective use of homeopathy for all these years. Here is the link to his website.- you’ll find loads of educational material to continue broadening your knowledge of homeopathy.
Did you know?
There’s a bust of Dr Hahnemann in Washington, DC, located at Scott Circle, at the intersection of Massachusetts Avenue and Rhode Island Avenue.