This is a full length article, so please pop the kettle on, make a brew, sit down and enjoy!
The current situation
The fundamental right to the freedom of choice in the healthcare of our animals is currently being eroded by governing bodies in several countries including the UK by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS), which published a controversial statement on Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) in 2017. This most recent position statement effectively bans alternative treatment unless conventional treatment is given before or alongside, thus rendering it complementary.
This article will demonstrate that alternative veterinary modalities used exclusively may, in certain circumstances, be in the best interests of the animal. They may also be useful as an integrated part of the animal’s overall veterinary healthcare package. Unfortunately, the RCVS’s view on CAM casts a wide shadow on treatment protocols and can limit vets from referring animals on for CAM treatments. Many CAM modalities can be offered as successful first line treatment, giving a valuable alternative to the purely pharmaceutical drug approach, which may bring with it the risk of unwanted side effects and antibiotic resistance.
To this end, the RCVS 2017 statement will be discussed and critically analysed, followed by the response of CAM4animals, a consumer group representing a wide range of animal owners, farmers, and CAM vets and practitioners. The article will conclude by suggesting a possible way forward to benefit all concerned, particularly our animals.
It is important to state that all vets, including those who use CAM and holistic approaches, are governed by their professional codes of conduct and the welfare of the animal must be paramount in whatever treatment is selected. In no way does this article seek to dismiss conventional treatments as a first line option or in emergency situations.
The ongoing discussion around the RCVS statement
“Homeopathy exists without a recognised body of evidence for its use. Furthermore, it is not based on sound scientific principles. In order to protect animal welfare, we regard such treatments as being complementary rather than alternative to treatments for which there is a recognised evidence base or which are based in sound scientific principles. It is vital to protect the welfare of animals committed to the care of the veterinary profession and the public’s confidence in the profession that any treatments not underpinned by a recognised evidence base or sound scientific principles do not delay or replace those that do.”
Anyone who is familiar with homeopathic research would take issue with this statement, starting with the first line: “Homeopathy exists without a recognised body of evidence for its use.” This is unquestionably incorrect. Research studies continue to be published in peer reviewed journals, demonstrating the effective use of homeopathic remedies in animals. A prime example of animal research can be found in the following study where homeopathy was used to replace antibiotics in a case of E. coli in piglets with highly successful results (Camerlink et al., 2010).
The Italian Homeopathic data base of veterinary research studies (Marino, F.V.) features a collection of studies on pets and/or livestock animals treated with homeopathic medicines. The source is mostly PubMed (The US National Library of Medicine) and many have positive findings, with several demanding more research. There are also extensive studies listed here: Americans for Homeopathy Choice (2019). These sites are simply a sample of specific veterinary research: there are many more. It is difficult to imagine how the RCVS can dismiss such evidence, or at least fail to research it further. In addition, there are many high-quality research trials on humans via these data bases: (CORE-Hom) and (Bell, I. 2018).
Similarly, I question “Furthermore, it is not based on sound scientific principles.” Homeopathy has its own, very strict set of principles which I outlined in an earlier article ‘Clarification of the Basic Homeopathic Principles’ (Hpathy.com: 2017).
In short, homeopathy is not based on the same principles as conventional medicine in that it treats the whole individual rather than singular symptoms and is hard to test using the randomised controlled trials (RCT’s) by which conventional medicine is typically gauged. However, there is on-going revolutionary research giving insight into how homeopathy might work as evidenced by the New Horizons in Water Science Conference at The Royal Society of Medicine in 2018. Eminent scientists (with no homeopathic bias) including Nobel Laureates, were assembled from around the world. They met to discuss the latest in their findings and revealed that current research is bridging the gap between mainstream science and the cutting-edge science surrounding the homeopathic mechanism of action and Ultra High Dilutions.
The RCVS considers that there is a lack of scientific rationale for homeopathy, thus it needs to be complementary rather than alternative. The words “lack of evidence base” in reference to homeopathy are touted frequently despite the fact many trials have been undertaken, as detailed above. In addition, it is difficult to quantify the vast number of cases treated which are evidenced empirically. What has to be taken into account, are the paradigmatic differences in the two systems of medicine. Systematic reviews, meta -analysis, RCT’s and controlled studies rarely do justice to homeopathic treatment because homeopathy treats the patient and not the disease.
It is imperative to understand that some things do not always make scientific sense in the first instance. However, knowing that they do exist, such as the phenomenon that is gravity, means it can be acceptable for them to be outside the realm of what science can currently explain. Another example is the action of aspirin, which was widely used, and its effectiveness lauded many years before its action was understood. (Walach, 2001). In addition, it is worth considering that both Louis Pasteur and Galileo were initially ridiculed and discredited, yet their theories were eventually embraced and changed science as we once knew it.
The RCVS statement goes on to say: “It is vital to protect the welfare of animals committed to the care of the veterinary profession.” Absolutely. This is why those of us involved in holistic medicine integrate it into our practices; we are not limited to one approach, we have the benefit of education and experience in many different therapies. This optimises rather than threatens animal welfare. The response to the global antibiotic resistance crisis is a good example. The College of Medicine and Integrated Health (2018) stated that “GPs who are trained in complementary medicine including homeopathy, prescribe less antibiotics than GPs without integrative medicine training.” This statement is applicable to those vets who also have the advantage of extensive training in both systems of medicine. This should be embraced and applauded by critics. Indeed, banning the use of homeopathy as a first line treatment under RCVS’s new guidelines is counterintuitive given the dangers surrounding antibiotic use, particularly where further research is being encouraged into homeopathy and herbs: (IAHV: 2017) and (NIHM: 2018).
My advice would be: if homeopathy or other CAM modalities work, is safe and prescribed by qualified vets or doctors, then use it. Veterinary medicine also has to deal with resistant superorganisms, adverse drug reactions, and the problems caused by polypharmacy. Alternative methods of treatment should be widely researched and, where proven to be effective, incorporated into treatment regimes. Likewise, it goes without saying that a purely conventional approach should be subjected to the same scrutiny in terms of research and results.
The RCVS’ rationale and The Faculty of Homeopathy’s response
The RCVS states: “We consider that this welfare need is best served by the use of treatments underpinned by sound scientific principles, and would recommend that both vets and animal owners have this uppermost in their minds when considering treatment.”
The Faculty of Homeopathy’s statement in response to the RCVS can be read in full here. Their response reflects the concerns of their members and pet owners who embrace holistic health modalities. They point out that the RCVS states it expects veterinary surgeons to offer “treatments underpinned by a recognised evidence base.”
The Faculty states: “The evidence base for many conventional medicines used in veterinary practice as well as human medicine is inconclusive. If the RCVS were to apply the same evidential criteria used for homeopathy to all treatments, there would be far fewer clinical options available to the profession.”
There is growing interest in homeopathy from animal owners as they see conventional medicines regularly failing or producing adverse side-effects. This is especially true in livestock farming where there is a drive to reduce the dependence on antibiotics in the light of concerns about antimicrobial resistance, AMR. At such a time, it is contradictory that the RCVS fails to engage with vets who are best placed to offer advice on the appropriate use of homeopathy.
It is clear that by adopting their position in relation to homeopathy and other complementary therapies, the RCVS is limiting the clinical freedom the veterinary profession has always enjoyed. Moreover, in allowing a vocal minority to influence a policy stance, the RCVS has set a dangerous precedent where similar groups could not only influence and further restrict clinical freedom in the future, but also stifle innovation, research and the development of new treatments. This presents a far greater threat to animal welfare than homeopathy could ever do.
The RCVS statement has taken away its members’ freedom to choose what is the best course of treatment for an ill animal. The RCVS has also applied a blanket ban to the use of all alternative therapies even where there are successful trials. This blinkered approach is not just applicable to the RCVS. For instance, acupuncture for humans has become the latest casualty. NICE has failed to include it as a recommended treatment for urinary incontinence (British Acupuncture Council, 2019) even though they were alerted to a high-quality study demonstrating its effectiveness.
The response to the RCVS from CAM4animals
Following on from this, an Animal Owners Charter was devised in order to further support holistic health choices and ensure informed choice (and consent) for all proposed treatment plans for their animals. Much of the Charter should be common practice since it is included in the RCVS Code of Conduct. Nevertheless, there are animal owners who have not experienced this, hence the need for the Charter.
CAM4animals audit reveals shaky foundations for RCVS position statement
After much lobbying, CAM4animals received the documents used by the RCVS on which they based their statement. CAM4animals conducted an in-depth audit of the RCVS documents and found that they were factually weak, scientifically flawed and narrow in scope. In summary they found the following:
In addition, CAM4animals is concerned that RCVS Council members have been seemingly influenced by non-veterinary organisations which promote science scepticism regarding CAM in general and homeopathy in particular. The result is that RCVS’s own members are now placed in the vulnerable position of being formally disciplined and having to provide evidence to support the use of treatments they are legally and professionally qualified to practice and which have supporting evidence from their professional bodies. Evidence the RCVS appears to have chosen to disregard.
The RCVS denies that there has been any change to their position and yet repeatedly states that only treatments backed by sound, scientific evidence can be given. Although their statement is clearly biased towards making this relevant to CAM and homeopathy in particular, it is logical that this evidence requirement should apply to all treatments. Yet we know that many treatments offered by conventional vets have not been backed up with specific research on their application to a broad spectrum of species, but vets are able to choose to use such treatments without fear of censure from the RCVS. The RCVS has placed the onus on the vet to provide the evidence to support his/her use of an alternative treatment. The RCVS do not see their role as researchers which may go some way to explain why they did not examine homeopathy and other CAM adequately when considering their latest position statement. The implications of publishing the statement without engaging with all relevant stakeholders and gathering all the evidence in support of these treatments is consequently jeopardising animal welfare and compromising the position of their holistic veterinary colleagues.
What is particularly significant and disturbing is the fact that the RCVS report was based on flawed studies. These are outlined below and shown in more depth here.
Science & Technology Committee EC2 Report, 2010
The Lancet Report, Shang et al., 2005
NHMRC, The Australian Report, 2013
EASAC Statement on Homeopathy, 2017
Given all the post publication stakeholder responses to the statement and CAM4animals findings -particularly the flawed reports and the influence of non-veterinary organisations which promote science scepticism – everyone should be gravely concerned about how these documents were used as the ‘evidence’ on which the RCVS Council decided to change a well-balanced and long held policy statement.
In addition, I feel there is a vast amount of confusion around homeopathy as evidenced by the chaotic analysis of a study which concluded that homeopathy only appears to work because of ‘perceptual errors’: (RCVS: 2017) which stated (my emphasis):
“Therefore, animals with conditions that could be treated by an approved veterinary medicine are going without effective treatments in favour of ineffective homeopathic products. Furthermore, not all homeopathic products are neutral in their effect and are sometimes administered in highly concentrated forms that can potentially harm patients. Although homeopaths report that their remedies are effective when used in their practice, efficacy beyond placebo is not apparent in well-controlled clinical trials that eliminate biases and other non-specific effects.”
I am seriously not sure how homeopathy can be referred to as “placebo” and “ineffective” and then, in complete contrast, “all homeopathic products are not neutral in their effect and sometimes administered in highly concentrated forms that can potentially harm patients” in the same paragraph. This nonsensical account of homeopathy goes to show the ignorance with which it is frequently faced. There is a knock-on and compounding effect with one poorly written paper being incorporated into the next and so on. Furthermore, there is a frequent lack of understanding by critics of this very complex therapy which requires much in-depth study and practice.
The Austrian model – one to take on board
Detractors: social media and sceptic organisations
This had a mere 3,335 supporters. In contrast, the petition adopted by CAM4animals has almost 22,000 supporters, including animal owners, farmers, vets and CAM practitioners. From 2016 – 2017, The Good Thinking Society promoted Mr Chambers’ view on homeopathy and his position onto the RCVS Council. He worked with the now President of the RCVS to release the statement on CAM in November 2017. This situation, with reference to CAM detractors and their negative effect on veterinary practice as a whole, will be covered in more depth in my next blog in this series for CAM4animals.
The British Association of Homeopathic Veterinary Surgeons (BAHVS) in response to Mr Chambers’ petition issued a statement.
“The whole premise of this campaign is based on the blatant misrepresentation that homeopathic medicines are ‘only water’. This is plainly not true. A global initiative of over 100 researchers from a multiplicity of disciplines (GIRI- Groupe International de Recherche sur l’Infenitésimal: http://giri-society.org/ ) has been studying solutions described as ‘ultra-dilutionse’ for 30 years. They have observed unequivocal evidence of their bioactivity. PubMed alone contains more than 100 papers. Recently, researchers have proven existence of nanoparticles in such solutions.” Since this response was made, considerable developments have been made in relation to such cutting-edge science, see here: (Salter, C: Dec 2018).
Once again, the very fact the petition by Danny Chambers exists, shows how little research these uninformed and sceptical disparagers have done. Chambers stated after the RCVS published its statement, ‘‘I recognise that the majority of veterinary homeopaths are acting with the best of intentions, but unfortunately being well-intentioned but deluded is no substitute for being right, especially when the consequences could lead to unnecessary suffering and even death.’ (Chambers, D, cited by Fearon, R: BMJ.)
When you consider iatrogenic disease (adverse effects of drugs), this statement is not only erroneous in the light of the evidence above, but also short sighted and almost laughable; the irony does not escape me. As with all vets, no homeopathic/holistic vet would intentionally harm an animal. They would simply choose the best method of treatment out of the many options available to them, giving them a greater choice than those limited to one approach – an approach which may come with a host of potential problems and adverse effects.
As was pointed out by the Veterinary Record, “A spokesman for the BAHVS said the (RCVS) council had been ‘seduced’ into a ‘precedent setting restriction on the clinical freedoms the profession has always enjoyed.” The RCVS was now in a position where it could be accused of “putting profits before probity” and “corporations before conscience”, said the spokesman (No evidence for homeopathy, says RCVS, 2017 (Fearon, R. BMJ,: no date)
It is important to note that these claims of suffering and poor practice by anti-CAM campaigners are widely bandied about, but in fact no cases of poor practice by CAM practitioners have actually been brought to the RCVS. All vets are bound by Codes of Professional Conduct. If cases of poor veterinary practice – whether through conventional treatments, lack of treatment, maltreatment or even, in the highly unlikely event, by CAM treatments – are identified, then vets or their clients should bring these to the attention of the RCVS and let them be addressed by their disciplinary procedure.
Peter Gregory, veterinary dean of the Faculty of Homeopathy, said: “This drives a coach and horses through the Royal College’s reasoning for adopting its anti-homeopathy stance. The argument that homeopathy endangers animal health is spurious, unsubstantiated and wrong.” He continued: “Growing numbers of pet owners and farmers are seeking a more holistic approach to animal health and have found homeopathy can help to achieve this. In light of the Secretary of State’s statement, I call on the Royal College to look again at its position on the use of complementary medicines in veterinary practice.” . Thus, the division of opinion is still evident, and all are looking for justice to be done, for the sake of the animals and those treating them.
The way forward
By implementing the above, I feel all the RCVS objectives would be achieved. We would be putting the animal first by enabling a wider range of treatments to be available at the discretion of a qualified vet.
The statement from the RCVS, to make conventional medicine the first line of treatment, has been critically analysed here and contested. However, it is appropriate to re-iterate this article does not seek to dismiss conventional treatments as first line or emergency treatment options.
In summing up, I suggest that there should be an overall recognition of the benefits of alternative medicine and that it should be integrated into general veterinary care to be used as first line treatment where appropriate. In addition to homeopathy, this includes chiropractic treatment, osteopathy, acupuncture, herbs, massage and other therapies which have been proven to be effective both empirically and in controlled trials. As shown here, all these therapies are currently seen as complementary under the new RCVS statement and cannot be used in the first instance.
I would strongly suggest that observation and judgment must always take precedence over statistical analysis alone, and that the benchmark for so called standards is changed to include those which have already been proven to be effective.
Clinical evidence in the form of numerous studies, RCTs, Real World Trials and those documented empirically, has been referenced within this article. These demonstrate that the homeopathic approach improves the health of animals and successfully treats a wide range of clinical conditions in veterinary medicine beyond the placebo effect.
In delving further into the RCVS statement and its supporting evidence, there has clearly been little attempt to present a balanced, unbiased view of CAM. The RCVS Council avoided communication with the College’s own CAM qualified members. It ignored positive studies in homeopathy and totally excluded consideration of all other forms of holistic modalities. Instead, to the detriment of animal welfare, they chose to lean on the side of denialism.
If you haven’t already done so, please sign the CAM4animals charter
Other homeopathic veterinary research sites
Tag Archives: homoeopathy
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE DEPARTMENT BACKS DOWN ON CLAIM AMID CRITICISM
THE DEPARTMENT of Thai Traditional and Alternative Medicine has backtracked from its claim that its homeopathic formula is highly effective for dengue-fever protection.
“It’s just a supplementary measure that needs further research,” Dr Sun-pong Ritthiruksa said yesterday in his capacity as the chair of the department’s centre for herbal medicine, Thai traditional medicine, folk medicine and alternative medicine.
He spoke up after several prominent figures, including Chulalongkorn University’s lecturer Jessada Denduangboripant, raised questions about the claim.
Sunpong himself said last Friday that a homeopathic formula made from eupatorium perfoliatum 200C had been proved effective in preventing dengue fever. His agency is now handing out it for free.
“It’s 89.9 per cent effective,” Sunpong said last Friday, just a day ahead of Asean Dengue Day, as he cited findings from a journal.
Jessada then quickly argued that homeopathy was pseudoscience, something that the Public Health Ministry should not promote.
“The promotion can be dangerous,” he warned.
Dengue fever has hit more than 28,000 people in Thailand so far this year – up by 1.7 times from the same period a year earlier. Of them, 43 died.
Sunpong said he sought to support the use of homeopathy as a supplementary measure for protection against dengue fever.
He reiterated that to prevent dengue-fever infections, people still needed to focus on measures such as changing the water in flower vases weekly, keeping their home tidy, eliminating mosquito-breeding grounds and covering water containers.
Mosquitoes are the main carriers of dengue fever.
“I am worried that people may misunderstand what I said earlier,” Sunpong said.
He then clarified that eupatorium perfoliatum 200C was not for treating dengue fever.
“If patients develop symptoms that can be associated with dengue fever, [they should] go see a doctor to get treatment based on modern medicine,” he said.
Jessada said he had looked into several studies previously associated with the department and saw multiple flaws.
According to him, the efficacy rate cited for vaccines against dengue fever is not as high as the rate found by the department’s research, hinting at the possibility that the cited efficacy rate for eupatorium perfoliatum 200C might have been exaggerated.
Jessada explained that while eupatorium perfoliatum could reduce fever and boost the immune system, there was no clear proof that it could treat or prevent dengue fever.
According to the Disease Control Department, the main factors associated with fatal cases of dengue fever are living in communities hosting a large number of mosquito larvae, buying medicine for self-treatment, delays in seeking treatments from doctors, and having underlying illnesses such as obesity, diabetes and asthma.
Statistics compiled by the Disease Control Department show the number of dengue-fever patients this year is far higher than the number five years ago.
As of June 11 this year, dengue fever hit 28,785 people in Thailand. During the same period in 2014, the number stood at 10,670. The figures from the same period from 2015 to 2018 were at 24,248, 19,029, 13,961m and 17,302 respectively.
I have read the method in all the books published by Sankaran so far as also attended his seminars. It is the very enchanting video presentations at the seminars and the captivating material presented in his books that prompted me to use it side by side with the age-old traditional Hahnemannian method for some time. I concluded after a thorough study that the theoretical basis on which this entire method is based is flawed.
Unfortunately, we have not evolved benchmarks to judge any method being propagated as homoeopathy and as a first step, we should do it.
The very basis on which Hahnemann founded homoeopathy was his discovery :
1. that any medicinal substance is capable of inducing a field force to distort the vital force of healthy human beings; the nature of distortion presents a recognizable field pattern and it is as true as the law of gravity or any other natural laws.
2. that the same medicine is capable of nullifying any disease force that establishes a similar distortion of vital force in a human being.
The SIMILARITY of the distorted picture or pattern of the vital force induced by the medicinal substance in a healthy human being and that created by the natural disease is essential for curative action to occur.
If Sankaran can prove that the vital sensation can be induced by a medicinal substance in healthy human beings and then prove the correspondences of this artificially induced vital sensation to the one present in the cured patient – then and then only it qualifies to be a homoeopathic method.
I hate to waste any more time discussing this method of madness, an aberration of an otherwise super genius whose convoluted thinking process reflects of a major portion of his brain cells gone awry….alas…
by Peter Morrell
Dream of Egypt, 1995 – Peter Morrell
This short piece brings to the attention of others the useful work of Wilhelm Ameke from his little known book ‘A History of Homeopathy.’ Being out of print for over a century and hard to obtain, this useful text illuminates Hahnemann’s life in a fresh and masterful way. This is an interim piece I compiled recently for some lectures, and which will be extended as time permits. In due course, it is hoped that the full text of Ameke might be placed online where all can admire its many gems. This selection mostly focuses upon Ameke’s description of Hahnemann’s views on many clinical matters and snippets regarding the origin of homeopathy. It also highlights what is unusual, important and remarkable in his character as a physician.
Although Hahnemann retained enormous affection and respect for his teacher at Vienna, Dr von Quarin, it remains certain that von Quarin “was an advocate of bleeding till the day of his death,” [Ameke, 59] in 1812. Hahnemann stated, “I owe to him whatever there is of physician in me.” [Ameke, 58] Although Hahnemann “employed bleeding…but he always applied it cautiously.” [Ameke, 67] Though as early “as 1784 he contended…against bleeding,” [Ameke, 67] yet “he still bled in 1797…and [even as late as] 1800 he was not an absolute opponent of it.” [Ameke, 67] But he always felt it was abused and used to excess by most physicians. He “was a great enemy of coffee, but a great advocate of exercise and open air…change of climate and residence at the seaside.” [Ameke, 60] On the therapeutic use of cold water “Hahnemann writes at length…and gives exact instructions.” [Ameke, 62] He always gave “only one remedy at a time, and carefully watched its effects.” [Ameke, 74] For every addition of a “second or a third [remedy] only deranges the object we have in view.” [Ameke, 86] Giving only one drug, we must “wait till its action is exhausted before giving another.” [Ameke, 87] Once he was convinced of something “he enunciated it with the greatest precision, and did not easily allow himself to be turned from it.” [Ameke, 63]
Even as a young physician, Hahnemann seems to “have been unaffected by the prevalent belief in authority,” [Ameke, 59] preferring instead to formulate his own medical views, very largely based upon his powers of reflection and his very keen observational powers.
Tendencies Hahnemann condemned
In 1808 Hahnemann sharply condemned the main method of “treating most diseases by scouring out the stomach and bowels.” [Ameke, 94] This is also the “method which regards the diseased body as a mere chemically decomposed mass,” [Ameke, 94] and which regards diseases as having “no other originating cause but mucosities…[inspiring treatments that seek the] combat of putridity.” [Ameke, 94] Such a view also pretends that only by “the strength of the doses of most powerful and costly medicines,” [Ameke, 94] can such disease ever be subdued or cured. Hahnemann bemoans the “search into the internal essence of diseases,” [Ameke, 95] which he regards as an utterly futile endeavour. He also condemns this system as one that respects only “the mechanical origin of diseases…[and] which derives diseases from the original form of the parts.” [Ameke, 95] Such a view he regards as too simplistic, too mechanistic and not sufficiently holistic in its perception of the living organism.
Hahnemann condemned those medical systems that claimed “most diseases were produced by impure and acid humours which were to be expelled from the body,” [Ameke, 42] or which claimed that “most illnesses resulted from gastric impurities, especially bile,” [Ameke, 43] and which therefore believed that “the removal of these matters by emetics and purgatives was the principal means resorted to.” [Ameke, 43] As far as Hahnemann was concerned, such medical systems incorrectly concluded, “purgatives and emetics demonstrated the truth of these theories.” [Ameke, 43] One such idea was “infarcts…an unnatural condition of the blood vessels…distended in various places by ill-concocted, variously degenerated, fluid-bereft, inspissated, viscid, bilious, polypous and coagulated blood…” [Ameke, 43] Hahnemann had nothing but contempt for such theories and regarded them as entirely imaginary concepts and dangerous fantasies with no reality whatever. Therefore, he was equally dismissive of the methods employed such as “clysters…to which various appropriate drugs were added…employed to disperse these infarctus.” [Ameke, 44] This treatment with clysters [enemas] “was much in vogue among physicians, patients and even healthy persons, for many years.” [Ameke, 45]
Hahnemann was as dismissive of clysters and the theories of infarcts as he was of the strong mixed drugs also in vogue at the same time. Such remedies as “senna, spirits of wine, dandelion, rhubarb, sal-ammoniac, mercury, dog’s grass and antimony…which were supposed to cleanse the tubes and passages of the human body from their foul accumulations.” [Ameke, 45] Hahnemann simply did not believe the monstrous theory that every patient had these mythical obstructions and poisons. He was therefore wholly opposed to the idea that they must all be “sweated and purged, puked, bled and salivated,” [Ameke, 45] back to health by these heroic measures.
It is no surprise therefore that he roundly condemned and dismissed on instinct “bleeding, cold, emetics, purgatives, diaphoretics.” [Ameke, 46] He denounced the “vomiting, purging and sweating,” [Ameke, 46] view that “inflammatory matters, impure fermenting substances, acridities and degenerated bile,” [Ameke, 91] were the causes of disease or that they should be “energetically evacuated,” [Ameke, 91] in order to cure the patient. All such talk he depicts as merely a “euphemism for emetics and purgatives,” [Ameke, 92] and indeed, for “the lancet, tepid drinks, miserable diet, emetics, purgatives…[which] threatened to destroy our generation.” [Ameke, 96]
He denounced the use of “blisters, baths, fomentations, anodynes, and repeated enemata,” [Ameke, 68] just as he maintained that “refrigerating and laxative salts, watery drinks, and bleeding act as poisons. Emetics and blisters do harm.” [Ameke, 68] To most practitioners it must have been “very tempting to utilise the great chemical discoveries in the treatment of disease,” [Ameke, 50] but Hahnemann [almost alone] successfully resisted this temptation. Most physicians were “too impatient to utilise,” [Ameke, 50] new discoveries, too eager “to reap when they had barely finished sowing.” [Ameke, 50] They dismally failed to “observe how the functions of their patients were carried on.” [Ameke, 53] Even at this early stage, one can see that Hahnemann was cautiously and judiciously trying to work out precisely why the medicine he had been taught did not work and one can detect his endeavour to find a harmless yet efficacious therapeutic method.
In the early 1790s, he “gave one remedy at a time, and carefully watched its effects.” [Ameke, 74] This sums up his approach very accurately. He also “succeeded in achieving many splendid cures by his simple method of treatment…[soon having] the reputation of a careful and successful practitioner.” [Ameke, 74-5] His basic powers of patient observation were truly remarkable. Not only did he want to know “what is hurtful or irrational,” [Ameke, 87] in the medicine of his day but why and how one can proceed to escape from such a useless muddle. In medicine, he despised whatever was harmful and what did not make sense, usually both together. “That is the essence of science: ask an impertinent question, and you are on the way to a pertinent answer.” [Jacob Bronowski (1908–1974), The Ascent of Man, ch. 4 (1973)] Hahnemann had the immense audacity and conviction to “prescribe one single, simple medicament and nothing more,” [Ameke, 97] and then simply wait and observe. This was the essence of his approach for the reform of medicine.
Other influences were also at work in their impact on medicine. One problem that reared its head was “the whirligig of natural philosophy” [Ameke, 48] which had taken hold of many people, most of whom were “suffering from the spirit of the age.” [Ameke, 48] None of this brought any benefit to medicine, according to Hahnemann. It just gave the signal and increased the tendency to invent more wild theories. Yet, in therapeutics, disease was increasingly regarded as a “departure from normal form and composition, that is, anatomical and chemical change.” [Ameke, 49] Consequently, “one theory was superseded by another,” [Ameke, 53] and people frequently switched sides many times. As a result, “dogmatism and a persecuting spirit,” [Ameke, 57] became the dominant spirit, just as if religious sectarianism were breaking out in medicine and inspiring many unnecessarily “embittered disputes.” [Ameke, 58] Eighteenth century medicine was crisis-torn, with rival theories pitched against each other in an unseemly battle for supremacy.
As early as 1784, he “speaks contemptuously of fashionable physicians.” [Ameke, 76] He also tried to “direct the attention of his fellow-practitioners to the many absurdities of the day.” [Ameke, 77] Why? because he wanted them to be more critical. A good example is when he says, “we must forcibly sever ourselves from these deified oracles if we wish to shake off the yoke of ignorance and credulity.” [Ameke, 77] He rebelled against any deference to medical authority [because so and so says this] as a means of validating a method or concept. He insisted on thinking for himself and experiment as a superior path. He infinitely preferred consulting “nature and experience,” [Ameke, 126] to any medical theory.
Hahnemann was taught the medicine of mixed strong drugs, which he confessed, “clung to him more obstinately than the miasma of any disease.” [Ameke, 78] Although in the first few years of his practice he adhered to this approach, “he was gradually emancipating himself from this bad system.” [Ameke, 78] It did not work, in spite of his best efforts. As early as 1784, “he advocates a simple method…instead of the farrago of contradictory prescriptions.” [Ameke, 78] In the year 1798, “he inveighs against the physicians who love prescriptions containing many ingredients…[regarding it as] the height of empiricism…the employment of mixtures of strong medicines.” [Ameke, 81] He was realising that the chief problems were mixed drugs, strong doses and damaging methods like blood-letting, purges and enemas. Nothing in the medicine of his day was either curative or gentle.
Instead of mixed drugs he would increasingly “give only one simple remedy at a time…[Ameke, and so] in these simplest maladies he gave single simple remedies out of the store of existing drugs which was then small.” [Ameke, 80] His careful and methodical approach reveals just “how earnest was his striving after truth and how great his anxiety for the improvement of therapeutics.” [Ameke, 85] He especially “surpassed his mixture-loving contemporaries in the gifts of observation and investigation.” [Ameke, 85] Hahnemann confidently declares that, “using several drugs at once…is the true sign of charlatanism. Quackery always goes hand in hand with complicated mixtures…[which is] so far removed from the simple ways and laws of nature.” [Ameke, 86]
In 1805, he states “a single simple remedy is always…the most beneficial…it is never necessary to give two at once.” [Ameke, 86] He denounces “drugs…which must fight against diseases,” [Ameke, 87] as deriving from a misunderstanding of sickness with such doctors viewing patients “through glasses tinged with ideal systems,” [Ameke, 87] which are utterly useless means to cure sickness. They did this rather than investigate matters for themselves, as he was doing. They obstinately clung to theory and eschewed the spirit of empiricism Hahnemann loved and which was the guiding beacon of his life. No physicians other than Hahnemann “preached this important truth with such energy and such conviction.” [Ameke, 87] He “attacked deference to authority in therapeutics as early as 1786 and 1790.” [Ameke, 87]
It is perfectly true that “no physician since Paracelsus had dared to expose with such frankness and boldness the miserable condition of the medical treatment of the period…[and] that requires a thorough reform from top to bottom.” [Ameke, 98] Is modern medicine really any better? Is it less harmful, more logical or more curative? Which, if any?
In therapeutics, Hahnemann regarded the many who became “involved in gossamer subtleties,” [Ameke, 97] as fools, because such was “a misdirection of mental energy,” [Ameke, 97] that might be much better employed for the more serious task of observing patients and using single drugs in small doses. Rather than do that, they foolishly preferred to use “sweetening, diluting, purifying, loosening, thickening, cooling and evacuating measures,” [Ameke, 95] that would not cure the patient anyway. Therefore, in his view, patients faced “the wretched and hopeless choice of one of the numerous methods, almost all equally impotent…[with] no fixed therapeutic principles of acknowledged value.” [Ameke, 99] In medicine, such was the outrageous state of affairs in the early years of the 19th century.
Hahnemann “acquired a great reputation for his improvements in the practice of medicine, in pharmacology, and especially in hygiene.” [Ameke, iv] Hufeland, for example, “never lost respect for Hahnemann’s genius and services to medicine.” [Ameke, iv] As a translator Hahnemann always “intercalates various improvements and inventions.” [Ameke, 12] He was widely regarded as “a writer who has improved and perfected,” [Ameke, 14] any text translation he undertook. This was no chance comment. Numerous examples exist of this observation. Numerous honours and accomplishments in chemistry and pharmacy preceded his discovery of homeopathy, what Ameke calls “his pre-homeopathic labours.” [Ameke, x] Various writers refer to “Hahnemann’s superiority,” [Ameke, 18] or to this “very valuable book by my esteemed friend, Dr Samuel Hahnemann.” [Ameke, 18]
These comments mostly allude to his innumerable minor discoveries and embellishments to the art of chemistry, or to the value of his translation footnotes all completed before the emergence of homeopathy. For example, “in 1788, Hahnemann discovered the solubility of metallic sulphates in boiling nitric acid.” [Ameke, 28] Another is “the test for wine invented by Dr Hahnemann [which] has especially pleased me.” [Ameke, 29] Or “Hahnemann’s mercury, an excellent and mild preparation, the usefulness of which has been proved.” [Ameke, 32] He is variously described as “a capable physician,” [Ameke, 75] and “one of the most distinguished physicians of Germany…of matured experience and reflection…a man rendered famous by his writings.” [Ameke, 75]
In 1799 one writer alludes to Hahnemann by calling him “a man who has made himself a name in Germany both as a chemist and a practitioner [who] deserves especial recommendation,” [Ameke, 37] and adds that “every article gives evidence of having been written with the greatest care.” [Ameke, 37] Another critic expresses his admiration for “a man who has conferred so many benefits on science…by his valuable translations…that are faithful and successful…[who has] added precious notes which expand and elucidate [the original]” [Ameke, 40] such that “he has thus enhanced the value of the work.” [Ameke, 40] So highly regarded were Hahnemann’s translations “which he has enriched with his own notes.” [Ameke, 40] These “great many explanatory and supplementary remarks…give the translation a great advantage over the original.” [Ameke, 40]
Such writers could clearly appreciate the “thoroughness of his emendations…his short notes…[which] serve to explain the text…and which is enhanced by the translator’s notes.” [Ameke, 40-41] Such comments reveal the clear and unambiguous recognition which he received for his “thorough pharmaceutical knowledge and industry…this celebrated chemist…this meritorious physician…the meritorious Hahnemann…whom chemistry has to thank for many important discoveries.” [Ameke, 41] He is unanimously applauded as one who “has won for himself unfading laurels,” [Ameke, 42] for his contributions to science. Hahnemann was “so much respected and renowned for his valuable services,” [Ameke, 90] that he did not require to “to make himself more popular with the German public.” [Ameke, 90]
When Hahnemann correctly stated that “Arsenic does not contain muriatic acid…[this showed] Hahnemann’s superiority,” [Ameke, 18] in points of chemistry. In all his translations, “accuracy prevails everywhere,” [Ameke, 22] and reflects the “extreme care he employed in his labours.” [Ameke, 22] As early as 1784, “Hahnemann advocated the crystallisation of tartar emetic.” [Ameke, 24] It was in the fine details of his corrections and footnote additions that he earned his reputation as a meticulous, highly knowledgeable, diligent and thus reliable scientific translator. In time, he garnered a similar reputation for his work reforming pharmacy, for example, “the regulation and sale of poisons,” [Ameke, 34] the “preservation of odoriferous substances,” [Ameke, 34] and the “evaporation of extracts over water baths.” [Ameke, 34] Ameke also lists many pages of examples of his contributions to pharmacy and examples of his recommended small doses for drugs of all types.
In such innumerable ways Hahnemann was considered to have “enriched our therapeutic thesaurus.” [Ameke, 35] In every case, they all prove “how thoroughly Hahnemann had studied the subject,” [Ameke, 34] in question, whether it was botany, pharmacy or chemistry. It meant that when he made a statement “every page shows that the well informed author speaks from experience,” [Ameke, 37] it shows his great diligence, that he composed work of more than “an ordinary character,” [Ameke, 37] that he always produced “useful work,” [Ameke, 38] and that “he surpassed most of them in knowledge of the subjects,” [Ameke, 38] on which he expounded. Such factors considerably enhanced his scientific credentials.
Hahnemann “even wished to see the names of diseases abolished.” [Ameke, 116] Though he recognised the obvious convenience of disease classification schemes, he “always advocated individualisation and taught it systematically.” [Ameke, 116] He felt that giving diseases names was a highly misleading habit that inevitably led to disreputable rote prescribing, and to viewing a sickness as an actual thing. Though he did use crude drugs throughout the 1790s, he developed a peculiar method of administering the drug “in very small but continually increasing doses, till some severe symptoms manifest themselves.” [Ameke, 119] He later called this the ‘primary toxic action’ of a drug. Then the dose was abruptly stopped and beneficial results awaited. He later called this the ‘curative secondary reaction’ of the vital force elicited by a drug [see Organon §57, 59, 63, 64-6, 69, 112, 114-5, 130, 133, 137-8, 161 for primary and secondary effects of drugs]. He gradually diminished the doses he used throughout that decade. He always used smaller doses than his contemporaries, and experimented a great deal in achieving good results from the tiniest doses. These trials obviously flowed from his conviction that large doses were intrinsically harmful and felt it was his duty to find a saner, more rational and less damaging approach to the whole question of dosage of drugs. He soon saw the reform of drug dosage as absolutely crucial for any reform of medicine itself.
Mercury in syphilis is probably “the only instance after 1799 in which he recommends stronger doses.” [Ameke, 121] His method “began with small ones and gradually increased them up to the point of slight toxic action.” [Ameke, 121] In this manner he aimed to transform himself into “the zealous, careful observer, the conscientious physician.” [Ameke, 121] Though he had not as yet “raised the smallness of the dose to a general therapeutic principle,” [Ameke, 121] yet this practice of unrelenting dose experimentation “was peculiar to him, and distinguished him from all his colleagues.” [Ameke, 121] He also “noted accurately the duration of action,” [Ameke, 121] of drugs that he used. No-one else was doing this. And all the while these experiments formed an essential part of “his laudable endeavours to attain to simplicity of treatment.” [Ameke, 121]
In recommending smaller doses for numerous drugs, Hahnemann was basing his view on direct observations of the actions of drugs on the body. Repeatedly, he grounds his medical views not in high-faluting theories but through consulting “nature and experience,” [Ameke, 126] as his chief guides in all that he says. In the footnotes to Cullen , Monro  and the Edinburgh Dispensatorium , he disagrees with almost every dosage listed by the original author, concluding always that “large doses…must do harm.” [Ameke, 126] Instinctively, he rebelled against large doses as harmful.
In every case, therefore, he recommends “an incredibly small quantity,” [Ameke, 127] of the drugs he discusses, because the large doses “multiplied experience will not allow me to advise.” [Ameke, 127] The results “of the zealous and careful researches of our genial investigator forced upon him…the conviction that the doses…accepted as normal, were much too large.” [Ameke, 127] History records “no instance…of a physician ever having attempted to determine the question of the suitable dose with such zealous endeavour as the clear-sighted, indefatigable and thoughtful Hahnemann.” [Ameke, 127]
Severing his link with tradition, and basing his views solely upon direct observation and experience, he “proceeded still further in the diminution of the dose.” [Ameke, 128] Nor did he recommend drugs on the old basis. He did not aim “to produce emesis, purgation, or narcosis; neither did he employ them to cleanse the blood of acridities…cutting the phlegm, softening of indurations, or destroying parasites.” [Ameke, 128-9] What such low dose preparations he used did, was to “favourably influence the curative process.” [Ameke, 129] This means they assist the natural healing powers. This was a radically new therapeutic concept.
Furthermore, he found that small doses of the best remedy would create “as great an impression as if they were infants at the breast.” [Ameke, 129] By this he meant, “the sensitiveness of the human body to medicines…transcends all belief.” [Ameke, 129] He especially means sensitivity to similar medicines. He himself was “astounded at his discovery.” [Ameke, 129] He too regarded as incredible “the results obtained by a millionth, a billionth, etc, part of a grain of medicine.” [Ameke, 129] As is now well known, he soon went on to obtain “results which could not be obtained with the crude substances.” [Ameke, 131] Drugs, which obviously contained no detectable substance, still “possessed great healing power.” [Ameke, 131] They heal by their similarity to the case totality and by stimulating the innate self-healing powers.
This breakthrough in dose reduction and medicine preparation also meant that many previously “highly poisonous substances,” [Ameke, 131] could now be brought into harmless use as healing agents. They could indeed be “converted into…powerful remedial agents in the hands of a skilful physician.” [Ameke, 131] Dismissing the views of his “dogmatical and credulous predecessors,” [Ameke, 133] whose theories and “deductions ran counter to the maxims of experience,” [Ameke, 133] Hahnemann, as “a practical physician,” [Ameke, 133] grounded his medical views solely in the “science of experience.” [Ameke, 133] He roundly condemned the “imaginings of physicians,” [Ameke, 133] which he felt to have no place in any rational healing art. What he also called “speculative refinements, arbitrary axioms…dogmatic assumptions…[and the] magnificent conjuring games of so-called theoretical medicine.” [Ameke, 134] Instead, Hahnemann had respect solely for “a science of pure experience…knowledge of the disease to be treated and the actions of drugs.” [Ameke, 134] These, he insists can only be deduced “from pure experience and observation,” [Ameke, 134] rather than from signatures or ‘old wives tales,’ which he despised.
In his own house “he liked to wear a brightly-flowered dressing-gown, yellow slippers and black velvet cap.” [Ameke, 157] His long pipe “was seldom out of his hand, and this indulgence in tobacco was the only relaxation from his abstemious mode of life…his food extremely frugal.” [Ameke, 157] When seeing patients, instead of a bureau, “he used a large plain square table on which three or four huge folios lay, in which he had entered the histories of the maladies of his patients…[and] in which he wrote down their cases…with the exactness which he recommends in his Organon.” [Ameke, 157]
Wilhelm Ameke, History of Homœopathy, with an appendix on the present state of University medicine, translated by A. E. Drysdale, edited by R. E. Dudgeon, London: E. Gould & Son, 1885.
This is the personal clinic of Dr Guillermo Zamora in Mexico..
He treats the local populace there for reasonable prices..
I love to see how the clinics look and run in other countries…
He dispenses his own medicines.
The consulting room…
Please feel free to contact us on the email above.
Is an allopathic qualification essential to being a good homoeopathic practitioner?
After much discussion ~ and based on the reality that most allopathically trained physicians do NOT have a good grasp on the correct practice of homoeopathy, we at the IHM have concluded that it is not, and moreover, that bridging the gap between medical and non-medical homoeopaths is an integral part of the therapy’s future.
To this end, we have decided on the following:
- We aim to strengthen the IHM’s presence worldwide, and especially in Spain where its headquarters are currently located, by continuing as an independent homoeopathic research and teaching association offering international seminars, practitioner training and master classes. We have presented Seminars since 1987 and formed 5 teaching colleges.
- To offer IHM membership to medical and non-medical practitioners, according to IHM’s membership requirements, which will endorse a practitioner as a well trained specialist in homoeopathic medicine regardless of allopathic qualifications. We only teach the therapy as per the Organon and do not overlay the writings of Kent or any modern thinking regarding what homoeopathy is.
The IHM Association will comprise of
- Support members. (Non practitioners.)
- Student Homoeopaths
- H.M licentiate Homoeopaths (medical and non medical)
Only Licentiate Practitioners, those who have trained with the IHM and have passed the requisite entry requirements for endorsement, will be promoted on the IHM’s official register.
What we offer:
Based on the writings and thoughts of Samuel Hahnemann,
“…I have decided to open here in Leipsic, at the beginning of April, an Institute for Graduated Physicians. In this Institute I shall elucidate in every respect the entire homoeopathic system of healing as taught in the “Organon,” and shall make a practical application of it with patients treated in their presence, and thus place my pupils in a condition to be able to practise this system in all cases themselves. A six months’ course will be sufficient to enable any intelligent mind to grasp the principles of this most helpful science of healing. More detailed conditions will be sent on receipt of a prepaid envelope. Dr. Samuel Hahnemann.Leipsic. 4th December, 1811.”
We took a look at the procedure to train persons to become a homoeopathic physician. Knowing that most people cannot take a 6 months sabbatical (as per Hahnemanns proposal) we have devised a method of seminar attendance and home study that spans one year. This will include:
- An initial 4 day intensive training session at our Seville Spain faculty. This training is for both neophytes and practicing consultants.
- A further period of guided home study.Online discussions.Another day 5 training session in our Seville faculty with emphasis on case management.
- A final assessment by the IHM officers and moderators as to readiness to be placed on the IHM register as a licentiate of the Institute.
(If in the opinion of the training officers, if is thought that a practitioner is of sufficient knowledge and expertise and practices according to Hahnemanns methods, the IHM will consider awarding a licentiateship after the primary one week training.)
What we cover in the 4 day intensive.
- A thorough grounding in Hahnemanns methodology and teachings.
- You will see through case analysis how his method of understanding the disease state is superior to any other and allows for an accurate case management program.
- You will see what a ‘miasm’ is and how to take it into account if required.
- You will learn LM or Q potencies and how to use them.
- You will learn rubric understanding of the Therapeutic Pocket Book and see its superiority in case analysis.
- You will have more success in your practice utilizing Hahnemanns directions.
The languages used for teaching are English or Spanish.
(For those in South America, we also have a IHM teaching course in operation: https://institutodemedicinahomoeopaticaamericalatina.wordpress.com/2016/09/12/curso-de-capacitacion-homeopatica-para-principiantes-online-o-semipresencial/
For those in Asia, we have a course for beginners based in Hong kong. http://homeopathyhk.academy/
For those in Israel we have a practitioner training. Contact vera.homeopath@gmail . com
We will consider traveling to a location and conducting the teaching on site for 6 or more students for the 4 day intensive. Contact us to discuss.
We also conduct 2 day seminars in Spain. Contact us to discuss.
The IHM uses primary source materials for all of its teachings. Gary Weaver and Vladimir Polony compiled the SYNOPSIS computer program and spent 3 years working on updating the 1846 Therapeutic Pocket Book by Boenninghausen, to correct errors of insertion, gradings and removing the incorrect additions by Allen. P & W also clarified the outdated English language and revised the terminology yet remained true to the original meaning. The repertory has been translated from the original German (included in the program) to English, Spanish, Italian, Hebrew and Polish. More languages will be added as and when.
The officers of the IHM are also the teachers.
Licenciado en Medicina por la Universidad de Sevilla, año 1983
Formación en Homeopatía
Estudios en Homeopatía de México
Máster en Homeoptía por la Universidad de Sevilla
Cursos de especialización en Homeopatía con diversos profesores internacionales
Ejercicio en Homeopatía desde el año 1983
Consulta: Barriada los Príncipes Parcela 7 Bloque 8, Sevilla
Tlf 606 207 345
Licenciado en Medicina por la Universidad de Sevilla en 1982
Formacion en Homeopatia en Mexico D.F. en 1984-85 por el IMHAC
Formación continuada en Homeopatia por diferentes Profesores Internacionales reconocidos.
Acreditación en Medicina Homeopatica por el Real e Ilustre Colegio Oficial de Médicos de Sevilla
Ejercicio Clínico-Homeopatico desde 1983
Consulta: C/ Guadalupe, 5, 1ºB, Sevilla
Dhom med (Lic) IHM Licencia de Homeopatia Institute for Homoeopathic Medicina U.S.A. 2010.
Degree in Art.
Degree in Music Theory.
Studied Homoeopathy in the Vithoulkas method 1988.
Studied and practiced the Andre Saine method for 8 years.
Trained with the Institute for Homoeopathic Medicine for 4 years.
Semi retired private Practice in Pasadena California. Works for the I.H.M. Administration.
Vera Resnick. Dhom med (Lic) IHM.
BA International Relations, Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel 1986
Qualified from Madicin, Tel Aviv, Israel (Homoeopathy) in 2004
Post Graduate studies with David Little 2004-2006
Advanced Clinical Studies with the IHM 2010-
Clinic: 43 Emek Refaim, Jerusalem, Israel
English and Hebrew speaker.
Dr. Gary Weaver D.O., Dhommed I.H.M., H.A.Delhi., M.C.C.H (England), H.B.C.C. (India)., Dgrad H.I.Sydney.Dr. Weaver began his studies in Homoeopathy in 1979 training in England and India. In 1987 he became the co-founder of the Manchester College of Classical Homoeopathy and in 1989 founded the Leeds College of Classical Homoeopathy. In 1990 he founded the Institute for Homoeopathic Medicine in Dublin Ireland. In 1990 he opened the Kuopio Homoeopathic Education and Research Association in Finland. From 2003-2007 he conducted research into the original repertory of Boenninhausen, and is co- director of OpenRep SYNOPSIS the specialist Boenninghausen software. Gary Weaver has presented seminars in Australia, India, Hong Kong, Finland Spain and England.
Médico Cirujano UAG., Dhom med (Lic) IHM
Clinic: Pino Suarez 464 ext. 2 Zamora Michoacán, México
Spanish and English spoken
Recently a close colleague and friend refered a patient to me. I dont think he felt confident in his abilities to deal with the issue. I totally refute this erroneous notion but once I looked at the scans supplied of the patients disorder, I understood why. I was filled with sadness and dismay. Rarely have I seen such an infiltration of tumours in organs. I knew we were dealing with a small time frame in which to attempt to get get the body to heal itself if at all possible.
We talked on the phone and as I took the symptoms as felt by the patient, I was struck by the determination to overcome the problem, yet I also felt that the patient knew how difficult a position they were in. I was not asked for a prognosis, because between us in the short time we knew each other, only one hour, there was an openess and honesty present. We both knew what we were dealing with.
We got the core of the issue quickly. I believe our conversation allowed the patient to accept some things about life and let go of troublesome feelings. Relaxation was heard in the voice.
My mind had formulated a symptomatic choice of remedy, yet I wanted to be sure so as to not make a mistake. We talked on the Friday and I said that I would contact again on the Sunday with the remedy choice and protocol for taking.
24 hours later, the patients life ended due to being overwhelmed with the disease.
Im not a person to cry easily. I am a person to be affected deeply though by emotions. Death is so final. It is the culmination of life. Where there is hope and a quality of life to be had, I expend all my efforts to try and make it happen. I trust my therapy as the best one generally to facilitate that.
I cannot carry this experience as a failure on my part simply because I didnt get to initiate treatment. I am however grateful that I had the chance to talk with the patient and had the chance to extend support and kindness and human love in the hour of need. No promises, no false hopes, just a sharing.
There is no one to blame. It is the results of human biology and hereditary and environmental situations.
Would homoeopathy have helped? Who knows. Sometimes the human body will not respond depending on the maintaining causes, and sometimes a gentle persuasive touch from the similar remedy alters everything towards health.
I know the law of similars is the only real chance a living body has… so I keep going.
Im sorry I wasnt there earlier for you.
A lot of reflective thinking today. If disease development follows infection along a pathway, for example Tuberculosis, there is a known pathology in the aetiology. We expect a singular disease expression. However, Hahnemann opened the concept that all non venereal disease could be linked in some way. He attributed it to skin ailments which could cause internal problems, and of course has had thousands of years to modify.
Here is where I am with it all. Its my thoughts and I take full responsibility if Im wrong…
There is nothing to prevent mankind from being susceptible to all things that affect mankind. Some diseases will overcome the immune system without mercy. SOME individuals will escape the effects but generally, mankind per se will be affected.
In real terms, we as Earths inhabitants, get sick, locally and globally. Some diseases affect nations of certain ethnic characteristics more than another and some nations have no immunity to other nations diseases at all. Yet in this day and age, the world is pretty much an open field as far as disease is concerned.
I postulate the theory that humans to a lesser or greater degree, carry genetically and biologically, the capacity to develop ANY disease as we are predisposed to them, and as such ALL disease share a link. There is no such thing as a PSORA infection. There however is the ability to contage an infection from someone who carries bacteria, or a virus, or a fungus which is PART of the connected worldwide disease source which is classified as Psora. Genetically, I am sure we pass on susceptibility which is triggered when we get infected.
Hahnemann stated that he himself never had Psora. Which logically means that he never contaged a connected disease, but was susceptible to annual acute diseases of no deeper connection.
This allows for people to stop looking for the missing infection of Psora… It is not there. IT never has been. Once infected with certain disease causations, we are open to everything, dependent on our immunity and level of health.
I welcome thoughts on this topic.
I was talking with the student who told me of this case, and I decided to write it up for her as a reminder of her first CASE taking and prescription. This student has studied the repertory very hard, to understand the meaning of the rubrics. English is her second language as with members of the Hong Kong Academy so I am doubly impressed with the efforts.
A family member caught a cold. She had a bland watery discharge from the nose. Body felt OK but eyes were tired, wanting to close which felt better. Appetite normal, Not much thirst but found herself wanting to drink water. Also had a chilliness internally, and feeling cold. There was a small cough present but not definable. As there were 121 remedies in cough rubric, it was left out because the other SX would cover.
Based on this, a careful evaluation of the sx led to this prescription.
So what happened? Within a day all sx cleared up. However, The patient had a Chicken Pie the next day and a cough developed.
Her SX were:
1. feeling itchy in throat
2. cough but no expectoration
3. feeling better after water
4. feel like something in throat
5. saliva more than normal
6. feeling cold.
She phoned me at this point, a little disheartened thinking that perhaps she had failed, so I spent time showing her how disease progresses and changes with SX and how we have to follow them as they develop. She was more than happy and competent to go back and re evaluate. I asked her to look at original rubric list and remove SX that were no longer there and add new Sx.
The patient has not been given any medicine due to not being around, but on reading the MM the student feels Phos fits the picture better than Nux now.
When a student has learned to trust the Materia Medica as the final arbiter in a case, I know that they have understood. Makes me very happy.
There is a trend with Kentian trained homoeopaths, to learn remedies based on personality prescriptions. The training undergone by the practitioners is slanted that way to make it ‘easier’ to prescribe.
The problem with this type of prescribing and remedy comprehension, is simply that it is wrong and dangerous.
Remedies dont have personalities. They are a collection of symptoms produced by a substance. The substances ‘poison’ the living host to produce reaction and the reactive host develops symptoms based entirely on the content of the substance and in the same manner every time. By attributing personalities to the remedy, it destroys the rationale of finding a disease state in a person or animal based on individual symptoms rather than being influenced by the ‘personality’ of the remedy, ie, sulphur is a dirty unkempt dreamer of many things.
I have been in the company of a ‘homoeopath’ for a week who uses intuition and kinesiology to prescribe. A sick patient was in his clinic and he asked me what I would give… after 5 minutes and checking a symptom in the repertory, I made a prescription. He took the bottle of the medicine I prescribed, placed it on her neck and raised her arm. He said, “I dont feel this remedy is correct” and gave her something else. I said to him gently that the patient was very sick and that the remedy I prescribed, in my experience and knowledge of both the disease and the remedy, would be effective in stopping a progression the acute disease.
He said that his intuition confirmed by the muscle testing said otherwise. Later that day, the patient worsened and was taken to hospital…. The homoeopath explained to me that obviously the patient was too sick for the remedy to work! The father of the patient, who had been in the room during our conversation, phoned me later that night, and told me the sx were the same and wanted to know the remedy name I prescribed to give the child. He came to my clinic, picked up the remedy and administered it. The child broke the fever, perspired and was feeling better in 7 hours.
I consider myself intuitive. I see intuition as a subconscious assimilation of experiences, observations and learned knowledge that is tucked away in the recesses of the mind. Many times in observing a patient, I have a feel for a medicine, BUT is based on symptoms expressed that I subconsciously have picked up through my senses and have observed before or have read about… I still balance this intuitive feel with the concrete reality of the Materia Medica.
Having the experience of thousands and thousands of patients over the years, there is knowledge assimilated of symptoms that respond to a certain remedy or treatment protocol. I see a triad of symptoms and recognise the ‘picture’ of a remedy which has these clinical characteristics, and despite the disease name, are present.
I am also keenly aware of subconscious behavioral changes in my relationships. I know when something is not quite right or is different or off. I may not know why, however I know something is going on. I think humans develop similar body behaviour patterns that a discerning observer can pick up subconsciously and relate to previous experiences and thus see what is going to happen shortly, and it does.
Intuition based on solid experience and training is helpful. Based on a false spiritual foundation will fail all too often.
When I work with my colleague Manuel in the clinic, we will come to a remedy based on solid logical reasons. However a few times, Manuel will say to me “you are not happy with this prescription are you?” This is a cue to re-evaluate the case and look for things we had missed. I am unhappy with the prescription simply because it did not match the pace, pitch and power of my experience with the remedy. It does not “feel right” even though the symptoms match.
We had a child with a bad cold and pains in his body…difficult to get sx as was just less than 2 years old. He had been sick for a week. We arrived at a remedy…. this was a “you are not happy with this prescription are you?” time.
So we just observed a little more. He was sat in the clinic, the temp was hot, just a diaper on… when the fan blew on him, it did not bother him at all. Our clinic table is glass. I picked the child up and placed him on the table. He immediately began to cry. A minute later I placed his hand on the table and he began to cry again.
I used the rubrics AGGRAVATION cold becoming, part of the body, and touching an object cold. These and other symptoms led us to RHUS TOX as the remedy. he was better the next day.
The correct use of intuition, willing to trust the inner knowledge gained with experience, is a good thing. However, is best to hone the intuition with checking the facts.