Why should You Listen To Me?
Having practiced for 32 years, since I was 24 years old (I am 56 at the time of this writing: May 2010), and having treated thousands of people, one can't but help develop a profound insight into the workings of ailments and their resolution. I have a library of some 200 books on Homeopathy, and have used computerized versions of the cross-referencing programs called, 'repertory programs' for decades. These programs allow you to search for symptoms and in-put them into a file for the patient. You can then search for the most likely remedy match. I've been exposed to Homeopathy at least five days a week for all these years. I can testify that it becomes part of you, a unique way to see the world of health and its opposite.
When I began a deep study into Homeopathy in 1978, after four years of undergraduate study in philosophy and pre-med, and still in my first months of Chiropractic Medical College, an understanding of what I read came so easily. I was able to teach what I had read immediately after reading it. I became my teacher's right hand man, published a small book on his lectures and sold them to students. I took the role of teaching the introductory portions of his teaching lectures. He was Hu Claybrook, a lay-practitioner from Los Angeles, who has since passed on.
I recall clearly my first class with Hu. He was teaching at the Los Angeles College of Chiropractic. I had been accepted there but had chosen to go to a more liberal college, the Pasadena College of Chiropractic. I arrived 30 minutes late for a weekend seminar he was teaching for $35…an amount I could afford then. I sat down and at each desk where two books, a Kent's Repertory (Dr. Kent was considered the father of American Homeopathy, along with Dr. Herring) and a Boericke's Materia Medica. As Hu spoke to the class I glanced through the two books. I was astounded. The Materia Medica was a compilation of hundreds of remedies listed alphabetically, in small type font. With black leather-like binding and gold titles, it looked like a bible! Each remedy contained a list of body areas ie. Mind, Head, Eyes, Ears, Nose, Mouth, Chest, Stomach, Urinary, Rectum, etc. and modalities (hot, cold, pressure, indoor, outdoor, sunlight, night, morning, day etc). It told, in precise terms, what symptoms each remedy was able to cure for each body area. I did not know it at the time, but each symptom listed also told what symptoms the remedy had produced in people who volunteered to overdose on the remedy. This over-dosing is called a 'proving'. It proves what the remedy can create in a healthy individual. The principle being: Like Cures Like or, in Latin, Similia Similibus Curentur. (They make T-shirts printed with the Latin!) If a remedy can create a symptom in a healthy individual who is volunteering to prove the remedy, then when this remedy is given to someone who is ailing from this symptom, the ailing person, upon taking the remedy, will be cured of the ailment. It's a beautiful principle and is the corner stone of Homeopathy. All of our remedies have been proven, both by volunteers overdosing on purpose, and by clinical observation; that is, watching what happens in actual practice. The Materia Medica is the book to use when you want to read about a remedy. But I began to wonder, how will I know which remedy to read about? There are so many of them. How will I get to the remedy that contains the symptom I am looking for? I looked at the second book, Kent's Repertory. It had tabs cut out of the right edges of the book delineating chapters. The tabs were labeled from Mind to Head, Eyes, Nose….all the way to Extremities. This was a book of hundreds of thousands of symptoms. Actually, many repertories have been written, there is even a book on the history of repertories! The symptoms are listed by body region first and then alphabetically by symptom.
I wondered what might treat anxiety. I went to the Mind chapter and found anxiety. Many remedies were listed, in fact 202! Each of the 202 was in one of three different intensities, bold, italics and plain type. The bolder being a more likely choice than the italics and the italics more likely to work than a plane type remedy. Under this list were subrubrics including:
- anticipation, from
- about children
- about noise
- from reading
There are four pages in total. And some subrubrics had their own sub-sub-rubrics; for example, 'eating' had
- Ameliorated by
Each sub and sub-sub-rubric had remedies listed by it, in three intensities, remedies that had become famous for treating these specific complaints. Never before had I seen such a thorough study of medicines, neither in herbology, nutrition or pharmacology. I was very impressed, and I wonder if at that moment I became a Homeopath in spirit, although I knew there was much to study.
Now that I reflect, so many years later, I realize that taking Homeopathic cases day after day creates a spiritual awaking within you. You begin to wonder, why does dis-ease even exist, why is there strife? Why not just have a world without ailment? Those who suffer wonder this more than the practitioners. God bless them. And thank goodness there are professions that give solace to the suffering. But why would a supreme power create an environment with dis-ease and stress in the first place? Or is it just a consequence of evolution, survival of the fittest, the weak falling by the wayside, less inclined to reproduce, etc. Whether one puts their faith in a higher power or is an evolutionist, the practitioner can't help but notice, time after time, that the person seeking help will almost always learn a lesson from their experience. Even if that lesson is as simple as making the acquaintance of nice practitioners, learning to defend themselves against bossy ones, learning to organize their finances around health care, or simply getting out of the house and being able to talk to another person…all these experiences are valid. But usually the deeper lesson is about learning about love.
As practitioners, fire men, seamstresses or priests, we spend our vocational time putting out fires, helping people to discover themselves, helping them be nicer to others, and, for the medical professionals especially, curing that nagging rash or painful shingles!
I was always interested in anatomy and dis-ease, its purpose and its multitude of expressions, from herpes to psychosis. Entering the medical field, for me, was the only thing I could do. Talking to people about who they are, what motivates them, learning about their inner desires, relationships with family, mates and friends….is just the most interesting work imaginable. People are the most complex things on the planet. They are infinitely complex. I knew I would never get bored. And I haven't. Getting to know people psychologically is interesting enough but when you add to that the multitude of ways dis-ease manifests in the body, that is to say, all of the manifestations of pathological and functional (non-pathological) dis-ease, there is no way to get bored! And you also discover that you can never know it all. Life is infinite, so is medicine.
After graduating from Chiropractic Medical College in Kansas City, I then worked in a multidisciplinary, wholistic clinic in Miami, Florida for two years, treating each patient with nutrition, chiropractic and homeopathy. We had many patients come to see us from Europe. For the next ten years I operated my own five-doctor wholistic facility in Jacksonville, Florida. I did 1400 television programs on wholistic medicine and coordinated the efforts of Homeopaths, Acupuncturists, Chiropractors, Allopaths (medical doctors using pharmaceuticals) and Massage Therapists.
I became the president of the Chiropractic Academy of Homeopathy and an examiner for the National Board. In my own practice I have performed hundreds of blood tests, thousands of x-rays and MRIs, and a multitude of physical examinations and neurological tests.
Over the last thirty-two years I have studied with the most renowned homeopaths in the world, including Catherine Coulter, Eizayaga, Bill Gray, Roger Morrison and various homeopaths from India. I have an advanced standing with the NCH, a Medical Doctorate of Homeopathy from India and am a Diplomat and an examiner of the National Board of Homeopathic Examiners.
This book is about Homeopathy from my unique perspective. It is not a manual on how to practice, although, for practitioners reading this book it will be full of interesting hints on how to treat more effectively and how to organize a practice. If the reader can leave this book saying, 'now I get it', my efforts will be rewarded.
Marjorie Blackie, a British Homeopath wrote "The Patient Not the Cure". This book is similar to that one in scope. This book is more of a 'why to' instead of a 'how to'. For practitioners of Homeopathy, there is a chapter in the Appendix for them.
[On a side note, regarding the title to Dr. Blackie's book. Both the "patient" and the "cure" are important. But what she meant was that the eradication of the symptoms using suppressive pharmaceuticals, at whatever price to pay in terms of side effects, should not take precedence over treating the whole patient as a complete collection of symptoms, thoughts, feelings, morphology, personality and culture.]
When I was a philosophy and pre-med student at Boston College, with a junior year in just philosophy at the Sorbonne in Paris, I met an old man in Paris in order to receive treatment for injuries following a car accident. Monsieur Gardelle was a 70-year-old 4th Dan Aikido instructor, a massage therapist and a proponent of Macrobiotics. He worked with a massage license but did Chiropractic and Acupuncture as well. The later two illegally! One day, at the end of my 20th session with him, he asked, in French, how I felt. I responded that I had never felt better. He said, 'so much for your philosophy books'. He meant, of course, that I felt better due to his working on me and not from reading books on philosophy. This response disturbed me for two weeks until I realized I was spending all my free timing reading health books and not philosophy texts. I decided to finish my premed at Boston College. After four years of undergraduate college, I decided to go to Los Angeles to study Chiropractic. To my knowledge, at the time, Chiropractic was the only medical field that did not rely on pharmaceuticals to treat. Acupuncture was not popular then. At the time I did not know about Naturopathic Colleges. Thinking retrospectively today, I may have gone to a Naturopathic Medical College instead of Chiropractic Medical studies. Or, if I knew I was going to get so involved in constitutional Homeopathy it would have been better for my credibility to have become an MD specializing in psychiatry. I, and psychiatrists who practice Homeopathy, do not believe that a study of psychiatry makes for a better Homeopath, but the public thinks so. I am glad, that as a Chiropractic Physician, I received a thorough medical education, taught with the same textbooks used by Allopathic medical students. Twenty-One Chiropractic Medical Colleges in the U.S. share the same curriculum of over 4000 post-graduate hours, including human dissection, numerous courses in anatomy, physiology, neurology, pathology….the list is too long to list here. Suffice it to say that many non-Allopathic curriculums compete nicely, in terms of complete medical educations, with Allopathic colleges. But it's hard for the public to know this. When was the last time you saw a television documentary on Acupuncture, Homeopathy, Chiropractic or Naturopathy? The media is dominated by pharmaceutical interests these days and it is hard to compete with them as the income generated by pharmaceutical sales allows them to overrun the media with advertisements of the benefits of drug therapy. Benefits many Americans are starting to question, as has been questioned for a long time in South America, Europe and India.
Since 1978 I have listened to thousands of people (May I use the word "patient" without offending anyone? I do not see the doctor/patient relationship as one of domination of the doctor over the patient and I am comfortable with these terms). Patients have told me why they have the jobs they do, why they married who they did, who they really still love from their past relationships, the foods they like and dislike, how they drive a car, how they handle children, love making, spending money, cooking, how they handle hygiene, and their political and spiritual/religious views. Of course they have told me of all their ailments since birth, and what their parents and grand parents have suffered from. Listening to someone's life story is just so much fun. I let them do most of the talking, interrupting seldom to redirect and bring us back on topic. If you have never had your case taken by a Homeopath, I highly recommend it. Often patients will say at the end of a two-hour session, "my God, I have told you more in two hours than I have told my psychologist in six months." I respond with, "well, that is because the Homeopathic process needs to know it all, and when we connect the dots between emotional issues and physical ailments, the patient is amazed and is encouraged to talk even more." Patients actually catch on to the deeper meaning in the process of case taking and begin to want the Homeopath to know more about what traumatized them in the past so that the Homeopath can connect the dots; the patient actually assists in the process and becomes quite helpful.