My Knee & Me: An Update

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I am happy to report that my knee, the achy, swollen joint that I wrote about a couple of days ago, continues to look and act very much like it’s old self.  In fact, just before sitting down at my desk (with my knee bent, thank you very much) to write this, I took the stairs down to the lower level office and then came back up them again, all without pain or incident.  So it seems as if the healing has taken place and the job is done.

I’ve been asked several times since my first post what remedy I used to achieve success. And I have responded to those who asked that my point in writing the post was not to discuss individual remedies (indeed, sometimes I worry that when we mention individual remedies by name that newcomers to homeopathy then associate that remedy with that particular condition, a mindset that is allopathic and not homeopathic–so forgive me if I can be a wet blanket at times), but to stress the way in which homeopathic healing takes place when it takes place.
But since my friends on my Facebook writer’s wall wormed it out of me, I thought I would update you and tell you the remedy.

Most of those who guessed guessed that I took Apis.  Which is a very smart, on-target guess, as Apis is very often used to help people who suffer with arthritis and because it also has an affinity for the knees.  But it was not the remedy.  Very close to it, but not it.

The remedy was Formic Acid, which is an acid contained in (I think) all insect venom.  It certainly is in ant venom (and there is a remedy called Formica that is to the ant what Apis is to the bee), as well as in bee venom.  So Formic Acid and Apis and Formica are all very closely allied remedies.  As to the potency, it was indeed a 200 C, single dose.
Thanks to all who sent good wished and encouragement to me at the time of the post.  Isn’t  it great that something like arthritis–which, let’s face it, is no fun at all–doesn’t have to hold us back if we know our materia medica?

Oprah, Isaac Newton, Homeopathy & Me


Like most of the rest of the American public that enjoys the freedom to watch television in the middle of a workday afternoon, I recently watched the last three episodes of “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” the two-part special featuring a twenty-five year assortment of topics and guests and the final, quiet, Johnny-Carson-inspired last show.

In that last show, Oprah told us that she wanted to leave with us a few of the principles that guide her life.  It was one of these principles that made me sit up and take notice.

Because this was the first time in all these years that I was aware that Oprah and I had something—or someone—in common.  And that someone is Isaac Newton and the something his Third Law of Motion.

Now I have to admit that I usually take a break at four in the afternoon in order to watch Judge Judy enact her Senior Rage against those who allow themselves to be foolishly placed in her power by her television production staff, so the switch to Oprah, with my usual cup of tea, was not so unusual in terms of time period, just in terms of content (the lack of yelling “Stand Up!” was amazing).

About a third of the way into the show—just as I was quite honestly considering taking a look to see who Judy was hectoring that afternoon—Oprah suddenly mentioned Newton, in a manner similar to the way that I have brought in up in my classes over the past twenty or so years.  She used Isaac Newton to explain the spiritual concept of Karma.

Before showing a great clip from the film “The Color Purple” in which Celie finally stands up to her abusive husband Mister and tells him, “All that you have done to me you have already done to yourself,” Oprah explained that, as a universal principle, Newton’s Third Law can be applied to everything in our universe—applied to our own lives and how they work as well.

At that moment, I thought of another moment a long time ago, in which I finally understood homeopathy on a fundamental level when I realized that it is the embodiment of Newton’s Third Law—that it is the Third Law applied to medicine.

The great thing about using Newton as a learning tool, is that he comes already loaded in the hard drive of all our brains.  Whether we remember the year in school in which we learned it or not and whether we remember that it is called Newton’s Third Law of Motion or not, we all know it by heart:  “For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.”

Every time I bring it up in class, I start by giving them the first part of the statement.  I say, “For every action there is,” and I’ve yet to meet a student yet who does not fill in the second half of the equation, “an equal and opposite action.”

Then I simply tell them that, if they understand that, they already understand homeopathy.  Because the First Law of Cure states the same thing:  “Like cures like.”

Homeopathy, you see, is the only form of medicine that works by Newton’s principle, that works WITH the laws governing our universe and our bodies.

Allopathic medicine works in direct opposition to Newton’s law.

Think about it.

If you have a patient who is ill and if you can picture that sick patient as swinging on a pendulum from a place marked “Health” to a place marked “Illness,” then that patient is swinging from Health to Illness.  The allopath, because he gives medicines that work in opposition to the symptoms that the patient is experiencing naturally in his illness (he gives, for instance, a medicine that dries up the sinuses to the patient with a cold or allergies and gives a medicine that puts a patient to sleep for the patient with insomnia, etc.) gives the patient a potent (and some would say toxic, but let’s worry about that another day) medicine that sends that patient abruptly swinging the other way.

This is the honeymoon period of the allopathic dose.  For a time, the allopath’s medication allows the patient to pretend that he is not ill, as the medicine, through its direct and primary action suppresses the patient’s symptoms of illness.  It is important to note that, of course, they are still there, the medicine in no way has cured the cold or the insomnia, only allowed the patient to not have to feel them for a brief period of time.

But then something happens, that equal and opposite reaction.  And the honeymoon period ends.  Because the body reacts to the medicine and, again, sends the patients swinging in the opposite direction—this time toward illness.  And the patient is left with a choice:  keep taking the medicine, often in greater and greater doses in order to achieve the same result (because the body will continue to counter the action of the medicine, in keeping with that Third Law of Newton’s) or experience an even more powerful form of the illness that has been created by working AGAINST the equal and opposite action.

On the other hand, homeopathy works completely in keeping with Newton’s principle:  when you give a homeopathic remedy, you are COUNTING ON the equal and opposite reaction in order for the healing to take place.  Homeopathic treatments are based in the concept that the body will heal itself—that in all cases of medical treatment, the purpose of the medicine is to assist the body in healing itself and not to take over the self-healing task from the body (another important topic for another day).

So homeopathic treatments work like this:  The first or primary action of the remedy is actually to continue the patient’s arc INTO illness.  This is why so many homeopathic treatments begin with an aggravation.  Because the remedy given will, in a totally well person, create the symptoms that the patient is experiencing naturally (already all on his own), then the remedy will actually enhance the symptoms and, in doing so, will alert the immune system that a more powerful response is needed than had been planned for.  In this way, the homeopathic treatment actually assists and enhances the immune response.

The equal and opposite reaction in this case is for the body’s immune function (Vital Force for all the Vitalists out there) to push back against the symptoms associated both with the illness and with the remedy (that acts in a manner just like the illness—remember:  Like Cures Like) and, in doing so, bring about a healing response.

Unlike the allopathic treatment in which the symptoms are suppressed and hidden for a time, the patient numbed to his own pain and suffering, in the homeopathic treatment the symptoms are removed, not by the action of the remedy, but by the body’s own healing mechanism, which has been assisted by the remedy’s potency.  How good is that?  How elegant and how in keeping with the way in which we heal?

Given that Oprah can make the leap to see karma as the expression of Newton’s Third Law, I live in hope that one day she will see how homeopathy is the embodiment of that law in terms of health and healing.  And then, on that day, homeopathy will gain its greatest advocate.

May that day come soon.

The Miraculous “Non-Event”: A Homeopathic Healing


I am in a really great mood today.  And, frankly, I am in it because of homeopathy, which has spurred me on to post this.

You see, a few years ago, I began to develop arthritis.  Like millions of other people my age—in their middle years—I find that each new decade brings new health challenges.  And, sadly, I also find that the healing process is getting longer the older I get.

I have, over the years, developed issues with arthritis in most of the joints in my body.  Happily, with treatment—I tend to favor homeopathy and acupuncture as the two modes of treatment that work best for me—I am free of pain and restriction most of the time, which is great.  I am neither dependent upon painkillers, nor do I have to ask for steroids in order to function, so, most of the time, I have no complaints.

Recently, however, I have been complaining plenty.  Because the arthritis finally discovered that I have knees.

Up to now, I have bragged that I have no pain whatsoever in my knees, that I am free to bend, reach, stretch as much as I want.  Then one day, that ended.  A few days ago, left knee swelled up to the size and color of a ruby red grapefruit and felt as if someone had, overnight while I slept, attached a car clamp to the joint.  As my knee was immobilized, I was pretty much immobilized and could only get up off my bed with the help of a cane, huffy breathing and a gallon or two of pure willpower.

I began receiving acupuncture treatments for my pain and found some immediate relief and soon found that I could move my knee a little as well.  But the recovery was slow and I found that I was burning time, since, despite their names, laptops do not really work very well when placed upon the lap.  Most days because a blur of video games on my iPad, books that I am reading to review and reruns of Judge Judy, which signal the end of yet another workday and the onset of the evening news…

But, to the point—and the point is homeopathy.  Once again I have been reminded of just how exquisite a thing homeopathic medicine is and of the fact that, when you are healed as a result of homeopathic treatment you are healed indeed.

Last night, having had a rather bad day in which my attitude had been colored the pain, I decided to take a homeopathic remedy in spite of the fact that I had had acupuncture recently.  Now, as a rule, I will never combine the two of them, as I consider them too similar in their impact upon the body to blend.  They are, after all, both forms of energy medicine, and work by breaking through blockages in the Vital Force and bringing about a state of balance in the whole system.

But, when you are in pain and there is no one watching, you tend to give things a try.  So I took a dose of a homeopathic medicine I had on hand and, blessedly, I woke this morning with a totally normal and pain-free knee.

This experience reminds me of every other one like it that I have personally experienced or witnessed over these last three decades.  What to me is so amazing, so profound about the way the homeopathy works is the simplicity of it.  The fact that, in many ways, the process of a homeopathic “cure” is a non-event.

I took the remedy last night before I went to sleep.  I did not feel anything as a result of taking it.  I was not numbed or put to sleep, I was not made nauseous, nor did I have labored breathing or any other side effect of the sort that you hear listed at the end of every television commercial for allopathic medicine.  No, I just felt…nothing.  As I say, it was a non-event.

But the results—they’re something totally different.  Because the remedy works with the symptoms and not against them, it served to help my body in its own healing process, in working with the inflammation and pain and pushing it out of my body.  The remedy did not mask or numb anything.  Instead, it boosted my own healing process and assisted it in putting things right, in removing the inflammation from my body.

As a result, I woke this morning with no pain and with a fully functioning knee.  When I woke, I got out of bed and had to stop and remember that I had been in pain and that I had had issues with the knee over the past few days.

No more walking as if from the Ministry of Funny Walks.  No more cane.  Just a knee that matches the other one, step by step, inch by inch.

Where do I go from here?  Will I need another dose of the remedy?  At this point I can’t say.  I know enough to wait and see and, in the meantime, to do nothing.  If the swelling or pain begin to re-occur, I will take another dose of my remedy.  If not, I will not.  I would be very happy and very willing to have this whole thing dealt with by a single dose, as that is a perfect example of homeopathy in action…

The Secrets of Psora


Since it’s just about a year since I started playing around with the internet, I thought perhaps it is high time to make some changes to my blog, Psora Psora Psora.

Indeed, over the last year, I’ve been asked several times, first, what the name of the blog means and, second, just what kind of blog it is.

The first question is much easier to answer.

Psora is a homeopathic term.  It literally means “itch.”  But it is most often used to refer to any disease that if functional in nature—that relates to an over-reaction or under-reaction on the part of the body.  Allergies, for instance, are a functional disorder that impact the lives of countless millions of disease.  Psoric diseases are those that will not show up on any test, that seem to be rooted in mystery, and yet—there they are.  Things don’t function right, the patient suffers and not reason can be found.

This is the heart of Psora:  a mystery.  Symptoms are its clues.  But, so far, no solution, no answer.  Psoric things are those that we have to learn to “live with.”  That we adapt to, as our lives are shaped by the limitations that Psora brings.

I named the blog Psora Psora Psora for two reasons.  First, as an homage (in other words, stolen from) the old movie, Tora Tora Tora.  As they are homonyms, it seemed apt.  Second, each Psora relates to a different level of being:  body, mind and spirit, as each can get equally fucked up, and, in it’s ultimate meaning, there is no better, simpler definition for Psora than “fucked up.”

Psora, by the way, is pronounced “sora.”  The “p” is psilent.

Now, on to that second question:  just what kind of blog is this, anyway?

Damned if I know.  I started it without a plan in mind and have managed to be very disciplined in that arena since the launch.  Blame it on Psora.  This blog is seemingly an avenue of dysfunction.  Friends of the homeopathic sort complain that I spend too much time writing about other things, about Tina Fey and pickled beets and some-such.  Friends of the literary sort think I spend WAY too much time going on and on about homeopathy.  They think I am seeing Skeptics behind every tree and under every rock and worry that I will soon take to wearing a tinfoil hat to keep the Obama administration out of my head.

All I can say about that is that I care passionately about homeopathy, and yet, if I had to post posts about what remedies to take during allergy season and nothing else, I would go mad.  But perhaps during the second year I can formulate a plan, or spin off another blog on literary matters and leave this to homeopathy. Who can say?

Finally there is the matter of the changes made.  First the look.  I like the new look—very simple.  The legal pad as if I were just jotting down ideas, barely formulating sentences.  That appeals, to me at least.

And the new “motto.”  I never liked “Writing:  Not Rocket Science.  Harder.”  Thought it a bit bitchy and not really true.  I suspect that rocket science is a bit harder than constructing a complex sentence, complete with dependent clause.  Homeopathy on the Hoof is an important concept to me, and one that I will go into in more detail later one.  Suffice it to say that, if we cannot make homeopathy part of our day-to-day life, if we cannot see the symptoms and the characteristics of the different archetypes when we see them, then we can never truly call ourselves homeopaths.

It’s been an intense year, digitally speaking.  I joined Facebook and LinkedIn and learned to Tweet (badly, irregularly) and found out how good it can be to be an Amazon Author.  And I joined the New York Journal of Books as a literary critic.  But no other part of the internet has been as much fun as this.  Here I met the Skeptics and chased those flying monkeys away.  And here I learned not only that narcissism is fun, but that, on the internet, it is expected.

Brass Tacks


First, apologies to those who follow this blog, for my delay in getting a new post up. I can only say that I have been very busy in the last few weeks working with my editor and with the production department of my publishing house getting my new book ready to go to press. But more on that in a few days when I have something concrete to announce. For today, there are other fish to fry.

Second, I want to express my joy and gratitude to the many members of the homeopathic community who are speaking up and acting out as well. I say it is high time for those who believe that homeopathy presents a valid alternative to allopathic or Standard Western medicine to speak up. And especially high time that we began to hold the feet of the media to the fire when they report as poorly as they tend to do when it comes to homeopathy. If, for example, I hear one more report that uses the word “homeopathy” interchangeably with the term “holistic” or, worse, “herbal,” I am going to make damned sure that those who made the mistake will never make it again.

It is time what we began to demand our rights to not only undertake the method of health care that we desire—both in case of illness and preventatively—but it is also time that we made our government aware of the fact that we consider our right to choose when it comes to health care to be a basic human right and not something that we are willing to surrender, now or ever. It is time for our politicians to realize that our vote is linked to the politician’s ability to prove to us (with his or her track record) that they will fight like mad to ensure that this basic right is never removed. And that in all countries in which a national health plan is in place that homeopathy is part of that plan—no and forever. Equally important, as nations like the United States now finally begin to flirt with the idea of universal coverage, it is of vital importance that homeopathy be part of that program and that those who think it is their right to block such coverage be shouted down as the petty martinets that they are.

No matter what arguments those Skeptics who attempt to want to remove homeopathy as a legal and recognized alternative to the toxins of allopathy may want to present, the simple matter is that they are trying to control our right to select the medical treatment that is most in keeping with our world view and our beliefs when it comes to health and healing. And it doing that, they overstep their rights—as their rights end where mine begin. Let me put it into all caps to make it clear: IT NEVER IS AND NEVER WILL BE RIGHT FOR ONE GROUP TO BE ABLE TO DEPRIVE ANOTHER GROUP OF THEIR RIGHT TO CHOOSE WHEN IT COMES TO POLITICAL, RELIGIOUS OR MEDICAL BELIEFS. No matter what ridicule is used, no matter what fear speak, the reality is that no one should ever have to lay down their right to choose because of the tyranny imposed upon them by others.

Suffice it to say, anyone who attempts to interfere with my right choose homeopathy or chiropractic or acupuncture when it comes to medical treatment is in for quite a fight. And I am happy and proud to see that, day by day, the number of other people who are willing to stand up and speak out along side me is growing dramatically.

We are seeing a chipping away at our right to choose. Great Britain, the home of the most of that very vocal minority known as the Skeptics, has already enacted legislation that requires homeopaths to “prove” the validity of their practice in a manner that can only be described as “Orwellian.” The sheer bullshit of the action—a means of placating the Skeptics who attempted to removed homeopathy from the National Health Care—is akin to the McCarthy hearings in the USA in the ‘50s. The results will likely be the same—a blacklist of sorts through which some homeopathic practitioners will be blocked from making statements of homeopathy’s efficacy. Statements that are made daily by food and supplement companies on television commercials and blatantly made daily by pharmaceutical companies—even though our recent history shows that those companies, more than any other, are likely to have to eat their words when their promises are proven false and their drugs proven toxic.

Why then does the British government seeks to “protect” its citizens from homeopathic medicines while allowing pharmaceutical giants like Glaxo to get by with a slap on the wrist when they are caught red handed lying about the efficacy of their products and selling tainted goods? Where is government protection then?

And why does the Canadian government—supposedly working from the same need to “protect” the citizens of is country—now feel the need to remove homeopathic remedies in the potency of 10M from store shelves? What sense does it even make? It is chop logic of the most severe sort. On the one hand, Skeptics insist that homeopathy is crap because the remedies are diluted to the point that no molecules of the original substance remain (in making this claim, they of course ignore the thousands and thousands of remedies are less dilute and have many molecules of the original medicinal substance remaining, but let’s go with it for the moment), but on the other the government feels it necessary to remove 10M potencies, one of our highest levels of potency and therefore dilution. Following the logic of the doubters, the Canadian government should have removed 6X potencies, not 10M, which are so highly diluted that most certainly no original molecules remain.

What gets me mad every time is that, Skepics and government officials alike, none of these idiots ever seem to have even the slightest understanding of what homeopathy works or why or how. None have, in my experience—and I have asked this question of many, many of them, repeatedly–have any direct experience of homeopathy. It is not as if they have visited a homeopath again and again and worked with it to achieve a healing, or studied it seriously enough to question their own values and thought processes. No, they condemn what they don’t even understand.

For instance, they continue to scream that what makes homeopathy homeopathic is the process of dilution. Not true. The basic truth of homeopathy has to do with how your look at symptoms and how you treat them, not with what. The core philosophy of homeopathy is stated “Like cures like,” not “dilute, dilute, dilute.” The core philosophy has to do with the fact that, when treating homeopathically, we always work with a patient’s symptoms, not against them.

If the doubters could start from this point and move forward from there, we might be able to have a dialogue. But as long as they wish to shout down all attempts to discuss our philosophies like adults, and as long as their bully tactics result in a slow chipping away of our rights as humans to determine our own medical care (the loss of the 10M potency in Canada may seem like a small enough thing until it is the potency you happen to need), then I say that the only appropriate response is to kick them in the balls. Once they are bent over and in pain, we could, if we wanted to, offer them a dose or two of Arnica.