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.

Advertisements