How Obamacare Will Impact Integrative Healthcare

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I have to admit that I was taking a wait-and-see attitude, but this recent NPR post really gave me hope.

It seems that in beginning to make some much-needed changes to the way we Americans receive our healthcare (including making care available to millions who have, for way too long now, gone uninsured and cut off from the system), those shaping the new system have had the foresight to realize that integrative healthcare is GOOD healthcare.  And, in recognizing this, provisions have been made to make sure that “Alternative” (how I hate that term) methods of treatment will be both available and covered in the new scheme of things.

Because this information is both much-needed and somewhat hard to come by, I am posting the whole thing here.  Those who want to read the original, however, should simply click here and trail off to the NPR site.

Here’s the National Public Radio/PBS Newshour report:

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How The Health Reform Law Will Impact Alternative Medicine Access

July 29, 2013

The Affordable Care Act says that insurance companies “shall not discriminate” against any state-licensed health provider, which could lead to better coverage of chiropractic, homeopathic and naturopathic care. Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images.

Jane Guiltinan said the husbands are usually the stubborn ones.

When her regular patients, often married women, bring their spouses to the Bastyr Center for Natural Health to try her approach to care, the men are often skeptical of the treatment plan — a mix of herbal remedies, lifestyle changes and sometimes, conventional medicine.

After 31 years of practice, Guiltinan, a naturopathic physician, said it is not uncommon for health providers without the usual nurse or doctor background to confront patients’ doubts. “I think it’s a matter of education and cultural change,” she said.

As for the husbands — they often come around, Guiltinan said, but only after they see that her treatments solve their problems.

Complementary and alternative medicine — a term that encompasses meditation, acupuncture, chiropractic care and homeopathic treatment, among other things — has become increasingly popular. About four in 10 adults (and one in nine children) in the U.S. are using some form of alternative medicine, according to the National Institutes of Health.

And with the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, the field could make even more headway in the mainstream health care system. That is, unless the fine print — in state legislation and insurance plans — falls short because of unclear language and insufficient oversight.

One clause of the health law in particular — Section 2706 — is widely discussed in the alternative medicine community because it requires that insurance companies “shall not discriminate” against any health provider with a state-recognized license. That means a licensed chiropractor treating a patient for back pain, for instance, must be reimbursed the same as medical doctors. In addition, nods to alternative medicine are threaded through other parts of the law in sections on wellness, prevention and research.

“It’s time that our health care system takes an integrative approach … whether conventional or alternative,” said Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, who authored the anti-discrimination provision, in an e-mail. “Patients want good outcomes with good value, and complementary and alternative therapies can provide both.”

The federal government has, in recent years, tapped providers like Guiltinan, who is also the dean at the Bastyr University College of Naturopathic Medicine, to help advise the federal government and implement legislation that could affect the way they are paid and their disciplines are incorporated into the health care continuum. In 2012, Guiltinan, based in Kenmore, Wash., was appointed to the advisory council of the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, part of the National Institutes of Health.

Proving that alternative medicine has real, measurable benefits has been key to increasing its role in the system, said John Weeks, editor of the Integrator Blog, an online publication for the alternative medicine community. The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute, created by the health law, is funding studies on alternative medicine treatments to determine their effectiveness.

Weeks said both lawmakers and the general public will soon have access to that research, including the amount of money saved by integrating other forms of medicine into the current health system.

But the challenges of introducing alternative care don’t stop with science.

Because under the health care law each state defines its essential benefits plan — what is covered by insurance — somewhat differently, the language concerning alternative medicine has to be very specific in terms of who gets paid and for what kinds of treatment, said Deborah Senn, the former insurance commissioner in Washington and an advocate for alternative medicine coverage.

She pointed out that California excluded coverage for chiropractic care in its essential benefits plan, requiring patients to pay out of pocket for their treatment. Senn thinks the move was most likely an oversight and an unfavorable one for the profession. Four other states — Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon and Utah — ruled the same way in the past year.

“That’s just an outright violation of the law,” she said, referring to the ACA clause.

Colorado and Oregon are in the process of changing that ruling to allow chiropractic care to be covered, according to researchers at Academic Consortium for Complementary and Alternative Health Care.

Some states, like Washington, are ahead of the rest of the country in embracing alternative practitioners. The Bastyr University system, where Guiltinan works, treats 35,000 patients a year with naturopathic medicine. Sixty percent of the patients billed insurance companies for coverage.

Guiltinan said a change in the system is not only a boon for alternative medicine doctors, but helps families of all income levels access care normally limited to out-of-pocket payment. That’s why some alternative medicine aficianados like Rohit Kumar are hoping the law will increase the ability of his family — and the larger community – to obtain this kind of care.

Kumar, a 26-year-old business owner in Los Angeles, said his parents and brothers have always used herbs and certain foods when they get sick, and regularly see a local naturopath and herbalist. He’s only used antibiotics once, he says, when he caught dengue fever on a trip to India.

While the Kumar family pays for any treatments they need with cash — the only payment both alternative providers accept — they also pay for a high-deductible health plan every month to cover emergencies, like when his brother recently broke his arm falling off a bike.

Paying for a conventional health care plan and maintaining their philosophy of wellness is not cheap.

“We pay a ridiculous amount of money every month,” Kumar said of the high-deductible insurance. “And none of it goes toward any type of medicine we believe in.”

Even so, he said the family will continue to practice a lifestyle that values wellness achieved without a prescription — a philosophy that Guiltinan also adopted in her practice.

As a young medical technician in a San Francisco hospital, she decided that the traditional medical system was geared more toward managing diseases and symptoms rather than prevention. Naturopathic medicine, on the other hand, seemed to fit her idea of how a doctor could address the root cause of illness.

“The body has an innate ability for healing, but we get in its way,” Guiltinan said. “Health is more than the absence of disease.”

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Acute Treatments: The Basics

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Recently, I was contacted by “Revista Homeopatica de la Salud.” based in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico, a new Spanish-language publication that invited me to send in an article.  I was happy to comply.Since I don’t speak much Spanish, I wrote the article in English and they kindly translated it for me.  For those, who, like me, will require a translation back into English before reading it, I am posting the original copy in English here.  It is a very basic look at how homeopathic remedies can be used most effectively in the acute sphere.  Take a look:

 

Notes on Acute Uses of Homeopathic Remedies

 

I am always surprised when, within the homeopathic community, acute prescribing is seen as something less, something simpler than constitutional or miasmic treatments. Something that belongs in the hands of students only.

In this one aspect of medical practice and philosophy, it seems to me that the allopaths are actually more correct in their thinking.  After all, is the Emergency Room in any hospital seen as a lesser place than the rest of the wards?  And are ER doctors thought of as those who lack the skills to practice any other form of medicine?

Where the allopaths celebrate the skills that make for effective emergency medicine, even build television shows around them, we homeopaths tend to think that any student who has leaned enough to think of Arnica Montana when their child bumps his head has the skills needed to practice that which may be called “acute homeopathy.”

This, of course, is far from the truth.  In fact, in many cases acute treatments require that the practitioner, amateur or professional make decisions rapidly, basing them on case taking by their own senses.  The demands of medical emergencies often require that the homeopathic practitioner be able to assess the situation at hand nearly instantly and without the ability to have the patient fill out a multi-page intake form or even to have the patient give rational answers to questions.  Therefore, the homeopath must be able to fall back on his or her own knowledge of materia medica, which they have to understand well enough to recognize the physical differences, in terms of physical, emotional and mental symptoms, among the many potential remedies for a given case.

Without the luxury of being able to snuggle up with a nice cup of tea, a repertory and any number of materia medicas and slowly, methodically taking a case apart, looking at the present symptoms in light of past circumstances and family history, the homeopath who finds himself or herself looking at the results of physical trauma and/or emotional shock will need to have a broad understanding of homeopathy to fall back on.  And those who practice acute homeopathy therefore need to be recognized and honored for the skills that they call into play each and every day, even if the emergencies tended to are of the household variety and quickly set right with the use of an appropriate remedy.

With this all in mind, let us consider what it takes to use the homeopathic pharmacy effectively and safely in the practice of acute homeopathy:

 

Preparation:  In other words, if you have waited for an actual emergency to occur to run and get your home guide or your repertory, it is for all intents and purposes too late.  If you wish to be a good enough student of homeopathy to handle common household emergencies, like colds & flu, cuts and scrapes, toothaches, fever, measles and mumps need to work well in advance.  It is important that, before you ever touch a remedy that you study that remedy and its uses, know what potencies it works best in, what antidotes the remedy and what remedies precede and follow it well.  You also need to be able to assess the nature of the emergency, whether it is appropriate for you to be treating it at all, of if you should be contacting a medical professional or calling for an ambulance.  You need to be well aware of what makes an acute situation acute and what the difference between an acute homeopathic treatment and a constitutional treatment is.  And you need to know that even in acute treatments, homeopathic medicine NEVER allows you to think in terms of reaching for Arnica with every bump and bruise.  We can never take a remedy selection for granted in homeopathic treatments—we can never equate any remedy with any symptom, however strong the desire is to do so.

All students of homeopathy, before they ever touch a remedy, need to learn how a case is taken and, just as important, how it is managed.  When to give and when NOT to give a remedy.  When to begin treatment and when treatment should end.  These are all just as important to the acute case as they are to the constitutional.

Understanding the Goal and Nature of Acute Treatments:  Here we have a stark contrast between constitutional and acute prescribing.  And here, the acute treatment can be clearly seen as the simpler task.  Where acute treatments seldom give us the opportunity to repertorize at our leisure, they do present a simpler challenge in terms of ultimate goal of treatment.

When we treat a patient constitutionally, we are treating the whole of that patient, every cell in his body, and all levels of being, body, mind and spirit, all at once. Therefore, it is the goal of the constitutional treatment to not only relieve the patient of the symptoms that trouble him, but to also leave the patient fundamentally in a better, stronger and freer state of health than he enjoyed before undergoing treatment. We seek a fundamental shift for the better for the whole of the patient’s being.

In the acute treatment, we have a humbler goal: we seek to restore status quo. An assumption we make in the acute treatment is that, before the recent shift in the patient’s health (before he fell of the playground or began to feel a scratchy throat), the patient enjoyed “good” health. Therefore, what is sought in this form of treatment is not a fundamental shift. Instead, it is more like a simple tap, a slight push to help the patient’s own system heal itself from the condition at hand—a condition that, by the very definition of “acute” is self-limiting. Its onset leads to a specific result. Thus, we seek to only allow the patient to go on his way, feeling as he did before the onset of symptoms. A simpler thing than the constitutional shift perhaps, but often a profound, even highly dramatic shift in and of itself.

I have often seen an almost operatic shift with an acute treatment. The baby who was nearly hysterical with teething pains is quite suddenly sleeping soundly enough that the parent tiptoes into their room again and again to me sure that this now-quiet child is still sleeping peacefully.

I have also seen, time and again, that acute circumstances often require the use of more remedies and more different potencies of remedies in bringing the case to a happy conclusion than will a constitutional treatment—even one lasting months or years.

When we treat homeopathically, we always use the shifts in the patient’s symptoms as our guide for when to give a dose of a given remedy and when to hold back, when to change remedies and when to stay tight, and when to raise the potency or lower it or leave it as it is.  Because the shifts in the acute case then to happen more quickly, the changes in remedy and potency follow.  Often, in long-term constitutional cases, in which the symptoms have been in place for months or years, the changes are slow.  In acute cases, the changes can be quick and dramatic.

A word about “Aggravations.”  Some students of homeopathic medicine expect, when giving any remedy, that they will see an aggravation—a temporary worsening of the patient’s symptoms before improvement begins.  And aggravations are common. And yet, they need not occur.

What is important is that CHANGE happens.  When the appropriate remedy—the remedy that is, in action, most similar to the symptoms the patient is experiencing—is given, there will be a shift in the patient’s symptom picture.  Sometimes it will worsen before it improves. But sometimes improvement will itself be the change.  That baby who was crying from teething, with a bright, hot cheek and an angry disposition, will simply fall into a peaceful, gentle sleep as the remedy works.  In short, never seek an aggravation, never give a remedy in hopes of worsening the symptom picture, ALWAYS seek a change in the symptoms, knowing that that change is your proof that the remedy is working.

Kits, Home Guides, Combination Remedies and Acute Homeopathy:  Acute homeopathic treatments are still homeopathic, which means that even these need to follow the same principles that any other homeopathic treatments do.  Often, when dealing with acute conditions, we try to simplify the treatment by eliminating some of the principles that would always be upheld under constitutional circumstances.

In other words, the remedies given in acute treatments MUST still adhere to the Three Laws of Cure.  They must:

–Always be selected upon the basis of matching the remedy to the patient in the totality of his symptoms.  In homeopathic treatments, chronic or acute, we always uphold the principle of like curing like.

–Always be used singly.  Samuel Hahnemann, the father of homeopathy, is very clear on the need to always use one medicine at a time. This is done because every medicine creates myriad shifts in the human system.  Therefore, the use of more than one remedy at a time makes it quite impossible to know which medicine is doing what.  The case becomes muddled and may ultimately be spoiled and the patient left uncured.  Combinational remedies may be popular, but they are not and can never be considered homeopathic medicine.

–Always be based on the principle of giving the remedy in the lowest effective potency in the fewest number of effective doses.  We never wish to over-treat or to continue treating after the need has passed.  More cases are ruined by over-treating than by under-treating, so beware.

The student who studies the materia medica, who comes to recognize the need for specific remedies when faced with particular behaviors and symptoms, who also learns to use a repertory quickly and effectively and who learns and upholds basic homeopathic philosophy can do a great deal of good in this world.  He or she will act as a blessing in the family, the community and in the world.  The world has an eternal need for healers and healing.  With work, with time, with dedication, you can most certainly help fill that need.

 

Looking Into Your Natural Medicine Cabinet

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It seems like everyone I know is publishing a book these days.  Which is great.  We can never have too many good books on health and healing, since, it seems to me, that that is the most important topic we could spend our time exploring.

The new book in question right now is Your Natural Medicine Cabinet, but Burke Lennihan.  It has a publication date of September 1, 2012, but it is available for purchase today.

What sets this book apart from others on similar topics is that, while this book is certainly homeopathy-centric, it is not limited just to homeopathic remedies.  Other therapies related to homeopathy, notably Bach Remedies and cell salts, are also considered, as are supplements and herbal remedies.

In other words, Your Natural Medicine Cabinet takes a more general, naturopathic approach to family health care.

 


The book is well written, well researched and very well organized.  Everything is according to diagnosis, with conditions listed alphabetically and treatments outlined for each condition.

So it should be very useful for many common household emergencies.  With one proviso:  you should never wait until the emergency to read the book.  Spend time with it when you get it. Absorb it, consider it.  Then, when the emergency comes and your husband has a toothache in the middle of the night, or you baby has a fever at 2:00 a.m., you will be much more centered and focussed in your reaction and much more helpful to your loved one.

One question, though.  Should I be bitter than, in listing her favorite books on homeopathy, Dana Ullman and Miranda Castro get the lion’s share, with Amy Lansky and Judyth Reichenber-Ullman also on the page, but none of my books are mentioned?  Surely not.  No.  Certainly not.

Homeopathy Under Threat: What YOU Can Do

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I got the following email today from the British organization  H:MC21, an organization dedicated to keeping homeopathic medicine available throughout the world in the 21st century:

 

 

“A number of Medicines Acts are being consoidated and simplified. However, if the proposals go into force as they stand:

“You would no longer able to get homeopathic medicines by phone or online
To get any unlicensed homeopathic medicine a face-to-face consultation would be required at a registered pharmacy. Unlicensed medicines number in the thousands and make up the majority of homeopathic prescriptions, while there are only 50 licenced homeopathic medicines. This will also mean you cannot legally buy unlicensed homeopathic medicines online or over the phone as you currently do.

“Homeopaths would not be able to dispense or prescribe medicines.
“Homeopathic practitioners would not be able to dispense unlicensed homeopathic medicines to their patients. This arises because homeopaths are not recognised by this law as being supplementary prescribers and it will be illegal for homeopathic pharmacies to supply them with the essential (unlicensed) medicines required for their patients.

“Patients would have to get homeopathic medicines personally at a handful of licenced homeopathic pharmacies in Britain
Hundreds of thousands of people who currently have prescriptions filled for unlicensed homeopathic medicines will be unable to obtain their urgent medicines. The estimated 6 million users of homeopathy in Britain cannot be expected to be supplied medicines face-to-face by less than five licenced premises.

“Stop this from happening by writing to your MP.”

You can identify the name of your MP here.

You can find out who sits on what committees by going here.

“It is critical that you include your name and address (with postcode) and that you personalise your letter with your own views and experiences.

“Notes about letters to MPs

“Keep the letter short (a page or less), and emphasise any points which are relevant to the particular MP.

“It is not necessary or recommended to include all the text suggested here.

“I’m deeply concerned a draft proposal set out by the MHRA as part of its consolidation and review of the Medicines Act 1968 could have a significant impact on my ability as a patient to access homeopathic medicines in the UK.
In its current form section 10 of the proposal would only allow unlicensed homeopathic medicines to be bought directly from a pharmacist face-to-face, in effect outlawing the purchase of these medicines over the telephone or via online ordering. This would mean I would be deprived of the medicines that I have found to be so beneficial to my health.
There are only five homeopathic pharmacies in the UK, so most homeopathic medicines are ordered from these specialist pharmacies either by phone or via the Internet. Therefore the enforcement of section 10 in its current form will have serious consequences for the six million people in the UK who choose to use this form of complementary medicine.
If not revised the proposal would also have serious consequences for more than 2,000 homeopathic practitioners, many of whom would find it impossible to treat patients like myself because they can no longer obtain the appropriate homeopathic medicine.
I understand that a central plank of government health policy is to increase patient choice. Section 10 will eliminate choice for people like me who want to be treated with homeopathy.
I would like to call on your support in getting the Health Minister to revise slightly the proposed language of the revised Medicines Act to ensure that I have continued access to a full range of homeopathic medicines and my right to choose homeopathic treatment is maintained”
“Other activity:
“H:MC21 is working on getting other activity off the ground, and more news will be sent out soon.

There is also a petition at AVAAZ.

And here are complete details on the act itself.

“This information is also available on the H:MC21 website.

“All the best from the H:MC21 team.”

 

 

 

Now, what completely galls me is that those who oppose homeopathy seem to be dead set on taking away the freedom of choice that those of us who find value in homeopathy wish to make.  What right have they?  It violates every basic freedom and right–what indeed could be more basic than an individual’s right to choose what form of medical treatment he chooses for his OWN BODY?–that each individual lucky enough to live in a democratic society enjoys.

Wake up Britain!  Pay attention.  This potential destruction of a basic right to choose is far more important than you can possibly know.  If homeopathy is taken away today in response to the very loud (and very wrong) voices of the few, what right will be taken next?  If you can’t enjoy the freedom to choose the medicine that you wish, just how free are you to make ANY decision?

 

Don’t just sit there and let this freedom be taken away.  Speak up.  Make a noise.  Get mad.  And get very very loud when you get mad.  Post this article on your own blog.  Tweet about it.  Let the world know that you care, whether you are British or not.  This is not a British issue.  This is a basic human right that is being seized.  We should all have something to say about it!

 

Short Rant: Statin Drugs, Diabetes or Heart Disease, Your Choice

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I haven’t ranted about this sort of crap for a while, but a new article in the New York TImes concerning newly found risks in taking statin drugs to lower cholesterol levels has me back in the same frenzy that I entered every other time the Times has told us all about the risks that allopathic crap drugs carry.

Don’t believe me.  Here’s the article.  Read it for yourself.

What makes me particularly crazy is the fact that doctors see a 9% increase in the chance of developing diabetes as a “side effect.”  And that they find this increase to be completely acceptable.  From the story:

“’I don’t think it’s very clinically important,’’’ said Dr. Steven E. Nissen, chairman of cardiology at the Cleveland Clinic, who consults with drug companies that make statins but requires his fees be donated to charity. ‘What I worry about here is that people will read this story and say, ‘I don’t want to get diabetes so I’m going to stop my statin,’ and then they have a heart attack.’’’
True, nobody wants anyone to have a heart attack. But shouldn’t we all share a desire that the medicine we take be safe AND effective?  What good is  an allopathic piece of shit drug if it, to some degree (let’s not get crazy and think that statins ALWAYS prevent heart attacks), prevents one disease, while it, so some degree, increases the risk of another.  Millions are at risk of diabetes.  Millions and millions of Americans are living at the threshold of the disease, live with insulin resistance or “syndrome X” as it is called.  What would happen to them, to those already living with high risk of diabetes, if they were to take the statin drugs to prevent heart disease.  So many of the causative factors of heart disease are the same for diabetes and vice versa.  Can a drug that causes an increase of possibility of one ever be a wise treatment for the other?

How is it possible that we have a medical system in which a significant increase in risk for a terrible disease is seen as a “side effect?”  It boggles the mind.  And yet, to the millions who have been so dazed and confused by a lifetime of hearing allopathic bullshit propaganda, it all starts to see as if it makes sense.  A few will die from the drug, and a few will be saved by it.  Only fair.  Only fair.

What makes me so sad is that there are other methods and other medicines that can be equally effective in the treatment of high cholesterol that don’t involve the same risk that allopathic medicine does.  Isn’t it high time that you gave that some thought?  That you stopped taking medicines that put you at risk when you take them and, instead, found something that is safe and effective?

May I suggest that you explore homeopathy?

Just Visiting: The Joys of Teaching, Brutally Honest, Ruthlessly Frank

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I am always honored when I am asked to be interviewed by a fellow blogger, especially one like Dr. Amit Nagpal, whose passion of healing is obvious to all his readers.  He recently sent me a list of very interesting questions for me to look over and answer.  So I wanted to let you know about the interview and to give you the link to find it.  Just go here.

Dr. Amit

Dr. Amit calls his blog “The Joys of Teaching.”  As he writes, “The blog was initially inspired by my passion for teaching.  Though I have personally moved to consulting and coaching the title remains my first love, ‘The Joy of Teaching.’  In any case, teaching (sharing knowledge) and co-learning are the basic principled behind consulting, coaching and training.”

Amit’s blog also features “Life Mantras for Your Sustainable Success.”  Among his tools for success are prayer and meditation, making his a most unusual spirit-based practice.  I strongly recommend that you spend some time with Amit at his blog.  It is filled with useful information.  I added the link to my recently started Blogroll, that you can find at the bottom of the right column.  (I intend to develop this list of links as time goes on, to bring you direct connection to some of the most exciting holistic sites on the internet.)

Due to space restrictions, Dr. Amit was unable to present the entire interview on his blog, so I present it here.  One question, on the topic of the Bach Flower Remedies, was omitted.  And since the Bach Remedies are among my favorite healing tools, I decided to present the material here:

Dr. Amit:  Tell us what are Bach Flower remedies and what do you mean by homeopathy in thought and action.

Vinton McCabe:  Bach Flower Remedies are a very special little pharmacy of healing tools.  Edward Bach was an allopathic physician who, at the time of the First World War, was transferred to Hahnemann Hospital in London to continue his work as a microbiologist.  That hospital was, of course, named for Samuel Hahnemann, the Father of Homeopathy.

During his time there, Bach became well versed in Hahnemann’s methods and in homeopathic philosophy.  So much so that he himself developed a group of homeopathic remedies that were based in part on the work he was already doing.  These remedies, known as bowel nosodes, are still in use today in the treatment of patients with myriad diseases.

After the war, Bach built a private practice in London and became one of the most successful physicians of his day.  And yet, due in large part to his new-found understanding of Hahnemann’s work, Bach became more and more disenchanted with allopathic methods and medicines.  At this point, one might think that Bach would become a homeopath, and yet he did not.  While he used some homeopathic methods in his practice, he felt that homeopathy, powerful as it is, was simply too difficult a practice for even medical professionals to get right.

And so, in the final years of his life, he closed up shop in London, moved to a small town on the English coast and dedicated his time and energy to attempting to find a new way of working—a method of healing that would be similar in action to homeopathy, but that would be simple enough for even lay people to use to treat themselves and their loved ones.

The result of his work are the Bach Flower Remedies, a group of thirty-eight remedies that are taken from the plants that were native to the countryside in which he lived.  It is said that Bach gathered the plants around him and potentized them, just as homeopathic remedies are potentized, to a zero potency, or what, in homeopathic medicine, is called a Mother Tincture.  Where homeopathic remedies continue to be diluted from the zero potency to many, many different potencies, Bach chose to leave his there, at the point at which the Bach remedies are the perfect balance between homeopathic and herbal remedies.

They are wonderfully safe, simple to use and can be tremendous tools for healing.  I have time and again seen cases in which these simple remedies act when nothing else will.  Because of my love of these remedies, I wrote a book on them—the book that is actually my favorite of all that I have written.  It’s called The Healing Bouquet:  Exploring Bach Flower Remedies and it has all the information that anyone needs to safely and effectively use the remedies.

For those who are interested in learning more about the Bach Flower Remedies, the link to my book is here.

To answer the rest of you question, the concept of Homeopathy in Thought and Action is based upon something that James Tyler Kent said that I read long, long ago, but stayed with me ever since.  Kent—who was perhaps the United States’ finest homeopath, an eclectic physician who practiced roughly in the second half of the 19th century—said that homeopathic remedies are homeopathic in two ways:  by how they are made and by how they are used.

This is very important, because it means that a remedy can be potentized perfectly, by the two-step process set forth by Hahnemann himself, but, if that remedy is used like an allopathic medicine, it will act like an allopathic medicine.  In other words, there is  philosophy behind how homeopathic remedies are chosen and how they are used that must remain in place if the treatment is to be properly homeopathic.  And when we take our remedies and use them in allopathic ways, we bastardize our own treatments, making them semi-homeopathic and semi-allopathic.

An example of this might be blended remedies.  The mixtures that you see all the time in health food stores.  Because people are too afraid or too lazy to use single remedies, instead they buy a combination of ten or twelve different remedies for the treatment of a cold or a backache or some other specific condition.  Now homeopathic students all know that just using the remedies in treatment of a specific condition is wrong—as if the condition itself tells you what medicine to us—but on top of this, they are also using a mixture of many different remedies, all of which produce multiple symptoms.  How can they possibly expect a good result from such and action?

Homeopathy in Thought and Action is a guiding principle for both my classes and my books.  It means that, to be an effective consumer of homeopathics, or, even more important, to be an appropriate and skillful homeopathy, one must have and understanding of the philosophy and history of homeopathy first and then build and understanding of the materia medica and its uses.  You need to think right to use the remedies right—there is no way around it.

I think that the concept of Homeopathy in Thought and Action is so important that I named my entire series of Kindle exclusive books after the principle.  Each of these books looks specifically at an aspect of homeopathic philosophy or at a part of the materia medica, or even an individualized treatment, like the treatment of high blood pressure, so that, putting all the individual books together, one can get a very good overview of the philosophy and practice of homeopathic medicine.

Those interested in knowing more about this series of books can visit my Amazon Authors Page and look for the “Homeopathy in Thought and Action” series of books by clicking here.  Or on my website by clicking here.

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?

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