Saturday, December 5, 2015


I very much enjoy the synchronicities in life. For example, the day after I decided to post on this blog some earlier essays of mine, one of my favorite NPR shows, On Being with Krista Tippett, broadcast an episode titled The Evolution of Medicine. Do yourself a favor and give it a listen, or, if short on time, scan the transcript!

Below are a few snippets to wet your appetite.

Dr. Hyman points out, from his own early experiential shift:
"So I literally had to understand my body from the inside out, and through the lens of functional medicine, which is really a systems view of health. It’s based on dealing with the causes and not just the symptoms, dealing with the body as ecosystem, or looking at the whole organism, not just the organs. And it’s as big of a paradigm shift as the Earth is not flat, Earth is not the center of the universe. It’s huge. And it’s basically dismantling our concepts of disease as we speak, and yet it’s completely absent from most medical institutions and thinking in medical schools."
Dr. Gordon says:
"I think what’s important also is that we’re really going back to what’s basic to all the great, ancient systems of healing. Now we have the modern science so that we can test more accurately for these imbalances, but understanding exactly what Mark is talking about, about the basic functions, this takes us back to Hippocratic medicine...Chinese medicine, Ayurvedic medicine, it’s all there. And I think one of the things that’s crucial in this transformation, though, is the transformation in consciousness. That without that, the danger that we face is of lapsing into the same kind of mechanistic treatment, and that’s the part that I’m most interested in. And, with that change in consciousness, then it becomes possible to use all the modalities, to be open to all these ways of working with people."
How are you integrating facets of lifestyle and medicine to optimize your healing and wellness?

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Why Aqueous Dilution In Homeopathy?

This question seems like a simple one but as with most of Homeopathy, the full explanation is usually more complex involving an understanding of the theories and principles of Homeopathy as outlined by Dr. Samuel Hahnemann in the texts of The Organon and The Chronic Diseases. (Aqueous Dilution is also called the Medicinal Solution or Liquid Dose). However, since I mentioned it in an earlier article - and it contradicts the instructions given on those little blue vials most lay people purchase in health food stores - I want to at least provide an outline of the reasons I recommend this approach to dosing.

I believe that one of the best explanations is found in David Little’s article called “The Medicinal Solution” which is Chapter Two of his series of articles entitled “Hahnemann’s Advanced Methods”.

In brief, five reasons for using an aqueous dilution instead of a dry dose are as follows:

(1) Giving a single, dry dose (the pellet) is small, weak and of short duration when compared to dosing as needed (more often) with an aqueous dilution in order to speed cure;
(2) The aqueous dilution dose touches more nerve endings for better, broader effect than does a dry dose (Aphorism 272, The Organon);
(3) Due to diversity of individuals and their sensitivities, the aqueous dilution provides a more flexible dosing method;
(4) Repeating a dry dose before its action is complete means that the dose is unadjusted in potency and is, therefore, more likely to cause complications than an aqueous dilution dose (Aphorism 247, The Organon); and
(5) The dry dose method was the original one expounded upon through the 4th edition of The Organon, but Hahnemann continued to improve upon posology so that the 5th and 6th editions of the Organon provided the aqueous dilution method as a better choice.

Understanding the reasons for the above brief statements is a matter of further study for the individual who is serious about learning ‘why’. Feel free to contact me if you would like more information.

Common Sense Guidelines for Homeopathy

While I recommend that one ought to be careful with Homeopathy, just as one should be careful in all the ways we care for ourselves and our loved ones (diet, herbs, supplements, conventional drugs, etc.), I feel that intelligent, caring people - those who are interested enough to be researching holistic support and options - can use Homeopathy for Acute ailments as long as they have some common sense and guidelines (Chronic Disease support with Homeopathy ought to be undertaken only by those who are educated in and have studied Homeopathy).

For instance:
- Read and Research / follow up suggestions with some reading and research - don't just take advice from someone you don't know over the internet; confirm education and background
- Use only low potencies (30c or lower) and minimal doses
- If giving a remedy more than once, repeat in aqueous dilution, not dry pill
- Don't repeat a remedy more than 3 times if nothing is happening (i.e., no response)
- WATCH for response by the individual; while there is response, don't repeat (i.e., don't repeat as long as there is striking progress or improvement, although you can repeat when improvement begins to slow)
- Don't repeat the same remedy if the previous dose caused any uncomfortable effects (i.e., aggravation)
- Don't continue to use the same remedy if the 'overall' condition worsens
- And, of course, when in doubt, seek help

There are risks no matter what we do and what choices we make; however, we can educate ourselves to minimize those risks so that we all benefit more from the choices that we make.

One of the reasons I’ve kept my consulting fees reasonably low is because of this educational aspect; I want people to know that they can contact me when they’re in doubt - and feel comfortable paying a fee we can both live with while they learn more.

Is Homeopathy Safe?

I would like to briefly touch on the "safety" of Homeopathic remedies from my own perspective. The reason I wanted to write about this topic is because I keep reading comments by people/pet owners who actually seem scared to use Homeopathic remedies themselves; not just cautious, which can be a good thing, but actively fearful. I hope that by talking about safety, people won't be scared to use Homeopathic remedies -- especially after educating themselves.

It seems that when Homeopathy first started its resurgence in popularity years ago the story was that remedies were completely harmless. After all, according to the conventional medical establishment, there’s ‘nothing’ in them, right? Now, it seems everywhere I read there seems to be this need to instill a sense of fear in people that remedies are not safe. The pendulum has swung from one extreme to the other. So, what is the reality? Are Homeopathic remedies safe or not? I believe the truth lies somewhere in between as it often does.

I think one aspect is that of people using common sense. With any supportive measure, there are generally suggestions as to dosing - that applies whether it is OTC allopathic medicines or natural supports like vitamins, supplements, herbs or Homeopathic remedies. For people without any common sense, almost anything can be harmful.

Flower Essences and Physical Benefits

I’d like to touch on the topic of how flower essences provide healing support for people with physical ailments. 

As we know from an earlier essay, our mental/emotional state affects our physical state through an energetic sharing of information or vibrational messaging. Flower essences work within the vibrational landscape of our emotions, mind and spirit to perform in concert with our energetic bodies and systems. By understanding these energetic pathways and overlays, we can then visualize the concept of how flower essences provide healing support for people with physical ailments.

Bits About Aging

Why are people so obsessed with anti-aging? Why this fear of dying? Whatever happened to quality of life rather than quantity of life? Don’t get me wrong, I’m quite happy with my life and hope to live a lot longer enjoying my time on this earth. But I’m more concerned now with how I can be healthy and feel good while getting older - which is why I’ve spent so many of these past years studying holistic health care and learning how to improve my lifestyle

Healing Mind-Body

I want to briefly present some views on how our thoughts and feelings can affect our bodies. 

Some cultures believe anger is held in the liver – when we are angry or have suppressed anger, this can affect our liver which in turn can have a detrimental effect upon our metabolism and our ability to cleanse our system of toxins, whether dietary, environmental or medicinal. The liver also produces bile which aids in digestion – ever had indigestion when you’re angry? Anger can also affect the adrenals and, while this stimulation can be vital in true survival situations, chronic anger – whether suppressed or obvious – can result in adrenal exhaustion. Dr. Bruce Lipton states that we have two systems for defense – one for external threats, which is the HPA axis or the Hypothalamus-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis, and the other for internal threats, which is our Immune System. However, and this is important to know, they can’t both be active at the same time. So, when we have chronic stress or anger, what happens? Our immune system can’t do its job properly. And these are only a few of the ways in which our mental and emotional state can affect our physical state.

Barring external injuries caused by accidents, the majority of physical symptoms we see or feel are the end result of changes that started on a cellular level as a result of our mental/emotional state. Conventional medicine (also known as Western medicine or Allopathy) likes to name a disease and put it in a nice little box. However, it’s not that simple - and science is finally starting to realize this. 

Many Healing Paths

There are many paths to healing and wellness, and that’s not just looking at the differences between conventional medical care and holistic health care (often called complementary and alternative ‘medicine’ by those in the conventional areas). There is also much diversity amongst holistic or natural health care modalities. I don’t believe touting one modality as being the ‘only way’ to health is anymore realistic than saying there is only one healthy diet for all people. I feel that kind of ego-driven attitude (i.e. “my way is the only way”) has gotten us into more trouble than we bargained for on many fronts. For instance, the differences in how a Naturopath practices compared to a Classical Homeopath has driven a wedge between many holistic health care professionals and their societies or associations. We all have our preferences, of course, and that’s fine. What’s important to remember is to realize that while we may attempt to be objective, true objectivity is an illusion. Each of us is defined by our experiences. And this defined perspective is actually what influences our beliefs - and our approach to health care. I believe that each practitioner or consultant is drawn to those methods with which they resonate on a deep level; they are drawn to use the modality(ies) within which lie their strengths. And a client or patient will be drawn to certain wellness professionals based upon the client/patient’s preferences, experiences, and beliefs.
What do you believe in? Where is your inner guide directing you? What does your inner voice say?

Biochemic Therapy or Homeopathy?

Friends and fellow students have asked me why I initially suggest Biochemic Therapy rather than Homeopathy. There are several reasons for this decision.

One reason is that I choose to keep my service fees low so that anyone who wishes to try holistic care can feel comfortable ‘dipping their toes’ into this approach. While the results from using cell salts (and/or flower essences) can be quite profound (although rarely as dramatic as Homeopathy sometimes is), the process of selection of the remedy is not as complex and time-consuming as Homeopathy can be.

In many ways cell salts are easier for us to work with. Many people just beginning to learn about holistic care and the concept of potentized remedies may do better starting with cell salts. The cell salts are taken in a slightly mechanistic manner that is reminiscent of the allopathic medicines (but without the suppression!) that the average person is used to which can provide a ‘comfort zone’ to the individual. One simple example is, say someone needs an antacid - instead of taking an antacid drug that is suppressive, why not take a few tablets of Nat phos which works within the system naturally to regulate acid balance.

Defining Holistic Care

I would like to present some considerations for your review when thinking about how to approach your own health care and that of those you love.

To begin, what are the basic differences between the meaning of natural or holistic health care? 

First, let’s look at “natural”:
~ To me, ‘natural’ means not synthetic or artificial or ‘against nature’. 
~ The Merriam-Webster On-Line Dictionary says that the word “natural” comes from the Latin naturalis which means ‘of nature’ and the second definition is: “being in accordance with or determined by nature” and “having or constituting a classification based on features existing in nature”. 

Next, what is “holistic”?

Basics of Cell Salts

Biochemic Therapy involves using natural constituents of the body (mineral salts) to provide the body with the support it needs to become healthy again – not by providing the minerals in gross material amounts but rather homeopathically prepared via trituration so that the body’s system is gently, energetically stimulated to properly assimilate and utilize the minerals it needs to regain balance. I have studied Homeopathy, however, cell salts are neither nutritional supplements nor Homeopathic remedies, per se, but rather they are sort of in between (part material and part information) when viewed from a biochemic perspective.


photo courtesy Kerry N. Barlow, all rights reserved
Because I've spent decades seeking ways to support myself mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and physically via natural and holistic means, a recent post on the Feminism and Religion blog captured my attention: how do we provide ourselves with self-care when society demands that we stay too busy to do so? There is no easy answer because it comes down to personal choice about where each of us is willing to draw the line and create wellness boundaries.

For me, self-care has always required extensive amounts of solitary time. I also choose to live as often as possible in a nourishing landscape (which is different for each of us). Added to that has been the choice to become responsible for my own healing remedy selection through intensive study: energy work (Reiki), homeopathy, flower essences, and Ayurveda. These are all self-care options, though there are many more available, that resonate with my desire for spiritual as well as mind-body support. Through these, I created what I call the Five Petal Path to healing.

I will write more later about the Five Petal Path, but for now I wish to send compassion and healing to everyone who is still struggling to find their own unique self-care path.