Following the trail of homeopathic healing

Having traveled a long trail with her studies of  homeopathic healing so far, depth psychotherapist Dr. Jane Ferris recently wrote in with some very good questions.  She wondered about the frustration of homeopath and client when the “right” remedy seems elusive; also, might there be any benefit in taking remedies which are “close” but not exact?

Nearly every homeopath struggles with these questions.  We want effective help ourselves, AND we want to be helpful to others.  As homeopaths heal, our own inner noise quiets — allowing our perceptual abilities to improve.  This is vital as we serve our patients.  So the healing of a homeopath (or any other health care provider) has long-lasting ripple effects.

To find a homeopathic remedy for anyone, the first task is discerning the “disease” to be treated.  Rather than a pathologic diagnosis as in allopathic medicine, in homeopathy this means the vital disturbance of the life force as shown through the patient’s deepest inner experience, personal mannerisms and attributes, and unique individualizing symptoms, etc.  Clearly seeing this requires an unprejudiced yet very sharp eye.  It also determines the success of everything that happens downline.

The more intellectual we are — and the more knowledgeable about homeopathy too — the more difficult it can be to discern what in us requires treatment, and to find an applicable remedy.  We can so fill the room with our dramatic human stories that our compassionate homeopaths can [unwittingly] get lost in their forest.   We don’t intend this to happen, and yet sometimes it does.

What is our deepest suffering?  How do we experience it?   Our vital disturbance — the core theme that shows up everywhere — expresses at all levels of our being.  A discerning eye can follow the trail.  Oddly though,  the more intent we homeopaths are on “helping”, being “smart”, and “figuring things out”, the more we go astray.     We’re much more helpful if we allow the vital disturbance to excavate itself rather than go digging for it.  This can require more patience than some of us have.

Yet if we can allow the patient to show us clearly what needs assistance, the “similar suffering” remedy shows itself too.

The good news is that we have ~4000-5000 remedies to choose from, even though some are not as well proven as others.  The bad news is that sometimes the “exact” right substance — the “simillimum” — is one that has not yet been made into a homeopathic remedy.   Close approximations may be available though, and yes!  They may certainly help.    Thank heavens Dr. Hahnemann (founder of homeopathy) said, “Let LIKE cure like,” rather than, “Let the EXACT cure like.”  Since every substance in the universe might be a remedy for someone,  a little leeway is lifesaving.

This does not mean being sloppy, though — we can harm patients with deep-acting remedies that bear no real resemblance to their suffering at all.

Then, what happens after the remedy?  The path of authentic healing is unique for each of us.  My initial homeopathic training left me feeling as if the “right” remedy should quickly fix everything for the patient . . . and anything less merely indicated my incompetence.   Fortified by my previous allopathic medical training, this both added to my pain and distracted me from hearing the patient.

Fortunately, I have had wise mentors.  Years of experience have also shown me that even with very well chosen remedies and responsive vital forces, healing is a process.  Unless we comprehend this, we’re likely to be discouraged when our patients don’t respond to our ministrations with immediate and complete cure.    We have to be willing to work with them over time, and to be available when the healing trail seems to dip into the brush.

More on this later — and many thanks to Dr. Ferris for her questions.

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