Philosophy of Practice
"The physician's highest and only calling is to make the sick healthy, to cure, as it is called. The highest ideal of cure is the rapid, gentle, and permanent restoration of health; that is, the lifting and annihilation of the disease in the entire extent in the shortest, most reliable, and least disadvantageous way, according to clearly realizable principles."
~Samuel Hahnemann MD, founder of classical homeopathy
Asking pointed questions about their treatment, my patients have guided my learning about health and healing.
Many have asked whether the pharmaceuticals I was so well-trained to prescribe could truly cure their illnesses, or if they were only suppressing symptoms instead. Also, were there safer, gentler, and more natural ways to deal with their conditions?
Though I am very grateful for my conventional medical training, it did not address these questions.
To find useful answers, I had to expand my concept of health.
Health is a state of well-being and freedom on all levels -- physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual.
My role is much as Lakota medicine man Godfrey Chips describes:
"I'm the spirit's janitor.
All I do is wipe the windows a little bit so you can see out for yourself."
[from "Walking on the Wind" by Michael Garrett]
This way of working allows me to reach others deeply, serve them effectively, and mitigate potential harm from more toxic interventions.
Healthy people are able to love, work, play, and relate freely, and to use this freedom in the service of something larger than themselves. They respond to change in a dynamic way, proportionate to what is present in the moment. A healthy person can give to and receive from others, in both intimate relationships and larger society. Even with some physical symptoms, a person can still embody relative health.
How, then, to assist others in accessing and nurturing this state -- especially when it seems elusive for some?
My approach is to engage the whole person in the healing process, to relieve suffering and increase the level of health and well-being s/he experiences. Together we seek to understand areas of pain, in the context of overall strengths.
Where is the person suffering, and how does s/he experience this? Asking such individual questions differs from the typical conventional approach, where treatment protocols may be limited to diagnosis or symptom-based interventions alone. These overlook both the person's rich inner resources and the therapeutic relationship's contribution to healing.
Classical homeopathy is particularly suited for patients whose symptoms are chronic, puzzling, and cross multiple physiological systems. Such patients often require comprehensive interventions for optimal benefit.
Broadly, healing interventions focus on different levels of our beings, and yield different results. Increasing in depth and comprehensiveness, these types include:
- diagnosis and symptom-based treatments (much of conventional medicine, nutritional and some botanical medicine)
- focus on emotional/mental reactions and coping styles (many psychotherapies)
- increasing or normalizing flow of vital energies (acupuncture, Reiki, other bioenergetic bodywork, etc.)
- those intending to impact consciousness itself (classical homeopathy, some spiritual healing, and prayer).
People seeking psychiatric care often suffer on multiple levels, yet their symptom pattern has coherent, discernable meaning. Symptoms express the unique way in which we suffer; rather than being disjointed entities, they comprise a single totality which can be recognized. This all-permeating state in which our freedom to experience life is blocked or "stuck" is a hologram repeating throughout physical systems, emotional moods, and pattern of consciousness.
Classical homeopathy offers a method for deeply perceiving this pattern, gently excavating it in order to see it clearly and respond accordingly. Shifts of consciousness are linked to the resolution of symptoms on all levels.
My task is to listen and observe without judgment, to allow this state of "stuckness" to reveal itself as completely as possible.
Accurately seeing what is present is more helpful than inferring why it is there. Only then can I connect this understanding with a medicine [remedy] from the natural world that effectively stimulates innate healing mechanisms. These do the work of healing; the remedy is a catalyst only.
Optimally, the person's entire outlook shifts into a more vibrant, aware state as presenting symptoms drop away.