Tuesday, October 14, 2014

On Being on Bowen (A Treat of a Homeopathy Retreat)


Our Seminar Room aka The Living Room at the Lodge at the Old Dorm of Bowen Island

For a number of years I have heard all sorts of enticing details that had me setting my sights on Bowen Island for what turned out to be a Homeopathic Retreat like no other. So, let me back track to get you in the Bowen loop. This summer, in August for one glorious week, Louis Klein's Professional Retreat ran for it's 20th year. Its' attended by Homeopaths that were his original students thru to others newer to his teaching (i.e. - the Homeopathic Master Clinician Course, fondly known to us graduates as the HMC, almost 500 of us!)...with myself a newbie along with one other Homeopath out of the twelve of us that altogether attended this year.

The Location:

Bowen is an Island that is 1 hour away from Vancouver, British Colombia, Canada - on the Sunshine Coast; once a "playground paradise" of recreation with what would have been in the 20's a classy Inn, sailing, tennis and beachside fun for those that took the steamship ride over...in fact as many as 5000 per weekend did so for years. It was and still is pristine and so natural that the "Beautiful British Colombia" of the province's license plate is definitely not a misnomer but beautifully describes this Island. Currently and since the 60's the vib is hippie like, well now it is more just really about being a community-based community (at the local coffee shop, a sweet café, they remembered my name after a visit of only one time, you have to love that!). This Island has been a charming home to residents since 1958 when regular ferry service to Bowen made it possible to reside there. Lou and his wife raised their family on the Island; it has been 23 years that they have lived on the Island - and like many others they too come from different cities/locals, drawn I am sure to the inherently beautiful and peaceful community (I did not ask Aryana or Lou if they had meant to settle down there or did it happen once they set foot on Bowen so many years ago...I know I am ready to now that I have finally set foot there. I have always wanted to live on a boat, the "float homes" that I saw were so darn cute, especially the one with a glass green house and a bike stand on the dock...)...


The People:

Lou and Aryana one evening listening to a local musician
Aryana Rayne, Lou's beautiful wife, is a most delightful woman: deeply perceptive, intelligent and very warm and thoughtful (I had the privilege to dine at the table where she sat a couple of the evenings for our exquisite dining experience at this Retreat)...her hospitable touches added the perfect accompaniment to this superb Homeopathic experience...she filled out the program perfectly. I won't brag about the nightly entertainment, the swag bags and the yoga, massages, recreational activities all lined up for us that all you simply had to do was roll out of bed to be driven over to yoga for instance (why walk up hill when hiking trails at sea level are available?). One could also traipse over to other things, like a paddle or swim in the Pacific Ocean...there was no shortage of relaxation if you made the effort - which was difficult to do as one could simply stay put in our lodgings...literally a Lodge...Aryana operated from their home nearby but popped in regularly and dined with us in the evenings at the Lodge at the Old Dorm, a most accommodating accommodation for us Homeopaths.

I would be amiss not to mention some details about our accommodation, the venue for our studies...thus, this is about Dan the Man! He was totally the best host along with his wonderful assistants Monica and Roberta. This is the place that gets taken over by a bunch of Homeopaths for 6 nights and rolls with the punches (we were well behaved but somewhat zany - all within reason naturally as we all have our VF's balanced, lol). There is plenty of room for all at the Inn and it was just so darn comfortable - a place to hang and socialize as well as to have some reflective time. See the pics in below link for a sense of its fabulousness. The meals were simply wonderful taste experiences, with ingredients that are wholesome, often local and mouth watering. The opening shot has the living room we sat in for our gatherings each day (and evenings after dining)...it was so comfy that I actually sat there each evening gabbing with a few others on the sofas that were made more comfortable with the great company and a glass of wine in hand;-)


Nancy, Judith and Carol...my bestest roomie!
The Homeopath People (a breed unto ourselves no doubt): I first have to say that I had the best roomie ever! Carol Krones. She hosts the HMC from her school that she co-founded in Nashville in 2002. I could definitely imagine her as a great teacher. She and I stayed up later than I would have in a room of my own - there was no need to read to drop off to sleep as Carol and I gabbed and giggled in our respective comfy beds till we were ready to nod off...I felt like an English School girl with her and not just because of her delightful British accent. She had not been to Bowen for over 10 years and I would plan my return to coincide with her as she was great fun and insightful around everything we talked about from Homeopathy to life in general...a delightful woman & wise like her namesake;-) The others Americans and Canadians were great fun and wonderful fellow companions for this Retreat as well. I loved getting a sense of the wisdom of experience and seeing the applied learning styles of some very good Homeopaths: David and John are as smart as the other fellow we had in our bunch, Marty -- my bud from back home (Bring water shoes next time Marty... for the next time we do a repeat of a swim in the Pacific. The beach we hit was called Pebble Beach, it was a very refreshing swim, but water shoes are in order - my flip flops were difficult to swim in).

And the other Carol - fabulous Carol Jones - that was there...my friend/mentor also from my city, kept the East Coast numbers up and in particular the Toronto representation....with lovely Judith Mapleson being there from Owen Sound, Ontario not far from Toronto. The latter representing along with the 2 Carols the British contingent with Judith being a born and breed Brit - she comes from the lovely British heritage of Homeopaths, like Carol of Nashville. In fact, it seemed they both had been at the same Beatles concert as teens! Both have the exquisite brilliance of the British school of Homeopathy.

There was also another Laura and like myself she has been doing Homeopathy for around the same period of time as I have...she is in Minneapolis, a hot bed of Homeopathy! Also from the East were Linda and Nancy Frederick - the latter runs the school, Baylight Homeopathy School in Portland, Maine (where Lou teaches once a year after the Vancouver gang gets his yearly updates - his HMC grads are such a big continent he has to go coast to coast cause it makes sense for him to fly as opposed to all of us!). Linda is from the Jersey Shore and literally lives on the edge - whereby the disastrous flooding of the shoreline in 2012 hit her home and she is still living with the effects of this.

Linda, aka the Queen, myself, Marty and the "other" Laura
Linda was someone I had as a kayaking buddy and we had the best morning paddle together...that was a traipse to the dock to get geared up and was done half asleep on my part...with my wake up coffee afterwards with Linda at a local café (the one that remembered my name, so sweet). I actually was wide awake with heightened senses kayaking with Linda not only for the wildlife - sea otters folks are big critters - but because Linda was full of interesting stories...including on what I call her Homeopathic Royalty. She had a great, great Uncle that was a North Eastern American Homeopathic Doctor and was right out of our history books...she also learned her Homeopathy with some of the first after George Vithoulkas was brought over to North American  - who taught Louis Klein and the others we have as teachers and are world renowned Homeopaths right here amongst us. Linda learned from these teachers right at her career start: I refer to Jeremy Sherr and Vega Rosenberg being some of her teachers along with Louis Klein. Talk about an initiator, she and some others brought them to their doorstep to learn directly from them for themselves. Yes, books are good, but a teacher that has sound and creative personal experience is invaluable. I too feel lucky that I got Lou's teachings at the beginning of my own studies.

So, the peeps in and out of the Inn were just awesome and I will go back just for that aspect of the Retreat. But, believe it or not, I did actually go for the Homeopathy, ha ha. However, the camaraderie was what I do treasure, it was simply the greatest. As Lou himself said, where can you be and not have to explain yourself? I recall Linda on our morning paddle speaking to this: why she comes year after year...as many of those attending do (some annually and some every few years).

Torontonian Homeopaths: Carol and myself
I will also mention that the West Coast was well represented with California, Oregon and Washington States all covered. California by the fabulous David and fantastic Christine (see pic of her and I eating roasted Crickets for breakfast in my Facebook album. They were good - they were an addition from Roberta, and the spicing was actually yummy, Mexican style*).

* - we also did have another moment together, Christine and myself -  on skit night, but that will be kept from you all, my lovely readers. Some things that happen on Bowen really ought to stay on Bowen. Lets just say it was one of those moments that you had to be there for. I will say this: it involved the yoga position Downward Dog. BYW, this skit night was one of our own making, a totally off the wall good time - even without having attended the HMC where Lou plays clips of SNL footage (for educational purposes, lol) you would likely be able to roll with this, as it seems to me that a prerequisite of being a Homeopath is to have a good sense of humour if not to be a little zany. Granted our North American sensibilities would be repertoried I am sure by our brethren from afar;-)

At this point I detour for a sec and mention that the local entertainers, 2 musicians on 2 separate evenings, were totally talented song writers and performers. With one evening being a fellow originally from out East (Kingston Ontario - once a busker with a guitar that reminded of the Irish fellow in the Dublin film, Once. A belt-it-out-kind-of-guy that was very good, no mic necessary)...and the woman that played the keyboard was so great too...wonderful voices/styles with smart repertoires, including a great rendition of Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah. As you know, an iconic Canadian song that makes you want to weep no matter who sings it - even my daughter does her own version and I get a lump in my throat each time she sings along with k.d. lang. Although I did not weep I was moved as I believe everyone was by the music we experienced.

Barbara and John, laid back West Coasters
Also in attendance were John of Oregon (originally of California) and Barbara - with the latter having a practice in the Seattle Market Place...that I simply love and now know can crash her office if in town and need a Homeopathic conversation over coffee. Barbara and I lunched in Vancouver at the other end, once we got off the Island and it was nice to have her, the other newbie this year, to be with for the boat rides to and from Bowen from downtown Vancouver's Granville Market. Also a very nice market that I know and love very much...

To view my Facebook Album of Bowen so that you can see the cast and locale just Friend me on FB.

The "Agenda" or the Homeopathy of this Homeopathic Retreat:

Each year an agenda of topics to be covered is sent out to everyone attending with a Theme, Cases, Provings, etc. for all to go over prior to arrival. So, we had Bacterial Statements to do, see if a Genus Epidemicus could be found for Ebola, Felidae Cases & Scholten Plant System to go over and there was the informal tasks too - little did I know - of having fun, wining & dining and even doing a skit! the inklings I had of these hadn't stuck in my mind but I must say I am still savouring this part of Bowen just as much as the great Homeopathy...oh yes, now I will break down the Agenda and explain what we did and learned together.

"Tell me, I’ll forget
Show me, I’ll remember
Involve me, I’ll understand"
Chinese Proverb

The operative word here is "together" as we really got to be a tight knit working group for the purpose of moving forward as a group; and one lively group of very compassionate and humane Homeopaths we were. All were supportive and this made for a mutually healthy learning opportunity...with Lou leading us not unlike Captain Kirt or Jean-Luc Picard...on the Starship Enterprise (but with a better sense of humour) going where no Homeopath has gone before...okay, not at all like this but somehow felt that we were going into the cosmos on a mission....

So, here is the Agenda broken down so you get a sense of what items we covered over our 5 days of working till we built up hearty appetites to wine & dine guilt free:

Jan Scholten's Plant System & Lou's Orchids book surrounded by our very Plant Kingdom-like masks
1) Plant System work was done in conjunction with Jan Scholten who was skyped in by Lou right off the bat (the second day) so as to get into looking at cases with the newest insights by the man who made the System we were trying to wrangle with...we had prepped by going over Plant cases of Lou's that were successful and then looking at the remedy in relation to Scholten's schema...where the Plant Species sat in terms of Botanical Classification, which is the basis of Jan's work Homeopathically prescribing Plant remedies. We came up after doing cases a list of questions from the group, who more or less with exception of one person, were already attempting and using the System with some success. That was already fun...we Homeopaths are easy to please as long as we can do...well...Homeopathy! I had gone to Bowen with a case that I just had taken prior to departing from home and operated with assumption that it was a Plant and it was throughout the week whenever we did Plant work that I would focus in the back of my mind on the case. A patient with complaints of allergies - she had been the "Allergic Kid", but as stated on her medical intake history she had also had Diabetes since age 9 or 10. It proved the right thing to do because literally in the final hour (I was one of two that were last of the gang to leave Bowen, and it is often the case in the final hour we hit on a rx) I hit upon her remedy and sure enough just heard from the patient the other day that there was a very nice reaction...more on this later as the choice of remedy definitely would not have arisen without Bowen/Lou's stewardship and what I will tell you about that has been a total breakthru for many of us on Scholten's Plant System. Keeping you hanging on this as I am sticking to the Business Agenda and using Robert's Rules of Order....or at very least keeping some order here in my blog posting, lol
Earthy Christine of San Francisco, CA
2) Bacteria Remedy Statements: what the heck is this fun tradition that I speak of? I must admit without former knowledge I would be totally unable to fathom what this could be about. Well, let me tell you about this fun?! activity you all....in previous years what Lou started doing was coming up with statements that are pithy and succinct summaries about a remedy (ones under a Family or grouping) that are for us, Homeopaths, to use as way to speak a common language about the remedy. Acids and Snakes were already done and seemed from what could gage fun times for all...it was for me hard work and made my brain ache but worth it to get sense of Bacterial Remedies (Nosodes for instance in the Miasms and Nosodes book, Volumn I being on the Bacterially based ones as opposed to the upcoming book that Lou will have out one day on Virally based Nosodes). Lou's book eluded us: not a copy to be found even by Lou who forgot to bring his own book from his bookshelves each day...mind you he knew the topic well enough as the others seemed also to...so we did proceed especially as source info was available with WIFI on the Island and in our lodge.

An Acid Statement starts with the words "Burning thru..."...so, Floric Acid is Burning thru sex and status as an example. For Snake Venon Statements an example of overall Family of Elapinae is the "Fate of the Brood", and with Naja being specifically "I am the only one to decide who is king or queen and rules the brood.". Cool eh? Our words for a Bacterial based remedy were "Overcoming boundaries for the purpose of infecting with..."...we were divided into small groups of 4 people to work at a group of Nosodes, which happened once the whole group had isolated as it were the main statement for Bacterial remedies in general...it was hard work let me tell you but effortless as it seemed the brainstorming we did as group had one thing lead to another and Lou facilitated well so as to record up front on the screen what work, draft statements, we accomplished and moved us forward each step of the way....so if we collaborating Homeopaths could just run the world we would solve world peace or global warming right on Bowen Island all the while enjoying ourselves.

3) Ebola as you know is hitting epidemic proportions in Africa and Lou thought if we could work on looking at a more geographically specific remedy from the traditionally used Crotalus horridus and maybe somehow with contacts in Africa we could help with a possible Genus Epidemicus...prior to heading to Bowen I had looked up images of what the effects of bites of snakes look like and interestingly the Southern Africa Green Mamba has the same look of hemorrhagic bleeding and sxs that Ebola produces...what happened was interesting for us as a look at Bryonia showed that it would be a good prophylaxis: to give out to the population that have exposure to the virus and that way help stop the spread...and even a beginner, as you know, would have come to this just by looking at remedy relations (ie - to Crot-h)...so, hopefully, if we can just get the WHO on board with Homeopathy. At least there is acknowledgement of Homeopathy as being used world wide, but to help get the remedies out on a grand scale during an epidemic will be another story. I believe from what Dana Ullman sent out as a newsflash of late that the WHO is going to, at last, do research that will involve Homeopathy...what we did on Bowen was cursory work and just to have us thinking along the lines of going back to what Homeopathy has as a strength.

For further reading on the very important and timely topic of Epidemics and Homeopathy here is a great "piece" by Harry van der Zee in Interhomeopathy. His fascinating ideas/suggestions really should be considered seriously by all of us, as no doubt Louis Klein has done:




4) Lac felinum cases ended up simply being what we touched on as a wrap for the week. And a fitting end on Day 5 it was because true to the spirit of Lou turning the learning into a very sustainable, enriching experience that involved sharing cases that group members had success with. Marty Begin had a great case of tigers urine, Panthera tigris tigris....one that involved him creatively reflecting on the whole Tiger Mother syndrome that effects East Asian families and can be stressful when out of context from a Confucian-based society, and maybe within these days?! Were there or are there Tiger Mothers in China? Beats me but really a great example of using our general knowledge to get us on the right track. Marty and all of us, of course, always move to checking out the details to ensure that the match is tip top. The hunch which proved to be a great one bore out with the beautiful unfolding of cure that was spelt out for us, which was helpful just as much as a description of the CC (which incidently I can not remember the details of). This was a situation maybe of the patient having taken on the traits of their upbringing so as to have her intimate relationship be effected so that even in their downtime all they could do is think and problem solve about work...Talk about a workaholic...as with a general term, just like in our rubrics, it was a specific or unique way of being a high achiever for this individual.

Judith, Lou, Marty with Monica serving a great gazpacho soup.
Finishing up my posting for you here. But, will share something that illustrates a few things: how Louis Klein is insightfully brilliant and also, how the synergy of the Bowen experience worked so as to be able to have a group a ha moment. This might be a little confusing unless you are already working with Jan Scholten's Plant System. But if you are not bear with me and also I will direct you to the piece I did on the Jan's Plant System in this Blog or I would recommend that you look in Interhomeopathy. By now there are a few pieces that explain it including by Jan himself...I will in future hopefully have some of my articles in North American journals in Interhomeopathy to add to the growing body of explanations (mine compare as well with other Plant Kingdom work). Back to what I was saying: Lou gave us a gift that helped me with the case I worked on while away on Bowen and now have applied since Bowen in another Plant case....this one pending successful prescription but will keep you posted on this.

So there we were sharing our own personal insights on the aspect of the numbers - the Homeopathic ones or Jan's numbers - again see Interhomeopathy and hopefully I can actually put my articles here (permission pending - gotta ask those journals on this, if you are the author can you use in your own Blog?). Anyways, the numbers are matched to Botanical Classification in that Jan's numbers bring you to an actual Plant Species or, relevant for us, to an individual Remedy of a Plant Family....well, Lou did a Louis Klein on the spot (well, after a night of work once we parted ways after an evening of music and relaxing). He went home and reflected till he got a piece of working knowledge for us that can only be described as A++  or maybe, well, brilliant.

Here goes: if you are trying to figure out the place the patient is within or without the group (Phases) and also trying to figure out the arena of where this place plays out (Series of Periodic Table) a way you can do it according to Lou is ask the question of the patient's problem/current life issue: Is the patient comfortably in the midst (Phase 4) of her relationships (Series 3 or Silica Series)? as an example. Another could be: What kind of Leader is this person? are they impulsive? The remedy number we were looking at for this last question is: #663.41.10

So, the first 6 is an Angiosperm and the second 6 is for the "Leader", or a Lanthanide Plant (in the gold or Leadership Series as you know) and then the 3 is the Sub-Series...in the doubting side still, or still an outsider of the group of the 7 Phases/places one could be...again for those that know or use the Plant System. The 4th number here is a 4, which is in the centre (like Stage 10 of Element Theory, which is the middle of the 7 Phases...there is no 3.5;-) Note- in the rx, the person is like the Matriarch or Patriarch of a Clan...Last number of relevance is a 1, which is the Impulsive Leader. So, if you get to this Plant when using the numbers, you can ask questions as in the above to confirm the Rx for your patient. The remedy incidentally is Dianthus caryophyllus that totally exemplifies what Jan has about the rx in his book (in terms of an actual case we reviewed): caring nurturing matriarch that is "warm and cosy, like to cuddle and cook, care and clean", p. 536 of Wonderful Plants. The common name of this Plant is Carnation or Clove Pink...funny as it's quite a practical flower now that I think of it and is all about the business of loving but in an innocent and practical way...as in it being put in a lapel or used as a corsage for a Prom or put in a vase at a table in a family restaurant, not usually at a high end really romantic place, more a pseudo-romantic establishment...hum...will have to go over cases again to see if I got the right feel for the remedy...Note again: the .10 at the end is the number of the actual Stage of the 18 that are on the Periodic Table...so again 10 signifying in this case/patient the Matriarch.

So, really that is about it on Bowen - of what I feel might give you my reader an insight into a really beautiful experience - this is perhaps our North American version of the Wad Stories of Jan Scholten, or one of his Trituration Proving Expeditions or also maybe of the Bombay Group's (Sensation Method/currently The Other Song) annual seminar...as well, Massimo Mangialavori in North America has a following that I believe must be very much about community just as much so as his insightful MM. I feel all us Homeopaths the world over can truly benefit from having a community - our work on cases and in our constant study can be quite isolating.  A large part of what we do is reflect inwardly on the outside world/patients we see and on ourselves...but, it is so very important to make connections. Study and proving groups, retreats, seminars and journals have all been essential for us to grow our practices and ourselves...even Hahnemann and the early Homeopaths corresponded with each other right from the start, that is how they not just shared info but stayed connected and likely sane!

The 2oth Anniversary of Links in 2007 (where does time go?) exemplifies the spirit of what, again I reference Harry van der Zee (another person I need to meet!), we should all aim for: interconnectedness. The publishers/editors at the celebratory Congress spoke to this, cause really Homeopathy is about being alive and, therefore, evolving/growing...which is about connecting and being together with all life.


I feel very connected to some very special people - from Lou and Aryana to the all others that I took the HMC as well. And I hope that I can continue to connect with everyone on Lou's Webinars and now, fortunately, my 2014 Bowen retreat buddies. So, I thank Louis Klein for the 20 years of his Luminos Homeopathy and will be forever thankful that I found the community he created for many of us in North America to enhance our lives and our patients as well. Thank you Lou so much.

On a Bowen Island Hiking Running Trail
I will end with some quotes I feel speak to my experience of Bowen and Beyond.

For Lou Klein and Aryana Rayne:

Think not lightly of good, saying “It will not come to me.” Drop by drop is the water pot filled. Likewise, the wise one, gathering it little by little, fills oneself with good.

Buddha, from the Dhammapada

And from the poem Lapis Lazuli by William butler Yeats

There, on the mountain and the sky,

On all the tragic scene they stare.

One asks for mournful melodies;

Accomplished fingers begin to play.

Their eyes mid many wrinkles, their eyes,

Their ancient, glittering eyes, are gay.

And last but not least...

We live in a vast and awesome universe in which, daily, suns are made and worlds destroyed, where humanity clings to an obscure clod of rock. The significance of our lives and our fragile realm derives from our own wisdom and courage.

Carl Sagan

Bye Bye Bowen...I will return...

Monday, July 7, 2014

Our Lacs Literature: Lacking No More!

Book #1) One of the first Homeopathy books I ever owned was the great collection of Milks from Homeopathic Links (The Materia Medica of Milk: Collected Articles). It brought the Family of Lacs into our awareness. With its' superb Introduction covering the group's Themes thru to information on the individual substances/rxs & their symptoms it was simply brilliant (13 rxs from Lac asinum to Lac suis with Lac humanum sitting appropriately in the middle). It was well worth what I thought to be a hefty price during my "student days". Just like breastfeeding, how can any Homeopath argue that Lacs are not a natural grouping. Most certainly a classification we have benefited from...or, should I say, been nourished by.
Some practitioners resist prescribing based on Families, but, nonetheless, will group remedies according to some form of classification: we are all familiar with pathology based groupings. Longstanding ones or chronic ones, dare I say, that come to mind are "The Grief Remedies", "The Insane Remedies", the Headache or Diarrhea Remedies, not to forget the Malarial Remedies or Whooping Cough Remedies, etc. Our old time masters and, of course, Hahnemann were doing this. Naturally the Miasmatic rxs can be seen as pathologically based but as you know, Hahnemann himself did not only mean to classify a rx per dx but also as a way to clear ancestral Miasmatic imprints that were more about susceptibility as far as energetic resonance - even from one's cultural/geographical perspective as has been discussed of late (another posting my friends). All in all, since early times in our history, Themes of remedies were observed. As early as Kent the Essence of remedy pictures were being captured as a predecessor to modern Family Classification - of the variety I am speaking about when I talk about the Themes of the Milks for instance. Kees Dam's Introduction in the Materia Medica of Milk is still worth referencing to this day as it set the bedrock from which we can add to our knowledge of the Lacs: "I have attempted to give a format that can serve as a start for anyone who wants to elaborate, expand and deepen it more." (p. 22) A great way to bring a resource and a Family into the fold. 

The Lacs definitely have their Themes with individual remedies of the Family falling under various groupings. A prime example of this is found in Louis Klein's Clinical Focus Guide. For Lac delphinum he has the rx as part of the following "Homeopathic Groups & Miasms: Soft-sided Group, Milk Group, Cancer Group, Rabies Miasm". (p. 151)  This rx is a prime example of the many expressions in human form of a remedy's source...of course, there are so many, but the Lacs certainly do lend themselves to this. Personal Aside for Your Information: It takes one to know one - I am a Lac rx and when I behave and think in a way that relates to source it's almost funny, I have to say...now that I can have a sense of humour about my rx, which was not easy initially...likely because I am finally moving out of the state, at last!! It is not a pretty picture to be a Lac, let me tell you!
Further to this, we can also look at Families, for example, within the context of the Source. Homeopathic Families can be from a Botanical Family: The groundwork of both Scholten and Yakir's work that we are now able to benefit from with their Plant Systems that are based on Botanical Classification. Substances with common elements/composition can be grouped together, with Lacs or Acids being obvious examples of this. Thus, Lacs can be grouped via their similar constituent parts/chemicals never mind their Themes as per Mental/Emotional and their Physicals (And Phys as you may know can very well express under Themes that tie them to the Mental sphere of the state).

Here is Milks info with Contents to look over and Lac-c case: http://www.narayana-verlag.com/The-Materia-Medica-of-Milk/Corrie-Hiwat-Harry-van-der-Zee/b1275?page=1 

Book #2) So, if we were to put Family groupings on a Classification Continuum of sorts we would have the Pathology based remedies at one end and on the other end we would have something like what Massimo Mangialavori does in his work: remedies of different sources grouped under headings such as "Destruction/Self-Destruction". See here as example: (http://www.narayana-publishers.com/Self-Destructiveness-The-Acids-and-Similars-in-Homeopathic-Medicine/Massimo-Mangialavori/b2547).

Under this heading you find not only Acids but Spiders, Solanaceae and many other sources of remedies that have the Theme of Destruction. Just to be clear, he points out that we Humans by nature are destructive, but, as is the case in Homeopathy when a Theme of Destruction (or whatever other Theme/element that can be named as a Rubric for example) is found in a case or in a remedy it has to be really a big deal or predominant – albeit it can be subtle but running almost as an unseen undercurrent in the case, as with the Acids. So, maybe we see Destructiveness at the onset of illness in a subtle way and as well on mental plane in less obvious way then we would with, say a Snake (mind you some Snakes have destruction in subtle ways too (it all depends, as we say!) – but outward Destruction is a little different than what the Acids are about – they burn thru things and harm themselves along the way even more than   Snakes).

The Lacs work of Massimo Mangialavori is grouped under the heading or Theme of "Identity and Individualism". See here: http://www.narayana-verlag.com/Notes-Session-5/Massimo-Mangialavori/b1832?page=1

I am sure that his latest book, Praxis, would have some Lacs info as well and one day I hope to find out...got it on my Wish List;-)

I should mention here that Kees Dam points out that Rajan Sankaran has the Lac element as being the "basic feeling" for a patient in his way of viewing Lacs as a Family and that the "compulsion" is the Mammal aspect of the rx/state (this is captured as well by Massimo's heading). You feel that your identity is not strong and so you act to individualize yourself, the story of my life folks, lol! Sankaran's reference is in Spirit of Homeopathy...and on p. 9 of M.M. of Milk.

The Family of Lacs is an obvious grouping and now with all the great literature available to us it would be a total shame if we are not prescribing from the full range of available and potential Milks. I simply can't fathom that there are practitioners that think only to use just what was available in Hahnemann's time – Lac caninum as an example of a rx that gets overly prescribed from what I sense (note - it was a Rottweiler that sourced the milk). As early as 1905, James Tyler Kent stated in his lectures on Lac caninum: "All the milks should be potencized, they are our most excellent remedies, they are animal products and foods from early animal life and therefore correspond to the beginning of our innermost physical nature. If we had full provings of monkey's, cow's, mare's and human milk they would be of great value." (Lectures on Materia Medica).

Book #3) Jane Cicchetti in her lovely book Dreams, Symbols, and Homeopathy has a whole chapter on "Milk Symbolism" and it is here you can get a good sense of the potential that Kent saw for the Lacs. She shares with us that in his time there were Lac caninum, Lac felinum and Lac vaccinum (cow's milk) as proven by Samuel Swan, MD. He also did provings of individual constituents of cow's milk, including Lac defloratum. See pp's: 169-78 for info on this.

At the start of my studies in Homeopathy I missed the earlier Links journal issues with lots of Lac cases – the historic Lac maternum work of Tinus Smits, for instance...when he first introduced this remedy to the international Homeopathic community (5/99, Volume 12, Millennium issue of Homeopathic Links). I started my subscription in 2004 and there was always mention of the Lacs but interestingly I did not see the rxs as belonging to a Family. We most often learn from our cases and since I had no Milks in my caseload (or did I?) I didn't take much notice of the literature (until I got my Milks book that is and actually still somehow only viewed theorectically). As mentioned already I am a Lac rx, but early on in my career I was not given this rx, so I think I can be forgiven my Lac(k) of awareness and interest in the Lacs... but for a while now many of my patients have done well on Lacs when called for - now it doesn't surprise me that at any given time a Lac will be needed by someone that we are seeing in our practice.

Nowadays newbies on the scene can take the Lacs for granted, getting exposure to a very nice array of books that have since been published, complimenting the Links Milks beautifully. Since there will be a Lac coming your way any day now, ha ha, I will continue with my overview of the Lacs Literature and what information I know to be available to date.

Already, you have the Mangialavori info...which incidently was not exactly a book but part of the Session Notes from his 3 year International Post-Graduate Course (read, advanced course, as in the HMC of Klein that we have on our shores - they both do Webinars, so now, hey, you don't have to travel...mind you Italy would be grand! I can't complain cause this summer I go to Klein for advanced learning, he holds a retreat on an Island...Bowen Island, B.C. - I can hardly wait, my first time and so feel I now have Arrived!). Note - Massimo's MM and his Theming work were part of MacRep and was available to Homeopaths with that software early on.

This is everything else that we have to date:

Book #4) The journal Spectrum of Homeopathy did a great issue on Lacs called Cats and Dogs. This was issue number 1 of 2012. Here we get a view from the pinnacle of what Homeopathy can offer by way of prescribing the Lacs: simply outstanding, as are all things Spectrum. Half of the issue is devoted to the Canidae Family remedies – with Husky and Coyote cases by David Johnson of the US thru to Lac caninum (Alsatian) or German Shepherd by Heinz Wittwer of Switzerland. All are presented so as to give a well rounded picture of the Lac-c related remedies.

The other half of the issue is on the Felidae Family remedies. It has the basics of what are similar in the Cat Family with awesome cases from Britain's Jonathan Hardy of Lac-leoninum and Sanguis panther tigris (does a DD of the Big Cats as do the Joshi's that is handy to have on hand). And
there is a wild case, so to speak, of Alize Timmerman of the Netherland's whereby she treats a couple that are 2 very different Lacs (Caninum and Leolinum!). You can see commonalities or Themes, but, more to the point, what was clearly illustrated for me was that the correct Lac must be given and that if one sticks with only a few Lacs in their prescriptions it will not be helpful in anyway for our patients. Been there, done that...in my cases for instance where I over or misused Lac-maternum in lieu of the exact milk of another mammal, as in Lac-leoninum or lupinum. Mind you, it was not totally for naught because in one case when I "opened with" Lac-m it brought out the true state of a boy that was there all along but quite hard to pin point...as is the case with Lac-lupinum. This is mentioned specifically about this rx in a book I will tell you about later...Lac Remedies in Practice (why oh why, did I not see that his dream of putting on a wolf's head for "Show- and-Tell" in his Kindergarten was not an indication of him resonating as a wolf, lol).

Here is info on this most wonderfully up-to-date resource: http://www.narayana-publishers.com/spectrum-homeopathy/spectrum-of-homoeopathy-012012?fromOverview=homeopathy-news

Book #5) I'll mention here that my other source of info on the Lacs early on was what I got from Louis Klein in his HMC course that I finished Spring of 2012. He has great cases and off the top of my head I can recall (and visualize from the videocases) the Lac-caprinum patient – a fabulous case whereby the sexual aspect of not just the goat itself but the lonely goat herder was captured in this man, fascinating, and a nice curative rx for him (as clearly no other Lac rx would have been). As with all of Klein's material he Themes it right away and beautifully, with the Lacs being no exception. Something to keep in mind with the Lacs from his practice and what I can now confirm: with patients needing a Lac, you see the Animal but in a muted form: washed, as if with milk. As an example of this: my Lac-delphinium case stopped competitive sports due to being too aggressive when playing sports. This was in order not to injure others on her own team but especially the opposing side. This is a great example of the human expression of this source...those noses are hard on dolphins (and even sharks can be dissuaded from attacking dolphins when a pod of them put their "noses to the grindstone", ha ha). The patient's sport was hockey and as some of you may know, you can really get hurt and hurt others in this sport, especially when it is played Canadian style. As well, from Klein, his take on this Lac in particular is that there are Family Secrets - this is somethg unique to Klein about Lac - delphinum/what he has seen in his practice...it is in fact what lead me to the rx (okay, my Clinical Supervisor lead me to the rx based on Klein's work...I shall not lie - which I would never tell a lie, even though I am a competitive animal, but since I am a Lac I likely wouldn't as much as one which has a venom for instance, ha ha).

Book #6) A comprehensive book about the Lacs that really is gorgeous and also shifted how Lacs/Animal consciousness/rx states have been viewed is Nancy Herrick's Animal Mind, Human Voices: Provings of Eight New Animal Remedies. It was actually on the scene prior to the Milks book (it was published in 1998, 4 years earlier).  Five of the 8 Animals are Milks, specifically: Elephant, Lion, Wolf, Dolphin, Horse. Rat is there, but blood not milk, Dinosaur - milk not available understandably (fossilized bone thank you very much)...and Butterfly is indeed an Animal Remedy but an Insect one at that and with no milk of course (ps - NYC cockroaches are known to produce something akin to milk for their young!). Interestingly, Mangialavori's "book" that has Lacs also has Insects and Parasites in it as well. So, maybe an Insect and Mammal are feasibly closer than a Plant and a Lac would be - and since I am a Lac I would say this to be true, cause only now can I spot out a Plant patient. Mind you early on I not only had a blind spot for them but did as well for Lacs and Animals in general, due to being the muted Animal that I am;-)

As far as reading material, you do not get much better than the Herrick book. She really set the stage for source info laid out beautifully as well as Theming with the Provers words/info captured in such a beautiful/artful way...poetry in motion...and practical for us as well. If you have not read this book, get your hands on it - it is equal to the Milks MM but admittedly it would be a luxury if it was a toss up between the Links Milks book or this one...but, if money is no object both are essential...one is the Science and the latter, Herrick's, is the Art with a definite and strong cross over. The two make a perfect starter kit on the Lacs for Homeopath's of all stripes.

Here is info on the book with a PDF of the Contents and as a "Reading Exerpt" there is some info on Lac- delphinium...with rubrics from her beautiful proving...the Intro is also there and you get what she learned from doing these Animal Kingdom Provings:
Books #7) & #8) At this point I would be totally amiss not to bring into the conversation Patricia Hatherly...adding to our ever growing list of books. Of everyone associated with Lacs, I think of Hatherly as the "Mother of the Milks"...especially Lac- maternum, Colostrum and Lac-humanum. I had access to her first book, albeit borrowed from a colleague and not read cover to cover, (was at the same time that I read Melissa Assilem's Matridonal Remedies, which incidentally I would say is another book for the List - see my earlier posting on this book, which I have not numbered or placed on the Lacs list, but could very well as it's a necessity just as Tinus Smits work on Lac-m and Lac-h, see also my posting on his work...specifically the "Universal Layers").

Patricia Hatherly is a one-woman-show as far as Milks, Breast Feeding, and the connection between the two! This was true with her first published book and is just as true today with her second book, The Lacs: A Materia Medica & Repertory (2010). As far as I am concerned she is part and parcel of the Theme of this Family! It expands on her earlier published book called The Homoeopathic Physician's Guide to Lactation which came out in 2004. A thorough work that covers lactation issues so as to prescribe for mother and baby to help with problems that arise for either with breastfeeding. Patricia Hatherly is a Lactation Consultant and Homeopath in Australia. In 2002 she did the proving of Lac-m and in this book she does a DD of Lac-m and Lac-h and also looks in detail at Lac-c. Her first book covers the constituents that make up human milk and detailed info on the physiology of human lactation (covered as well in the MM/Rep). 

Her work relates to the concepts of Nurturance, Bonding and Attachment Theory that are all part and parcel of the Themes of the Lacs. The very core of what the Lacs are about starts here for us humans as was mentioned in Kees Dams work but really is brought home by Hatherly. Spelt out: Humans are Mammals that need to be brought back to the breast, as in needing the remedies of the Family of Lacs for ourselves/our patients because we have evolved to the point that we actually are no longer Securely Attached, i.e. - not having been able to latch on as it were to our own mothers, and, thus, to our roots as Mammals...hence, Hatherly's tie in with breastfeeding and why we ought to get back to the basics of this as well as use Lac rxs to address states that we get into due to a breakdown in our natural ways. This essential "lack" can very well address the very Human problems we have despite the other Kingdoms that our patients may well belong to...and so, even if one is a Mineral or an Insect for that matter (and least we forget, a Plant) maybe at some point mammary gland remedies - just as with the Matridonal remedies - may be called for in the case/at some point in time.

I now do have Hatherly back in my life - just this winter Patricia generously sent me a copy of her MM and I do love it just as others do. I will write a full review for a North American journal to highlight it for those that somehow are not aware of it. There are already 2 reviews pointing out how it is clinically useful. Roger van Zandvoort correctly calls it an "Opus" of a book...and he should know as he is a repertory man extraordinaire. So his naming it as such certainly does make the argument for having it on your shelves. Having said this, I will say that the prescribing of Milks from my experience is about having the right frame of mind to grasp that a Lac is needed either "Constitutionally" or as a matter of clearing a state that is somehow imprinted onto the patient and, therefore, it could be a matter of needing a Lac for the reasons as outlined in the Themes of the Family with a particular one being necessary to do the job...really, as with all remedies, the correct one at the right time is what it is all about! Aside: funny enough Kees Dams (I need to meet this man!) has this to say on what is the perfect Simillimum - interestingly it is in a piece he did on Lac-m in Interhomeopathy, February 2006 - "It must be given at the right time and in a form that can be dealt with." There are two other points and more great stuff in this piece that elaborate further on finding the Simillimum that really reinforce my sense that Lacs are actually underprescribed (that is the correct Lac for the patient needing a Lac if they do - recalling my sense that Lac-c is overprescribed, but in my opinion it is not actually being given as a Lac rx per se).

And now here are the 2 Hatherly reviews that might help tip things in favour for her work:


Lastly, Hatherly has a newsletter that you can get sent to your inbox and it is on her website that you can sign up for it, Milk Matters: http://www.patriciahatherly.com/
Note - her site has great articles/cases and provings that you can read/get a sense of how intertwined her Lactation consulting work really ties in with Lac prescribing for states induced by the problems that can arise for women and infants at the time of birthing/breastfeeding, etc. 

Book #9) So, without further ado since you already have added this to your own Wish List, I will side step Australia from whence Hatherly and one other Lacs author hale from (coming up...)...to mention that Farokh Master has a book (actually power point slides from a lecture it would seem) that I would say needs a quick mention because we are after all doing an inventory of our Lacs Literature.

It was made available to the Homeopathic world in 2010 and I had always scanned it along with my Klein notes when considering a Lac rx. Now, I have such a plethora of material I just whip thru them all like a card deck - got it, need it, want it - when thinking a Lac rx is warranted for a patient. But the Master book is perfect in particular when needing to DD the Milks based on only Physicals...and not on doctrine of signatures and such, as in seeing clearly Animal traits put onto Humans (opposite of Anthropomorphism). A quick note on this here: it's not as obvious in most cases until you actually know what the rx is - until you do, all the words used and gestures do not make for an easy prescription...once they are on the rx though, let me tell you, they are literally speaking the source and it is crazy! You see it in subtle ways once you have come to the rx and you look back at the words of your patient. Anyways, back to Master's book: I find it very trustworthy as it has great info on the Physicals of the rxs as already mentioned...as he does par excellence in all his work from anything such as Snakes, Fungi to his top notch Pediatrics clinical guide of 75 remedies. He really rounds out the info that was lacking not too long ago - but, thankfully not so much these days. I am still grateful for the book because it was helpful in all my cases...the other books I had initially did not have enough on the Physicals...and as happens in our Literature on whatever topic each book has it's own special gems that can only be found in the one book and no other and so, you have to constantly be re-reading, borrowing, using your Reference Works or such and then doing it all over again when you next suspect a rx from a certain Family although you already prescribed from that group of rxs!

Here is the Master book with the Contents and Lac equininum info as a PDF, a "Reading Excerpt":

#10) One more diversion prior to the Last Book, Number #11)...If you look at the website of Narayana and do a search of "Lacs" you will see a DVD of a "Congress" (Seminar for us North American's) with a Homeopath named Jonathan Hardy...I was there in the flesh, maybe I am in the video?! not as a case - although I very well could be - but as an seminar participant! Anyways, this was a lecture as part of the Mental Health Congress that had Scholten, Klein, Sankaran and others that was outstanding (see my previous "review" posting on the Congress). Unfortunately, from what I can see of the Contents the male Lac- leonium case is not there - it really struck a cord with me as it was a prime example of doctrine of signatures/the source in Human form as in Animal Mind, Human Voices...it was almost Animal Mind and Voice. The patient embodied the lone male lion that is forced to leave the Pride and make his way in the world on his own, trying to not only get a mate(s)/females but to even survive on the savannah (or in this case, in the pub life of England - where Hardy hales from - that is very social, but, alas, not for the lone Lion:-(

There is a female patient that gets Lac-leoninum but for the life of me I can't seem to remember her as clearly the lone male Lion...I do recall it being a great case but I can not get a visual on her - hey, I could get the DVD and then it will come to me...fortunately, the last book I will tell you about has a great DD on Lac-leoinum and Lac-felinum that really informs beautifully on the version a woman needing Lac-leoinum is about...but, to finish with Jonathan Hardy, if we can get in print his data from his experience that would be great - hint, hint Narayana Publishers, cause I am seeing you have established him as an author with you and published his work on Spiders and Scorpians (I have that on my "Wish List" too, along with the DVD - this List of mine is getting a little out of hand I must say, there is such a flurry of publishing activity it makes for hard choices on the budget of a Homeopath!).

Here is the info on the DVD: http://www.narayana-verlag.com/Mammal-Remedies-in-Homeopathy-1-DVD/Jonathan-Hardy/b15923?page=1
Note- Bonus material: you get to see the Matridonal rxs come alive with the adapt use by Jonathan Hardy in 2 cases in the 2 hrs of footage. Until recently, there was little on their use other than from the Homeopath that brought their use to us, Assilem - and her perspective is one that you have to wrap your head around and get into the groove of her prescribing/her framework or overall context in order not to miss an opportunity to get your patient their needed Matridonal rx! I had, fortunately, my teacher, Louis Klein's cases - off the top of my head I believe it was Umbilicus humanus...always huge learning for me to see his video cases when I was in the HMC cause having a patient matched to the MM of the rx is always the best and Klein put his patients up and we dissected the case so that a way to recognize the rx in one's own practice was what it was about, love ya Lou!

#11) So, we are at the last book at last...on what has proven to be a very extensive Literature List. I have saved the best for last (but in no way, would I say not to get at the very least 2 others of the above books if you are starting to build up your Lacs Library). This one really struck a cord with me, maybe my Umbilicus cord, ha ha. It could have been the timing on this - and I have to thank a local Homeopath, Nadia Bakir for mentioning it in a local discussion group on Face Book when someone else was asking about a case...that was maybe 1 year and a half ago right about now and I am still singing the praises of this well done book...which is, drum roll: Lac Remedies in Practice: Clinical Material Medica with Cases by Philip Bailey - our other Australian Milks Homeopath...what is in the water there anyways?

This book like Hatherly's book came out in 2010 - okay, there definitely is something going on to have them both resonating with Lacs and getting their works out the same yr. Well, it matters not cause they are very different books and compliment each other nicely. So, what is it about this book that I like so much....hum, let me thinkie on this. Firstly, I would have to say, the Themes Bailey has of the Lacs have a different spin in many ways from others - but not out of orbit or anything, just a slight shift but enough that he expanded the horizon for me personally on Lacs and the possibilities they hold for patients in our modern world that is so very devoid of love, support, interconnectedness, etc that is helpful and kind...somehow with the cases he has Down Under one gets the distinct sense of alienation that people needing Lac rxs would feel - they are trying to survive (Animal quality/Kingdom) and yet are really not aware of this...sort of somehow stands out with Bailey, as no other Homeopath's Lac cases for me. So far, I am aware I have not said anything concrete, but that is the quality I had upon reading the 15 pages of the Introduction's Themes...it was as if you get a feel of the Themes more than just the words with Bailey: Missing Foundation, Ambivalence, Paradise Lost, Alone & Co-dependent, Where is the Man?, Victim Consciousness, and Push & Pull for instance are 7 of the 12 Themes....not including ones that are unique to each of the 8 rxs that Bailey has info/rubrics, cases for: from Lac humanum to Lac lupinum - this last one being very good info that somehow had me really appreciate his unique spin on the Lacs. For instance, the case had a feel that was so different from others I had...and with this book I was able to really see some of my cases with clarity where I had been lost with them prior to getting this book. I would whole heartedly recommend this book. I have learned not to judge a book by its cover - this is a nice one mind you - but in terms of Bailey I had judged him by his author pic and ruled out this Lacs book as anything I would have been interested in because I believed his Homeopathic Psychology book was something that was very simple, my can I ever be judging! So, will have to check that one out one day....and always remember never to think just cause someone is good looking that they are not necessarily flakey, and boy, who am I to pronounce on flakiness!!

Here is the info on the book with the FULL Introduction!! As well for another "Reading Exerpt" the great folks at Narayana got the great folks at Emryss to allow for the Lac delphinum chapter and verse be included for your reading pleasure. Enjoy: http://www.narayana-verlag.com/Lac-Remedies-in-Practice/Philip-M-Bailey/b9157

Oh, a review too. And a good one to give a sense of what makes this book special (I forgot that Bailey breaking it down, his thinking at time of case taking & case analysis is very, very helpful): http://www.narayana-verlag.com/Lac-Remedies-in-Practice//Review/r37

So, Everyone! it has been fun to do this little exercise -- an inventory of our Lacs resources. I hope it will prove to be helpful for those of you trying like myself to always get the best value for your hard earned dollars. It is totally exciting times for us Homeopaths because we have so many quality books to chose from now and, therefore, so many more remedies we can match our patients to when they come to us for help...what really we all strive to do, heal those that cross our paths on their and our own journeys of healing.


Thursday, November 21, 2013

Homeopathy for Flu Prevention & Treating Colds/Coughs and Way More!

As you may have noticed over the last few years and always at the start of what is considered “Flu Season” there are increasingly more Homeopathic medicines appearing on store shelves. It used to be just at the Health Food Stores, but now the regular Drug Stores and even Grocery Store supplements sections are jumping in on what is looking like a new trend. Karma too is, naturally, in on this, but was ahead of most, especially Walmart! See my previous Chronicle “Product Spotlight” on Homeopathy from several years ago now. It certainly is a good thing but nothing new to any of you in the know about Homeopathy. Homeopathy is not just a way to avoid using conventional (toxic) drugs but also can be an effective alternative to even repeated use of herbal and other natural treatments that can clutter up your medicine cabinet over time as well as be somewhat time consuming and fiddly.

Essentially Homeopathy has a long history in the West – it was started in Germany in the early 1800’s, just over 200 years ago, by a medical doctor that re-acquainted with the Hippocratic tradition in Western medicine of respecting the inherent abilities of what he considered the life-organizing or healing force that is within every living being. Quick info on Homeopathy founder here:  http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/251691/Samuel-Hahnemann.

The phrase that is getting to be commonly associated with Homeopathy “Like Cures Like” is based on the principle of Similia Simillibus Curentur or the Law of Similars. It is what currently differentiates Homeopathy from all other healing traditions…including Western Herbalism and even 2000 year old Chinese Medicine that Homeopathy comes closest to along the lines of operating principles and as a complete system of medicine. None of these come close to Modern Medicine’s use of the Law of  Contraries, or “Opposites Cure”. Quick summary on this here:

So, in writing about colds/coughs and flus my purpose is to make it concrete for you by outlining some of our definitions and then giving you the two pronged approach Homeopathy has for your use: i) Prevention Protocols for Influenza that exist and, ii) common Treatment Remedies we use and how to dose them – those white pellets you might of heard of or likely seen – as they are everywhere these days! By the way, what they do have in them is pure energy captured so as to be released once they resonate within a living conscious being like yourself – profoundly elegant those little Quantum things! They pack a big punch as they go to the core of what ails us.

Info on this summed up nicely here and here:


Firstly, I will go a little more into detail on Homeopathy as a medical system, just briefly, so as to lay a foundation for the hard core data you’ll get by reading thru to the end.  

Homeopathy is a treatment that is used worldwide by home-prescribers (think parents with teething babies or think first aid for cuts, sprains and bruising – ie – Arnica, etc.). In Europe, the UK, India and nearly every place there are clinics and hospitals and pharmacies with either medical doctors or Homeopaths treating hundreds of thousands of patients with a huge number of remedies, close to 3,000 these days.

It works with the body and not against it. What you see in modern medical practice is that often the life force is weakened by the end of treatment either in acute situations and especially in chronic conditions as you can unfortunately probably attest to with people you know or with yourselves. This is because the life-organizing force, Vital Force according to our vocabulary, has had an uphill battle instead of an overall strengthening and balancing of the organism when toxic medicines and invasive treatments are used to suppress the expression of illness or imbalance. Imbalance is seen in what we call signs – seen by observer and outwardly obviously with diagnostic tools or naked eye -  and symptoms – felt as sensation, pain for example - which are there because we are thrown off kilter and aim, therefore, to correct ourselves, to get back to homeostasis or a place of harmony as referred to in Eastern medicine and Wholistic philosophies.

Take the immune system as an example. Firstly it is seen in many Holistic practices at times as a separate entity but we Homeopaths do not actually compartmentalize it necessarily but acknowledge that biochemical changes do occur with running down our defenses, our organs and our psyches. For us, defenses that we have are part of our whole and are driven by the Vital Force, recall the life force that innately tends towards health or healing when not healthy or sick. But for the sake of simplicity let’s take “it” for now to make clear how Homeopathy can work with you during Flu season.

So, running with this entity the “Immune System”, think along the lines of fevers, which are big in Flus and sometimes even colds (sort of the difference between the 2 but for us we actually do not distinguish between the 2 as this is our approach with diagnosis*). Well, with conventional medicine they say “bring down a fever” as it is seen as the problem whereas homeopaths and in Chinese medicine there is a working understanding that the fever is actually producing a hostile environment for an invading organism, like a bacteria or virus…so, bring it on and shorten the stage of Fever is what Homeopaths say. But, we are not altogether out to lunch and do not enjoy being sick unnecessarily. Especially if there is a lot of discomfort in the young and elderly as there is also when the immune system is not functioning optimally, as the case in these modern times of immense stress we live under. So, in this little article I will start by talking about treatment once you are sick as the concept of suppression is brought up as well as illness as being stuck in life and/or a stage of a particular illness. We’ll end with the prevention piece. Hope that can work for you.

* - See this for our way of defining or diagnosis of illness:

In Homeopathy when treating something like a fever you match a remedy to the state of the sick person overall. If the remedy selected is one that has fever that is like yours along with all the other signs/symptoms that are expressed by you then you are ready to take that remedy to move you through to the next stage of illness. Backtracking here for quick educational on our definition of health and disease as framed by the concept of colds/flus: In all illnesses there are phases, a beginning or onset and then a middle stage or 2 or more and then lastly, an end stage – with acutes you either pull thru or not – and in modern times with sanitation and conditions not as harsh as in olden days one generally can come out of the common cold and not need being blessed (as in sneezing could be sign that you may very well die! And hence, the need for God’s blessing).

Illness, therefore, according to Homeopathy is being stuck in a phase of an illness – cold or cough – and broadly in life it can be in a stage of development or mindset that is disruptive to life enhancing change or adaptation. In the case of Flu for instance, if you have a fever that is not cooking the pathogens effectively and keeps burning but not with enough gusto then you try to match it (along with other signs/symptoms) to the same type of temperature, chills and, say, discharges (perspiration or sweat) in same area of body/head then you are good to go to a correct remedy and take it. Sometimes we Homeopaths say wait out the fever if it is healthy – we only treat illness!) and treat afterwards.  As in, if you are weakened d disproportionately by your fever/flu. So, instead of coming out of it and being on the mend but you are, rather, weak and stuck in the cold/flu still – the next phase of it or even the lingering bitter end of it (think older person or younger for that matter that appears worn out and old by their cold/flu -- and coughs do well to get treated when stuck at a stage that can be very bothersome and you can not for instance stop clearing your throat or can not sleep due to an incessant cough)…So, now that that basic piece is done let us get some details of remedies into the act here. I will use one remedy as an example to get you in the know.

One early onset remedy that is common for people to need with either damp warm or cold weather, days that are windy/thunderstorms that give them a chill is Gelsemium (known as Yellow Jasmine). Their temperature is not too high but with fever there is shaking, they are thirstless and have cold feet (notice the details we need)…but there is more. Chills and perspiration run up and down the back. Pulse is slow. Face is hot and flushed, skin in middle of forehead as if contracted. Head feels like a heavy band – really not great situation as you can see…I know feeling as was my onset Autumn cold prior to regular treatment with Homeopathy! It is very unpleasant. Oh, to add to that, the trapezius is stiff. But here is the cincher to nail this nasty one: you need to see in the eyes, heavy, drooping eyelids (and there is blurred vision too to add to the misery). As far as ears, N/A (that is a saving grace for those remedies that have ear pain). Nose: acute coryza. There is a fullness at root of nose, watery discharge (clear)…so lots of snot! Throat: worse swallowing, lump sensation and pain radiates to ear. Cough is dry (as opposed to wet). Spectum (from mouth, throat): N/A – really a head cold this one. Abdomen: no thirst (the stomach is in the abdomen so we classify thirst in this region – just repeating from the literature folks). Tongue: coated and trembling (you really see it do this when the patient sticks out tongue when asked or you look in the mirror). Energy: Dull, without life. Mental (here are the keynotes of this remedy -- all remedies have their known trademark): dumb, dull, dizzy, better alone.

This is not to say the person is a dummy – it is the state of the illness that the person gets into and being droopy and dull is what happens. I recall being at work several times with my nose dripping and speaking with a nasally voice saying, “I thing I’m gedding sick”…and coworkers agreeing when they saw my dumb, droopy and dopy face with eyelids half closed. Now, when I see this face on anyone I think: Gelsemium! Note- a couple more symptoms to round out picture: Modalities: better motion. Peculiars: muscle weakness, as if hit by a truck (but not of the bones – that is another remedy, called Eupatorium perfoliatum, easy to remember as the common name is Thoroughwort or Boneset! One that I also have when I get the Flu – it can not be mistaken as a cold, sorry to confuse but even in our books some onsets are clearly bigger than a cold, Gelsesium can be either).

So, now you have an example of the full blown picture of one remedy for a common way some people get colds/flus. I think at this point I will refer out. I would highly  recommend if you are intrigued to get a book by ordering one from your local bookshop or by using books at the library reading up on the other remedies to get a handle on them as you would Gelsesium – there is a pool of approximately 20 remedies that most of you would likely draw from for yourselves and family and friends that you could practice treating. Just by reading about the symptoms (dizzy and band around head, trapezius stiff) and the signs (drooping face and eyelids, trembling for instance) you may come across your normal way of getting sick at the change of seasons, as in Spring and Fall or just whenever you are run down (ie- your immune system is lacking vitality, which is – as you can now predict – your Vital Force calling out for some balance. That is when prevention is the best medicine. Going to bed early, drinking lots of water/herbal teas and using warming or cooling foods, eating well in general and not sweating the small stuff – reading a book in the evenings with a nice cup of tea is always good medicine.

To actually treat colds/coughs and flus here are book titles for your study and practice. They are in the Toronto Public Library System and you can see which one works for you and then get one to use daily….they are fine ones with the first being my personal favourite and go to resource (it comes with a CD Rom and simulates the software professionals use):

        The Complete Homeopathic Resource for Common Illnesses by Chernin, Dennis

       The Complete Guide to Homeopathy by Lockie, Andrew

        The American Institute of Homeopathy Handbook for Parents: a Guide to Healthy Treatment for everything from Colds and Allergies to ADHD, Obesity, and Depression by Shalts, Edward

        The Complete Homeopathy Handbook: A Guide to Everyday Health Care by Castro, Miranda.

We are almost ready to move on – but, just to mention now that the instructions for what potency to give of a remedy and when to dose and how often are outlined in all these books, so read carefully the beginnings of the books and get a crasp of how this facet of prescribing works, cause although all natural and supposedly not harmful (as you likely have heard claims about) remedies must be given according to our second principle (after, the old “like cures like” law we operate by) which is “minimum dose”. So, the least amount of medicine is necessary to affect cure as the energetic nudges are not the same thing as drugs or medicines sometimes made of the same substances. They act on the energetic plane of living organisms, and therefore, act at a deeper level (than the biochemical plane – affecting us emotionally, mentally and, yup, physically). So, once we resonate with a remedy we do not need to keep pumping ourselves with the substance as a perfectly matched deep acting remedy is powerful when acting on the higher level of our existence – where illness actually begins. So there you have your complex but actually simple explanation as to why you might only need one or just maybe a couple to upwards of m-a-y-b-e 3 doses of a remedy at a low potency to nip the cold or cough or to move yourself to the next stage of its progression thru your system that is manifesting as, well, a cold or flu. 

Shall I now really confuse matters to mention quickly that getting colds and flus are seen Homeopathically as healthy and if you get one or two every year or so is quite alright. In fact, if you never get colds or coughs then it might be that you have a disturbance at a deeper level and you are now beyond getting a healthy dose of the seasonal illnesses that are circulating out there in the general public. So, with this in mind, I would say that taking precautions should be done in moderation as all things are best in moderation.

The 4 Homeopathic options that I would recommend from what we have at our disposal for influenza prevention: a) Ana barbariae hepatis et cordis extractum, b) Influenzinum, c) Thymuline, and d) Schussler Tissue Cell Salts.

a) With the first one you are definitely using our principles of “like cures like” and “minimum dose”. There are different brand names for this substance/remedy. The most well known one being Oscillioccinum made by Boiron of France. We at Karma have the Montreal based pharmacy Homeocan’s called FluBuster. Same thing. The use of a Nosode here – long story, but we use scrapings of tissue from human and animals that are either healthy (Sarcodes) or diseased (Nosode). Once we have the substance and make a mother tincture to dilute and potencize (leave behind the material plane and get it up to pare energetically, so as to be a powerful medicine or remedy) there is no further need to harm any living creature. This is a great aspect of Homeopathy as opposed to many Chinese medicines that are pushing the status of some animals from being endangered to being extinct – the Black Rhinoceros is now officially on Extinction List. This broke news less than a month ago and I personally was heartbroken and must say that have a personal issue with this aspect of Chinese Medicine. My family contributed to the tiger parts black market until informed of how horrifically barbaric this was and then they stopped – therefore, I know education can make a difference and the illegal trade in animal parts can be stopped.

So, back to Ana barbariae as a remedy. It is made from the heart and liver of the Muscovy duck and only one duck was needed for the world’s supply of this remedy. They can harbor the influenza virus and if you have the virus…you’ve harboured it as well…so this is how we do “like cures like”.  

See here from Homeocan on this old time remedy: http://www.homeocan.ca/main.cfm?p=03_110&l=en&bulletin=2

Now another principle of Homeopathy is that “there can be only one disease in the body at a time”. Think to anyone with a serious mental illness – you’ll find they never have Cancer or other more physical conditions. It works the other way too. So, next you‘ll get a quick lesson of what this means on the practical level that is not so extreme. The influenza virus, assuming it is the start of flu season and you are carrying the bug along with a lot of others around you…subway cars, workplace water coolers, restroom door handles and even the taps you are using to wash your hands!…then it will be matched to the remedy and the stronger of the two will create real immunity but without you getting the illness – it will just imprint energetically as opposed to running thru your system on the biochemical level (the remedy is given in a potency that will overshadow the strength of what you are harbouring, the real disease that is lurking in the shadows).

Further to the point: I say “real” as your Vital Force will pick up the energy of remedy and then actual trick the body on the physical level into thinking that it was ill with the flu (but without having had it, therefore, why it is tricked). This is the problem we see with either the live attenuated viruses (nasal spray used in Europe) or the regular inactivated viruses used in conventional (injectable) vaccines. The person gets sick in the end and/or not quite but ends up acquiring the bug after all when they might not have had it in the first place. When they do get run down which ironically can happen cause they are then fighting the flu they get, surprise, the real deal...that was introduced into their system in an unnatural way, hence, causing stress…old habits die hard and we were not set up to have our natural defenses played around with. If the person has a suppressed or weak immune system this spells trouble with a capital “T”, as in seniors having complications from being weak with a flu (think pneumonia and the like).  

Here is info on the downside of Flu Shots:

Summed up this is something to consider, as is the next Homeopathic prevention protocol that you have at your disposal.

b) Influenzinum: Generally very beneficial as studies point out from France and other European countries where Boiron Labs and other Homeopathic pharmacies, Nelson’s of the UK and such, make a new seasonal remedy for each flu season. The remedy is made from the sputum of influenza patients that cover the current viral strains that are predicted to be circulating by the World Health Organization. This is also a Nosode – a good little tool for Homeopaths and does the trick as really is favoured by even those that may not use Homeopathy for other areas of their life.

Of the two options so far you can choose which one you prefer – some people swear by one over the other and it really is a matter of trying them both, maybe alternating each year to see which might be more suitable for you.

Here is the scoop on Influenzinum:

note- when purchasing from Health Food Stores ensure you are getting the 2014 Strain. Also note from this site you can use even if you did have a conventional flu shot.

The last 2 options are truly the most preventative in nature of the Homeopathic options. The next one though if taken specifically for flu prevention is recommended by many health professionals in conjunction with Influenzinum. I would also say that if you take the Ana barbariae hepatis that you can also do Thymullium as well.

c) Thymulline is a Sarcode, a remedy made from healthy tissue of a human thymus gland. This gland acts like a thermostat to provide the right balance of immunity, as in it cranks up the heat to help the body fight infection and then goes down when necessary to prevent autoimmune disease. It is good to support thymus function be it flu season or not.

Here is info on this great gland: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thymus

This is a remedy that you take for 5 consecutive weeks with only one dose per week. It energetically stimulates your actual thymus gland,  this is called Organ Therapy in Homeopathy but is definitely good target organ for flu prevention. So, as with all the options read carefully package instructions and follow closely cause like antibiotics they do no good unless you finish the whole course as recommended…so, even with energy medicine you gotta follow the prescription.

d) Last but not least is the Bio-chemic Tissue Cell Salts as a way to really operate on the preventative plane…but, ironically, it is not as much of an energetic thing as the above cause although these little white pellets are prepared Homeopathically – diluted and potencized – they are biochemical in nature and treat for deficiencies of essential mineral salts in our cells on the biochemical level…i.e. – they are almost like a supplement but a little bit more so then taking a mineral supplement. Here’s how.  

Okay, summed up they are about helping utilize the minerals that are in our bloodstream of which we get from the nutrients but are either depleted or are not able to be absorbed. With the latter the reason not only can be from a predisposing condition you may have but also can be coming from an energetic blockage to the substance. So Homeopathic preparations are deeper (as mentioned previously they are about the core of the substance and are matched to the state of you/your blockage for instance) and so, they get into each cell of our body due to them not just being a biochemical version as are found in supplements….not knocking supplements but when you take ‘em and you still have a depletion then it is time for…Tissue Cell Salts!!

They can be taken at the change of seasons and of the 12 essential ones there are formulations that are particularly good for certain things (note- usually a formulation has about 3 to 6 Cell Salts unless you are really depleted then you may need more than 6 upwards to 8 of the 12 for a period of more than the usual daily dosing for 2 to 3 weeks. Oh, they are easy to take as you can put in water and then drink between meals a few times a day and get your minerals/salts while you are on the go.
Here is a great book that not just tells you what the 12 Cell Salts do for you physically but also gives you a way to diagnose what ones you are needing (I do a formulation for myself and my family a few times a year and what I see is that it is different each time for each of us dependent on stresses, seasons and likely diet as sometimes I get lazy and menu can be improved upon, let’s just say).

See the Reading Excerpt that has the Contents and also the Chapter on Ferrum phosphoricum…totally a good read as well as a good choice to look over as this often is the most common depleted Cell Salt for many of us at various times of the year.

Below is good data on all twelve Cell Salts and what they address in our bodies – you’ll see they can address serious health disorders thru to winter cracked and dry skin along with fatigue from exam study…which depletes anyone that has a lot to cram for and not enough time: http://www.naturalnews.com/024674_salt_tissue_salts_body.html

This is the formulation to make up for cold/flu prevention:

Silica, 3 tablets

Kali-Sulph, 3 tablets

Kali-mur, 3 tablets

Ferrum-phos, 6 tablets

Note- you make this up 3 times a day and do this for at least 7 to 14 days at start of flu season…I recommend making up stock bottle of all doses for the day (in 2 litres of bottle spring water that you drink all day as mentioned above).

So, hope this short little overview has been helpful to either give you an insight into Homeopathy as way to treat yourself when you get sick or if you are trying to prevent yourself from succumbing to a bug that is circulating out there this Winter. To leave you I will give you one more link that will be a portal into a whole world of possibilities – this is where  you can self prescribe for Acutes such as colds and coughs. Have fun and hope that if you get into trying Homeopathy out that you will have some success and get a sense of the beauty of this wonderful healthy way to treat yourself, friends and family.

Laura Coramai is a practicing Homeopath in the Karma neighbourhood. She loves to share with free info sessions in the community’s Library, Karma and other places that people gather. Ask her on her workshops on Acute Home Prescribing for adults/children and seniors and how Homeopathy works even for pets and plants. She treats people with Chronic health issues, addressing the root cause on the physical, mental and emotional planes of existence. Contact her for Constitutional Homeopathy.