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 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: 

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: (

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:

I am sure that his latest book, Praxis, would have some Lacs info as well and one day I hope to find 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 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 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:

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 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 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:
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...) 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 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 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:
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 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:

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):

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:

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:

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:

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:

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.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Who Knew a Mental Health Congress Could be so Fun?!

Today I am still sitting with the effects of having attended the Mental Health Congress hosted by Narayana Publishers. It was their second one and was held March 8th – 10th, 2013 in Bad Krozingen, Germany, near to their Publishing House in Kandern. I use none of the above words lightly. “Effects” as it is a multifaceted response that I had to a very stimulating experience that all of my being was effected by in many ways. “Hosted” as it was a feat that was not much unlike a huge birthday party, this event, that the Narayana team pulled off without any hitches from what I could see. Simply a beautiful experience.

Originally, I had the inkling I would be writing on the seminar itself and some info on extras that were highlights but now I wanna shout from a mountain top (in the Alps;-) on the merits of attending such an event to all of you, my dear gentle readers: wake up and smell the German Coffee, which is darn good stuff! For the sake of appearing sane, however, I will go about this in an orderly fashion.

So here is an outline of the piece, a Contents of sorts (let’s see if I stick to it!):
i)                    Rating of Location – ie – my Fanatastic Trip to Germany, albeit limited in time and space.
ii)                   Narayana Verlag Backgrd Review – like, why I love my people so much more than expected!
iii)                 My Seminar Thoughts.

Firstly,I should establish I have been with Narayana as their North American customer rep for just over a couple of years and all my dealings with them have been lovely, but still did not prepare me for what proved to be the most wonderful trip, seminar and hospitatility I have experienced as an employee, a homeopath and as a human being. It was admittedly getting weird that I had not met the publishers I talk with via Skype and in email and some phone calls, so to have broken the sound barrier and have a face to face was normalizing – and what better way then to see them in action.

Although they are publishers they shine with their event organizing. They have hosted other Congresses, with sometimes a handful of speakers or a singular homeopath and at other times with one topic just as with this Mental Health Congress with a number of speakers. What these represent for me is the bringing together of Homeopathy as a global community - all manner of Homeopathy gets exposure that focuses on moving us into the 21st century and helping our modern day patients. This Congress reflected this intent very well by way of the presenters invited to participate. Everyone in attendance and the speakers sensed that this is what the Congress was aiming for - interestingly the topic is one that would highlight the urgency we have to address the ills of our society as Mental Health is something that we can all, unfortuately, say we are seeing more of in our practices - mental illness is so very prevalent and pervasive in all parts of the world, yet so stigmatized still. Likely the reason there's an increase to more hidden forms of it....or should I say more acceptable ways of being insane!
For various reasons everyone was flocking there at once – it was like a pilgrimage for me personally, but for many others as well it seemed. Hold onto your hats folks! – 500 Homeopaths in attendance! And if that was not enough, the participants represented 31 countries!! Narayana's first Mental Health Congress was successful but this was remarkable in terms of numbers. 

There was anyone from the lone homeopath from Gabon, who was such a lovely man, to the 50 French Homeopaths that made their presence felt just by sheer numbers. I love hearing French spoken as it is such a lovely language, Romance languages are, well, romantic sounding. I ate lunch the first day with 2 Brazillians and my Canadian travel companion as well as 2 German Homeopaths - there were Homeopaths from Japan I chatted with, the UK, Eastern Europe and India - Down Under? I the sheer numbers were so big it was hard to chat with everyone...but I did at some point cover alot of the people as I assisted behind the English Book Table in the foyer during breaks - this gave me a sense of what schools of thought, practice circumstances and more was being drawn to this Congress.

I think the time has come that many of the Homeopaths that order books from Narayana just all at once decided to make the trip to one of their events...and rightly so, as what better way to learn than to attend a seminar that covers such a nice range of practices/approaches and on such a timely issue. I will get into the Congress a little more down the road....

Speaking of roads, I spent the whole time stumbling about not only in awe of the event for the Homeopathy factor but, really in terms of a trip I totally enjoyed myself at every turn: the streets of Bad Krozingen are twisting and turning and one could easily – as I did – be lost in familiar streets;-) Mind you, I was not lost in familiar streets but, always in the end, in the unfamiliar streets I got to where I needed to be.

1) So, officially I am addressing at this point the first item of my piece, the Location.

I have never been anywhere near the Black Forest in my life before this – known as Schwarzwald in German. In all honestly, for the first year in my work with Narayana I could not envision where they were located...for me they were in Germany and not in Berlin or any other German city that I knew of. As time wore on I got to being curious and with looking at the pics of their previous Congresses (seminars as we call them), shots they shared by email with me of their hikes (they go for walks in idyllic settings, that looked to me staged!), and then finally taking the initiative of looking at maps, etc. of where Kandern was. Finally I started to get a sense of how their location was really integral to what they are about.

Germany, Homeopathy, get that? Remote quiet village tucked in mountains and very natural, healthy, got that worked out….and then re- Congresses in neighbouring town as there are amenities to host and pull off the feats they do (officially Bad Krozingen is a village, but for me that word reminds me of pioneer hard to grasp that villages exist in Western countries – sorry to be so out to lunch on this)….but what I had come to realize is that they do what they do - beautiful publishing projects, Spectrum journal and Interhomeopathy and these Congresses, because they are grounded in their position, literally, in a wonderful building, their gorgeous publishing house, and in a peaceful and very natural and clean setting...environmentally it is simply lovely.

I think the best way to convey what I am talking about is to just show you my trip pics - a Facebook Album. I was snapping photos all throughout and as they say, a picture is worth a thousand words....and I did add captions, maybe not a thousand but enough hopefully to give you the gist of what I experienced.

Because I was just flying in and out I did not get to travel in the area unlike my colleague, Lynn Comeau a wonderful Homeopath from South Western Ontario Canada that I convinced to do this when we were sitting at Scholten seminar in Toronto last fall...she stayed on for a week and did a driving trip of what is called the Romantic Road. In any German Travel Guide Book and online you can find the info on 3 such driving trips in Schwarzwald (can be done by bike or train/bus as well I believe).

I am interested to try the Fairy Tale Road for a family vacation, based on Grimms Fairy Tales. Mind you at this time of year one can ski - either in Austria, Switzerland or Germany itself. In fact I have learned that the first ski "hill" in Europe was in fact in Germany and from the Narayana folks/Congress locations about an hours drive or so from what I can gather looking at a map. The mountain/resort is called Feldberg and for those of you who are Cdn its elevation is 1,493 metres and for those using the Imperial system of measure it is 4,898 feet high. Nice eh? There is a Ski Shuttlebus that I got a pamphlet for at the train station in Bad Krozingen and saw as well in the Basel Switzerland train station (only 30 or minutes apart)....everything is so close and so one can hop on a train and be out of the can see the airport nearest the Congress was on border of France, Switzerland and Germany. The Black Forest as with Bavaria (where Munich Octoberfest takes place - just to situate you) borders Austria too and so if skiing is your thing you are good to go!

Last couple things on location to mention: I would rate the accomodation situation as being tops re- price, cleanliness and comfort. The "village" seems to be set up for Homeopathy Seminars....hosted by Narayana. They are 30 - 40 minutes away and some of the publishers just stay put in Bad Krozingen throughout the Congress while others just drive to their Publishing House while staff hop over to their neighbouring villages at days fact one of the highlights of going to their seminars is that you get to go there too (not their homes, but the Publishing House...). They host a beautiful Open House Reception with food/wine and books, books, books - so, buy direct out of the warehouse (but not a North American style warehouse at all).

The presenters/authors were there to sign books and it was really just a wonderful time for everyone. Of the approximately 500 Homeopaths in attendance almost half went on the Saturday evening of the Congress. There was a grand coach bus - European style - to take us to Kandern (I did miss the bus but took a cab there chasing after the bus!). For me sitting next to a German homeopath on the trip back to Bad Krozingen was a great way to get a sense of an altogether different way to a practitioner she was new but getting into the newer ways of prescribing and also keeping her day job of 25 years, which was to work with people that lost their sight as adults...her inspiration to get into Homeopathy as she saw the need to help these people cope not with their blindness but with the limitations due to changes in their lives that came with their loss of sight. I really hope to see some of her cases in the pages of our journals in the future. I learned as well from her that the South West region, where the Black Forest is located, is the most tolerant of Homeopathy in Germany - sort of a shock to learn that acceptance of Homeopathy is not as widespread as I assumed in the founding country of our profession. All this from a 45 minute bus ride...

Oops, went on a winding road trip to the Open House, literally. My pics don't convey it well, so here are the pics from Narayana website they just put up. You can see a full array of shots that cover events that I was busy sipping, eating or chatting at and forgot to take photos (I was always putting something in my mouth it seemed....sort of like when you want to take a Homeopathic remedy!). Bonus too: a great 6 minute video covering it but with delightful candid footage of homeopaths saying why they were enjoying themselves.

Back to the topic of the Location of the Seminar -- on Accomodation...the same link on their website for all their Congresses is just the local tourist board info but a good start. You can just use TripAdvisor and, etc. as well to make arrangements -- what we did (last minute so our place was a 30 minute instead of 5 or 10 minute walk to the facility for the seminar, next time will be booking when get my flight booked), really no need to rent a car or anything, you can just shuttle bus from airport (info is shared by Narayana when you register/on their site as well)...or do the train as I did since this is my preferred mode of transpo and I just had my small wheely suitcase. I was set to sit and stare out the window (but typical of me, I ended up chatting with local German woman from the area, Baden Baden, that was returning to her hometown after living abroad in Lebanon for almost 20 years - her life story was fasinating and she is now thinking of trying Homeopathy to make the adjustment back into her new mid-life changes and deal with grief as her husband had passed away in the last in effect I was helping this German woman understand on the benefits of Homeopathy, what can I say!).

Here is Accomodation info:

Below as well are pics from the previous years Mental Health Congress - there are close ups of the treats at the Open House and author signing pics that really gives you the flavour of the hospitality of going to something that Narayana hosts:

Currently on the website you will see info on all the Congresses they have held since 2009 (around when they embarked on doing these formally). Also, you can see the next 2 upcoming seminars they are hosting. Their 3rd Veterinary Congress for this month with a number of outstanding presenters & also one with just Peter Tumminello of Australia on the Precious Gems in Homeopathy - here they hold the seminar in Kandern and you can see the links on Accomodation and Transpo details and such so you can make arrangements.
What else was I wanting to convey about Location: oh yes, how could I forget - the area is famous for it's thermal waters and although Hahnemann was against them just as he was coffee (which, incidently is great stuff in Germany) I say get thee to the spa. So be sure to check out the Vita Classica of Bad Krozingen or other thermal baths in the Black Forest (not one of the Road Trips, but could be - just hop town to town getting spa treatments.).

I went on my last night...there are 7 pools as well as amenities (my new word) like treatments and such AND the price is right folks: $20 bucks approximately to get in, with towel and nice clean locker....and there is cafe with food and beer as well (maybe Hahnemann would approve of the beer if there are no preservatives?!).

So, there you have it on Location. Oh, the city of Freiburg is not far so you can go there for a dinner one evening too....some people did. There were a couple of American Homeopaths there with their husbands and I recall they did this. It has Germany's oldest University there, was founded as a town in 1120, and is now the world's greenest city - packed with history and gorgeous from what I can see online and from reading my Travel Guidebooks. Alas, next time.

As far as a rating out of 10 with 10 being the best, I would give the locale 9 out of 10...

2) Next Item to be covered in my report to you on my trip - The Narayana People...I realize that I have not shared much on them in this Blog - However, I think I will only say a little here only because I think I will do a posting on them in future as their story is unique...simply lovely - their Publishing House really unfolded organically and they come from a place of good intentions that what they do is truly a labour of love and needs to be explored fully another time.

Suffice it to say this: Narayana originally was Herbert Sigwart and Ulrich Welte - they were med students and in 1973 and 1974 they presented on Homeopathy as they learned about it to a large German medical student organization's Congress (there's that word again - seminar for us)...ironically in Germany usually when the topic was on Homeopathy out of thousands of med students only 4 or 5 people would show up to the talk by whoever was covering Homeopathy. When Herbert Sigwart presented the first year on his work in a intern that treated terminal cases he ended up having over a 1000 students want to come into the room, so the talk spilled into another room and then another room....the next year it was Ulrich that presented and by then the interest was there and so he too had a large crowd. They basically had plastered campuses and all over the Congress town with flyers to outreach for their talks - not waiting for the organizers to just do what they normally did, which was to list topics and then students would just attend.

Herbert shared this story and more upon meeting him. I think it is representative of how the whole Narayana story goes - they start with an idea or action and it grows with them never knowing how it will turn out other than they must run with it to see what unfolds - like a flower that needs to open up from the bud to be a whole bloom that can pollinate and make more plants and continue forever growing and speading so as to be a whole field of lovely wildflowers.

So, once finished med school instead of practicing as doctors the founders opened up their clinic in Kandern and have not looked back since - the pics I took has their plaque on the door and it is just next door to the Publishing House entrance...what happened next is cool. Welte's colour book was their first foray into publishing as they wanted to get the colours in this System made up by a publisher but were told it would not be possible to do in quality they felt essential to make sure the true colours were shown - so they set up shop to self publish. As well the boys were importing books from B. Jain in India to read, ironically again, in order to learn Homeopathy - they ended up importing books for all the interested students of Homeopathy (remember the 1000+ that spilled out practically into the streets), bit by bit the basis of what they did expanded.

I will get the data on the first few books they printed/published as Herbert told me all the details but like with my picture taking I was eating apple strudel so did not write notes with info to share with you all. One day will do up all the info for you in a nice and neat package. The other two Publishers are also the siblings of Herbert and they are Katrin Sigwart and JΓΌrgen Sigwart...they are instrumental in the day to day operations of the whole enterprise like Herbert and Ulrich. They truly are a unique bunch of people. However, what I am most impressed with is that they are caring of their staff - that has grown from themselves and a few others to pretty recently 60 on their team.

As well, they are growing Homeopathy and are giving back to the profession constantly and never taking more than their basic share so as to share with the world what they are it, Agrohomeopathy, or Interhomeopathy and Spectrum, books they see as clinically relevant and ones that need to be kept in circulation, etc....all the juicy details on these projects, how they evolved and more coming up another time.

3) So, now onto the Congress!

Firstly, to say I will only go into my cursory impressions at this time (still working on some cases/just took a few before or returning from flying off and have to put my nose to the grindstone on them - Marble or Diamond Immersion for one and a toss up on another between Lac felinum and Taxoplasmosis Nosode - tx Lou Klein for your work on this rx so can be in our repertoire), you will get just my first thoughts as they have been floating in my head over last few days cause a) Deborah Collins, editor of English Interhomeopathy will do a review for Spectrum coming up soon and b) also you will get more details coming out of this great Congress in "pages" of Interhomeopathy. Also, I will share my experience soon of the presentation of Michal Yakir in this blog.

So, let's see: Line Up was great -- see Website re- program, details on what was the focus for each presenter within the broader topic of Mental Health - there is video footage for some as well from previous talks, etc.

You will want to get the DVDs of either individual speakers or the whole package - I will be getting it since my seminar notes got sparse (was I busy eating something, I did have some good real licorice in my bag, but it was more having a laptop on my lap. It was hard balancing act and so might have just sputtered out at the end of some lectures....I will, therefore, only do the first day as well (Plant focus by chance - my new big learning area that I can not get enough of). I will touch ever so slightly on Day 2 and 3.

My first comment is really a question: What seminar have you been to ever that is one issue with so many different perspectives from classical (i.e. - unabashedly, Mr. Master wins here) to modern (i.e. - Scholten but others can be placed there, like Sankaran naturally) and everyone in between (i.e. - Hardy and Gandhi fit here right down the middle for me with all others falling at various points along the continuum with some jostling about, lol)? So, my point is that you probably have not. In fact, for me just observing the presenters mix and mingle was really what was interesting as it is always cool to know they are continuely learning as we are....and what better way for them to have the opportunity to converse with each other and incorporate new perspectives into their own than on a vacation in a nice village after seeing each others cases. With them expanding their knowledge means that they grow their ideas and share with us, their students and readers. A nice side effect of a Narayana Congress.

One thing that I personally got out of it - the general learning from all the combined speakers/cases was that with each patient we will have sitting in front of us in our practices it must be assumed that no matter how far down the road they are of what is considered mental illness they can be helped; the method will be whatever is appropriate to the case at the time. So for instance, I believe that in almost all the presented cases nearly anyone of the Homeopathic speakers would likely have had curative results and even would have done so with their "own" remedies. This is perhaps a far fetched scenerio but stay with me - what I am getting at is not just the concept that the relationship we have with our patients is half the cure. But, also the other point I am making is that different modern methodologies are all overlapping really - with some having the capability to be superimposed on top of each other while some are driving at the same thing, which is to address what is at the deepest level of the state (be it the "Sensation" (you know who I am talking about), be it a resonance with a psychotropic drug (reference to one of Klein's cases), be it the problem in the case (Schotlen) or where the patient is stuck in being birthed, that be a Mahesh Gandhi case exemplifying the Carbon Row of the Periodic Table, etc.

Day 1 in Order of Appearance.

Jan Scholten. His presentation was what he has been presenting to the Homeopathic World now for a few years. In years past he was continually illustrating his thougths on Plants by way of casework and emerging Themes on the Plant Families - what we are now seeing in the "pages" of Interhomeopathy.

Here is one link to info that is available on the Rosaceae for instance:

His new Plant System will be in book form anyday now - May?!! and was what I wrote on a few months back as I had attended a 3 Day seminar with him in Toronto when he was brought to North America by Lou Klein - see my Blog posting. There were audience members not familiar with Scholten's work on Plants and now they are - just as you are all my gentle readers...I am sold on him in every way and can not fathom practicing without Jan;-) Here are the cases/Rxs he showed to us in his time slot (4 hrs per person):
i) Acorus calamus, or the Acorales Order of the Lilianae Family. If you read my piece on Scholten Plant System you'll get what this number is: #63111.01. ii) Typha latifolia, Bullrush/Cattail, also of Lilianae and it can be a DD with Bromium and Lithium. #63341. iii) Eccremocarpus scaber or the Chilian Glory Flower/Vine and this is #66565.09. With these cases Jan gave a running commentary to expand on what his System is about/how works and what he viewed as relevant in the cases, so, the problem in the case (why there was pathology). Themes were seen and such but really always boils down to his Phases (recall there are 7 if you read my previous piece) that are about where a person stands in relation to the grp/family/society, etc - are you in or out? There is an emphasis consciously to look at family of origin and how fit was there. With other's they all got that information in the case but they did not always talk directly about it in their case analysis...some did as well.

Next, on the first day, we had Rajan Sankaran. Ta Da. He was totally great as well. For many it was also a first exposure to him in person but many I think were informed of Sensation Method from his books - I read everythg that comes out as it is glorious reading in one's spare time, soul nourishment for so many of us. Mind you, it seemed his books were selling like hot cakes during the breaks, especially from the German book tables...the English ones too for sure.

For me, having attended him in the last several years and especially at a Seminar almost two years ago in Toronto we saw him beginning to get back to his roots/emphasize the foundation we need to be mindful of while still exploring with Sensation Level, (5 in his 7 Level System). It was good to have reminder so as not to get lost in the Sensation Method as one can in a patient's case;-) He talked on how without the "synergy" of 3 essential facets one is not practicing in the broadest manner possible: the Genius - that be the generals, pace, pathology and modalities - and the Symptom - that is characteristics, rubrics, keynotes and proving information including toxocology - and lastly, the System - here you get to Sensation, but also Source, Miasm, Level (of his 7, like Delusion, Fact, Emotion, etc.), really what saw here was more of a cross over or affinity of Sensation Method and what I tend to use more, Scholten and then MM of Mangialavori and Klein, etc. (with the latter also being a Technique or Method for myself - will one day explain Component Circles and their use in case analysis).

Note- Sankaran's latest book is all about the Synergy of the 3 above things for case taking, analysis and prescribing:

His cases, like Scholtens were beautiful and as far as Mental Health, what was emerging was really the extreme states of Remedy pictures as such. So, for instance, he showed us cases of what one can consider basic remedies but at the same time throughout he pointed out his thinking as we went along with the video footage. In a case of Lilium tigrinum he gave us his thinking on a young woman of 22: Kingdom (Plant), her Miasm (Sycotic), and how the main Delusion of this remedy was instrumental in finding the remedy for her clinical case of her suicidal depression. The main Delusion was framed well and this case was highly illustrative of it in full blown play: Fear of obligatory morality alternating with sexual excitement. Note- here we see that Sensation is not only way into a case for the man himself. Incidently he had a great Lac-asinum case of a male, age 45 that had Schizophrenia.

See here if you want to see his cases/presentations as you would any other of the Presenters (DVD's not released yet, but pre-order price in effect, etc., etc.):

Let's see, on the same day (Of Plants more than the other days) we had a teaser by one Michal Yakir who has broken into the scene of late - that is she is now getting known more widely as she has made her work of the last 10 to 20 yrs available with a plasticized chart and booklet/two seminars outside of region...including this one. She too has a Plant System - and it compliments Scholten and Sankaran's work and she credits them for helping her, esp Scholten for helping get her clinical findings and work as a Botanist into a form that could be a Table, not much unlike his Element Theory - she likes an axis and so do we! It certainly is better to have a chart that you can refer to and at the same time read for an expansion of it or have the theory/MM and then glance at a chart to visualize your patient in relation to other developmental Stages or Rows so you can compare them to others you have seen in practice/read in cases and then pin point exactly what they are about. She will herself publically get the word out on her work as Guest Editor for Interhomeopathy in a couple of months....she is lovely and her presentation was very well received as it was utterly fasinating and just plain brilliant. What we like to see in our teachers!

Her cases were given to us verbally and she read the words of patients and filled in details but given she was actually an add on as Narayana had just discovered her as of late she only had an hour so we only got one axis of her Table...the Columns - 6 of ', there was more or less a case per Column and really just summaries to illustrate the Theme/idea of the Column...and to give you a teaser, her Columns are based on Human Evolution on the level of world culture/history as well as Ego Development in the individual (not to be mixed up with the Developmental Stages of Rows, 9 of 'em, that are based on the Psychological work of Erik Erikson.). Her First Column case was one of 57 yr old woman that was Aristolocia clematitis (this Rx intersects in her system with her 4th Row - Early Childhood - totally makes the case and Rx come alive and have meaning once placed on the Table, just like the Minerals once they are placed in relation to each other on the Periodic, so cool). What comes out with Homeopathic classification of the Plant Kingdom is that we simply can not prescribe without an ordering of the Plant Rxs - we would never get at the patient's remedies without the work that is going on at present. So lucky it is happening in our lifetimes.

Here to get you started on the Rx is this:

On Day 2 and 3 all I can say is AWESOME! I was particularily thrilled to get a sense of the work of Jonathan Hardy of the UK because I last summer I had read the Spectrum issue on Cats and Dogs and loved his work on the Big Cats in there. And so to see one of his Lac-leoninum cases, a young man from a small community in England somewhere that had no longer any contact with his mates - his male buddies...A most excellent portrayal of the remedy. He also had two cases to share using Matridonal Rxs...from one of my fav's: Melissa Assilem. A young girl that had a mom that was really in a state and with Umbilical Cord came out of it - thk the daughter got the Rx, based really on mother's state, an imprint big time! The essence of the Rx is well stated by Hardy : your sacred inner heart is pulled from you.
Umbilicus humanus in a very poignant case was just a beautiful to watch unfold and with the charming commentary of Hardy one felt that one was birthed into the world effortlessly - truely an artistic prescriber. The other Matridonal Rx was a case of Amniotic Fluid with a 4 yr old Autistic girl. Indeed it was beautiful to behold the art and science of Homeopathy in this case as well. Just wished I had thought to ask him if he believes a follow-up Rx would be needed at a later point in time with this young patient of his...very good case to illustrate as well the state of the mother influencing the child in vitro.

Jonathan Hardy is working on a Mammal book - this is on already on my Wish List, now if we could just induce him to birth this one;-) You will notice that he is one of Britian's top Homeopaths - this was my big learning as far as a new Homeopath to be on the look out for in journals.

Here is summary of what he has in 2 different Spectrum issues:

This is in issue that really covers Mental Health as an issue - the signs and sxs that can lead to what is considered a mental and/or physical collapse of the system. Here Hardy explores Carbon Row as Rxs to draw upon:

I would love to go on as Mahesh Gandhi and Louis Klein were so great for me as well, but I think you will have to just await Deborah Collins with her perspective in a future Spectrum. I hope to experience Gandhi again as he was new to me and was refreshing in so many ways - if I do, promise will do a piece on his seminar/work.

However, just to tease you a tiny tiny bit more before I finish up this piece on the Congress I will mention he did a whole whack of cases on OCD - unlike the previous year's Mental Health Congress with cases of schizophrenia. He used cases to illustrate the Rxs of the Carbon Row and they were clearly and concisely presented so as to make it all seem so simple - that we can do it ourselves!! This is the gift of a good teacher: to make it seem a possibility for us to put what they show us into practice. This is what I have received as a gift from my teacher nearer to home, Louis Klein.

Klein's presentation had very, very complex cases, but by talking through his case analysis again there was a glimmer of hope to be able to dis-entangle very messy situations of Psychiatry patients that are on vast quantities of medications - what, as Lou pointed out, we see more and more of with those labelled Mentally Ill here in North America. So sad and a mess to clean up - again, more in future on Louis Klein's work in this regards and more. One last thing: we got a beautiful Orchid case and also a Plant that was presented by Scholten on our shores, the Black Mangrove (after being cleared of resonance or the imprint of psychotropic drug picture. Was situation of treating side effects of side effects and the "true" picture was practically lost as the narrow responses of the patient, if I recall accurately, were limited and were really just about the pathology - hard to see a picture that reflected the disposition of the person. She totally suffered from insomnia - never slept, period. Tough job of it when we get full blown pictures that have the sxs masked).

Oh, if you are wondering on the Carbon Row - this book is for you:

FYI: As far as Spectrum goes, there is an issue that covers the second series beautifully and with the most up to date cases/data you can get your hands on:

So, now I must really get down to business with a young girl that came in with her twin brother to be treated and also a new case of a man that recenlty developed narcolepsy who is now out of work due to not being able to drive. I am reading the above Shah book on the 2nd Series of the Periodic Table as a means to understanding my little girl case - is she one of these Rxs and if not then I will only be closer to a clearer picture of her essence as the book is beautiful beyond the Rxs as it is about getting the core of the case. Interestingly he is a colleague of Gandhi and they both of Rajan Sankaran, fellows of the Bombay School. One thing that is interesting with this book and Mehesh Gandhi's presentation of Carbon cases is that they actually did not touch on Sensations in the cases and, instead, positioned the patients in relation to the PT and dug into the problem of the case for the patient, more like Scholten style of case taking and analysis, but with the stated emphasis on Mineral Kingdom traits that were evident in the cases more than what Scholten himself does in seminars about his Mineral cases.

Yes, we have our work cut out for us and we must always be at our best to work till we get the best Remedy that we can. As I mentioned earlier on, anyone of the presenters would be able to get to a correct remedy. Well, I now feel upon reflection of what I got from the Congress is that anyone of us can get to a correct remedy for those we see. The caveat being that we must get the case...Mentally Ill or not. It must be what we are always doing - getting into the head of the person and fully grasping their existence on the planet (or not, in the case of those in Stage 1 or Column 1)...It will be no surprise if going to this Congress doesn't help me to get at the remedies for these most recent and all future patients that come my way. No doubt in my mind.

I would highly recommend that you check out one of the future Congresses that Narayana hosts. They simply are not to be missed - make your pilgrimage to the Black Forest of Germany...into the core of the State of Homeopathy!

Do, remember that the Mental Health issue of Spectrum will be a good read in the meantime to get you on track with patients that are anxious, depressed and burnt out....the opening Editorial sets the tone to assist you to view the health of our minds, bodies & souls much more broadly so as to consider sxs in the case as ones that can lead a patient down the road to what is deemed as being Mentally Ill - after all we live in insane times and why wouldn't sensitive Plants, falling apart Minerals or fearful Animals need their remedies. As they say, Keep on Trucking or a little more to the point, Stop the Insanity.  

To close I will share a link to beautiful piece by an American Homeopath who is now showing up in Interhomeopathy. I read this at the start of my foray into Homeopathy and it set my course for the kind of practice that I envisioned for myself and my patients: This is from Homeopathic Links 2003 and is by Doug Brown on Homeopathic Treatment in Mental Illness. Enjoy.