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:


http://www.homeopathy-soh.org/research/evidence-base-for-homeopathy-2/basic-science/

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.

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 wonder....as 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 days...so 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 folks...secure 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 country....you 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 end...in 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 practice...as 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.

http://www.narayana-publishers.com/psycho_seminar_ruckblick_2013_en.php

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 Bookings.com, 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)....so, 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 year...so in effect I was helping this German woman understand on the benefits of Homeopathy, what can I say!).

Here is Accomodation info: http://www.bad-krozingen.info/eng/Accommodation

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:

http://www.narayana-publishers.com/spectrum-homeopathy/mental-health-congress-2012

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?!).

http://eng.vita-classica.de/Vita-Classica

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.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freiburg_im_Breisgau

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 hospital...as 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)....so, 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 nurturing....be 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).....so, 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.

http://www.narayana-publishers.com/mental_health_congress_2013.php

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 have probably 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: http://www.interhomeopathy.org/search-results?advSearch=allwords&search=rosaceae&sub=Search%21

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.)....so, 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: http://www.narayana-publishers.com/The-Synergy-in-Homoeopathy/Rajan-Sankaran/b12674

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.): http://www.narayana-publishers.com/Complete-Set-Mental-Health-Congress-2013-12-DVDs/Scholten-Sankaran-Yakir-Klein-Hardy-Master-Gandhi/b14390?alsobought=1

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 'em...so, 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 Table...so, 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: http://www.homoeopathie-wichmann.de/provings/aristolochia.htm

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:
http://www.narayana-publishers.com/spectrum-homeopathy/jonathan-hardy-strong-and-wild

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:
http://www.narayana-publishers.com/spectrum-homeopathy/jonathan-hardy-step-into-life

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:
http://www.narayana-publishers.com/Into-the-Periodic-Table/Jayesh-Shah/b1641

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: http://www.narayana-publishers.com/spectrum-homeopathy/spectrum-of-homoeopathy-022011?fromOverview=homeopathy-news

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: http://www.homeopathichealing.org/art4.html This is from Homeopathic Links 2003 and is by Doug Brown on Homeopathic Treatment in Mental Illness. Enjoy.


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Tzhui (Unity of Body & Soul) for the Lunar New Year

Hexagram #45 is the character "Tzhui". In the literal sense it means "to bundle or harvest grain". But it's depicted with the character of a soldier that carries the grain on his shoulders, and it can mean "...that a strong one carries his life experiences on his back...harvested in the battle with earthly matter". I threw this one for the Lunar New Year and, also because I just felt at this point in my life it time to go to the Oracle, the I Ching. I asked of it, "Will I be able to find focus this year...find some direction?". Tzhui means Unity and this was a great omen for me and affirming of the progress I have made over the last year.

Nonetheless, I quess I asked this question due to my tendency to be somewhat scattered -- seemingly to have so many opportunities (distractions?) to do things that I love...but, that make it difficult to focus on homeopathic case work as well as to be the parent I want to be, oh, and to write things I want to write and to take up some craft (why not painting or sketching again?)!! You can see that I have a dilemma and, believe you me, that is not the half of it!

"Disease is the cure in progress. It is the mechanism by which the body wisdom asserts itself and communicates its needs. The homeopath understands that disease is never static. It is a dynamic process, always changing from moment to moment...Healing is also a process, never a singular event."
The Tao of Homeopathy by Ian Watson, 2004, p. 7

I have a great I Ching book subtitled "Landscapes of the Soul". It is by one Frits Blok...who was "...born in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, in 1947. His long journey into mysticism has led him from the hidden layers of the Hebrew Bible to the refined beauty of the I Ching. Along the way he has raised a child, planted a tree, and built a house". I like this Frits fellow, he seems very earthy and also very innovative and full of insight. Somehow he reminds me of a cross between Louis Klein and Jan Scholten! Yes, it seems odd....I only had this idea when throwing my I Ching this time (only second time that I have used this book as my guide to interpret the hexagrams).

I have had thoughts of late on things from anywhere like:
1) Which homeopaths that I respect are most alike?? (Klein and Mangialavori are the two I have paired so far...more another time on this as not able to focus my thoughts further on this topic;-)
2) What of coincidences in my life and in patients life? When we ascribe meaning to these "coincidences", elevating them to being synchronous events, are they just things that were simultaneous in nature and really are not significant? Like, is it the making of links about that, thus, ascribe meaning to them? That was a round about thought....rhetorical question really (another entry in this Blog perhaps, when I can read fully the chapter on "Diseases as Personalities" in the soon to be released Plant System book by Jan Scholten. Here he discusses "accidents" and outlines what we see in practice all the time: the orgins of disease being in our minds - very Buddhist this, no?).

Well, it goes on in my scattered mind with all kinds of questions and ideas. So, it was great to focus enough to do the I Ching. My Hexagram is interpreted by Frits Blok as "Unity of Body and Soul" - really apropos I thought when I finally finished tossing the coins (nickels - they have beavers on them and I really like these emblems of Canadiana - they brought me luck it seems cause I was and am very pleased with my throw).

The actual two elements that make up #45 are Earth at the bottom and Marsh/Moon as the top one (for some it is Lake, usually the interpretation). According to Blok there are hidden within any of the 64 Hexagrams you can get two more full hexagrams (of the eight possible ones that exist - these being natural elements ). He discovered (or theorizes) that the commentary of the I Ching by Emperor Wen - the definitive interpretation in Chinese history of this oracle from 5000 years ago -  used all four hexagrams to decipher the meaning of the hexagram that one throws. Only Blok, since then, it seems has done the same - in all of the hundreds and hundreds of years since...Wen lived in the 12th Century, so really almost 1000 years ago! Yup, this Blok is inventive with a resemblance in my mind to Klein and Scholten (with shades of Sankaran and Mangialavori - both are of course inventive, but the feel is a combination of the first two for me).

Wen and his son were the first to put in writing some commentary....but since then many Chinese scholars have been studying and discussing the text and the hexagrams and writing their own interpretations (of the interpretations). Lots of Western interpretations abound as well. The definitive one was by German theologian Richard Wilhelm and it was his that brought the I Ching, or what is called "The Book of Changes", to the West. Incidentally, there is a connection with Wilhelm to Carl Jung, who helped with the spread of this Eastern work.

Landscapes of the Soul really takes off from all the rest with elements within the elements. What makes me think that there is something to the I Ching is that it's similar to what is happening in homeopathy: There is a universal truth to it because it is what is seen in nature and then just has to be found....true science. As in Scholten's Element theory and now his Plant System. These, like the I Ching, are based on what is found in nature. So, the Periodic Table of Elements or Taxonomy that are used by him are also used by the "scientific" world (as they did discover them?!). Homeopathically they match - the heavier rows or series have heavier symptoms in humans that are metals/minerals. The further to the right of the PT (stages) are also more destructive and volatile as again in the actual substances.

I did not take advantage of fully interpreting my last throw -- that was when I started this Blog a couple of years ago. I now realize because a) I didn't ask a question (sort of the whole point of doing it for most people - you can see in my Blog "profile" my last throw - when I started with Narayana Publishers and started a Blog to express my gratitude for having a connection with them and excitement on a particular book - The Childs World - and, b) I didn't do a follow-up hexagram - which, now that I read the book's Intro again I see that the initial throw is your current situation and then when you change the lines of your hexagram that are considered "changing lines" you get a description of what is in store for you in the future. And if you look at the meaning of the changing lines you get suggestions as to how to improve your current situation (your initial throw/hexagram).

I do not do this often - every few years really - and now that I am trying to describe the system to you I realize why so seldom. It is like the system of homeopathy and homeopathy covers my needs as far as trying to be fully alive spiritually and to be intellectually stimulated, which homeopathy definitely covers;-) I think these things can give meaning to life which in turn gives one a sense of balance as long as it is done from a place of compassion - not just homeopathy but all aspects of what one does in their life - all of your actions. Interestingly I find, for myself, that I get meaning from my personal work as both a patient of homeopathy and also as practitioner of homeopathy. In fact, I believe that for me to be the best I can be for my patients I need to be on my own journey of healing along with the people that I use homeopathy with to assist them in healing themselves.

The I Ching being called "The Book of Changes" is interesting from a homeopathic perspective because we talk also about change, fluidity...of not being stuck. This is the crux of our definition of health. Disease for us is: being stuck, being rigid, being unable to change really - that is what makes for disease.

"The homeopath accepts things the way they are. She doesn't try to change a situation, or even improve it. This is not her role. Only from a place of loving, unconditional acceptance can true healing take place....
What we resist, persists.
What we accept dissolves."
The Tao of Homeopathy by Ian Watson, 2004, p. 9

I have been reading a book on loan from the wonderful Toronto homeopath Carol Jones called When the Body Says No: The Cost of Hidden Stress by Gabor Mate, and it really got my scattered mind (also one of his other titles - on ADHD) to thinking in a whirlwind about many things:
Continuing from above's thoughts....3) What of the Miasms in the current autoimmune diseases we are seeing daily in our practices? Louis Klein's Miasms and Nosodes goes a long way but there is more work to be done and maybe not just homeopathically. Taking a book like this, that outlines the personalities, if you will, of our modern ailments maybe we should be finding remedies for the cases in the book. From there perhaps we would have some starting point for addressing conditions outlined in the book to work with...is this medical-model homeopathy? What to do on this? What place do all the ways of practicing have in each case that we are working on? More perhaps on this at a later date.

So, #45, Tzhui or "bundle of harvested grain" which is really my life experiences on my back, etc. goes much deeper. In that if the purpose is to balance the yin and yang of my life then it is about reconciliation for me with the past. So, as with homeopathy, we are aiming for balance - to have proportionate responses that come from a realistic picture of our lives as opposed to a delusional view of our life and the circumstances we find ourselves in - back to synchronistic events: seeing things deeply or with awareness of what we experience to have purpose for us (okay just answered my unfinished thought on the concept of what appears to be coincidences: they are not that but are meant for us to learn from to move forward to healing/balance....)....all in line with Scholten's thoughts. On schedule, check.

Now, you must be thinking as I certainly did this must be the most balanced of the Hexagrams that one could get. I mean what possibly more could one ask for: Unity of Body and Soul?! Especially with hexagrams like Preparation or Tension in the mix. I certainly was thrilled to get this one. It was an accurate reflective of what recently I have been going through in terms of reconciliation with my past. In fact, I had recently addressed in a whirlwind of actions, all in just a matter of days, what had been seemingly a lifetime of unfinished business...all on a remedy that is was new to me and very, very beneficial - as my actions could attest to.

However, as balance/health is always changing or in flux...Guess what? With the I Ching you can't rest on your laurels. I wanted to just stay with this hexagram. But No, there was a darn changing line and that means there is "follow-up hexagram" or another one that morphs out of the present place you are in (Unity) and you get the opportunity to continue on with learning even more! Damn you I Ching.

My "changing line" was Line 2 of the Unity hexagram. Blok's interpretation is that since it's at the foot of the character Mountain that means that I can see the roots of existence. To learn from this situation the suggestion would be "...to understand that it is key for [me] to know all humans strive to get to the surface and to be in the light...even "enemies" - those that [I] felt before were the cause of [my] pain". How uncanny I thought when I saw this. I had just been coming to this understanding...like of course, all of us are trying to do this, like what else are we all trying to do?? Funny, it's so simple to see now, but before I was not in a place to have my eyes opened to this....

So, with the flip of a line my sitting at the Foot of a Mountain is shaken up and I progress to my next hexagram...and it is #43....so, maybe within a year I can get......get this folks!...Fulfilment!! And I thought Unity was the be all and end all. What can be better than Fulfilment?! The 4 elements of Fulfilment are 3 Heavens and 1 Marsh/Moon (Lake). Being a Yin kind of gal, the moon stays with me (I would be a nocturnal creature if society allowed for this, but alas, the yang world pulls me to a daytime existence....but fortunately I still manage to work on my cases, for instance, in the evenings when my brain is at its best). Kwai (Fulfilment) is represented with a character that has "...a hand holding the right side of a two-sided object, from which the left side of it has disappeared...[so] the character means: to decide, surety or to take up residence somewhere".

Can I ask for more? Not this again, cause it really seems to be the icing on the cake...but, again, one mustn't get too excited. This hexagram has its weight on its top line and that is the top of the Moon/Marsh. Wouldn't you know it. Well, this is what it says: "The full moon is in the heavens and will soon wane.". Yes, it was too good to be true....as with all things, change is inevitable. So, no way could I just say, 'yup, Fulfilment has been had' - especially since I am just over half way thru my life so there will be more things to learn and grow from.

Can't sit in the stagnant pond...rather the Marsh even if it is under a nice full Moon. It is gonna get damp and chilly and so even if I am on top of Heaven and risen a little more from only the earthly plane in terms of what matters most I am going to have to keep on keeping on. I envision Miasmatic vapours as well and those as we know can taint us;-o

The rest of the top line states " as long as you elevate its illusory light (representing material gain and/or myth) to the level of Truth, you will be sadly deceived. Focus on the thought that you want to enjoy the earthly game without losing yourself in illusions".

When I was in the last year of High School many moons ago, I was singled out and asked by the teacher, presumably due to having great grades on essays in my English Literature class, to share with my fellow students what the secret of my success was. Our teacher did bring out the best in nearly all of us, with his tireless efforts at having us strive to be critical thinkers. I recall the teacher's face going blank and then looking shocked when I said it was all based on 'appearance versus reality'. I recall thinking I was going to please him as I was playing on one of the major themes in literature we covered....but was I wrong. Instead he was disappointed. I can still recall being shocked myself as I learned that he committed suicide shortly afterwards. I was extremely troubled knowing that this teacher might have been sent over the edge from such a disappointment from a student he obviously valued and that he got down on himself enough to actually end his life. Mind you, at the time I did actually live that theme practically as my motto and was quiet materialistic in many ways - peer pressure was a driving force for me as I was lost in the illusions of life and had not a strong sense of myself at the time.

I kept alot of my own thoughts to myself, the ones that I believed were not about gaining success in the conventional world...I thought of being a lawyer or politician and contemplated studying marketing and getting a MBA for the future (luckily stumbled onto Philosophy as a concentration in university as not really know that was a discipline that existed...).....I recall not allowing myself to, therefore, dwell on this teacher of mine and to run away from what I must have known in my heart to be a sad reality: this man's existence....having despaired enough to have ended his life.

This theme of Illusion or 'Appearance v.s. Reality' has been with me forever. It is one in North American culture that is prevelant as far as being something that has spawned anything from the Hollywood film industry and Disneyland to books like How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. Since I ascribed to wanting to have conventional success....I simply did not allow myself to really explore the life and death of this teacher, this very troubled human being.

Actually the take away for me with this and many other things in my life that do not make me proud is that the Moon/Marsh is a harsh, dark space and a place of shadows...I know now that at some point in the game one's shadows must be confronted so we can be fully alive. So, interestingly with Fulfillment one has to fight the forces of evil all the time. For me, I now realize that to be a better person and a good homeopath I can not linger in self-pity & feel quilt and shame for what I was like in the past but, instead, need to see that the 3 Heavens of Fulfillment are full of "Creative Energy". So, if I "...strive for spiritual development and steadfastly reject all illusion, [I can] translate the universal power-play into an inner balance of offering and receiving. Then [I] can be like the earth and moon, rotating rhythmically and blissfully in the sunlight, and [I] will find [my] fulfillment in whatever they bring forth through the creative energy of the heavens.".

"Everything is interconnected. The homeopath does not attempt to separate body from mind, or the patient from this suffering. She respects the underlying order, even when all she can see is the chaos on the surface...The moon, though ten thousand miles away, pulls the earth's tides as if on a string."

The Tao of Homeopathy by Ian Watson, 2004, p. 34

Bliss - not based on ignorance...but through hard work is what makes for a Fulfilling life. It is just as much about the process as it is about what you can achieve. So, I should roll up my sleeves and get down and dirty. The forth line of Fulfillment has a New Moon appearing but in an illusory Heaven. Frits Blok sums up this with the warning that "....your real thoughts are as dark as ripe fruit found rotten once peeled....and you justify [superfical desires] with the dogmatic assertion that outward display is the true light.". It seems I did dogmatically act in my teens to assert my theme of Illusions - appearance being more important than reality. Truth shall, however, prevail since I have thrown the I Ching and have been forwarned to not stray from my path of healing...not to fall for the Illusory life that many live as I did for many years.

I started already on the hard work with some recent finds in our literature (as well as other related fields such as psychology) that are all helping me understand the suicide of my teacher, the way I was a bully at times or a bystander just as much as I was a victim of a harsh detached world that I tried to connect with albeit falsely. I can see at present that in my way I was always trying to connect with my self, my family and even my teachers, peers included - I, however, did not have the tools to do so effectively. With my life's experiences I can come to a place of understanding and compassion for those that have been on either side of the same coin of human existence - the predator or the prey as it were. N.B. - You might recall from my last post I am on a good deep acting remedy...well, maybe you can quess that it is an Animal...and more specifically, a Mammal - indeed, it is a Lac. So, in my next posting you can look forward to my overview of the Lac books in our literature (with Acids info too). The psychology and related books I have been reading over the last several years on Attachment, Trauma & other related topics will be referenced as these are very helpful in our work.

As well, I go next month to a "Congress" on Mental Health that is hosted by Narayana Publishers in Bad Krozingen, Germany. This is my first time to this part of the world and to a homeopathy seminar that has several presenters on this topic. An issue that is very prevelant and, hence, important - really the end product of a life that is too filled with pain and suffering. Without the hope of a possibility of change the lives of many people in our part of the world (and more and more parts of the world that are losing touch with their cultural traditions) are going to be faced with more depression, panic and anxiety disorders.

Autoimmune diseases are the body's way of saying Stop the Insanity, but, sadly, until the root causes of our diseased societies are viewed with care and compassion we will be much needed. The momentum of my practice picks up daily and it is with people I see my old self reflected in. I aim to practice in a way that can hold their pain without judgement, understand it deeply and fully, and match it with a remedy to energetically assist in the self-healing we all need to move towards a life Fulfilled with peace, love and joy.

Here is the information on the Congress: http://www.narayana-publishers.com/mental_health_congress_2013.php

I hope to share with you on this seminar once I return.

For now, I will try to bask in the moment of Unity and not worry...get anxious. Well okay, maybe only a little. What's proportionate to the workload that I have to get done before I take off to Germany in the next 2 weeks.

On closing here are a few more lovely quotations from the ever grounding book: The Tao of Homeopathy.

"When we do something fully, one hundred percent, it is finished. A fruit that is fully ripened falls to the ground all by itself.

The best midwife does nothing but catch the baby when the mother's body is ready to release it.

The best homeopath does nothing but create the space within which a person remembers how to heal himself.

Ultimately there is no such thing as cure. There is simply a self-healing process that has completed itself."
Ian Watson, 2004, p. 86