New England School of Homeopathy


The New England Journal of Homeopathy
Fall/Winter 1998, Vol.7 No.2

by Amy Rothenberg ND, DHANP

Dear Subscriber,

Welcome to Volume 7, #2, our issue focusing on neurologic illness, which highlights the good effects homeopathy can have on people who suffer from such diseases. It can be intimidating to treat someone with epilepsy, multiple sclerosis or Tourette’s syndrome, or from sequelae of a stroke; but in this issue you will find articles which reflect on just such patients. My experience has been that many times homeopathy will help with the actual neurologic condition-which is amazingly rewarding for doctor and patient alike. And for those patients where the pathology is long-term and irreversible, we often see some improvement and at very least, enhancement of the mental and emotional state as well as an overall improvement in areas like digestion and sleep, or perhaps a decrease in acute illness. So hopefully, this issue will encourage those of you in practice to take on these more challenging cases while offering useful insight into the treatment of these patients.

If you find that you like reading about neurologic problems, pick up any of Oliver Sachs’ books. I’ve long been a fan of his detailed, well-written medical anthropology-and the fact that he, unbeknownst to himself, reports with a degree of homeopathic spirit. Many of his books read like amazing case studies of materia medica. In An Anthropologist From Mars, his introduction elucidates the nature of illness, in particular chronic illness, which he describes as the expression of the individual which serves them in some fashion. He mirrors the homeopath’s understanding of symptoms as not random, i.e. that there is some sense to every symptom and many symptoms actually are different expressions of the same underlying cause. Sound familiar? As homeopaths, our ability to perceive why and how the patient is where they are, greatly informs our ability to find the effective homeopathic remedy. Sachs then goes on to write of several of his more interesting neurologic patients and the uniquely individual manifestations of illness they present. He does not really talk much about treatment in most of his writing. But we know that what homeopathy does exquisitely, is to tailor the treatment to the patient at hand-no matter how unusual, intriguing or extraordinary their symptom pattern may be. Nonetheless, fascinating reading!*


* * * * *
I want to thank all of our contributors to this issue: those who took time away from busy lives to write letters, articles, book reviews and, for a homeopathic treat, those who took time to share their first experience of giving a homeopathic remedy. (see page 132) Many of these stories touch on how the homeopath was changed: how they were impressed by giving a remedy and seeing it act for the very first time; the profound impact of watching a patient respond; and how witnessing that response ignited the desire to study and practice this compelling and wonderful art. I hope that reading these stories will connect us back to our own stories of finding out about homeopathy and back to our initial feelings of enthusiasm and inspiration for doing this work.

There are many ways in which the actual patient interaction touches the practitioner, in addition to the fact that the interaction can often be part of the healing for the patient. I would like to explore on these pages the ways in which practitioners have been affected by taking cases, and how the individual case-taker’s presence, demeanor, health and vitality influence and are influenced by the doctor/patient relationship as well as the case-taking process.


* * * * *
I have recently been reminded of the frailty of human life and of the enormous hardship that many people endure. A number of friends close to me have suffered illnesses and diagnoses that are life-threatening and intense. It seems like every week I learn of someone who has been diagnosed with cancer or leukemia or has suffered a heart attack or stroke. Many of these people have lived healthy lifestyles and seem to be “doing everything right.” It gets me thinking about everything from our unhealthy environment and overdiagnoses, to suppression of acute and chronic illnesses.

And a bit further afield, we have been reading with eagerness the email from a homeopathic colleague, Alice Coblentz MD, who is currently spending a year with her family working at an orphanage in Honduras. This is the orphanage written about in our last issue. We’ve received updates on how things are going there since the devastating impact of hurricane Mitch this fall. I have included a brief article on the relief work which a group of volunteer homeopathic practitioners has sent. In that report you will see how you can help by sending donations to support the rebuilding efforts in that region.

Closer to home, I have been coordinating an effort in my home town to sponsor a Bosnian refugee family to resettle here. I have enjoyed the effort for many reasons, but most especially because of its very basicness. We know homeopathy helps people in many situations. And the very basics, like adequate food, safe shelter and purposeful work go a long, long way to creating good health. The effort to secure housing, furniture, money, work and educational possibilities for this family of five has made for challenging, but rewarding work. Their arrival in November brought to light the extent to which some people can survive immense tragedy and hardship: conflict, war, illness and loss. That this family with many others like it, picked up, with the clothes on their backs, escaping hatred, war and poverty, is a testament to human nature and resiliency.

In light of all that is going on in our world, cultivating a sense of appreciation and gratitude for all of our blessings, large and small, becomes easier and easier. May we each find our own way to contribute to the healing of the world through charity, volunteerism, prayer, and, of course, through the practice of classical homeopathy, one patient at a time. I hope you will all be blessed with good health, family harmony and engaging work in 1999.

In homeopathy,

Amy Rothenberg ND, DHANP

* Other titles of Oliver Sachs I have enjoyed include: The Man Who Mistook his Wife for a Hat, Seeing Voices, and The Island of the Color Blind.

Click Here for Information about ORDERING BACK ISSUES