New England School of Homeopathy


The New England Journal of Homeopathy
Fall/Winter 1999, Vol.8 No.2

Dear readers,

In this issue you will continue to gain further knowledge on the Cycles and Segments approach to the understanding of patients and the study of homeopathy. I hope it is coming together for many of you and that you are starting to integrate this way of seeing things into your own practices. If you need more help and want the step by step philosophical background see information about The Herscu Letter on the facing page. This is a twice monthly email learning series which includes a problem based learning section for those interested in gaining deeper insight and practical tips for using a Cycles and Segments approach.

It has been a tumultuous few months with earthquakes, floods, cyclones, acts of violence, and plane crashes. Tragedies fill the news stations and papers. On the brink of the new millennium our fragile balance on earth seems almost like its loosing hold. Hopefully through our homeopathic practices we are helping individual patients find their own healthy balance points from which to navigate these crazy times.


Over the years, I have had the privilege to be invited to speak or write about homeopathy and natural medicine for various organizations and groups. I often do so for lay people who have virtually no knowledge or understanding of homeopathy, as well as to gatherings of my peers. This is one of my favorite parts of my work.

I savor teaching to local groups of lay people. I speak at Lions Clubs, Mothers of Twins Groups, the local library, Rotary and on the radio. Pretty much where ever I am asked, schedule allowing. Why do I do this and why does it matter? I do it because to be a doctor is to be a teacher. Many people know something about natural medicine, many even know what homeopathy is, yet there are loads of gaps in their understanding. By giving talks and writing articles we continue to help clarify what we do and how we do it. I have worked on my ten second, one minute, five minute and fifteen minute descriptions of homeopathy, so that I can say them in my sleep (hopefully I don’t!) That way, when someone asks me what I do, I don’t go ferreting around in my mind to think of something intelligent to say. The science and art of homeopathy is so comprehensive that it can be overwhelming to a total novice.

When I’m lecturing to a group of beginners, I initially keep away from the ideas of potentization. I talk about wholism, treating the whole person, individualizing the treatment to the patient, not strictly the disease, stimulating the patient’s own healing abilities etc. I say most remedies are made “from plant and mineral substances.” (I leave out the Medorrhinum, for the time beingÚ)

During lectures, I enjoy the brief interactions with participants about their simple or complex problems, about their children and neighbors. I try to take my understanding of homeopathy way back to its inception to share simply and directly. I like watching as people try to digest this information. I love to see the understanding fall across someone’s face, the hope of being helped, the possibility of finally being understood.

Sometimes patients come to me from these talks, sometimes I receive referrals, sometimes nothing so tangible. But giving lectures and writing articles reminds me of what I’m doing; keeps me ever clarifying my own understanding of homeopathy.

It is equally rewarding to teach students, colleagues, and other practitioners. First of all, in preparing for lectures or for writing articles, I really have to do my homework. I have to actually think about the way I think, the way I take and analyze and keep up with a case. I have to articulate these thoughts in a way that others can readily understand and I have to present things in a way which is at least interesting, hopefully engaging, and I dare say, a bit inspiring. But why go to all the trouble? Why take time away from my practice or from my other interests, my family? Why kill myself over getting the handouts just right, or the slides to run smoothly? Why care? Why share?

Well, it really is the only way that we can grow our profession. Homeopathy is very young in the scheme of things; we are a baby of a field, only a few hundred years old. That means that every person who is practicing or trying to practice is adding to the collective understanding of our profession. Everyone’s experience counts, everyone’s successes and failures belong to the entire homeopathic community. So I hope you will each take the time to share what you have learned, what is bothering you about homeopathy, your practice, a particular patient as well as your moments of inspiration.

Why do some people feel more comfortable sharing? It probably has to do with their own remedy type, or maybe it has to do with comfort level in writing or speaking. It is probably not due to the fact that they know or understand more. So, if you know something, have learned something, or have a compelling case and would like to share it, let us know; we can help you with the logistics. Take some time to reflect on a case or two or on a remedy, your own perceptions and understanding will deepen.

It remains a great honor to be a doctor and an even greater honor to do homeopathy. I enjoy the time meeting new people and visiting/case-taking with folks I’ve treated over the years. I love seeing the new babies and gleaning the wisdom of some of my older patients. I love seeing teenagers graduating from high school and embarking on life. There are few other doctors to whom patients bare their souls for the purpose of getting well and staying healthy. And as patients’ stories unfold, it is our job to create an environment which is inviting, has clear limits and is both kind and safe. Our patients trust us to provide this and without it we could never do our job very effectively.

We are daily privy to the interesting, fascinating, strange, humorous, and sometimes sorrowful lives of our many patients. It is through their sharing consciously and by their simply Âbeing,’ that we get a sense, a taste, of how so many different types of people live; how similar events effect people so uniquely. We experience their world temporarily and this broadens and deepens our own experience of life; bringing us places we could never imagine: making us wistful, compassionate, jealous, grateful. We may experience the whole spectrum of life from sheer ecstasy to profound depression; healthy old people and heartbreakingly sick children, within even one day. Hopefully, this encourages each of our compassionate natures to grow so that, through practice, we become not only better homeopaths, but better human beings as well.

Enjoy the issue and keep in touch. Best wishes for the new millennium!

Amy Rothenberg ND, DHANP


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