Monroe Naturopathic Medical Clinic, Inc. - Dr. Alice Harper, ND

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Today, I would like to introduce you to homeopathy and how it can be used in a clinical setting.

Homeopathy originated in Germany in the late 18 century, and treatment is based on an individual patient’s needs and seeks to achieve health on a mental, emotional, and physical level. Because the remedies are so dilute, there are rarely any side effects.
Homeopathic remedies are derived from substances that come from plants, minerals, or animals, and are “individualized” or tailored to each person—it is not uncommon for different people with the same condition to receive different treatments, simply because every person is unique and a condition can be caused by different factors in each individual.

If you Google homeopathy, you will find, along with positive references, disparaging articles calling it “pseudoscience” and “placebo effect.” When I was first introduced to the study of homeopathy, I too was skeptical.  I was taking the obligatory homeopathy class and Bastyr, I read the required texts and did the required assignments, thinking that homeopathy was just “hokey.” I mean, how could it possibly work? I wanted to be open minded, but I was quite skeptical on the one hand, while wanting to learn more on the other. The skepticism took a decidedly marked turn after my first homeopathy shift rotation at Bastyr Clinic.

The case that was the most dramatic for me was the case of a little boy who was 3 or 4 years old and had been having seizures since the age of 18 months. The poor little guy was having up to 100 small seizures a day. He had previously failed all anti-seizure medications, and had even failed surgery in which part of his brain had been removed in an attempt to remove the portion that was causing the seizures. In addition, he had a behavior problem of biting other children in preschool. I was assigned to his case. It was my responsibility as a student clinician to come up with a remedy for this child, and I found it a daunting task. I spent several hours over the course of 2 weeks poring over the homeopathy repertory, looking up his symptoms, matching symptoms to remedies, attempting to derive the one remedy out of hundreds that would best fit his presentation. I finally arrived at my choice, and presented it to my supervisor on my shift 2 weeks later. She looked quizzically and critically at the remedy I had chosen and remarked, “This isn’t a seizure remedy.” Doubt began to creep in, and I almost back-tracked to one of the alternate remedies I had looked at. Did I mess it up? Did I not choose the right one? However, I had worked hard on this, and I decided to give her my reasoning.

“It’s not a seizure problem,” I said, “but a brain problem, and this is a brain remedy.” She looked doubtful, but agreed to try it, because really there was nothing to lose. We met with the parents that day, and dispensed the remedy. A single dose. That was my last day on that shift before the summer quarter. I never saw the child again. I came back in the fall for the fall quarter homeopathy shift, and during the first meeting with the supervisor and the other students, I was singled out by the supervisor. She gave the case history of the little boy with the seizures. Apparently, after the dose of the remedy I had chosen, when the parents brought him back 4 weeks later, they reported that his seizures had stopped, and that he was no longer biting! It was a complete success story! I realized then that there must be something to this, because in a small child or baby how can it be placebo effect?

Since then, I have seen many other successes over the years, and after all these years, I am still amazed to see the results that can be achieved with a homeopathic remedy. This is very low-force medicine that works with the subtle energies of your body to help reset things so that the body can heal itself. 

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