Dr. Bhatia – Dear Friends, today we have with us in our Hot-Seat, Dr. Isaac Golden, one of Australia’s most well-known homeopaths.
Welcome Isaac! The first thing that I would like to know more about, is your intriguing journey from being someone doing financial accounting to being a homeopath. I have seen conventional doctors, nurses, parents of sick children and alternative medicine practitioners taking up homeopathy, but this is the first time when I have found an accountant transformed into a homeopath! Tell us, how did it happen?
Dr. Isaac – I guess, despite accountancy and economics, my main interest in life since the late 60’s has been in esoteric wisdom from all sources. I believed then, as now, that all great spiritual teachers must have drawn wisdom from the one Source, so I have always been interested in trying to find the common ground in the great teachings.
I was also interested in sensible diet, and gentle supplements such as vitamins and herbs, so in the early 80’s decided to change my career path, and studied general naturopathic topics. A friend suggested I look into homeopathy (which I had never heard of), so I sent away to do a course (I was living in a fairly remote area of northern NSW at the time, so my first of three Diplomas was a correspondence course). When I received the papers, and saw Hahnemann’s image on the front, I thought – “this looks familiar”. When I then purchased and read the Organon I was hooked. It was just totally compatible with my esoteric journey, and I knew this was going to become my profession.
Dr. Bhatia – When you started practicing homeopathy in 1984, what was the early experience like?
Dr. Isaac – Totally different to now. In Australia in the 1980’s, very few people younger than 60 had ever heard of homeopathy. Some of the older patients knew because homeopathy had been generally used in Australia up to the very early 1900’s. It then was virtually eliminated from Australia by the Medical boards and the drug companies, as in many other countries.
So most patients came because I was a naturopath, and they then found out about homeopathy
These days, people see me because I am a homeopath, and the awareness in Australia is slowly returning. The Australian Homeopathic Association, Australia’s largest professional association, is doing good work to promote the profile of homeopathy here.
Dr. Bhatia – It has been 22 years since you started practicing. What significant changes have you perceived in homeopathy during this period? Also, what has been the change in the status of homeopathy in Australia in general?
Dr. Isaac – As mentioned above, there is much more recognition now. Our medicines are recognized by the Government’s Therapeutic Goods Administration, a major step forward. Of course, we are still not part of the Government funded medical system.
When I began teaching in the late 80’s, the average age of most classes was in the mid 40’s. Most were mature-age people from every possible background, so being an economist was not so unusual. We had engineers, tradesmen, businessmen and women, mums whose children had grown up, as well as nurses and a few GP’s.
Now, the average age of students is in the 20’s. Many students begin straight from school, or shortly thereafter. This has been a major change in this country. It is wonderful to see so many young people studying homeopathy, however it provides an interesting dilemma. I believe that homeopathy requires a certain level of maturity and life experience to become both a good student and an excellent practitioner. Some of the younger students just don’t have that, and therefore struggle. It provides a challenge for teachers.
Most of my time is now spent teaching through my own distance education college – the Australasian College of Hahnemannian Homeopathy – which I founded in 1990, and now is Government accredited. I also lecture at another College in Melbourne at times. So providing guidance to younger students is a constant demand.
Dr. Bhatia -You know that our current issue is focused on research in homeopathy. You have done a lot of research work related to the use of homeopathic remedies in prevention of acute and chronic diseases. Homeoprophylaxis is a much discussed but little researched area. What made you work on it?
Dr. Isaac – Before I knew what homeopathy was, I used to have my own children vaccinated. Then one was vaccine damaged after having progressively worse reactions to the standard 2, 4 and 6 month vaccines (which were given late). The doctors told me that it definitely didn’t have anything to do with the vaccines, but after the third round, and the worst reaction, I knew that I was not being told the truth.
I then began collecting information about vaccination. The material by the late Professor Robert Mendelsohn was about all that was available here at the time. They still are great references. So I decided to stop vaccinating my children.
Then, when I started studying homeopathy, and read that Hahnemann had used Belladonna to prevent Scarlet Fever (the first use of homeoprophylaxis), I knew I had to take this further. I collected the very few readily available references on this (mainly Hahnemann, Boenninghausen, and Sankaran’s little summary of homeoprophylaxis use). I designed a 5 year program that I and other parents could use instead of the orthodox vaccination schedules.
I kept studying our literature, and found that whilst there were a lot of clinical reports of the effectiveness of HP, there was very little formal research into safety and effectiveness. So I began collecting data from parents using my program, with a determination to eventually provide formal statistical evidence supporting HP as an option to vaccination. That was in 1985/6 – it has been a long journey until now!
Dr. Bhatia – Please share with us the most significant findings of your research?
Dr. Isaac – There is so much that could be said, but I would say that the three most significant findings are:
(1)The consistency of measures of the effectiveness of HP over 200 years, both for long-term and short-term protection – at around 90%. This is a very strong figure, and very consistent with vaccine efficacy. My own data was collected from 1986 to 2004, and vetted by a Professor of Medicine and a medical epidemiologist during my Swinburne research. So it means we can offer people a safe alternative with a demonstrated effectiveness.