Interviews

INTERVIEW April 2017 Misha Norland

ES: Misha, do you imply that you find the remedy for the person in a given moment in time when they seek your help?  It does not matter what you call it. Life is dynamic. Even at the level of DNA and at the epigenetic level, changes happen. People are changing daily even at the biochemical level as they are constantly subjected to an influx of man-made chemicals via food and environment. People live among a sea of radiations. So, people require the remedy most suited for the blockage they happen to be experiencing in a given moment in time?

MN: Yes, that’s it, as you say, there is a constant flux and adaptation by the individual. The simillimum comes in to help the individual do the job of responding effectively. Each of us is different, and therefore the homeopath actively searches for individualizing features upon which to base the prescription – calling this a constitutional remedy can create confusion. Rather it is a personalized remedy. The basic idea in the treatment of chronic disease is to match the remedy to the person, that is, to that which makes them uniquely who they are.

VS: Many consumers come to homeopaths while they are using other modalities like acupuncture, chiropractic, herbal medicine, and so on. Is it necessary to stop everything else and pursue only homeopathy to see if it works for them?

MN: This judgment depends on the practitioner. I do not impose an inflexible set of rules, yet obviously I would prefer they just use homeopathy, if for no other reason than that I can learn more clearly about their response to the remedy untainted by other influences. Obviously I would prefer that they do not rely upon agents, drugs, or therapeutic procedures that are aimed at alleviation or suppression of symptoms without consideration of the entire picture, which is a reflection of the symptom creating individual – the patient herself. Some of my colleagues impose a rigorous list of do’s and don’ts while they take charge of their patients. They claim that this get’s much better results and that Hahnemann was right, that a strict lifestyle is necessary while taking homeopathic remedies. I feel I cannot impose that on my patients. Also, patients suffering from long-term sickness, who have become dependent, need to discover slowly that health can be reestablished, discover they can survive without taking whatever brings them instant relief. Homeopaths, it seems to me, have to be educators, and ‘hold’ their patients in what they should experience as very safe hands. They also have to advise about diet and exercise. Slowly, carefully they catch their monkey!

Your question however, was about multiple therapies being used. This happens when patients feel desperate, and most commonly in degenerative diseases such as cancer. In the latter case, I have found that soft therapies can be blended, but not hard-core allopathic treatments. They always have a deleterious effect.

VS: What are your thoughts about handling homeopathic remedies and nullifying them?

MN:  I have found that we do not have to be over careful about handling homeopathic remedies, and they can survive, coffee, X-rays, pharmaceuticals… nothing much harms them. There is nothing in those pills and ‘nothing’ cannot be damaged. Specifically, there is talk about airport X-ray machines causing mischief, but I have no evidence of it. My remedy kit being regularly exposed, yet still fully effective. I have only one case of confirmed nullification of remedies that came about when they had been stored in a tin alongside camphor ointment. The contents of each bottle reeked of camphor. They lost their effect. I believe that this had come about because, as Hahnemann had pointed out, camphor acts as a universal antidote.

ES: How about the instructions ‘take the remedy on a clean palette’?

MN:  I was in Greece not long ago, talking with my peers. They explained that their patients swallow the pills, washed down with water, tea, coffee. They do not take the pills under the tongue and allow them to dissolve slowly as Hahnemann had suggested. And it works for them.

VS: What is your advice for students and young practitioners who are trying to make sense of the modern developments in homeopathy?

MN: bFor the first two years of homeopathy schooling, we teach our student’s classical homeopathy, Hahnemann and Boenninghausen. But at the same time, the newer developments and research results are allowed to trickle in. While teaching Nat mur, for instance, we will teach all that Kent and Vithoulkas wrote, and we allow Jan scholten’s views on Nat mur to inform them too. Thus they learn that Nat mur comprises of anion and cation, and because of the ease of the dissociation, is the most readily soluble of salts. It experiences a yes-no, no-yes ‘dance’ of opposing tendencies, alternately wanting (the Natrum aspect) and rejecting relationships (the Muriatic aspect). We also lay the foundations for the more speculative interpretations of periodic table and of Sankaran’s sensation method.

VS:  Lovely. Hahnemann laid the foundations of homeopathy and exactly as he described, our vision should be about continuation of our education and understanding of homeopathy, of human nature and of the remedies so that our knowledge never suffers any blockage. It has to grow continuously.

ES:  The idea of ‘like cures like’ predates Hahnemann and homeopathic potentisation had been hinted at before Hahnemann. He applied his genius and practical understanding in creating remedies from potentized natural substances and unlocking their healing and curative potentials.

VS:  Many people who have received impossible cures using homeopathy, use the word ‘miracle’ to describe their experience of homeopathy. How would you describe the experience of healing and curing? In your forty plus years of being a homeopath, you must have encountered several in your own practice.

MN:  Miracles – sure, we do witness them. Rajan Sankaran says, ‘Every day I go to my practice unsure of homeopathy and I come back home sure that it works.’ We agree. We enter our practice unsure, not knowing what the outcome is going to be. People get better, sometimes better to a degree – on one remedy – that is beyond belief. Yes, that is a miracle. But often paths to cure are not a straight line. Yet from severe ill health to robust, glowing good health – this miracle does occur, even if on a crooked path, and when it does, I say to them, ‘you did it’ in the sense that their vital force has responded to the remedy and aided them to recover their health. Without the vital force nothing can be gained. I give that acknowledgment to my patients because it empowers them and helps them overcome all manner of difficulties in the future.

VS: Exchange of light between the client and practitioner, the dynamics that developed between them, what a lovely way to describe the client-practitioner interaction. Recovery of good health, in my view, is nothing but a spiritual experience and it lets a person become free to pursue his highest calling, whatever that might be.

MN:  I used to believe, just as my teacher had taught me, “Misha, stay outside the consulting room.” Only the analytical, problem solving homeopath walks in – he can be the unprejudiced observer that Hahnemann commands him to be. It seemed like a good idea, it also felt protective of myself. But there was no heart-to-heart connection. The process lost its light. I went dead because I was left outside the consulting room.

It is not so in my practice today. I am definitely present. Patients have an interaction with me and I with them. We partake in a flow of energy in both directions that is unbounded by any preconceived idea. It always changes. It is a bit like dancing with light in the form of a flame, a will-o’-the-wisp.

VS: So, it is not just the homeopath’s knowledge, his grasp of the subject, the art and the science of homeopathy that he has learned and it is not just the impersonal, clinical observer?

MN: Of course, it is that too. We do need to keep the session on track and find out those specific things homeopaths need to know. And as well as that, it is personal. And it is unpredictable. And it is an experience of light. It is the light that enables a view to be had in the darkness. The patient cannot do it alone. We do it together. The practitioner helps hold the hand and a torch aloft, allowing the patient to see into the darkness and then return safely from it. It is a very dynamic exchange. It is a bit like a child holding the parent’s hand to feel okay about the next step. This exchange is healing in itself. And then there is the remedy. I love homeopathy because it matches the individual with something that has been out there in nature for eons and when given in a potentized form, brings about the miracle of healing. The simillimum in its potentized form is the energy pattern, evolved by the intelligence of the life-form, animal, plant, compound, element, energy from which it is prepared – all being experiences of survival of the one within the wonderfully interactive systems of the many.

About the author

Vatsala Sperling

Vatsala Sperling

Vatsala Sperling, RSHom (NA), CCH, MS, PhD, PDHom was the Chief of Clinical Microbiology services at a children’s hospital in Chennai, India, where she published extensively and conducted research with WHO, Denmark. On moving to the USA to start a family, Vatsala pursued an education in homeopathy in Misha Norland’s school. An author of eight books (www.InnerTraditions.com) and many essays and articles in the field of homeopathy, spirituality and health, Vatsala continues to study with several teachers as well as Drs. Bhavisha and Sachindra Joshi and practices classical homeopathy in Vermont. She has served on the board of directors of North American Society of Homeopaths and she is currently volunteering in the case review committee of Council for Homeopathy Certification. Vatsala can be reached via her website (www.Rochesterhomeopathy.com)

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