When I decided to write this editorial, I started by asking myself whether I had to address my fellow homeopathic vets or the homeopathic community as a whole.
To answer this question, I first had to find out whether there is, or should be, a difference between veterinary and human homeopathy. It certainly appears that homeopathic organizations show some form of separation.
Many homeopathy schools are divided into a veterinary and a human branch. My initial training took place in a purely veterinary environment. It does seem to make sense to organize things as such: we vets would not be treating the same diseases as our human homeopathic colleagues.
After my initial training, homeopathy in my hands was rather unsuccessful. The occasional results I enjoyed were due more to luck than skill. I nearly gave up homeopathy at that time. It was the enrollment in a course for both veterinarians and human practitioners that really started my career as a homeopath.
What was it that helped me becoming a homeopath?
Maybe you noticed the mistake I inserted in the second paragraph. (I suggest you read the paragraph again before I disclose the error.) This mistake is a common error that is regularly made against homeopathic principles. Dr. B’s editorial of the October issue already touched on this confusion when he treated the question of the importance of the modern diagnosis.
In the second paragraph I sinned against the following principle: Homeopathy does not treat diseases but patients. We need our knowledge and understanding of the diseases of the patients we treat to detect what is homeopathic in the case but we don’t treat diseases. We treat individuals who through their symptoms express their inner derangement.
Animals are a different species from people and have different diseases, but the same forces of nature as those in people are the causes of their ill-being. The same goes for the symbolism/information contained in the remedies. I cannot imagine that remedies carry a different message depending on the species it is used on. We (humans, animals and remedies) all belong to the same world order.
Even when the superficial reaction of one species to a remedy can be different from other species, the soul of the remedy is the same. The deep responses that remedies will trigger are therefore the same for all. That is why we can exchange remedy information between veterinary practice and human practice to help the progress of homeopathy.
That is what I learned differently in the second homeopathy school I visited. Instead of concentrating on treating animal diseases, we concentrated on learning remedies and understanding prescription techniques. The basis for the holistic approach to remedies and repertorising that I learned in this school has allowed me to become the homeopath I am today.
Conclusion: there is no real difference between veterinary and human homeopathy. The same remedy information can be used for all species as long as the treating homeopath knows what is usual and unusual in the species concerned to detect what is homeopathic. The homeopath has to be familiar with the species he is treating and he/she has to recognize what is important and less important from a regulation, zoonosis, prognosis and homeopathic point of view.
This editorial is therefore intended for all. We veterinarians can learn from our ‘human’ colleagues and they can learn from us.
Coming to the next point, I would like to start by thanking my colleague Marc Brunson who runs the school (CLH in Liege-Belgium) where I started to become a homeopath. As I have already said, the attendance at the school consists of a mixture of veterinary and human professionals (25-75%). Indeed, many doctors (from all over French speaking Europe) come to a school run by a veterinary practitioner. Moreover, he is asked to address most French speaking homeopathy meetings. And it is not only Marc Brunson, as many veterinary colleagues will attend and speak at French speaking conferences organised by the schools for human homeopathy and participate in the various study groups that work on the materia medica.
There appears to be much less coming together between vets and human practitioners in the English speaking community. It is my feeling that one of the reasons is the difference in approach to the materia medica between the French speaking community and its English counterparts. The mainstream French approach to the materia medica (for non-pluralistic homeopaths) finds its sources in the work of Pascero and Masi whereas in the rest of the world, classification or ‘Hahnemanism’ appears to be(come) the norm.
This ‘French’ materia medica approach uses much less situational factors like life stages, family issues, work issues, etc., in their studies of the remedies. Miasms find their place in the approach of the materia medica rather than to determine prescription sequences. Remedy pictures are often more concept driven. This makes them more accessible for us veterinarians, and allows veterinary cases to be used in the implementation of these remedy studies.
Of course there is the language and cultural barrier between the two worlds. The French community is taking the new developments of the English world on board, but its own publications are not available for those who do not have a knowledge of the tongue of Molière. (If there is an interest, I know that all published material by the CLH is available for translation into English and distribution throughout the world by whoever is capable of tackling this Herculean task.)
This brings me to the most important point I wished to make:
One thing that appears to be a constant in the Journal edited by the CLH is the veterinary and human contributions in the form of case write-ups and other articles by a large number of practitioners. I would like to use this space to call upon all readers to write up cases and to send them to your preferred journal (which is ‘Homeopathy 4 Everyone’ of course). Good case write-ups are important for the progress of homeopathy.
Write-ups do not need to be examples of perfect prescriptions as long as they are true to reality, show a thought process and illustrate a clear improvement that can be attributed to the homeopathic remedy(s) used. They are the building stones of what homeopathy will become tomorrow. If you want to participate in the surge to defend homeopathy, this could be one of your first (and continuing) actions.
Empty your drawers of successful cases and show the world what homeopathy can achieve!
Enjoy the issue.
Edward de Beukelaer
— Editor —
Homeopathy for Everyone