Gabrielle, tell us all about yourself, stop when you hear the buzzer, and try to talk as fast as you can.
Well, this is certainly a new concept in the realm of interviews; but……I’ll try my best. I have practiced and taught homeopathy in London, South Africa and the US. I currently lecture anatomy, physiology, pathology and homeopathy and provide supervision for students at The Homeopathic Academy of Southern California. I completed a 6-year doctor of Homeopathy degree in South Africa, which included training in hospitals, before completing another 2 years training in both clinical and classical homeopathy. I have conducted …
Oh, I’m sorry, that was our buzzer! You didn’t get your answer in on time; but, you will be going home with an Hpathy Interview game! And now, for the Bonus Round: It appears that South Africa is way ahead of us! How extensive is homeopathy there? Are there homeopathic hospitals? What was your hospital experience like there? Say the secret word and win $100.00.
I’ll try to talk faster this time. There are currently no homeopathic hospitals in South Africa. My training in hospitals was for the sole purpose of obtaining clinical experience in diagnostic techniques and medicine. I have, however visited the beautiful homeopathic hospital in Glasgow, Scotland, which was an experience that I highly recommend. At the school where I trained there is a fully supervised student multidisciplinary clinic, with complete homeopathic dispensary, a radiographic department, a full blood lab, (to order blood tests right there on the spot.) I would go along with my patients, so that I could observe their blood (in terms of color, clotting, etc); chiropractic, pediatory clinics, nurses, etc.
Homeopathy is definitely further along in South Africa. It is a licensed profession. I feel very strongly about licensing. I believe that this is the only way that homeopathy can be taken seriously and survive. I also believe in the benefits of education. The training involves 5 years full time, followed by a year of research and internship. During the research program, each student conducts double blind clinical trials. Thus there is a great deal of homeopathic research performed. The students are required to have a level of knowledge equivalent to that of a general practitioner (M.D) and are proficient in diagnosing diseases, clinical techniques, performing minor surgery, such as suturing, reading x-rays and MRI’s, administering injections, etc. Many medical insurances cover homeopathic services. They also cover services referred to by homeopaths. Homeopaths are required to make a diagnosis in order to be covered by medical insurance. Homeopathy and medicine stand far more closely alongside each other.
As having also practiced in the UK and met with homeopaths all over the world, I have found, sadly, homeopathy to be further behind in the US than anywhere else. The exciting part about this is that whenever I give lectures or talk about homeopathy here, I feel as if I have this amazing secret to share. Which reminds me, did I say the secret word? What was it?
I don’t know how I could have missed saying that! Did I mention the Glasgow hospital is state funded and the children’s homeopathic hospital has a waiting list of 2 years?
A waiting list of two years?
Recently, however, there have been threats of it closing down.
All their furniture has the soft glow of wood. Their passageways are all curved. There is a beautiful Zen garden courtyard and they have excellent homeopaths, including Dr. Bob Leckridge.
So, Gabrielle, did you get to follow any of the cases to see how the outcome of a patient brought to a homeopathic hospital differs from that of a patient brought to a “regular” hospital?
Unfortunately I was not there for long enough to see it for myself, although I did hear about some of the cases that Dr. Leckridge was treating and especially treating children, he was getting amazing results. I am especially interested in treating behavioral problems in children.
Do you have any experiences you can share with us?
I conducted research on thought interference, nervousness and anxiety (i.e concentration difficulties and anxiety), thus naturally ended up treating many patients with ADD, ADHD as well as other behavioral issues like oppositional defiance disorder, etc. I have found homeopathy to be such a wonderful treatment for these types of conditions, especially when addressed in childhood.
Is there any secret to case-taking in these situations that you can pass on to us?
For most cases I do more than one repertorization:
In the first repertorization, I do include the more common symptoms of ADD, ADHD: restlessness and spaciness, and tantrum-throwing, especially if they are marked. Here many of the remedies commonly used to treat ADD will come up. Although they are common symptoms of the diagnosis, if these symptoms are prominent, they cannot be ignored. I like these symptoms as they are often obvious and readily observable, and I know them to be true.
In the 2nd repertorization, I use a smaller group of rubrics, looking only at the unique, strange, rare and peculiar symptoms, which belong to the patient and not the diagnosis… and then I go back to the materia medica and compare. I’m giving a very big presentation on ADD this weekend.
It’s not going to interfere with this interview is it? Because we usually hold people here against their will.
So that’s why you wrapped piano wire around the chair I’m sitting in!
We try to do it tastefully. But, I’ll consider making an exception in this one instance, but do try not to let it happen again. I’ll just sit here calmly until you get back.
****(10 years later….)****
Hi Elaine, I’m back!!!!! Well, it’s been crazy–I’m busy organizing a volunteer-based homeopathic clinic for homeless women in San Diego. Hahnemann labs kindly donated a full dispensary for us. I must say, however that it has taken almost Herculian efforts to get it (and various other ventures) off the ground.
This sounds so interesting! How do you know where to set up such a place where homeless women can find it, and gee…isn’t their biggest problem that they’re homeless? Is this clinic up and running yet?
I presented the idea of having a free homeopathic clinic for the poor to The Council for Professional Homeopaths, San Diego chapter. The members researched various places and found a homeless shelter in downtown San Diego that was open to our ideas, i.e we found an existing established homeless shelter and brought Homeopathy to them!
The staff and the women (I won’t mention the name of the shelter to protect their identity)…
Right, because, the homeless shelter’s good name….
No, Elaine, the names of the women, not the name of the shelter! Anyway, the women are extremely excited about us being there, but the medical director has recently told us that she feels uncomfortable with us prescribing remedies, as homeopathy is an unlicensed profession.
Well, granted, we don’t kill 100,000 people a year like her “licensed” profession does, but, I should think we’d be able to cope without that level of “expertise”, wouldn’t you?
We are having a meeting to try to resolve these issues. If they cannot be resolved, we are planning to take the clinic to a different center.
The clinic is held on the first Monday of every month. What I love most about this clinic is: Each patient gets examined by a medical assistant before their consultation. There are 4 professional homeopaths all taking cases simultaneously. At the end of the session, each homeopath has an opportunity to present their cases and discuss it amongst each other. This way each homeopath knows exactly what is going on with each patient and thinking along the same lines and the opportunity to add their input. It truly is a group effort. In addition, if there is any reason that one of us cannot be there, any of us can easily take over each others cases.
After the discussion, the remedy is given to the patient then and there. (We never know if and when they will be back again). They are required to sign up within one hour before their visit, on a first come, first serve basis, during which time lunch is served. Because of the extreme nature of their situation, we find that we are treating their conditions as an acute situation. Some of the issues we confront include: depression, anxiety, female health issues, musculoskeletal issues, ailments from abuse, addictions, issues with self-esteem, mental disease, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, aches and pains, etc. Repertorisations will be printed out and kept in a file together with their other medical records and a record of their information and prescription will be stored in Double Happiness (a practice management program donated to us by the Society of Homeopaths), making it easy for future homeopaths to take over. Our dream is to develop similar satellite clinics throughout the country.
Back to what I was saying previously about thought interference:
I conducted double blind clinical trials on the effects of thought interference (difficulty concentrating), nervousness and anxiety. The participants in the study were all college students during an examination period. The remedies I used were Kali Phos, Arg Nit and Gelsemium. The testing period was only a week, yet showed excellent results.
Maybe in fairness to you, we could have a “Gabrielle Traub, Part-2” so you can tell about this, like what differentiated one presentation from the other, and you can also tell us more about the free clinic and the other things you’re involved in. “All Gabrielle, All The Time”, that’s our new motto here at Homeopathy for Everyone! But wait, we need to hear about the presentation you gave on ADD.
When treating ADD/ADHD:
While I do believe that diet is important (especially the Feingold diet), I do not normally try to change the diet until the remedy has started to take effect. This way, the patient is far more compliant and healthy enough to desire the foods which are good for him and lose a taste for the foods which are not. I recommend supplementation with essential fatty acids. I encourage limiting TV and video games; rule out food allergies; stabalize blood sugar levels by encouraging small protein-rich meals throughout the day; investigate any visual issues such as scotopic sensitivity and developmental optometry, etc
The remedies I have most commonly used to treat ADD/ADHD are: Tuberculinum bov; Tuberculinum aviare; Calc Phos, Calc carb; Capsicum; Medorrhinum; Anacardium; Aethusa; Cannabis Indica; Baryta Carb; Tarentula hisp; Aranea ixabola; Androctonus; Stramonium; Belladonna, Hyoscyamus; Lyssinum; Cina; Platina; Zincum metallicum; Sulphur, Lycopodium.
A Case of ADHD:
I treated a 9 year old boy who was diagnosed with ADHD
He had a tendency to throw things. He was fearless, he would strike others, compelled to touch things. He was inclined to make a noise. He was timid around new people. He does not follow instructions. His teachers demanded that he seek treatment, they wanted to put him on Ritalin.
He was also diagnosed with sleep apnea (he would stop breathing during the night and wake up gasping for air). He complained of hoarseness of his voice and constipation with rectal bleeding and fissures. He had an aversion to fruit and sweets. He perspired from his head at night.
His symptoms all started shortly after the birth of his baby sister, whom he was extremely jealous of and would strike out at her.
I prescribed Lachesis 30c (one dose at night for 3 nights)
One month later:
This child is completely transformed. He no longer engages in reckless behaviour, no longer throws things. He has stopped making annoying repetitive noises. He has calmed down. He no longer strikes his sister, instead he now gives her hugs and cuddles. The sleep apnea is gone. He is no longer constipated and no longer has rectal bleeding. He has become more intergrated with his peers at school. His teachers are amazed at his progress. Two years later some of his old symptoms reappeared. He repeated the dose and continues to do well.
OK, so the key to this case then was the clear etiology, the jealousy Lachesis is so famous for, plus the confirmatory symptom of sleep apnea (in Lachesis patients, they typically sleep into an aggravation and have suffocation issues); plus, we often have bleeding in Lachesis cases and then there’s the hoarseness…. So, very good Gabrielle, I hereby grant you a license! Be sure to come back and talk to us again!!!! I’ll just sit here calmly until you get back….
Chair: World Homeopathic Awareness Committee
Medical Wellness Kliniek
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