Hermann Keppler is the founder and principal of The College of Naturopathic Medicine, one of the UK’s leading training providers in natural therapies. Twenty five years ago he qualified as a homeopath and set up a practice. Over time he felt the need to expand his repertoire of healing skills and studied other healing methods in Germany, Switzerland, Israel, Denmark and the USA. In 1998 he founded the College of Naturopathic Medicine and it has since expanded so it presently has schools in London, Bristol, Brighton, Birmingham, Manchester, Edinburgh, Belfast, Dublin, Cork and Galway.
AS: Welcome to Hpathy Mr Keppler, we’re delighted to have you with us today. You qualified as a homeopath over 25 years ago. What was it that led you to explore other holistic disciplines and which ones were you drawn to?
HK: Twenty-five years ago when I qualified as a Homeopath and began to practice, I became frustrated when I had insufficient knowledge to help some of my patients. I researched what skills could assist my diagnostic and treatment abilities, and as a result went on to study Iridology and Chinese Diagnosis. I learnt about the various reflex points and zones of the body. I learnt how to advise patients about nutrition, how to guide my patients safely through fastings, how to apply tissue salts, Bach flower remedies and herbal mixtures. I gained specialist skills in nutrition, herbal medicine and acupuncture because I wanted to have a broader understanding of how other natural therapies on their own or together, could help my clients to optimise their health. I also studied clinic management, so I could improve on the business aspects of my practice.
It took a long time and a lot of effort, and I travelled far and wide to gain these skills, including in Germany, Switzerland, Israel, Denmark and the USA. It was well worth it because with these additional skills at my disposal I saw vast improvements in my patients’ health, and a consequent growth in my practice as my reputation grew. That’s when I decided to establish a college that would help future natural health practitioners learn and thrive by encompassing all these skills into the curriculum. I opened the first CNM in London, fifteen years ago.
AS: With this larger repertoire of skills, do you still find cases that shout out primarily for the simillimum?
HK :There is always a simillimum, otherwise the principles of Homeopathy would be wrong. The dominant remedies from the past have changed because the environment we live in has changed. There are fewer cases of Pulsatilla and Sepia but more of Nux vomica, or similar remedies.
AS: What kind of cases might require your more integrative approach? Can you give an example of a case where the patient would not have been helped by homeopathy alone?
During my homeopathic treatment I always try to improve my patient’s diet, switching them to organic whole food, and away from over-processed food. I let my patients find something in their diet they can improve. This way they make decisions and I am only guiding them. Once they see how food improves their overall well being, they are willing to do more, add some form of exercise, maybe even go on a detox or fasting regime. The best homeopathic remedy is limited if a patient’s diet is poor.
Children respond very well to this approach. I take some sugar or whatever junky ‘food’ they fancy, do a simple Kinesiology muscle test on them and then test something healthy. Children want to be strong and normally agree to a deal to cut out one form of sugar for a week or two. Often they feel the difference in 14 days and are willing to change. I don’t believe in programming patients with NLP or Hypnotherapy. My approach is based on understanding and agreements. In my opinion, so-called hyperactive children can in most of cases be sorted out by eliminating toxic substances, cutting down on TV, implementing sports, giving them goals, and acknowledging what they are doing, together with a constitutional homeopathic remedy. Drugs such as Ritalin, which is similar to LSD, are not needed at all. LSD does not solve a problem, nor is Ritalin a solution.
There are cases where my homeopathic remedy didn’t work, where I just couldn’t find the simillimum. I then often used Bach Flower remedies, or in pain cases, acupuncture or a complex homeopathic remedy. I had a patient with colitis who did not respond to my homeopathic prescriptions. I then changed her diet, cutting out wheat, sugary food and fruits, and I asked her to do enemas every 2 days with a gentle Chamomile tea in it. She drank only distilled water. She started to improve within 2 weeks and was free of taking drugs after 8 months. Her lower back pain improved, her overall sex drive improved and she could deal much better with stress.
AS: There are many toxins in the environment nowadays. What toxins do you find most prevalent, and what approach do you take to clearing them?
HK: That’s a difficult one to answer as there are so many toxins from pollution, increased radiation and electro smog. I have seen in my clinic lots of patients reacting negatively to vaccinations, artificial sweeteners, too much sugar, over-processed and refined foods, microwaved foods, and non-organic foods that do not support our body systems. Drugs, especially psychiatric drugs can have tremendously adverse side effects.
There are statistics which show that more than 60% of diseases are caused by drugs; that each 4th patient in America is delivered to a hospital because of the side-effect of drugs and that each 4th patient in America dies because of the side-effects of drugs… and these are drugs which are correctly prescribed and correctly taken. As a matter fact, fewer patients die in hospitals when doctors are on strike, as statistics have shown over and over again.
Our bodies have very strong organ systems which are able to put up with a lot of stress, and to regenerate cells fast and fight toxins. However, these systems need the right ‘fuel’ (nutrients) to function properly. Homeopathy brings organ functions back in harmony and strengthens the immune system, but a therapy can’t reinstall good health permanently when the body is continually poisoned. It is therefore the task of a good Homeopath to educate patients on how to reduce toxic stress to the body.
Given the correct homeopathic remedy, the body does detox, at least to a certain degree. Adding other detox regimes helps even more to get the body into good shape. I always advised my patients to do some sort of fasting at some stage. Depending on age, constitution and willingness of the patient, the length of fasting could go from a couple of weeks to months. The day before, one should not eat meat, sugary food or heavy food. Once started, it’s highly recommended to do a couple of enemas in the first 3 days. This helps to empty the bowel and get rid of toxins. Drinking a lot of water is very important. Whenever there is a feeling of nausea or weakness, drinking helps. The first couple of days one could have vegetable juice, fruit juices or vegetable broth. Dry skin brushing improves blood circulation and stimulates the lymphatic system. A fasting is finished when the patient feels much more energetic. Fastings which go over a week should always been overseen by an expert. Kidney or Gall stones could move and cause enormous problems. Conditions such as diabetes and thyroid dysfunction need to be watched closely.
There are other methods to cleanse the bowel by using herbal mixtures in combination with Bentonite or Psyllium husks. Keeping an alkaline diet or taking minerals while detoxing is important, as minerals derived from plants are high in pH and able to balance the low pH of toxins. Fruits should be avoided in cases of Candida as the condition is fed by sugar.
A fantastic detox via the skin is by body wraps or by taking a salt bath. Body wraps have to be free of sugar or any other non-natural substance. The best salt to use is Himalayan crystal salt as it provides all the minerals the body needs. Himalayan salt has been under high pressure for millions of years and formed crystals, like quartz. Those mineral crystals emanate frequencies which are specific to each mineral. In other words, each single mineral in Himalayan salt is a crystal with its own frequency and electromagnetic field. Himalayan salt can therefore strengthen weak frequencies in the body and balance out the strong frequencies.
Sitting in a bath with Himalayan salt therefore detoxes the body via the skin (Toxins shift from a lower pH environment in this case, the skin, to a higher pH environment, in this case, the bath water.) Salt baths should take at least 30 minutes. The skin is not only smooth after the bath (no cream needed), but the person feels much more energetic and balanced – and we know why… toxins in the body suck energy.
AS: In the last ten years, more patients are reporting electromagnetic sensitivity. In Sweden this condition is considered an official disability. Can you explain your perspective on this and how you might treat it? Does homeopathy play a role?
HK: Environmental pollutions including electromagnetic and geopathic stress play an increasingly greater role in our society. Following homeopathic principles, I would take symptoms from a patient and prescribe the homeopathic remedy accordingly. Given the remedy, one would be more stable and less sensitive to pollutants. Since prevention is better than cure, it would be better of course to avoid such stress as much as possible. Let me say one thing, however. One can get concerned about all sort of things with the result that one becomes introverted. What I try to do is to get my patients better with the right homeopathic remedy, adjusting their diet towards a more organic whole food diet and encouraging physical exercise. To have goals in life is important too, in order to focus on a future. If one lives in the past or even in the present, one has less space. Having future plans and goals provides a sense of space, with the result that one becomes less introverted and stressed, and the body is less affected.
AS: Parkinson’s disease presents a real challenge to homeopaths and one doesn’t find many cured cases in the literature. Could you share your thoughts on this condition?
HK: It is very difficult to treat Parkinson’s Disease when nerve cells in the brain are dying. The causes of Parkinson’s are related to the environment. Toxic chemicals, heavy metals, pesticides, herbicides, vaccinations and drugs are in my opinion the main trigger points. How to prevent it? Avoid toxic things wherever possible. Purify water, stay away from vaccinations and treat any health conditions naturally. I always advised my patients to drink at least 2 litres of purified water a day. In my experience, some super foods such as nutrient-rich algae, eg Chlorella or, Spirulina have the potential to limit the damage of heavy metals. Vitamin C and Niacin can be of help too.
AS: Since you founded the College of Naturopathic Medicine in 1998, it has grown to include colleges throughout the UK and Ireland. What is the guiding philosophy of the schools? What makes CNM effective in training healers?
HK: In order to ensure that CNM students become highly competent, successful practitioners, I make sure that our training is as practice-orientated as possible, with students spending hundreds of practice hours in clinic under the supervision of our experts, whether their discipline is Homeopathy, Acupuncture, Nutrition, Herbal Medicine or Naturopathy. As part of this, we also train them in how to get patients and how to promote themselves. After all, a fantastic practitioner with no patients can’t help anyone! Our students are encouraged to value their contribution to society so that when they begin practicing they can confidently set fair prices for their services. The fact that 80% of our students go on to practice, speaks for itself! Our undertaking to our students is that we endeavor to ensure that CNM courses are widely recognised and respected in the UK, Europe, and internationally. We’re continuously working to raise the profile of natural therapies in society in general, as well as to support and promote CNM graduates’ expertise, after qualification.
AS: Thank you for sharing with us today. I like the idea that your schools are giving students a broad knowledge of holistic healing. We all run across cases that need something more, and you’ve given us food for thought.
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