Carmel Karty, RCHom, is a founding member of the Israeli Association for Classical Homeopathy. She has taught in leading schools for homeopathy in Israel and in 2005 founded the Segula School for Advanced Studies in Homeopathy. She lives and practices at her clinic in Zichron Yaacov, Israel. www.carmel-karty.com
AS: How did you first become interested in homeopathy? How did you come to study in the U.S. and what was that experience like?
CK: When I was seventeen years old, something happened to me. I was not feeling well, was moody, I gained 28 Lbs. and it was difficult for me to concentrate.
After taking some blood tests, I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism, and the treatment was taking medicine for life. It did not suit me to be chronically ill. The good part was changing my diet to raw food, exercising, Yoga and looking for natural help.
When I was twenty two years old, studying computer science at the university, I met an old friend of mine, who told me that her migraines stopped after a special treatment called homeopathy. Since it was 37 year ago, nobody really knew anything about homeopathy in Israel. But never the less, I decided to go for it.
I started taking the remedy, stopped the medicine I was taking, and experienced a major homeopathic reaction. Two months later, I was feeling great, and my blood test showed that I was healthy!
My next encounter with Homeopathy was a few years later when my eldest daughter developed severe atopic dermatitis after being vaccinated. At first I used ointment with steroids as her pediatrician recommended. As soon as the outbreak disappeared, she became restless and aggressive. I stopped using the ointment and 3 days later, the outbreak returned, and she returned to her healthy state of mind. Since I did not know at that time anything about suppression, I was not sure what caused this, so I used the ointment again and got the same result. It became apparent that I should find a better way to treat her, and I called the homeopath.
Within a few short months, my daughter regained her wellbeing state, and I stopped using vaccinations. From that moment on, I realized I needed to learn more about homeopathy.
In 1982, we relocated to the US for two years. My second daughter developed an ear pain. Sure enough, I opened the Yellow Pages looking for a homeopath, and found Dr. Karl Robinson who was also an M.D. During the meeting, I realized he was a homeopathy teacher. I was excited, and started my studies right away. Karl invited me to also join the advanced group. Studying Homeopathy in the US was a dream comes true for me. I was passionate about it, reading again and again the Organon, and the repertories. I was astounded, taking in every piece of information. It felt like coming home.
The lessons took place in small groups and an easygoing environment. Karl’s knowledge was amazing. He knew by heart symptoms and Materia Medica as if he was a walking encyclopedia. He was very strict regarding the philosophy and shared his knowledge whole-heartedly and with true generosity. He helped me purchase a lot of remedies I could take with me to Israel, to build up a good starting point. Ten Years later, in 1992, we relocated again, this time to California for six months. During this period, I met other homeopaths in Berkley, joined a few seminars and enriched my knowledge. During the following years, I participated in seminars in Europe and the US, and of course in Israel, always enhancing my knowledge and skills.
AS: You also studied in Israel. Was that experience different in any way?
CK: When I returned to Israel in 1984, Homeopathy was unknown to the public. Studies were conducted in small, not very organized groups (quite similar to Dr. Karl Robinson’s group). Two such groups I studied in were led by Yosef Reves in Haifa and Steve Waldstein in Jerusalem. I was working as a computer scientist in the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Later on, I joined Dr. Rosenthal’s new class in Tel Aviv, where I practiced homeopathy and joined his clinic, later on – sharing my knowledge as a teacher in his school. The experience was similar. Small groups of people, wanting to know all they can about homeopathy. I studied hard, by heart, without any computer assistance available today, out a feeling of true internal mission.
AS: How well known is Homeopathy in Israel. What is the level of acceptance by lay people and by medical doctors?
CK: In 1996, we founded the Israeli Association of Classic Homeopathy. We implemented standardization and regulation of Homeopathy studies. Later on, the Association joined the ECCH. Nowadays, Homeopathy is well known in Israel as part of the alternative medicine realm, and recognized by some HMO’s, medical insurance companies and hospitals. Ten years ago, there was an initiative to offer a BA degree in Homeopathy but unfortunately, it failed, as there are still objections to Homeopathy.
Personally I practice in my private clinic, and sometimes I offer an integrative treatment with an MD, in order to reach the best results for the patient. Four registered schools for classical homeopathy operate in Israel – I work as a senior lecturer in one of them.
Segula, my advanced studies school, was founded 11 years ago. My goal was to give practical skills and solutions for practicing homeopaths, who were encountering problems and treatment challenges and seeking a suitable professional and supportive platform.
AS: What does the future of homeopathy look like in Israel?
CK: For the past few years, schools teaching homeopathy have experienced a reduction in the number of students. We are hopeful that homeopathy will become a larger part of natural treatment in health institutes, and in general, and that homeopathy will play a bigger role in the holistic medicine arena.
AS: Can you tell us something about your teaching approach at the Segula School? Do you focus on classical methods or other approaches?
CK: I’ll begin with my choice of treatment methods, as for me, this is the key to a deep and true healing process. Classical homeopathy, which is the fundamental treatment method, based on structured principles, allows me to analyze the results, direct the right course of action, and help my patients reach true healing. In 2006, after about 10 years serving as a supervisor of junior homeopaths, training and mentoring other homeopaths, I gained in-depth understanding of the needs of homeopaths as they progress in their profession. It became clear that I wanted to provide a solution and resources for this need. That’s why I founded Segula. The first and obvious need is knowledge – additional remedies, which potency to give, how to manage an acute case, and how does that integrate into the patient’s overall chronic image. When and how to use nosodes. How should we treat pregnancy and childbirth? How to treat a nursing baby and a mother who need different remedies and how should we approach the right remedy for a child? What should be done with regards to vaccinations, growing in number each year, that are damaging the patient’s health? How should cancer or other terminal illnesses be treated? And in general, how should we treat a case for the long term, taking into account changes and occurrences throughout the patient’s life cycle?
One of the issues that we should address, is the understanding that no matter how many remedies you know, and how well we understand each one, the important part of the learning process is to study the methodology of figuring out the right remedy, even if it’s a remedy the homeopath is not familiar with yet, and how to make sure it fits our patient and his specific case.
When a homeopath undergoes the basic learning program, most of the time the focus is on the initial treatment: taking anamneses, analyzing the case and selecting a remedy. This is also the main focus of the year-long internship. There isn’t enough time to gain experience and come across issues that arise when you start practicing homeopathy, and care for a patient for the long run. I call that “the third prescription” – what is the right course of managing a case for the long run.
Since I came to realize that in the basic homeopathy studies there is no reference to the needs of the homeopath over the years – mainly since the issues only arise as part of practicing, I made the decision to offer the advanced studies option – to provide a platform that can answer the more complex issues, and provide a broader support net. During each session, we solve a case study presented by one of the participants, using the tools learned as part of the course. This method both provides a practical solution to that homeopath’s clinic, as well as giving ideas to other course attendants.
All these relevant issues are met with an applicative solution and response, based on 30 years’ of homeopathy studies and practice, bringing forward accumulated experience in thousands of patients, demonstrating excellent healing results.
My approach is manifested in the development and teaching of new anamneses methods, based on Coaching and NLP tools, integrating a creative approach, using therapeutic cards and drawing – that also suits children. I also working with a themes circle (based on Herscu’s segments circle), that allows gaining in-depth understanding of the case, as well as reaching small remedies.
The second part of the learning aims to tackle common perceptions among homeopaths, for example:
Homeopathy is a tough profession, and so how do you earn a living practicing homeopathy? (More than 50% of the attending students – who were excellent at what they did – don’t practice homeopathy. A lot is due to internal beliefs that limit us.
I also held these perceptions during my early years as a homeopath. It seems like they are passed on from one generation to another, together with the homeopathic knowledge.
As part of the studies at Segula, we take a deep look into the personal beliefs that limit us, figure out who holds the responsibility for healing, what is my role and what is the role of the patient as part of the healing process, how to create a “therapeutic contract”, that will clarify the process between the therapist and the patient, and serve as a roadmap during the homeopathic process. We address who we want to be as a homeopathic therapist, and how will that be manifested in the approach to treatment.
We also bring up the issue of money. How many times I’ve heard ideas like:
“If I administered a remedy and it only partially worked – then I don’t deserve to get paid for the follow up session and my work towards finding a more precise remedy. And if I administered a remedy and it works fine, what should I be paid for during the follow up session since I’m simply repeating the remedy?”. Play this sentence in your head and see if it resonates with you in any way. This alone can take up a whole sessionJ
What does it mean to be a therapist in the context of career, family and personal development? How do we integrate the professional and the therapeutic aspects of the homeopath’s life (the therapists’ life cycles). Dare and explore where I would like to be – professionally and personally – in 5-10 years and how should I get there. How to maintain our health: nutrition, physical activity, meditations. Set an example for our patients. These processes are supported by meditation sessions, which open up a new sphere of in-depth work.
This is the second and very significant part of the studies – that are not present in any other school of homeopathy. The focus not only on knowledge , but on long term support and reference to internal beliefs, barriers and values, addressing them and providing unique tools to resolve them.
AS: In the U.S. , UK, Canada and Australia, the governments have actively attacked homeopathy. Has the government taken any position on homeopathy in Israel? Do they seem supportive?
CK: The issue of holistic medicine had been present in discussions of various Ministries of Health and Committees for more than 10 years. Holistic medicine, which includes Chinese Medicine, Naturopathy, Homeopathy and other alternative methods, are currently offered as part of hospital treatments and HMO’s as an additional supportive tool of traditional medicine.
A unique element for homeopathy in Israel:
The Ministry of Health imposes regulation on homeopathic remedies, which leads to closing down of small homeopathic pharmacies, which can’t comply with the strict requirements. It is hard to know whether this is the result of caring for patients, or due to some negative perception of homeopathy. In any event, it is possible to obtain in Israel all the homeopathic remedies, including nosodes. Remedies can be obtained everywhere in Israel, by ordering in a central lab of a chain, that allows the supply of the remedy to any location where a branch exists, as well as in several larger pharmacies in central cities.
AS: You said earlier that there seem to be fewer students entering the field of homeopathy. Is that because it’s difficult to make a living? Do many homeopaths have to work two jobs?
CK: I’m not sure of the reason for the reducing number of students. One of the assumptions is the difficulty of making a living practicing homeopathy, as well as the difficulty people experience while practicing.
AS: In the U.S., laws are being passed to make vaccines mandatory. Children must receive up to 69 vaccinations by age 17. What is the feeling about vaccines in Israel? Is autism as common as in the U.S.? (We have 1in 47 with autism spectrum now.) Is there any support for homeoprophylaxis?
CK: The Ministry of Health and the medical system in Israel encourage use of vaccinations. Israel’s vaccination plan is very similar to the one recommended in the USA. There is increase in autism cases evidenced in Israel, which to the best of my knowledge, is a similar ratio to the USA. Voices objecting to vaccinations are also heard in Israel. As a homeopath that also treats children, I witness the damage that can be attributed (in my opinion) to vaccinations: Increase in respiratory diseases, weakness of the immune system, and of course, more severe illnesses. I always instruct the parents that come to my clinic to choose wisely whether to take the vaccinations, which ones tochoose and also to target the right age. Parents who decide to vaccinate their children receive my support towards minimizing the potential damage.
With regards to homeoprophylaxis (preventive treatment) – some homeopaths in Israel offer their patients – “homeopathic vaccinations” – administering the nosode, in compliance with the vaccination plan of babies up to the age of two. I offer my patients a prophylactic treatment when a real need arises – for example, when there’s a whooping cough epidemic. I give my patients a nosode of whooping cough, that protects them during the epidemic. This is a broad-scale subject, that can be elaborated on.
AS: Thank you for sharing with us today and good luck with the Segula School!
This is a wonderful interview. I feel it addresses so many of the issues that arise for practicing homeopaths. Her focus on personal development, issues around money and self worth are wonderful additions to the traditional Classical training many of us have received. After all, counselors see patients for YEARS and are paid for every visit, yet, the concept that a homeopath should not be paid for her time and expertise as the vital force makes itself more clear is clearly unfair. Thank you for this article.