Homeopathy Papers Interviews

Looking Back, Moving Forward – A Dialogue With Jeremy Sherr

Jeremy Sherr is working to set up a research study of homoeopathy treating HIV and AIDS patients. The aim is twofold; one, to treat individually and show the efficacy of homeopathy for these patients and two, to look for a genus epidemicus for AIDS, providing it is an epidemic. The allopaths are still the biggest killer with pharmaceuticals.

Last month I included the first of a series of excerpts from my book Looking Back Moving Forward in the Hpathy Ezine and for those of you who had a chance to read it, you will recall that it was about the controversial Robert Davidson. I hope you found what he had to say interesting and thought provoking.

This month I have taken some sections from Jeremy Sherr’s interview. I felt absolutely privileged to spend time with such a burning flame in our field and really excited that his plans for working in Africa are coming to fruition.

As I mentioned last month, I have just launched a blog on my website www.lookingbackmovingforward.com for discussions about how we feel about our profession, how we feel about what is discussed in the interviews, for us to share our experiences and to create an international place to meet and chat in the matrix. Feel free to come and visit and contribute your thoughts.

And so now some words from Jeremy…..

Jeremy on homeopathy and AIDS in Africa:

I am concerned about AIDS and twenty five million people dying in Africa. Whole populations are being wiped out and billions of US dollars are being poured into allopathic nonsense. People are going through untold suffering, not only the dying, but those that are left behind. If homoeopathy can help, then it has to be our mission; that is the one thing that we need to achieve. There are a lot of very great and noble homoeopaths that have gone out to Kenya or Swaziland, and sat in clinics and treated one person after another and that is fantastic; I really admire them. In some ways I would really like to do that but I don’t see that as necessarily being my role. My aspiration is to help in a formal, academic way.

I believe we have got to go out there and say, “Look, this is what homoeopathy can do in AIDS cases; here are the figures, here is the research, it is all water-tight.” Billions of US dollars go to AIDS in Africa every year; if a small fraction went to homoeopathy, can you imagine what we could do? But nobody is going to give money or resources to anything anecdotal. I can show fantastic AIDS cases on video, where you clearly see people getting better and coming off their drugs. We can go and show these and a lot of other evidence to Bill Gates and Elton John charities or any other AIDS charity, but that is not going to impress them. They won’t give us money on anecdotal evidence. They want to see academic figures; that is the way.

I personally am too impatient for academics, research and statistics but I feel that it has got to be done. Therefore I have been working to set up a proper research study of homoeopathy treating HIV and AIDS patients. And because I have contacts and a bit of a name, maybe I can get it off the ground, with a little luck and help from my friends. But it has been very frustrating, because the academic wheels grind far too slowly for me. You have to find willing partners and get a protocol through an ethics committee, and you need to talk their language. I hope it will work but if not, I will just go and do it on a small scale myself – I am determined to do that.

ROWENA: So what would your project involve?

JEREMY: Ideally it would involve treating three to five hundred AIDS patients over a couple of years. The aim is twofold; one, to treat individually and show the efficacy of homoeopathy for these patients and two, to look for a genus epidemicus for AIDS, providing it is an epidemic. Epidemics have certain characteristics and AIDS is one foot in and one foot out. I do not want to hear what this or that homoeopath gave an AIDS patient; I just want to collect the symptoms for myself, as Hahnemann said we should do with epidemics , and see.

I went to Tanzania as I have a friend there, Sigsbert Rwegasira ; a homoeopath and a lovely guy. He also has a hundred percent success in treating malaria , which is still the biggest killer the world has ever known. The allopaths are poisoning people with pharmaceuticals such as Lariam , which is causing absolute devastation. He has treated five thousand AIDS patients. I went for a week and treated twenty AIDS cases and collected all the symptoms , and we are getting really good results.

Jeremy on having a successful practice as a homeopath in the UK:

ROWENA: Do you feel that the UK is saturated with homoeopaths and there are not enough patients?

JEREMY: Yes, that is the case, which is evident because not everybody can make a living. I think those who really want to make a living from it, will, because there are plenty of sick people around, but it is not easy. It takes a long time to build a homoeopathic practice. There are two things that bring people to a homoeopath – the carrot and the stick. I have seen four new patients today and at least three of them have come because of the stick – arthritis and MS – they didn’t know anything about homoeopathy but somebody mentioned to them that it might help. Those that come from the carrot of awareness, of course, make the best patients.

ROWENA: How long, would you say, does it take to build a practice?

JEREMY: At least two years. A lot of people want to study homoeopathy because it is fascinating. At least thirty percent of them are not practitioner material. They like to study and write excellent essays but when it comes to sitting all day with patients, they decide it is not for them. I still think they should study homoeopathy, but there should be a differentiation and filtering process to help students find out if they do actually want to actually practise, so that if they don’t, the guilt at not succeeding is taken away. They could become a homoeopathic historian, develop computer programs, organise charities or treat friends and family.

There are all kinds of support roles our profession needs. We could do with more people writing articles for the press. But those students who do not practise can end up feeling guilty; they try to build a practice but it only half works. Many want to be practitioners but have all kinds of restraints – financial constraints, kids, divorce – so it is difficult to hold on until a practice gets going. Then you have got the forty percent who get through the initial hurdles and succeed.

Part of the problem financially for us is the fact that we see patients once every four to six weeks. In comparison, an acupuncturist or an osteopath sees a patient one or two times a week. Patients book in for six treatments and they hear their neck cracking and are happy with what they see as an immediate result. With homoeopaths there is a four to six week wait so there is a high drop out rate. Patients think, “He gave me one little white pill but I didn’t hear a crack and there were no fireworks. I am not going back just to talk.”

ROWENA: Prescribing LMs helps.

JEREMY: Yes, daily repetitions, phone contact and booking patients for a follow up at the end of the first appointment all help as they make the process conscious. This is basic business management but it is still going to be a very slow, logarithmic build up. Eventually there will be a build up of patients, especially after you find the golden patients who recommend you to another thirty. But you have to get past those first two years and not everybody makes it. Working part time can also stop practitioners from building their practice, as subconsciously they might want to keep it part time before giving up their day job. The market is saturated to a degree, but it doesn’t have to be. If some of those people who write beautiful essays but do not want to practise did some research, wrote articles or gave talks it would raise public awareness.

Jeremy on Dynamis:

ROWENA: So tell me why graduates come to study with you at the Dynamis School . What is it all about?

JEREMY: Homoeopathic colleges are just a first step. There is much more to be taught in homoeopathy than what is learnt in undergraduate college. People who come to the Dynamis School want to go deeper into the philosophy and practical aspects. Some Dynamis students study alongside their undergraduate course while others may have up to twenty five years of practise. I have never had a problem with the diversity of levels because I am not teaching horizontally; I am going deeper. You can always go deeper, it doesn’t matter what stage you are at. And the deeper you go, the better the results and the more pleasure you get from practise. We build strong philosophical roots so people know exactly where they are coming from and where they are going to, and that makes all the difference. A lot of people want to get continued support and share knowledge, and a lot of people just love studying homoeopathy.

ROWENA: Are you going to keep the Dynamis School going? If I delay studying with you for, say, a couple of years, will I have missed my opportunity?

JEREMY: Since I started the Dynamis School eighteen years ago, there have always been rumours that it is going to stop and I don’t make those rumours up myself! I should, but I don’t! I love Dynamis; that is where I have fun. It gives me great satisfaction to teach the same group for two years and see their progress. The truth is two years isn’t enough but I do two years because people wouldn’t come if I did four! But at the end of the course most students say they would love to continue.

Part of the course is long-term live cases; that way students can learn much more than the first prescription , like case management , remedy reaction and second prescription . When one takes cases in front of students you really have to have faith and drop the ego. But the group energy helps. I do my best but if I fail then everybody can share the failure and we try to learn from it. And if I succeed, then everybody can share the success too. There is always learning to be had, whatever the outcome. You have to come to a place in yourself where you believe that you will be able to solve the case in that hour in front of all those students. It is a good challenge!

Jeremy on Provings:

ROWENA: How many remedies have you proved Jeremy?

JEREMY: I don’t know exactly, but I think it is somewhere between twenty-seven and thirty.

ROWENA: How do you choose them?

JEREMY: I have two methods of choosing; intellect and omens. An intellect choice is like when I decided to prove all the noble gases because I know that they can increase our knowledge of the whole periodic table.

ROWENA: Are they for very spiritual people?

JEREMY: Yes, there is something spiritual about the noble gases , because at their full potential they can really touch heaven.

ROWENA: So they feel very connected to the source; to God?

JEREMY: They can be very connected to the source, if they are in the right place. But their problem is that they don’t know how to disconnect from it. They feel they are in such a perfect position and everything is so right that they cannot step into life and get dirty, and if you don’t get dirty, you are not living. You have to suffer if you want to sing the blues.

So proving the noble gases was an intellectual decision but other remedies I chose through omens or synchronicities. Swan (Cygnus cygnus) was an omen choice. I was sitting by the sea with a very sore neck, and this swan sailed by. I had previously asked for an omen and you have to ask for one otherwise you don’t get it.

ROWENA: Like in Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist?

JEREMY: Yes, absolutely. To get omens, you have to believe in them, ask for them, and not miss them when they are revealed to you. When I asked for an omen before choosing fallow deer, in one day five people mentioned deer to me or showed me pictures of deer and then I saw a TV documentary and that sealed the deal.

ROWENA: Do you think sometimes that your patients move you spiritually on your own journey?

JEREMY: Definitely. Patients come who are in a high place spiritually and they will impart something to you, but nearly every patient to whom you give a good remedy will come back with a lesson for you. They will come back and say one little sentence that will resonate with you; they will come and give you their gift back.

ROWENA: A lesson about the remedy, or a lesson for yourself?

JEREMY: Both a lesson for me and a lesson about the remedy, and that is a gift in itself. It will often be just what I need to hear for that day and will pick me up and make me feel better about life.

ROWENA: Do you think that you get those patients that need your remedies or do you think we are all getting them but we just don’t recognise the remedy picture?

JEREMY: A bit of both. Maybe some get attracted to me because they need those remedies, maybe because I know those remedies I recognise them in patients and maybe other people miss them because they don’t know them. There was an interesting experiment in India that some homoeopaths did ten or so years ago. They did sixty provings and then created a homoeopathic network in a few centres across India, and for two years, they worked exclusively with those remedies, and they got great results.

I could probably survive only prescribing my thirty remedies and just about get by, but it would not be great homoeopathy. Hahnemann only used twenty remedies for many years until he proved a hundred. You can work with a small number of remedies that you know very well and get reasonable results, because similars work, not just simillimums . If only simillimums worked, we would all be out of business! Hahnemann says there is no such thing as a simillimum .

ROWENA: Really?

JEREMY: He says it is just a theoretical concept and I agree with him. It does give us a beacon to work towards but it is a delusion that gets planted into people at college until they start practising and hopefully realise there is no such thing. If there is a simillimum for each person, and we have only proved three thousand remedies, then how are we finding the simillimum for millions of patients around the world? We cannot be.

There are a hundred thousand minerals and plants and a hundred million animals and insects. Curing like with like is about metaphor and analogy, not sameness, so there cannot be one simillimum and we don’t want there to be a simillimum either, just like there can never be only one perfect poem for each person.

Homoeopathy is poetry or music because it is analogy. You don’t say to somebody, “Your eyes are beautiful, like eyes!” You say, “Your eyes are like the lake in the spring and your hair is like the wind blowing through the soft leaves as they fall to the ground in the autumn.” If it is the right music, rhythm and words, it will touch. So many poems touch you and they will do so in different ways. Some poems will be better than other poems, and they will touch deeper and longer and carry you further. And some will be crap and not touch much at all!

We want to work ‘in the image of’ and it is better that way because it means that every level of practitioner can get results. It allows practitioners the possibility of not being perfect. If you take a case in any class, if you have got twenty homoeopaths, it is likely that you will get fifteen different remedy suggestions.

ROWENA: And do you think all fifteen remedies will work?

JEREMY: Probably three or four would act beneficially; some more, some less. It is a matter of how close you get by percentage. Those within ten percent of the target would get a good result, those within twenty percent would get a medium result and with those out of range, nothing much would happen or they would suppress the case. It is a grey area between the unattainable Holy Grail of the theoretical simillimum and suppression.

So I hope Jeremy’s words have inspired you to either help him find sponsorship for his work in Africa, research his remedies or go and study with him at Dynamis and perhaps they have inspired you to read his whole interview which of course you can do if you purchase the book which is available on my website: www.lookingbackmovingforward.com. Readers of Hpathy.com will receive a 10% discount. And of course I would love for you to utilize the blog on the site and strengthen our community’s worldwide connection.

Until next month…..


Rowena Ronson graduated from the London College of Classical Homeopathy in 2001 and registered with the Society of Homeopaths in 2003. She runs a private practice from her home in Bushey, Hertfordshire and has developed a specialist interest in the area of cancer as she has been treating patients at Cherry Lodge Cancer Care, a complementary health centre established by Barnet General Hospital for several years. She is a qualified teacher, with a background in training people in inter-personal skills and has taught homeopathy for both the London School of Classical Homeopathy and Purton House, where she was module leader and lecturer for personal and practitioner development. She also has worked for the Society of Homeopaths as an education adviser.

About the author

Rowena J. Ronson

Rowena J Ronson started her journey as a therapist in her early twenties, thirty years ago. She trained at the London College of Classical Homeopathy, graduating in 2001, and since then she has been in full-time evolving practice in St Albans and in Mill Hill, London. She published her first book, 'Looking Back Moving Forward', in 2007, a compilation of conversations she had with 34 great teachers and practitioners of homeopathy, and she is a teacher herself. She uniquely combines homeopathy, psychotherapy, nutrition and functional medicine for individuals, couples and families. See her website www.evolve2solve.co.uk for more information.

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