No matter how we decide upon a homeopathic prescription, the final step will always be the transmission of the information contained in the remedy to the target, be it a specific organ, a function or an operating system at the physical, mental, emotional or spiritual level.
Through what mechanism does that happen? How is it that the same point of entry, generally the mouth, is able to act anywhere in the body when there is no material substance involved as in conventional pharmacology? Is there a common mechanism with other energetic forms of therapy?
Speed of action.
Especially in acute situations, a correct remedy would have an almost immediate effect but with a measurable time delay, although never the same due to the variability of situations, patients or intensity of symptoms. This time delay excludes a transmission through the nervous system where the nerve impulse, although measurable, is too fast to be perceptible to human senses and appears almost as an immediate reaction.
By the same token it also eliminates endocrine reactions, as those are too slow, needing recognition of the stimulus by the gland, fabrication and excretion of the hormone, arrival to the target and action time.
This is a clear parallel with the speed of action of acupuncture or auriculotherapy. Once a needle is inserted, especially if using a single needle approach, there is also a delay in reaction, even though the patient often describes it as immediate. He nevertheless can also describe the different phases of action, like “I feel something is arriving there”, “Now I feel as if a weight is lifted”, “There is some heat”, “Now everything is normal”, again pointing towards a slower action than the nervous system would provide, but indeed faster than any metabolic or endocrine mechanism could explain.
The acupunctural approach.
It has long be claimed that acupuncture points are low resistance areas through which the needle inserted changes the electrolytic arrangement of the fluids located between organs and tissues; indeed most if not all meridians have their pathways between organs and tissues. Yet that electrolyte rearrangement has never been really proved.
C.W. Smith in 1988 demonstrated that when injecting radioactive isotopes at acupuncture points, they would travel along the meridians at the speed of 3 to 5 cm per minute, and that this speed would be diminished when the related organ is diseased (1)
Recently, Fei & all. have demonstrated that the transmission of information along the meridians effectively happens through a structural modification in the liquid crystals of water along the meridian (2). This has been reinforced by the recent studies of Emoto about the formation of different water crystals in different circumstances. Even if his research is challenged as not being reproducible by other researchers, the fact that the same H2O molecules can reorganize themselves differently according to different stimuli cannot be denied any more. This is not a new discovery. I could not find the written reference, but in one of the most ancient experiments in water crystallography, ice crystals were brought from high mountains, allowed to thaw at room temperature and refrozen. They crystallized in exactly the same pattern as before; yet when melted with heat, the new crystals were totally amorphous.
This is exactly what has been claimed about homeopathic remedies: that the water retains the crystalline organization imbued on it by the original substance and that this structural arrangement has the ability to act on receptors, an idea otherwise known as “Water Memory”.
The water molecule is not linear but presents an angle of 104.5 degrees, creating a dipole moment; short-range interaction, hydrogen bonds and van der Waals forces link the water molecules in a network, which is even better seen in three dimensions in ice. While the temperature is below 100C, it appears that those bonds can create the shape of tetrahedral volumes that form and remain stable, leading to areas of quasi-crystalline structures (Stillinger, 1980 (3) cited in Bellavite and Signori (4) pg 247). Those structures change when a different molecule is introduced in the solution and create a phenomenon known as “vicinal water” (ref 4, pg 248), which is denser than normal water and freezes way below zero. Vicinal water is implicated in biological communication systems (5). It also appears that water molecules participate in the transfer of protons during biochemical reactions, like a wire carrying an electrical charge. At boiling temperature (i.e. 100C) the water molecules are agitated by forces stronger than the hydrogen bonds and the van der Waals forces, losing their geometric arrangement and their ability to retain information. This explains simply the tradition of boiling vessels that contained homeopathic remedies before reusing them; it is the equivalent of fully erasing a diskette or a tape before the next use.
Every stimulus carries some information that will be transmitted by the most appropriate net and often by all of them. But the nervous system can only transmit information in the form of electrical impulses after a threshold of stimulation has been reached. The meridian system works differently; a stimulus/information given at a receptor (= acupuncture point or meridian opening) will act on the structure of the water molecules as described above, modifying their geometry and their electrical or electromagnetic potential; once that information reaches the target which is ready and in need of receiving it, it acts upon it and ideally restores the organ or function to integrity; other parts that are not in need of that information do not react to it and behave as if it was nothing but “white noise”.
The meridian system is the first information net that develops in the embryo and remains functional to the adult state (Shang, ref # 6). Because it is relatively slow, it is replaced for fast information by the nervous system and enhanced by the endocrine system in order to provide slower but deeper action. All those systems remain interconnected and act on each other, as is well known in conventional medicine and physiology under the label “psycho-neuro-immuno-endocrine system”.
Does this have any implication for homeopathy?
Homeopaths mostly prescribe their remedies to be taken orally, held in the mouth until complete dissolution if using globules or until disappearance if using drops or teaspoons of liquid.
All the meridians open up in the mouth, either directly or through a branch.
The Lung Meridian passes by the throat.
The Large Intestine Meridian enters the lower gum; its direct connection with the Lung Meridian allows for the latter’s connection with the mouth.
The Stomach Meridian penetrates the maxilla in the upper gum.
The Spleen Meridian reaches the root of the tongue and disperses over it lower surface.
The Heart Meridian has no direct connection to the mouth, but an indirect one through the Small Intestine Meridian that travels to the cheek and the mandible.
The Bladder Meridian has no direct connection to the mouth, but is linked to the Kidney Meridian, which end at the root of the tongue.
The Pericardium Meridian has no direct connection but is linked with the Triple Burner whose trajectory includes winding down around the cheek.
The Gallbladder Meridian travels down the cheek after running on the mandible.
A branch of the Liver Meridian runs through the cheeks and contours the inside of the lips.
Moreover, they are all linked at many levels to the Governor Vessel and the Conception Vessel which are both ramifying in the mouth. (7).
Therefore it makes sense to conclude that the remedy directly modifies the water crystalline structure of the meridians, hence transmitting the information to the whole body, the same way the acupuncture needles do through the skin. A remedy that is not a proper Simillimum, but a partial one, will modify the water structure according to its nature but the end result on the receptors or the target organs or functions will be an incomplete match resulting in a partial action and remaining or recurring symptoms. If the incorrect stimulation persists through improper multiple repetitions of the wrong remedy with partial action, the receptors themselves might be modified either temporarily, giving the symptoms and signs we look for in a proving, or permanently, giving the seldom encountered but dreaded grafting of symptoms, which we know is very difficult to reverse.
This imparts also some logic to the widely held practice of taking homeopathic remedies on a clean mouth: the receptors must be empty from any other substance and we know that the stronger a substance is (spices, oils…) the longer it will linger in the mouth, as a lasting taste or sensation remaining long after swallowing testifies.
It also gives more weight to the practice of liquid doses as a globule dissolved in water will provide more information throughout the mouth than just sucking a globule or a small granule where the probability of stimulating the proper meridian is slightly less.
When the mouth is unavailable, we suggest rubbing the liquid remedy on the inner parts of the wrist or the bend of the elbows, as being very effective. It is at those places that are located the major acupuncture command points of the Yin meridians and the origins of the connecting vessels between Yin and Yang meridians, giving again a logical explanation to a traditional use.
Wrist: Taiyuan (Lung 9), Daling (Pericardium 7), Shenmen (Heart 7)
Bend of the elbow: Chize (Lung 5), Quze (Pericardium 3), Shaohai (Heart 3)
This explanation can be expanded to include every other energetic form of medicine.
Reiki practitioners use energy to modify functions. Even though a general treatment is the preferred method, local application of Reiki and distance healing could work through the same pattern of information transmitted via the meridian system. Qigong practitioners use a form of energetic acupuncture by “injecting” Qi in the appropriate acupuncture points without the use of needles. I have often used this technique by administering locally the energy of a remedy in the local acupuncture points without touching the patient (it works best, in my hands, for local acute problems but I had a few successes with chronic local problems; the therapy is purely symptomatic and offers relief and time for a more general treatment).
Rife therapy, by applying specific electromagnetic frequencies, would reach its target the same way. The vibrational aspect of essential oils, the potentised part of Homeobotanical remedies, all are eventually coming together as transmission of information through the archaic meridian system, with the additional benefit of a gentle pharmacological action.
The pharmacological part of medicine, be it all the different forms of herbalism (Western, Chinese, Ayurveda,…) or even drug therapy, would certainly have an impact on the meridian system, explaining the puzzling effects that very low doses still act, albeit in the opposite way (Arndt-Schultz Law). A very famous herbalist, when asked what the minimal dose required to act was, answered “one drop, if the herb is well chosen”.
Osteopathy appears to be a purely mechanistic therapy; yet its use in treating internal diseases like asthma, hypertension, digestive or gynecological problems, although explained in the textbooks through stimulation and correction of the ortho- and parasympathetic systems, correlates very well with the locations of acupunctural “command” areas. For example, asthma and respiratory problems will often be treated through adjustments around Thoracic 3 corresponding to Bladder 13, Shu point of the Lung Meridian.
Understanding this mode of transmission allows us to realize that any method can and will have an effect on human physiology. It is the precise choice and judicious application of that method that makes it more indicated than another for a specific patient or a specific problem. It once again demonstrates the need for a wider knowledge of different methodologies. But it also demonstrates that all those therapeutic methods are absolutely logical and can be explained through a deeper understanding of biophysics, quantum mechanics, information processing. The knowledge is there, the experiments are made and published, and it is up to us to use them for the benefit of our patients and the propagation of our science.
Smith C. W. Biological coherence and response to external stimuli. Springer Verlag, Berlin, p. 205
Fei Lun & al. Experimental exploration and research prospect of physical bases and functional characteristics of meridians. Science Bulletin 1998 43(15): 1233-1251
Stillinger, F. H. 1980, Water revisited. Science 209:451
Bellavite & Signori: The emerging science of homeopathy. North Atlantic Books 2002.
Bistolfi, F. 1989 Radiazioni non ionizzanti, ordine, disordine e biostrutture. Edizioni Minerva Medica, Torino
Shang, C. Electrophysiology of growth control and acupuncture. Life Sci. 2001 Feb 9; 68(12): 1333-42
Ellis, Wiseman. Fundamentals of Chinese Medicine, 1991. Paradigm Publications.
Dr. Joseph (Joe) Rozencwajg, MD, PhD, NMD, was born in Brussels, Belgium in 1951. He graduated from medical school (the Free University of Brussels) in 1976 and went on to fulfill his childhood’s dream: to become a surgeon.
He studied General Surgery in Belgium and Israel, then Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery in Alberta, Canada.
Back in Brussels and while in private practice, he had a personal encounter with Acupuncture that sent him back to school, this time to study Acupuncture; from then on there was no turning back and he became a compulsive student of natural medicine, learning Homeopathy, Herbalism, TCM, Nutrition, Homeobotanical Medicine, Flower Remedies, Aromatherapy, Naturopathy, Reiki and others. He has a PhD in Homeopathy and one in Natural Medical Sciences as well as a Doctorate in Naturopathy. At the time of publication he is preparing a Doctorate in Oriental Medicine and a Doctorate in Osteopathy.
He was a Lecturer in Medical Diagnostics at the Faculty of Chiropractics and Homeopathy in Durban, Natal, South Africa and a Lecturer in Homeopathy at the Israel Medical College of Homeopathy in Jerusalem. He is a distance education tutor in anatomy, physiology, pathology, differential diagnosis, homeopathy, nutrition and Gemmotherapy.
A long time lover of the East, he practices Tai Chi and Qigong, and is a Yoga student; he also has a First Dan Black Belt in Aikido and a Second Dan Black Belt in Karate.
Dr. Joe lives now in New Plymouth, Taranaki, New Zealand where he practices exclusively Natural Medicine at his clinic, Natura Medica Ltd.