Does it matter if you are a Homeopath or a Health Practitioner? Hahnemann says YES! When Hahnemann talked about achieving the “physician’s only mission” of Aphorism 1, he was very clear that more than a homeopathic medicine was required.
In Aphorism 3 he drew attention to the “obstacles to recovery in each case” and the need to know how to “clear them away so that the restoration of health might be permanent.” In Aphorism 4 he talked about the need to know “the things that disturb health, that engender and maintain disease,” and to be “aware of how to remove them from healthy people”.
We are instructed to identify maintaining causes and to support the patient in making the changes needed to remove them. Hahnemann advocated the necessity of good food, clean air and exercise, of a clear mind and calm emotions at a time when such things were ignored by the allopathic medical profession.
Fast forward 200 years and we find not much has changed. The allopathic medical profession is only just starting to recognize the impact of lifestyle on a patient’s ‘case’. But what is more alarming is that we also see parts of our homeopathic community at times obsessed with the selection of the homeopathic medicine and posology, while ignoring the wider aspects of the patient’s life.
In many parts of the world we have a population consuming large quantities of highly processed foods, taking little exercise and using the television as their main form of ‘relaxation’. And this trend is spreading. Many, perhaps the majority, of our patients are living similar lives while coming to the homeopath looking for a way to solve their problems.
Yet in practice we all have experience – whether as practitioners, or patients, or both – of the increased speed and deeper healing possible when the patient is consciously working WITH the homeopathic medicine.
A patient who understands the fundamentals of homeopathic philosophy, how and what health and cure really are, who appreciates that dis-ease is a process and that we can reduce our individual susceptibility, can bring patience to the situation when required and more importantly can identify and work on removing the obstacles to cure in their own lives. The homeopathic medicine can initiate a true curative action, but when the patient is working on their own health as well, the prognosis for the long term health of the patient is radically improved.
But the reality is, as practitioners with a busy practice – or even with a small practice and a busy life, how can we ensure that our patients understand the very different way that we look at health and dis-ease?
At worst we might simply insert homeopathy as a therapeutic option into the dominant (allopathic) paradigm even when we know it’s a paradigm that dis-empowers the patient – fosters dependency on the allopathic medical system and largely ignores what the patient may be contributing to their condition. Patients are taught not to trust their body but to take it to the doctor for fixing. In many cases patients are actively warned to take no personal initiatives or use other healing modalities to try to resolve their issues, even when the allopathic system has failed to provide an answer. In the short consultation, on average 7 -10 minutes, the doctor must ascertain a diagnosis so that treatment can be offered. If this is not possible then referral to a specialist follows and the overall picture narrows further. While individual doctors may be healers, the system in which they work does not reward healers. A population of fearful and dependent patients serves the pharmaceutical industry well.
Which brings me to Vitality TV – a FREE online health TV channel which launched in June this year to address this very issue.
Co-founded by Alex Heffron, myself and my daughter Lucia Williams, Vitality TV offers patient education in one place. The Eat, Move and Chill sections introduce viewers to the essentials of nutrition, exercise and relaxation, but more interesting for any CAM practitioner and for homeopaths in particular, is the Think section.
Here, in a series of short videos, the viewer is invited to look at health differently. We discuss dis-ease as a process, look at susceptibility and what prevention and cure really means. We give a shout out for our amazing bodies and look at the mind-body connection. Above all the emphasis is on inspiring and empowering patients to take increasing responsibility for their own health, one small step at a time. When used in conjunction with a therapeutic option like homeopathy, the patient is in the best possible place to utilize any treatment to its greatest potential and to build a sustainable healthy future for herself.
We need to be more than Homeopaths or Acupuncturists or whatever our specific therapeutic modality is, we need to be Health Practitioners. Vitality TV makes it easier to be exactly that. Take a look, let us know what you think and if you like it, send your patients along.