SSRIs and Vulnerable Patients

 

Let’s talk about the difficult topic of those taking antidepressant drugs (ADs), in particular the Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) and the emergence or worsening of suicidal ideation in “vulnerable patients.”  However, it is still suggested that you use these drugs anyway?! Across the globe, ADs, especially SSRIs, are among the most commonly prescribed medications.

We’ve treated many folks suffering feelings of suicide. I actually think it’s a big reason why I came to Heilkunst Medicine in the first place, as my own mother had committed suicide, and I had fear that it would be a disease matrix that might show up in my own kids. I wanted that predisposition annihilated.

That was over 20 years ago and I’m happy to say that I’ve by far outlived both my parents, and life couldn’t be more pleasurable and full of meaning and purpose for me. Using Heilkunst principles to resolve this tendency for ourselves and others has been very rewarding.

By addressing the root cause, one no longer needs to manage with drugs. Yes, I’m sure you’re wondering about unbalanced brain chemistry, however, this is the level at which we’re referring. Brain chemistry can shift when you remove the blockages to cure on the sound basis of the law of nature, ‘like cures like’.

I know this because, clinically, I’ve seen tendencies like OCD, autism, schizophrenia and manic depression addressed consistently with Heilkunst Principles. I’ve also seen the reports of our patients who’ve confirmed these qualitative shifts with the endocrinologist, the NDs, the energy workers, and the live blood analysts, over the last 20 years.

If you’re interested in exploring more about the tonic roots for these conditions, you can read our blog article on the Syphilitic Genetic Miasm. This will enable you to make the link to one of our chief homeopathic remedies for suicidal ideation. It’s the image of insidious self-destructive tendencies including wanting to make an early departure from this life.

We want you to know that you’re not alone. We’ve all faced the dark nights of our own soul and that we too had to rely on this system of medicine, that causes no harm. We all deserve to make our way to home to our levity, to bask in our inner light.

Here’s the link to the article on SSRIs

What You Need to Know About the FDA’s War on Homeopathy*

*The following excerpt has been reprinted here with permission from LivingWhole.org…..

 

 

The FDA is a joke. There’s really no nicer way to say it. By now you’ve probably heard that instead of cracking down on the drugs fueling the opioid epidemic, they are attempting to regulate homeopathic remedies, which is kind of funny because they supposedly contain no active ingredients whatsoever and cause about zero deaths each year. (Except when we’re making stuff up to scare people into believing there’s a sudden need to regulate something there’s no need to regulate.) 

Why are they doing this, you ask? And I quote“In light In light of the growth of the industry…” We can stop there because we all know where this is going. 
Read the rest of the article here…. https://www.livingwhole.org/what-you-need-to-know-about-the-fdas-war-on-homeopathy/

 

In Defence of Anger

I find anger has been getting a bum rap lately, and so I thought I would find my voice in defence of this basic human emotion:

  • Anger is a sign of respect; it requires engagement and enables change. Think about it: if I allow myself to be furious with someone’s behaviour, it is because I am able to distinguish the person I love from his conduct, and, more importantly, I recognize his agency. It would be absolutely futile to be angry with someone if I regarded his behaviour as necessary. Anger is a call to freedom. I am forever indebted to those who dared to get angry with me: they are the ones who forced me to bump up against my own limitations and called me to transcend them. Relationships fail in the absence of anger.
  • A failure to express anger leads to impotence: sexually, personally, and politically. Uninhibited anger is one of the surest signs of a good bed mate and responsible citizen.
  • Anger is the agent of change. Suppression reinforces the status quo. I am encouraged by parents who allow their children to get angry with them. This cultivates citizens who can stand up for themselves. If children cannot stand the heat in the kitchen, how the hell can we expect them to stand up for their rights and freedoms in the political arena?
  • Anger is what safe guards our ability to enjoy the pleasures of life.
  • If we don’t learn to harness our own anger it wreaks havoc on our bodies. I have learned to trade a urinary tract infection in for a bout of uninhibited anger, which ranks among the most empowering experiences I’ve had to date.
  • Clear, rational anger relieves anxiety and agitation. When we direct our anger at what is inhibiting us from doing our work in the world, it no longer comes out in pathetic ways. Road rage is the result of stifled anger, not anger pure and simple.
  • The surest way to get a battered woman out of her oppressive situation is to incite her anger. Women have, for centuries, been made to feel guilty about their anger, and we wonder why they have been systematically marginalized in the political arena. Give me a fiery woman any day.
  • Getting comfortable with anger fosters community. It is fear of anger that perpetuates the view that government is necessary to keep human nature – – nasty, brutish, and short – – in check. Those who allow anger to be unleashed, discover that it is nothing more than an expression of love and do not equate anarchy with mayhem. Compare Freud’s Civilization and its Discontents with Reich’s Children of the Future.
  • Anger is an expression of love.
  • Anger speaks and we need to start listening.

The Bowen Technique and The Physiology of Freedom

According to Wilhelm Reich, there is a basic contradiction between human longing for freedom and our biophysical incapacity to accept it.[1] In other words, our ability to be entirely self-regulating individuals – – invulnerable to false authority – – is a function of our physiology. Reich observed that our character structure, which determines our capacity for resonant relationships, fulfilling work, and inspiring studies, is rooted in our (oftentimes chronically rigid) musculature.

This clinical insight informed his advice to psychotherapists that “in explaining the reasons for the failure of a particular case, the analyst must avoid statements such as that the patient ‘did not want to get well,’ or he or she was not accessible; for this is precisely what we want to know: why didn’t the patient get well, why wasn’t he or she accessible?”[2]

In view of the most challenging cases, Reich would more readily accept the limitations of his therapeutic technique than conclude that the stubborn individual sitting across from him simply did not want to get better. His clinical success with so-called masochistic patients supported his claim that even those who inflicted pain on themselves were motivated by the pursuit of pleasure: their muscular structure simply could not tolerate the expansiveness that pleasure generates. As such, their self-mutilation was actually a source of relief for them: they were too armored to take up the reins of a healthier, happier, life. But they certainly wanted (i.e. cosmically longed for) freedom. The question for Reich was: (how) could this freedom be attained?

A testament to its seeming indelibility, Reich recognized that armoring is a function of civilization: its specific purpose is to hold back and assist individuals to conform and thus reduce anxiety. Rather than yell and threaten to kill his father, for example, Reich observed that an enraged child would rather tighten his throat, which, over time, would develop into a stutter.

By Reich’s account, we are a hobbled, diseased, flock of subservient patrons. And, since armored parents raise armored children, armoring is a self-perpetuating pandemic. Seemingly necessary to preserve the status quo, it enables us to conform to societal expectations. But, in order to do so, we often have to deny what we really want. We literally have to tighten our bodies to prevent the energy mounting in our loins from running amok.

So where does that leave those of us who want to emote freely and have the capacity to surrender to life’s many pleasures? Reich identified the futility of any mass overhaul of societal norms and, towards the end of his career, found most hope in prophylaxis by informed child rearing: “We cannot tell our children what kind of world they will or should build. But we can equip them with the kind of character structure and biological vigor which will enable them to make their own decisions, to find their own ways, to build their own future and that of their children, in a rational manner.” [3] But, along the way, he also developed therapeutic techniques to help his patients soften the chronic armoring that had a clamp down on their character structures. And, while I can appreciate Reich’s eventual emphasis on prevention, right now, it is the de-armoring aspect of his work that I find most relevant. I certainly care about future children, but my immediate interests are in learning techniques to soften my own musculature, break through my own armoring, and transmute my own character structure. This is why I am impressed with the de-armoring arsenal at Arcanum. This is also why I have recently become so interested in the Bowen Technique as a modality to complement my future Heilkunst practice.

I was initially captivated by this hands-on technique when it was used on me after I dislocated my shoulder. It was a serious injury (I had left it dislocated overnight to tend to in the morning) and the prognosis was quite bad. Dissatisfied with the options laid out for me, I flew across the country to my trusted Bowen practitioner who restored full mobility to my arm in a single session! While the long list of acute and chronic ailments (http://www.boweninstitute.ca/bowen/conditions.html) that Bowen can address continues to amaze me, as my studies of this technique progress, I am increasingly interested in its de-armoring properties. Over the course of my training, I continue to notice a profound shift in the character structures of my classmates and myself. We are all softening at the touch of each other’s “Bowen Hands.”

Bowen’s efficacy is often attributed to its ability to re-balance the Autonomic Nervous System (ANS), where the body’s self-healing mechanisms are governed. The ANS controls over 80% of bodily functions and is very susceptible to external stressors. In our fast-paced society, most people we encounter are living in a constant state of high stress and sympathetic dominance. Bowen catalyzes the transition from sympathetic dominance to parasympathetic dominance, which is necessary for healing to take place. Expressed differently: it is also the state our body needs to be in to release chronic armoring.

When Reich questioned what produces chronic muscular contraction, his investigation led to the realm of the vegetative nervous system and the basic antithesis of vegetative functioning. He found that “excitation of the sympathetic nervous system causes contraction, which is felt as anxiety. Parasympathetic excitation causes expansion, which is felt as pleasure. It is chronic sympatheticatonia, therefore, which causes and maintains the armor, which in turn maintains the neurosis.”

After a Bowen session, when I feel my body shift into parasympathetic dominance, I know that it is in the requisite state to disarm itself. The gentle rolls over my muscles and connective tissue inform my nervous system of the state of tension in the musculotendinous tissue, which then responds to finally break the vicious cycle. I experience profound relaxation and my entire body is restored to a state of grace, no longer chronically compromised by social pressures. It is more labile and flexible and free to arm and disarm itself as appropriate. It is – – or should I say, I am – – no longer in a constant state of emergency.

True: I will never forget the immediate rehabilitation the Bowen technique granted me after my accident. But it is the overall softening and openness to pleasure that I am most grateful for and most interested in carrying forward.

To participate in Carol-Ann’s Bowen clinical, contact her at: cagalego@gmail.com


[1] Elsworth Baker, Man in a Trap (Princeton: The American College of Orgonomy Press, 2000), xxvi.

[2] Wilhelm Reich, Character Analysis, trans. Vincent Carfagno (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1972), 9.

[3] Wilhelm Reich, Children of the Future, ed. Mary Higgins and Chester Raphael, trans. Derek Jordan et al. (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1983), 7.

Biosemiotics: A New Framework for Understanding Medicine

Despite numerous accounts of clinical success, homeopathy remains at the periphery of Western medicine. The expressed reason for its marginalization is that it violates accepted principles within the current biochemical paradigm. Through the process of potentization – – serial dilutions of a substance interspersed with vigorous shaking – – homeopathic remedies are often altered beyond the point of there being a single molecule of the original substance left. Subsequently, the claim that remedies (with potencies higher than a 12c or 12x) can have anything more than a placebo effect violates Avagardo’s number, which stipulates that the dilution at which no molecule of the original substance persists is 10 -24. The prevalent result: the efficacy of homeopathy is either discounted a priori as impossible or readily accepted in blind faith, reinforcing the persistent schism between materialism and mysticism.

Both reactions fall short of the ideal Hahnemann upheld when he developed homeopathy as the foundation of rational medicine. He was critical of close-minded dogmatism as much as he abhorred “blind empiricism.” Originally trained as a chemist, Hahnemann recognized that his use of “dynamized” medicine carried the health sciences beyond the explanatory force of chemistry. Rather than discount his findings or discredit the laws of chemistry, however, he focused his criticism on the over-extension of chemistry, which he found to have “taken upon itself to disclose a source at which the general therapeutic properties of drugs are to be ascertained.”[i] Delimiting the explanatory force of chemistry, he stressed that it may help find the medicinal powers of substances, but it cannot reveal anything about its functions in the human body, which is of a living nature.[ii] He recognized that, as a method originally developed to study inorganic material, chemistry was necessarily limited in its capacity to illuminate living processes.

Recently, a new field has developed in the life sciences, which reinforces Hahnemann’s delineation of chemistry, called biosemiotics. One of its central tenets is that living entities do not interact like mechanical bodies, but rather as messages. That is, living systems always exhibit certain organizational characteristics, which enable them to react to differences in their surroundings, and thus to “create” and exchange information. Without this basic difference between life and non-life, evolution as we understand it, would not be possible. In light of this observation, biosemioticians employ methods that follow the model of semiotics – – the study of signs, symbols, and their interpretation- – rather than applying the chemistry and physics of lifeless matter to processes created by life.

As the science of signs in living systems, biosemiotics invites the medical community to reconsider the physicalist terms in which biomedical researchers have traditionally explained the efficacy of medicine. If we endeavor to not only observe (with statistical precision) but to also understand the ways in which medicine informs the operation of the living organisms with which it interacts, then our explanations must extend beyond the physical laws operative in medicine to the information they introduce to living organisms. Within the biosemiotic framework we can legitimately question whether potentized medicines alter the health of organisms by locally controlling the physical laws according to which a diseased body is operating, a consideration that brings us beyond the limitations of physical discourse and into the domain of language.


[i] Samuel Hahnemann, Lesser Writings, ed. and trans. R.E Dudgeon, (New Delhi: B. Jain Publishers Ltd., 2006), 114.

[ii] Ibid., 115.

The Heilkunst Difference

In second year University, I enrolled in a Biomedical ethics course that challenged me to express my guttural reactions against allopathic medicine in terms of sound, rational arguments. For the first time, I learned to reinforce my general disdain for poor bedside manners and spastic prescribing with proper philosophical investigation.

Though I excelled in the heated class discussions and provocative assignments, I knew that it was never enough to simply undermine the status quo. As a student of philosophy, I recognized the imperative to offer a viable alternative. And so, I decided to complement my critical orientation to the health sciences with a more committed role: I decided to become a physician.

My first consideration was naturopathy. It reinforced the principle I repeatedly returned to in my academic studies: “First do no harm.” Moreover, it was under the direction of a trusted naturopath that my own health started to improve. But when I asked him about his training, I realized that my experience was more of an accident than the rule. He explained that he was introduced to disparate modalities like different entrees at a buffet. With enough offerings to stimulate any palate, without a principled organization, I knew that it could never satisfy my ethical and scientific standards.

After two years of extensive research, in my fourth year of University, I found the Hahnemann College of Heilkunst. I was immediately impressed with its emphasis on mapping out the entire context in which Heilkunst is rendered meaningful. I was satisfied with the justification provided for its suitability as a framework for dynamic medicine. My studies quickly allowed me to navigate through the “natural health” field and admit only what could be supported by sound reason.

My experiences at Arcanum are a further testament to the strength of rational medicine. I now understand why solid principles are demanded by all those interested in accepting responsibility for their own health, not just burgeoning philosophy students. As the first point of contact, I interact with practitioners, students, and patients alike. Since all discussions are grounded in a common context, all participants are invited to become fluent in the language of their own health. Whether I am searching for an explanation from my mentors or introducing a prospective patient to Heilkunst, I am confident that our exchanges empower all voice to spring forth out of understanding rather than quiver under the authority of others. In light of the functional relationship between health and autonomy, I recognize this principled foundation as the only appropriate context for medicine and expect nothing less.