Heilkunst Diagnosing; Where’s That Bloody Off-Switch?

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Many of you know that I’ve been on a working and writing sabbatical for the past 6 months.  While I love living like a solitary monk for most of the week, (except for 3 days when I’m on Skype with patients) a couple times a week, I love to go out.  This past Friday, I spontaneously took myself out to the local Thai restaurant for coconut soup, pad thai and the best lemongrass tea I’ve ever had.

The server, and owner, was immediately engaging.  Her beautiful welcoming smile, bright twinkling eyes, petite countenance and forthcoming manner let me know that I was not going to be dining alone, reading my book, for much of the evening.  A Phosphorous Constitution  will come across bubbly, effervescent and all sparkly-like.  They’re so much fun to be with and you will hardly ever feel lonely in their midst.

 

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I knew I was in the presence of a firefly (phosphorous glows green in nature) as I watched this woman flit from table to table. As she came back to tell me how to freeze stalks of lemongrass to make the best tea in boiling water, I noticed my Heilkunst spidey-senses pick up on something  else about her tone.  There was clearly another layer on top of her Phos. nature.

I sat quietly, and curiously, waiting for the signs and signals I would inevitably be brought to render a more thorough diagnosis.  She then asked me where I was from and I let her know that I’m a native of Saint John, New Brunswick.  She then said, “Oh, I’ve been to Moncton.  Not a good trip, though.  I ended up in hospital there for pneumonia!” I heard the little “BOOM” I always hear in clinic when the pieces of a case start to phenomenologically congeal and then lock together.

That was the other piece I was patiently waiting for.  Phosphorous constitutions possess a strong astral, more flighty (literally) nature.  What this means, as per Rudolf Steiner, is that in the body, organs that are a mirror of each other like eyes, lungs and kidneys are related more to the cosmic, airy, astral realm.  A Phos. lives more purely in the moment, with their affinity to the cosmos, they will naturally love to travel, fly, act, play and engage with people in the service industry.  They love lots of change.

If, however, they feel suffocated to fulfill their true desire function, they’ll have a strong predisposition for the Tuberculinum Miasm.  When they feel their dreams dampened (literally) down or suffocated, they’ll engender this disease matrix for which their constitution already has a strong affinity.  They will develop a predisposition for this chronic constant disease and exhibit bronchitis, asthma and pneumonia every Winter.

 

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Healthy Phos.’ are pure light-bearers but if they get too lodged in the material, physical world, they’ll get water-logged with etheric energy and their lungs will fill up and they will feel as if they’re drowning from the inside out.  This was this other piece that I was feeling as I was engaging with this woman.

I also noticed something else.  Every time my new friend, the server, walked away with a plate in hand after a clear closure in our conversation, she’d stop in mid-walk to turn around to tell me something else.  This happened 3 times, twice, she seemed to correct herself mentally in mid-first-syllable and, as I looked up from my plate in answer, she’d smile and continue to walk away.

The one time that she could not resist the temptation to add something, she chose to  add a tid-bit of information that didn’t really fit the prior conversation.  It was sort of curious and mis-placed. Again, I felt inquisitive as to what this was about.

By the third time, I knew this was no accident.  I recalled the rubric in Dr. Roger Morrison’s, M.D. “Desktop Guide, To Keynotes and Confirmatory Symptoms” and what he said about Tuberculinum in the sections under “Mentals” as, “Constant feeling that he has forgotten something. Returns repeatedly to office door to give insignificant information.”  That was the confirmatory symptom I needed to render a thorough diagnosis.  Both my gut feeling and mind were in agreement.

Hey, wait a minute, aren’t I just a simple woman out on her own for a good meal?  Where is that bloody epistemological off-switch?  That’s the problem with being a Heilkünstler, you can never really shelve that enthusiastic diagnosing tendency.  After so many years, it seems to have a life of it’s own.  Once you’ve readily agreed to ingest that homeopathic red pill, every situation becomes a source of further knowledge.

I knew in that moment, that my new Phosphorous friend with the Tubercular Miasm, was still harbouring this disease matrix.  The underlying cause was still afoot.  Whatever they’d given her at the hospital in Moncton (probably antibiotics which literally means “against life”) only suppressed the symptoms without curing it.  It would come back each year around Dec. 21st, stronger than ever, if the root cause was not addressed on the basis of natural law, like cures like.  I knew this to be true like Neo’s Oracle without the need to bend one spoon.

 

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I paid my bill and tipped my new Phos. friend heavily, thanking her for her wonderful service and the best of meals.  I will go back to eat there, again sometime, and see if the opportunity organically presents itself for me to share a chocolate chip cookie with her (geeky Matrix reference … what can I say?!).  Phosphorous’ are such beautiful spirits and I hate to think that she might suffer unnecessarily.

Perhaps in my next blog, I’ll share with you an illustration of the Arsenicum woman in my weekly yoga class, who eyeballs me to straighten my mat, a strewn outdoor clothes, and openly tells others how she’s a control freak and hopes the yoga will help her to let go more.  God’s teeth … perhaps it is better if I just stay at home!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Heilkunst at the Movies: The Sexual Chronicles of a French Family

Over this past weekend, Jeff and I watched, “Sexual Chronicles of a French Family” on Netflix. We both thoroughly enjoyed it. It spoke so much to my new book, “Sophie’s Truth: How A Young Girl Unfolded Her Essential Self Through Love.” It was about a shy, somewhat depressed, teenaged French boy who never smiled in his family’s annual portraits due to the fact that he’d never tasted from the fruits of love or intimacy like everyone else had. His frustration and anger becomes clearly symptomatic as Romain loses it while at a family gathering where all they discuss are mundane topics like sports. As a result of the anger not being properly discharged, he is caught masturbating in class on a dare from his friend and potential love interest, Coralie. His Mother on his behalf, starts a family anthropological dig into all the of member’s relationship to sex in order to examine what was formerly taboo.

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I loved the fact that the family embraced the opportunity to go to the root cause of Romain’s ills instead of reacting with the emotional plague reaction of fear or anger as we’re so privy to in our modern North American culture. There was no stuffing down of the issues of what every human being ultimately craves, love and intimacy. Even his father gifts our main character with condoms beside his bed and Romain is condoned to have sex in the family home in his own bedroom; a wonderful display of acceptance!

When the focus shifts from suppression to condonable, the movie depicts normal, healthy loving relationships between committed teens, the parents and even Romain’s grandfather. The audience also witnesses the voyeuristic tendencies of Pierre, Romain’s brother, a symptom more of the former suppressive forces. It is interesting as Bronislaw Malinowski illustrates in his book, “The Sexual Life of Savages” that the desire for multiple partners and pornography only came in after the Church arrived on the island where the Trobriander Islanders were permitted to have habitual carnal unions throughout their childhood and teenage years. As an emblem of healthy sexual unfoldment, these children and teenagers were built huts by the tribe specifically for multiple hour long unions. For whatever reason, these tribal kids never spontaneously chose multiple partners. Incidentally, Pierre is the only member of the family who is more closed-mouthed about his sexuality which may be more indicative of the former state of mind in the home dictated by the parents.

In the depiction of a very similar theme, I take my character Sophie through from the very anal construct of her suppressive home-life in maritime Canada, also to France to unfold herself more naturally in this more romantically-based culture. This natural backdrop provided just the contrast I needed as the setting for my character Sophie to realize her full potential as a sexual being which essentially becomes an artistic rendering of Dr. Reich’s full orgastic potency. From a therapeutic context, the audience really gets to participate firsthand the before and after effects of the similar, wholistic de-armoring process that Romain lives through over the course of a year through his sex. Like my own book, the last shot of Romain reveals precisely what the revelatory factor is in being able to explore sexual unions when an individual steps into his whole sexual self naturally. The fact that his family wholly supports this healthy, natural desire to know love is a considerable step-up from our typical North American morals and restrictive attitudes on sex which is probably why we have such burgeoning medical practices. Dr. Reich also wrote about how a sexual damning up produces neurosis, psychosis, armoring, cancer biopathies and other diseases.

All told, when the moralistic lid comes off in the movie, it was fascinating to see all the family’s lovers wholly accepted and embraced into the fold during family gatherings, celebrations and even a funeral. For me the mother is key in the way she sets the tone for the new unfolding of the spontaneous ardor that had laid hidden below the family’s consciousness until now. Romain clearly benefits from this new level of acceptance. No doubt that Dr. Wilhelm Reich, the father of the philosophy of true orgastic potency through natural love, would have applauded the Writers and Directors, Jean-Marc Barr, Lucy Allwood and Pascal Arnold, for “the Sexual Chronicles Of A French Family.” It is said that novels and film are often artistic representations of a reality to come in about 20 years. We can only hope, as then I will have the opportunity to realize Dr. Reich futility in his time as a celebration in mine.

 

Heilkunst at the Movies : The Matrix (1999)

A movie that I refer to often is The Matrix (1999), when Im talking with patients about their journey through Heilkunst treatment. It is truly a multi-faceted work, which can be interpreted at many levels, and in fact has been by many reviewers. For the purposes of this blog, I just want to focus in on a few aspects which related more directly to the process of treatment, and how The Matrix illuminates some of the signposts along the way.

One of the key messages of the movie is of the quest for the self, as discovered by overcoming the false ego. The quest for health goes hand-in-hand with discovering the nature and purpose of our true self, as was pointed out by Dr. Hahnemann in his account of the purpose of health. It turns out that there are many obstacles along the way, and in fact, are a necessary part of making our own meaning of who we are.

One of the most famous scenes of the movie comes near the beginning, when Neo meets Morpheus for the first time, who gives him the choice of taking “the red pill, or the blue pill”. Choosing the red pill will allow him to see past the illusion and see reality for what it really is, while the blue pill will put him back into his own illusion, where he’d forget that any of this had happened, or that he’d made the choice. Cypher, a supporting character in the movie, at one point laments having taken the red pill, and wishes he could go back into the state of “ignorance is bliss” of the blue pill.

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In his discussion of disease, and all of the obstacles to health, Hahnemann refers to “inimical potences” as a kind of catch-all expression. The powers, forces, and energies which make up both us and the world, include these “inimical potences”, which seek to thwart us at every step along our path, and keep us from ascending into a full consciousness of our self. The artistic portrayal of this in the movie is embodied by the agents, who actually can take over any regular person as necessary in fulfilling their job, and trying to block any progress on part of the awakened humans.

Neo slowly comes to understand the advice he’s often given throughout the movie, which is to follow the voice of his gut rather than his brain. This goes hand-in-hand with his process of self-discovery, and unfolding what his true mission is in the world. His reluctance and doubt gradually gives way to knowledge.

Eat Your Books, Too!

One of the shifts which my patients make on their way to greater health is in their attitude towards food and other basics of lifestyle. The person who rebels against “being told what to do”, and who stubbornly sticks to eating “whatever they feel like” (which everyone is ultimately free to do, if they wish), limits how far their state of health can be expanded over the long run. These sorts of pleasures typically exist only at the surface layer, and are actually suppressive of the individual discovering and unfolding their true self. Not that I advise against pleasure — quite the contrary! — it is rather a distinction between superficial ‘attractions’, and much deeper ‘resonances’ with what one engages in.

Food is not the only thing which we take in, and which we can do with varying degrees of consciousness and resonance. Our “nutrition” is also inclusive of ideas, various art forms, relationships, and any number of creative activities. Out of choice, we can select a film or novel to ingest based on its resonance for us as a remedial object — we all know too well how many “mind numbing” forms of entertainment there are, as compared to the select few pieces which connect to something deeper within us, and draw some truth out of our core.

Such choices of resonance are not necessarily easy to discern, and we may often have the tendency of avoiding them even when we know what we need. The resonant and remedial things available to us are often unconsciously avoided, as a kind of defence mechanism to keep from stirring anything up within ourselves from our depths.

We all have habitual musical genres we listen to, as well as certain types of film we routinely watch — but much of the time, there is a key growth opportunity we have in choosing to explore a genre we would typically avoid. Always keeping to our habits keeps us more in our subjective feelings, which exist at the surface, rather than connecting us to a deeper layer of our objective feeling about our self and life. As the science of Heilkunst expands, “remedies” will more and more include specific recommendations for books, movies, or other cultural activities which will provoke a healing process in the patient.

Take a few minutes to write down some of the specific genres which you dislike, and try to identify their objective feeling, which you could also find mirrored somewhere in yourself as a darker, unexplored aspect.

The Chthonic Realm : Baryta Carbonicum

As Arnica was the first remedy representing the cold stream of the Chthonic Realm (at the level of the physical body), Baryta Carbonica is the remedy for blockages related to the etheric body, which is the locus of all life functions and processes. You could say that it is an inversion of the themes in the chthonic remedy Stramonium, which is the more extroverted form of the types of fears expressed in Bar-c. The picture that comes to my mind when I think of the essence of this remedy is of a bashful child hiding behind their mother’s skirt. This is an image which portrays both the deep shyness of this remedy, as well as the state of emotional dependence.

This is a remedy which is useful for any number of conditions which involve some form of developmental delay, including the various forms of autism. Delays at any level can be helped with this remedy, including physical, mental, or emotional. Likewise for adults whose process of growth was halted at a certain life stage, where you get a palpable sense that their mental or emotional maturity is still frozen at an age much younger than their chronological one. As with any remedy, this can be true at very subtle levels, which may or may not be discernible in any given case. This is especially true with this remedy, which has a core fear of being laughed at, or ridiculed, and will often work out one or several means of “covering up” their core vulnerability.

Bar-c is useful for any physical delay in development, such as in children who seem to fall to the bottom of the statistical growth charts for their age, in terms of height, weight, or other developmental milestones. Early diagnosis of autism, for example, is defined in terms of identifying children who do not achieve characteristic milestones by certain chronological points in their development.

The Sean Penn movie I Am Sam portrays the Bar-c state quite accurately. It is a story of a mentally retarded father, who is fighting a custody case with the State, who is threatening to take his daughter away on account of his mental age being about age 7. His lawyer, portrayed by Michelle Pfeiffer, is a great illustration of the phenotype Nux Vomica, as she is a hard-driving career woman who has alienated herself from her own son. The theme of “all you need is love” runs through the movie, and Sam melts the icy heart of this lawyer, and many people around him with the purity that only a child could muster.

Heilkunst at the Movies : Horse Boy

This is a fascinating documentary about how one American family dealt with their child’s autism by riding across Mongolia on horseback, in order to access different Shamanistic rituals. There are some very raw and emotional scenes which give a very direct insight into what a family lives through on an hour-by-hour basis with an autistic child. The courage of this family to undergo such a journey is a living metaphor for the lengths that autism families go through in order to find something which will help their child, and to find an alternative solution amidst a landscape of non-answers in Western medicine.

The father, Rupert Isaacson, is a Sulphur constitution, who was the courageous initiator of the idea in the first place, and who led his family off into this unknown journey. His initial thought was to find a place in the world which combined his son’s love for animals, and horses in particular, with the father’s previous experience with Shamanistic rituals. These two elements live together in Mongolia. If you understand the constitutions in homeopathy, you can see that it takes the sulphur part in each of us to meet the demands of autism, and grab life directly by the horns and hold on for the whole ride.

This documentary does not illustrate the specific approach to autism treatment which Heilkunst uses, however it brilliantly reveals the real life emotion which all autism families live through, and where all of these families are starting from when they do begin Heilkunst treatment. We generally suggest that parents get treated along with their children, but this is especially true in the more intense dynamics of an autism family. Some of the Shamanistic rituals displayed in the movie revealed an aspect of the boy’s disease which were carried forward from previous generations, which is also something we’re very familiar with in Heilkunst treatment.

A full range of emotion is portrayed in this movie — going from hope to grief and sorrow, to guilt and uncertainty, to desperation and horror, and exhaustion. These emotions are a constant reality for the family, and focus within Heilkunst treatment, and need to be treated alongside the treatment of the deeper causes of autism. One of the deeper fears expressed by the father in Horse Boy, parallels the fundamental fear of all autism parents — that their child will grow up, but never become independent. His fear in particular is that his son will never be able to ride a horse on his own, which is his own personal connection to the feeling of freedom. “What if he’ll never be able to ride on his own?” is the question the father asks.

In another scene in the movie, the father confides that he feels he was forced to be a much better and attentive father than he ever would have been with a normally healthy son. He has no choice but to discover, and help to foster his son’s unique desire function. The movie does illustrate the concept of not treating autism as a disease to be cured, but rather as an opportunity to find the unique qualities in these children, and to change the context within which they live, as well as to respect their innate and unique gifts.

Ultimately, this is a love story, as captured by the tagline of the film : “How far would you travel to heal someone you love?”.

Heilkunst at the Movies : Timer, and The Adjustment Bureau

We watched a movie yesterday evening called Timer, which shared a common theme with another movie that we saw a while back called The Adjustment Bureau. Art, and film in particular, are great vehicles for illustrating various principles of Heilkunst though living, breathing, moving pictures.

The story depicted in the movie Timer is a world in a cultural transition to the adoption of a new technology, called “the Timer”, which could predict 100% accurately when someone was fated to meet “their one” – the love of their life. Through the primary characters in this movie, various complications were depicted, such as what the implications were of relationships which were not obvious matches according to their timers. Other themes include spontaneity, living in the here and now, and finding resonance from within.

In The Adjustment Bureau, the main character accidentally sees a world behind the curtain, which he is not supposed to, where the “angels of fate” are doctoring a scene in the world to conform to their map. After a chance encounter with a woman, he falls in love, and tries to find her again. Reconnecting with her, as it turns out, was not supposed to happen according to their fate, so these “angels of fate” work to interfere with their communing any way they can. This movie very strongly portrays the struggle of the free will of the individual against the forces of fate, as well as the triumph of true love and destiny.

The deeper theme underlying both of these movies relates to what we call the generative power in Heilkunst, which in these movies was represented through stories of romantic love. In each movie, there is some external force which attempted to regulate or control the activity of love, in the name of the world running as it is supposed to. The capacity for free choice, and playing an active co-creative role in shaping our own destiny always comes in contrast to the forces of fate, and is the core human struggle.

In various ways, I see this struggle in my patients as they come more and more into their true self, and are exploring how to express that in their life, in contrast to a history where it was suppressed. Our own life stories can be long and messy, and it is nice to get a bite-sized picture of these processes in a movie, to encapsulate these concepts in a more easily assimilable fashion.

When is McDonald’s Good For You?

Morgan Spurlock, the director of the documentary Super Size Me, spent an entire month with a self-imposed rule of only being allowed to consume what is on the McDonald’s menu. If water is wasn’t on the menu, for example, then he couldn’t have water. He is monitored throughout the month by a doctor, and the entire process is filmed for posterity, and the production of the documentary. His main purpose in creating this work was to illustrate the adverse health effects of consuming the food from McDonald’s, especially on a regular basis. Throughout the documentary, we see him gaining weight, and becoming progressively burdened by many health issues. He ends up producing a very vivid and visual illustration of the negative consequences of consuming a diet made up exclusively of McDonald’s food.

While this documentary succeeds in its vivid portrayal of these health issues from McDonald’s, there is another very interesting point which I take myself from a Heilkunst perspective. The whole idea of gaining a strong degree of knowledge about something through direct participatory experience, is central to the fundamental method within Heilkunst of determining the exact curative properties of any given medicine.

This is what Dr. Hahnemann originally called a” proving”. Before Dr. Hahnemann created his medical system, the whole history  of Western medicine preceding him had systematically avoided the use of the law of similars. Although the law of similars is the law of cure of disease in nature, it is, in fact, so powerful that it can also kill when the medicine is given in a crude dose. Once Dr. Hahnemann discovered a safe way to overcome this danger of using similars, (by using potentized medicines), he then had to tackle the next issue which was to determine in a consistent and scientific way the exact properties of each medicine, in order to know exactly which medicine would be similar to which disease. He solved this problem by inventing the method of doing a “proving”.

A ‘proving’, within Dr. Hahnemann’s system, is the conscious ingestion of a given substance by a group of healthy individuals, who then record in great detail all the symptoms, sensations, and functional changes that they experienced. This method reveals a composite image of the medicine in all of its manifestations — from different bodily regions and systems, to mental and emotional functions. This makes the practical use of the law of similars straightforward, as these proven remedy images are now matchable to the living disease image of the patient in the clinic.

This method created a way of determining the inner content of a remedy (and therefore disease), and raises it up to a level of objective knowledge which then becomes useful in a collective sense. This as opposed to any number of experiences we have throughout our life which we just passed through, without extracting any meaning.

In a sense then, this movie is an example of the director doing a form of a proving on himself – that is, he conducting a proving of McDonald’s.

This is interesting from a Heilkunst perspective for a few reasons:

  • Provings can be done at a number of different levels. The doctor, for example, does a “proving” of the patient, when they are taking in a complete impression of the whole patient, and then converting this into an accurate image from which to prescribe the correct similar remedy.
  • This method illustrates how Heilkunst practices a form of “science of quality”, and “science of the interior” — the proving reveals an objective image of the inner essence of something, rather than the outer material form.
  • Spurlock’s Super Size Me also recalls the Heilkunst concept of ‘tonic regimen’ which we’ll explore in an upcoming blog post.

Heilkunst at the Movies : Groundhog Day

Each unique disease contains its own unique state of mind as well as a unique feeling. When studying remedies, or explaining their essence to a patient, I like to relate a remedy to a commonly known piece of art (music, television show character, movie, etc.), which is a convenient shortcut for illustrating the state of mind and feeling of a given disease. Likewise, I may give a patient “homework” to watch a particular film, or listen to a certain piece of music in order to aid in the work they are doing with a particular remedy, and more completely process the inner content of that disease and its feeling.

The inherited aspect of disease is key to Heilkunst treatment, through the systematic elimination of the diseases we call “the chronic miasms”. Each miasm will be related to a particular aspect of the family health history, such as to heart disease, cancer, or allergies, and so on. Each miasm will be related to a range of these physical symptoms in the family health history, as well as to a fundamental feeling and state of mind unique to each one. In fact, the true method of “preventative” medicine relates to treating these diseases while they are primarily still in the form of a state of mind and feeling, and long before it may have devolved into physical symptoms.

The acute phase of each miasm will also have a certain seasonal aspect, related to a certain segment of the calendar year. The ringworm miasm starts to become more prominent around this time of year, roughly starting on Feb. 2nd, or “Groundhog Day”. By the nature of artistic genius and expression, it so happens that the feeling and state of mind portrayed in the Bill Murray film of the same name precisely captures the feeling and theme of the Ringworm miasm (but with humorous overtones laid on top).

 

 

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If you have not seen this movie yet, it is certainly worth treating yourself to a viewing of this classic romantic comedy. Or, as with all rich works of art, subsequent viewings often continue to pay off with meaning and perspectives you hadn’t yet seen. Reflecting on the state of mind of Ringworm will add a whole new dimension to it.

Without giving too much of the movie away, its central idea is set in an alternate reality, where the main character discovers himself trapped in a small town re-living the exact same day over and over and over (and over and over and over). He is the only one in the town who realizes this predicament, and therefore the only one who feels trapped, and desperately so.

He alternates between scenes of having greater hope, and attempting to find a way out, and other times of completely giving up hope and wallowing in his own misery and depression, even to the point of suicide (which does not even release him, as he keeps waking up the next morning to relive the same day yet again).

This is the feeling in the Ringworm miasm — phases of hope and attempting to move forward, but always to come against the same old issues again and again, and ultimately to give up. It matches with the folklore around Groundhog Day, where the long winter days of cold and darkness can go either way — 6 more weeks of drudgery, or an early Spring possibly right around the corner, if the groundhog doesn’t retreat from the sight of his own shadow.

It is very rewarding to be able to witness patients “break out” of any number of long-standing issues which they have felt trapped in for a long time, and to discover new life and a fresh path forward for themselves.

Which way will your Groundhog Day point you this year?

Can you time travel with homeopathic remedies?

“People are trapped in history, and history is trapped in them.”

 ~James Baldwin, Notes of a Native Son

One of my favourite genres in any medium is time travel. I was a teenager when Back to the Future was released, and relished every instalment in this trilogy. Who would have known that I would later become a professional time traveller? You didn’t know that was possible? Then I guess you haven’t yet experienced the “time line” part of Heilkunst treatment, which, you could say, is the “time travel” aspect of using remedies to re-visit and release all residual shocks and traumas still embedded in your cellular memory.

This is one of the core components of Heilkunst treatment is how we treat the patient’s “time line”. While we’re addressing everything that is going on for the patient in the present, we are also digging back into their history to release any major shock or trauma to their system. We start with the most recent, and work progressively all the way back towards the birth event, and then beyond into the genetic inheritance of chronic disease in the family tree. Without addressing this dimension, treatment would not be able to do much more than temporarily relieve symptoms as they present at the surface. The goal is to remove every root cause behind disease in order to cure it completely and permanently.

The exercise of creating the time line often poses one or more challenges for the patient. I have a few patients who strongly resist completing their time line in whole or part, and it takes them several sessions before they bring one in instead of more excuses about why they couldn’t get to it. Resistance is an interesting thing, and a good clue in itself as to potentially strong blockages around certain content in the patient’s history. Partial amnesia is one example of this, where a patient simply can’t remember back beyond a certain point in their life, or a particular phase.

Interestingly, as we work backwards through a patient’s time line, they will often spontaneously remember long-forgotten memories exactly at the point when we reach that point in their history. This has a lot to do with the fact that their treatment has increased their capacity for healing, and they are now both biologically and psychologically ready to fully process the content of the re-emerging time line event. It is a natural safety mechanism which protects us from undergoing a deeper healing process which we are not currently able to handle. This is one of the problems with certain approaches to depth psychology (including the use of hypnosis, for example), which can force open such areas of content before the patient is ready, and can cause more damage in the process than what is healed. Following the logic of the time line (cushioned by this safety valve of memory), will lead to deep healing results, but without having to provoke any risk. Similarly, some patients may very distinctly remember certain strong traumas, but choose not to include them on their time line until they are ready to share them. If this is a very strong issue for a patient, I will let them know that they don’t ever have to discuss the content of certain events, but if they can at least tell me the nature of the emotions involved, we can address those with the corresponding remedies. (Was their fear? Anger? Grief? Humiliation? Etc.). It can take a fair bit of time before a patient is even ready to discuss it at this level, and treatment helps them to be more ready for this when the time comes.

Another aspect of creating the time line which many patients need to sort out, is knowing the correct balance between too much and too little information. “It’s not a novel”, I caution some, who are prone to ramble on through many trivial details, diluting down the essential content. Yet others need to be encouraged to flesh it out quite a bit, where only a handful of dense, cryptic notes have been scribbled onto a small note pad. Each of these groups of patients need to learn to identify which events are likely to be considered traumas which they’ll need to have treated. Many patients will wrongly assume that events from the past are no longer in their system, whether as a natural process of healing and letting go, or of specific psychological or other healing work they have undergone. It is true that “time heals all wounds”, but the little understood distinction between ‘healing’ and ‘curing’ gets to the essence of time line treatment, which is a curative approach, in counterpart to the healing.

When a patient does bring in their time line, there are many things about its format which are sometimes as revealing about them as the actual content included. Is it typed, or hand-written? Neatly organized in a spreadsheet in chronological order, or haphazardly written in a stream-of-consciousness narrative, with many blocks of text “inserted” with squiggly arrows? The constitution of the patient (personality type) permeates everything they do and say (and how they do and say it), and the presentation of the time line is often one of my initial clues into which constitution the patient is.

If you overhear any conversation which includes the question “Where are you in your time line?”, you’ll know that you’re probably eavesdropping on one of our patients. Or, if you ever hear yourself stating that one or more of your health problems began with a certain event in your life (what we call “NBWS : Never Been Well Since”), then we know that your health will be improved when you work through your time line treatment. Time travel cruises are leaving from Port Arcanum on a daily basis….

[Technical note on this article’s title : We treat the time line using homotonic, rather than homeopathic remedies, but that is a story for another day.]