Methods of diagnosis within medical Heilkunst are considerably different from those of conventional medicine. The idea of observation, itself, is restricted in conventional medicine primarily to the quantitative realm. This is a big part of the reason that we see such a dependence on medical technologies, along with a fundamental distrust in the supposedly flawed human mind, trapped within its own subjectivity. This is a world full of information, yet devoid of meaning.
Qualitative observations, on the other hand, are much more central to Heilkunst diagnosis. It goes without saying that a higher level health of the practitioner is a requirement for accurate and objective diagnosis in this realm, and one of the reasons that treatment is a requirement for the practitioner. It is interesting that this is a requirement within a system that focuses on health as its foundation, rather than the “sick care” focus of conventional medicine, where the doctor is presumed to need treatment only when they get sick themselves.
An example of a medical observation which is qualitative comes from the field of Orgonomy, as developed by Dr. Wilhelm Reich. Part of my assessment of a patient involves observing the degree of ‘armoring’ that they have. Armoring exists both at the biological and psychological levels, and can be observed through a number of the following qualitative elements.
How does the patient’s body move — is it free-flowing, or rigid in any way? Likewise, how flexible is their mental function — do they have a difficult time if new ideas are introduced? Also, various signs of anxiety indicate a degree of armoring — visible limitations to the breathing (shallow breath, uncoordinated speech patterns, etc.) illustrate an armoring pattern in the patient.
I am also observing how a patient responds to the remedies over time — a desirable healthy response to the remedies will involve a full discharge at some level (nasal discharge, emotional discharge, etc.), but in a very armored patient, the remedy will only work for a brief period of time, but then the patient will “snap back” and contract into the customary state of illness held in place by their armoring.
There is also a topography, or depth to the armoring — the patient and their treatment may progress in a fairly free-flowing way for at the beginning, but then we hit on a deeper level of armoring where a very different side of the patient suddenly comes out, seemingly “out of the blue”. This is usually because much illness and armoring has been suppressed, and is not easily observable on the surface. Experienced and careful observation, however, can pick up the most subtle clues at the surface about this deeper level of armoring, and the practitioner can prepare themselves to anticipate a big collision when this deeper level is reached in treatment.
Watching for the movement in the patient from greater to lesser degrees of armoring goes hand-in-hand with another qualitative observation of the changing state of mind of the patient. We all have personal experience of someone we’re close to being “off”, or acting out of character — these are examples of a shift in state of mind, and in a medical context prove to be some of the most important observations for understanding which direction the treatment is progressing.
In a healthy, and trained practitioner, these qualitative obervations are actually objective, and much more reliable than any quantitative observation at getting at the real meaning of the case.
There are some more specific aspects of the character armoring which I’ve written about previously, which you can read here , here and here.
One of the most essential aspects of true diagnosis is to allow the patient to tell their own story in their own words. However, one of the interesting challenges I occasionally face with a patient is extreme loquaciousness. You know the type — their mouth never stops moving, and it is virtually impossible for you to get a word in edgewise. I vividly remember one initial appointment, where I literally asked my new patient only one question (“What brings you here today?”), from which point the patient responded continuously for the remainder of the 90 minute consult!
Initially, this can seem like a good thing, as it can sometimes be a challenge to get some patients to open up and tell their story. Quickly, though, my feeling turns to frustration, as I realize that it’s going to be an uphill battle to convey any information to the patient, even in terms of basic instructions for taking their remedies, or following my suggestions for lifestyle modifications.
Of course, this issue comes up across a broad spectrum of behaviours, and is rarely expressed to such an extreme degree. In various ways, though, it does provide an interesting challenge to the consult situation, as I realize how difficult it will be to get this patient to take in anything which I might have to say to them. I start to wonder why they have come to ask for my help, if they seem incapable of receiving any?
What can I do to make this a productive time for the patient? Aside from the obvious ways I can interrupt them to take control of the dialogue, there are some things I’ve learned that I can gather from a patient when they’ve gone into “automatic playback” mode on their internal tape recorder.
What is the content of their story? What do they talk a lot about versus what do they avoid talking about completely? (A brilliant interruption, by the way, is to point out to them the topic they are obviously avoiding — this often brings their automatic monologue to a dead stop, and one of the only moments they actually sit quietly for a moment and demonstrate a true feeling.)
What is their tone of voice like? Monotonous, or sing-song? Do they make more statements or questions? How about their breathing pattern? Most loquacious patients have very poor breathing habits. What is the state of mind behind all of their words? Another effective interrupt is to feed back to them an observation of the hidden state of mind behind the story they’re telling on the surface.
Amidst the endless chatter, I am also seeking to understand the reason that this patient is behaving this way. Is it a form of nervousness? Or a deep insecurity which gets covered-up by such attention-seeking behaviours? Some personality types are naturally more talkative, and some more reserved. How close is this behaviour to their natural personality, and how much of it is a compensatory behaviour? Maybe it might be a cultural difference depending on where they grew up? Figuring this out can go a long way in understanding what sort of remediation this patient will best respond to.
Finally, on a medical note, some of these loquacious patients have responded very well to the homeopathic remedy Lachesis; the essence of this remedy is a pent-up energy which desperately seeks an outlet for discharge. Sometimes it is this form of non-stop talking which functions as an attempt at discharging the excess energy.
When this remedy hits the mark, the silence that follows is truly golden!
The original architecture of medical Heilkunst and homeopathy was laid out in the various writings of Dr. Hahnemann, particularly in his most formal writing which was his Organon. This is a book which he revised through six editions in his lifetime, and which has been translated at various times into English since his death. Good translation is far from a technical exercise, and the most accurate translation was done by Steven Decker, whose unique background allowed for him to reveal some very fresh insight into how to translate not only the words of Hahnemann, but the essence of his whole mode of thinking.
The Organon is an especially formal and structured form of writing, which almost reads like a legal statute, and contains much content in condensed form, kind of like a “.zip” file on a modern computer. Dr. Hahnemann packed very much meaning into the condensed aphorisms of this book, and like all works of genius, it can take multiple readings to fully unpack all of the implicit meanings and associations contained. One homeopath once famously instructed that a young homeopath should read Hahnemann’s Organon 2x per year for the first 50 years of their practice, and then only 1x per year would be necessary after that.
Let’s have a look at its first aphorism:
1. The physician’s highest and only calling is to make the sick sound, which is called remediation.
Seems like a pretty straightforward and obvious start — the physician’s job is to provide remediation for their sick patients. But is there something more is in that sentence? It refers to the “highest and only” calling of the physician. A calling is much more than an occupation or job — a calling comes from something which we’ve been talking about in this week’s blogs in terms of finding your core desire function. If one’s desire function does not include being a physician, then it will not arise as a specific calling from within.
The other association we can make with the word ‘calling’ is with the concept of ‘resonance’ — the whole structure of Heilkunst is fundamentally built around resonance as the central medical principle. It makes sense, then, that if the therapeutics of Heilkunst are built around the principle of resonance, that the practitioner would be required to be operating their life on the same principle.
There’s another word in this first aphorism that I find particularly interesting, and that is the word ‘sound’. In this context, it has a meaning similar to ‘whole’, as in the phrase “…of sound mind and body”. Right from the very beginning, Dr. Hahnemann is setting Heilkunst apart from the usual conception of healthcare we have today, where the buzzword used everywhere is ‘wellness’. We hear about ‘wellness’ clinics and ‘wellness’ lifestyles — this is a very different meaning and goal for health than the ‘soundness’ which Dr. Hahnemann asks of his Heilkunst physicians. ‘Wellness’ has more the connotation of balance and maintenance, where ‘soundness’ implies the higher goal in health of capacity for creativity, and autonomous self-governance.
Where the “balance and maintenance” of wellness is a necessary condition for health, it doesn’t include this fuller attainment of soundness. This is another reason I refer to Heilkunst as a form of “Naturopathy 2.0”, as the field of naturopathy works towards this lesser goal of wellness, but it is medical Heilkunst which consciously works towards this higher goal of soundness for the patient.
If all of this (and more!) is contained in just the first aphorism of The Organon, imagine what we’d find if we went through the remaining 291 aphorisms in this way!
I wrote yesterday about the central importance to health of activating one’s unique desire function. I also mentioned that this is a particularly big challenge for many patients who are either blocked from fully activating it, or often from even knowing what it is in the first place. In addition to the medical approach of Heilkunst to systematically remove blockages at all levels (biological, psychological, etc.), there are some very good resources to help activate this desire function at different stages. To start with, many patients have a portion of their life energy still tied up in unresolved traumas from the past, and by undergoing time line treatment, that life energy becomes more and more liberated to engage with their desire function.
The fiction author Steven Pressfield has written a couple of books about the creative process itself, and in his book The War of Art, he very specifically addresses the reality of resistance, and how it is a constant struggle within every creative process.
Its sequel, Do The Work, is also a short and valuable read to help illuminate the nature of this challenge to activating one’s creativity.
While these Steven Pressfield books are great for gaining a conceptual orientation for the problem of resistance, Julia Cameron’s classic book The Artist’s Way, gives many practical exercises to actually start to chip away at these resistances and blockages. Her “morning pages” exercise is often known by people who haven’t even read this book, and is one of several practical exercises offered by Cameron.
While these books are specifically written with writers or artists in mind, the concepts and principles they illuminate apply to anyone who is wishing to access their own creativity and desire function, even if that is for something outside of the usual world of the arts. Our desire function and creativity can be directed into any activity — it is just a question of finding out what that is for you. What tools have you successfully used to help with your creativity?
One of the highest, overarching functions in our health is what we call the “desire function”. The ills of a patient can often have more to do with their failure to connect to and activate the contents of their desire function, even more than anything which seems amiss in their nutrition. The word ‘desire’ originates in the sense of something which comes to us ‘from the stars’, which relates to our higher rather than lower form desires. Finding what it contains, and activating it, are often a tremendous struggle for many of my patients; but this struggle is of central importance in a full system of healthcare.
What many patients suffer, due to the nature of our compulsory education system, is that their ability to hear their own inner voice was usually squashed at an early age, and it takes a Herculean effort to restore it, and begin to breath life back into it.
I enjoyed this Ted Talk by Béatrice Coron, who is a self described “paper cutter” and artist. In this video, she describes how she woke up to her true desire function in her 40s, after drifting through numerous occupations throughout her life. While she is not, to my knowledge, Heilkunst treated this is the type of story I have been honoured to witness in a number of patients as they begin to unfold their own desire functions as they progress through their own treatment.
As a child, I was first introduced into the world of art through finger paints by my kindergarten teacher. I still recall what it felt like to dip clean fingers into the cool jelly-like primaries and careen with colour across the slippery, shiny surface of the special finger paint paper. It somehow felt forbidden, unbridled even with the teacher condoning the practice. I loved Miss VanGelpan for allowing such freedom of movement with colour and the results were surprising. Enough colour play and you’ve produced the most amazing brown goo! In the next finger-painting foray, at the tender age of five, I learned to stop messing with the paints at a point to allow for the brilliance of the individual colours to be preserved in abstract heaven. I recall flying home to my mother to show her the magnificent piece I’d produced some weeks later when we were allowed to take these masterpieces off the wall. I could not believe the array of colours and forms each of the other kids had also produced. I felt I could read each of their characters into their rendering. Seeing states of mind through art began here in these individual expressions.
From that moment, I knew that I had the heart of an artist. I loved colour and form. My photography and paintings afford me the permissive foray into timelessness to really explore the essential nature of my self. I get to unfold the mysteries of feelings like fear, shame, rage, and grief just by intuiting what colour wants to leap onto the hairs of my clean brush. If I am more in my feminine, surrendered seat, I’ll watch myself use more water, calling-forth a wisdom and patience to watch how the colour will co-mingle with the water, diluted and muted illuminating ease, faith, softness and wisdom in my more gentle pastel libations upon the heavy paper as the paint takes off out of its own volition. When the more thrusty, male side of myself needs voice, I find myself using little water, plastering the acrylics on thick, pushing the depth of colour out from the core of my emotion like a bar-room brawl of texture, reds, purples and black. A jagged desire to leave angry stains, marks to let others know that I’ve been here. It is wholly liberating for me to convert these feelings into a medium that does not use language or time to limit the unsullied nature of their expression. I love my art and when I’m in it, it feels like timeless lovemaking with the ardent Christ-principle in communion with his wisdom-soaked Sophia, betrothed in an enduring etheric love-form. Radiating, spherical joy and hate all lobbying for a juxtaposition. I ruminate here as long as I can, until a child asks to be driven to a tennis date, or a patient is suffering, or a goat needs milking, a meal needs making. The only other vehicle that can take me here is when my husband inspires the desire for loving and romance.
“Serafina” Allyson McQuinn 2011The Russian scientist Leonid Ponomarev described rather eloquently our two ways of knowing:
“It has long been known that science is only one of the methods of studying the world around us. Another – complementary – method is realized in art. The joint existence of art and science is in itself a good illustration of the complementarity principle. You can devote yourself completely to science or live exclusively in your art. Both points of view are equally valid, but, taken separately, are incomplete. The backbone of science is logic and experiment. The basis of art is intuition and insight. But the art of ballet requires mathematical accuracy and, as Pushkin wrote, ‘Inspiration in geometry is just as necessary as in poetry.’ They complement rather than contradict each other. True science is akin to art, in the same way as real art always includes elements of science. They reflect different, complementary aspects of human experience and give us a complete idea of the world only when taken together. Unfortunately, we do not know the ‘uncertainty relation’ for the conjugate pair of concepts ‘science and art.’ Hence we cannot assess the degree of damage we undergo from a one-sided perception of life.”
~ Leonid Ponomarev
In Quest of the Quantum
“Eye of God” Allyson McQuinn 2011
In response to an inquiry into the working methods of mathematicians by Jacques Hadamard, Albert Einstein wrote a letter to Hadamard in which he said, “The words or the language, as they are written or spoken, do not seem to play any role in my mechanism of thought. The psychical entities which seem to serve as elements in thought are certain signs and more or less clear images which can be ‘voluntarily’ reproduced and combined.”
~ Jacques Hadamar
The Psychology of Invention in the Mathematical Field
“The Wave” Allyson McQuinn 2011
Psychologist Charles T. Tart, discussing alternate states of consciousness, has said, “Many meditative disciplines take the view that … one possesses (or can develop) an Observer that is highly objective with respect to the ordinary personality. Because it is an Observer that is essentially pure attention/awareness, it has not characteristics of its own.” Professor Tart goes on to say that some persons who feel that they have a fairly well-developed Observer “feel that this Observer can make essentially continuous observations not only within a particular d-SoC (discrete state of consciousness) but also during the transition between two or more discrete states.”
~ Charles T. Tart
“Putting the Pieces Together”
“Bridge At Sundown” Allyson McQuinn 2011
“In prose, the worst thing one can do with words is to surrender to them. When you think of a concrete object, you think wordlessly, and then, if you want to describe the thing you have been visualizing, you probably hunt about till you find the exact words that seem to fit it. When you think of something abstract you are more inclined to use words from the start, and unless you make a conscious effort to prevent it, the existing dialect will come rushing in and do the job for you, at the expense of blurring or even changing your meaning. Probably it is better to put off using words as long as possible and get one’s meaning clear as one can through pictures or sensations.”
~ George Orwell
Politics and the English Language
“Solitude by Moonlight” Allyson McQuinn 2011
Dr. Samuel Hahnemann, the founder of the principles of Heilkunst and Homeopathy wrote the “Organon of the Medical Art” which is a literal translation from the German by Steven Decker. So much of the art of seeing is illuminated herein. Hahnemann raised the process of diagnosing (literally through knowing) to an art-form, capturing the state of mind in every case where there were physical symptoms. Logically laying down the principles and raising the art and science of homeopathic medicine into the age of enlightenment. He wholly understood that the “dymanic affections” or the “mistunement” of the patients life-force could be read through our intuitive organs (Gemüt) and that the rendering of a diagnosis had to be on the basis of realizable, provable repeatable principles and philosophy, lifting out the disease allowing the patient to fulfill his higher functioning purpose. Dr. Constantine Hering stated, “Hahnemann urges upon his pupils the propriety of addicting themselves to close thinking, by the study of the mathematics, of qualifying themselves for minute observation, by the study of natural history, and when possible also by the art of drawing, for the purpose of sharpening the sight to close observation!” Born is the leap across the corpus collosum from the left to the right!
“Pelvic Segment” Allyson McQuinn 2011
Rudolf Steiner states the phenomenon of imaginative thinking for the purpose of seeing (diagnosing) and understanding the life of the soul most eloquently,
“What, then, is this Imaginative cognition, which naturally functions entirely in the supersensible world? If I attempted to give you a symbolic representation of what Imaginative knowledge is, in the way that a mathematician uses figures to illustrate a mathematical problem, I would say the following: imagine that a person living in the world knows more than sense-cognition can tell him because he can rise to pictures that yield a reality, just as the human brain yields the reality of the human soul. In the brain, nature itself has given us as a real Imagination, an Imagination perceptible to the senses, something that is attained in Imaginative knowledge at a higher level.
This, you see, leads us more deeply into the constitution of the human being. As we shall see in the next few days, this marvelous structure of the human brain is not an isolated formation.
Through Imagination we behold a world, a supersensible world, and it is as though a part of this world had become real in a lower world; in the human brain we behold a world of Imagination in concrete fact. I do not believe that anyone can speak adequately about the human brain unless he sees in its structure an Imaginative replica of the life of soul. It is just this that leads us into a dilemma when we take our start from ordinary neurophysiology and try to pass to an understanding of the life of soul. If we confine ourselves to the brain itself, a life of soul over and above this does not seem necessary. The only individuals with a right to speak of a life of soul over and above the structure of the human brain are those who have knowledge of it other than what is acquired by customary methods in this world. For when we come to know this life of soul in the spiritual world, we realize that it has its complete reflection in the structure of the human brain, and that the brain, moreover, can do everything that the supersensible organ of soul can do by way of conceptual activity. Down to its very function the brain is a mirror-image. With neurophysiology, therefore, no one can prove or disprove materialism. It simply cannot be done. If the human being were merely a being of brain, he would never need to say to himself, “Over and above this brain of mine, I possess a soul.”
~ Rudolf Steiner
Lecture: Fundamentals of Anthroposophic Medicine
Lecture I Stuttgart, October 26, 1922
“Blushing Heart” Allyson McQuinn 2011
Wilhelm Reich goes on to define exactly how he would render his diagnosis as “The Silent Observer” and I find it fascinating to watch how he thinks about a case and their intellectual posturing while processing the diagnosis,
“Character analysis had succeeded in unmasking and eliminating the patient’s politeness and apparent devotedness as deception and the warding off of strong aggressions. Now he began to develop the following defense. Exceptionally intelligent, he sought to divine everything he concealed in the way of unconscious mechanisms and, in fact, he succeeded in destroying most of the affect situations by divining them beforehand. It was as if from a secret hiding place, he continually illuminated and examined everything with his intellect in order to preclude any surprises. It became more and more clear that the intellect fulfilled a defensive function and was spurred by severe anxious anticipations. For example, he was always extremely skilled in finding out what I happened to be thinking about him at any one moment. He was able to infer this from various factors and from the course of the treatment. He was also able to divine and foresee what would happen at any one point. From the point of view of character analysis, this behavior was looked upon as anything but cooperation; rather, it was attacked as an extremely cunning way of avoiding deep insights. The first task was to render this weapon unusable to the patient, and this could be done only by the consistent analysis of its function, and by being very sparse with my communications. The patient continued for a while to use his intellect as a defense mechanism, but gradually became insecure and uneasy and finally began to protest violently that I did not want to understand him, that his intellectual help was a clear demonstration of his cooperation, etc. I became that much more consistent in my analysis of his intellectual activity as a defense against surprises. One day a term occurred to me for his behavior. I told him that it reminded me of a cunning fox or lynx. And then, following a short period of excitation, his defensive behavior fell to pieces. It happened this way: once again he began the session by despairing that I no longer understood him. Then, gradually, his attention was focused on a scene from his third year of life which he had recounted earlier in passing, without details and affect.”
~ Wilhelm Reich
pg. 16 4. THE INTELLECT AS DEFENSE FUNCTION
“Wild Columbine” Allyson McQuinn 2011
Another physician who has silently mentored me with regards to state of mind based prescribing is the Bombay physician, Dr. Rajan Sankaran. He, too, regarded the mind state as more than just a random collection of discrete and unconnected symptoms. But his concept was that the whole of this state arose from an altered perception of reality, which is called Delusion. For example if a person views his situation as being very dangerous and threatening, and himself as a helpless child, he will react with panic and clinging. His apparent mental state (panic and clinging) comes from the delusion that he is like a child in dangerous surroundings. This false feeling will also be seen in his dreams. Another example: a patient who views himself as handicapped will feel incapable of handling his everyday responsibilities and react by shunning his duties and depending entirely on others. His apparent mental state (lack of responsibility, lack of confidence and dependence on others) comes from his inner, false perception that he is handicapped. In this way Dr. Rajan Sankaran brought out the importance of dreams and delusions as the basis of disease. The dream is closest to the delusion, the false perception which is at the bottom of the mind state of the patient.” These and other ideas were contained in his first book The Spirit of Homoeopathy. Apart from dreams there are other ways to perceive the patients delusion, and among these, the patients interests and hobbies, including what books, movies, activities etc. fascinate him, or hurt his sensitivity, were useful pointers to his inner state. Often unable to recall dreams the patient can vividly describe a scene from a movie or a newspaper story, with such powerful emotions that it could have been his own story. Such a thing is like a dream and can be used to perceive the delusion of the patient. Dr. Sankaran later systematized this method in his book The System of Homoeopathy.
For example the patient may say that with his ulcer, apart from the symptom of burning pain which is commonly experienced with the condition, there is a feeling that the stomach is very weak and is fragile and can break from any slight indiscretion. When this person’s mind state is examined it will be that his emotional stress is based upon a feeling of others finding out that he is not what he portrays to be, and this will be expressed as a feeling of fragility with regard to the image he projects. What the Heilkunst Physician will observe is that the sensation expressed in the ulcer, will be no different than the sensation at the bottom of what the patient calls as stress. The art of Heilkunst Medicine is in interpreting the fragile sensation, seen both locally and mentally is actually an expression of the deepest level of the disturbance, deeper than mind and body , and the underlying basis of both. A remedy with such a sensation (in this case, Thuja) will bring a healing action at the deepest level, thus helping his ulcer and his stress at the same time.
The founder of the American New Thought Movement, Phineus Quimby, also sourced much of this relating to the world in polarity of the right and left side of the brain, or seeing art or consciousness and a rendering of science, raising dogmatic religion up into an artful rendering, “Jesus saw all this, and as the people were groaning under the yokes (or beliefs) that bound them down, he said, “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest to your soul, by explaining to you the cause of your trouble.” When he commenced explaining to the people, the explanation was to save them from the misery of this world of belief and to introduce a science (or kingdom), where there would be no offering up of prayer or forgiving of sins, but a consciousness (or science) that would put them in possession of a knowledge of themselves, which the natural man knew nothing of.
~ Phineus Quimby The Quimby Manuscripts
I’ve also included some visual Illustrations of The Art of Seeing through Bruce Lipton’s evolution from empirical, mechanical thinking to his quantum knowledge of The Field:
It is fun for this Spiritual Scientist to watch these James Perloff, Author of Tornado In a Junkyardbeing interviewed. He turned the theory of evolution on its keester in his book proving that the transitional matter does not exist under the atheist paradigm. Both redeemed themselves through becoming “Observers” which took them out of mechanical empiricism to Creationism, The Gospel and God. You can witness their revolution against evolution:[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hIWthzqE_h0]
In the course my work with patients, there are a handful of books which I recommend with a high frequency. Treatment always begins with a review of the patient’s regimen (diet and lifestyle), and there are various ways we look at potential improvements for each patient. I’ll point out a few here, and probably return to this idea in a future blog post.
There are two nutritional books which I look at with most new patients:
Dr. D’Adamo’s blood type diet book provides the ultimate foundation for all patient’s as far as their long-term maintenance of their health, even after they have completed their primary Heilkunst treatment. Also, following this diet has proven to be very useful for patients who are suffering from all forms of chronic illness, as the guidance of this diet prevents chronic inflammation and other unnecessary impairments to health. There isn’t any patient who wouldn’t experience some degree of improvement incorporating the blood type diet into their regimen.
Dr. Abravanel’s glandular type diet is something that I’ll look at with many patients — particularly where there are any issues related to hormones, as well as the whole cycle of cravings and weight gain. We’ve helped many patients end their years of frustration with diets, to a new experience of approaching their optimal weight and body shape by easily re-balance their diet according to understanding their dominant glandular system. The numerous health side-benefits are also impressive when this approach is included in the patient’s regimen.
The word “addiction” in the subtitle of Dr. Mercola’s No-Grain book is quite revealing as to the strong attachment that patients have to grains and sugars, and the incredible difficulty that most face in even considering a low- or no-grain diet. It’s true that eliminating grains is one of the easiest ways to lose unneccessary weight, but even more important is that it is linked as the primary factor behind most of our modern chronic illnesses, including heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. This is one of the most important elements for patients to consider for their health, but unfortunately, only a few are willing to consider this practice. It is not only celiac patients who need to consider gluten-free or even grain-free living.
Finally, we come to the problem of “but I don’t have time to exercise!”. I ask patients if they have 30 minutes to spare once every 7 to 10 days. That’s all it takes to properly do this “slow motion” version of strength training, which is the safest form of using weights, and the most thorough in terms of the benefits it delivers not only to the muscles, but many other related systems.
These represent just a few of the possible starting points I focus on with a new patient as we explore where they are currently at with their regimen, and where their improvement opportunities lay. There are many more individualized issues which need to be addressed for each patients, but there is no harm in starting with any of these books as you are called to do so for yourself. When a new patient comes in with their regimen already in fairly good shape, it makes treatment much easier, and quicker to get into the deeper root causes of chronic illness which we address through treatment of their time line, and ultimately the genetically inherited diseases from their family tree.
I wrote yesterday about the treatment of a broken arm, and the consequences of that for the patient. I want to introduce a new concept today, based on a different patient’s reaction to the treatment of her first time line event.
This treatment involved addressing the recent birth of her daughter. It was a relatively straightforward birth, and the remedies I gave her for this time line event were the typical birth remedies (that is, birth from the mom’s perspective — birth from the baby’s perspective takes a different set of remedies).
When she returned for her first follow-up one month later, she brought a very visible excitement about her treatment, which hadn’t been present at her first visit. The living experience she had with her remedies the first month helped her to “get it”, as far as how treatment works, and what she could expect going forward. This is true with almost every patient — they may understand the concepts regarding how treatment works, but it is very difficult for a concept on its own to generate any type of warmth or excitement in the absence of an experience.
So, what was the living experience that this patient had from her first time line remedies? She told me that after completing the remedies, she had a very unusual moment of re-experiencing the sensations very similar to (but not as intense) as when she had gone into labour. Her eyes widened slightly as she described to me the sequence of sensations she felt as she went through the healing reaction from those remedies.
As with all healing reactions, what the life force pushes up to the surface represents some form of completion of a natural process, which for some reason had not originally occurred in a natural setting where it could be completed. The healing reactions to time line events, in one way or another, will push out a physical or emotional memory which was suppressed when it original occurred.
As I have experienced with many patients, it is at moments like this where they display a true desire to learn more about the treatment, and where we’re going to be going for the remainder of their treatment plan. The moment when rigid skepticism dies, and the patient gives birth to truly engaging with the process of their treatment, and expanding the possibilities of health for themselves.
At the conclusion of my clinical internship (which was the last component of my Heilkunst studies before graduating), my clinical partners and I were treating a case which I’ll always clearly remember in terms of the lessons that I learned from it. One month of this treatment, in particular, stands out in my memory. It was the point on the patient’s time line where we were treating her for the time she had broken her arm.
A broken arm is a certain kind of physical time line trauma and requires a particular combination of remedies to address it, which we gave her as part of her treatment that month. This was one of the more straightforward time line events we had treated in this patient (or so we thought!)
She came back the following month, however, with a completely unexpected reaction to the remedies — a strong headache had emerged for a few days after taking these remedies, which was not at all a typical symptom for her. This was a symptom which wasn’t related to the symptoms of a broken arm, nor to the following item on her timeline (which is often where the life force spontaneously goes when it is ready to move forward to the next necessary treatment.)
“Did anything else happen when you broke you arm? Maybe you struck your head at the same time?”
“No,” she said.
When we questioned her further about the broken arm, she revealed that there was another element to the story of her broken arm — it had occurred within another context, which was that she had just received news of the passing of her Uncle just before she slipped on the stairs outside the door of the house and broke her arm.
Ah ha! This headache is one of the typical physical symptoms we will see in a patient when they are going through a state of grief, whether related to a current event, or a past event on their time line. We immediately treated her with this grief remedy, to complete the whole event of the broken arm, before we knew we could logically move on to the next event to treat on her time line. Normally, we would have treated the broken arm with the grief remedies at the same time, in a compound event like this.
There were some very key lessons I learned from this :
To be very thorough in case-taking, and not to make assumptions.
The patient isn’t always sure about what to include on their time line, and needs to be guided and prompted to complete all the information.
The patient’s life force will always tell you exactly what it needs, whether it is a conscious knowledge in the patient’s mind, or not. Without following it, the treatment will progress blindly, and often ineffectively.
In other words, the time line is a great map of the territory, but the living, breathing movement of the life force is the necessary guide to navigate through it.
I wrote yesterdayabout the issue of why we need to overcome the limitations of false disease names in Heilkunst diagnosis. Common conditions labels such as “Chronic Fatigue Syndrome”, or “Social Anxiety Disorder” may get you into the right ballpark for a general understanding of a case, but actually hinders the possibility of a true diagnosis and cure of what lies at the root of that in each unique patient and case. This issue of false disease names has existed as long as the history of medicine, and wasn’t rectified until Dr. Hahnemann published his writings about Heilkunst medicine in the 19th century.
We recently watched a very illuminating documentary called Orgasm, Inc.It illustrates how a number of pharmaceutical companies are in a race to be the first to bring to market an effective drug for “Female Sexual Dysfunction”. This movie illuminated very well the inherent problem in trying to treat such an abstract condition label, as if it were a singular medical entity, presumably always exactly the same for every woman, and always treatable by the same drug protocol. Furthermore, as with most other false disease labels, this has more to do with marketing, and making more and more women “eligible” for a drug which they may not need, and which often won’t help them.
Something I learned from this documentary, is how it is actually the pharmaceutical industry which proposes new condition labels to be officially approved, so that they can then develop new lines of profitable drugs designed to address these newly made up condition labels. Once the pharmaceutical industry successfully had “female sexual dysfunction” declared a new condition label, they set out to work on developing a new drug which could treat it.
It was upsetting to witness this process in action, and to realize that the whole pharmaceutical industry is built on such a game of artificial construction of condition labels, as a mechanism to develop ever more profitable lines of drugs which largely rob people of their health. Did you know that iatrogenesis (disease which is caused by drugs or other medical errors) is actually the number one cause of death in North America?
The cure for this massive disease of our medical system is to solve this problem of false disease names, by understanding Dr. Hahnemann’s teachings about how to apply curative remedies based on true diagnoses.