Paul K. Branch, M.D. - Holistic Medicine and Classical Homeopathy


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The Alternative Healer

Archive for the ‘Case Studies’ Category


On Preventing Autism: Lessons from a Recent Case

Thursday, July 22nd, 2010

Earlier this summer a new case of autism presented in my office, a young man in his late teens.  It is a case that demonstrates the power of classical homeopathy to help autistic children.  The story of this young man itself is instructive.  Here’s how his mother told it to me:

During his first year of life all of his development milestones were met, and he usually was a little bit ahead.  He had upper respiratory, ear infections and vomiting.  During this first year he had multiple courses of antibiotics….

I breast fed him between six and nine months.  I went back to work when he was three months, and after that we began to give some cow’s milk formula.  He had a reaction to the formula, so we switched to soy formula [because] he seemed to have a lot of reflux…

In was during his second year of life that he had multiple vaccinations in one day.  He had the the MMR, DPT, and polio.  After this he got high fevers and encephalopathy [inflammation and swelling of the brain].  He had a very very rapid loss of language and the autistic behavior started.  At 22 months he got the diagnosis [autism].

To sum up, this boy was fine during his infancy.  He had a tendency towards infections in his upper respiratory system along with allergies.  In his second year of life he got a strong stimulation to his immune system (multiple vaccinations) immediately followed by high fevers and brain inflammation.  He lost his language and became autistic.

We are told by the medical profession and FDA that there is no link between vaccinations and autism.  This story is a wonderful example of why there is a lot of anger over this.  First of all, most doctors have had experience with reactions to vaccines.  Like me, they may have watched a child having seizures in the ER, then hear from the mother that the child “just had vaccinations.”  Second, although I do not believe that high fevers need to be present for a vaccination to trigger autism, in this case there is a clear link between the post-vaccination fever and the slide into autism.  It does not take a medical degree to understand how inflammation and swelling in the brain could cause damage resulting in autistic behavior.  [For a deeper discussion on the nature of vaccinations see a previous blog on the HPV vaccine.

Here are my thoughts to parents on how to lower the risk of your child becoming autistic:

•  The first year of life is critical.  It sets up the immune system and a lays a foundation for growth and development.  The first step in doing this is to breast feed at least 12 months.   [See my blog on milk products and ghee.  This is where I detail why cow’s milk in particular sets up immune system problems. ]
•  If you did not breast feed your child for a full 12 months, I would add 1-2 teaspoons of colostrum daily to the diet (This can be cow source.  One source I like is from New Zealand  http://www.colostrumnz.com/colostrum_008.htm).
•  If you must leave off breast feeding for some reason, including adoption, do not use cow’s milk formula.  I would use goat’s milk and find a pristine source.  It is not perfect, but it is preferable.  If you want to use cow’s milk, I would find a source with a very small, organic herd of dairy cows.  This delivers a milk that is much less exciting to the child’s immune system.  Pasteurization is important so you know the milk is sterile.  Homogenization is to be avoided always.
•  Avoid vaccinations.  This will draw fire from the powers that be, nevertheless, vaccinations are problematic, and, unless you plan to be a neglectful parent, they can do more harm than good.  If you do choose to vaccinate your child, I recommend only doing one vaccination at a time, spacing them out preferably at least a week.
It is likely that the multiple simultaneous stimuli to the boy’s immune system in this case caused a certain “confusion” and helped ignite a damaging immune response.
•  Pay attention for signs of an over-reactive immune system.  It does not necessarily mean the risks of autism are high, but it does point to underlying problems.  In this case, the frequent ear infections and strong reaction to milk along with the reflux point to a compromised immune system.  [This reminds me that I need to write a blog on the gut and the immune system.  Stay tuned.]  Pay attention and eliminate the foods which are tying up the child’s immune system, e.g. cow’s milk products.  Be aware that any food other than human breast milk that is introduced too soon in the first year of life can provoke an immune response, because of the child’s undeveloped intestinal environment.
•  In reaching the second year of life, if your child is having issues with the immune system, i.e. allergies and/or frequent illnesses, it is important to have a consultation with a holistic doctor.  In my office, the following is on the table for discussion:

–dietary and nutritional factors that eliminate phlegm and reduce inflammation.
–classical homeopathic treatment to heal the immune system
–an isopathic remedy regimen to regenerate the gut flora and gut immune cells.

I plan on writing more about the treatment of this young man, because we have had success with classical homeopathy.  What is not clear yet is what is possible.  How much can he heal?

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Just Alone in Space: Healing Deep Depression

Monday, January 11th, 2010

It’s just despair.  I have no purpose really.  I don’t belong anywhere, he said.

Over the years, I have had cases of depression that seemingly nothing could touch.

To get a better idea of what one such case was like, read the following words, details of which have been changed.

I just don’t have any motivation. No fuel.  No energy.
I can fake it, but it’s just like an emptiness.

Describe it, I prompted.

Hollow, detached.
I’m just not connected to anything.  Just alone in space.
I’m like blank, a blank slate, no agenda, no nothing.

People deep in depression have a profound disconnection, as if something deep inside the person made the decision to withdraw.  Another dramatic example of this was a person who spoke so slowly it took me hours to get the case.  She slept way too much, and she couldn’t concentrate on what was going on.

I’m like numbed out, completely numb, she said.
I always get this feeling that I haven’t done enough.
I have remorse, guilt, a feeling of worthlessness.

I asked her to tell me more.  She continued,

I don’t have much feeling anymore.
I don’t get super excited, I don’t get super sad,  I get frustrated with myself.
I don’t feel any highs anymore.
I feel like I’m trying to grasp reality, trying to stay sane.

How to heal such disconnection?  The accepted medical solution is anti-depressants, because the source of the problem is declared “a brain chemistry abnormality.”  Too often, though, the results are not good enough.  Moreover, the downside of antidepressants are underplayed and insufficiently talked about.  The first is the sexual side effects, which can be devastating, particularly with young people.  Another is the addictive nature of anti-depressants.

This is why, for me, the first choice in treating depression is always to reach in to the actual energetic source of the depression and heal it with a precisely chosen homeopathic remedy.  On the surface, these two depressed patients sound similar.  Nevertheless, listen to each of these patients and you find a deeper feeling, an “explanation,” so to speak, of why they are disconnected.  The first man said,

I don’t trust many people.

Tell me about trust? I asked.

Sort of expecting something bad to happen, expecting people to be mean.  Having to sort of hide, being sort of guarded.  It’s like being a fugitive.  It’s like you want to trust people but you can’t.  If you trust people they can hurt you.

Compare this with the other case.  Listen as she talks about her isolation.

It’s almost like you are in a bubble.  You see what’s going on, but you are unable to participate in anything.
You’re invisible.  Your substance is there but people look right past you.
It’s the worst feeling, not being on common ground with anybody.

It’s like reacting, in a certain way that other people think is inappropriate.  You are laughing at something inappropriate,  yet it’s not familiar.  It’s not their norms.  It’s completely foreign.

This is a different situation from the first case.  In this case the disconnection is in the state itself.  This person spoke as if she wasn’t part of this world.  In the first case, the disconnection is a reaction to the feeling of distrust, like someone hiding from a dangerous enemy.  It’s as if something in the  thoughts whispers, “Retreat and hide or you will be hurt!”

After taking a precisely chosen homeopathic remedy that matched the energy of their respective feelings, both of them shifted toward connection and happiness.  I gave the first case a remedy potentized from a spider source.  The second case I gave a remedy potentized from a gas.

In follow-up, the first case told me,

I’m much happier.  I feel much less isolated.  I’m not as angry and am getting along with people better.

The second case put it differently.

I feel like I’m actually alive again, able to like communicate with a lot of people.  Feels like I’m in tune with what is going on.  I wake up in the morning, and I’m not just dragging around.   My attention span is a lot better.  I feel more involved in whatever I’m doing.  It’s really refreshing
.

When did it start? I asked.

Maybe a week after I took the remedy.

There is no better way to heal deep depression.  Classical homeopathy offers hope to those who feel isolated and withdrawn.

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Treating Diabetes

Thursday, June 11th, 2009

My energy is erratic, she said.

I do too much, or I just don’t want to do anything at all.
I feel really uncomfortable in my body right now.  I don’t quite fit.  I think if something is going to happen it’s going to happen soon.  It’s scary.

Over the years, two themes stand out in cases of people with diabetes, a disorder where blood sugars are too high.  By this I do not mean that these are the only possible themes.  It is what I have observed.  The first theme is a certain instability, as exemplified by this case.  She told me,

I feel like I’m kind of frozen in some way.   I feel unsure of what I’m doing.  Unsure of my body.  Unsure of my mental capabilities…I feel kind of fuzzy in the head.  My memory is not consistent.

This lack of consistency occurs in all her symptoms, physical as well as emotional.  It is not surprising when she says,

My blood sugars have been all over the place.

The second major theme I have seen in diabetes is different, but in some way connected.  In this example, I asked my patient what bothered her the most, and she told me,

I miss companionship.  I wish I had more connections. That’s the thing I miss the most, some kind of family.  I have my children, but they are all over.

Later on in the case she came at this from a different angle.  She told me:

I was the only child.  My parents were not very nurturing.  I don’t think my parents knew how to be parents.  There was much more of a “feed-em-and-clothe-‘em-and-call-‘em-from-the-porch-for-dinner” attitude when I grew up.  My parents were so busy with their own problems.  They didn’t have a lot of useful input for me.

I would sum up this 2nd theme as “I didn’t get the sweetness.”  We nurture from the mother’s breast, and interestingly, homeopathic remedies made from milks of animals are strongly associated with diabetes.  The feeling these patients often have is that they nurtured at a “bad breast.”  They didn’t get the sweetness.

Notice how the pattern repeats when she became a mother:

I had my first child and suddenly I had to do everything based on the needs of that child.  I couldn’t maintain my house, cook, do chores, read or relax.  It’s pretty overwhelming having a new baby.  It’s not that I objected to having her, but I felt sucked down the drain.

We are  not surprised to hear her children are “all over,” because we get the sense that she is not so close to them.  It is likely her children did not feel well-nurtured themselves.

People with diabetes often have issues of distrust and control.  These issues are particularly aggravated in doctors’ offices.  It takes care to gently bring these patients to health.  Nevertheless, from a homeopathic perspective, diabetes cases are often not that difficult to heal.  In my experience, a well-prescribed homeopathic remedy stabilizes blood sugars quickly.  It brings a profound emotional shift, because the instability, distrust, and resentment resolve along with the blood sugars.  From a homeopathic perspective, you cannot heal the blood sugar instability without bringing the emotional shift as well.

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Healing Lyme Disease

Monday, May 11th, 2009

My internal driver feels like it is shut off, she said.   It’s not like me to sit in this woe is me place.  I want to eat without feeling miserable,  I get migraines.  I get aches and pains.  I’ll be sitting around and I’ll get crushing finger pain.  I will be lying around and my toes hurt like crazy, like they are in a vice.

She was 43 years old and could barely stand up out of the chair in front of me.  At the onset of her disease she could not walk up a few stairs without feeling my heart bounding out of my chest.  If this was not bad enough, there was the treatment:  several months of antibiotics.  She ended up on IV doxycycline, which she  stayed on for three months.  She told me, I was deathly afraid of coming off the IV antibiotics.

She did not want  to live on IV antibiotics for the rest of her life.  Seeking another answer, she ended up in my office.

Such a story is common when one hears about  Lyme disease.  It is a serious matter, and the extent of which it affects our population is difficult to appreciate.  (See this short video on youtube for a further look into it:  Lyme disease video.)

One of the many confusing factors surrounding Lyme disease is that it is so often misdiagnosed.  Lyme disease has become the new  “great imposter.”  It has taken over this role from syphilis, which before the discovery of antibiotics, was much more common.  Syphlilis, like Lyme disease, can produce a huge array of symptoms and was able to mimic many different diseases.   Affecting internal organs as well as the skin, both these diseases may require a healthy bit of suspicion on the part of the doctor.  In fact, today physicians frequently order a Lyme disease lab test if a patient has symptoms without any obvious cause.

A while back, I had a patient with chronic fatigue whose tests had turned up a suspicion of Lyme.  As is often the case, the Lyme test was inconclusive.  Did he have Lyme?  Had he had Lyme?  Would antibiotics help his chronic fatigue?  So far a course of antibiotics had done nothing.  It is frustrating and confusing to patients and physicians alike.

If you have any strange symptoms, particularly affecting your joints, it is best to be keep a healthy suspicion.  This is particularly true if you are in areas where the tiny deer tick lives, such as Long Island, New York.  The Center for Disease Control data tells us that approximately 70-80% of people who get Lyme disease have a rash that clears in the center.  From the many stories of people contracting Lyme without such a rash, one wonders if this percentage is exaggerated.

But to return to this patient’s case, after a few months I found  a homeopathic remedy that allowed her to heal.   Here is her testimony:

I could barely function at a minimal level and the fatigue and body pain was overwhelming. Through partnering with Dr. Branch, I have been given a whole new lease on my life. I feel better than ever, and people I know continuously comment on my healthy transformation.

Classical homeopathy represents a powerful healing resource for people with Lyme disease.  In this particular case, my feeling was that the disease had affected her heart, which Lyme can do.  Even though studies of her heart showed it was beating normally, there were strong indications that there was weakness in her heart muscle.  Classical homeopathy can help those with heart failure.  I have seen evidence for this in my office.

Today I have many tools to approach the treatment of Lyme disease.  This is a complex disease that often can benefit from a multi-dimensional approach.  In addition to treatment with classical homeopathy, I assess the energy of the acupuncture meridians and develop a strategy around treatment with Chinese medicine, which may include working with an acupuncturist.  I generally will use the herb Una de gato (cat’s claw) to help with the immunity, giving this in the form of Arcozon from Amazon Herbs Company.  Depending on the case, I may use some other herbal or nutritional therapy.

This disease for many can be difficult, but precise treatment can work wonders.

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A case of Chronic Leukemia

Saturday, March 21st, 2009

I have had a number of tragedies in last few years, I try not to dwell on it, she said.

This woman, in her 70s, had come to for help in treating her leukemia, a cancer of the blood.  Although deeply concerned about her health, she focused on  difficulties in her emotional life during our interview.  She told me,

Divorce is almost worse than death.  I have seen so many people hurt.  The whole family is devastated, and it never stops, we are still picking up pieces.

She paused.  I feel like I’m out there alone.

Although her leukemia was a slow-progressing kind, it was making her increasingly fatigued.  We can observe a certain emotional fatigue in her words as well, for example when she says, “and it never stops, we are still picking up the pieces.” Hers is not a vitality that immediately picks itself up and dusts itself off after one of life’s blows.  We get the sense that she is numb from repeated shocks.  On describing the effects of having a close friend die, she said,

You go numb.  You almost wilt; your strength leaves you.

In some way, this feeling “the strength leaves you,” ties in with her fatigue.  This relates to her leukemia, which was progressively sapping her of strength, as her blood became more and more diseased.  Which came first, the emotional fatigue, or the leukemia?  There is no way to know.

To find out what was happening, I needed to go deeper.  I had to further explore the feeling she had of being alone.  Reaching back to her childhood, she told me,

I never felt anyone would stick up for me.  My mother resents that I learned to stick up for myself.  I knew I had to do it myself,  I knew I couldn’t depend on her.  I was just independent.

There was a detachment to her state.  She used the words “aloof” and “cold.”  She also used the term “putting up a wall,” and it began early with her mother.   Drawing from her sensitivity and the specifics of her detachment and aloneness, I gave her a plant remedy from the Malvales family.  This is the family from which we get cocoa and chocolate.

This remedy has given her much strength over the past 7 years.  I have needed to repeat it often because she would periodically fall back into a state of feeling shock or fatigue or alone.  For her, all three of these are connected.  The energetic strength in the homeopathic remedy enabled her to hold the line.

In the first part of her treatment, her leukemia stalled out in progressing.  Originally she was told by her oncologist that her white blood cell count would keep rising as her cancer progressed.  To the contrary, her white blood cell count simply stopped increasing and held steady.  This is something that can happen in homeopathic treatment of slow-moving, debilitating diseases.  Many neurological diseases, such as Parkinson’s, fall under this category.  As a homeopathic doctor, you can give a Parkinson’s patient an exact prescription and the disease stops progressing.  It is another reason why it is best to seek homeopathic treatment sooner rather than later.

The good news in this case is that, after stalling out for a few years, after continued homeopathic treatment her blood counts returned to normal.  In her latest appointment with the oncologist, he had nothing to do and told her to come back for a check-up in a year.   Is this a “cure”?  After five years of improvement culminating with normal blood tests, things are looking good.

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Dread: Healing Fear & Uncertainty

Wednesday, February 11th, 2009

What bothers me the most is feelings of dread and fear, low self esteem, worthlessness, she said.

The current economic uncertainty has aggravated many people, but particularly it has affected those with a deep inner uncertainty.  This uncertainty is not easy to heal with conventional medicines.  Anti-depressants can help, as can anti-anxiety drugs, but the numbing effect generally do not touch the deeper layers of uncertainty from which the anxious feelings spring.

To help in understanding this, I have selected a case that illustrates how uncertainty can lie within the inner emotional  fabric of the patient, as if hard-wired in the cells. This particular patient, freed from this uncertainty, has gladly lent us a few of her words to help us shine light on the healing process.  She told me,

I have very strong feelings of inadequacy–like “I can’t do this, can’t do this on my own …  I have to do it all myself, and I’m not capable.”

This woman is highly intelligent and accomplished.  Her feelings that she was incapable, needing someone to help her were feelings that had no basis in reality.  Nevertheless, that didn’t stop her from waking up to them every morning.

I wake up in the morning and feel dread… It’s like when you are almost in a car accident.  Adrenaline courses through you; there is this lurching in my stomach.  Panic.

What else? I asked.

I feel depression, and I feel my brain can’t really focus.  It’s fuzzy.  I have a lack of concentration, forgetful.  I feel like I go in circles–directionless–during periods of my day.

This “going in circles” is something she experiences in her body.  It is not simply a mental-emotional issue, such as depression.  She gets “dizzy” and loses her focus. This exacerbates her feelings of inadequacy and dread.

Further along into her interview she told me, I have chronic ear ringing… I feel if I could get rid of the ear ringing I could settle down more.

As you probably know, vertigo and dizziness stem from problems inside the ear.  She told me that this ear ringing made her feel “agitated.”   What is strongly suggested here is that she has inner ear problems that affect her anxiety.

For those of you who follow classical homeopathy, you know that, using the law like cures like, we seek to mirror the energetic pattern of the disease with a homeopathic remedy.   There is a peculiar substance that matched this patient, and it has symptoms  specific to inner ear problems.  It is the worm lizard.  Worm lizards are small, vulnerable animals that have evolved to have a highly-developed, unique middle ear for increased transmission of ground vibrations to the inner ear, which warns them against predators.  Strangely, they also move in both directions effectively.

You may start to see how this mirrors our patient.  The ear of the worm lizard is highly sensitive, and this translates into vertigo and dizziness for our patients.  The ability to move in both directions at once translates at the emotional level into a feeling of “I don’t know which way to go.  I’m lost.”   Remember, our patient told us she feels “directionless,” as if “going in circles.”

It may not surprise you that her response to this remedy was deep.  Listen to what she told me after she took it:

I wake up and I’m not experiencing anxiety or dread…  [Before] I would wake up and not know what to do, and now I wake up and it’s like, ok, I start my day.  I don’t feel so overwhelmed,  It feels like life is manageable, and it’s manageable by me.  I’m just not freaked out.  I don’t feel like I’m looking outside myself for the answers to those questions.  I feel so much more myself and happier with myself.
My ear ringing is reduced.
My work has turned rewarding rather than scary.  Not so fearful about what will happen. I’m not trapped in all this fear about the future.

Those with fear and uncertainty can find deep, permanent help from classical homeopathy.

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The Return of Old Symptoms: A Case of Ulcerative Colitis

Sunday, September 28th, 2008

I recently treated a man with ulcerative colitis, a case that illustrates some important concepts of healing.

Ulcerative colitis and its twin sister disease, Crohn’s, cause the lining of the colon to become inflamed and bleed. My patient described his symptoms like this:

My guts go into powerful spasms. After you have to go to the bathroom five or six times, it feels like you’ve exhausted a lot of your energy. It sort of tears the guts out of you. It takes me out of commission. Even for a short period of time, the spasms make it difficult to participate in things I have to do during the day.

In the world of conventional medicine, doctors treat these powerful symptoms with equally powerful suppressive medications, either steroids or strong anti-inflammatory medications injected into the bowel. But these do not resolve the underlying energy driving the disease. As I have mentioned before, this underlying energy is directly in line with the emotional energy of the person’s body-mind.

This man told me he was extremely sensitive to his environment.

Everyone said I had high standards for myself when I was younger, probably impossible standards. I would lose my temper because I wouldn’t be able to do what I thought I could. I still feel like I lash out at people for no reason.

Then he gave an important clue to the underlying energy of his body-mind disease:

I just feel like I’ve got a lot of pressure in my body somewhere that I don’t know about; and for some reason it will blow off, and I’ll say something inappropriate. Something will snap.

Of course, the same thing happened at the level of his colon. It’s as if the pressure would keep building up and building up inside him and then finally explode in bloody diarrhea.

It is interesting to follow what happened when I gave him a deep-acting remedy prepared from the element Antimony.  He healed both at the emotional and physical level. The first and key sign was when his ulcerative colitis disappeared.

I’m not having problems anymore with my bowels.

And as this happened, old symptoms that he hadn’t had for years came back. The first was a rash on his foot.

It was almost like an eczema outbreak. I first got that right around the time I started having the ulcerative colitis, or even just before that. All of a sudden I had this eczema over the arch on my foot. They were teeny little blisters and they were itchy. I had them occasionally on my hands.  They would just come up for a week or two, be itchy, kind of break open and then heal over and be gone.

Now, years later, the rash made its reappearance and then disappeared again, this time likely for good.

It didn’t stop there.  

A few weeks later, I had the leg cramps. I had those when I was a kid, probably six to eight years old. The memory still sticks in my mind. They felt the same.

The leg cramps lasted a few nights and then also disappeared.

For me, there are few things better than the patient saying, “Oh, I’m much better, but this symptom I haven’t had in years came back.” When a symptom resolves in the context of old symptoms returning, it generally means your prescription was a dart thrown into the bull’s eye. The return of old symptoms is deeply healing.

That might not makes sense until you consider the disease from an energetic perspective. Symptoms are the body’s attempt at energetic balance. Shift the energy of the system back towards health, and it will re-wind right back along the energetic path it took as it slid into disease.

Here’s what this patient told me after the remedy:

One of my biggest goals in life has been to not get riled about things; when complications and challenges come up, to not get bent out of shape. I have been able to do that recently. I feel like there is a calmness that’s been building up a little bit in my spirit. I have been able to get back in contact with friends I lost touch with.

You cannot heal the bowel without healing the emotions that go with it.  It is one thing to compensate for disturbing symptoms with harsh medications, and it is quite another to give a homeopathic remedy that mirrors the disease and shifts the entire system.

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Multiple Chemical Sensitivities

Sunday, June 29th, 2008


It burns in my mouth nose and tongue,
she said.  It has a burning all the time. It literally has a fire, constantly on fire.  Nothing smells the way it’s supposed to smell; everything smells the same… It’s all the same smell, and it’s to the point of gagging.  At one point I couldn’t eat or drink and went down 20 lbs in one week.  For a while I was excreting it so badly into my mouth, the mucous was so thick that I couldn’t swallow it, and so I was spitting at that point in time.  I spit it out by the cupful.

Crying she told me, I can’t function.  It’s causing me upset from morning to night  This is not me.

The peculiar suffering of people with multiple chemical sensitivities is difficult to witness.  The symptoms would be enough, but then there’s our medical system’s treatment of them, which can produce a suffering all its own.  First there’s the attitude of the doctors, who tend to view these patients as psychiatric basket cases.  Then there is the mad attempt to avoid the offending substances, which in itself can become a full-time, night-and-day job. And then there’s the treatment centers:

I go to the environmental center, thought I was going to die… I was not able to stay on the premises,  I had to stay in this other place. and there were all these wacko people who walked around with masks.  They are all sick and looking at me as if I’m from another planet.  “You are sick  You smell,” ….In a week you can spend $10,000 .  The 2nd day I was there I started crying and I couldn’t stop crying.

Thousands and thousands of dollars later, this woman ended up in the same place.  As she put it, 

I still wasn’t feeling any better.  I was in a horror movie.

The case that taught me just how powerful classical homeopathy can be in the treatment of environmental allergies was the woman who came with the burning mouth, nose, tongue.  It took some work to track her case, but once I gave her a correct remedy in very high (10M) potency, she was cured of the burning and atrocious smells. 

In understanding how this is possible, it is important to not make the mistake that the doctors treating her made, that is, don’t get too distracted by the physical symptoms, which generally are intense and create a cloud of confusion.  Instead, start to look what the outcome of the physical symptoms are.  For example, the woman with the burning mouth told me this:

I used to be very outgoing  It  never bothered me to walk up to anyone. say hi to anyone, meet and greet people.  Some people wouldn’t do that, but I would.

Then, however, she said this

I was kind of raised in a family, what goes on in house stays in house, could never really do that, be outgoing or whatever, could never really, I was always very shy very quiet, kept to myself.  For a long time always real quiet.

There’s a bit of a contradiction here, and when she got sick with the burning, note what happened:  she spent her life locked up in her house.  She couldn’t go out at all, because she would be assaulted by people wearing colognes and such, which would cause her burning to intensify.

Compare this to another case that was also profoundly irritated by environmental substances.  Her symptoms were similar.  Nevertheless. the outcome for her was exactly the opposite:

This is crazy I can’t be in the house…I couldn’t stay in my house.   Every time I would go into kitchen– I like to cook do that for my family and myself–I would get this horrible feeling.  My nose would start running, heart start racing, nightmare tingling; everything feels irritated,  I”m going to die, I’m really scared.  When i would leave the house I would feel better outside.

So, on the surface, we have similar physical symptoms, but in one case the symptoms cause the person to stay in the house, never going out, and in the other case, the symptoms cause the person to run from the house.  How can this be?  The answer is that the outcome is, ultimately, not determined by the offending substances themselves, but by the underlying state, which is driving everything.  We could say the first person is in an “I have to be in the house” state and the second person is in an “I cannot be in the house” state.  They have formed sicknesses that help intensify these underlying states. 

In other words, to heal the chemical sensitivities, you have to heal, respectively the person’s need to be in the house, or, case two, the need to flee the house.  If you are successful in this, the sensitivity to chemicals will “magically” disappear.  The treatment of these states is what classical homeopathy is all about. 

Note that each of these respective states could be said to relate to specific insecurities.  In the first case we start to sense this when she tells us  I was always very shy very quiet, kept to myself. This is a person who is shy because of strong underlying fears–fears that make her want to stay home and not meet people.  When she tried to compensate by being outgoing, she developed a disease strong enough to send  her back to the ultra-safety of the parental home. 

The second case has a different underlying energy altogether.  This particularly became clear to me when she said said, in reference to a relationship upset earlier in her life:

I have to get out of this country. I was so upset, I wasn’t’ going to school anymore
I was living at home. living two jobs. I wanted to get out of this city, get away from this country,

Further confirmation of this underlying energy came when she described some of her physical symptoms, which were

like a tingling burning all over my body.  it moves around.  It can be in my neck and back, it just like moves around.

So, this is a disease “that moves around.”   It moves out of the house.  It moves out around the body; and when things really get rough, it’s time to check out and move out of the country.  To treat such a disease successfully you need treat this underlying energy.  To be distracted by outer layer of physical symptoms is lose sight of what needs to be healed.

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A Case of Kidney Stones

Thursday, May 8th, 2008

A few years ago, I treated a man who had suffered kidney stones daily for almost 20 years. His problems with kidney stones went back to his late teens. He’d tried every conventional treatment: medications, diet changes, shockwave therapy. But the stones kept coming back.

Listen to him describe his physical symptoms, which began at a time when he was under tremendous stress:

When I started getting kidney stones, it felt like my heart was beating from my kidney. I would pee pure blood two times in one day.  When I peed in the bottle, blood specks came out. The stones dragged and cut me up as they came out. The sharp points on the stone hurt. I could feel one right as it was coming out, slowly coming out, just scraping me. Sometimes they were too big to come out naturally. It’s like they were holding on, not coming out. I had to go to E.R.

Hearing his stories reminded me of my time working in an emergency room. I can still see the patients who came in while passing a kidney stone. They writhed on gurneys in intense pain, the nurses rushing in with high doses of narcotics to calm them down.

I could feel my kidney pulsing. I could feel my heart beat in my kidney.  It always feels like a knife just poked right in there
.

I knew there was more to his story beyond the excruciating physical pain. Always in homeopathic case-taking there is the outer story, the reality the patient lives, and the deep, inner story that produces their disease. It’s important to look at what was going on in a person’s life when their disease first shows symptoms. The outer reality often triggers something deep in the person’s inner life.

As I asked him more questions, his inner story emerged. His professional career had many ups and downs. He held a top position in his organization, with everyone looking up to him and depending on him. Like many at the top the corporate ladder, he had to work very hard to get there. He started by telling me about his early money struggles.

I think of where I was at in my life. I was financially broke, didn’t have any money.   

He went on to describe a feeling that had dogged him all his life:

Nothing I did was ever good enough. If I walked into a room and people were laughing, I assumed they were laughing about me. I would internalize it,

I asked him how this made him feel.

Used. Of no value. I felt like someone was like putting a lot of pressure on me to do something; most of the time they had a motive but wouldn’t tell me what it was.

His feeling of being under pressure came up again at the end of our conversation, when he began to speak straight from the inner life of his disease. I asked him why people snap.

Pressure. Pressure put on themselves or by other people. Pressure to be something they are not, to perform at a level they are not capable of.   

What does it feel like to be under pressure?

Just like everything is closing in on you. The more and more pressure you’re under, either it will make you a better person and create a breakthrough in your life, or it will crush you
.    

There emerged from his story images of stones, massive pressure and translucency. His feelings of worthlessness – and its opposite, immense value – struck me as particularly relevant. He talked about control, power, being used and using others for personal gain.

It’s the story of the diamond. Diamond is made of a common carbon, like the ashes in your fireplace, which through time and massive pressure becomes a brilliant, beautiful, translucent stone of immense value. A diamond’s value is maintained by the power and control of the cartels at the center of the diamond trade.

So I gave the man diamond in homeopathic potency. 

And it cured his kidney stones. At the first follow-up he told me, When I took it, my whole body burned. My kidneys have not hurt since

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An Aggressive Form of Rheumatoid Arthritis

Friday, October 5th, 2007

Recently a patient I had not seen in some time wrote with a question. When I wrote back, I asked how she would feel if I wrote about her case. She had been a joy to treat, and her case held much interest for me. She replied with this precise summary:

“Please note that I was told by two rheumatologists that I have a diagnosis of Psoriatic Arthritis, which is more aggressive and crippling than rheumatoid, and that I would be a cripple in a wheelchair if I didn’t take the Enbrel and Methotrexate. (both medications have side effects as bad as the disease even though they don’t admit it). I began my doses of remedy in August 2006, off Methotrexate in November in 2006, and off Enbrel February 2007. Currently, I have the normal and some abnormal aches and pains of a 62 y/o female in menopause, and actually painting all the rooms in my house. I am able to live with the pain and work through it since taking the remedy. Also, you are the best that has happened to me for a long time and I appreciate this “thing” that has brought me out of a very black period of life and maintained my sanity.“

This was a woman with a particularly aggressive form of arthritis indeed. Without the immune-system-suppressing regimen of Methotrexate and Enbrel she was practically frozen, her joints ”stiffening up in excruciating pain.“ How to explain how one good classical homeopathic prescription changed her life? As I briefly explain her case, remember the rule ”like cures like.“ The remedy must mirror the overall state of mind and body. Forget any ideas you have about what types of substances may or may not be able to heal disease. A substance that heals someone may be quite unexpected and outside the realm of what we consider “medicine.”

Note her use of the word ”aggressive“ in describing her arthritis. ”Aggressive and crippling,“ she says. This word came up repeatedly when I took her case. It is not stretching things too far to say that ”aggression“ is a certain energetic reality for her. When she described a co-worker she said this:

She was an extremely evil, aggressive person. She used any method to be underhanded and pretty much push me out so she could take control.

Here we get a sense of what she means by ”aggressive.” It is an ”evil, underhanded…take control“ aggression. Thus, we have ”aggression“ at the level of her joints and we have ”aggression“ at the level of her co-worker. Whenever we see a word like this repeating in entirely different circumstances, then the chances are good that it is coming not from an outer reality, but from a deep inner perception of reality, the energetic pattern of consciousness within the person (i.e. 4th level). You cannot truly cure the aggression of the arthritis without dealing with the inner perception of aggressiveness. They are one and the same.

Repeatedly she made note of people who were ”cruel“ and would ”cheat“ on her. There was a certain need in her to develop independence. When she had become dependent on people, they would ”betray“, ”cheat,“ or just plain turn ”cruel.“ As she put it,

They are so ruthless; they are so cruel. They are like lions in a den. If they could they would devour your flesh…They treat you like a piece of meat.

Faced with such an unpleasant reality, you would develop independence too. Note that the core issue is one of survival in a world of aggression and competition. Understand this in a deep way and you understandt the essence of an homeopathic animal remedy. This is what cured this woman’s aggressive arthritis.

What sort of animal reality did she need? The key word for me in her case was the word ”dependence,“ because once I knocked open this door, it took the case straight into the realm of parasites. If you think about it, there are different types of dependencies. There is the dependency, for example, of the baby on the mother. There is a dependency of one who needs knowledge on the guide or teacher. There is the dependency of the addict on the drug. The dependency of the parasite on the host is a different matter. It is an animal relationship characterized by a lack of mutuality. The parasite needs the host to survive, and thereby takes from the host, not caring whether the host suffers harm. The parasite treats the host literally like ”a piece of meat.“ In this case case, the peculiarities of her state and ideas of ”sucking of the blood“ led to the homeopathic prescription of the Hiruda medicinalis, the blood-sucking leech. I have had two cases of this in my practice. and they both have had arthritis. Hiruda is apparently an important remedy for arthritis.

Although this particular case was an exception, the cases in my practice that have cured with parasitic remedies have often presented with an all-consuming ”global“ anger. The feeling that people are betraying you, cheating you, violating you, or just plain ripping you off can feel out of control for these people. We need to always remember that what the homeopathic remedy treats is baggage. It’s a deep perception within us that leaves us unfree. This woman has gradually been discovering more peace inside, even as she continued to have difficulties with those in her environment.

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