Homoeopathy studies in extremis

hahnemann monument at Leipzig

Hahnemann monument in Leipzig

How long to study homoeopathy?  There are four-year courses which are considered very prestigious.  There are courses of several hours in some countries offered to medical doctors who wish to add some homoeopathic letters to their names – and it might be added here that the extent of instruction is often homoeopathic in terms of the size of the dose, but not necessarily the aptness of the prescription…

Sometimes it really isn’t about the length of the course, it’s the nature of the instruction.  There are courses with very high demands and very short duration in many fields, and much depends on the commitment of the student and the ability – and possibly the intransigence – of the teacher.

One thing is clear.  In homoeopathy once the central prescribing principle is really understood – and by that I mean the kind of intelligent understanding where one thing can logically follow another, not the meaningless carping of “like cures like” – everything else falls into place.  Without that understanding we see more polypharmacy, more of “let’s use antibiotics alongside homoeopathic remedies because every little helps” and suchlike.  But without that understanding – there is also no understanding of why this is a problem, so it’s a vicious cycle where 20 years experience in the field can merely mean one year of experience repeated 20 times…

The IHM is currently offering one-week intensive courses in Sevilla, where medical and non-medical practitioners will be challenged to “up their game,” to demonstrate their commitment and to follow a grueling program of studies.  A kind of “extreme sports” version of homoeopathic study, if you will.  But  once the practitioner takes up the challenge and opens his or her mind to the fact that their understanding of basic homoeopathic principles, even after 20 years experience, may be faulty, learning can progress very quickly.

What about Hahnemann?  Did he ever start a school?  Did he offer a four year program complete with obligatory study of Tai Chi?  (not intended to detract from the value of Tai Chi…but it deserves its own course…)  Haehl reports the following challenge, presented by Hahnemann to medical practitioners of the day in 1811 and advertised in the “Reichsanzeiger” (no. 336).  Note that Hahnemann gives the time required for any intelligent mind to grasp the principles of homoeopathy as six months…

“…I have decided to open here in Leipsic, at the beginning of April, an Institute for Graduated Physicians. In this Institute I shall elucidate in every respect the entire homoeopathic system of healing as taught in the “Organon,” and shall make a practical application of it with patients treated in their presence, and thus place my pupils in a condition to be able to practise this system in all cases themselves. A six months’ course will be sufficient to enable any intelligent mind to grasp the principles of this most helpful science of healing. More detailed conditions will be sent on receipt of a prepaid envelope. Dr. Samuel Hahnemann.Leipsic. 4th December, 1811.”

Haehl further commented “Nobody seems to have applied. The “Golden Flag,” Hahnemann’s house in Burg Street, Leipsic, did not become a “medical institute,” as he had hoped.”

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