Category Archives: Admin comment

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… Continue reading

10 Tips for Homoeopathy Students

Read Primary Sources!

10 Tips for Homoeopathy Students

1.  Read the Organon yourself.  Read Chronic Diseases.  Read Hahnemann and Boenninghausen’s Lesser Writings.  You are not a baby, don’t stick to the pureed version.

2. Never let anything go unchallenged.  Ask why, and if you don’t get answers from your teachers look for them yourself.  This includes everything from the law of similars, to plastic cups, dosing methods, antidotes, choices of remedies, concepts of miasms. Continue reading

Where to study homoeopathy – a dilemma

booksPeople often ask “where’s the best place to study homoeopathy in ……. (fill in town of choice).” I no longer know how to answer. Or more precisely, I know how to answer, but it’s usually not the answer they are looking for.

In the past, I used to be able to give a breakdown of schools in my area which offer a qualification that will be acceptable to the local associations. I myself studied at a “recognized school”. With the world’s direction towards uninformed regulation, it is the associations, the boards, and the schools connected with them that have the best chances of survival.

Qualifications are important. Society shows them respect. They offer some form of validation for what you do. Oh, so you’re a homoeopath? What qualifications do you have? Well yes, I have a …… (fill in string of letters after the name), and I studied with…. (fill in names of many homoeopaths both living and late). So you must be good, right? (at which point, homoeopath gracefully inclines head in modest acknowledgement…)

So here is the difficult question: do you want good qualifications, or do you want to be the best homoeopath you can be? Unfortunately, these goals often don’t overlap.

The underlying principles of homoeopathy are simple and straightforward. When you identify the core principle of “like cures like” and separate it from the doctrine of signatures, for example, when you learn it correctly, it becomes clear that whatever happens to homoeopathic methodology this principle is unchanging, and the nature of the sources of information which enable us to make use of this principle also don’t change.

If someone is open and desires to learn, it would take about a day to teach this – if not less. Here, let’s do it in 5 minutes:

Me: Homoeopathy is based on the principle of like cures like
Fred: What does that mean?
Me: If a substance causes symptoms in a healthy person, it can, and by default will heal similar symptoms in the sick, if nothing is holding it back
Fred: So you give substances to healthy people to find out what symptoms they can cause?
Me: Yes, exactly. What do you think the prescription should be based on?
Fred: Well, I guess they should be based on the symptoms you got from giving substances to healthy people, at least first of all…

QED. I have had this conversation so many times with people who have no idea about homoeopathy, and follow simple logic. It is that central and basic, and unchanging. It is also based on the most boring reading material in the homoeopathic bookcase – provings. Grocery lists of symptoms, many of which you really don’t want anyone reading over your shoulder in a crowded cafe.

How do people practice homoeopathy without ever accessing this basic material? By studying regurgitated material provided by teachers and gurus. Without anchoring the material in the primary proving sources, we are now in the land of hit-and-miss, and have moved very far from ideas of certainty and unchanging principles.

So you can do a fine qualifying course without ever reading a proving. Many such courses are available. “But we give our students a solid foundation in Kent and Phatak,” declare those schools which have not chosen to follow the route to the far more exciting pastures of Sankaran’s sensations and Scholten’s magic minerals and elements. Students emerge from such training equipped to hunt the snark of the Kentian constitutional remedy through endless hours of case-taking, rather than to hone in on prescribing symptoms and exploit the default in nature, the cure by means of similars. (with apologies to Lewis Carroll).

It is possible to find qualifying courses which do not rest on Sankaran and Scholten. But to the best of my knowledge, it is almost impossible to find qualifying courses which are not based on Kent and Phatak.

How about the nature of the work, the “how-to” of homoeopathy? Those who are familiar with my writing know well what’s coming here. The primary “how-to” of homoeopathy is Hahnemann’s Organon, preferably in 6th edition. This is the work where the building bricks of homoeopathy are presented, each logically built on the previous, tracing back to the principle of like cures like.

Many qualifying courses give minimal attention to the Organon, dismissing it to dusty shelves as a philosophical work. I am told that there are courses where the Organon is not taught at all. That’s the same as trying to replicate a scientific experiment while refusing to follow the method set down by the scientist who devised it.

It is the nature of man to look for ways to improve what he is doing. When this is done to principle it is an excellent thing. But when it’s done to avoid the boring work of studying provings, to shrug off the somewhat archaic language of the Organon, to take shortcuts which distort the work or to gain personal fame by providing something new and so much more interesting – none of this leads to courses which will ensure better practice of homoeopathy.

You can learn more about actual practice of homoeopathy in one week with the IHM, such as in the intensive course currently offered by Gary in Spain which will also be available in Israel and in other countries, than you would learn in many of the qualifying courses available today.

But… the study of how to practice focused, practical, uncompromising homoeopathy in a brief period of time will not bring you the qualifications you may think you need. And the courses which grant the qualifications you may be seeking , in addition to being time consuming and probably expensive, will ingrain information which you will need to painfully unlearn in order to practice homoeopathy the way it should be practiced.

Hahnemann and Boenninghausen – or Kent and Phatak….a dilemma indeed.

Hahnemann, fees, respect and self-respect

thalerHahnemann, fees, respect and self-respect

The letters brought in volume 2 of Richard Haehl’s Samuel Hahnemann: His Life and Work shed much light on Hahnemann’s views and the circumstances of his practice.  Many of his letters show that little has changed, that today we are still addressing the same issues which often impact negatively on our work.  A particularly raw subject is that of fees, incorporating as it does both respect for the homoeopath and the art, and our own self-respect as practitioners. Continue reading

Hahnemann’s Ten Questions

Hahnemann 1Hahnemann’s Ten Questions – how do you score?

A Dr. Steinestel of Stuttgart, who later turned out to be a fake, wrote to Hahnemann claiming that he was a homoeopath and was being persecuted by the local Board of Health. He asked Hahnemann for a written testimony stating that he had the necessary knowledge to practice homoeopathy.

Hahnemann wrote back, saying “…in answer to your request, I put the following questions to you, and from your answers to them I shall be able to judge of your capability to practise homoeopathy and to treat patients of all kinds…” (From Richard Haehl’s Samuel Hahnemann, His Life and Work, Vol 2) Continue reading

“I knew that…” – but did you really?

The agonies of unlearning

The agonies of unlearning

I knew that…

This is something I and other IHM practitioners often hear, or see on people’s faces when we talk about homoeopathy to homoeopaths. I can feel the thought echoing through the ether (so to speak…) when I write about homoeopathy to homoeopaths.

However, to warp an old idiom, knowing is as knowing does. If you really knew that – why don’t you do that?

Let’s start with the first basic tenet of homoeopathy: like cures like. Continue reading

Aphorisms 5 and 6 – the changed and the unchanged…

Kent James TylerWhat has changed?  And what has stayed the same?  How is the patient in health and how does he change in sickness?  How do we reconcile “take note of nothing…except the deviations from the former healthy state” (Aphorism 6), with “the most significant points in the whole history of the chronic disease” (Aphorism 5)?

Let’s look at them… (text taken from 6th edition)

Aphorism 5:

Useful to the physician in assisting him to cure are the particulars of the most probable exciting cause of the acute disease, as also the most significant points in the whole history of the chronic disease, to enable him to discover its fundamental cause, which is generally due to a chronic miasm. In these investigations, the ascertainable physical constitution of the patient (especially when the disease is chronic), his moral and intellectual character, his occupation, mode of living and habits, his social and domestic relations, his age, sexual function, etc., are to be taken into consideration. Continue reading

P&W in book form – a cure for tunnel vision

P&W in book form – a cure for tunnel vision

tunnel visionI recently received my copy of P&W’s book version of the Therapeutic Pocketbook. And I must admit, it was love at first sight, and second, and third…

I must own up to being old fashioned. However much computers may have helped us in referencing many books, in finding correct rubrics, in the process of repertorization – it has reduced us to a bunch of small-screen addicts with heavy-duty tunnel vision. Continue reading

Homoeopathy case-taking – in search of the truth…


truthThe following is a post I originally put up on my general blog, aimed at the not-necessarily-homoeopathy-oriented public. However, as I’ve mentioned previously probably (possibly?) more than once, getting “true” answers and being aware of the less than “true” ones is so crucial to our case-taking that I decided to put this article up here too for your perusal.

I could also have titled this post “On homeopathy, marketing, treadmills and chocolate.” Read on. You will get my drift.

Modern culture is all about marketing and sales. How you present yourself has become all-important, and just being “you” seems to never be enough. It’s all about the spin. Continue reading

Book version of the P&W Boenninghausen Therapeutic Pocketbook

The IHM is releasing the English version of the P&W Boenninghausen TPB today. Retail Price is $85 + postage. The first 100 purchasers can obtain the book for $55+ postage.

63 books remaining at the $55 price. (26-October 2015 at 11:43 GMT.) Continue reading