Monday, January 25, 2010


This is Osis, a pug dog that frequents our home very often.  I believe he is an alien, just like the one on Men in Black.  He acts as if he sees ghosts and when upset, he makes this alien-like noise that sounds like words but screechy.  He is dubbed tornado dog because he makes circles all day long, especially if he gets excited or has to go pee.  I last counted 28 times before a potty break. 
These are tiny capsules of homeopathic remedies.  Aconite, Belladonna, Chamomile, Pulsatilla.  ABC-P.  These are the staples we use for any illness. We have been practicing this health alternative since Mikey was 4 years old, 21 years ago.  Mike did not sleep through the night for the first 3 years.  My  pediatrician at the time was recommended by a family member so I trusted his expertise.  Actually, most new moms believe their pediatrician is god for we really don't know the best way to treat childhood illness and freak out when the kids get sick, which they inevitably do.  We desperately hope the advice given by our child's doctor will be the best treatment needed to keep our kids well in a safe manner.  We put our trust into these doctors and follow their word as gospel.  The doctor we visited suggested I put Mike on an antibiotic, and two other medicines that contained alcohol so he would sleep.  This did not sit right with me; my intuition screamed no way, Jose - get him out of there - fast.  But where do I go for suggestions? 

It so happened I was very involved with a group called Tuesday's Child near Belmont to learn how to discipline my kids without physical abuse, using positive reinforcement.  The moms attending suggested we try homeopathy to help our issue.  The only doctor practicing same was way up in Evanston, Dr. Joel Shepperd.  We were at a loss as what to do so our family of four made appointments and were evaluated.  It took 5 hours to screen us and the doctor asked us about our tongue and nails and some psychological questions.  We were perplexed, but up against a wall so we followed through his procedures.  He offered us remedies that would help each of us, Wayne, Mike, Dan and me with our quest for balance.  As we drove home, Wayne and I both felt this immense rush of energy through our bodies.  As we arrived home an hour later, we felt so good.  It is an indescribable feeling, only of inner goodness.  You know that feeling when you are driving a bike or in a car and you go a little fast down a steep hill, that rush?  That is what it felt like.  Dr. Shepperd has relocated his practice to the Center for Integral Health in Lombard, closer to our home, so it is more convenient to visit him, however, truth be told, our family has not needed medical assistance to be healthy all these years.  If my boys would have ear aches or sore throats, I just called the good doctor with the symptoms and he told me which remedy to get.  It always did the trick.  There was no facility to purchase the remedies besides the Mertz Apothacary up North so we ordered via phone, but now you can obtain the remedies at any health store such as Fruitful Yield. 

The pills are tiny sugar pills that come in increments of 15X,  30X or 100X depending on how they have been diluted.  Actually, the concept of homeopathy is not new, for they used this over 200 years ago when the local doctors thought bloodletting was the answer to all illnesses.  The more you dilute the substance, the more potent it is.  You only need to take 3 pills every 3 hours the first few days until the illness subsides.  I have used a guideline book for symptoms to recognize which remedy was applicable to our illness but when something is extreme, a visit to the doctor is best.

Homeopathy was first proposed by German physician Samual Hahnemann in 1796. Homeopathy is a vitalist philosophy in that it interprets disease and sickness as caused by disturbances in a vital force or life force.  It sees these disturbances as manifesting themselves as unique symptoms.  Homeopathy maintains that the vital life force has the ability to react and adapt to internal and external causes, which homeopaths refer to as "law of susceptibility." This law implies that a negative state of mind can attract disease entities called 'miasms' to invade the body and produce symptoms of disease.  However, he rejected the notion of a disease as a separate thing or invading entity and insisted that it was always part of the 'living whole.'  Hahnemann observed from his experiments with cinchona bark used as a treatment for malaria that the effects he experienced from ingesting the bark were similar to symptoms of malaria.  He therefore reasoned that cure process through similarity and that treatments must be able to produce symptoms in healthy individuals similar to those of the disease being treated.  Through further experiments, Hahnemann conceived of the 'law of similars' otherwise known as 'let like be cured by like' as a fundamental healing principle.  He believed that by inducing a disease through use of drugs, the artificial symptoms empowered the vital force to neutralize and expel the original disease and that this artificial disturbance would naturally subside when the dosing ceased.

A remedy is a technical term in homeopathy that refers to a substance prepared with a particular procedure and intended for treating patients.  Homeopathy uses many animal, plant, mineral and synthetic substances in its remedies.  Examples include arsenicum album (arsenic oxide) natrum muriaticum (sodium chloride or table salt) opium and thyroidinum (thyroid hormone) lachesis muta (the venom of the bushmaster snake).  Homeopaths also use treatments called nosodes (from the Greek noses, disease) made from diseases or pathological products such as fecal, urinary and respiratory discharges, blood and tissue. 

In producing remedies for diseases, homeopaths use a process called dynamisation or potentisation, whereby a substance is diluted with alcohol or distilled water and vigorously shaken by 10 hard strikes against an elastic body in a process called succussion.  Hahnemann advocated using substances which produce symptoms similar to those of the disease being treated, he found material doses would intensify the symptoms so he specified the substances be diluted.  He believed the process of succession activiated the vital energy of the diluted substance.

Prior to our involvement with this alternative medicine, Wayne downloaded over 200 pages from the web mostly from Europe, where this was practiced wholeheartedly and accepted.  Today, more people are embracing alternative medicine and healing practices as acceptable avenues to stay healthy and keep in balance.  We all have choices, but it is important to be aware of what is available.  Homeopathy has worked for our family.  I remember how often nieces and nephews would get ill and my boys remained well and I just smiled, knowing whatever we were doing, whether it seemed like voodoo to allopaths, it worked for us.  The best I could do is offer the suggestion and have people see how healthy we were.  We all have a choice and I am glad people are more open to making choices about their well-being.  Second opinions are great and options are even better.  To life! xo