Featured Healing Modality: Homeopathy
Featured practitioner: Nancy McCullough, RN
Where do you look for help when you are hurting and want to feel better? What has been your experience in going to a physician as your first option? Sally, a day care provider, decided to try a different route when she experienced aches and pains resulting from a ski accident months before. She describes her previous experience of going to a doctor for such a problem: “I didn’t think I had the time to go to a doctor to tell me I had bursitis or something and to take a pain killer and exercise, as he did a couple of years before when I had discomfort in my hips and knee. So this time, without hesitation, I went to see Nancy McCullough, my homeopath.”
What is this homeopathy that provided Sally a choice when she needed care for her health? Here’s a little background.
Homeopathic remedies are dilutions of natural substances from plants, mineral, and animals. German physician Samuel Hahnemann, founder of homeopathy in the late 18th century, explains the principle of “like cures like:” the same substance that in large doses produces the symptoms of an illness, cures it in very minute doses. This “Law of Similars” also eventually provided the theoretical basis for the vaccines of physicians Jenner, Salk, and Pasteur. In 1844 the first national medical association was formed – The American Institute of Homeopathy. By 1900 there were 22 homeopathic medical schools and nearly 100 homeopathic hospitals in the United States. 15% of all American physicians practiced homeopathy at the turn of that century. Yet, as a result of the power and bond of the AMA and pharmaceutical companies, by 1930 the practice of homeopathy had nearly disappeared as a force in American medicine. Because homeopathic remedies are derived from natural substances, and as such, are unpatentable, no pharmaceutical company will provide the necessary funds for research to gain FDA approval. Yet homeopathy has been in continual practice around the world, with an estimated 500 million people now receiving homeopathic treatment
Nancy McCullough, a registered nurse for 27 years, became involved in complementary health because of serious health issues with her own children. As a certified natural health professional Nancy received certification from The New England School of Homeopathy and established her business “Natural Alternatives, Inc.”
Nancy explains that homeopathic remedies serve as an “energetic jump start” for the cells. When we think of our body as an energy system, we learn that much of our health or sickness depends on the energetic frequencies within us. A homeopathic remedy may convey an electromagnetic “message” to the body that matches the specific frequency or pattern of an illness in order to stimulate the body’s natural healing response.
So how does this related to Sally’s illness and how did Nancy help?
Sally’s first session with Nancy would be a unique experience for someone accustomed to conventional medicine – where appointments are often very brief and address general symptoms. Nancy began by “profiling,” – recording all the qualities – physical, mental and emotional – that will determine the remedies or combination of remedies. This process reflects a holistic medical model, exploring the unique illness, and so the unique remedy, for each person. Sally was asked very specific questions about her unique “aches and pains” – considering her history, her lifestyle and capacity to function, her emotional state, as well as the “presenting” symptoms.
By then, Sally’s symptoms had worsened. Her pain limited her basic functioning. But she learned that there are over 5,000 different homeopathic remedies and many ways to determine how they are to be given. Nancy identified subtle connections (e.g. Sally’s history of poison ivy and rosacea) – leading her to recommend a homeopathic remedy that “is made from a very very diluted poison ivy itself, and has an affinity for the skin, ligaments, joints and the glands.”
Sally’s response was almost immediate. After months of suffering, she felt better the next day. Sally and Nancy both realize that results are not always so dramatic, since finding the particular remedy for the particular person may take some time and exploration. But as Sally describes: “I understand homeopathic is all about ‘energy.’ It is important to get ‘just the right one’ for it to work with your body and problem. And there are no side effects.” Sally summarizes: “I cannot explain how it works but when you have the right homeopath it is wonderful.”
This wisdom of the ages is resurrecting! Statistics show that the American public is returning to this form of treatment in dramatic numbers.
Thanks to Sally and Nancy for sharing their stories and inspiration.
Reprinted with permission from Nature’s Wisdom Magazine.
Volume II/Issue XI (Late Summer/Early Autumn 2004)