A Holistic Treatment
Many patients want to know what they can expect from Holistic Medicine, that is treatment with a combination of osteopathy and homeopathy. The best answer is that everyone responds differently (that’s part of what is meant by holistic). It is as though each of us is a novel whose plot is unfolding before us and neither you nor the doctor can predict with absolute certainty where the twists of plot will take us. Your task is to follow as best you can the directions you have been given and to describe as best you can your mental, emotional and physical symptoms. Remain open to the possibility that a new way of understanding may emerge from this process. The physician’s task is to listen as best he can and make suggestions to aid in promoting health, awareness and longevity.
Beyond the “Quick Fix”
However, some generalizations can be made about this process. While it is certainly true that homeopathy can sometimes effect a profound or dramatic change after just one or two doses, generally people get better over a period of several months or years. These months or years may be filled with periods of many ups and downs. Holistic Medicine is a process – not a quick fix. The process involves improved physical, mental and psychological health and also a deepening of freedom and awareness. The doctor’s goal is to be available during this process and to determine what will help you accomplish your goals. It is also his job to provide you with enough information and remedies so that you can prescribe for yourself or your family in the event of acute complaints such as cold, flu, indigestion, accidents and minor injuries, etc.
The Healing Process
Specifically, change will occur in a characteristic manner during this process. Cure is said to occur from within outwards, from above downwards, from more vital to less vital organ, and in reverse order of appearance of symptoms (the most recent first, the oldest last). These changes reflect your body’s attempt to heal itself. Old symptoms may have to return before complete resolution can occur. Symptoms may undergo an aggravation before resolution can occur. This resolution may be likened to the peeling away of fine layers of symptoms much like the peeling of an onion. The amount of time needed for this process is highly individual. It is said that the founder of homeopathy, Samuel Hahnemann, noted that a chronic case would generally take a minimum of two years to cure. In today’s complicated, stressful and polluted world it may, in fact, take longer.
Some chronic conditions are complicated by long standing use of recreational drugs, conventional medicines, both prescription and non-prescription, or various types of conventional and alternative therapies. The first few months of your treatment may involve treating you for the suppressive effects of these drugs or therapies. Only after these have been removed can the process really begin. You may be asked to stop or change one or more of the therapies you are currently undergoing (including bodywork). Other chronic conditions are complicated by the use of drugs to treat life-threatening disorders such as asthma, heart disease, epilepsy, etc. In these cases, it may be possible to slowly and carefully withdraw the drugs if the patient is beginning to respond to treatment and to ultimately treat the patient solely with holistic therapies. Some patients, however, cannot ethically be withdrawn from their life sustaining medicine and in these cases it may be possible to obtain some relief from a homeopathic remedy while still on a drug although here the goal would be only for palliation of symptoms.
The Patient’s Role in Holistic Medicine
In short, being an holistic patient involves your active participation in the healing process, your cooperation in following directions, and your understanding and patience with a unique and unfolding process.