Excerpt from Picture It: Homeopathy

My interest in homeopathy stems from an overall curiosity in watching how people react differently to a given situation. Stepping out the door on a Monday morning, the start of the work week, homeopathy is alive along the route to work even before 8 a.m. All someone needs to do is open their eyes to the diversity of reactions. There is a woman with her hair half wet, running across the street at the first gap in traffic in order to get to work on time. She has probably skipped breakfast, and seems concerned about making a good impression on her supervisor. I may not know the specifics, but the wet hair and sprint across the street catches my attention. There is the man 15 minutes early at the bus stop crisp in his suit, briefcase organized and equipped for quick access to his cell phone and computer. He may have an alternate bus route planned in case there are mishaps with the first one. There is an attractive lady in line to get coffee, already 10 minutes late for work but craving a double shot of espresso in order to function in the morning. Maybe she knows if she bats her eyes a little at her boss, she’ll be let off the hook for a little tardiness. A token driver is honking his horn indiscriminately at every driver who, in his opinion, seems bent on making his day worse. I have my own morning habits about which I sometimes wonder, “Where did these come from?”

Homeopathy is an important medicinal art because it pays attention to the diversity of responses people have to life circumstances. Throughout my clinical training, I have seen one overriding principal of health: No two people are the same. Ten patients can come in with a diagnosis of eczema, but they are ten different presentations that each belong uniquely to the person experiencing the eczema. Whether doing a homeopathic intake or a general naturopathic visit, I like to explore the patient’s history in the big picture way that I learned through the study of homeopathy. When eczema is present, there are most likely other pieces to the picture that are also important to explore in order to treat the whole patient.

Homeopathy is a subject that challenges me to think, “Can I picture it?” The ‘it’ is not only the symptom the patient wants cured, but also the patient’s unique and underlying state of being. When studying homeopathy, students are challenged to look deeply into a person’s presentation. The process involves taking in the totality of the patient’s symptoms, personality, background, medical history, family history, lifestyle, interests, and quirks (just to name a few) in order to come up with a remedy best suited for that individual.

My purpose in creating this book is to help students of homeopathy picture it in a fun and visual way. I have illustrated the mental, emotional, general, and physical keynotes for 32 remedies that you may see frequently prescribed or discussed in the clinical setting.  This book focuses on chronic and constitutional prescribing more so than acute, though I am planning to work on a book with a more acute slant in the future. The picture pages are organized in a way that will help the reader draw associations between what is happening mentally and emotionally in the remedy state with what is happening physically. The page layout should also help with retention, since the keynotes for each remedy are drawn and grouped together on a one-glance page.

Have fun looking through the drawings and thinking about what remedy describes you, family, friends, movie actors, or whoever may interest you. Maybe you will have your own mental illustration for Lycopodium that looks nothing like mine, but offers another picture of a Lycopodium. You could even try drawing your character and a scenario of how he or she might react in the world. Homeopathy gives us a chance to celebrate and appreciate people’s quirks and uniqueness.