In our March newsletter, I want to share a little bit of my experience with homeopathy and how it is part of my life. It’s a story that begins back when I was in my 20s, and my son Ravi was about to arrive in the world. But before I tell you this whole story, I decided to bring you the historical context in which homeopathy emerged, what it is and how it works.
To do this, I had help from my dear student Kathi Fry, who is a homeopath and certified Kaiut Yoga teacher. Our perceptions about the practice of yoga as a therapeutic resource are very similar. This gives us a lot to reflect on regarding the parallels and relationship between homeopathy and yoga.
I hope you like the content as homeopathy has been influential in the development of the Kaiut Yoga Method, so I am happy to finally share this knowledge and my experiences with you! Enjoy!
Homeopathy is a powerful, deep-acting form of alternative medicine that stimulates a being’s ability to heal itself. The principles of homeopathy were discovered and codified by Dr. Samuel Hahnemann, a physician who lived and worked in Germany at the end of the 18th century. In those days, what passed for conventional medicine included such brutal treatments as bloodletting and inducing vomiting, sweating, and purging with caustic compounds like arsenic and mercury.
Dr. Hahnemann became disillusioned with such treatments that were worse than the disease. So, he gave up the practice of medicine and supported his family by translating ancient medical texts from their original Greek and Latin into German. Through his studies of the writings of Hippocrates, Galen, and Paracelsus, he discovered the underlying principle of Similia similibus curentur, which is Latin for “likes are cured by likes.” This means that a substance given to healthy people induces a set of symptoms in a process called a proving. When that same set of symptoms is recognized in a sick person, that substance can be used to heal the illness.
The purpose of homeopathic treatment of any condition is to achieve a state of optimal health. This healthy state is reflected in the absence of disease symptoms and is under the control of what Hahnemann called “the Vital Force.” In Chinese medicine, this unseen force is called Qi and in Ayurvedic medicine, it’s called Prana. All symptoms, be they physical, mental, or emotional, are just messengers from the Vital Force asking for help.This differs from conventional pharmaceutical medicine that uses drugs, or sometimes surgery to remove symptoms. However, unless you get at the underlying cause of the imbalance in the Vital Force, the symptoms return and often new ones show up as side effects from the drugs prescribed.
Homeopathic remedies are made in a special way in licensed homeopathic pharmacies by diluting and shaking, or “succussing” a concentrated mother tincture of any natural substance. As the tincture is repeatedly diluted and shaken, the physical characteristics of the substance lessen as the energetic or healing properties are increased. In this way, substances such as snake venom or other poisons can be safely used to stimulate the Vital Force that knows innately how to restore a being to a state of health.
The correctly chosen remedy that matches the patient’s symptoms is called the Simillimum. For example, arsenic is a well-known poison that was commonly used in the middle ages to kill one’s enemy. The symptoms of arsenic poison are classic: severe abdominal cramping, nausea, vomiting, chills alternating with sweats, and a horrible feeling that they might die. What other common syndrome does this sound like? If you guessed food poisoning, you would be right. In fact, Arsenicum album, made from arsenic, is a very safe and effective treatment for food poisoning. I’ve used it myself on five occasions while traveling and have never had to go to the hospital or take antibiotics!
Of course, you can’t give someone straight arsenic as that would kill them. But for over 200 years homeopaths have been successfully treating hundreds of thousands of cases of food poisoning using Arsenicum album, which is made by serially diluting one drop of the mother tincture of arsenic at least 30 times. The diluted remedy is then put on sugar pellets and the patient takes it every 30 minutes until their symptoms abate. Hence, Arsenicum album is the simillimum for food poisoning.
Arsenicum album can also be used for chronic problems such as anxiety or even chronic irritable bowel syndrome if the symptoms of the patient match those recorded in the proving of Arsenicum album that was done on healthy people.
In chronic conditions, usually, a lower potency of a remedy is given daily and the potency is gradually increased over time. When given daily, the correct homeopathic remedy, the simillimum, acts like a tuning fork to strengthen the Vital Force which then has the power to restore the person to optimal health. Once the symptoms are permanently gone, the remedy is no longer needed because the Vital Force has been returned to a state of health.
I have practiced homeopathy and virtually every kind of yoga for over 30 years. For the past 8 years, I have practiced the Kaiut Method of yoga almost every day. Just like homeopathy, as well as acupuncture and Ayurvedic medicine, the Kaiut Yoga Method works by stimulating a person’s innate ability to heal from within.
I believe that taking the Simillimum homeopathic remedy daily, is like consistently practicing every day where we “touch” the restriction while stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system. As in homeopathy where “like heals like”, consistent use of the Kaiut Method slowly removes these restrictions healing from within. In this way, the optimal position in a pose acts like the Simillimum. Like balancing the doshas in Ayurveda or unblocking the energy meridians in Chinese medicine.
In over 30 years of practicing homeopathy, I have seen consistently that patients who use homeopathic remedies need chiropractic adjustments less often. When they do need chiropractic treatment, those who take homeopathic remedies notice that their adjustments “hold” longer!
This is all very interesting! I realize the same thing with students who do yoga consistently, especially those who practice it every day. The greater the consistency of the practice, the better and more lasting the results are – often replacing other treatments they were using previously.
Throughout my life as a natural therapist, even before I became a yoga teacher, the idea of homeopathy, to me, was always presented with a certain glamor, as something very special and important. At the time though, having never had any contact or personal experience with it, I didn’t see it that way.
That perception completely changed however, when my son Ravi came into my life. The prospect of becoming a father, caring and taking responsibility for another life, has in fact caused many of my ideas to change. In seeking support for Ravi’s health, I ended up turning to homeopathy, and through that experience homeopathy came to have great importance and value in my life.
How did it all start? Well, I started where I always do when something intrigues me: I searched and studied deeply, trying to understand it better. I researched who were the most trusted names of homeopathy in my city, close to me. This research took me to a homeopath, Dr. Munhoz. He became a very iconic presence in my life, and worked as Ravi’s homeopath practically since he was born.
When I met him, I was in my 20s and the doctor was already 60. This age difference allowed us to have great exchanges of knowledge and experiences together. He was super talented and skillful, a genius in his approach. When he was taking care of Ravi and me, the impression I had was that he was in a kind of trance state, as if connected to some parallel universe.
This whole experience marked me. What caught my attention the most in the process was the quality of the results he delivered, greatly improving Ravi’s health and life. I was intrigued by the results. So, in wanting to understand the logic of what was happening with more depth, I went to study more.
I devoured several books on the subject, not because I wanted to become a homeopath, but because I wanted to understand how homeopathy delivered results and how it could positively influence the development of my yoga method.
It was a relatively long but very pleasant process. I read a lot, talked to many homeopathic doctors, to the point that I, as a yoga teacher and patient, managed to get a clear view of how homeopathy worked and how it was possible to get the profound results that I experienced with myself and Ravi.
I was then able to translate the idea of simillimum into the practice of yoga: the practice representing the ideal mobility in each joint in the body. Practicing each moment at our optimal mobility, generates balance, which generates an ideal muscle tone, which generates ideal vitality. Many of my student’s and patient’s questions reflected this cascade of changes as a result of practicing this way.
So, in the same way that the homeopathic remedy can induce the body to heal itself, the positions in yoga also induce our body’s natural healing potential. Through the principle of similarity, we can see how the positions, due to their similarity to our ancestral and natural positions, then bring a restoration of function and balance to our system.
That is why the practice of yoga is to me a therapeutic, natural medicine. It delivers health and wellbeing through restoring balance to the system of the body. And we are not just talking about the physical body. The practice of yoga restores health to our whole human system; all aspects of who we are. And beyond this, as humans – you, me – as we balance ourselves through the practice of yoga, we can positively impact and restore health to the wider systems we are part of. The homeopathic action of yoga has the potential for vast reach! I hope you can see this, such that it can inspire your practice.
We talk a lot about ways to find balance. I always share those tools and ideas I use and engage in, which bring me positive results. Homeopathy is one of them. Use this as inspiration to look for what is most natural and effective, and that will bring you good results too. I hope you enjoyed reading! I especially thank Kathi for sharing this rich content with us.
Until next time!
Always practice with inspiration,