Saturday, January 1, 2005
Homeopathy works with a body's defense mechanisms, instead of against.
BOARDMAN -- Homeopathy has been practiced for over 200 years, yet most people probably do not realize that this method of healing can be used by anyone willing to take the time to learn it.
The Youngstown Homeopathic Study Group meets once a month in Boardman to expand and share their knowledge, and anyone who would like to learn homeopathy is welcome to attend.
Founded in 1983, the group has had many seminars and has invited homeopathic doctors to teach attendees how to use homeopathics. Group founder Marsha Karzmer admits that homeopathy takes effort to learn because one must be so specific in determining the correct remedy. And while it is always recommended to see a practitioner who specializes in any holistic method while you are first learning, most homeopathic remedies may be purchased by anyone.
Although trial and error is often necessary before finding "the magic bullet," as the group calls the remedy that will heal an illness, homeopathics are so safe that no harm should result from taking the wrong remedy.
The word homeopathic comes from two Greek words: homoios, meaning similar, and pathos, meaning disease. Homeopathic remedies work with, rather than against, the body's natural defenses to reestablish balance.
Remedies are chosen that would, in large doses, cause the exact symptoms the patient is experiencing. For instance, if someone is feeling nauseous, a remedy is given that would cause someone to vomit. Because vomiting is an attempt of the body to rebalance itself from what is making it sick, the homeopathic remedy simply gives the body's own defenses a boost.
This is similar to the concept of immunizations and allergy treatments in conventional medicine.
The most difficult part in determining the correct remedy is to define the exact symptoms the patient is experiencing.
For example, in treating a cold, traditional medicines would attempt to dry up a runny nose with antihistamines, but a homeopath would actually stimulate the runny nose. But rather than look at all colds being the same, a homeopathic approach would also recognize that each individual suffers a cold in a different way. The onset of a cold in one person may be aches and pains, chills, and loss of appetite, while in another it may be sneezing, runny nose, and a desire for hot drinks.
Since the symptoms differ, each would require a different remedy. This is why sometimes several different remedies must be tried before the correct one is found.
Claire Goulish of Boardman tells a story of successfully finding the correct remedy at first try. She had gone to a conventional doctor for cystitis (urinary tract infection). Even though the doctor knew she was allergic to antibiotics, he prescribed Cipro. She says, "On the sixth day I had a terrible reaction. I felt like I had rheumatoid arthritis. I was not able to get up on my own, and my hands swelled. I called Ted Suzelis, N.D., and he saw me as an emergency case. He suggested Lachesis [snake venom] to counteract the reaction from the Cipro. Within 48 hours, all the symptoms disappeared."
Bonnie Kacher, also from Boardman, suffered most of her life from a tailbone injury at age 11 that never healed properly. She was unable to sit for more than short period without experiencing great discomfort. At age 53, she slipped on ice, and re-injured herself. This time she took Hypericum Perforatum (St. John's Wort), and the tailbone injury healed correctly. She has not had pain since. She also relates her experience with Epstein Barr (chronic fatigue syndrome). She says, "I had headaches, migrating pain, fatigue, and forgetfulness. I finally went to Dr. Michael Garn [a medical doctor and doctor of homeopathic medicine, now deceased], from Cuyahoga Falls. He recommended Pulsatilla [Windflower] and Belladonna [Deadly Nightshade]. I had a headache the next day, but after that, all the symptoms were gone."
Marsha Karzmer, of Boardman, has been using homeopathic remedies for years, and emphasizes certain points. She says, "Arnica [Leopard's Bane] is a remedy everyone should keep on hand for emergencies. It is taken after an accident to relieve bruising, swelling and pain."
She says everyone needs to know his "constitutional remedy." "Each person has a different constitution and different needs. What works for one may not work for another. My son had overall health problems. He was a poor eater and his immune system needed a boost. I took him to Dr. Linda Cooper, neonatologist at St. Elizabeth's Hospital. She asked questions about him beginning from birth, then put the data into a computer. Phosphorus was his constitutional remedy. That boosted his immune system and his health greatly improved."
So what is the best way to begin exploring homeopathics? Attend the study group meetings and join the National Center for Homeopathy to receive their publications. The Boardman group was the 15th to join the national center. There are now 190 groups.
Read books and begin to learn the repertory (remedies). Consult a homeopathic practitioner and experience the effectiveness of this modality then buy a home remedy kit (the basic one contains 28 remedies), and learn to use it on your own.
XThe Homeopathic Study Group meets the first Tuesday of every month at The Greenbriar (assisted living center), 8064 South Avenue in Boardman, 7-9 p.m. (330) 783-2945