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Eckhart Tolle on Homeopathy: The Way of the Peaceful Healer

Eckhart Tolle writes: “Homeopathy and Chinese medicine are two possible alternative approaches to disease that do not treat the disease as an enemy and therefore do not create new diseases.”(1)

Why does Tolle write about homeopathy in his new book—A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose? As a classical homeopath, every time I sit with a patient I am reminded that the “disease state” is not the enemy or the “bad guy” to be killed, eradicated or wiped out—this is because I recognize that disease is an aspect of the larger whole, the whole mind-body.

Failing to recognize disease’s interconnection with the whole mind-body, the allopathic (conventional) approach—to attack, eradicate, or kill disease—inevitably creates collateral damage in the form of side effects and/or death. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, conventional medicine is the third leading cause of death in the United States behind cancer and heart disease. (2)

Examining the metaphors used by conventional medicine is revealing—we fight the “war on cancer; she’s got an infiltrating carcinoma; he’s having a heart attack; killer t-cells; we must treat him aggressively and use everything in our therapeutic armamentarium; we’ve wiped out smallpox...” (3)

When penicillin became widely available during the second world war, it was a miracle, providing great hope that we could win the war on bacteria and infectious disease. We now realize that we are rapidly losing this war and creating antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria such as MRSA (a resistant strain of Staphylococcus aureus) The CDC states, “antibiotic resistance causes significant danger and suffering for children and adults who have common infections, once easily treatable with antibiotics.” (4) Though we may have experienced a short-lived victory early on in the war on bacteria, going after the “microbial enemy” has literally created new diseases.

That said… we are fortunate to have allopathic medicine as an option—particularly in emergency situations. As Andrew Weil, MD says, “if I’m in a car accident, don’t take me to an herbalist!” Miraculously, even when disease is approached as the enemy, the mind-body moves toward equilibrium and health.

Peace is the Answer

Why does this happen? By attacking disease as the enemy, the allopathic approach attacks the whole mind-body, and eventually, as Tolle writes, this can lead to creation of new disease(s) within the body.

Dr. Samuel Hahnemann, the founder of homeopathy, recognized this to be true over 200 years ago! And he took a very different stance toward the mind-body’s relationship with disease. He observed that the mind-body has an amazingly intelligent and inherent ability to establish, restore and maintain health—a vitality. From this perspective, the physician’s role—as opposed to playing military commander—is to facilitate this vitality by supporting and establishing a healthy and balanced internal and external environment. Homeopathy nourishes and supports this vitality and the mind-body’s ability to move toward health.

Eli: The Path of Peace

Eli is an eight year-old boy on the autism spectrum with sensory processing challenges whom I’ve had the honor to treat with homeopathy. His mother, calling from Australia, made an appointment for help with his autism and sensory processing disorder.

Eli developed a respiratory infection at 14 days old and he was placed on IV antibiotics. (In what ways early exposure to antibiotics impacted his development as a whole is impossible to know for sure, and in an emergency situation, antibiotics certainly can save lives.)

In my clinical experience, early exposure to and overuse of antibiotics can impact the gut and the mind-gut connection. When this connection is disrupted, there is a ripple effect that impacts the whole system. In Eli’s case, this may have contributed in part to his autism and sensory processing issues by acting as a disruptive influence with his neurological development.

Before receiving his constitutional homeopathic medicine, Eli had extreme difficulty with sleep. He’d awake between 2-5 am and rock his head back and forth until morning, staying up all night. His sleeplessness would affect his behavior and emotional state the next day. His mother noted that he would sometimes alternate between spontaneous laughter and crying at night.

Though 8 years old, his vocabulary consisted of two words, “c’mon” and “no!”  Eli’s difficulty expressing his needs and desires would result in angry outbursts that were accompanied by pinching, scratching and biting.  

Always on the move, even while sitting, he would restlessly rub his arms and legs. He had a repetitive sensory-seeking behavior of rubbing his genitals on the bathroom rug. Due to his sensory processing challenges, he hated haircuts and having his nail trimmed.

He loved eating indigestible things (i.e., pica) such as Crayons, Play-doh, bark and soil. He held a strong preference for ice-cold water, yet strangely, had very cold hands and feet.

Based on the totality of his symptom picture, i.e., his mother’s perception of the whole expression of his body-mind—behavior, wake-sleep cycle, restlessness, sensitivities, and food preferences—I prescribed homeopathically prepared Veratrum album. (5)

Within two months Eli’s anger and low tolerance for frustration had shifted. His mother said he was calmer in general, and that he seemed happier! His head rocking had diminished considerably. And his sleep was slowly improving. “We are having a smooth ride with him!” Eli’s mother excitedly told me.  “His teachers have recently told me that his receptive language is improving and he is just on the verge of talking!”

By three and a half months after beginning Veratrum his sleep had normalized and he was consistently sleeping through the night. “He is 95% calmer! He gets angry sometimes, but he’s a lot easier to be with now.”  With the help of his constitutional remedy, Eli is moving toward harmony and health. He is happier in general, sleeping much better and on the verge of communicating. I continue to work with him and his initial response to his homeopathic medicine bodes well for the future.

Power to the Peaceful

Homeopathy, Chinese medicine and other holistic modalities support and encourage the mind-body’s movement toward health. As in Eli’s case, stimulating the healing capacity of the whole mind-body restores harmony and peace.

 

 

 

References:

1. P.75, A New Earth: Awakening to your Life’s Purpose

2. Barbara Starfield, MD, MPH: JAMA; 2000 Jul 26; 284(4):483-5.

3. Paul Hodgkin: Medicine is War and Other Medical Metaphors; BMJ, vol. 291, Dec, 1985

4. http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dhqp/ar_mrsa_spotlight_2006.html

5. There are over 2000 different homeopathic remedies, and because homeopathy is individualized, usually each child requires a different remedy. Please seek care from a qualified homeopathic practitioner for best results.