Healing with Homeopathy: a brothers’ journey with Dystonia

Growing up with Dystonia

“In 1982, I was fortunate enough to be diagnosed early with Dystonia when my right elbow went up in the air when I wrote. The neurologists at the University of Minnesota believed that it was a Focal Dystonia that would only affect my right arm, similar to Writer's Cramp. The experience that I had with the neurologists as a ten year old at that time was traumatic. I was "observed" repeatedly doing tasks that would trigger dystonic movements (writing with my right arm, and touching my nose with my right index finger). I "failed" at these tasks again and again and left my appointments embarrassed. I also felt like I had let down my parents who were at those appointments.

The neurologists put me on Sinemet when I was twelve to see whether my Dystonia was caused by a lack of dopamine. This can be a highly successful treatment, where patients can recover from their symptoms completely if their Dystonia is due to a lack of dopamine. In my case I solely experienced the side affects (nausea, paranoia) and this created a very unstable eighth-grade year for me. I was suspicious of even my best friends, and would often vomit after taking my medications if I hadn’t eaten enough. My neurologists responded to my complaints and put me on Artane. But again, the side effects overshadowed the benefits. I had blurry vision and was often lethargic.

When I was 24 I had almost given up hope for any treatments. I was deeply depressed, and was somewhat delusional about my relationships with family and friends (even though the people in my life were mostly supportive). Moreover, I was denying the fact that my Dystonia had spread throughout my body including the articulators of my tongue, jaw and neck. I thought that my difficulties with talking were "in my head.”

Discouraged and down, I decided to attempt a different approach, and sought out a homeopath in Plymouth, Minnesota, by the name of Eric Sommerman. I felt genuinely listened to by Dr. Sommerman and felt I could be honest about my Dystonia and how it affected my life. He gave me a homeopathic medicine called mercurius*, and the improvement in my emotional state and physical body was soon evident. I felt "more in my body" with the medicine. This, in combination with my decision to give up caffeine, proved highly beneficial. I learned from the experience and now believe that the body innately wants to heal itself and homeopathy can help the body to achieve that!”

A brother’s retrospective

Carl and I are brothers, we are 18 months apart and grew up in Minnesota. In 1982, I was 12 years old when I stopped hearing Carl’s precocious piano fill the house with sweet music. I remember his multiple doctor’s appointments at the University of Minnesota and his horrible experience on Sinemet. His physicians’ uncertainty around diagnosis, treatment and prognosis created an atmosphere of anxiety and fear within the family. During those uncertain years, everyone in the family felt challenged by Carl’s Dystonia. We were all scared. Was the Dystonia spreading to other parts of Carl’s body? What will stop its spread? Will he regain control of his hand again? What caused it? Will it happen to me, too?

What is Homeopathy?

Carl’s positive experience with homeopathy connected me to a healing approach I’ve studied and practiced intensively for nearly a decade. Homeopathy is a safe, effective system of natural medicine, used by millions of people worldwide for more than 200 years. Homeopathic medicines are prepared from natural sources, and used in extremely small amounts.

How homeopathy values uniqueness

The “father of modern medicine,” William Osler, once advised, “ask not what disease a person has, but what person a disease has!” Unlike most conventional treatment, homeopathy fully acknowledges that each individual experiences their Dystonia in a unique and slightly different way. And thus, each individual may need a slightly different treatment approach. By finding the constitutional remedy matched to the patient’s WHOLE symptom picture (mercurius in Carl’s case), the body’s innate desire to move toward health and balance is stimulated and the body/mind heals.

Homeopathy and Dystonia

Conventional treatment for Dystonia, though sometimes successful, maybe invasive, ineffective, or the side effects can outweigh the benefits. As Carl’s story shows, homeopathy is a safe and effective alternative. As a naturopathic and homeopathic physician specialized in treating autism spectrum disorder, I have witnessed the recovery of children with autism, SPD, dyspraxia and other neurological and behavioral conditions. Conditions such as tic disorder, OCD, and Tourette syndrome also can respond favorably to homeopathy. There is always hope!


*Mercurius solubilus hahnemanni  is a homeopathically prepared medicine made from mercury. It is one of over 2000 medicines that could potentially be curative for Dystonia. Because one size does not fit all with homeopathy, please seek out professional homeopathic help rather than attempting to self-treat a chronic neurological condition such as Dystonia.

Biography Of Ian R. Luepker, N.D., DHANP