My experience with homeopathy began with a healer, Miriam Gotlib, who was my spiritual mentor for a number of years, until her death in 1999. I was also treated with homeopathy by mystic, Dr. Hugo Maier, a German homeopathic doctor and Guru of an ashram which I joined for the summer in 1998. So, my beginnings in homeopathic treatment were on the higher realms and I thought that all homeopaths were mystics. In 2001 I was contemplating continuing along the path of teaching religious studies and looking at Rabbinical College. However, that was not possible because of location and circumstance. I was in downtown Toronto one day and saw the Ontario College of Homeopathic Medicine at the crossroads and wandered in. Three years later I was a homeopath.
I have studied with quite a few stalwarts of homeopathy over the years. There are many different contemporary approaches to the practice and homeopathic books, written by the old masters, and the more contemporary leaders in homeopathy, overflow my bookshelves, are scattered throughout my office, and on my desk. Williiam Boericke has made the most impact on me in clinical practice and his Materia Medica and Repertory, which I inherited from Miriam, is referred to constantly. I appreciate that he gives us remedy toxicity, keynotes, dose and potency, relationships, mother tinctures, sides of the body and drug affinities. All of this information was woefully absent in our formal education and yet vital to success in the clinic.
I facilitate CHE (continuing homeopathic education) sessions, salon style, with practitioners around the world who, like Boericke, give the information that we need to have to be successful in our practice. It is my hope that this type of learning will help prevent the large drop off rate of practitioners within a few years after graduation. This hope is a provincial one. I do have a hope that is more universal for homeopathy:
Homeopathy is the second leading system of medicine in the world, according to the World Health Organization. Yet homeopathy is being attacked everywhere in the world, and the skepticism and mistrust generated is palpable. Over the past several years the critics in England have managed to decimate homeopathy. Today there is the threat that homeopathy will be banned in England. Homeopathy is banned in certain states in the U.S. It seems that, where there is no strong and unified voice, in the homeopathic community the critics can do much damage, even to the point of having homeopathy outlawed. Fortunately, Homeopaths in Ontario have recently become a regulated profession, self regulated under the watchful eye of the Ontario Ministry of Health in the same way that medical doctors and dentists, for example, are overseen. It is my wish that homeopaths everywhere look to the Ontario model of self regulation because it is through these self regulating organizations that professionalism and perceived credibility grows. This, along with government oversight, can’t help but break through the growing cynicism for a system of health care that serves half a billion people around the world.