Category Archives: Healing

Measles and Immune System Education

We live in very interesting times. Indeed, this timeless passage from A Tale of Two Cities, by Charles Dickens, has never felt more true! “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to heaven, we were all going direct the other way – in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.”

Unless you are living under a rock or in a cave (which is usually where you will find me… but, my clients bring me news as well as diseases that are in vogue), you are probably aware of the measles headlines that has taken the media and the legislative sessions in some states by storm. Bills are being introduced to tighten vaccine mandates, remove exemptions, and increase vaccination rates amidst strong opposition from parents who are showing up in throngs to protest and fight for their right to medical freedom, right to informed consent, and right to medical choice of what they want to put into their own and their children’s bodies. I am not interested in the shaming that goes on in the name of science, or religion. (Seriously, we have to get out of this shame based culture!) But, I am very very interested in all of the symptoms and experiences of illness and health that clients bring to me as they relate their life stories to me, including what they have INHERITED and what they have ACQUIRED over their life time. I believe in EVOLUTION… in nature, in community, in diversity, in the whole. Evolution ensures life, and it means that the preset constructs and paradigms need to be always changing… nothing is set in stone except nature’s laws. To tackle a challenging problem, we often realize that we have to unlearn and scratch everything, and restart and relearn in a different way (sometimes over and over again) until we find the proper solution.

For the past several weeks, I have been getting emails and calls for dealing with measles. Some clients want to know if there is anything homeopathic to prevent, some people want a protocol to minimize side-effects from the vaccine they are about to go get, some people simply want to be prepared if they do contract the mild (yet dreaded) disease. This week, I also got two calls from clients with a body rash that followed approx. a week after the children received a booster shot of the MMR vaccine. Doctors called it “viral syndrome”. The families were positive that their children weren’t exposed to anyone they knew with any such viral syndrome… in fact the whole family got some funky skin eruptions, except in one case where the mom who had already gotten the measles in her childhood was spared. I assured them that that was probably one of the best scenarios of the measles vaccine outcome… that means the vaccine actually did its job.. and the rash is the immune system in action mobilizing to resolve the virus properly, and it is very likely that their immunity will hold longer, than if they had shown no reaction to the vaccine at all. Yes, we now know that vaccines don’t impart lifetime immunity as previously thought, and that in fact studies have shown that vaccine failure due to waning immunity can occur. You see, that previous belief has already undergone a rehash (or two), and the CDC then put into place a second and a third booster for the MMR vaccine as new information came to light. As our understanding of disease and the immune system evolves over time, it would bode us well to pause from time to time, regroup, and start considering different options and apply different thinking to the outbreaks that seem to be cropping up in pockets and cycles more and more. Blaming and shaming the un-vaccinated can only take us so far at the end of the day. There has got to be a better solution than having to depend on other people to get their act together or forcing them to do something they don’t want to do. I can not imagine a worse scenario of dependency and coercion. I’d rather have a reasonably effective plan that I can put into place for myself of my own free will without forcing nor expecting other people to do the same. Besides, a recent study in China established that measles is still happening in their population of 99% vaccination rate. The most recent case of a mumps outbreak amongst fully vaccinated sailors in a navy ship that had to be quarantined (and couldn’t dock) for 5 months is also another example that many outbreaks are happening despite vaccination. Here is an open letter to the legislators by an immunologist also explaining the same. So, all that divisive commentary and the taking away of freedom of choice is really not where my common sense and my love of my fellow human beings take me.

Instead, what if we stop trying to PREVENT after a certain point in the game, but instead try to TRAIN the immune system to help naturally deal with infectious diseases. I believe that vaccines did a stellar job in keeping the acute infectious disease incidence rate (I repeat, incidence rate) low over the last several years, but, there was a price to pay. And, we are seeing the grassroots uprising from people who have paid the price more than others so far, and it is just a matter of time before it catches up with the rest of us. Just like antibiotics, and opioids… I believe we are also in a vaccine-induced crisis. They all did do what they were originally meant to do very effectively, no doubt… but, we are now realizing the holes that we have dug ourselves into by widespread, repeated, and put-all-your-eggs-in-one-basket usage of all these drugs. Vaccines are no different… they were absolutely brilliant until they weren’t any more. And, the masses with adverse effects are growing and speaking out, as they witness their children change right before their eyes after a round of routine vaccinations. And, I am not just referring to autism (in which the MMR vaccine is often incriminated, but debunked by CDC). Let’s put aside autism. Children are dealing with chronic health conditions like never before, with auto-immune diseases reigning supreme. In fact, anything “auto-immune” calls for detailed scrutiny of anything and everything that is injected into and ingested by the body that impacts the immune system, and can you deny that vaccines impact the immune system? In fact, vaccines do an underhand deal with only part of the immune system, without involving the whole system, just invoking the anti-body generating arm… while the other half (arm) stays asleep. Does anyone else think that it might potentially be troublesome to not let the right arm know what the left arm is up to? Actually, for people who are awakening and questioning, there is quite bit of research going on in understanding this risk when it comes to the “AUTO-IMMUNE” state.

So – it is time to focus on building health from the roots. Nowadays, we have access to clean drinking water, sanitation, supplements and good food (if you choose correctly)… yet, we are getting sicker and sicker by the generation with all kinds of quirky, mysterious diseases. It is time to re-configure, re-do, re-think certain paradigms. No more quick fixes, easy bypass mechanisms, nor fooling the natural immune response to make it look the other way. I see this sort of fundamental change happening in the understanding of the immune system in a big way in recent years, and there is no stopping it. I can see a reclamation happening of the basics, this understanding and embracing of our biology, and the ecology. The impetus is on nurturing, INTEGRATING, and training the biome (mind, body, and spirit) and gathering the proper tools for caring for ourselves and for each other keeping in tune with the laws of nature.

One of those tools is Homeoprophylaxis, an immune system educator tool. But, before we get to that part of it in some more detail, it is important to understand that when the proper needs of a healthy biome have been met – good food, clean water, and sanitation – the immune system is able to navigate expertly and get adequately informed and trained of the various infectious agents in the surrounding environment. It’s not about, and never should be about, not FALLING sick… but, about the EMERGENCE from it. The discomforts and symptoms of an acute-level infectious sickness are a dialogue that happens between the environment and the each living organism in the environment… wherein the system/organism is primed and trained and strengthened and made more vital in the process to serve it’s life purpose in the environment. It’s infectious because everyone in the community needs to go through it, learn from it, integrate it and move on as a community. Once you have gone through it, you don’t fear it any more for life. You see, if you lose the fear, or rather come out of the spell that we absolutely have to STOP all infectious diseases from happening… then you might start seeing that there might be benefits from these diseases. Right now we’ve been conditioned to believe that all infectious diseases are bad, and we are under the spell that we have to somehow stop them… because infectious disease = death. We have to stop them with vaccines, even if we trade them in for a plethora of chronic diseases to be navigated for the rest of our lives. Never mind that there is death happening all the time, everywhere, in multiple other ways, in much greater numbers from the chronic diseases that we have traded them in for, but for some reason we have been taught to fear more the death from these infectious diseases. But, since we have figured out good nutrition, clean water and sanitation, measles deaths are not even happening like they used to… in addition, we now know that Vitamin A is an effective treatment for measles (CDC). So, with the risk of death greatly minimized, we can perhaps begin to consider enjoying the benefits of going through these infectious disease processes, and improve long term health outcomes. It’s time to roll with that notion that these infectious disease processes may just play a very important role in the development of the immune system of the individual and the community as a whole, preventing the onset of more serious chronic diseases in the future, like cancer. Let’s bring the community together over this, instead of dividing it with shame and coercion.

Homeoprophylaxis is a tool that one can optionally add to the basic needs of good food, clean water, and sanitation, to help the immune system train effectively and safely to endure the exposure to these infectious agents in nature. It’s not about stopping or preventing the disease, but about being prepared to properly integrate and master it. The operative word here is “integrate”, that speaks to the whole, that then informs and strengthens the immune system. Back in the 1800s when Louis Pasteur and Edward Jenner were working with and studying the rabies and smallpox diseases respectively, homeopaths were also working with these same diseases, and they had the brilliant idea to attenuate the pathogen through the homeopathic dilution method such that no virulence of the bacterial or viral strain remains. No added chemicals, no adjuvants, no heavy metals, no preservatives, no immuno-modulators, no exposure to another species’ host medium to risk DNA contamination, but just the pure energetic essence of the pathogen, the disease entity. When the biome gets a whiff or hit of this energy through the medicated pellets, it activates and preps the system to fight off the disease agent… the immune system mobilizes and loads its innate weaponry, but since there are no actual invaders there is no real bloodshed. However, the system just executes a proper drill as a whole unit, as close as it can ever come to without actually getting invaded. Homeoprophylaxis has been, and is, used all over the world successfully, especially for preventing cholera and dengue epidemics by the governments of India and Haiti. Perhaps the most well documented and large scale success story of the use of homeoprophylaxis was the leptospirosis epidemic in Cuba in 2007-2008 and subsequent years, involving millions of people. There are many other such studies and cases documented in pubmed that one can search through. Bottom line, I want to be clear that homeoprophylaxis is NOT the homeopathic alternative of vaccinations. The primary goal in homeoprophylaxis is not to prevent or stop diseases at all (although that naturally may happen as a secondary outcome), instead it is to train and use these agents to develop and mature the immune system for the long haul. No suppression, but an energetic stimulus that the body responds to as a whole. That’s all there is to it.

Finally, I leave you with this what-to-do for measles from Kate Birch, director of FHCi (Free and Healthy Children International), a great resource for knowledgeable, certified Homeoprophylaxis practitioners. Getting back to the Tale of Two Cities, it strikes me that duality is an essential theme of life in this planet, however the superlative degree of comparison fueled in equal parts by belief and incredulity only serves to divide instead of unite. Come out of the divisive spell. Get technical. Integrate. Nothing is good, nor bad, or everything is. One can not exist without the other. You can opt in or opt out… but what are you opting in for, and what are you opting out of? Happy Integration! Happy Health!

Palliating, Suppressing, or Healing?

When symptoms (seem to) disappear as a result of a chosen “treatment”, we tend to say – “it’s working” or “yay, it worked”, often alluding to a cure, or to the promise of one.  Not so fast.  One of three things happened – it was PALLIATED, or it was SUPPRESSED, or maybe, yes, actually it was HEALED (cured).  The first two scenarios are way more common than you would think, but they are often perceived to be synonymous with the third, adding to the confusion in the bigger cosmos of life, as it all eventually falls apart, or disappoints another person’s expectations of the same outcome, or worse still, drives the disease deeper so the person now has a bigger disease than what she started out with.  In the insightful words of Pema Chödrön – “The truth is that things don’t really get solved.  They come together then they fall apart.  They come together again and fall apart again. It’s just like that.”  So, the question is – What’s healing then, what does a cure look like, and is it even possible?  Let’s explore.

What is Palliation?

The term palliation, comes from a Greek word that means “to hide or disguise”.  Palliation “hides” the symptoms, giving short-term relief from their unpleasantness.  It does absolutely nothing to correct the underlying problem that caused the symptoms.  If the “cause” is not apparently a bacteria, or a virus, or a parasite responsible for a raging infection, it is not obvious to think that there might be an underlying problem.  The obvious thought is that the body (part) is simply weakened and malfunctioning.  When I talk about figuring out the underlying problem to the chronic migraines or the eczema or the heartburn or that tongue sore that someone has come to me with, I often get blank stares.  Why, yes, of course there is an underlying problem (or an underlying story rather) — EVEN if there are microbes and infection involved.  It is not something we have been taught to think or ask – HOW do I have this symptom?  WHY am I getting this and the other person isn’t?  The automatic thinking is that my body (part) must be malfunctioning, because I must have some (label of ) disease… either caused by stress or it runs in the family.  But, a disease label after all is again just a collection of symptoms… it’s a way of classifying and naming something for reference, developed by us humans.  The body works independently of that naming system… it’s job is just to give out symptoms, give out the clues according to the duress it is potentially under.  So, staying with the question – why do I have this symptom or collection of symptoms?  I will let you ponder on that for a few minutes, while we understand what palliation does – it provides rapid relief of symptoms, a band-aid, a “quick  fix” at the lowest rung of the problem, hoping that the body will figure itself out underneath the band-aid… just as long as we don’t have to see it, feel it, or experience it.  Sometimes it figures it out, but, most of the time, symptoms will return once the band-aid treatment is stopped.  Most of us have experienced that and can understand it, yes?  For example, when we use an anti-histamine to stop the production and flow of mucus during seasonal allergies.  We keep taking it and taking it throughout the allergy season.  Does it help to cure us of our allergies?  No, it palliates it.

What is Suppression?

Suppression differs from palliation in that it completely stops the return of the symptoms… at least for a reasonable length of time such that it appears “cured”.  Hooray!  Wait, isn’t that the same thing as a cure?  No, it isn’t.  Let me give you an example – a child comes in with eczema, and is prescribed cortisone cream.  The eczema goes away completely after using the cream for some amount of time, but the child now has asthma or digestive issues or lots of joint pain.  Do you say – that is an inevitable shift after eczema?  Or do you say that that they are completely different diseases mutually exclusive from one another; that the eczema was cured, and that now the child just has a different disease?  Well, think again.  Do you see the symptoms going inward, shifting from a lesser important organ in the body such as the skin, to a more important one such as the lungs or deeper into the joints?  That’s suppression.  I would say to you (as I often do) that the suppression of the eczema with the cortisone cream led to the asthma or the food allergies that the child now has.  There was a price to pay.  Thus, suppression is similar to palliation in that it results in the disappearance of symptoms, but never fixes the underlying problem.  We simply exchange the original set of symptoms for a new set of symptoms at a deeper level.

OK, let’s try to understand this underlying problem that I keep talking about.  What exactly is it, and how to fix it?  In order for us to understand that, a paradigm shift is essential.  Let me give you an example – Fever.  Children throw fevers all the time.  For a while it was thought to be a disease in itself, but now we know that it is an indicator of an underlying problem, so we look for a virus or a bacteria although sometimes the fever just seems to be idiopathic (but, believe me, there still is an underlying reason, our tests are not just sophisticated enough to find it all yet).  So – we treat the fever with a fever-reducing medicine, and get an antibiotic prescription to take care of the infection.   For the most part it seems to work, except now we see repeated fever and infections over and over again in a body that is vital enough to keep bringing the issue forward over and over again raising a red flag.  Why does my child keep catching everything out there?  Repeated ear infections, repeated stomach bugs, repeated colds and flus, repeated strep throat, etc.  Eventually or right away, the child just stops getting infections, but develops food allergies, or chronic constipation, or ADHD or PANDAS or something else… of course, all that seems quite run of the mill of what can afflict children in today’s day and age of growing up.  But, what we are seeing here in both cases of repeated infections and that of development of a chronic problem is SUPPRESSION at work (or play).  Suppression of the immune system.  In the second scenario, the child’s immune system simply gave up fighting and adapted itself to something more deep-seated… such that she does not respond to a foreign pathogen the same way, instead has other issues to deal with.  Thus, the underlying problem (or the story) of the chronic constipation in this example could be the acute infection(s) that was not addressed properly.

What is Healing?

Going back to the fever.  What if it was understood that the body’s immune system has thrown a fever because it has detected a foreign pathogen that it needs to “take care of”, and develop a proper defense against this current invasion and also future exposures.  We all know that cooking and heating food that is susceptible to pathogens growing in it, helps make it safe for us to eat it without getting sick, as the high temperatures kill the bad bacteria.  Same principle, the immune system sends a message to raise the body’s temperature to make it inhospitable for the foreign pathogens that have infiltrated the eco-system (body), and the various organs and subsystems come together as a team to contribute and execute a plan of action to resolve the state and cleanse the body of the pathogen as best as it knows how to.  (Think there for a moment as to what likely happens when you proceed to abort that well-planned mission by throwing in a fever-reducer from the outside.)  As long as the person is NOT mal-nourished and is living in clean, sanitary conditions that helps diminish the virulence of the pathogen, the body is able to navigate this plan of action successfully and comes out at the other end not only having overcome the pathogen, but in the process becoming more knowledgeable, more experienced, more resilient, more evolved and in tune with nature and its elements of the microbial kingdom.  The only prescriptions – rest, fluids, appropriate nourishment… maybe some herbs or vitamins to boost the body’s innate resources, maybe some homeopathic resonant remedies MATCHED TO THE SYMPTOMS… anything that does NOT take over from the body’s natural course of action and works to abort the fever before the body is ready for it, and/or unceremoniously takes over the job of destroying the pathogens and the body’s own microbiome indiscriminately, making it a war zone.  This latter dire treatment certainly has its place and value and can save lives in emergency situations, but not something that needs to be first resort for most common infections and everyday ailments.  Would you agree?  Has anyone ever told you that they feel so much more refreshed and vibrant after a bout of miserable flu, that they feel like a new person?  They have to me, after being guided through the process with gentle support each time, with the additional bonus of less frequency of subsequent episodes of sickness over time.  Could this be what healing looks like?

Now, that was the example of an acute disease… an ACUTE is something that has a finite timeline, meaning that it has a beginning, a middle and and an end… yes, it has an end.  What about chronic, long drawn out illnesses?  What does healing look like there, is it even possible?  Yes, it is possible for some, for many actually…. it’s way more complicated and maybe more difficult than an acute, but possible.  It certainly isn’t a “quick fix” nor does it cater to the paradigm of “instant gratification”… by that I don’t mean that improvement or relief can not occur quickly.  It can and does in many cases, but it takes long term commitment and work to get it to be long lasting.  It takes skill and patience in teasing out the key essences and core characteristics from the biography and history of the person’s illnesses and timeline; coping mechanisms and suppressions along the way, and reversing them and unblocking them to reach that state of original vitality again.  Following every lead and story like a hound to the trail, and making sure that the body’s vital force continues to move in the right direction of healing through all that unfolding that can be confusing at times.  For every chronic issue has stemmed from something that was acute once…. maybe even many generations ago.  Mind blowing, isn’t it.  When it comes to chronic diseases, it can span generations even, and this hereditary component needs to be factored into the treatment.  But, first and foremost, it begins with an in-depth understanding and respect for the way the different systems in the body and mind work together.. and this understanding is ever so fluid and dynamic as life itself, as any devoted and dedicated practitioner of any modality will tell you.  The intricacy of the human being inter-connected within and without with nature and its environment… like the mathematical mobius strip.  It takes ongoing study and practice, and more importantly, discernment from the various paradigms and distracting ideas and memes regarding health that is out there, to reach that place of healing.

To quote Pema again – “Things falling apart is a kind of testing and also a kind of healing.  We think that the point is to pass the test or to overcome the problem, but the truth is that things don’t really get solved…” if passing the test or overcoming the immediate problem is our habitual instinct, then it is more likely that we are going to make choices that are palliative or suppressive.  Whereas, “The healing comes from letting there be room for all of this to happen: room for grief, for relief, for misery, for joy.”  Beautiful, isn’t it?

All three are valid choices, no judgment from me.  But, it can perhaps BE a choice, only IF we are aware that there is a difference.  That awareness is my goal for this article.  NOTE: Any treatment method, homeopathy and even diet included, is capable of doing all three, knowingly or unknowingly… although the capacities vary greatly.  Some inherently carry a higher risk of suppression/palliation than cure.  For me, the practice of homeopathy is an art as well as a science, just like healing itself, and is in sync with the vibrations and laws of nature.  What is your choice?