As a classical homeopath, I frequently get asked what homeopathy can help with. I think an equally important question is what homeopathy cannot help. But first, a story.
A while back, I was at an event at a local OT/PT clinic which serves a number of children with autism. In talking with the president of the center, she shared with me that they had recently changed their waiting area at the entrance of the building. Patients, siblings and parents would wait there for appointments to begin or be completed.
A pattern was developing that while the children were waiting, they would become quite rambunctious and loud, sometimes interrupting sessions, disturbing others who were waiting, etc. They assessed the situation and recognized that they had not created a quiet, peaceful environment. They had movies on the TV, toys for the kids to play with and almost no books.
In order to create a more calming setting, they decided to get rid of all the toys and increase the number and type of books available. The TV monitor would only show nature videos rather than children’s movies. It took a couple of weeks of adjustment, but soon, the waiting area at the center became the more tranquil place for which they were hoping. Now children come in and go straight for the books. Parents are reading to their children rather than talking on their phones.
What does this story have to do with What Homeopathy Cannot Help? In homeopathy we would refer to the situation in the waiting area of the OT/PT Clinic as a Maintaining Cause or an Obstacle to Cure. As long as the environment encouraged certain behaviors in the children, no matter how much shhh’ing went on, it was a never ending battle with an outcome that was certain. But when the environment was modified to encourage a different outcome, it was possible for that outcome to actually come to fruition.
An equivalent situation might be a client who seeks homeopathic care for their asthma but continues to live in the damp, moldy basement apartment. Or perhaps a child who has ADD/ADHD, but eats a diet high in sugars and carbohydrates. Sorry mom, but homeopathy can’t help that. Homeopathy isn’t about living an unhealthy lifestyle and expecting the body to be able to heal itself. What goes in, comes out, whether it is environmental stimuli, food or microbes in the air. It is a simple example of the laws of cause and effect. Garbage In, Garbage Out.
Sometimes when a parent brings their child in for homeopathy, it becomes clear that the parent is the first person who should receive a remedy. That is one way to tackle the maintaining causes. Healthier parents lead to healthier children. Homeopaths aren’t the first people to recognize this. Frequently homeopathy helps someone get motivated to change their environment. A person who craves sugar, for example, can be helped to not crave sugar quite so much, so they can get a handle on the cravings and change their diet. Often homeopathy can help remove the obstacles to cure, but sometimes removing the obstacles is the only cure.