Monday, February 05, 2007

a little more on Homeopathy

I've had a request to talk a little more about Homeopathy, and what I'm doing with it for Jacob. I like requests, it prevents me from having to think up a topic to write about!

I originally wrote about Homeopathy during my back-history of Jacob's autism, and I'd encourage anyone not familiar with how Homeopathy works to read there first before continuing here.

I have long been a fan of Classical Homeopathy, using it as our primary health care option for any illness or injury, long before we became aware of Jacob's Autism. In fact, long before I even seriously considered having kids. So we were using Homeopathy with Jacob before we had a diagnosis -- even before we had an inkling of what was "wrong". In fact, I had taken him to a Professional Homeopath before I even suspected a thing, although I didn't employ the Homeopath that eventually helped us until after I knew there was something wrong (see my posts about The Storm).

Every child is going to have a different Constitutional Remedy, even those that may have the same presenting symptoms. A lot of Classical Homeopathy depends on finding exactly the right remedy for the child based on their individual temperment and make-up, in addition to the problems they are experiencing. In Jacob's case, the proper remedy was Argentum nitricum, which we arrived at under the guidance of a Professional Homeopath.

We started out by giving him a 30c dose twice a day for the first day, and a follow up dose the following morning. Then we waited and watched to see what happened. We would give him a follow-up dose of 30c whenever he experienced a meltdown or tantrum of extreme instensity or duration (think 3 hour earth-shattering meltdown), which is something that I've heard would be refered to as a "neurological event", and that's a description I quite agree with. Or when he experienced a string of meltdowns or intense anxiety attacks (several in the same day). The dose would return him almost instantly to a more settled, regulated state.

Once we realized that this was the proper remedy for him, we started fiddling around with the dose so that we could give it less often and have a more lasting effect. We finally settled on 200c pellets, which we gave to him as above. These seemed to help him maintain a more settled emotional state for a week or two at a time -- we'd only see small tantrum and "normal" (HA!) meltdowns, mild anxiety, etc. It would wear off over time, and we'd need to re-dose him, but eventually we got down to about once a month, and there it stabilized for quite some time.

Then we discovered RDI. Via our RDI work, Jacob developed self-regulation, and that is what finally ended the need for his Homeopathic remedy. We haven't given him a dose of that since....oh, gosh I can't remember. Mid-summer 2006, I think. Maybe early summer. Around the time that he mastered Stage 4 he no longer needed it. There were no more meltdowns. He wasn't an anxious child anymore. He could handle change. He could regulate himself, maintain his composure in all but extreme circumstances.

Did Homeopathy work to cure his Autism? Nope. Not even a little. But it did make it possible for him to be able to live with himself while we were doing the work to help him develop his own self-regulation. It prevented him from being self-injurious, and from lashing out at others. It ended seemingly endless "neurological events". And I think it prevented any more emotional damage being caused to him by the developmental route his Autistic brain was taking. It was a really important first step for us to get in control of this thing and give us the time to seek out actual solutions. It took us out of crisis mode and set us onto a path of healing.

Incidentally, and I refer to this in my original post on Homeopathy too, there is a practice called "Sequential Homeopathy", whose proponents claim works to "cure" Autism. It didn't make enough sense to me, in our particular situation, to pursue this -- we were already making strides with RDI before I'd ever heard of Sequential Homeopathy, so I didn't see a need to pursue it. It may be of use to some families to look into it, however, especially if they feel that their child's autism has been caused by or is being exacerbated by physical illness. I think the folks that find help with biomedical interventions may find help in pursuing Homeopathy too.

We still use Homeopathy for Jacob, for illnesses and injuries. Just like we do for any of us in this family, including our pets and farm animals. Other than having given Zoo Boy antibiotics once for an ear infection, and Jacob's continued use of Glycolax to keep him pooping regularly (a topic for another day....), my kids have never had any western medications -- no antibiotics, no fever-reducers (what a bizarre concept anyway -- the fever is there to naturally fight off the disease, why would you want to get rid of it???), no cold medicines. Homeopathy helps their bodies fight off infections naturally. It's worth reading about for anyone's health, but especially that of kids with ASD, whose neurology may be adversely affected by medications (I mean more than the average person would be affected!).


At 4:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great post. I was wondering if you could explain about not liking the terms "good job." I've been trying to overcome this habit and thought maybe your opinion could give me a little more insights. Sincerely, Diane

At 4:22 PM, Blogger Harvest Mom said...

Diane, I will, I promise -- if I don't get to it in the next couple of weeks, please remind me again. Thanks!

At 7:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Good job!"
Just kidding, it is kinda condescending sounding, isn't it?
I always hated it and now find I do it sometimes just from hearing others do it.

Back to the homeopathy....
I've used a homeopath and it has helped with a lot of the ASD.
Not using just a constitutional remedy, but a host of others to work on Miasms and etiologies.
If you ever get a chance (Ok, ha ha to this comment from a fellow hsing SAHM), read David Little's site on Hahnemann's 6th Organon.
The site's been revamped since I last read it....

I do know of some folks doing Sequential w/ the Houston group (there's a yahoo group)....don't know how this will work out in the long run as it deviates so much from Hahnemann and homeopathic principles.

Have you ever read Amy Lansky's "Impossible Cure?"... a book about general homeopathy with only one chapter about her son's cure, which can be read online mostly. It took years of homeopathy for full recovery, but about 1.5 yrs. for 80% of it to happen. Google her name. ;-)
My homeopath says that only about 1/3 of 1% of all patients can be 100% cured of everything by using one remedy only, I believe this to be true.

At 12:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In my rush, I realized what I wrote was clear as mud! Sorry.

What I meant to say, was that a constitutional remedy is wonderful to deal with acute problems that come up. However, for chronic issues, constitutional remedies aren't enough for the majority of people.
In Hahnemann's earlier writings and practice, he devoted time to finding the right remedy to fit the presenting symptoms. His writings spread and were put into practice w/ these basic teachings. As time went on, he continued his practice, and he realized that chronic illness didn't easily resolve for many folks with just one remedy. He also came up with using a different method of dosing for very sensitive people, instituting the "LMs" (liquid doses given on a more frequent basis than the dry pellets- gentler).
Anyway, to get to the point, he realized that it was better to dose regularly with less potential for negative reactions, slowly shifting the person on a daily basis into balance. The other thing was that he needed to consider the person's Miasms (inherited weaknesses) and etiologies (causes of illness) in addition to the person's constitutional remedy (specific to the individual) to resolve chronic conditions. All of this he wrote in his 6th Organon.
What's difficult, esp. in the States, is to find homeopaths who are trained sufficiently to deal with chronic conditions. Many homeopaths go into practice with as few as 100 hours of training, clearly not enough. Also, they have few experienced homeopaths to mentor them.
Amy Lansky's son was one of the lucky people who was able to heal using one remedy- the 1st one they tried too!

Well..... I hope this was clearer than my previous email.

BTW, love reading your blog about Jacob and his little brother, Zoo boy (handsome boys). Thanks so much for writing it. :-)

At 9:25 AM, Blogger Harvest Mom said...

I understand what you are saying, and I agree. As the person begins healing, their remedy picture shifts, and other remedies become their "new" constitutional. Sort of like peeling away the layer of onions, you peel away the layers of the disease (disease being the state of unhealth, not any particular illness).

However, I don't personally believe that you can "cure" Autism -- UNLESS it's being caused by something environmental or even internal that is not the normal state for that person. In my son's case, I believe that Autism is the "normal" state of his brain -- it's the way it is put together -- so my work is to actually manipulate the make-up of the brain to help his Autistic brain function in a more typical manner. Remediation as opposed to cure. But that's just my opinion :-). Certainly their are children out there whose Autism is caused by or greatly mediated by external and internal mechanisms that CAN be helped, possibly even cured, by Homeopathy. The problem is trying to decide if your kid is one of those or not. But in any case, it's never a bad idea to give Homeopathy a try, if you can find a good Homeopath.

At 3:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with you.
ASD is complex.... and I didn't mean to imply that all can be cured using homeopathy. Just wanted to suggest that some might be. But like everything out there, some things work for some and some things don't.
I definitely would encourage the use of homeopathics for general health, especially if the child is sensitive. Yes- the key is to find a good homeopath, which isn't always easy.
I'm glad you understood precisely what I meant by dosing daily with a single remedy and changing it as the symptom picture changes.
I think it's so awesome that you sought it for Jacob and it took off "the edge." I wish I would have stumbled across it earlier on.
You're doing a great job w/ Jacob.
Oh, and thanks for writing about them and so do my kids.
Have a great day. :-)
P.S.- I want a pony too!


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