Recently, a patient told me that she gave her daughter a homeopathic remedy called Thuja, made from the arbor vitae plant. I asked “is it for warts?” “Yes” she responded. How did you know? “I guessed it because I knew of the “law of signatures”.
Wikipedia states :
‘The doctrine of signatures is a philosophy shared by herbalists from the time of Dioscurides and Galen. This doctrine states that herbs that resemble various parts of the body can be used to treat ailments of that part of the body.”
Thuja has clusters of small wart-like growths on its stems. It helps cure warts. Ginseng is a tonic and energizes the whole body.
If you look at the root of the plant, it resembles a “little man”.
Saw palmetto helps the prostate.
Does this look a bit like the shape of the prostate gland? There are many other examples.
During this discussion, the patient suddenly announced “ G-d leaves a stamp on things”.
From now on lets take a look around us and begin looking for divine signatures in our daily lives. What a stamp collection!
“I feel safe here,” said Betty, as she began to cry softly. The pain of arthritis in multiple sites along with her other medical issues of hypercholesterolemia (too much cholesterol in the blood), hypothroid (too little thyroid), hypertension, and depression had overwhelmed her. She felt that her health was going in the wrong direction. In our clinic, we often see people who become tired and frustrated after taking many medications. Oftentimes, their symptoms may have improved, yet they feel an overall loss of vitality. Over a period of time, they may become discouraged if not outright depressed. I knew that, following heart disease, stroke, and cancer, prescription medications were actually the fourth leading cause of death. I have spent many years as a physician working with people and their ailments and offering them natural solutions. Oftentimes, with g-d’s help, we are successful. yet something was different here, as she was talking about safety.
“I’ve had trouble in other offices. They are all good people and mean well, but they focus on the part of me that is their specialty, and I…I mean the me that is inside this body feels lost in the process”. She again began crying softly. As I sat back in my chair listening, I remembered my experiences in medical school and afterwards, where we were taught to treat a person as parts of a whole without the maturity or instruction to see that person, their symptoms, emotions, and lifestyle integrated into the beauty of a unique human being.
I had to go outside the mainstream and apprentice to various teachers and traditions to learn nutrition, supplementation, energy medicine (homeopathy), yoga and stress reduction techniques, psychotherapy (including a spiritual perspective) and meditation. It took years for all this information to gel together into a working, practical and extremely cost effective way of practicing medicine so that I felt whole, complete, privileged, and blessed.
Betty gently dabbed a tissue to her eyes and her lips stopped quivering. As she was getting ready to continue, I realized that sitting here with her, practicing medicine this way, having like-minded practitioners around me, working with our bodies, minds, and spirits on a daily basis, I felt safe as well.
Jerry Gore, MD Director and Staff Physician
Center For Holistic Medicine
In holistic medicine, a person’s symptom or illness becomes an opportunity to learn. This learning brings a sense of self-awareness leading to self-regulation – fancy words meaning:
“I’m no longer a victim to a disease – now I’m taking control of my health!”
Case History: a 35 year old woman with a diagnosis of asthma presents with shortness of breath, cough, thick mucous production, and fatigue. She uses two inhalers daily. She feels tired, discouraged and helpless, and has a subtle feeling of going in the wrong direction.
Evaluation and Treatment:
(1) She learns to avoid mucous-producing foods (e.g. wheat and dairy)
(2) She uses natural anti-inflammatories like fish oil, and magnesium for its bronchodilator effect.
(3) She uses energy medicine such as homeopathy (see below) and learns a breathing technique that increases her air flow, and decreases her anxiety.
(4) She discovers how emotional conflict in her life over a period of time is affecting her health.
(5) She begins to make life decisions from a place of inner wisdom and truth.
Her breathing and cough improve and she becomes less dependent on traditional inhalers.
Allergy symptoms like sneezing have decreased as a byproduct of the treatment
She feels more in control of her diet, her breathing and her life and manifests a sense of self-directed health and well-being.
How do we do this?
A comprehensive philosophy of medicine.
The body, energy and mind of the individual work together in harmony. A disruption at any level may result in imbalance, disease, confusion or loss of purpose. We will study the symptoms and imbalances on all 4 levels
(1) physical level:
– her diet has a combination of fats, oils and foods that make her symptoms worse
– tests show there may be vitamin and trace deficiencies
(2) energy level:
– her breathing is shallow and emphasizing the wrong muscles.
– a traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) exam shows kidney weakness and disharmony between kidney and lung.
– a homeopathic history looks for the asthma symptoms unique to her:
(a) worse in cold air
(b) worse near tobacco smoke
(c) better from walking
(d) better from warmth
(3) mental level:
-a stress assessment reveals some difficulties in her relationships at home and at work. She has few outlets to “express” or work through these conflicts.
(4) spiritual level:
– underneath her poor physical health, imbalanced energy, and stress lies a feeling of disconnection and unfulfillment with her life, a deeper meaning- a sense of rightness is missing.
How will we treat her? See the Wheel of Successful Health below
A treatment plan is then tailored to the individual using natural, safe and easy to use recommendations under the watchful eye of the staff and MDs. We will choose specific tools to honor the uniqueness of this person’s symptoms, with the wheel of successful health being our main reference point.
Our Treatment plan:
(1) Physical level:
– Ayurvedic nutrition recommends less mucous producing foods such as milk, cheese, wheat and bananas.
– Magnesium citrate helps bronchiole tubes relax
– Other vitamins and herbs.
(2) Energy level:
– She is taught a breathing technique called diaphragmatic breathing
– She is given acupuncture and Chinese herbs to strengthen kidney and to balance kidney and lung energy.
– She is given the homeopathic remedy Lobelia three times a day until symptoms are relieved.
(3) Mental level:
– She begins to express her feelings and thoughts in a personal journal. She may begin a counseling relationship to help her become aware and work through difficulty with another compassionate, listening person.
(4) Spiritual level:
– As her physical health and peace of mind improve, she begins to make choices in relationships and lifestyle that reflect a growing sense of inner satisfaction and peace.
A lovely woman in her 50’s, an accountant, was working with her headaches and asthma, as well as with occasional high blood pressure and digestive issues. Our clinic began using a blood test for food sensitivities, testing inflammatory mediators such as histamine, serotonin, and prostaglandins. We think that people may be reacting to foods with subtle inflammation without knowing it, unlike with the immediate unpleasant reaction you have with a “food allergy.”
This test measures degrees of inflammation to a variety of foods, such as grains, veggies, fruits, and proteins, as well as to a variety of flavor enhancers (spices) and xenobiotics (dyes, colorings, etc.). We decided to make this blood test, drew her blood, and in 10 days her results came in.
Because she was the kind of person who wanted to take charge of her health, she received her results with great enthusiasm. We discussed the foods that showed the most inflammation – barley, strawberry, peach, bananas, lamb, coffee, blue dye #1, benzoic acid, sodium sulfite – and those that showed intermediate inflammation – squash, lettuce, caffeine, basil, soybean, and many others. She said, “I’m going to do it!” It was not necessary to go off the intermediate ones, but she decided to do it anyway.
After 4 weeks of her modified diet, she returned with the following results.”Dr. Gore, I feel so much better!” My energy has improved. The asthma is so much better that I can play tennis without using the inhaler much. I have had only one headache. I sleep better; the ringing in the ears is gone; and so are the flashes in my vision. I lost a few pounds and people say that the discoloration under my eyes is gone!”