Sunday, November 28, 2010

Surviving A Death Sentence

The first thing I noticed about young Bhavesh was his fixed gaze. He stared at me, his eyes seeing, yet not seeing. As his mother poured her heart out, Bhavesh sat hunched in her arms, barely moving. He understood what we were saying but was passing our words through the filter of denial.

Judging by the look on his face, it was easy to tell that the nine-year-old was in shock. His unnatural stillness and glassy eyes spoke of sudden trauma, and around 20 minutes into the conversation, his mother confirmed my suspicions.

I call this case The Seven Faces of Bhavesh More – seven consultations, seven “different children” and finally, one happy kid. Watch the video.
Dur: 5:40 min

(For subtitles, double-click on screen and watch in YouTube)

But first, a brief background. Bhavesh was suffering from renal artery stenosis. The artery supplying blood to his right kidney was blocked, a condition diagnosed about 45 days before mother and child came to see me on April 1, 2009. Bhavesh was reeling under toxic build-up and water retention that had made him puffy and swollen. He also had severe hypertension as his blood pressure was a dangerous 180 / 120.

Bhavesh had also become extremely withdrawn. At home, he barely uttered a few words, preferring to lie in bed all day. He had also stopped eating – definite signs of shock and depression.

This is one of my more heart-rending cases. The boy’s mother fortunately gave me a wealth of detail and it was clear that Bhavesh’s symptoms had developed soon after an emotionally traumatic event. His father had died a few years ago, and in January 2009, his uncle, a “second father” to him, had collapsed and died in his presence.

A particularly sensitive and emotional child, Bhavesh went into shock, and the only way his vulnerable psyche could deal with the sudden and powerful sense of abandonment was to numb his mind and convert the psychological trauma into physical symptoms. Thus, his renal artery went into a spasm, placing the child’s life in jeopardy.

What followed was a tryst with allopathy. Bhavesh was hospitalised for a month and put on strong allopathic medication. It didn’t help. So they finally trotted out a line we so often hear conventional physicians say: “There’s nothing more we can do.” Doctors had given Bhavesh a death sentence.

I feel compelled to mention here that conventional allopathy serves only to suppress symptoms of disease and does not treat, much less cure, the root disease process that’s raging in the body. Coupled with Bhavesh’s serious condition, the drugs had actually made the nine-year-old much worse before he came to me.

What Is Miasm?
This was a classic, clear-cut case, illustrating three vital aspects that determine disease in any individual. One, Bhavesh was a hypersensitive child with strong issues of abandonment. In homeopathic terms, he exhibited the classic Psoriatic Miassm or Psora. To keep this simple and easy to follow, I will sidestep homeopathic jargon to say that classic homeopathy broadly classifies all individuals into three basic Miasms: Psora, Sycotic and Syphillitic. (For further details on Miasms, watch the following slideshow)

MindHeal: What Is Miasm?
View more presentations from MindhealHomoeopathy.
These three Miasms are classic patterns of reaction to disease after it sets in or the body’s defensive response to, say, infection or injury or any type of harm, both physical and mental. Miasm is nothing but the body’s way of trying to adjust to or even accommodate disease just so that you don’t succumb to it and perish. If that sounds odd, remember, the natural tendency of all life on earth is aimed at self-preservation, not self-destruction. In much the same way, a part of the body becomes diseased to preserve and save the whole organism.

Miasm is thus not disease per se but the body’s response to it. All this physiological, biochemical and structural jostling, pushing and nudging that follows, allows you sufficient time to regroup and strengthen your immunity so that you are restored to a state of good health.

If your immune response is not strong enough, the disease process continues to progress in a specific pattern determined by your Miasm. Now follow what I’m saying very carefully. Chronic illnesses are your body’s repeated but futile attempts to self-heal. And since your body will not give up without the best fight it can put up, you get trapped in a self-perpetuating disease cycle. So, successful or not, full marks for trying!

It is critical to note that your Miasm depends on your constitutional make-up – the basic matrix of homeopathic science. Despite what behavioural scientists say or staunch nurture-over-nature proponents believe, it is your constitution that influences aspects of your personality way beyond what conventional medicine and science is willing to admit.

Your constitution determines your basic nature both physical and mental including your temperament (sure nurture tempers but cannot alter it), personality and emotional responses. It also determines whether you take ill or not and the type of diseases you will develop and their progression – or your Miasmatic state.

“Changing Gears”
Having discussed one of the pillars of homeopathy – Miasm – let’s return to Bhavesh More. The child exhibited a second classic quality, one that makes it easy to understand why some people fall ill (even violently ill) fairly easily but also recover quickly, while it takes others years for illness to show up and a long time to recover.

We all fall on a continuum, whereby disease and / or its reversal to good health proceed at a specific pace. It’s akin to the gears in a vehicle. Haven’t we all heard of someone who was diagnosed with a ‘terminal disease’ and who perished within months after its detection? On the other hand, there are individuals who live for years, even as cancerous tumours grow and spread in their bodies.

There are also those who spontaneously recover from diseases such as cancer but why, oh why, does conventional medicine deny or dismiss the power of mind over body and “alternative systems” of medicines such as homeopathy!

The pace at which symptoms progress has nothing to do with how healthy or not your immune system is. Whereas immunity determines whether you fall ill or not, your ‘gear’ or pace determines how quickly you go downhill and / or return to a state of good health.

But what determines your ‘gear’ or pace of disease progression and its reversal? Once again, that would be your all-important constitutional make-up. Bhavesh was predisposed to “changing gears” very quickly, going from the Psora Miasm in almost fast-forward mode (45 days) to the Psoro-Syphillitic Miasm. That is, he shifted gears with alarming speed, from traumatic shock at his uncle’s passing to renal artery stenosis, a physically destructive stage resulting in his kidney malfunctioning (as opposed to experiencing all the nuances that would have taken him from shock to grief and sorrow).

Mind Over Body
There is a third reason I call this a classic case. Bhavesh’s kidney ailment illustrates the power of the mind in causing disease or how emotional trauma can lead to cellular shock.

This brings us to Bhavesh’s second setback, which is evident in his fourth consultation. Midway through treatment, I received a call from his mother saying Bhavesh had been rushed to hospital. He had suddenly started bleeding from his nose and had fallen unconscious. Doctors in hospital also discovered that his blood pressure had climbed to dangerous levels for the nth time.

When the child and his mother returned to my clinic after he was discharged four days later, Bhavesh looked puffy and swollen again. At the risk of sounding repetitive, I must say that the strong prescription of allopathic drugs he was given for the second time in four months had once again suppressed the disease process and caused Bhavesh’s health to regress.

(I must mention here that interventional medicine is definitely recommended in cases of medical emergencies, where homeopathy cannot help. But once the individual stabilises, long-term use of allopathic drugs is invariably suppressive and destructive)

But why did a child whose health was obviously looking up after starting on homeopathic treatment fall so violently ill a second time? Again, the clue came from his mother, who said that just minutes before his nose began to bleed, Bhavesh had had a bust-up with his grandmother who, in all her grandmotherly wisdom, had scolded him very severely. (Watch the video above)

Coming as the incident did just seven months after his uncle’s death, the perceived “shock” and “trauma” from another authority figure had sent Bhavesh’s mind into a paroxysm of pain for the second time and his body had reacted violently.

I decided to take a bold step now. I requested Bhavesh’s mother to halt the drugs prescribed by the hospital’s doctors and asked her if she could place her faith and trust in homeopathy. And she did. This was perhaps one of the best decisions the lady will have ever made, because just 17 months after she walked in carrying a child who had been handed a death sentence, Mrs More had her son back from the brink… healthy and happy.

Note: I cannot end this post without mentioning that the study of Miasms is included in the curricula of homeopathic colleges across India. But it is limited to the realm of theory. It was Dr Prafull Vijaykar and his predictive School of Homeopathy that took Miasms to the realm of the practical. Having spent a decade as both practitioner and faculty with the Predictive School of Homeopathy, it continues to be the most crucial tool I use to understand the nuances of my cases and a beacon while prescribing homeopathic remedies.

(Next: I’ll take the subject of Miasms forward and illustrate with images and videos from my practice, cases of individuals who have shifted Miasms on the rocky road to sickness and health.)

Re-awaken the healer in you...
- Dr Anita Salunkhe, MD

MindHeal Homeopathy is an ISO-certified clinic based in Chembur, Mumbai. To find out more about The MindHeal Way, call: 022-25230530 / +91-9930363981. Or write to Website: We’ll be happy to answer all your queries.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Gunk In The Plumbing

It’s odd how when you walk into a room of relative strangers and you’re introduced as a homeopath, all conversational roads lead to homeopathy. It happened to me for the nth time recently, at a social gathering where a peppy young lady said, “Tell me, Doctor, why does someone under homeopathic treatment become worse before getting better?”

The young lady obviously didn’t realise that her seemingly benign conversation opener was actually the key to what homeopaths call the “healing crisis”. Since we have discussed in previous posts why homeopathy is a holistic system of medicine, let’s focus here on the healing crisis per se.

If you’ve been treated by a homeopath before, you may have noticed that soon after treatment begins, chest congestion, skin allergies and joint pain ‘mysteriously’ and temporarily show up. As I reassure Harpreet Kaur in the video that follows, this is an EXCELLENT sign! It indicates that the body has begun to fix itself.

Journey of Disease (Dur: 2.31)

Turning The Key
Homeopathic remedies begin by ‘turning the key’ and unlocking the disease process that has either caused your first major illness or, as the case may be, yet another physiological breakdown in a series of illnesses.

When you unlock the disease process, the gunk or toxins in the system begins to clear out. It’s like unclogging blocked plumbing. A body that has been functioning below par or organs that have been malfunctioning or only partially functioning accumulate plenty of cellular debris over the years. They overproduce or underproduce chemicals, they are constantly compensating for other organs, they shrink or swell, and they get stressed and damaged as they bravely keep trying to give of their best despite the odds.

Homeopathic remedies, mild as they are, first shake up your system on the path to good health. They change and correct your faulty metabolism at the molecular level, thus RELEASING toxic chemicals and energy that are locked into disease patterns which set in a long time ago.

Unclogging Debris
After “loosening the gunk”, the body needs to eliminate the cellular debris and it looks to the organs of elimination to achieve this. This toxic debris and unblocked energy must be allowed to leave the system naturally for healing to be permanent and complete.

Inflammation in the form of fever, chest congestion (mucous discharge leading to a cough and cold) and joint pain are typical signs of a healing crisis, a sign that your body is trying to cleanse itself. Acidity is also a common sign of such “chimney sweeping”. After all, aren’t the stomach and small intestine the very seat of our metabolic gravity?

The skin, the largest organ we have, as well as the bowels are the obvious organs of elimination. Hence, toxins that no longer need to be stored find a way out through these organs and give rise to temporary rashes, boils, pustules, allergies and bowel disturbances. After each round of cleansing, rest assured you advance to a higher level of health. Thus, while the road to health and vitality is exhilarating, it is initially marked by short and sharp dips in the road.

But it’s not only about clearing away all that is dead and diseased. When your body is truly healing, it also RETRACES the path it had taken to deterioration. This means old symptoms, long since suppressed, will invariably flare up.

What this simply means is that the body is re-starting a fight it once gave up – a battle against microbes, toxic chemicals, addictive substances and other harmful influences that left it diseased. Emotional trauma, which is stored as cellular trauma, is another powerful cause of disease and has more to do with illness than most people realise.

Dark Secrets
Though your body gave up the struggle a while ago, these pathogens, harmful chemicals and traumatic memories continued to impact your body, progressively weakening your organs, muscles, tissues, glands, and metabolic and immunological processes. This is the root of chronic disease.
Now revitalised through homeopathy, the battle resumes and inflammation will result.

Supporting the body with appropriate nutrition, rest and cleansing will allow the healing process to run its natural course. Not to mention that your immune system is also strengthened, eventually leaving you permanently disease-free. Alternatively, if this process is interrupted by allopathic drugs, the vicious cycle of suppression resumes and inhibits the healing process.

Hence, periodic flare-ups in chronic illnesses are nothing but a sign that the body is feeling strong enough, albeit briefly, to resume its struggle and try and heal itself. Thus, contrary to what most people believe, periodic flare-ups are not a sign of disease but of healing!

Multiplying Disease
At this juncture, it is pertinent to note that the healing crisis is as far as you can get from the approach that drug medicine takes. They are polar opposites.

And there’s a huge price to pay for conventional medicine’s seemingly efficient approach to curing ailments. Allopathic drugs invariably work by suppressing, controlling, managing and regulating the symptoms of disease because conventional medicine is founded on the myth that the removal of symptoms is the same as curing disease. Allopathy assumes that the symptom IS the disease.

Disease Is Multi-Layered
Drug medicine therefore does not remove the DISEASE PROCESS, which continues to rage, gradually chipping away at your body till it can no longer defend itself. Years of suppression though painkillers and antibiotics, not to mention bad nutritional habits and unhealthy lifestyles lead to toxic overload.

Here’s something to think about for anyone who regularly takes multiple types of medication for MULTIPLE ailments. (I cannot emphasise this enough) The fact is that all your ailments arise from the SAME disease process which, in fact, manifests as a range of symptoms. So you don’t really suffer from asthma, arthritis and constipation – you suffer from ONE SINGLE disease process, whose destructive force has damaged your lungs, joints and bowels respectively.

When resorting to conventional drugs, you’re actually suppressing one set of symptoms and driving the disease process deeper. The disease is thus bound to show up elsewhere, even years later, as a more serious ailment. In a double-whammy, the medication you take to relieve, say painful gout (thus inhibiting the formation of uric acid) could encourage the formation of kidney stones at a later stage.

Thus “fixing your body” (like it’s a broken blender!) and “healing” are like chalk and cheese. It is vital to make this distinction to understand how homeopathy works.

How Homeopathy Works (Dur: 1:27)

Homeopathic remedies are aimed at correcting dysfunctional metabolism and by unlocking cellular trauma, releasing blocked energy. They rebalance your biochemistry, realign and fine-tune your physiological processes so that disease is rooted out at its source.

Once your metabolism is rebalanced, ALL your ailments will disappear. Again, unlike allopathy, homeopathy also REVITALISES the individual, leaving you energised, rested, stronger and disease-resistant in general. Where else do you get a bonus like that?

Innate Intelligence
The healing process is far from random and is guided by an inner intelligence. There is NOTHING RANDOM about the way your mind and body functions. (I am deliberately using the singular for we are but one whole entity of mind, body and spirit) It follows a superior logic that for the most part is unconscious in most of us. Yet it’s always there – to use or abuse as we may choose.

Thus, just as every minute physiological and metabolic process follows an innate logic, so does the healing process. This process was first described by Constantine Hering who gave us the Laws of Cure.

Laws Of Cure
These laws are like a rudder, guiding the classical homeopathy while tracing the journey to healing, which follows a very specific direction.

Inside-Out: Healing starts at the very deepest level – the mental and emotional levels and the body’s vital organs. From here, it progresses to the skin and the extremities. It also takes place first in more vital organs and proceeds to less vital organs – from the interior of the body towards the skin. (In our video, young Meghna Masurkar’s chest-to-skin or asthma-to-vitiligo progression)

Rewind: Symptoms disappear in the reverse order of their chronological appearance.

Top-Down: Healing also begins from upper to lower parts of the body. (Vandana Kapoor’s hand-to knee progression)

Many patients, most of them schooled in allopathy and used to its quick-fix effects, often ask me how soon they can “expect results”. Well, if the treatment course extends over a longer period than the wham-bam allopathic approach, tangible “results” usually begin to show within days or a week of starting on homeopathy.

And for my readers who are still iffy about choosing this wonderful healing way, there’s no better endorsement from Vandana Kapoor, who came to me with complaints of depression and recurring nightmares as she tried to battle a controlling husband.

It's been more than six years but I still remember what the young lady had said:

(This is the concluding part of my two-part series on disease and healing, The MindHeal Way)

Re-awaken the healer in you...
- Dr Anita Salunkhe, MD

MindHeal Homeopathy is an ISO-certified clinic based in Chembur, Mumbai. To find out more about The MindHeal Way, call: 022-25230530 / +91-9930363981. Or write to Website: We’ll be happy to answer all your queries.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

All That's Gone Is Not Cured

My Class VIII physics teacher was a grouchy old man who was greeted with a collective sigh of despair every time he walked into class, his arms laden with books or the beginnings of a ‘class project’. Ugh!

He didn’t know it then but through all those excruciating lectures, Mr Ramanathan gifted me something I use every day as a practitioner of a holistic system of medicine and as a human being in communion with the people around me and the universe.

Energy Is Neither Created Nor Destroyed
Mr Ramanathan gifted me the First Law of Thermodynamics, and I quote – “energy is neither created nor destroyed, it is only transformed from one state to another”.

Homeopathy applies this very same principle to the disease process (note the word “process” as it crops up through this post) – “disease is not necessarily cured but is transformed and reappears as other diseases”. Also remember this sentence as I walk you through this post because it is the common thread that will link all the aspects I am sharing with you today.

What Is Cure?
“Cure” is perhaps one of the most emotive and oft-used words used by the human race. As life gets increasingly complex, our anxieties mount, relationships get strained and deadlines get shorter by the day. For most people, living in fast-paced metros at least, life is a daily tightrope walk, often making us weak and prone to disease.

Count the number of people in your doctor’s waiting room and that is sufficient proof that our complex lives and unhealthy lifestyles have taken us to the brink of ill-health. Who isn’t looking for a cure, or a cure-all, to their myriad problems?

Swallowing A Myth
When it comes to sickness and health, conventional medicine defines “cure” as the “absence of disease” or the “disappearance of symptoms”. How many times has your family physician recommended a course of antibiotics and “set you right”?

So when you use bronchodialators, mucolytics and anti-inflammatory drugs to treat a chronically congested chest, you believe “the worst has passed”. When such an attack is caused by the infectious streptococcus pneumoniae bacterium and treatment includes antibiotics, you believe you’ve been cured of pneumonia.

The promise of quick relief – the absence of symptoms – is very seductive, even addicting. After all, who isn’t looking for quick-fix solutions to just about everything? Indeed, allopathic drugs, for all manner of disease, are awfully effective – in suppressing, managing and controlling disease.

But there’s a fundamental flaw here. According to homeopathy, “cure” is not just the absence of symptoms but a “complete reversal of the disease process”. This means the cure is permanent and complete (and contrary to popular misconception, it’s usually very quick).

Watch All That’s Gone Is Not Cured (Dur: 48 sec)

So where is all this leading and what has all this to do with the First Law of Thermodynamics? Well, just as night turns to day and day to night, just as the tides ebb and flow, and just as the seasons change according to the laws of nature, the human body too follows a set of specific laws. These laws are an integral part of the innate intelligence or the innate positive and healing dynamic energy that makes us human and makes us whole.

Among other things, these laws govern the bio-energy and vibrational energy in our cells and tissues; the channels through which this energy flows; our biochemistry and neurological functions including cellular memory; and the expression of our genetic code. These laws are logical and universal.

Just like the computer you’re using to read this post is a solid object but also an energy system (and I don’t mean the power source that keeps it going) at the atomic and molecular level, the human body is a system of vibrational energy.

Contrary to what conventional medicine may lead you to believe – that we are prone to ill-health and that bacteria and viruses are waiting to attack us – the body’s innate intelligence powers us towards good health. Let me put it this way. Life has a natural tendency to maintain the integrity and harmony of the human psyche and body and keep both working together in joyous unison. In other words, we are prone to naturally and automatically heal.

The Life Force Is A Positive And Dynamic Energy
Have you ever wondered why a bud blooms? It’s not just the soil, water and sunlight but the life force within it that compels it to bloom. The life force, by definition and by default, is a positive and dynamic energy that tends towards survival, regeneration, self-preservation and healing.

Sickness is a disturbance in the life force or this vibrational energy. You take ill when your body’s natural channels of energy are blocked. When this happens (the reasons could be purely physical or psychological or both), every other channel in the body – the flow of water, blood and lymph, the functioning of neurotransmitters, your endocrine organs and neural activity – begins to function in a distorted sort of way. This is what makes you sick and weak and the body goes into defensive mode – a reflex-like, natural tendency.

Each individual has a unique way of experiencing sickness at the biochemical and energy levels. And it is this pattern of disturbance and defensiveness that homeopathy calls a “miasm”.

Disease – or your miasm – is therefore your body’s way of adapting to forces that thwart the life force. It is a signal that something is amiss and in serious cases, terribly amiss. Chronic illnesses typify this process as they are a manifestation of a defensive and destructive, self-defeating cycle. Still, burdened beyond being able to fend off destructive influences, it is the only way the body knows how to preserve the integrity and unity of the human entity. It is a cycle of repeated attempt leading to repeated failure leading to repeated attempt and so on…

Disturbed Energy
What this basically means is that your body is trying to self-heal but cannot and your life force gets trapped in a self-defeating loop. Chronic illnesses are a failed attempt at healing.

Law Of Suppression
So what happens when disease – renal failure, diabetes, cystic fibrosis, peptic ulcers, hepatitis, cardiac arrhythmia – is so generously treated by an allopathic specialist? The result is that the thwarted life force and energy raging through your body now dodges steroids, painkillers, diuretics and the like and must find other channels of expression as it is inexorably propelled forward. The energy thus changes direction, goes deeper into your organs and systems and further disguises itself. Ergo! When one ailment disappears, another one shows up! This process could take weeks, months or even years.

The Predictive School of Homeopathy, with whom I have bee associated, reveals just how the disease process can be meticulously traced, step by painful step. This is the Law of Suppression of Disease and is illustrated in the chart below. Since the Law of Suppression is universal, it can be applied to every individual to predict the course of disease in that individual.

Chart of Suppression
Click here to download pdf

To make this simpler to understand, let me give you an example. For instance, when you use an ointment to treat a skin disease, the rash may disappear but you’re likely to develop a cough and cold. When you regularly take antacids to kill your acid reflux and ease diarrhoea, aches and pains in your joints, neck or back (spondylosis) mysteriously show up. When you use painkillers to treat recurring backaches or an ache in your shoulder, you’re likely to develop hypertension or cardiac problems.

According to the Predictive School of Homeopathy, when repeatedly suppressed (by allopathic drugs or otherwise), the disease process progresses through seven layers of suppression. Take a closer look at the organs responsible for the various ailments mentioned in the Chart of Suppression. In ascending order, they include the skin, respiratory tract, gastro-intestinal tract, joints, blood vessels, vital organs like the heart, reproductive system, nervous system and, finally, your very genetic template.

Genetics Is Key
The seventh and final layer or stage of disease is the genetic level. A disturbance at this level is characterised by seriously destructive diseases such as auto-immune syndromes such as HIV, cancer, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Can homeopathy reverse these serious, debilitating and crippling conditions? For sure!

The Chart of Suppression can be used as a compass to gauge the direction the disease process has taken in an individual, and as the homeopathic remedy reverses the disease process, the direction of cure as well. It is like a map that plots the disease and the organs and systems it has travelled through as the disturbed life force raged across the body, going deeper every time.

The most effective suppressants are our own attitudes and feelings, our own denial of disease, our own defense and coping mechanisms – and allopathic drugs.

I’ve worked with countless patients over the last two decades and the Chart of Suppression been a beacon though every single case. Remember Mrs Sushma Karnik, who we met in our third post? Beset by several chronic ailments, she was the school teacher who gave up all that was familiar to her to move from Mumbai to a small town when she got married.

Mrs Karnik had suffered for 30 years and was on strong allopathic drugs which she had taken for many years before she came to my clinic. These drugs had suppressed her symptoms, consistently pushing the disease process further inwards.

Watch Mrs Karnik’s Layers of Suppression (Dur: 2.10)

She had first developed a thick eczema (Layer1), followed by asthma (Layer2), which was followed by arthritis (Layer3). The steroids she had been taking to treat her eczema, did not really cure it and the problem kept flaring from time to time till it formed a virtual second skin over parts of her body.

More allopathic drugs and steroids led to Mrs Karnik developing varicose veins (Layer4), which was followed by hypothyroidism (Layer5). Underproduction of thyroxin made her bloat, her hair turn dry and brittle and it made her very dull and lethargic. Finally, Mrs Karnik grew depressed and lost interest in living (Layer6).

So where does all this leave us? In my next post, we’ll take a look at the path to Healing and the Healing Crisis.

PS: Just a reminder to download and save your Chart of Suppression.

Re-awaken the healer in you...
- Dr Anita Salunkhe, MD

MindHeal Homeopathy is an ISO-certified clinic based in Chembur, Mumbai. To find out more about The MindHeal Way, call: 022-25230530 / +91-9930363981. Or write to Website: We’ll be happy to answer all your queries.