Friday, December 14, 2012

Curse Of The New-Age Woman

As I continue to write this blog, I feel it’s time to take homeopathy to new horizons. The layperson knows little about this beautiful medical system and I feel that, through my work, I can introduce homeopathy to those who have either chosen this system of treatment but are not aware of how it works and those who would simply love to know more. Demystifying homeopathy will, hopefully, encourage more and more people to opt for it so that they can experience its wonderful and even seemingly miraculous healing effects.

Although homeopathy is very complex in terms of how the practitioner arrives at the right remedy for each patient, there are many aspects I will deconstruct so that you understand the fundamentals of this healing system. The most fundamental point I would like to make is that whereas conventional medicine cannot really cure disease, homeopathy can – completely and permanently.

1. Homeopathy is NOT a mysterious system of treatment whose ways are known only to an elite group of people who practice it. It may seem this way because it has been relegated to the sidelines by conventional medicine, which thrives on monopoly.

2. Homeopathy is NOT an unscientific discipline. Unfortunately, it has been tagged as such by conventional medicine, which has brainwashed us into believing that it is the only treatment approach that really works.

In this and subsequent posts, I will demonstrate, through cases, various aspects of this medical system in a way that is easy to understand.

Here’s something you can keep in mind while reading through the following case: ‘Our thought processes determine who we are and the diseases we develop’.

That is why homeopathy requires a detailed Case Taking. Our basic constitutional nature – ‘who we are’ – expresses itself through our thoughts, feelings and attitudes. The homeopath must get a picture of your constitutional nature in order to prescribe accurately, and therefore needs a wealth of detail about you, your childhood, family, social circle, etc. Remember, a homeopath does not play the role of a psychologist or counsellor; he/she is only trying to piece together your constitutional nature.

PCOS: A Disease Of The New-Age Woman

She knows what she wants and goes after it. She’s strong, speaks her mind and often slips into the ‘role of the man’. She is socially evolved – especially in the Indian context – and she does not hesitate to take the lead.

She is the woman of today.

The roles we play, our personalities and our accompanying attitudes and thoughts determine not only who we are, but also the diseases we develop. And even though what I am about to say may sound a little extreme to some women, you can’t argue with physiology. So here goes…

To start with, research has consistently indicated a strong link between Polycistic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) and ‘androgenised’ women. While, sometimes, this literally means masculinised physical features such as excess facial hair and acne, indicating excess androgen or the male hormone in the body, it also includes ‘socially androgenised’ or ‘masculinised’ women. Typically, these are women who have assumed ‘masculine-type roles’ that require them to be tough and aggressive. But it’s not only the corporate woman who is prone to androgenisation. 

The 21st century woman is, overall, a tougher breed than women were in earlier decades. She operates on many fronts and has that much more to do. Life itself is more complex than ever before, and this calls on her ability to negotiate challenges while also juggling home and career. It’s a tough world, where only the tough survive.

But, surely, the brain and body are not punishing women for being assertive, self-assured, independent, decision-makers? Add to that, getting married later and having children after the age of 30.

The Body Is Old-Fashioned
Unfortunately, the human body doesn’t care for changing social mores, women’s rights and gender equality. The body is rather old-fashioned and has not adapted to ‘today’s woman’, whose forward-thinking brain and multi-tasking personality is at odds with her biochemistry. But since it is forced to adjust to her new-age persona, it results in fundamental hormonal and metabolic imbalances. Thus, women who are predisposed to androgenisation are likely to develop PCOS. In other words, the modern age is fertile ground for a genetic predisposition towards this disease to express itself.

PCOS is not just a ‘social disease’. It is also closely linked to obesity and insulin resistance. These are largely lifestyle diseases directly linked to diet, sleeping habits and stress levels, which are often derailed due to the pressures and demands of modern living. Remember, ‘positive stress’ is as harmful as ‘negative stress’. So too much of a good time to just as harmful simply because it overloads the brain and body and is interpreted as ‘stress’.

Balance is the natural order of things and is a prerequisite for health and well-being. This is a basic law of nature and it is the only way the body knows. When confronted with forces that overwhelm it and throw it out of whack, it automatically compensates. In the process, your biochemistry and metabolism are altered only so you can keep going. Simply put – to stay alive, you must fall sick!

Presenting Complaints
Let’s proceed to discuss a fascinating case of PCOS, where the patient was cured in a matter of months. (Who said homeopathy took years to restore you to good health?) Follow the case closely and observe the role of the mind and personality in producing disease.

Sheila was an Information Technology officer employed by a reputed company. Diagnostic tests had confirmed that the 32-year-old had PCOS. Her menstruation had been irregular for four years and doctors had told her she was infertile. Sheila had been a guinea pig for all sorts of allopathic treatment but drugs and hormone treatment only brought her temporary relief.

When she came to me, Sheila had not got per period for nine months. The drugs she had been prescribed had made her gain weight, which also upset her. She also suffered from painful and pus-filled acne.

Life Situation
As a child, Sheila was friendly and extroverted, and experienced a normal childhood. When she was doing her post-graduate studies, she dated a young man for three years. But since the relationship was going nowhere, Sheila eventually broke it off.

A few years later, the young woman married a man of her parents’ choice. Just three months into the marriage, cracks in her relationship with her mother-in-law developed into deep fissures. Sheila said her mother-in-law would insult her repeatedly and publicly but she received no support from her husband. “I felt as if I didn’t have my own identity in the house. They didn’t respect me. I didn’t get love and affection, which is what I had dreamed of receiving after marriage. Even my husband didn’t love me.”

Sheila felt alone and had no one to share her feelings with. It was only a matter of time before the situation became unbearable and she began to “hate” her husband and in-laws. Two years into the marriage, Sheila filed for divorce.

The divorce left a deep impact on her, and Sheila’s mind and body began to undergo some fundamental changes to adapt to her emotional state. The hormonal imbalances eventually caused her developing PCOS to surface.

Sheila grew indifferent towards everything. “I didn’t want to speak to anyone, I felt depressed and low. I basically lost interest in life as my dream of a happy marriage had been shattered.” She spent six months in tears before she began to grow ‘strong’. But what is often mistaken for ‘strength’ is usually a state of hardened indifference to potentially hurtful stimuli. This is one way to defend and protect oneself from emotional harm and injury. This is exactly what happened to Sheila. In medical terms, her periods had grown irregular and the flow was greatly reduced.

Key Sensitivity
This is a crucial aspect of every case analysis and I will write a separate post on the subject. In the meantime, read more about it here.

Key sensitivity refers to the issue/s that are at the very core of your being and the ones you are most sensitive to. It is there issues that disturb you most deeply and reverberate through your entire being.

When I asked Sheila what upset her most, she replied: “I feel bad when people are unfriendly towards me or when they don’t like me. I also want to settle down and have a happy relationship and I want to conceive a child.”

Some people may be familiar with this stage of the analysis. I would like to emphasise that only trained homeopaths are qualified to arrive at rubrics in a case. Do not trust a homeopath who says they can prescribe a remedy for a specific symptom such as migraine, the flu or arthritis. Homeopathy is a holistic system and it does not treat symptoms or specific diseases. It realigns a diseased constitution – the entire constitution as opposed to a specific disease, which is simply symptomatic of a larger disease process at work in the body. To achieve this, it is usually necessary to arrive at rubrics. There are other ways to practice homeopathy too but none of them offers symptomatic relief.

This is another reason why it is dangerous to attempt to practice homeopathy without formal training. So if you have been ‘dabbling’ in homeopathy or if homeopathy is a ‘hobby’, think again.

And yes, arriving at rubrics is the end result of that detailed Cast Taking! I am detailing the rubrics I arrived at in Sheila’s case to give the layperson an insight into the analysis stage of the case taking.

Rubrics In Sheila’s Case
A/F – Indignation
A/F – Insults, offences from
A/F – Rudeness of others
A/F – Disappoinment, deception
Aversion to husband
Aversion to family members
Cries when alone
Hatred towards person who has offended
Indifference to everything
Sensitive to rudeness
No love, care, nourishment from husband
No identity, no respect from in-laws

At the very core of her being, Sheila lacked a sense identity and felt complete only when she shared a close relationship with another human being. Without this, she felt empty, nothing, vacant. In other words, her identity was tied to another human being. For her, any break in relationships was tantamount of betrayal. Thus, when her marriage ended in divorce, Sheila was shattered but in order to not break down completely, she had to ‘toughen up’ and get ‘strong’.

Sheila’s constitution therefore compensated for her sense of emptiness and total lack of identity and developed PCOS (her defence) so that she could survive.
Our defences are therefore purely survival-oriented and, ironic though it may sound, disease is the constitution’s way of keeping you alive and ticking, albeit in a state of imbalance and sickness.

Homeopathy corrects your constitutional imbalance by reversing and rooting out the disease process and restores you to health and well-being.

In Sheila’s case, a month after she started treatment, she began to menstruate once again, which was a sure indication that the disease process that had led to PCOS had begun to reverse itself. She also shed excess weight. But perhaps most rewarding were her words, “I feel like a normal person now.”

A few weeks later, Sheila told me she was getting remarried and was prepared to start life afresh.

MindHeal Homeopathy goes way beyond curing the body. In fact, if the patient’s physical symptoms were to disappear without a corresponding change in his or her mental and emotional state, the treatment would not have worked. MindHeal Homeopathy thus brings about a complete transformation and restores you to a state of balance and good 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 us at Website: We’ll be happy to answer all your queries.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Emotional Disturbance Is The Root Of Disease

I have practised and taught homeopathy for 22 years and I listen with a sinking heart to patients who tell me they were under homeopathic treatment for many years before coming to me. What they are actually saying is a practitioner who they have trusted with their health for years as not been able to treat them successfully. If they still need another opinion, why else would they be seated in front of me?

Finding the right remedy for a patient is not easy. I say this, not because homeopathy is a difficult skill to master but because a large number of homeopaths are given to taking shortcuts. When this is the case – and this has implications for both the lay person and the practitioner reading this blog – it means the homeopath is no different from a conventional medical doctor, whose basic medical philosophy limits him to administering symptomatic treatment.

Through the posts on this blog and though my teachings in various countries, I explain that the homeopath can be sure that the patient has completely healed when they undergo a complete transformation, in both mind and body. Anything less is tantamount to symptomatic treatment and suppression, which is the antithesis of this healing art and science. Practitioners who fall prey to these methods are guilty of what I call the Sin of Oversimplification.

We All Need A Remedy!
Most of us are so divorced from our true selves, defending against the stress and strain of life, grappling with its traumas and overcoming the odds that our constitutions are far from optimum levels. So even when we don’t have any obvious ailments, we are far from a state of balance and well-being. Conversely, if the patient arrives with only a ‘physical complaint’, it implies by default that his/her constitution is out of whack and their body and Mind need to be brought back to a state of balance,

Through all this – and again, this has implications for both the lay person and the practitioner – it is the MIND that plays a pivotal role. Most disease starts with the mind (Mind impacting Body). And, conversely, the reversal of disease and return to good health through the right remedy must therefore be reflected in the patient’s demeanour, thoughts and appearance as well (Constitution impacting Mind). Now that is a complete transformation!

The case I have selected for this post is one that shows how an emotional disturbance directly impacts the disease process and causes a chronic disease to flare. It perfectly illustrates how an emotional crisis can throw the constitution completely out of gear and literally make a individual sick. (This is the best visible manifestation of the intertwining of Mind and body at the physical level) By implication, if you don’t exactly fall ill when you’re deeply troubled, don’t for a moment imagine that your body is not taking a beating inside.

When the Burden Lifts...
Click here for details of this case

What must the practitioner do when they are confronted with a patient, who through the course of treatment, seems to take a U-turn in their health? I repeat from previous posts – the homeopath must ask: what is the patient defending against and how exactly has he/she been defending against it? The answer to these two very basic but powerful questions will reveal the right rubrics and therefore the right remedy. In other words, it is the Key To Cracking The Case.

But there’s more… a lot more. Which brings me to a new element I would like to introduce to this blog – Dr Rajan Sankaran’s Kingdom Theory. You could call it Class VIII biology with a twist! So a sarcastic comment about someone “being like a snake” may actually be on the button, from a homeopathic perspective.

What does all this mean? Well, homeopathic remedies are derived from the natural world, and the sources of these remedies can be broadly classified into three Kingdoms – plant, animal and mineral. Each kingdom is defined by a basic set of characteristics that apply to all members of that kingdom. In much the same way, human beings, and the way they react to the world around them, too exhibit the very same basic characteristics and themes. Our basic constitutional nature determines the kingdom to which each of us belongs and, accordingly, the right remedy is determined by our Kingdom. I spent the first decade of my practice learning from the teachings of Dr Sankaran and I have found his Kingdom Theory to be an excellent entry point to a case.

Classifying a patient according to Kingdom is not difficult but it takes some practice and the homeopath must discover the underlying theme of the patient’s basic nature as it pervades their entire being – their perception of the world, their reaction to it or, in other words, their very experience of it. Amazing, isn’t it?

There are many facets of the patient that reveal their kingdom, such as their nature and disposition, the way they phrase their sentences, their thought and speech patterns, their handwriting, their fears, dreams and interests. The homeopath must, therefore, be a keen observer of human nature, and this is invaluable in assessing every case.

Are You A Plant, Animal or Mineral?
So what are Plant, Animal and Mineral people like?
Plant Kingdom: Plants are rooted to the soil and the only way they can grow and flourish are by being sensitive to their environment. And since the environment is constantly changing, they need to keep adapting.

‘Plant people’ are typically soft, sensitive, emotional, easily hurt, moody, mercurial and whimsical. Some are nervous and fragile, and they hyperventilate over minor issues or even non-issues. They get ‘inflamed’ easily and cry at the slightest provocation. Their thoughts seem random and they lack structure. Their core issues centre around support and nurturing. They are hypersensitive in their relationships as they get hurt easily. They are also dependent on people and need to be anchored by someone. (The “I can’t do without you…” syndrome)

On the creative side, people in this kingdom have highly developed aesthetic sensibilities and may be creative and artistic.

Animal Kingdom: Taken from evolutionary biology, the Animal Kingdom in homeopathic practice comprises individuals who view the world through the prism of competition and a struggle for survival. They are always in a predator versus prey or persecutor versus persecuted predicament. ‘Animal people’ are typically concerned with sexuality (mating), competition, territoriality and hierarchy.

They compete in every area of their lives… in love, friendship, family, even a seat on the bus! Life is all about winning, not losing. ‘Animal people’ are either better at everything than everyone else or they suffer from low self-esteem because they feel they are just not good enough. Acceptance is crucial to them and they are also excessively concerned with domination and authority figures. Social status means the world to them and they need to feel powerful.

People belonging to the Animal Kingdom are a colourful lot. They are vibrant, extraverted, magnetic and charismatic personalities. Their nature and disposition ranges from affectionate, caring, warm and possessive to dominating, aggressive and even downright cruel. They tend to be aggressive, pushy and may attack if provoked. Jealousy and envy are central emotions. This polarity of positive and negative aspects of their disposition sometimes causes a ‘split’ in their perception of themselves.

Mineral Kingdom: At the chemical level, every mineral has a definite structure comprising chemical bonds. People caregorised as minerals are therefore crave structure and organisation. In fact, their raison d’etre is maintaining the structure, fafety and security of everything that concerns them – their relationships, families, work, finances and performance. But their need to perform and achieve stems out of a need for safety and security rather than to compete as in the Animal Kingdom.

‘Mineral people’ are also rigid, inflexible and perfectionists who are fastidious about details. They usually opt for careers in accounting, computer science, engineering and quality control.

But this kingdom is a little more complex than the first two, and may be sub-divided into two further groups: salts and metals. ‘Salt people’ are particularly sensitive to relationships of all types. Thus their core disturbances also revolve around relationships and attachments. There is a pining to be nurtured or a feeling that they cannot live without a particular person. They may have troubled relationships or they may be overly dependent on someone significant in their lives. The nuances are many.

People who are Metals are concerned with their identity, social status, performance and power, family, financial status, health and home. It’s all about maintaining the ‘structure’ and integrity of these aspects of their lives.

The above illustration is an oversimplification of Dr Sankaran’s Kingdom Theory but, for the lay reader who wonders how the homeopath assesses their patients, it does provide a valuable insight into this healing science. It is a vital part of my own approach and will always remain one of the cornerstones of classical homeopathy.

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 us at Website: We’ll be happy to answer all your queries.