In an age where modern physicians have bombarded the public with powerful, addictive tranquilizers, which again do not cure, but suppress and create much greater illnesses than the ones they were intended to treat. What a tragedy it is to know that more people die from over-medication each year than from car accidents. Here homoeopathy ought to be considered for its advantages. Insurance companies abroad are beginning to reimburse for alternative treatments like homoeopathy, recognizing the long-term savings involved. The homoeopath carries a great weight of responsibility to improve himself and ultimately all those around him. It will be well worth all your time and effort to become a well qualified homoeopathic physician. At this point if homoeopaths violate the most basic principles of homoeopathy and indulge in polypharmacy. In doing so they harm the patient, which is bad enough, but still worse, they harm the profession and the reputation of homoeopathy.
Life gives almost everybody a chance to choose what they want to become. Very few obey their calling, yet many listen to others recommendations and often get misguided. I too came from the group of the undecided and confused people. It was my mother who gave me the opportunity to study homoeopathy. In the beginning I had absolutely no idea what was homoeopathy all about. During my first year at the college I heard many definitions of homoeopathy but the one that Dr Francis gave me seemed to be the most convincing one. Thereafter I set on experimenting it on myself. The treatment given to me at the college hospital by the interns and physicians was incredible. Soon I became a firm believer in homoeopathy. As I went for hospital postings I slowly realized that there was much scope in homoeopathy, our teacher’s demonstrated very good cures and also shared their trade secrets during seminars and bed side sessions. I could now aspire to practice homoeopathy.
As time went by, I understood that what you think is real sometimes isn’t so. Not only on the professional front, but also on personal level. I heard testimony from famous homoeopath from Mumbai of how marriage proposals were not accepted since he was a “Chota Doctor” (homoeopath). It sounded stigmatizing but I could get over that. Homoeopathy was getting more and more complex due to the modern guru’s who were advocating their method as more refined one than Hahnemann’s. For example; sensation method, predictive homoeopathy, sehgal’s method, vitholkas method, chauhan’s method, blockbuster method, etc. I did not know whom to follow. This lead to therapeutic failures while still mesmerizing the simple souls. These days in homoeopathic circles, to live and let live without criticism is much more comfortable. Another problem I faced was the intricacies of the different repertories, this too threatened my existence. Luckily I had wise senior’s who were always open to discussion. They enlightened me using simpler ways taught at our college.
As internship came to an end, I became sleepless. To my good fortune, I got an opportunity to work in the homoeopathic hospital as an R.M.O cum lecture in Anatomy dept at the college. Thereafter I set out to do my further studies. Upon returning I continued to work in my clinic with greater vigor and precision. Patients were few in the beginning but their kindness always followed me. They made me feel like a great practitioner. However often I would have to answer their queries whether homoeopathy will cause side-effects and if homoeopathic medicines had steroids. Such questions are never asked to Allopathic doctors. (I wonder why?)
Even a natural disease aggravation was portrayed as a medicinal aggravation and the homoeopath was shown as the culprit. With high expectations from the society that “Physician should be all knowing”, the doctor himself at times gets wounded and needs attention. Only time showed that the homoeopath was doing a fairly good job. Even homoeopaths working in the teaching fraternity are subject to unrecognition from deserving positions as well as abuse from students. Like the tiger and goat story has it, that the goat grew into a tiger, claws and all, and the poor tiger not only lost his claws but became, in the bargain, a helpless goat. The pupil now turned into an examiner. Sometimes on account of settling scores and at other times on instigation by some wicked minds. If on such a day you have no companion next to you (or even if you have one) a glass or two of cold beer which you sip as if the evening will never end, makes you the inhabitant of a new world, a world different from the one we live in. Your eyes open and your mind. The glorious spectacle of nature stands before you and you suddenly become aware of what the poets say and what Blake meant when he spoke of the holding: “Infinity in the palm of your hand And Eternity in an hour”.
Such evenings don’t come often in one’s lifetime, believe me. Not so much because they are beyond our reach as for the plain fact that we don’t wish to spare our time and relax, if even for a brief spell. The Book of Thoughts also is always lying on the dusty shelf, waiting for years, waiting for you to relax and sip them and relax. The wisdom of so many masters cannot be drunk or gulped down. It will choke you, if you do. But sip you must, if you are to taste its joys.
Long work days and frequent night calls leave them little time with their family. Of course, with all love for work, what we call ‘our duty’, because we must first eat, if we are to live. The homoeopath is no exception. But he has “duties” (plural) and it is most unfortunate that he too, must eat. Being a human, he too needs food, clothing and a home that he can call his own. The last, however is a thing that significantly depends on his helpmate. She is more earthly than her husband. After all, she needs material ingredients in order to cook. These can be had at the “fair prices” in the open market. I have often seen patients being unreasonable to their homoeopaths with regards to payment of professional fees and this is a serious problem. He should have appetites only spiritual, so that he can undertake the task of healing mankind, of weaning it from the folly of ignorance and vice, which is so responsible for our fall from virtue and wisdom. Once a year on “world homoeopathy day” and ‘doctors day’ their services are reminded as noble activity, speeches and felicitations are made of the more prosperous homoeopaths. It is a pity the man died- of course from the purely physical point of view. But his life is compared to the phoenix. It cannot die, but is reborn. For the glory of healing, learning, virtue and wisdom, the sacrifice is both inevitable and essential. It is getting warm. But we’ll meet again, next year.
Dr. Rajiv Rui Viegas Peres (Assist. Prof. Dept. of Materia Medica)