Holism in Autoimmune Disease: Working in Harmony with the Healing Power of Nature
I have had many colorful, diverse, and amazing cases of myasthenia gravis (MG) and other autoimmune illnesses that have demonstrated how the body is a reflection of the mental-emotional sphere. These cases also illustrate that when we address the fundamental cause of illness, when it lies in the mind as a block to the ever-present healing power of Nature, the Vis simply brings the person back to health and well-being. No supplement is needed; no correction of the body is required. The body is, as I have described before, a faithful puppy dog that mirrors the mentality and emotion of its “master.” Unless the body is irrevocably damaged, such as in a case of osteoarthritis where there is no cartilage left in the joints and it is bone on bone, or, for instance, in very advanced stages of demyelination in multiple sclerosis, removing the fundamental cause of illness allows the Vis to do the healing. Respecting this law of nature-cure is working in harmony with the healing power of Nature. To assume that the body is like a defective machine that requires some continual intervention on the physical level is, in essence, to usurp the throne of Nature. In short, this is doctor playing God. And since doctor cannot play God, it is no wonder that the cases I see coming from practitioners of the allopathic method, whether conventional or naturopathic, who treat the body like it is a broken machine, do not really improve with time. They either have suppressed symptoms that return upon removal of pharmaceutical drugs or a naturopathic supplement or diet protocol, or their disease progresses.
Even though this publication is focused on autoimmune diseases and allergy, working with our naturopathic philosophy is largely the same for any illness. And the way it is the same for any illness is that it is always different. I have been working with patients with myasthenia gravis for 13 years. Though I specialize in holistic counseling and homeopathy, I have rarely given the same remedy twice among the many cases of MG I’ve seen, and no 2 cases have been the same in terms of root cause. From time to time, one case will remind me of another, as sometimes one person’s face calls to mind another person I have met. And certainly there is at least 1 general principle one sees repeated in most cases of autoimmune disease, like the fact that since the body reflects the mind in autoimmune disease, the immune system of the patient is usually attacking itself because the patient is somehow being hard on him or herself, being self-critical, or attacking oneself in some way. However, upon closer examination, there are always unique expressions of individuality in every case. Even if one uses homeopathy, when the root cause of illness lives in the mind and is addressed by a remedy (whether matched with physical symptoms or is without matching physical symptoms), there is cure. If one simply looks at the physical symptoms in myasthenia gravis, for instance, one inevitably falls into a small handful of remedies, and more often than not, Gelsemium appears to come shining forth from the pages, as a knight shining in lactose pills, eager to cure.
Gelsemium accurately matches so many symptoms of myasthenia gravis: ptosis; diplopia; muscular paralysis; prostration; paralysis of the throat; and paralytic dysphagia. Even upon closer scrutiny of a case using specific modalities and sub-rubrics, Gelsemium still holds up in a great many repertorized cases of myasthenia gravis. As a beginner, repertorizing my first cases of MG, I often came up with Gelsemium as the #1 remedy. But why then, if like cures like, and Gelsemium fit so many of the symptoms of the body, did it act only briefly in some cases, and not at all in others?
Treating the Root Cause
The answer is that if the root cause of illness, different in every case, is not addressed, then that which blocks the healing power of Nature from spontaneously entering remains, and so does the illness. The beautiful cures that I have helped bring about among patients with the “incurable” disease of myasthenia gravis, have been a result of addressing the root cause of disease in the mind. Simply said, when a person believes something that goes against their true nature, then true nature cannot flow into them and maintain health. Disease results. The body is incapable of making any choice in this matter. The human soul, living inside the body, has free will, whereas the body does not.
“Only the mind is capable of error. The body can act wrongly only when it is responding to misthought.”
(A Course in Miracles)1
And since this autoimmune disease – MG – has such a terrible prognosis and is considered “incurable” according to the conventional medical profession, it is a true wonder to see a case cured by simply applying this very principle, that is, by removing the root cause of illness in the mind, even without any remedy, without any external form of treatment. By asking non-directional, open-ended questions, as I instruct how to do in my course, “Holistic Counseling,” a doctor helps a patient arrive at the awareness of the root cause of illness. One misthought, a small disturbance in the vital force of the person, can lead to a whole cascade of blockage of flow and, finally, disease in the body. And there is revealed the choice that can, when released, bring about cure.
It should be noted that homeopathy, when it is applied by addressing the root cause and the whole picture of the illness, is not really an “external” treatment, eg, supplementation or herbal formulas. Compared to a cure using holistic counseling alone, it would appear that homeopathy is some form of a “prescription from the outside.” However, giving the correct homeopathic remedy is not working with the idea that the body is defective and malfunctioning and needs something from the outside to keep it in order. Rather, it is consistent with the principle of giving the very thing that the patient is already sick with, to neutralize the pathology by “mirroring it,” thereby removing the disturbance and blockage in the vital force and allowing the healing power of Nature to restore its presence in the patient. Therefore, homeopathy, unlike very few other modalities of naturopathy, holds true to the holistic principles of naturopathy and works in harmony with the Vis.
A Case Report
One of my favorite cases of cure of myasthenia gravis came about as result of the combination of homeopathy and coming to identify the core belief that was blocking recovery. It is a dramatic case with some extraordinary elements to it. Every case is exciting and special because I feel like a detective of Nature, exploring a person’s life and helping to solve the mystery of what led him or her to become ill. However, it is not in every case that I am not shown the way to cure via the dream-state.
SG was 33 years old when she came to see me. She had convergent strabismus and vertical diplopia. She also had bilateral ptosis, but all of her eye symptoms were worse on the left side. She also had some other interesting symptoms, such as objects appearing closer than they actually were, blurry vision, and worse vision at nighttime. She was experiencing total exhaustion. Emotionally, she had very little patience with her family. She would shout at her children at the slightest provocation. After doing some counseling and deep “Nature detective work” I uncovered her life story, which was clearly at the root cause of her illness.
SG was a Hindu woman who was born and raised in India. She had a very close bond with her family and, like many Hindu families, remained with her parents until the day she was married. When she did marry, her husband’s family “took ownership” over her, according to the traditional custom of Hinduism wherein the wife belongs to the groom’s family. She moved with him to the United States. Once there, she spoke as much as she could to her family, but this was discouraged by her husband. The most troubling aspect of the situation occurred when she visited India, which happened, at most, once per year. She was only allowed to spend a few hours with her family and her parents at the airport, and then she would have to spend the rest of the time with her husband’s family elsewhere in India. You can imagine the great sense of loss and pain she experienced, being so close to her beloved family members, and then being denied the right to visit them. She began to develop a great rage inside, but it was against her Hindu beliefs and the way she’d been raised for her to say anything or to issue any complaint to her husband. So, she kept it all locked inside. The great desire to see her family, the sadness of that loss, and the rage as a result of being denied her heart’s desire, created a tremendous conflict in her, where she felt very guilty for wanting something that was against her duty as a Hindu wife. So, with the guilt, she turned the rage toward herself. Her immune system eventually reflected this rage as her guilt was turned toward herself, and she developed symptoms of myasthenia gravis.
The nature of the cultural, religious belief system was so strong that it could not be released through holistic counseling. This is a difficult situation to deal with and it can be a “limitation” that I teach about in my holistic counseling class. It requires some other way of moving those strong energies. One of the reasons it is so difficult to help such a situation is because it is not the naturopathic doctor’s role to change a person’s religious belief system. It is only for us to guide them through non-directional questions to the deepest, most core mental block in the free-flow of their vital force, and to pose the question, “Do you wish to continue living this way?” Should they say “no,” they are ready to release the root cause of their illness. I have helped several cases of myasthenia gravis without any supplement or remedy. I briefly described 2 such cases in my first article in NDNR. However, it was clear while working with SG that changing beliefs surrounding her role as a Hindu wife was out of the question at the time. So, I turned to homeopathy.
When I repertorized her case, I saw a strong indication for the homeopathic remedy, Stramonium, from the nightshade family. The strength of the rage I saw living in her, along with some of the other rubrics I selected (particularly Vision; diplopia; vertical, for which Stramonium is 3 points), led me to Stramonium. But something didn’t quite feel 100% correct, so I decided to sleep on it. As I often do, I asked The Creator for assistance.
A Revealing Dream
That night I had a dream. (I do sometimes dream of remedies for my patients, but it is infrequent and this case was by far the most revealing dream I have ever had). In my dream, I was seeing a man tend to a big bloom of Datura stramonium flowers, but they had purple tips, instead of white. Also in the dream was an Indian man from the village I lived in, who was pointing to the flowers and saying “These plants are just marvelous.”
When I awoke, I did a search on Google for “purple stramonium” and “purple datura” and discovered that such a plant did exist, that it looked exactly as it had appeared in the dream, and that it also existed as a homeopathic remedy in our Materia Medica. What blew my mind were some of the names of the plant and its synonyms. Purple datura is known as Datura metel, otherwise known as Hindu datura!
I knew I had discovered the correct “mirror” in Nature to help cure this woman of myasthenia gravis.
What I didn’t anticipate is how long it would take. I had high hopes of a rapid cure. What resulted, however, was a somewhat slower process. I gave her 1 dose and told her to check in with me 1 week later. She checked in and told me, “No changes, Doctor.” I was disappointed. Nevertheless, I had trust in the remedy and told her to repeat it. The next week she said “No changes, Doctor.” I was flustered. But I also had a sense that it was just going to take some time. I had her repeat the remedy for a third time. When she checked in the following week, there was still no change. Following the fourth dose of Datura metel the next week, which was now 1 month after beginning this remedy, there was still no change in any of her symptoms, not even a 5% improvement.
At this point, I believe that if I had not had the dream, I would have looked for another remedy. But I stuck with the remedy, and after she had administered the remedy once per week for a total of 6 weeks, all of her symptoms of myasthenia gravis disappeared completely, and she was feeling great. Amazingly, she had a great, open discussion with her husband about the unfairness of the situation. He listened to her, and the situation was altered more in her favor and to a degree that she felt was fair and was comfortable with. I believe the remedy took 6 weeks to act because the density of the core belief was so strong because of its religious nature. With all the supportive familial and cultural reinforcement of those religious beliefs, each of the 6 doses was likely necessary to slowly dissolve the root blockage in her system that freed her to create a happier, healthier life. Once the block in her mind and emotions was resolved, she felt she could then have the discussion with her husband that removed this terrible block in her life. It is also quite remarkable that her case responded homeopathically to a plant called Hindu datura, as the unfair and limiting beliefs she had adopted had led to a very unhappy situation that made her sick. With the root cause addressed and cleared, the healing power of Nature, ever-present, was able to restore happiness to her life, and health to her body.
Even though every case is unique, the plan is always the same. Discover the root cause. Take time to investigate. Ask the right questions. Help the patient understand the connection between the body’s disease and the unhealthy choices. Be patient and trust that, with time, even the most deeply buried and obstinate root causes can be resolved to restore the authority of the healing power of Nature.
Moshe Daniel Block, ND, HMC is the author of The Revolution of Naturopathic Medicine: Remaining True to Our Philosophy, a book about the philosophy and practice of naturopathic medicine, and Holistic Counseling – Introducing the Vis Dialogue, a book about a breakthrough healing method uniting the worlds of Mind-Body Medicine & Psychology. He graduated from the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine (Toronto, Ontario) in 2000. Dr Block then went on to complete the Homeopathic Master Clinician course with Louis Klein, FSHom, in 2003. He specializes in autoimmune illness and myasthenia gravis, a disease he was personally diagnosed as having and from which he has healed himself. He teaches the very wisdom and knowledge that helped him heal himself and others in his Holistic Counseling course for NDs (holistic-counseling.ca). Some of the other projects Dr. Block has worked on can be found at his private practice website (myasthenia-gravis-cure.com), his books website (nddoctor.net), Holistic Counseling (http://www.holistic-counseling.ca) and his global website (david-house-productions.com).
1. Schucman H, Thetford W. A Course in Miracles. New York, NY: Viking: The Foundation for Inner Peace; 1976; Chapter 2, Section IV, paragraph 2, verse 4.