Homeopathy, Part 2
The Vital Conversation
James Sensenig, ND
Thomas A. Kruzel, ND
This is the second part of a 2-part article based on discussions with Dr Thom Kruzel, of Scottsdale, AZ, and moderated by Dr Jim Sensenig, the founder of the Naturopathic Medicine Institute (NMI). They join a series of articles in NDNR that are based on transcripts of conversations that occurred on Wednesdays for several years and were hosted by Dr Sensenig and other senior vitalists. In Part 2, Drs Sensenig and Kruzel focus on bringing homeopathy into everyday practice and how to work with fever as a curative force.
Naturopathic Primary Care
Medical consumers want real primary care, even though they may not know how to articulate this need or how to find expert help. The naturopathic physician is uniquely poised to supervise the care of the entire patient: body, mind, and spirit. We all can contribute to being role models for naturopathic medicine. Together we can fully demonstrate the potential of our medicine to deliver true health.
Our current system is top-heavy with specialists. Our medical industrial complex system entraps people by focusing on their disease and selling them non-curative remedies. Disease maintenance is antithetical to health and wellness.
Naturopathic physicians are trained to be the primary care provider that all patients should see first. The ND takes the case, provides low-force recommendations, and if healing does not ensue, a referral to a specialist will then be made. Referrals are rarely needed when the naturopathic physician is attentive.
The aim of the naturopathic physician is to restore the patient to health. NDs are the only trained experts in natural medicine because our approach is to focus on bringing the patient to homeostasis, thus restoring health.
Primary care docs address most problems. We provide fundamental care. We do not separate systems of the body. We look for, and see, the whole of our patients. When getting to know a patient, there are very important questions to ask so as to understand his or her deep nature and unmet needs. We ask patients about their subconscious, their hopes and fears. We ask about sleep and dreams. Of course, we ask about their bowel function. Appetite is a good gauge of health. We get down into the details of their day-to-day experience.
A Remedy Goes Way Back
It’s crucial to take a thorough history. Here’s an example from my (Dr Kruzel’s) practice: I was treating a woman for various complaints, and she said, “Do you think you might be able to help my son? He’s 36 years old and has had trouble functioning all of his life. He barely made it through school, and he isn’t doing very well in his career.” I said, “Sure. Bring him in.”
He came in and I took his case. It was clear to me that the remedy was Morphinum. I ended up giving him Morphinum 30C. I saw him back in my office a month later, and he was ecstatic! He said, “For the first time in my life, I can think. I can follow through on things. I’m able to focus. I don’t feel like I’m asleep half the time. This is just amazing stuff.” I gave him a 200C dose, and I didn’t see him again.
His mother came back in a month or so later. She said, “Thank you for helping my son. He’d been dull all of his life. Now that’s completely gone away.” I asked her, “When he was born, what was his birth like?” She said, “Oh, it was kind of hard. I had a lot of back labor.” I asked, “Did they give you any medicine?” She replied, “Oh, yeah. They gave me morphine.” There you go. That event grafted that kid for 36 years. He had trouble in school. He is now playing catch-up because that medicine had basically damped down his vital force at a very formative age.
Dr Sensenig: “What is your view on the idea of going back in time during the patient intake? Isn’t that what a miasm is all about?”
Dr Kruzel: “Yes. But I think a miasm is more than that. It’s basically a tendency towards developing certain things. Every child whose mother gets morphine during labor and delivery comes up with this type of presentation. There is certainly a genetic component. His brain chemistry might have been wired such that if he had been on drugs, he probably would be a drug addict. However, not all people who take drugs become addicted or dependent upon them.
“When I take a case, particularly with children, I go back to the pregnancy and I ask about the birth and what meds the mom may have been given. I’ve had a lot of cases where the best remedy matches something from way back when, and not necessarily where the center of gravity is at this particular moment.
“Homeopathy is one of our most exciting tools for restoring health with the least amount of force.”
Fever as a Curative Force
I (Dr Kruzel) had been taking care of a man in my practice a number of years ago. He brought in his reluctant 48-year-old wife so that I could assess a cough she’d had for some months. I did an intake on her and wound up putting her on a blood-type diet. I felt there was an allergic component to her cough. I also started her on homeopathic Lycopodium.
I saw her about 4 times over the next few weeks. The cough continued to improve, and eventually disappeared altogether. After that, she elected not to return; she decided she was doing fine and didn’t need any more follow-up on it. I didn’t see her for about 4 or 5 months. Then one night I got a call from her husband, who was very panicked. He said that she was coughing badly, having trouble breathing, that she was in really bad shape and had a fever. I had him take her to the emergency room because there wasn’t much I could do at that time of night. The husband called the next day and said that she had been diagnosed with pneumonia and was in the intensive care unit. She spent a few days there. They gave her antibiotics, which didn’t do anything. Then they started her on steroids, which didn’t do a lot either.
She continued to have a slight fever – about 100 to 101 °F. They did a bronchoscopy and biopsy in the hospital. When the results came back, they learned that she had eosinophilic pneumonia, which is a type of pneumonia that usually, in allopathic medicine, responds to steroids. In her case, however, it didn’t respond very well. The infiltrates hadn’t regressed much at all in her right lung. She wasn’t doing very well at all. When the pulmonologist came in to discharge her, he said that she would probably be on steroids for the rest of her life.
She was released from the hospital on a Thursday afternoon, and her husband brought her directly to my office. She had lost a fair amount of weight, which wasn’t good for her because she had a slight build. The first thing I did was give her some IV fluids. I added a Myer’s cocktail. This was late in the day.
I asked her to come back the next day so that we could start her on some hydrotherapy. I had an intern working with me at that time, so I scheduled the intern to do the hydrotherapy the next morning. On the way out the door, I gave the patient a dose of Lycopodium 1M. She had about a 101 °F temperature in the office, and I told her husband that the fever might go up a little bit that night. He said that they’d handle it. I shared with them the protocol with Belladonna and Ferrum phos, in case the fever got uncomfortable.
The next morning she came back and started her hydrotherapy. A few minutes later, the intern came out and told me that her temperature had climbed to 105 °F after she took “that medicine” (ie, Lycopodium) the previous night. She reported that her fever stayed up most of the night until about 3 AM. Then her husband said it spiked to 107 °F and stayed there for an hour. The intern commented to me that she could have died with a fever that high. I told my intern to go back in the room and ask the patient 2 questions: 1) How did she feel when she had the 107 °F fever? and 2) What was going through her mind at that time?
The intern returned a few minutes later and reported that when the fever was at 107 degrees, the patient felt at peace. In response to the second question, she said that what was in her mind at the time was that she knew she was going to get over this, that her illness would go away. And it did.
We did around 10 hydrotherapies on her, a few more IVs, and gave her some supportive medicines. Her lungs completely cleared. I sent her back to the pulmonologist – the one who told her that she’d be on steroids the rest of her life. Apparently after seeing the patient cured, he said, “I can’t imagine how that happened.” But it did. The lung specialist never bothered to call me to find out.
For the intern, it was the first time she had ever experienced a healing crisis in a patient. When someone goes through a healing crisis like that, the body is not going to destroy itself. The vital force isn’t destructive when it’s going through a healing crisis. In the case of this patient, a fever of 107 °F for that period of time was what she needed in order to annihilate the disease. Afterwards, we just needed to build her up.
To this day, she is doing quite well. She has never had a recurrence of pneumonia. It’s a shame that many of our new graduates seem to reflect the fear of fever we see in allopathic medicine.
Letting It Run
Fever is something that evolved as a protective mechanism. Why can’t we just let it run?
To feel comfortable about letting a fever run, you need to understand the pattern of the fever. This is what I talk to parents about. If you have a fever that has a very rapid onset and it goes high very quickly, that could be problematic. But most fevers don’t follow that pattern. If children are eating well, if they’re nutritionally fine, then fevers tend to follow a normal pattern. I have an article on my website that I want our parents to read so they understand what fevers are, what the evolution of a fever is, what the ideal fever pattern looks like, and how important it is to let a fever run its curative course.
Where a lot of parents have problems is when they keep giving the kids acetaminophen or ibuprofen or aspirin to break the fever because that’s what they do in emergency rooms. ER doctors know that that’s not a good thing, but they do it anyway, because they just want to get them out of the emergency room. They want to cut the fever because they’re afraid they’re going to get sued because of febrile seizures or something. That’s the worst thing you can do for a child.
I know the first few times are a little rough for the parents to get through. But as time goes on and they start to have more fevers because they’re introduced to other pathogens, then the fevers become less intense and of a shorter duration, until finally they almost never have fevers anymore, since their systems are so in-tune with their environment, and their immune systems are developed enough that they get rid of the perturbation almost immediately.
This column, based on the Vital Conversations of the Naturopathic Medicine Institute, will continue in next month’s NDNR.
James Sensenig, ND, was a 1978 graduate of NCNM in Portland, OR. For over 40 years he maintained an eclectic practice in Hamden, CT. Over the years, Dr Sensenig held prominent positions in the various naturopathic colleges and the AANP. A champion of classical naturopathic medicine, Dr Sensenig received an Honorary Doctor of Naturopathic Philosophy degree from CCNM, and received numerous awards for his dedication to teaching the principles of naturopathic medicine. We invite you to participate in the Naturopathic Medical Institute (NMI) Vital Conversations, our annual Vital Gathering conferences, and many other resources found at our website: www.naturopathicmedicineinstitute.org.
Thomas A. Kruzel, ND, graduated from NCNM and is in private practice at the Rockwood Natural Medicine Clinic in Scottsdale, AZ. He completed 2 years of family practice medicine residency at the Portland Naturopathic Clinic. He also completed a fellowship in geriatric medicine through the OR Geriatric Education Center and the Portland VA hospital. Dr Kruzel has authored several books and published numerous articles. Dr Kruzel is a past-president of the AANP. He was selected as Physician of the Year by the AANP in 2000, and Physician of the Year by the AZ Naturopathic Medical Association in 2003.