I heard a true story recently that brings insight into life and healing. It is about an eight year-old girl who had a heart transplant. The story is related by members of her transplant team. Malcolm Robinson has written about it, Case 6 in his studies of cellular memory.
The donor heart for her transplant had become available with the sudden death of a woman. The transplant went well. The only hitch in her treatment came a few months later. The girl began having vivid nightmares. In these terrible dreams she was being attacked and stabbed to death by a man. The dream would repeat, revealing a new detail. The panic, and the being stabbed remained the same.
This waking up at night in abject fear was traumatic for the girl. Moreover, it was unusual--the girl had never had nightmares like this before. They were entirely new and out of context.
Members of her team, which included psychiatric care, puzzled over this, and finally, as the girl continued to have these disturbing nightmares, one of them delved deeper into the matter. What turned up is both astonishing and, in the end, the most “logical” explanation.
The woman to whom the heart originally belonged was the victim of an attack and had died suddenly: she was stabbed to death. The dreams of the girl who had received the transplanted heart exactly reflected her violent demise. Based on the details of these dreams, the attacker was caught and tried. In some way, the cells of this woman’s heart carried the memory of her traumatic, violent end, and this cellular memory was transplanted with the heart.
Cellular memory is some form of energy--an energy powerful enough to stir up intense fear and nightmares. This energy is not yet measurable by any machine yet invented by biomedical technology--and without this “proof” many scientists would deny its existence. Nevertheless, almost all of us have experiences that are difficult to explain in any other way.
Cellular memory has a close relationship to classical homeopathy. The preparation of a homeopathic remedy involves extensive dilution and shaking of each dilution, leaving no trace of the original substance. There is only the “memory” left in the triple distilled alcohol of the original substance. This leads me to believe that homeopathy works on a similar energetic plane as cellular memory. In the same way as the cellular memory from a transplanted organ can disturb a woman’s dreams, a small, infinitesimal dose of substance in a homeopathic remedy can energetically match and shift an ill patient to health.
Classical homeopathy likely affords the deepest energetic therapy we have. It is able to reach places and heal problems where everything else has failed.
My practice has a new member: a machine to measure the acupuncture meridians. I have thought about naming him--or her. I welcome any suggestions.
This machine, developed by a chinese medicine doctor, gives an accurate read of how “in-tune” or “out-of-tune” the energy of your body is. More than that, it will tell about what internal organs are imbalanced.
This, of course, has to do with chinese medicine, and it may make you wonder what is an acupuncture meridian anyway? We could say, “It’s a pathway of vital energy that runs along certain points of the body.” That’s true, but it doesn’t begin to answer what a meridian actually is or why they are important.
When explaining a meridian, It is easier to take an entirely different approach. Say for example, someone close to you dies. You grieve, and this affects the energy of the lungs. The vital energy of the lung emerges from the lung and runs along a pathway of points on each arm, ending at the thumbnail: the lung meridian of chinese medicine.
Why, you ask, does grieving affect my lungs? It’s somewhat of a mystery, but not entirely. There actually is a deeper reason too complicated for this newsletter. For the moment, it is easier to convince you that it is true.
If you think back to a time when you lost someone or something you loved, you may remember feeling a heaviness on the chest, needing to take deep breaths. When you cry uncontrollably, your lungs are very much involved. You breath irregularly, and if you tune in closely, you will feel a need to suck in air: you sob.
If, in dealing with a unexpected loss, you are able to sense a heaviness in your chest, you have just tuned in to a change in the vital energy in your lungs. That change will be reflected in the energy of the lung meridian.
But say, for some reason, the energy of your lungs is chronically low. Feeling that way day in and day out, not having anything to compare it to, how would you ever know? That’s the problem, you don’t know. And it’s important.
Why? Because energy imbalances in your body have everything to do with the symptoms you are having--or about to be having. By measuring the meridians with the machine, we can use this information to evaluate your current health as well as to track your progress and fine tune treatment.
This is fundamentally different than the laboratory measurements we MD’s typically perform. The problem with these lab measurements is that they only show up after the underlying energy has been messed up, and likely messed up for a significant amount of time.
A vital energy pathway in your body can be messed up in one of two ways: It can have stagnant or toxic energy, or it can have too little, deficient energy.
Perhaps you have heard of a case of someone who had lung cancer who felt a “coldness” in the chest. People who are sensitive to energy could actually feel this lack of vital energy by putting their hands on the lung area and sensing that it is devoid of vitality. What is this saying? It is saying that the vital energy in the lungs is profoundly deficient in this case of lung cancer. With the capacity to precisely measure, this lung energy deficiency would have shown up before the cancer actually emerged, Now we are talking good medicine. Why do you want a test to discover your lung cancer AFTER it is growing uncontrollably in you? That’s the best you get right now.
My practice has always been an uncompromising devotion to the best medicine on the planet. Almost four years in the planning, now I am taking another--vital--step in that direction. Thanks for sticking around on the journey. You will be rewarded for it.
Recently, Newsweek published a sobering article about cancer. In spite of billions and billions of dollars spent on cancer research, the results were shown to be disappointing. The article found that although initial treatment has had an increased rate of success, cancer still tends to come back, often ravaging the system with renewed vigor.
I recently asked a patient to tell me about his cancer, a brain tumor diagnosed as Grade Three. This is what he told me:
I had conventional treatment and I believe it made it worse. It initially killed most of the cancer cells, but it came back as Grade Four. I hope whatever I’m doing holds it at bay. The headaches are definitely controllable with the steroids.
My reaction is to fight it. I know that there are people that survive this and I hope to join them. I’m not going to go down without fighting for it. I’m fighting for my life.
The way the Newsweek article described it, cancer cells act as if they have a strategic plan to outwit even our most ingenious treatments.
Now listen to the words of another patient, who had bladder cancer:
It was like I wanted to get out of here, but I can’t. It was just there constantly. I just wanted to empty myself out. It got increasingly hard and painful for me to urinate. I had to push a lot, to really try and get the urine out.
Even though these are entirely different cancers, you may sense a similar theme. Take the words of another patient with cancer; she describes this feeling again, but from an entirely different perspective:
I can’t seem to control my children. I was making them feel awful for their transgressions –not finishing food, not finishing homework. I would tell them, “I’m going to kill you. I’m going to kill you.” I didn’t know what was going on. I feel like I’m being run by these feelings.
I asked her where she thought these feelings originated.
I think that rage was pretty prevalent when I was little. Until I was 8 years old, I was definitely run by rage.
This woman had uterine cancer. Notice how her rage focused on her children, and then think about the childbearing function of the uterus. She got cancer of her uterus for a reason.
In my experience, cancer goes hand-in-hand with feelings that cannot be contained. I invariably see the attempt to maintain control in patients who have cancer. Everything about the disease leads to emotional turmoil, its relentless course, the pain, the loss of control that happens when one enters the medical system, the hair loss, struggling through exhaustion and so on. This does not mean that all patients struggling to “maintain control” get cancer, but my sense is that the risk goes up.
After I treated the patient with uterine cancer, this is what she told me:
I can still lose my temper, but it definitely doesn’t feel as out of control as it used to. I would say that even when I get mad, it feels like I quickly have a choice to back down or make my point. Internally, I feel much more in control when I have that choice.
It may not seem so dramatic, but exactly this “having a choice” is what I see as critical. She initially felt no choice, she simply lost her temper.
I cannot take credit for a cure of her cancer because it was conventionally treated. However, I do believe that if she would have been in the space where this remedy put her, she would have never gotten cancer in the first place.
This, in my understanding, is one reason why people should seek treatment with classical homeopathy. No other modality brings such inner peace and leads to such deep energetic balance. You need that before you end up getting cancer.
My homeopathic colleague, Dr. Alize Timmerman, gave an interview about cancer in 2006 in which she said that cancer was “a hardening of the body” in response to some emotional trauma the person was unable to handle. Although I am not convinced that this explanation covers all cases, 90 percent of cancers seem to fit this model.
I am also reminded of a quote from Dr. Yongli Ni, a Washington, D.C. acupuncturist: “Traditional Chinese medicine’s idea is that Western treatment blasts the cancer but fails to adjust the underlying qi or energy issues, thus leaving a potentially fertile field for future malignancies.”
The experiences of my patients provide clues of why the current chemotherapy craze is unlikely to lead us to the Promised Land. Cancer is more than physical cells growing out of control. An underlying toxic energy drives the physical illness, and at the emotional level, this translates into tumultuous feelings.
Steering clear of cancer means also steering clear of toxic emotions – in particular it means dealing with traumatic emotions rather than burying them. That’s easier said than done, of course, because these feelings so often come at us from an irrational place that’s difficult to understand. Cancer, from one perspective, tells those who have it about their search for inner peace.
I recently treated a man with ulcerative colitis, a case that illustrates some important concepts of healing.
Ulcerative colitis and its twin sister disease, Crohn’s, cause the lining of the colon to become inflamed and bleed. My patient described his symptoms like this:
My guts go into powerful spasms. After you have to go to the bathroom five or six times, it feels like you’ve exhausted a lot of your energy. It sort of tears the guts out of you. It takes me out of commission. Even for a short period of time, the spasms make it difficult to participate in things I have to do during the day.
In the world of conventional medicine, doctors treat these powerful symptoms with equally powerful suppressive medications, either steroids or strong anti-inflammatory medications injected into the bowel. But these do not resolve the underlying energy driving the disease. As I have mentioned before, this underlying energy is directly in line with the emotional energy of the person’s body-mind.
This man told me he was extremely sensitive to his environment.
Everyone said I had high standards for myself when I was younger, probably impossible standards. I would lose my temper because I wouldn’t be able to do what I thought I could. I still feel like I lash out at people for no reason.
Then he gave an important clue to the underlying energy of his body-mind disease:
I just feel like I’ve got a lot of pressure in my body somewhere that I don’t know about; and for some reason it will blow off, and I’ll say something inappropriate. Something will snap.
Of course, the same thing happened at the level of his colon. It’s as if the pressure would keep building up and building up inside him and then finally explode in bloody diarrhea.
It is interesting to follow what happened when I gave him a deep-acting remedy prepared from the element Antimony. He healed both at the emotional and physical level. The first and key sign was when his ulcerative colitis disappeared.
I’m not having problems anymore with my bowels.
And as this happened, old symptoms that he hadn’t had for years came back. The first was a rash on his foot.
It was almost like an eczema outbreak. I first got that right around the time I started having the ulcerative colitis, or even just before that. All of a sudden I had this eczema over the arch on my foot. They were teeny little blisters and they were itchy. I had them occasionally on my hands. They would just come up for a week or two, be itchy, kind of break open and then heal over and be gone.
Now, years later, the rash made its reappearance and then disappeared again, this time likely for good.
It didn’t stop there.
A few weeks later, I had the leg cramps. I had those when I was a kid, probably six to eight years old. The memory still sticks in my mind. They felt the same.
The leg cramps lasted a few nights and then also disappeared.
For me, there are few things better than the patient saying, “Oh, I’m much better, but this symptom I haven’t had in years came back.” When a symptom resolves in the context of old symptoms returning, it generally means your prescription was a dart thrown into the bull’s eye. The return of old symptoms is deeply healing.
That might not makes sense until you consider the disease from an energetic perspective. Symptoms are the body’s attempt at energetic balance. Shift the energy of the system back towards health, and it will re-wind right back along the energetic path it took as it slid into disease.
Here’s what this patient told me after the remedy:
One of my biggest goals in life has been to not get riled about things; when complications and challenges come up, to not get bent out of shape. I have been able to do that recently. I feel like there is a calmness that’s been building up a little bit in my spirit. I have been able to get back in contact with friends I lost touch with.
You cannot heal the bowel without healing the emotions that go with it. It is one thing to compensate for disturbing symptoms with harsh medications, and it is quite another to give a homeopathic remedy that mirrors the disease and shifts the entire system.
It burns in my mouth nose and tongue, she said. It has a burning all the time. It literally has a fire, constantly on fire. Nothing smells the way it’s supposed to smell; everything smells the same... It’s all the same smell, and it’s to the point of gagging. At one point I couldn’t eat or drink and went down 20 lbs in one week. For a while I was excreting it so badly into my mouth, the mucous was so thick that I couldn’t swallow it, and so I was spitting at that point in time. I spit it out by the cupful.
Crying she told me, I can’t function. It’s causing me upset from morning to night This is not me.
The peculiar suffering of people with multiple chemical sensitivities is difficult to witness. The symptoms would be enough, but then there’s our medical system’s treatment of them, which can produce a suffering all its own. First there’s the attitude of the doctors, who tend to view these patients as psychiatric basket cases. Then there is the mad attempt to avoid the offending substances, which in itself can become a full-time, night-and-day job. And then there’s the treatment centers:
I go to the environmental center, thought I was going to die... I was not able to stay on the premises, I had to stay in this other place. and there were all these wacko people who walked around with masks. They are all sick and looking at me as if I'm from another planet. “You are sick You smell,” ....In a week you can spend $10,000 . The 2nd day I was there I started crying and I couldn’t stop crying.
Thousands and thousands of dollars later, this woman ended up in the same place. As she put it,
I still wasn’t feeling any better. I was in a horror movie.
The case that taught me just how powerful classical homeopathy can be in the treatment of environmental allergies was the woman who came with the burning mouth, nose, tongue. It took some work to track her case, but once I gave her a correct remedy in very high (10M) potency, she was cured of the burning and atrocious smells.
In understanding how this is possible, it is important to not make the mistake that the doctors treating her made, that is, don’t get too distracted by the physical symptoms, which generally are intense and create a cloud of confusion. Instead, start to look what the outcome of the physical symptoms are. For example, the woman with the burning mouth told me this:
I used to be very outgoing It never bothered me to walk up to anyone. say hi to anyone, meet and greet people. Some people wouldn’t do that, but I would.
Then, however, she said this
I was kind of raised in a family, what goes on in house stays in house, could never really do that, be outgoing or whatever, could never really, I was always very shy very quiet, kept to myself. For a long time always real quiet.
There’s a bit of a contradiction here, and when she got sick with the burning, note what happened: she spent her life locked up in her house. She couldn’t go out at all, because she would be assaulted by people wearing colognes and such, which would cause her burning to intensify.
Compare this to another case that was also profoundly irritated by environmental substances. Her symptoms were similar. Nevertheless. the outcome for her was exactly the opposite:
This is crazy I can't be in the house...I couldn’t stay in my house. Every time I would go into kitchen-- I like to cook do that for my family and myself--I would get this horrible feeling. My nose would start running, heart start racing, nightmare tingling; everything feels irritated, I”m going to die, I'm really scared. When i would leave the house I would feel better outside.
So, on the surface, we have similar physical symptoms, but in one case the symptoms cause the person to stay in the house, never going out, and in the other case, the symptoms cause the person to run from the house. How can this be? The answer is that the outcome is, ultimately, not determined by the offending substances themselves, but by the underlying state, which is driving everything. We could say the first person is in an “I have to be in the house” state and the second person is in an “I cannot be in the house” state. They have formed sicknesses that help intensify these underlying states.
In other words, to heal the chemical sensitivities, you have to heal, respectively the person’s need to be in the house, or, case two, the need to flee the house. If you are successful in this, the sensitivity to chemicals will “magically” disappear. The treatment of these states is what classical homeopathy is all about.
Note that each of these respective states could be said to relate to specific insecurities. In the first case we start to sense this when she tells us I was always very shy very quiet, kept to myself. This is a person who is shy because of strong underlying fears--fears that make her want to stay home and not meet people. When she tried to compensate by being outgoing, she developed a disease strong enough to send her back to the ultra-safety of the parental home.
The second case has a different underlying energy altogether. This particularly became clear to me when she said said, in reference to a relationship upset earlier in her life:
I have to get out of this country. I was so upset, I wasn't’ going to school anymore
I was living at home. living two jobs. I wanted to get out of this city, get away from this country,
Further confirmation of this underlying energy came when she described some of her physical symptoms, which were
like a tingling burning all over my body. it moves around. It can be in my neck and back, it just like moves around.
So, this is a disease “that moves around.” It moves out of the house. It moves out around the body; and when things really get rough, it’s time to check out and move out of the country. To treat such a disease successfully you need treat this underlying energy. To be distracted by outer layer of physical symptoms is lose sight of what needs to be healed.
A few years ago, I treated a man who had suffered kidney stones daily for almost 20 years. His problems with kidney stones went back to his late teens. He’d tried every conventional treatment: medications, diet changes, shockwave therapy. But the stones kept coming back.
Listen to him describe his physical symptoms, which began at a time when he was under tremendous stress:
When I started getting kidney stones, it felt like my heart was beating from my kidney. I would pee pure blood two times in one day. When I peed in the bottle, blood specks came out. The stones dragged and cut me up as they came out. The sharp points on the stone hurt. I could feel one right as it was coming out, slowly coming out, just scraping me. Sometimes they were too big to come out naturally. It's like they were holding on, not coming out. I had to go to E.R.
Hearing his stories reminded me of my time working in an emergency room. I can still see the patients who came in while passing a kidney stone. They writhed on gurneys in intense pain, the nurses rushing in with high doses of narcotics to calm them down.
I could feel my kidney pulsing. I could feel my heart beat in my kidney. It always feels like a knife just poked right in there.
I knew there was more to his story beyond the excruciating physical pain. Always in homeopathic case-taking there is the outer story, the reality the patient lives, and the deep, inner story that produces their disease. It’s important to look at what was going on in a person’s life when their disease first shows symptoms. The outer reality often triggers something deep in the person’s inner life.
As I asked him more questions, his inner story emerged. His professional career had many ups and downs. He held a top position in his organization, with everyone looking up to him and depending on him. Like many at the top the corporate ladder, he had to work very hard to get there. He started by telling me about his early money struggles.
I think of where I was at in my life. I was financially broke, didn't have any money.
He went on to describe a feeling that had dogged him all his life:
Nothing I did was ever good enough. If I walked into a room and people were laughing, I assumed they were laughing about me. I would internalize it,
I asked him how this made him feel.
Used. Of no value. I felt like someone was like putting a lot of pressure on me to do something; most of the time they had a motive but wouldn’t tell me what it was.
His feeling of being under pressure came up again at the end of our conversation, when he began to speak straight from the inner life of his disease. I asked him why people snap.
Pressure. Pressure put on themselves or by other people. Pressure to be something they are not, to perform at a level they are not capable of.
What does it feel like to be under pressure?
Just like everything is closing in on you. The more and more pressure you’re under, either it will make you a better person and create a breakthrough in your life, or it will crush you.
There emerged from his story images of stones, massive pressure and translucency. His feelings of worthlessness – and its opposite, immense value – struck me as particularly relevant. He talked about control, power, being used and using others for personal gain.
It’s the story of the diamond. Diamond is made of a common carbon, like the ashes in your fireplace, which through time and massive pressure becomes a brilliant, beautiful, translucent stone of immense value. A diamond’s value is maintained by the power and control of the cartels at the center of the diamond trade.
So I gave the man diamond in homeopathic potency.
And it cured his kidney stones. At the first follow-up he told me, When I took it, my whole body burned. My kidneys have not hurt since
Recently I met a healer in New York who works in an unusual way. She moves her hands above her client's body, feeling its energy field. She tunes into the energy of the person in a way that allows her to pick up on an emotional energy. She described to me one case where, in moving her hands, she sensed a deep shame coming from a certain part of her client's body. She worked on this client to attempt to cleanse and remove this shame. How do we go about understanding what she is doing?.
I think it's easiest to think of this healer as working in the 3rd dimension -- the Emotional Energy Body. People familiar with my writing know that I have distinguished four dimensions in which healers work:
1) The Physical Body
2) The Vital Energy Body
3) The Emotional Energy Body
4) The Conscious Energy Body
The 3rd dimension is the level I have had the hardest time understanding. Nevertheless, I'm convinced it exists, as ancient traditions have suggested, and I would describe it as follows:
Emotions, rather than being an experience "in the brain," appear to run through every cell of our body. The emotional energy body can exist separately from the body as a type of energy "cloud," and yet it exists within the physical body.
In some real way, this emotional energy carries memories which "lodge" in certain parts of our physical body. Thus it holds memories of past trauma or pain as well as joy and contentedness.
This directly influences the energy of the acupuncture meridians. For example, grief affects the vital energy (level 2) of the lungs.
Another example of the emotional body affecting the physical body:
Why, in times of relationship stress, do people often gain excessive weight?
It may be that the relationship stress triggers patterns of old memories at the level of emotion. In turn, the Emotional Body stimulates the vital energy of the acupuncture meridians, and this triggers the physical body to aggressively store fat.
In such cases, an excessive weight gain may be, literally and metaphorically, the patient's body responding to a call for protection - or increased insulation - in a time of emotional vulnerability. Thus, to successfully treat the excessive weight gain, healers may need to address the Emotional Body.