With this edition of the Journal, we paint a picture of what it’s like to practice homeopathy in the state of California today, from a range of practitioners’ perspectives. With regards to the California Homeopathic Medical Society, we are in building mode. We have revamped our Membership fees and benefits, and we will be retooling the California Homeopath journal after ten years with Richard Pitt at the helm.
From the greater Los Angeles area to the Bay Area and into rugged Fort Bragg, we have brought together short homeopathic practice biographies we hope you’ll find some inspiration in.
With regards to the California Homeopathic Medical Society, we are in building mode. We have revamped our Membership fees and benefits, and we will be retooling the California Homeopath journal after ten years with Richard Pitt at its helm. It will be impossible to replace Richard as editor, however we are in search of one or two people with the passion, vision and work ethic to bring this historic journal into its next incarnation.
At the CHMS we have focused in recent years on putting together quality homeopathic conferences with an eye towards clinically useful information, and this year’s conference in San Diego continues in that vein, Homeopathy for Chronic Diseases: Strategies for Clinical Success. It’s been exciting to see new professional connections made at the annual conference! Continuing in the tradition of recent years, there will be a social, Saturday evening so we hope you’ll swing by if you’re in the area.
In addition to our quality journal and annual conference, we hope that by growing and publishing a directory of our membership, and continuing to publish useful and timely information about the profession of homeopathy especially in California, we can better bridge all practitioners of homeopathy in our great state. This includes naturopaths, nurses, medical doctors, chiropractors, acupuncturists, and professional homeopaths… I believe all health care professional who practice or simply recommend homeopathy as complementary care, should be allied at this time.
Practitioners and appreciators of homeopathic medicine should be strong, visible allies is in part because of the new attention homeopathy is getting from the FDA and FTC in recent years. As important, it’s up to us to create a strong integrative framework of care for our clients and patients, and for that we should know and support one another and our respectful allies in quality health care.
We have so much opportunity in California to highlight the value of homeopathy, at this critical time when so many are seeking out healthier alternatives to over-use of antibiotics, steroids and painkillers. Here in the cradle of the bio-tech world, we are remiss in not being more explicit about the value of homeopathy in the burgeoning field of nanomedicine .
In the spirit of this edition, I will also give a little overview of my own practice, and an update on the Bay Area Homeopathy Association.
I have a full-time homeopathy practice in Bernal Heights, a residential neighborhood of San Francisco where I also live. I have practiced here, or in the nearby Noe Valley, for the past eleven years. I graduated from the Pacific Academy of Homeopathy, and Richard Pitt and Iris Ratowsky were my main teachers there, followed by a year of supervised clinical work with Karen Allen at the school.
My practice, like that of Lisette Narragon in neighboring Palo Alto, attracts many folks from the technology industry. I had also worked as a semiconductor equipment engineer before practicing homeopathy, and I understand the unique pressures of the industry, though it has changed a lot with “Tech 2.0” now centered in San Francisco, with younger folks from all over the world working in a much broader array of specialties. Here in San Francisco engineers, executives, graphic and user experience designers, doctors and other health care professionals, many from countries where homeopathy is prevalent, seek out homeopathic care as a first line of intervention for chronic health issues, especially for their kids. I have families in my practice originally from France, England, India, Russia, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Belgium, the Philippines, Israel, China, Mexico, Colombia, Canada, the U.S. and other places too.
People in my practice seek help with a range of chronic health issues, including recurring ear infections and upper respiratory infections, lots of digestive disturbance, allergies, thyroid health issues, fertility challenges, and much more. Of course in homeopathy we are treating the whole person.
I have learned that having good boundaries and setting up my practice in terms of availability to clients and expectation setting is a huge key to success in treatment efficacy. In other words, it’s been important to set my practice up in a way that is sustainable and viable for me, and to communicate my expectations of clients regularly and often and in a way that they would expect from any other health care provider.
I very much appreciate the work that John Melnychuk and his team at the California Health Freedom Coalition did to make California a Health Freedom state! I utilize a disclosure form in my practice to make all of my clients aware of the scope and nature of my practice, per the California SB-577 (2002) law and it is helpful in the aforementioned expectation setting process as in fact many Americans do not know what homeopathy is.
I concur with Lisette Narragon that having community is also key to long-term sustainability of a homeopathic practice! I have a small group of other homeopaths I meet with regularly to help one another on recurring common practice issues, as well as tough cases. And, I rely on the Bay Area Homeopathy Association for relationship to my colleagues and new means of outreach.
The Bay Area Homeopathy Association was born out of a need for community ten years ago, and it is still going strong. BAHA has provided a means of multi-generations of homeopaths in the San Francisco Bay Area to get to know one another, share resources and ideas, and more recently share case work at conferences. Last year was our first integrative health conference, where two homeopaths and six other local health care professionals presented on the broad topic of Trauma, and it was a great success – not only did people feel that they learned much and had some great referral sources, but it was a supportive, community-spirit even as the information presented was top-notch and appropriate for peers of different backgrounds.
In the past couple of years, BAHA has made much more of an effort to connect the public, potential homeopathic clients, to our member practitioners. We did this through participation in employee health fairs and publishing a newsletter for the public including profiles of our members and their case work. We also made our website more public user friendly.
While BAHA and the CHMS encourage local and state connections respectively, homeopaths are also forging bonds on a national and international level.
I am on a team of national homeopathic organization members, organized by the National Center for Homeopathy, for a Homeopathy Advocacy Working Group. We are sharing information and forming a unified voice for homeopathy in the U.S. And I’m encouraged by the Homeopathy One organization, founded on the idea of unity and sharing of information.
I hope you enjoy this edition of the California Homeopath, the last edited by Richard Pitt and hopefully an inspirational one for the past, present and future of homeopathic medicine in California. Hope to see you in San Diego in May for the CHMS Conference!
Kathleen Scheible, CCH