NS: So it’s all about bringing about a change and moving forward from there?
RJR: Gaining and maintaining good health is not a quick fix, as we know – it is an ongoing process. I have been using homeopathy since I discovered it back in my twenties. Once awakened, it was impossible to look back. I am sure you agree! I know that my patients get as much out of each consultation as they do from the remedies I prescribe for them. I generally work with patients long-term. I encourage maintaining their health on all levels and I do this through our conversations in clinic, coupled with empowering education about homeopathy and preventative healthcare.
The same applies for FM. Of course it is very different from going to visit a doctor. Patients are not reliant upon me, and I do not encourage them to come to me for answers and prescriptions. I help raise their consciousness so they have more tools to take care of their own health. But I do encourage the strengthening of an ongoing relationship and the building of trust with me. I see this as a completely vital component of the work we do together. FM tests, for example, might only need to be done once, but creating change can take longer. And preventative care is a forever process.
NS: Can you say a bit more about the FM tests?
RJR: I can indeed! I will use a case to help make what I am talking about more relatable and applicable. I just finished analysing the results of a specific combination of tests that I chose together with one of my patients. She was struggling with several debilitating health issues and she was taking a whole array of supplements and remedies prescribed by a number of practitioners, including a nutritionist and homeopath, but not feeling any better at all. She was experiencing easily triggered stress responses in her body, but not due to any particular major stressors in her life. In other words, she felt stress in her body regularly and readily, despite a relaxing daily practise of yoga and meditation, and a good lifestyle, holidays etc. She was following a healthy diet and exercise plan too.
As she has an interest in disease prevention as well as ongoing natural health care, I recommended we test her DNA so I could analyse her genes and see how best she can take care of herself with the information they provide about susceptibility. Progress in this field of science has provided us with an ever-evolving hub of knowledge to draw from, and the modern-day tests allow us to adapt it into health wisdom and intelligence for our patients. The DNA information delivered useful guidelines on her health in detail on all levels (DNA Health), what diet she should follow (DNA Diet), what exercise works best for her (DNA Sport) and how her oestrogen detoxifies out of her system (DNA Oestrogen).
Alongside her DNA reports, she took an extensive and comprehensive test to assess how her body is functioning in the here and now. I would thoroughly recommend this test to anyone with a keen interest in their health, as it gives guidelines on how to look after it optimally. Disease does not just happen to us. It doesn’t just bump into us in the street or fall from the sky. It is the result of a process of our body not functioning as it should, over a period of time, and then becoming unable to recover fully and work efficiently.
The results of this test reveal markers for processes that measure how effectively we are metabolising fats and carbohydrates, how toxic we are, what is happening in our gut (bacteria, yeast etc), how well our brain is working in terms of stress, neurotransmitters, methylation etc, and how well we are managing our oxidative stress. My analysis provides a breakdown of what the markers all mean and what supplements/diet can support the person’s system to recreate balance and health.
Has that given you a taste of what the tests are for?
NS: The tests sound wide-ranging and complex. Can you give an example of what, in this case or another, diet changes and/or supplements you might recommend?
RJR: Yes I can, but I preempt it with a warning. Each test and its results are individualised to the patient, in exactly the same way that a homeopathic constitutional prescription is tailor-made for the totality of a person’s symptoms and what makes them unique. If supplements are taken over the counter and inappropriately, the same issues can arise that are similar to a homeopathic aggravation or proving. Much like homeopathy, supplements are not harmless. Let me explain. This particular patient had been taking the probiotic acidophilus for ten years because she had read somewhere or was told by someone, long ago, that it was good for her health. She had developed an intolerance to it and as a result was overproducing lactic acid. She experienced bloating, and frightening dizzy spells, which had increased her stress levels immensely.
As homeopaths, we are trained to act as detective when grappling with a new case. It is the same when looking at lab results and mapping them through the FM matrix. The Organix markers showed for her yeast and bacterial overgrowth that were off the scale. Her lactate markers warned of the intolerance to acidophilus and, having asked her what supplements she was taking at the start of the process, I made the link. Supplements are well marketed these days and so easily available. The media publish advertisements and articles on all aspects of health, and it might seem wise and proactive at the time to take a vitamin or two if the deficiency resonates with the symptoms we are experiencing. But vitamins, for example, have a wide scope and the ‘Google-researched and identified symptom’ we are experiencing might well not be linked simply due to a lack that can be fixed by pill-popping.
Analysing the tests reveals an entire picture of how we are functioning, and I recommend dietary and lifestyle changes, as well as the removal of supplements and the addition of others. The person might be struggling to detoxify from chemicals in their home – for example, from newly laid carpets or freshly painted walls. They might be overworking their nervous systems with an unmanageable amount of stress indicating a need for B vitamin support to help neurotransmitter conversations. This particular patient was unaware of the healthy ratio needed between LDL and HDL and was unnecessarily taking Omega 6, in preference to Omega 3 on its own.
Examining her DNA at the same time, I could identify that heart disease could hopefully be avoided if a number of factors were considered. These included getting that ratio correct and avoiding saturated fats in her diet. Does that give you more of an understanding?
We can identify a great deal of information when taking the case homeopathically. We look at family history, maintaining causes and obstacles to cure. When we examine the case further with the aid of the FM tools, we can actually identify what their obstacles are, and have a way of resolving them specifically. Instead of just knowing there is heart disease in the family, and prescribing an appropriate remedy, we can also give guidance on how best to prevent it precisely. This is one of the reasons why FM and homeopathy work so well together.
I always wondered why so many really well respected homeopaths have died of cancer. I could understand the emotional aspect to it – being there for so many people, with perhaps a suppression of one’s own needs and feelings. Gabor Maté describes the carcinogenic personality in his book When The Body Says No, and it is similar to how we view it as homeopaths. Yet I still have struggled with why our wonderful remedies didn’t work more preventatively, especially when practitioners and patients had a life-long relationship with homeopathy. FM gives us so many more answers and some really useful additional tools for our ever-evolving therapeutic natural health toolbox.
Without any doubt in my mind, homeopathy is miraculous, on whatever level it is prescribed. To watch someone shift their perspective dramatically and totally, as a result of one high dose of a well-indicated constitutional remedy; or to just observe the healing powers of a first-aid or acute remedy, for ever – its healing potential amazes me.
NS: Now I understand why you are so passionate about FM. It seems, from the way you explain it, that it can “supercharge” a homeopath’s practice. You have talked a lot about “physical” – what about “mental and emotional”? Can FM add another dimension to the homeopathic approach in these areas?
RJR: Yes, it certainly can supercharge a homeopath’s practice. More importantly (perhaps) it can enable us with ways of taking care of our health, and those in our care, that we have not really been aware of before. We can now accurately identify what were not obvious obstacles to cure, and provide options for properly rectifying them. Instead of blaming ourselves for perceived inadequacies in prescribing remedies, we can work with more certainty of change by clearing the path forward. We can understand the mechanisms of how our body actually functions rather than guessing what our vital force is doing when it returns us to health. We can truly support the patients who need our help in desperate times, who are not responding to our well chosen prescriptions yet continue to visit us out of loyalty, fear or reluctance to start working with someone else and building trust again when they are at their most vulnerable. In effect, Functional (Lifestyle) Medicine gives us awareness about our health to supercharge everyone.