I actually discovered FM because I had a close family member who was struggling with depression and was not responding to homeopathy at all. I had taken him to see four well-known and highly experienced homeopaths, and I could understand why they had prescribed each remedy that they did, but nothing helped – not even a little bit – regardless of potency, repetition, classical, complex, miasms, nosodes or anything else you can possibly imagine. I watched him, close hand and in desperation, struggle for two years through the darkest of times, and with an obvious clinical imbalance, but nothing helped at all. And during those times where there was no natural alternative medicine hope, allopathic drugs made him a great deal worse.
Recognising a pattern and researching incessantly, I started to understand more about what was going on in his brain and I discovered articles on neurotransmitters and their role in our mental health. This information lead me to the door of an FM practitioner who assessed him, and then prescribed for him a large assortment of vitamins, minerals and supplements (including tryptophan and tyrosine – the precursors for serotonin and dopamine, and omegas) and after a few months of extreme pill-popping, his brain (and gut) started to show signs of rebalancing itself. I saw change in him that I had not seen throughout his entire illness. His brain needed to regenerate itself and heal, and in order to do that it had to be given the correct nutrition – the basic tools. Homeopathy alone was not able to instigate a healing reaction, as the vital ingredients he needed, were not present to support change.
A few years on, and now that I have studied FM myself, I can see what the supplements actually did. The allopaths at the time, of which we visited many, said that he would be on (toxic) medication for his entire life. They gave us no hope, when I knew intuitively that there must be some – we just needed to find the way forward. Our brains are plastic and are able to heal – given the right nourishment – throughout our lives, and even more so when we are young. There are so many different stressors that cause our brains to not work efficiently, and to switch on the genes that can create dysfunction.
If we are prone to methylation issues, we will need B vitamins to support vital processes. If our brain becomes inflamed, we will need omegas. If we are not metabolising our neurotransmitters efficiently, we will need a boost of their precursors (tyrosine and tryptophan), B6 and antioxidants (such as Vitamins C and E). There are supplements to draw out toxins from our brain if that is necessary too. I combine CEASE therapy when appropriate too, to support that process.
FM gives us opportunities to heal ourselves and heal others beyond the scope of homeopathy, and I thoroughly recommend to all homeopaths to learn more about it. My mission is to teach applicable aspects of FM to homeopaths and in homeopathy schools and colleges internationally. If you are reading this and are interested, you are most welcome to me for further information.
NS: I find what you have just said inspiring and uplifting. FM seems to require an enormous amount of hard work, observation and analysis – but it seems to offer hope where, otherwise, there may be none. I’d like to ask you a final question: what do you think Hahnemann would say about Functional Medicine?
RJR: This is a wonderful question, Nigel. The world has changed so dramatically since Hahnemann’s times. Vitamins, for example, were not starting to be discovered until decades after his death. But he moved with the times himself, and all of the time. His practice never stood still. And as a fellow Aries, I can relate! Wouldn’t you have loved to be his apprentice?! Maybe we all are anyway, as surely his practice would have carried on evolving. I would like to think he would have been grateful for finding out answers for what he perceived as obstacles to cure. I am sure he would have been open-minded. Your question has inspired me to re-read The Organon! So thank you!