Homeopathy - Beyond Flat Earth Medicine
OverviewEnjoyed by thousands as their introduction to homeopathy, Dooley's wonderful book remains an essential guide in its second edition.
110 pp pb
DetailsHomeopathy - Beyond Flat Earth Medicine, by Timothy Dooley, was published in 1995.
This is an excellent introductory book that makes homeopathy easy to understand. Dooley explains the fundamentals of homeopathy-what it is, how it works, when to use it, and more.
More than just a statement of facts or a brief description of homeopathic principles Dooley's book brings homeopathy alive. Based on more than 20 years experience this book explores the placement of homeopathic medicine in the health care system.
Subtitled "Beyond Flat Earth Medicine", we see how homeopathy surpasses the common worldview of human being as machine. With Dooley's broad background as a naturopathic physician and as a medical doctor he provides a broad perspective on conventional and alternative medicine.
As he says, "healing occurs from the inside out, in its own time, and cannot be forced."
This is considered by many to be the best book for those new to homeopathy. It answers so many of the most commonly asked questions in a very enjoyable style.
From the Book"I don't know if we need any introductory book but this one!"
editor, Homeopathy Today
monthly publication of the National Center for Homeopathy
"Makes homeopathy easy to understand. A must-read for all interested in optimal health."
Jacquelyn Wilson MD, DHt, FAAFP
Past president, California State Homeopathic Society
Past president, American Institute of Homeopathy
"All my patients should read this book!"
John Collins ND, DHANP
Associate Professor, Department of Homeopathy
National College of Naturopathic Medicine
People today are rediscovering homeopathy, yet few understand this individualized approach to health and disease. Dr. Dooley brings 20 years of training and experience in a wide range of health sciences to this novel introduction to homeopathy-what it is, how it differs, when to use it, what to expect, how to get results.
Conventional medicine is 'flat earth' in that it approaches health problems from the perspective of the disease instead of the patient.
Just as the earth appears flat and the sun appears to revolve around the earth, so also it appears that physicians treat patients when treating their diseases. This is not true!
As you will see, it is possible to treat the patient directly, as a whole.
ContentsCh.1 - Beyond the Flat Earth 1-9
Ch.2 - The Basics of Homeopathy 10-16
Ch.3 - The Brilliance of Homeopathy 17-23
Ch.4 - A Cured Case 24-33
Ch.5 - A Brief History 34-42
Ch.6 - Non-Toxic Medicines 43-48
Ch.7 - Understanding Vital Force 49-52
Ch.8 - Healing with Homeopathy 53-58
Ch.9 - How to Get Results 59-65
Ch.10 - Special Situations 66-73
Ch.11 - Homeopathy and Conventional Medicine 74-79
Ch.12 - Homeopathy and Alternative Therapies 80-85
Ch.13 - Homeopathic Remedies 86-93
Ch.14 - Changing Your View 94-99
1. HOMEOPATHY TODAY
2. NEW ENGLAND JOURNAL OF HOMEOPATHY
3. THE AMERICAN HOMEOPATH
- Reviewed by Julian Winston
Do we need another introductory book on homeopathy? Until I read this one, I'd have said "no." Now, I don't know if we need any introductory book but this one!
Timothy R. Dooley is a graduate of the National College of Naturopathic Medicine who went on to take his MD at the Oregon Health Sciences University School of Medicine. He practices in San Diego.
After having his patients ask "what book should I read about homeopathy" and realizing that none really fitted his concept of what had to be explained, Dr. (or should I say Dr. Dr.?) Dooley penned this slim volume. It is a treasure.
It is designed to answer all the questions a patient might have
What is homeopathy?
Where did it come from?
How are the remedies made?
How does it differ from conventional medicine?
Can I use it if I'm pregnant?
How often do I take it?
How do you know what to give?
-and many more.
Each chapter begins with a little story, often an experience from his practice. My favorite was in Chapter Eight: Healing with Homeopathy:
"'The remedy didn't work,' he stated bluntly at his first follow-up.
'I'm sorry to hear that' I replied. 'How is your problem doing?'
'It's not bothering me any more. It went away'
'If it went away, why do you say the remedy didn't work?'
'Well it seems like it just got well on its own, that's all.'
I've had this same conversation a number of times over the years. No one can say for sure if the remedy helped that particular man, or he just 'got well' coincidentally. But that is exactly what happens when you heal naturally, you 'just get well.' "
One of the most instructive parts of the book is a case presentation with a ten-month follow-up. He presents the case, discusses the treatment, and then discusses how he viewed it in retrospect. He was uncertain about the correct remedy.
Dr. Dooley first tried the remedy he thought would be the most indicated. There was little improvement. He tried a different potency. There was still little improvement.
He changed the remedy. There was major improvement that was continuing over a half-year later. It is a wonderful "learning case" which touches on all the subtleties of homeopathic prescribing.
The only error I saw (which I hope is corrected in future editions) is that the date of the Flexner Report is given as 1906. Abraham Flexner issued his report on medical education for the Carnegie Foundation in 1910. But, then again, that's the kind of thing I notice!
The book is easy to read, and for the person new to homeopathy, easy to understand. For those already knowledgeable in homeopathy, the book is a good reference for how to explain some basic concepts, and it also introduces some new ways of looking at the same old familiar things.
With so many books out there which re-hash the same old things, the organization of this book is refreshing. It is short, sweet, and to the point.
HOMEOPATHY TODAY JULY/AUGUST 1995
Reprinted with permission from the National Center for Homeopathy
NEW ENGLAND JOURNAL OF HOMEOPATHY
- Reviewed by John G. Collins, ND, DHANP
Our patients sooner or later, raise questions: "What is this medicine for, what is it supposed to do?" or "Why don't I keep taking it now that it's starting to work?" Certainly we can answer these and far more difficult questions, but sometimes when we open our mouths to reply, what comes out is either patronizingly simple or boringly technical.
How do we explain the source of Medorrhinum to a new patient? We need help! We need a long pamphlet or a short book to guide the newcomer into our paradoxical world.
Homeopathy: Beyond Flat Earth Medicine is such a book, one that deserves to be examined by both the questioners and the answerers of such questions.
Many books before this one have presented the facts: Hahnemann's experiments, the law of Similars, potentization, Vital Force, doses and reactions to the remedy, etc. Dooley covers this ground with both sufficient depth and brevity; his writing could be recommended on this basis alone, but there's more.
This book is like two books in one: a well-organized and thorough presentation of "the basics," sandwiched between slices of the life story of a homeopath. Dooley has spent the last twenty years exploring the place of homeopathy in the health care system of several diverse communities and he's come away with tales to tell.
We read how Phytolacca cured the patient's acute mastitis and the young doctor's doubts about the power of homeopathy; how the small town MD reacted to a naturopath using homeopathy on his patients; why the author decided to put aside a naturopathic general practice to become an MD "...the desire to see what it was like from the other side, to see if I was missing something that conventional medicine had.
I wanted to see if medical doctors really had some kind of special knowledge to which I was not a party ... As time passed, I began to realize that something was indeed missing, not with me but with conventional medicine!
It lacked an underlying perspective or basis in approaching patients. There was no real appreciation for the ability of the body to heal itself .. Patients were treated as broken mechanical machines."
The book confronts homeopathy's greatest obstacle: the firmly entrenched belief in molecular substance as the irreducible unit of all life functions. It launches a persuasive attack on the basic materialism of the western mind.
Recalling the resistance met by scientific discoveries throughout history, Dooley calls this the "flat earth view" of health and disease. We've all met those philosophers and artists who desire non-toxic therapy with natural substances but suddenly become uneasy when we propose to treat their ailments with ultra molecular doses.
Why can they imagine a physical reality rooted in subtlety? Why can't they believe the diseased organism can reorganize and redirect its own functions to heal disease, even localized lesions, without adding or removing some material?
For many, it's simply that they've never really examined the evidence, never questioned their worldview, never had it explained. The subtitle "beyond flat earth medicine" is a fair label, for this theme weaves through the book, patiently repeating homeopathy's whole person, vitalistic response to a prevailing world view that's brought us nuclear war, deforestation, antibiotic resistance and a host of other "modern" crises.
I especially enjoyed the stories, most of them told in a page or less:
a cure based on a peculiar symptom;
a successful prescription guided by a century- old book;
a man who had a job sitting on tacks;
a prescription that failed because it was based on a single common symptom;
an "accidental" cure of chronic symptoms not previously mentioned to the doctor;
a gynecologist's rage at a patient for consulting the homeopath;
a midnight call from an emergency room physician who had just pumped a child's stomach after an accidental "overdose" of Pulsatilla 30c;
a case of feline lymphoma cured by a remedy homeopathic to the cat's mental and general symptoms;
a case disrupted by herbal weight loss;
the story of a free clinic set up in a tiny dirt-floored Tijuana bedroom, where homeopathy healed the sick and allopathic drugs expired on the shelves.
Each story illustrates a concept, lends reality to a principle.
In addition to expected chapters explaining the laws of similars, the single dose, the totality of symptoms, one finds excellent advice to patients on how to make the most of homeopathic interviews and treatments, and a full chapter of answers to frequently asked questions about what's going on along the road to recovery.
The chapters "Homeopathy and Conventional Medicine," and "Homeopathy and Alternative Therapies" are fortified by the author's considerable experience in a broad range of modalities, western and eastern, conventional and not. Many other books fall short of Dooley's broad perspective into these areas.
His advice against poly-therapy echoes the sentiment of most homeopaths. "Relax! In the mad rush to be healed, people waste much time and money by not giving whatever therapy they are doing chance. True healing occurs from the inside out, in its own time, and cannot be forced. "
There are four Appendices: "Potentization of medicines", "A sample remedy (Arsenicum album)", "Resources" for further reading, some sources of books and remedies; "Research studies" listing the six most significant clinical trials published in peer reviewed medical journals since 1980.
These appendices are very brief and could be considered incomplete, but this is a short book, meant to be easily read. Perhaps a more diversified sampling of our materia medica would better reveal its fascinating breadth.
The index is adequate for finding most of the specific topics or technical details which so easily escape memory, including aggravations, the various interfering substances, and return of old symptoms.
From the concluding chapter:
"In the early sixteenth century, European sailors and discoverers took the bold step of exploring the uncharted waters of the world. But simply understanding that the earth was a sphere did not calm their fears.
"The experience of successfully navigating the earth's oceans without falling off the edge was required to convince themselves that it was so ... So, in spite of themselves, when they personally set off to challenge this flat-earth dogma, they found their knees shaking, their hearts pounding, and cold sweat forming on their brows...After a voyage or two they found they had changed. They now not only intellectually knew the earth was a sphere, but, through their experience, this knowledge had become a part of them."
Homeopathy may be new to you, but to many others it is well-known. Their knowledge and experience is available to guide you, should you choose to pursue it.
Since first reading it, I've put this book at the top of my list of recommended reading for those new to homeopathy; it offers so much of what I'd like to tell them.
John G. Collins, ND, DHANP, graduated from NCNM in 1978 and practices in Portland, OR. He teaches homeopathy at NCNM.
New England Journal of Homeopathy Volume 4 Number 4
Reprinted with permission from New England Journal of Homeopathy
The American Homeopath
Reviewed by Iain Marrs
Timothy R. Dooley's Homeopathy: Beyond Flat Earth Medicine is the most reassuring of these three volumes. The reader is introduced to the necessary themes but within the overarching idea of paradigm shift, -from flat earth to spherical.
"Eventually this conflict was resolved when the flat view was understood to be encompassed within the more comprehensive spherical view. The flat view works to a point, but is only a limited perspective of the same spherical earth" (p. 3).
Framing the discussion within this well-accepted paradigm shift reflects Dr. Dooley's overarching strategy - to make the change from allopathic (flat earth; diseased part) thinking to homeopathic (spherical; whole person) thinking as non-threatening as possible.
To the same purpose, there are illustrative cases autobiographical fragments and reported conversations, interspersed with history, philosophy and advice to patients. The different registers bring the ideas and the problems alive: there is nothing gentler to learn from than a story in which a person other than oneself makes a mistake or underestimates what is possible...
"The experience of successfully navigating the earth's oceans without falling off the edge was required to convince themselves that it was so. These sailors had been raised with the belief that the earth was flat. Many had relatives who had sailed off the edge, that is, set out across the seas never to return. So, in spite of themselves, when they personally set off to challenge this flat-earth dogma, they found their knees shaking, their hearts pounding, and cold sweat forming on their brows."
"After a voyage or two they found they had changed. They now not only intellectually knew the earth was a sphere, but, through their experience, this knowledge had become a part of them. Homeopathy may be new to you, but to many others it is well-known. Their knowledge and experience is available to guide you, should you choose to pursue it." (p. 97)
Similarly, a case history (in the patient's own words) (pp. 24-33) is used to illustrate concepts of individualizing the prescription, dosing, and the respective utility of homeopathy, antibiotics and counseling.
Tim Dooley relates homeopathy to conventional medicine, to alternative therapies and to 'special situations': repeatedly he situates homeopathy (the unknown) with regard to what the reader already knows, clarifying the limits of the latter and thus the solution which homeopathy represents.
Dr. Dooley also provides an appendix on potentization, an extract from materia medica as an example, along with some resource lists of organizations, remedy suppliers, and recommended books. Like the other two authors, he is to be congratulated on having presented an introductory volume which is unified by his own particular approach, -it will work well when indicated.
Dr. Dooley, N.D., M.D., opened his naturopathic practice in 1978, and returned some years later to investigate allopathic medicine:
I learned a great deal in my medical training and met many fine people, but the wonder and enchantment of natural healing were nowhere to be found. I came to realize that no conventional medical specialty could satisfy me, that I would return to homeopathy' (p. 11).
Reprinted with permission from the
North American Society of Homeopaths