About Us

Ann McKay, R.N.C., John McGonigle, M.D. and Mark Brody, M.D. have devoted themselves to homeopathy and related alternative medical treatments. In keeping with the spirit of homeopathy's founder Samuel Hahnemann M.D., we utilize treatments that emphasize safety and the restoration of the sick to health.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Sleeping Beauty

It has been nearly 10 years since I began studying homeopathy. What began as a search for something that would help me to obtain better results with my patients has become an avocation and a passion. Entering into my exploration of homeopathy, I had no concept of how profound this medical art is, and no inkling of how much it would affect my practice and my way of thinking about medicine.

The shocking reality of homeopathy that struck home not long after I began my studies in earnest at the Hahnemann School in the fall of 2000 was that homeopaths were treating nearly everything I was treating with as good or better outcomes, less morbidity and at less expense. Whereas the best I could hope to acheive was palliation of my patient's symptoms, they were acheiving true cures. While I was treating people for years, if not decades, they were treating people for months and obtaining more dramatic results. All this was being accomplished at far less cost and with little or no adverse effects. This appeared to be true not only for psychiatric patients, whose concerns were initially of greatest interest to me, but also to patients with more general medical problems, many of which were of a serious nature. This was not just "complementary" medicine. This was a whole parallel medical universe, existing in silent neglect alongside the behemoth of the medical industrial complex.

In a flash, I perceived that if the allopathic world found any treatment even for any single disease, that was as effective, as inexpensive, and as safe, it would be a media bombshell, and would in fact revolutionize medical practice. Here then was my second great shock: the allopathic wold was aware of homeopathic treatment, but was utterly indifferent. Homeopathy had a bad "rep" in the allopathic world, so all the hooting and hollering about cures and safety and inexpensiveness were falling on deaf ears. In fact they had been falling on deaf ears for over 150 years, and so the amount of hooting and hollering had been reduced to almost nil. Homeopaths had many stories to tell about homeopathic research that was dismissed, criticized, neglected, ignored, or devalued because of the fact that it was obvious, prima facie, that the treatment was nonsensical.

Accepting the unreceptivity of the world to homeopathy has been something that has always been hard for me. Sometimes I can laugh at it, like the joke about the man looking for his keys under the lamp (even though he dropped them elsewhere) "because that is where the light is." At other times, the tragic consequences of homeopathy's relative disrepute pain me. I see people experiencing the consequences of unsuccessfully treated illnesses or dealing with the side effects of the treatments and I am pained by what seems to be unnecessary suffering. This pain is transduced into outrage when I see the medical industry bringing in massive fiduciary gains in spite of these (unnecessary) negative outcomes.

This brings me to my point -- that in these times of medical cost overruns, and with health reform in the limelight, homeopathy is uniquely poised to make a contribution. Noone, not the health insurance industry, nor the hospital industry, nor the medical profession, nor the pharmaceutical industry, nor the medical device industry wants to see its profits significantly cut into. And keeping the medical system substantially the same is the best way to ensure that none of the major industry financial concerns are negatively impacted. Unfortunately, it is also the best way to make sure that we do not change the exploding costs of health care. Here's the naked truth: the current system is just too expensive. Until this elephant-in-the-room is named, we will continue to pursue chimerical or band-aid solutions. The silent and neglected universe of homeopathy -- safe, effective, and miles less expensive -- lurks in the background. If it weren't called homeopathy, it would be called a miracle solution, a deus ex machina, a godsend. But because it is, it will likely remain in silent desuetude, a sleeping beauty waiting to be awoken, while the vines grow taller and the kingdom is engulfed.