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.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Beginnings

I began my own homeopathic journey because of growing frustration with my practice. It seemed that too often, too many people were not responding well to all of what my many years of training had taught me should help them. I think of a young woman who I saw for several years, sometimes 2, sometimes 3 times a week in a psychoanalytically oriented psychotherapy. I thought I was doing pretty good work with her. After several years, it was hard to find anything all that different about her, much as I wished to justify all of my work. Finally she stopped coming in after her father, who had been financing her psychotherapy up until then, pulled the plug. I remember feeling dismayed and vaguely resentful that he didn't understand the deep and meaningful journey towards health that his daughter had undertaken. That was one half of me. The other half thought he was probably right: she wasn't getting any better, so why keep forking over $1000.00 or more a month for that?

I also think of a hospitalized young man who had tried over many years just about every medication that modern psychopharmacology had devised, without a mote of improvement. While it seemed to me pretty obvious that the correct conclusion to this fiasco of medical care was that medications just didn't work for this individual, I still had colleagues encouraging me to try yet another newfangled medication, because he had never been on it before.

Modern medical treatment can help, but all too often, especially in psychiatry, it produces no improvement, or only partial improvement. It is often a long and expensive affair. It may be complicated by side effects, either the life-threatening kind, like anaphylaxis or neuroleptic malignant syndrome, the slowly wring-the-life-out-of-you kind, like metabolic syndrome or tardive dyskinesia, or the slow torture kind, like sexual dysfunction, weight gain, dry mouth, or personality suppression. Overall, it's a very mixed bag, and I felt almost ashamed to tell patients, or the families of my child patients that this was the best I had to offer.

While it was a lack of results that launched me into homeopathy, it was not long before other reasons grew alongside to buttress my interest in this brave new field. Not the least of these were the sordid tales that began to multiply during the first decade of the 21st century about the unsavory behavior of pharmaceutical industry -- suppressing unfavorable data, currying favor with physicians to improve sales, paying off politicians and government agencies to protect their economic interests, and masquerading as having only the noblest of motivations for all their actions when it was clear that economics were playing a huge role.

The actions of doctors added to my sense of outrage. Doctors were developing lucrative relationships with pharmaceutical companies and medical device industries, but continued to deny that pharmaceutical companies' gifts influenced their prescribing habits, even though pharmaceutical company research showed that it did. Even worse, they had the chutzpah to say that it affected their colleagues prescribing habits, but not their own. This was yet another poke in the eye.

The extension of marketing into television took advertising to a new low. Television advertising revealed the most base pandering to people's fears and the shameless use of not so subtle psychological tools by the advertising industry to increase sales. All this was repugnant to me. It made ever so ridiculous the claims of so many high-browed physicians that we ought to be practicing evidence-based medicine. The evidence seemed very clear that chicanery-based medicine was the prevailing culture, not scientific medicine.

The actions and inactions of the FDA, and the lack of reaction to their missteps by the media has been the coup de grace. That so many drugs could be permitted to be put on the market, at the cost of so many lives and injuries is horrible to contemplate. From the latest squabble over Avandia, going back to Vioxx, HRT, SSRI's, and the whole lot of drugs that have been black-boxed or withdrawn from the market over the past decade, it seems that the industry should be held in disgrace. Yet because of their financial pull, they remain in relatively high standing with the media, physicans and the populace. It still seems people can't get enough drugs, except, that is, when they are trying to detox from them. The scandalous level of missteps and miscalculations by the FDA in regulating the medical device and pharmaceutical industry and safeguarding the public welfare has been brushed aside by the media as a virtual non-issue. I guess we still need our drugs, even if they are being produced under conditions of criminal negligence. A doctor would be sued for such negligence.

This, dear reader, has fomented my interest in homeopathy. Homeopathy is a fascinating and wonderful field, but, to be honest, it's pretty difficult to master, it's a lot of work, and it is often frustrating, in terms of less than desirable results, being very time-consuming, and it is not the most lucrative field, unless one wants to restrict oneself to treating the super-wealthy. When I look at the alternatives though, I find I have to turn back to homeopathy. Homeopathy is safe and often effective. It fails a lot, or offers only partial benefit. But it is completely non-toxic. It is relatively free of adverse effects, and virtually completely free of any serious adverse effects. Treatment can often lead to a complete resolution to a health problem, or to a sustained benefit without the need for ongoing treatment. It furthers our patients' health in general. It is inexpensive. It can amaze and astound, although this is merely a side effect. It is always challenging and interesting for the practitioner. It is free from noxious and immoral financial influences (which is also why it is not more lucrative or popular). It is holistic, in the sense of viewing not only the local problem, but also the patient's overall health, physically, mentally, spiritually, and interpersonally. It can positively effect most major as well as minor illnesses. It can bring hope when all else has failed. It is a good friend to humanity. Perhaps one day humanity will understand this more. In the mean time, we homeopaths need to work on improving our skills. Because nothing speaks more loudly than our success.

39 comments:

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I developed malignant neoplasms brain, hypothyroidism and dementia from one year of paxil; glad to see some medical professionals are taking this action.

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