The Ultimate Mind-Body Medicine
Updated: Apr 8, 2022
While there are many schools of psychotherapy such as psychoanalysis, gestalt, person-centred and CBT, many therapists nowadays use an integrative approach. This means that they bring a variety of tools to their practice, and use those which seem to be particularly suited to each individual client. They are also usually those tools which have been most helpful in their own journey of healing. Two of the tools I bring to my own work with clients are an awareness of the value of the creative process and of the natural healing practice called homeopathy. The former is well-known (as part of the tradition of art therapy), the latter less so.
In an article entitled “Psychotherapy and Homeopathy: The Ultimate Mind-Body Medicine”, Dr. Luc de Schepper outlines some of the benefits of integrating homeopathy with psychotherapy:
"The limitations of Western medicine are especially obvious in mental-emotional illnesses, which are more baffling, frightening, and expensive to treat than almost any other type of disease. The obstacles to treatment of emotional illness in Western medicine include the lack of individualization of the patient. Instead, Western medicine categorizes the patient with a diagnosis, then applies the limited number of medications for this diagnosis almost at random.
In homeopathy, on the other hand, we start with an understanding of who the patient really is (the constitution, or mental/emotional/physical makeup) and then select one remedy uniquely suited to this individual from among several thousand remedies. The science of homeopathy is based on Nature’s Laws, including “like cures like.” Simply stated, the homeopathic physician uses all the information about a patient (mental, emotional and physical) like pieces of a puzzle to match one of over 3,000 remedies.” (De Schepper)
Both of these practices also offer a profound understanding of the role of traumatic and stressful events on our long term health, both physical and mental. Dr Schepper is particularly interested in the emotional triggers of chronic illness. In his article he insists that what the founder of homeopathy, Dr. Samuel Hahnemann, had realised 200 years ago is aligned with the idea in psychotherapy that “Mind is the key to man.” Science is now beginning to understand how this might indeed be true from its advances in the area of epigenetics. Epigenetics shows that our genes are not all ‘fixed’ but can be turned on and off like a switch. A study in 2017 showed that trauma affects the part of the genome which would normally prevent inflammation. This may offer some explanation of the role of traumatic events in those suffering from chronic illnesses of which inflammation is a major part, such as diabetes 1, asthma, rheumatoid arthritis and types of cancer. (Siegel, D. interview for NICABM, 2022)
We now know that these genetic triggers can be switched on by traumatic experiences or ACE’s (adverse childhood experiences) and more importantly can be ‘switched off’ by therapeutic interventions. We can heal if we understand what has caused the switch in the first place. This understanding and the potential for change is a fundamental gift of both psychotherapy and homeopathy.
“Adding a homeopathic remedy to the patient’s treatment can accelerate healing immensely. Homeopathy, with its gentle yet fast approach, has brought so much relief to unbearable human suffering for over two hundred years. I hope that more and more psychotherapists may experience the power of its healing and the satisfaction and gratitude of their patients which I humbly have received over the past 25 years.” (De Schepper, 2015)
De Schepper, L. (2015). Psychotherapy and Homeopathy: The Ultimate Mind-Body Medicine - Luc De Schepper. [online] hpathy.com. Available at: https://hpathy.com/homeopathy-papers/psychotherapy-and-homeopathy-the-ultimate-mind-body-medicine/ [Accessed 3 Apr. 2022].
NICABM (2022). Welcome to: Treating Trauma Master Series. [online] NICABM. Available at: https://www.nicabm.com/confirm/treating-trauma-master-2/ [Accessed 22 Apr. 2022].