I hold licenses in Connecticut, both as a Physician and Surgeon, and as a Homeopathic physician. I have practiced medicine since 1974 and Homeopathy since 1981.
My goal as a physician is to form a partnership with my patients in order to help restore a state of health. Only the patient has the direct experience of their health, their disease, and their lives. The patient is the only one who can communicate this to the physician. The physician’s duty is to carefully listen from a non-judgmental place, to understand the patient’s experience, and then to apply whatever type or types of medical knowledge are appropriate to interpret that experience in a way that leads to health. Then the patient and physician must walk that path together.
One Doctor’s Story
This is a piece I wrote while I was the president of the National Center for Homeopathy, explaining how I became interested in homeopathic medicine. Some 30 years later, it seems a bit dated, but still of interest:
In 1979 I left my medical practice of six years, frustrated with the limitations of modern medicine. Looking for a new approach, I moved to Connecticut to work in a holistic health center, intending to focus on nutrition, stress control, and visualization. There I met a woman who had studied homeopathy abroad. With no faith in the method, I asked her to consult on a difficult patient, one with severe bleeding, thyroid inflammation, angina pectoris, and several other problems.
Specialists at Massachusetts General Hospital had sent the patient back to me saying, in effect, “Do the best you can. We don’t know what to tell you.” To the homeopath, her intense cravings for ice cream and salt, her fear of thunderstorms, her bleeding tendency and sympathetic nature indicated the use of Phosphorus. Not believing that it could help, but since a common nutrient in a low dose couldn’t hurt, we commenced treatment. I was astonished at the good results and wanted to see more.
Since then I have studied and learned how to apply the method. I have seen it work, even in serious conditions, as have thousands of doctors and lay-persons worldwide for the past 200 years. The low cost of the medications and the rarity of adverse reactions make it preferable, in most cases, to modern drugs. Furthermore, because the medicines are inexpensive, safe, and easy to use, lay-persons can learn to handle many common illnesses for which people seek medical help. The resulting savings in costs and the increase in personal independence are what health care in this country needs now.
Now (2011) I continue to study and to utilize homeopathic treatment, but have also spent a lot of time and effort in understanding human health and disease from a holistic approach. In this context, holism is an understanding of the individual as existing in an environment with social, cultural, and many types of physical aspects. In particular, the role of nutrition becomes very important, as does the development of self-awareness.
Recent Continuing Education Courses
Lyme and Other Tick-Borne Diseases: Science Bridging the Gap: Columbia University and the Lyme Disease Association, Inc. Warwick RI, 11/14-15/2015
Lyme disease is extremely common and there are a number of controversies regarding the long-term effects of Lyme disease and their management. This was an excellent seminar notable for highlighting basic science research in a number of aspects of Lyme disease, but very related to practical issues in the understanding, diagnosis, and management of patients with Lyme. A lot of attention was paid to the issue of “chronic Lyme disease,” which is probably a mixture of several different possibilities. In particular, so-called “persistent” disease was discussed by several of the presenters.
Effective Pain Management: A Patient Centered Approach: Baystate Medical Center 11/3/2015
Chronic pain is an increasingly common problem, and its management can be difficult for a number of reasons. After the advent of synthetic narcotics (Oxycontin, etc.) the use of opium derivatives dramatically increased, which also resulted in increased levels of addiction. The management of chronic pain is difficult – one wants to avoid over-treatment and inappropriate use of powerful drugs, but under-treatment is all too common because of lack of education and fear on the part of physicians to run afoul of regulations. There is a lack of pain specialists to treat the large number of people in need of such services. This seminar also featured a section on the use of medical marijuana.
Around this time I also completed a home CME course on pain management mandated by the state of Connecticut.
Predictive Homeopathy — Certification Course: Newark, NJ 6 3-day sessions over a 1 year period, staring September 2014 ending in July 2015.
This is an intensive series of seminars to train practicing homeopaths in Dr. Vijayakar’s methods of case analysis and the proper application of classical homeopathic theory, in particular the role of “miasms,” which has generally been poorly understood and ignored. In Dr. Vijayakar’s methodology, understanding these miasms, and using symptoms of the patient that correspond to the more destructive miasms is the key to accurate selection of the correct medicine. The next important issue is to prove that the selection is correct by noting that cure takes place in a certain order, which corresponds to the embryonic development of the patient from conception to birth. For more information, visit the website, or search and use the search terms “predictive homeopathy.”
Predictive Homeopathy: New Orleans, LA March 7-9, 2014
Dr. Vijayakar practices homeopathic medicine in Mumbai and is world-renowned for frequent successes in treating very serious diseases, such as congenital blindness, mental retardation, brain tumors, heart disease, etc. His approach is very strictly Hahnemannian, and he has incorporated modern knowledge of embryology into understanding if a treated patient is properly progressing towards cure. His case-taking and prescribing is based on a nuanced understanding of the nature and progression of disease. This was a very exciting seminar for all those that attended. I will be taking their certification course starting this fall, and continuing for a year. For some examples of why I’m excited about this, check out the following videos on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=URCfMyfmgzA and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MbyiL88ZJms
Homeopathic Treatment of Insomnia: October 11-14, 2013 Presented by Massimo Mangialavori MD — Many disorders or sleep remain poorly understood. In this seminar, Massimo proposed a classificatory schema and presented examples of cured cases, often using lesser-known and therefore too-infrequently used medicines. Fascinating, as always…
3rd Annual Clinical Intersection of HIV/AIDS: A Practical Discussion of Connecticut’s Course Mandates Yale School of Medicine December 7 2013:
This update on HIV/AIDS also reviewed Physiological responses to stress and trauma, Hepatitis C, Risk Management in prescribing Medical Marijuana, Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault Identification, and Cultural Competency issues
Contemporary Endocrinology: March 5 2013 Baystate Medical Center Holyoke, Massachusetts
This one day seminar was presented by the faculty of the Baystate Medical Center, the western Massachusetts division of Tufts University School of Medicine. Topics included aspects of the use of medication in Osteoporosis, Obesity and Diabetes, the Management of Diabetic Foot Ulcers, Hypogonadism in Men Bariatric surgery, and an overview of the long term evolution of Diabetes, with breakout sessions for more detailed discussion.
Predictive Homeopathy: Case-taking, Follow-ups and Theory of Suppression — Chicago IL, 2/810/203
This 2 1/2 day seminar was to have been taught by Praful Vijayakar MD, an esteemed Indian homeopath well-known for his extremely successful work with patients suffering from very serious pathology (kidney failure, brain tumors, mental retardation, etc.) Unfortunately, he became ill and could not attend, so the course was taught by some of his students. The seminar was very interesting and we may try to bring Dr. Vijayakar back next year.
Essential Elements of Homeopathic Medicines —January 2013 and ongoing, presented by Massimo Mangialavori
This is a 10/year 2 hour webinar series reviewing the distinguishing characteristics of various families of homeopathic medicines. This series primarily recaps the topics of past seminars, but has proven to be a useful refresher for the immense amounts of information which has been presented.
Homeopathic Treatment of Allergies — 10/8-12/2012
Another seminar presented by Massimo Mangialavori (see below)
Health and Medicine for Women: A Multi-Disciplinary Evidence-Based Review of Mid-Life Health Concerns
This one day seminar, presented by the Yale School of Medicine Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, included the current science and practice of medicine related to a number of topics pertinent to women’s health in mid-life. The topics were:
— Emerging Approaches to Risk Assessment and Management of Coronary Heart Disease in Women;
— Update on Diabetes;
— Evaluation and Management of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome;
— Irritable Bowel Disorder;
— Metabolic Syndrome Roundtable discussion;
— Current Issues in Multiple Sclerosis: Diagnosis and Management;
— Treatment of Depression in Pregnancy;
— Screening for Lung Cancer;
— Update on Screening for Gynecologic Malignancies;
— Breast Cancer Update: Genetic Screening, Risk Assessment, and Chemoprevention;
— Overactive Bladder;
— Female Sexual Dysfunction;
— Endometriosis update;
While therapy for these problems was very much conventional and drug based, there was a lot of good information regarding diagnosis and understanding the altered physiology that underlies these problems. I enjoyed this seminar very much.
Mastering the Thyroid, Boston, Ma., 10/21-23/2011. This 2 1/2 day seminar was based on the work of Datis Kharrazian, DC (and multiple other degrees), which seeks to understand thyroid disease as being intimately related to the functioning of the immune system, the brain, the gut, the adrenals, liver, reproductive glands, etc. This was extremely interesting and exposed me to new ways to understand health and the problems of these systems, as well as new types of laboratory evaluations and therapeutic interventions.
Eczema – A Constitutional Homeopathic Approach: presented by Massimo Mangialovori MD 10/10-10/14/2011. Eleven cases of severe skin disease were presented, with dramatic improvements from constitutional treatment. Massimo (as we call him), with whom I’ve studied for approximately 10 years, again demonstrated his usual perceptiveness in understand the patient, the disease as it related to each particular patient, and the medicine that was curative. One of the highlights of the seminar was a discussion of the use of Candida albicans in homeopathy.
Mushrooms — A real homeopathic family? presented by Massimo Mangialavori, MD, North Andover, Ma 4/11-4/15/2011. Of the 100,000 or more mushroom species, only a very few are known in homeopathic practice. Just as mushrooms themselves have an existence quite unlike plants or animals, people for whom these remedies may provoke deeply curative responses have definite differences in how they experience health, disease, and human relationships than humans needing plant, mineral, or animal remedies. This was a particularly fascinating seminar, given by one of the best practicing homeopaths in the world.
Understanding the Frontal Lobes: Emotional Regulation, Social Intelligence and Motivation presented by Mark B. Moss, Ph.D., of the Boston University School of Medicine. Sponsored by the Institute for Brain Potential April 1, 2011. This day-long seminar, presented by a knowledgeable neuro-psychologist, was a timely and fascinating review of the current knowledge-base regarding the frontal lobes. Humans have a very large and well developed set of frontal lobes, which differentiates us from animals (other than certain primates and whales and dolphins). From a pathological standpoint, the frontal lobes are important in their relationship to various forms of dementia (including Alzheimer’s disease), Attention Deficit Disorders, and Autistic spectrum disorders. Interestingly, mention was made of the increasing evidence of the importance of systemic disease (diabetes type II, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis) to these problems. These are all probably mediated largely through insulin resistance, and need to be addressed by lifestyle changes.
Clinical Application of BHRT (Biodientical Hormone Replacement Therapy) presented by Jim Paoletti, Pharmacist, FAARFM, Director of Provider Education at ZRT Laboratory: 3/29/2011 (Manchester, Ct). Jim Paoletti is extremely knowledgeable regarding the role of the glands (endocrinology) in human health and disease. He primarily reviewed ovarian hormone testing and replacement therapy in physiological doses. One of the many points of interest was his view that health professionals must help their patients to make good dietary choices and also to help manage stress in life, as the failure to do so allows a disturbed hormonal environment to persist despite any attempts to supplement hormones directly. I hope that he’ll be presenting at greater length in the near future.
Clinical Breakthroughs in the Toxicity-Disease Connection (Jersey City, NJ, 1/29/2011): Another Jeffrey Bland seminar, as usual containing a distillation of years of clinical research and surveying the medical literature. I’m writing an article about detoxification at this time (3/21/2011) and hope to have it ready for the website in the next week or so. To put it briefly, there is now solid evidence regarding the relationship of various forms of environmental toxicity to chronic diseases such as diabetes, dementia, etc. Furthermore, there is a better understanding of the body’s natural defenses against this toxicity, and how these defenses can be supported and even enhanced.
Contemporary Topics in Pain Management: A Case Based Approach: (Baystate Medical Center, Springfield, MA, 11/3/2010) — Chronic pain affects 30-40% of the population, and management of patients with severe pain has become a sub-specialty in its own right. Dealing with chronic pain now requires a team-based approach, using multiple modalities, and requiring inter-disciplinary coordination.
Although the pharmacology (use of drugs to treat chronic pain) involves newer medications with significant side-effect profiles which require a lot of familiarity and experience to use safely and effectively, this seminar provided me with an overview of contemporary pain management, and I picked up some useful tips to use in my clinical practice.
The Aging Population: Challenges in Health and Disease: New Haven, Ct., 10/30/2010. This one day seminar, presented by the Geriatric clinical faculty of Yale University School of Medicine, was an overview of common issues, covering a lot of ground in, unfortunately, too little time. Still, I found it very helpful, covering many topics such as sleep, cognitive health, osteoarthritis, gait disorders, the general evaluation of the patient in the last phase of their lives, and many related social issues. It was very worthwhile, and I came away with a lot of resources and some good clinical pearls.
Advanced Clinical Therpies for Women’s Health: Deanna Minich, Phd., FACN, CNS. Ms Minich works at the Functional Medical Research Center, in Gig Harbor, Washington. This is the clinical research arm of the Metagenicscorporation, whose nutritional supplements have been so useful in my practice. Dr. Minich always stressed basic hygienic approaches (good food, exercise, stress control) and also covered advances in basic sciences (cell biology, biochemistry, etc.) and relevant approaches to improving function through the use of tartgeted nutritional pharmacology. This was a very interesting and helpful seminar, covering Premenstrual syndromes, Perimenopause, Metabolic Syndrome, Cardiovascular disease, Bone metabolism, Detoxification, and Cognitive health.
Attention Deficit Disorder: Massimo Mangialovori: (Boston, late September 2010). The second of this year’s two 5 day homeopathy seminar, the cases focused on children with attentional problems. As is the case in the United States, there are many reasons that children may manifest attentional problems. Some are behavioral in nature, some are more basically biochemical (these, in my view, are children whose attention improves dramatically on stimulant drugs), others may be related to food sensitivity, environmental toxicity, etc. Regardless, a good constitutional remedy can help all these children greatly. In Italy, it is actually frowned upon, by prevailing medical opinion, to give stimulant drugs to children, except for the most dramatically impaired. This was an extremely interesting seminar (as all are that Massimo gives).
Illuminating the Clinical Web: Treating Complex Cases (Boston, Mass, 3/27/2010): This clinical follow-on to the Jeff Bland seminar (see next entry) focused on applying new data organization techniques and concepts in Functional Medicine to complex problems of woman’s health (osteoporosis, menopausal syndromes, weight gain of both android [apple-shaped] and gynoid [pear-shaped] body types, thyroid and adrenal problems, etc.) The course was presented by Joseph Lamb, MD, from the Functional Medicine Research Center in Gig Harbor, Washington. I’ve met Dr. Lamb before and we have an ongoing conversation about homocysteine, vitamin D, methylation, and various other matters. He is a knowledgeable and experienced clinician whose teaching never fails to give me clues in helping my own patients.
Bridging Lifestyle Medicine and Systems Biology in Clinical Practice (New York City, 2/21/2010) Another one day seminar by Jeff Bland, bringing the latest in the sciences of molecular biology, nutrition, nutritional pharmacology, genetics and epigenetics, etc., to clinical medicine. This seminar focused on vascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and osteoporosis.
Louis Klein Homeopathic Seminar — More on Miasms and Nosodes (Excitability, Action, Reaction and Non-action) (Portland Maine, November 6-8, 2009). See below for information on Lou. His work on linking homeopathic methodology to modern concepts of infectious disease is revolutionary.
Infectious Disease, Risk Management, Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence: A Guide for Connecticut PhysiciansThis is a home study course offered to Connecticut Physicians and Surgeons in order to complete mandatory continuing education.
Autoimmune Disease — (October 24, 2009) presented by Dr. Thomas O’Bryan, DC, CCN, DACBN, and sponsored by Metagenics, this seminar presented a large amount of scientific studies whiich linked autoimmune diseases to environmental and nutritional factors, including gluten sensitivity. Nutritional Approaches to the problem of autoimmunity, also with documentation in the medical literature, was also reviewed.
Massimo Mangialavori — Dualism, Ambivalence, and Schism (October 17-21, 2009) This is approximately the 20th of Massimo’s seminars that I’ve attended over the past 10 or so years. He places homeopathic theory and practice in a very wide context which includes classical homeopathic data, anthropology, culture, mythology and modern medicine. The current series of courses (twice a year, not all of which have I had the discipline to list here) continue to be a great source of instruction for me. I am invariably able to help some old patients who have not made progress after attending his seminars.
Louis Klein Homeopathic Seminar — Ancient remedies an Nosodes (March 13-15, 2009). Lou is one of the premier thinkers in applied homeopathic philosophy and practice. It is always inspiring for me to attend his presentations. The presented materials never fail to give me ideas for specific patients that I work with.
The Future of the Clinic — New Frontiers in Nutritional Medicine (February 8, 2009) This seminar, presented by Jeff Bland, PhD, one of the premier researchers and thinkers in nutritional medicine, and the head of Metagenics, Inc., focused on understanding and applying new concepts in genetics (and the role of the environment in expressing genetic potential for good or for ill) and inflammation in the clinical problems of cardiovascular health, diabetes, autoimmune disease, and osteoporosis. I also attended an afternoon workshop a couple of weeks later on applying this knowledge in practice.
Environmental Toxins (June 8, 2008) This Detoxification seminar, presented by Metagenics, Inc., focused on the widespread presence of toxic chemicals in the environment, relationships to disease states, and strategies for improving health and treating toxin-related illness.
Unlocking the Secrets of Gluten Sensitivity (Novermber 9, 2008) Presented by Metagenics, Inc., this seminar focused on the widespread effects of gluten sensitivity on human health and disease. In particular, the likelihood that this is a very under-diagnosed condition was explored, and strategies for treatment were discussed. I suspect that gluten sensitivity is important for many patients suffering from multi-system problems which are difficult to treat
Bowel Nosodes (October 25-26, 2008). Presented by Russell Malcolm, M.B.Ch.B., FFHom. Dr. Malcolm is a Scottish homeopathic Physician with a lot of experience and skill in the use of the “Bowel Nosodes.” These homeopathic preparations were developed in the 1920’s and 1930’s by Dr. Bach (more well-known for the “flower remedies”) and Dr. Paterson, among others. In light of modern knowledge and terminology, this is an 11 member set of remedies which can positively impact Intestinal Dysbiosis. The use of antibiotics, hormones such as the birth-control pills, improper diet, chronic stress, anti-inflammatory drugs, and other factors can all combine to alter the normal bacterial populations in the small intestine and the colon, with adverse effects on health. The importance of a “healthy” intestinal micro-flora is being increasingly recognized, even in conventional medical circles. The combination of treating dysbiosis, gluten sensitivity (and other food allergy-type syndromes) should be a very powerful addition to my therapeutic regimens. Six weeks after taking this course, I am already starting to see some gratifying results from using these agents.
Cancer, Medical Malpractice and Primary Care: Improving Skills and Lessening Risks (December 6, 2008) It is legally required that all physicians licensed in Connecticut complete 50 continuing education hours every two years, including “risk-management” hours. While I do not offer primary care, this course extensively discussed the pros and cons of screening in cancers of the Colon and Rectum, Breast, Lung, and Prostate. It was quite interesting. It was also quite clear from the data presented and the reactions of the audience, composed mostly of primary care doctors from the Boston area, that doctors are expected to do more and more in less and less time, and many of them are upset about it.
I first learned of homeopathy from Merideth Lowry, who has since earned a D.O. degree and is in practice in the state of Oregon. I subsequently was aided by two homeopathic physicians from Fairfield County, Franklinn McCoy, M.D., and Dr. Cherian.
I took post-graduate courses at the National Center for Homeopathy summer school in the early 80’s, and was exposed to several more experienced American homeopaths at that time, some of whom had studied under George Vithoulkas, a Greek homeopath.
I subsequently became involved with a professional study-group under the tutelage of a Belgian homeopath, Jacques Imberechts, M.D. From Jacques I learned the structure of a “complete” homeopathic evaluation, and furthered my understanding of homeopathic philosophy as elaborated in Samuel Hahnemann’s classic work, The Organon of Rational Healing. Through this study group, I was also exposed to other well known classical homeopaths from Europe and South America.
Later, I studied with Ananda Zaren, a classical homeopath who had studied extensively under George Vithoulkas but went on to develop her own formulation. Her approach relies extensively on using the non-verbal presentation of the patient to “focus” the case (meaning to understand what really needs to be addressed) to facilitate healing. Ananda has a very extensive knowledge of homeopathic materia medica, and a great ability to perceive the state of the patient. Her use of videotaped cases has strongly influenced my practice.
I have also been helped by the ideas of Jan Scholten, a Dutch homeopath, who has investigated the periodic table of the elements from a homeopathic point of view, and has come up with some very interesting relationships and ideas. Through this work, I have learned to prescribe some remedies I had not previously used.
In the last 10 years, I have been attending seminars and to listen to tapes of previous seminars given by Massimo Mangialavori, M.D., an Italian homeopath who has greatly expanded our understanding of many previously little-known homeopathic medicines, and challenged several commonly held ideas about homeopathic practice. His web site may be reached at www.mangialavori.it
I attended a 2 year course given (2000 – 2002) given by Louis Klein, RS Hom., an experienced homeopath from Vancouver, British Columbia. Together with Massimo Mangialavori and Jan Scholten, they have extended the possibilities of successful prescribing through a variety of concepts and methodologies. Their work, although controversial, will greatly improve the accuracy of prescribing and therefore will result in curative action into a variety of illnesses which we have not been able to help until now.
I have also studied the methodology of Rajan Sankaran, a reknowned Indian homeopath (www.thespiritofhomoeopathy.com). His method involves a concept called “vital sensation.” This refers to a description of the patient’s symptoms “at” the interface of the mind and body. While this can be difficult to apply, the results can be startlingly good.
I have also followed advances in Functional Medicine, primarily as presented by Jeffrey Bland, Ph.D. His website can be found at his Synthesis site. Dr. Bland is a rather amazing individual, who has done a tremendous job at monitoring and presenting a massive amount of current science pertaining to the use of nutrition in the creation and maintenance of good health, and perhaps more importantly in the restoration of health. I’ve written (too briefly) about this in the nutrition article on my website. While Functional Medicine is not a large focus of my practice, its model of health and disease is in many ways similar to homeopathy and has been a valuable addition to my ability to help my patients.
Most recently I have been studying Predictive Homeopathy (see seminars above), which is very strongly based on “classical” homeopathy as originally formulated by Samuel Hahnemann MD in the 18th century. Dr. Vijayakar has overlaid modern understanding of embryological development, pathology, onto Hahnemann’s theories of “miasms” to develop a more accurate way to find remedies that may be curative in severe destructive diseases, as well as genetic diseases. This is extremely exciting to me and I have already seen better results in such cases in my own practice.
Most importantly, I consider my patients to have been my greatest teachers. It is a real honor to be able to witness the healing process in action, and a great challenge to find the correct treatment in more difficult cases.