I was so happy to see the article on the Equine Touch and Jock Ruddock In Natural Horse magazine earlier this year. I have been fortunate enough to have attended Jock's course here in Zimbabwe. Yes, even here, in "darkest Africa" we have been visited by Jock!! I just thought I would like to share a few of my experiences with you.
I am a third generation horse woman and cannot remember a time when there were no horses in my life. I hold my National colours for show jumping and have been competing for 37 years. My daughter, aged 15, competes in showjumping, dressage and cross country events. I was also the National Co-Ordinator for Special Olympics Equestrian in Zimbabwe and also taught deaf and paraplegic children. My sister (who also holds her National Colours for show jumping) is an international horse chiropractor and my mother, aged 78, is still an active riding instructor.
When I first met Jock in October last year I was totally amazed at the way the horses responded to him. Jock's description of himself was that he was a "broken down" old wrestler and freely admitted that he was not a "horseman". All he knew was, they bit at one end, kicked at the other and were pretty uncomfortable in the middle!! There were some moments when I thought, "Oh my lord he is going to get kicked if he stands there!" Thankfully it never happened but I did have a few heart stopping moments. For the first time in my life, I watched a horse "change shape" in front of my eyes just with this amazing Gentle Touch - no running reins, no gadgets and no pain. I have always worked with horses and not against them as I believe they are very intelligent, evolved animals and when they react to certain things, there is a good reason for it.
This amazing technique has finally given me the tools I need to finally repay these wonderful animals for all the years of pleasure they have given me. I have worked on horses in all disciplines and have had wonderful results. I was called to the race track to see a horse called Maputo Express. This brave little mare was so sore you could barely even touch her. I started treating her and after three treatments the jockey told me he could feel a big difference in her. After treating her for about 2 months she went out and won her first race. She has not looked back and still has maintenance treatments. There is not one horse that does not put his head into my arms to say thank you after a treatment and for me, well, that is rich reward.
I found Jock to be a wonderful, patient and gifted teacher and I cannot thank him enough for sharing this totally incredible gift with us here in Zimbabwe.
Yours very sincerely,
The editorial in Vol.2-Issue 6 of Natural Horse begins with the lovely understatement, Homeopathy is one of the most marvelous forms of medicine, but it is also one of the most easily misunderstood.
I think Dr. Messonniers article, Controlling Allergies in Dogs with Complementary Therapies, in the same issue of Natural Horse underscores the truth in this statement. Homeopathy is often misunderstood or poorly understood by both practitioner and patient/client.
The closer the adherence to Samuel Hahnemanns teachings, the less confusion there actually is about the art and science of Homeopathy. To this end, I would like to offer a few comments on Dr. Messonniers paragraph on Homeopathy. (Natural Horse, Vol 2-Issue 6, page 42.)
First, the rule of homeopathy is not like treats like as stated by Dr. Messonnier. Rather, the first rule of homeopathy is The Law of Similars which states Similia similibus curantur, "like cures like". Anything can treat anything, but like cures like. The depths of that change in verbiage involve more than semantics, especially when cure is defined as the rapid, gentle and permanent restoration of health, or removal and annihilation of the disease in its whole extent, in the shortest, most reliable, and most harmless way. (Organon of Medicine, Samuel Hahnemann as translated by William Boericke, Aphorism 2)
As Randi stated in her editorial of the same issue of Natural Horse, the Homeopath matches the symptoms of the patient to the symptoms shown by the remedy during provings. As Homeopaths, it is our job to find and match the strange, rare, and peculiar symptoms in the patient with those of the remedy. Then we will have a unique, individualized correlation between patient and remedy and thus will have increased our chances for helping the patient to a true cure. This is not possible if we are treating a diagnosis, rather than the patient.
If, on the other hand, we rely largely on laboratory data and the gross physical exam, we are not accurately identifying the unique character of our patient. Such an approach will not consistently match that unique character to the remedy most suited to that individual. The approach of relying on laboratory tests and local physical and pathological changes leads more to treating the diagnosis, rather than the patient. Not a very wholistic approach but an approach which gives us a number of remedies which can be tried in allergic pets.
When the Homeopath has taken a full case, has elucidated all the symptoms of the patient which can be known (mental, emotional, functional, physical, pathological), has given the remedy which most nearly approximates the individualizing symptoms of the patient, and has fully evaluated the response of the patient to that single remedy, then, and only then, can comment be made on the appropriateness of that remedy for that patient. This approach has very little to do with the conventional diagnosis, and everything to do with the individuals presentation of symptoms. The rest - the laboratory tests, the gross physical exam, the conventional diagnosis - then become important not in the selection of the remedy for the patient, but in communicating the general nature of the symptoms and in making prognostications regarding the likely evolution of the response of the patient to the remedy.
By making the shift from treating the diagnosis to treating the patient, by recognizing the allergy as a superficial manifestation of the patients chronic imbalance, and by removing the obstacles in the case (those external influences such as inappropriate nutrition, relative over-vaccination, inappropriate supplementation, inappropriate housing and management, ....), the groundwork will have been laid to treat the patient according to the principles of Homeopathy as elucidated by Samuel Hahnemann in The Organon of Medicine.
As Dana Ullman said, It should be the goal of medicine to offer treatment that not only cures, but strengthens the body sufficiently to prevent future problems. (Homeopathy, Medicine for the 21st Century)
This is a much higher ideal than to be complacent with a therapy to reduce (but probably never totally eliminate) itching...
Susan Beal, DVM, Glen Dupree, DVM, CVH
Big Run Healing Arts
Big Run, PA 15715
Reply from Shawn Messonnier, DVM:
While I generally agree with the statement, this letter is way too involved for the average reader to understand. Many diseases such as allergies are usually not cured but treated, regardless of the treatment.
We should never treat a lab test but rather use the tests and anything else at our disposal to allow us to obtain a diagnosis so that the proper treatment is selected for the whole patient (a true holistic approach.)
Ignoring conventional diagnostics is a big problem I see in pets whose owners seek a second opinion from me. Without a diagnosis even using homeopathy will only allow me to treat symptoms rather than treat the pet.
I would love it if all of our readers would give us some feedback on our homeopathy section, At Home with Homeopathy, in every issue. Are we addressing your questions? Have you learned from our articles? What would you like to know about homeopathy? What do you think homeopathy is? What can you share with us about homeopathy?
Please respond to firstname.lastname@example.org, and thanks in advance.