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By William F. Falconer, D.V.M.

We in the Western world have come to expect miracles. This is wonderful in some respects, as it allows that good things can happen and helps foster optimism. In the field of health care, we may take this idea too far, and this can lead to the damaging of long term health in favor of quick "cures." Are miracles possible in healing our animals and ourselves? Certainly! Look at the people who’ve overcome cancer with humor and good nutrition and visualization. Look at the animals, given up as hopeless, who’ve found holistic care as a "last resort" before euthanasia, and have gone on to live for years in health their caretakers never imagined possible. But let’s look carefully at what constitutes a true miracle versus those procedures that appear miraculous on the surface.

Since the "wonder drugs" exploded on the scene in the post WWII years, and technology has been applied more and more to health care (or, more accurately, disease management), we see people as a whole wanting to be rid of disease immediately, not recognizing that healing is a process that must be respected. We have become a consumer-orientated society fixed on instant gratification.

In veterinary medicine we see some common examples of this approach, what I call "medical myopia." The horse that pulls up lame is given "bute", an anti-inflammatory that masks the pain, and, in the worst case, the animal is put to use again too soon, causing further injury. The dog that has itchy skin is commonly given a shot of cortisone or a prescription of prednisone to take at home, and, like magic, the itch is gone! Unfortunately, it comes back sooner after every shot, and at some point, more serious problems begin (that are not usually seen as related to the original problem that was only palliated). In the feline realm, the male cat who has repeated bouts of crystals blocking his urethra so that he is unable to urinate, gets a surgical "cure" by having his penis cut open and, essentially, obliterated. In a recent issue of a journal touting advances in veterinary medicine, a surgical "cure" for dogs that have chronically irritated feet was revealed. It seems the problem was "solved" by sewing the dogs’ toes together to eliminate the interdigital skin where the problem occurred! I wish this was a joke; unfortunately, it is very real, and points out with great clarity how far we’ve strayed from understanding the intelligence and wisdom of the body.

The importance of seeking the broad picture cannot be overemphasized. And this is a challenge for most of us, because we live in a reductionistic world. We veterinarians are trained to see problems as isolated events, and within any disease, we learn to focus on isolating and treating symptoms individually. So, if we have a cat with fever, inflamed eyes, and diarrhea, the conventional approach would be to treat with a drug for bringing the fever down, an antibiotic and/or steroid ointment for the eyes, and a third drug for controlling diarrhea. This fractionated approach often gets results, because the body responds to any medicine, though it is not likely to be a curative response. Homeopathically speaking, the vital force was momentarily distracted and the symptoms went into a different form. This also happens in the case when a cat is treated with antibiotics for an inflamed bladder - even though bacteria do not cause the symptoms (many bladders culture negative for bacteria in those cases), the drug causes a change in the vital force and the picture changes. When symptoms disappear, we assume cure has taken place. When the condition returns, we go through more treatment, the symptoms again disappear and we count it as another success. After repeated bouts of this, the vital force sees no avenue to express itself, and things become deeper and more serious. Now we may have kidney failure, and that set of symptoms is treated. You get the picture - the shortsighted conventional medical view sees no deeper than treating each set of symptoms as they arise, and the patient is moved no closer to wellness.

How many of you have had a friend or relative or animal that had cancer treated with the usual surgery or chemotherapy? How long did the person or animal survive afterward? The myopic view that has taken over in medicine says that if we remove the cancer the patient is "cured". Yet, what about the state of health that created the tumor? There was something very wrong in the vital force that allowed the tumor to be created, and if that disordered state is not addressed, the tumors will be back or something more serious will crop up.

Homeopathy offers the solution to help us crawl out of the trenches that limit our vision of what defines healing, cure, and health. The view of the body as being governed by the vital force, or innate intelligence, gives us a much clearer understanding of what really happens with disease and its treatment. Cure in this view means the complete elimination of the symptoms with enhanced well-being and increased resistance to future disease. This is what real miracles are made of! And even if this takes some time to accomplish, isn’t this what we really desire for our animal friends and ourselves?

Reprinted with Permission from the May/June Issue of Tiger Tribe

Dr. Will Falconer, Certified Veterinary Homeopath, Austin, Texas, provides classical homeopathy for animals globally. His web site explores nutrition with Dick and Jane: (Optional: 512/288-5400)

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