There’s more to medicine than homeopathy
I continued to study homeopathy and attend seminars and I also became more motivated to learn new ways of helping patients help themselves. I learned about the importance of a healthy diet and exercise. One day a colleague of mine told me that a patient of mine had consulted him and complained that I’d given her too much to do. I looked at the notes and saw that in addition to homeopathy I’d prescribed a strict diet, skin brushing and daily cold showers. And she repays all my hard work by not coming back. So I learned to see things from the patient’s point of view and only prescribed regimens that I thought had a good chance of being carried out! All part of the learning process; all grist for the mill.
In 1975, as a first-year medical student, I had learned Transcendental Meditation (TM) and benefited a great deal from this powerful technique. I knew that many patients were under a huge amount of stress and that dealing with that stress could only alleviate their condition. I hesitated to recommend TM as I knew that it had religious connections and was headed up by a well-known guru, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. Although I was no disciple, I did not feel comfortable sitting in a Western medical practice and prescribing something connected to any religion.
My teacher, Dr Ledermann, had mentioned something called Autogenic Training (now called Autogenic Therapy, AT) that was a systematic form of very deep relaxation that had been developed by a Dr. Johannes Schulz in Germany. He didn’t teach me how to do it but I knew that Dr. Alice Greene, one of my homeopathic colleagues, and a co-author of this book was teaching a course. Alice was kind enough to accept me as a pupil on her course and I learned how to achieve a very quiet state of mind and body. I later learned how to teach AT and have used it ever since in my practice.
Statistics show that the great majority of patients consulting GP’s are suffering from complaints either caused or exacerbated by stress. It remains a mystery why, in the light of this well-established evidence, doctor do not teach their patients how to dump stress. In my opinion, the waiting room of every general practice in England could be used to teach AT to patients every night of the week! Crazy? I don’t think so. After all the word ‘doctor’ actually means teacher. Tell patients to relax? They’ve heard it all before. Invite them to relaxation classes? Now they have a choice: Should I do something to help myself or should I change my doctor?