Dr David Lilley gave a wonderful and inspiring webinar on :
How to treat children with Homeopathy to prevent more serious illnesses in adult life
You can view the recording here and read the transcript of the talk below.
Transcript of talk
Welcome to you all and thanks for joining us on this spring afternoon in the UK. Here, in Somerset West, just outside Cape Town, at the southernmost tip of Africa, it is autumn, and we are at last enjoying cooler weather and the first rains of our wet, winter season.
It is a great pleasure to have this opportunity to spend some healing time with you. Firstly, to briefly explain why gaining homeopathic knowledge and prescribing skills are of such value for parents, especially in these difficult times, and secondly, to answer any questions you may have about homeopathy and its role in domestic health.
I was fortunate to be brought up in a homeopathic family. My father was a homeopath; practicing first in Leeds, where I was born, and later in London, until we emigrated to South Africa in early 1949.
I was born in 1940, a year after the outbreak of WWII. During the London blitz, I was evacuated out of London back to my family in Yorkshire, but not before being exposed to air raid sirens, blackouts, the drone of enemy bombers, the sound and impact of bombs falling nearby, the dreaded whistle of V2 rockets, and next day, the sight of familiar buildings about us reduced to rubble. It was a time of great stress for my family and of course, for myself: consciously, and more importantly, unconsciously. At seven, I was sent to boarding school – a tender age, when being sent away from home is often traumatic, fraught with homesickness that could explain the life-threatening bacterial meningitis, I fell prey to six months later.
I mention these events from my early life because so many children, in one way or another, are exposed to traumatic experiences: the loss of grandparents, parents, siblings, much loved pets, bullying at school, harsh, insensitive schooling, and far too often, parental dysfunction, domestic strife and broken homes. Such happenings impinge on emotional and physical health and have lingering consequences persisting into adulthood, often detrimentally affecting personality, thus bringing about wrong choices and decisions in life, and encouraging behaviour hurtful to oneself and others.
I was blessed to have a homeopathic father able to prescribe appropriate homeopathic remedies for all that befell me, remedies that nullified the effects of emotional trauma, calmed my fears, healed my wounds, and protected me against infections, even the bacterial meningitis of 1947: a time when antibiotics were in their infancy, and an infectious disease that even when survived often leaves permanent neurological damage.
The wide ambit of conditions that homeopathic remedies can address and cure extends across the entire field of medicine from simple wounds, injuries and infections to the deepest emotional disturbances.
My childhood was a time of war, and, during the aftermath, a time of privation and rationing, circumstances were difficult and challenging, but the planet was in a far better state of health than it is today. Climate change was only just beginning, the ozone layer was still intact, the air we breathed was cleaner, rivers less polluted, equatorial forests more extensive, animal life more abundant, chemical toxicity less – Chernobyl and micro-plastic pollution was yet to come.
Today, the negative influences impinging emotionally and physically on ourselves and our children, are more alarming than ever before and are steadily increasing. Yet again, the world is at war and the shock waves of human conflict and suffering impact upon us all – consciously or unconsciously.
Added to these dangers are the subtle effects of high frequency energy waves generated by ever-advancing technology; the insidious effects of addiction to a virtual rather than a real world and widespread substance-abuse amongst the young.
These dangers are reason enough for concern, but there is another danger – just as grave – if not graver. A threat that goes unheeded, or remains largely unmentioned, even by those who are deeply concerned about climate change, about looming ecological disaster, and about the ongoing extinction of species – and that is – the mounting state of human pollution resulting from the consumption of billions upon billions of dollars of pharmaceutical products every year in the vain hope of mitigating or eradicating human disease by chemical means.
Across the wide spectrum of emotional and physical illnesses that afflict mankind – infections, allergies, digestive disorders, auto-immune conditions, hormonal imbalances, musculoskeletal problems – insomnia, anxiety and depression – learning and behavioural difficulties in children – conventional medicine has arrayed an impressive battery of chemicals. All of which act mechanistically, not curatively – testified by the vast number of people who are on permanent, chronic medication.
As valuable and even lifesaving as chemical medicine may be, especially in emergency situations and overwhelming infections, it does not resolve disease processes at a causative level, nor does it stimulate and encourage the inherent capacity of the body to heal itself and bring about a permanent curative change.
Conventional drugs act by overcoming opportunistic organisms and by suppression, control, replacement, supplementation, and palliation; all invaluable when called for and no alternative exists, but in terms of healing, these mechanical approaches are simplistic and very much like applying a band-aid strip. The underlying cause, responsible for the lack of resistance to infection, responsible for the metabolic imbalance or the disease process, persists. Not only does it persist – it increases.
When symptoms of imbalance and malfunction are continually suppressed, the energy of the condition is driven inwards – it implodes – and a deeper level of dysfunction results. A simple instance of this is the suppression of skin diseases – for example, eczema by the application of coal tar or cortisone creams. The disappearance of the skin eruption is often followed by the development of allergies, typically hay-fever or allergic rhinitis, which, in turn, when suppressed by antihistamines, drives the underlying condition to an even deeper level of expression, often leading to asthma, which requires even more stringent measures of control.
Eczema hay-fever asthma – clearly a path towards disease, not towards healing.
Like all life forms, the human body evolved through natural selection: a screening process by which genetic changes beneficial to survival are passed on to succeeding generations. Summed up, this means survival of the fittest – the survival of organisms, species and individuals blessed with a competitive advantage – a natural law that extends not only to human life, but to human society – those best able to defend themselves, those best able to accommodate and adapt, succeed and prosper.
For thousands and thousands of years, the human constitution has survived and flourished due to its innate capacity to defend itself appropriately when challenged and to restore itself when injured – it possesses all the necessary defence and repair systems and the knowledge of how to deploy them – the body knows best how to survive and how to heal itself. This is born out in the instance of a simple open wound. We can ensure it is clean, we can stitch it when necessary, but only the body can heal the wound.
Our ancestors perceived this and honoured this innate wisdom. Still in touch with the Great Mother Goddess and her all-loving, all-powerful omnipresence, they knew that She had created the Cosmos for the benefit of humanity and that she would have blessed her earth-children not only with ready, at hand, natural remedies for their ailments, she would have designated each a therapeutic signature, whereby its healing virtue might be recognised: an encoded token accessible to human insight and intuition. Over generations, the shamans, the medicine men and women of old, assembled an enduring legacy of medicinal knowledge, derived from minerals, plants and animals, which they bequeathed to posterity.
To be easily recognised, the therapeutic code revealing a substance’s healing power had to be based on similarity. A root that oozes red sap when damaged indicates its ability to staunch haemorrhage, plants bearing yellow flowers declare their affinity for the liver; plants, that have red berries, like the hawthorn, are demonstrating their ability to benefit the heart and the arterial circulation; blue flowers indicate a more venous persuasion. These therapeutic similarities and connections extend to all we can observe and know about the properties of minerals, the botany of plants and the natural history of animals.
Arnica, a plant famous for the treatment of bruises and injuries, grows best on mountain slopes, where it will be of greatest use. A bee sting causes great swelling or oedema and even death from anaphylactic shock; by association through similarity, bee venom prepared homeopathically is a wonderful remedy for kidney disease and severe allergic reactions. Scorpion stings are extremely painful and can prove fatal. In such an event, African tribes use the scorpion itself as a remedy, either crushed and applied locally to the area of the sting or roasted and eaten.
From these observations and experiences, the ancients fathomed a fundamental law of nature: the Law of Similars – the truth, that what a substance can cause, it can cure – or stated the other way round – a substance can cure what it can cause. This postulate is captured in the old adage – ‘he needs a little of the hair of the dog that bit him.’ This saying presents another truth – it is by using very, very little of the causative substance that cure is achieved. This is the Law of the Infinitesimal Dose.
The Law of Similars and the Law of the Infinitesimal Dose are the fundamental laws on which homeopathy is based. Unlike conventional medicine, homeopathy is a healing paradigm or system of therapeutics – it is not suppressive, it is not palliative, nor is it replacement therapy. It does not mask; it heals!
Healing does not mean the mere disappearance of symptoms – since, this can be achieved by chemical suppression – it means restoration of the entire economy to a state of on-going vigour, health and balance, experienced both mentally and physically, by utilising, stimulating and enhancing the body’s own curative, defensive and restorative powers.
Newtonian science has estranged the scientific mind from the maternal, healing power of Nature. It has swept all before it and presents for our belief, a mindless, clockwork universe which came into being by chance without higher purpose, direction or intent.
This science believes in an inverted hierarchy, in which matter is the foundation of all life. Mind, consciousness, and even genius, all being the result of complex, neuronal activity. To such a science, the human being is a soulless combination of cells, organs and systems without higher destiny or any continuity of existence: a transient manifestation without a past or a future other than its lifespan. These cold, pragmatic assumptions underpin the science of modern medicine and explain its mechanistic approach to human disease.
With this estrangement from Mother Nature comes the presumptuous conclusion that science is wiser than nature, that it knows better than the body how to manage and combat disease. This misconception swings into action in the conventional medical response to a simple fever – one of the very first challenges a mother faces in looking after and protecting her baby.
Fever is the body’s strategic response to a viral or bacterial infection. The raised body temperature slows viral and bacterial replication and blunts the invading organism’s aggression – its ability to spread, attack tissues and harm the body. At the same time, the raised temperature evidences and speeds up the body’s vigorous, healthy reaction to invasion – the mobilisation of its forces, the priming of its defence systems. The fever is crucial to the body’s ability to overcome the infection. It signals that the lights are on; the wheels of the factory are turning; the body’s killer cells are acting.
All this is well known, yet the modern knee-jerk response to infective fever is to prescribe an anti-pyrexial or anti-inflammatory drug – aspirin, paracetamol, ibuprofen – drugs to be found in most homes and on all pharmacy, self-medication shelves. Imagine the insult these chemical substances offer the body’s finely balanced, highly sophisticated defence systems. They disempower the body, dampen its ability to defend itself, and disrupt the natural course of illness towards a rapid resolution that will strengthen the body against future infection.
During the fever, the body is manufacturing specific antibodies perfectly matched to the genetic configuration of the invading organism. When the battle is won without chemical interference, the memory of how victory was achieved is stored in the body’s archives. In the event of future infection, antibodies can be mobilised rapidly and efficiently.
At first, the robust, healthy child will manage to overcome infection even though hampered by anti-inflammatories, but each time fever is suppressed in this way, the body’s defence systems are progressively weakened and eventually anti-pyrexials do not suffice; the fever persists or undulates up and down, and more serious signs of infection develop, necessitating the administration of antibiotics.
We set a thief to catch a thief and only mischief can result.
Now the drugs do the work, antibody manufacture is impaired or fails, and the body has no memory of success to fall back on when next challenged. The scene is set for recurrent infections and the general decline of the child’s health, which will be experienced emotionally, intellectually and physically; consequences that will be carried forward into adult life.
The antibiotic thief we have employed disturbs the normal balance of the bowel flora, the commensal, friendly organisms that live within us and support our metabolism, especially our assimilation, nutrition and development. Even judiciously administered probiotics cannot compensate for the toxic effects of recurrent antibiotic therapy. The child’s ability to flourish emotionally and physically is impaired.
When the body produces a fever, it is working at its optimal best.
Come what may, the body always works at its optimal best.
But when chemical suppression is repeatedly applied, the optimal best the body can achieve is blighted.
Unfortunately, through inheritance, the body’s defences can be impaired from birth.
Conception is not a fresh, pristine start to life, it is not a cleansing or erasure of family history. A continuum of disease exists that extends through the generations. The diseases of our ancestors are most surely visited upon us. All our family trees are fraught with the legacy of the past – a legacy that impinges on us emotionally, intellectually and physically. All families bear the consequences of inherited disease – all are tainted with the residual effects of ancient skin diseases; of gonorrhoea, a ubiquitous STD in all societies; of syphilis that spread through Europe like a wildfire in the fifteen hundreds; and tuberculosis that was rife in the Romantic Era. These account for the many and varied diseases that afflict mankind today – nothing is random or by chance.
No new-born cherub, no matter how perfectly formed, no matter how pink and glowing, no matter how robust or vigorous, is free of what homeopathic science terms chronic, miasmatic disease – a miasm being an inherited blight, stigma or contamination. Cradle cap may be the first intimation of such a blemish, colic may be another, intolerance to mother’s milk another – teething problems, the typical children’s illnesses – but so also: temper tantrums, incessant screaming, insomnia, night terrors, nail biting, childhood fears and phobias, and later on, the learning difficulties and behavioural problems that beset so many and can determine the course life will follow and influence destiny.
Striving always to mitigate the effects of inherited disease, the body’s defence systems will always externalise the problem, throwing it outwards to the least harmful place e.g., the skin or mucous membranes. When drug therapy thwarts this, the condition is thrust inwards and a more serious level of disease results which though hidden, sometimes for years, will eventually result in emotional and physical consequences. The disease energy has been imploded and hence further corrupted. Emotional breakdown or cancer may be the outcome.
By responding early to the promptings of nature: treating the early warning signs of inherited disease appropriately with homeopathic remedies carefully matched to the presenting picture, the body’s own healing power can be harnessed and brought to the very optimum required to bring about healing at the deepest level possible.
The stage upon which conventional drugs act is the objective plane of existence, but the stage upon which we enact our lives, experience our joys, suffer our griefs, and fulfil our destiny is primarily on a subjective plane far beyond the reach of chemical medicine. It is upon this subjective stage that the causes of disease are found. It is here, where we suffer, struggle and survive that changes detrimental to health originate and cascade into the mental and physical spheres. Any curative system of medicine must be able to act at this subtle level to bring about permanent healing. The infinitesimal, imponderable, hence spirit-like, homeopathic potency or energy, can reach beyond the objective into the subjective plane and address the essence of disease at its point of origin: the interface between the soul and the ego-self.
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