In this podcast, we cover:
0:36 Keep copious notes for future reference
9:13 Antibiotics act like a bulldozer
10:59 Always compare using previous notes
14:56 Joette’s headaches and how she got rid of them permanently
24:47 Pass on the knowledge and help others
Once they are over, we humans don’t generally ponder all of our previous sufferings. Soon we let them go, otherwise we’d be doomed to chronic thoughts of misery.
Hence, it is the duty of the homeopath/mom to keep careful notes. This is the only way clear comparisons between past and current symptoms can be drawn when assessing a chronic condition.
Without this information, you might be tempted to think (on the sufferer’s recall) that the remedy did not work. And this could lead to premature abandonment of the remedy that simply wasn’t used long enough.
This ability to draw clear comparisons of the symptom picture is vital.
For this is where too many people become disillusioned with homeopathy because they don’t understand that it often takes time for a remedy to fully act.
There is a practical way to approach this and how to interpret the remaining symptoms that I teach it in my classes.
One story I tell in this podcast is a personal one.
Learn the remedy Kali bichromium 30 that cured my chronic, sinus headache. Over 25 years ago…and never returned.
You are listening to a podcast from JoetteCalabrese.com where nationally certified American homeopath, public speaker, and author, Joette Calabrese, shares her passion for helping families stay healthy through homeopathy and nutrient-dense nutrition.
Jendi: Hello! This is Jendi and I am here with Joette Calabrese, and today, she has a story for us about a homeopathy cure. Is that right?
Joette: That’s my plan. Yup.
Jendi: I like to hear a good story. What do you have for us?
Keep copious notes for future reference
Joette: Well, I could write a book on the subject of cures from using homeopathic medicine and I could actually author volumes on this subject of how and when homeopathy works when all else has failed. I actually had forgotten about the one I’m going to relate today because it was a personal suffering that was so old. We humans don’t generally ponder all of our sufferings. We let them go. Otherwise, we’re basically doomed to chronic thoughts of misery and that’s not a good human condition.
Jendi: Yeah, I understand that and I think it’s probably a good thing that we don’t remember all the sufferings.
Joette: Yeah. And it’s not only so in forgetting these kinds of sufferings. It’s demonstrable. So before I begin my story, let me share with everyone what I witness every day. And although it may at the onset seem an uninteresting fact, it holds a great deal of information for those who are using homeopathy. So I’d actually like to share a little something on that particular subject, the subject of memory.
Jendi: And in particular, memory of suffering?
Joette: Yes. That’s exactly it, the subject of the memory of the suffering. And so on a day-to-day basis, I speak with clients and students and they report that they or their loved ones are very much better, of course, after using the homeopathic medicines. But there are also those who tell me they are no better after taking the remedies. We’re, of course, discussing more chronic conditions here, not an ear infection or a strep throat. So let’s stay with the chronic idea for a while.
The first thought might be when you hear something like this, I know better, is that the remedies were ill chosen. But homeopaths need to keep copious notes. And I always ask this person if they’re reporting when taking a case to give me not only the symptoms they suffer but to assign a number to each of them. So the person might report, “I get headaches.” And the question would be then, “How often?” And then you write that down, of course. “How long do they last? And let’s allocate a number to the pain on the scale of 1 to 10 so that we have a clear record of how you’re suffering.” This is all recorded in the notes now.
Okay, on to the next symptom. “Oh, you have anxiety.” “Yes, I have anxiety.” “How often do you get it?” I will tell you, I can often read someone’s anxiety by listening to their voice and demeanor. It’s not hard to do this. So I might put my two cents in there as to how it sounds in their voice. So then we ask, of course, for the frequency and the number again on the scale of 1 to 10 of the intensity or the anxiety that they’re suffering in numerical value. So the next symptom reported by the person, let’s say she’s got arthritis in her knees.
Jendi: And you write all of this down, all the symptoms and all the numbers and everything?
Joette: That’s right. And on the left side on the margin, I’m writing joints, I’m writing about knees, or mind. I’m writing about how her emotions are, or sinus issues, and I’m putting that in the sinus category so that I can review it quickly in my notes. Otherwise, when the assessment is made in two months after this person’s been taking these remedies during that period of time, it will certainly be forgotten or it will be muddled in our memories and only the present sufferings will remain clear to this person.
So the person might report that her anxiety is an 8 on a day-to-day basis and it lasts about three hours every night. All duly noted in the notes, mind you. Rarely is there only one issue, so they might also report, “I have arthritis in my knees and the pain is every morning for about two hours.” We must know how long the pain lasts, remember folks, because next time it might be different and you have to have that comparison. Because if we don’t know that, we don’t know if a 2 is good or a 7 is good. The person might also say, “I have food intolerances and can’t eat gluten and dairy or else, I get fatigue and bloating right away.”
Okay. Now, I have a fleshed out disclosure of the depth and breadth of the case. So when two months have passed after the person has taken the remedies, they report back. This is when we learn how the remedies have acted. It’s the telling moment. It’s when we determine whether or not we choose a different set of remedies or we stay with this. And invariably, most people don’t recall what they experienced two months earlier. So if I were to leave it up to them to summarize whether they were improved or not, I would be left at the mercy of their memory.
So when I ask, “How are you doing?” they might say, “There is no change. I’m no better.” But the duty of the homeopath, the mother who’s taking the case, the friend who’s taking the case of the neighbor, is to go back and review what was happening two months later with perfect numbers and assessments. So we ask, “What is not better?” And now, let’s say, the reply is, “Well, I can’t eat bread or dairy or else, I get tired and bloated.” Well, of course, this is of interest. We jot this down, too, because we want to know where we’re going to be from here two months from now. And so again, it’s jotted down to compare for the next time.
Then it’s the homeopath’s turn. “So how are your knees?” “Oh, my knees are good.” “How about the sensations of angst? The anxiety, is that still occurring?” Pause. “No. I guess that’s gone.” “So the anxiety is gone?” we ask. “Pretty much. Well, except I did feel some anxiety before boarding a plane a few weeks ago. But in general, I guess that’s better.”
Jendi: So she had originally told you that she wasn’t any better.
Joette: Yeah. And now, we’re left with this information that we think, “Oh, no, I’ve done it all wrong.” But no, with that information, one would certainly be tempted to think that the remedies didn’t act and would lead us to abandon them. And I believe it’s human nature – I’m going to repeat this again and again – to not recall all of our sufferings in detail. And when the entire constellation of symptoms is much lessened or removed, what remains becomes paramount. So we need to know that. It’s very important.
Jendi: So what do you do next?
Joette: Well, what remained was her food intolerances, right, and this is not surprising. It can often take many months, even as long as a year to see remarkable results from homeopathy and rooting out allergies and food intolerances and such. This is not to say though that there won’t be improvements here and there. But in general, allergies are deep, often inherited and then driven in deeper with each transgression of antibiotics and steroids and allergy medications.
But if we can find that the person whose complaint is a food intolerance has improved even in a small way, then we are likely to be on the path of correction. So then we might say, “Have you had any cheese lately?” “Oh, yes, I have.” And has that made you ill?” “Well, I can get away with eating cheese about once weekly. But if I eat more than that, I get bloated.” “Lovely. Because last time, you reported that every time you ate cheese, you felt swollen and bloated and couldn’t even sleep.” Now, the person might respond, and I hear this all the time, “Really, I did?”
You see, the person is still sensitive to the cheese but we’re chipping away at the problem. Now, some might find this is far too slow, but I contend it’s better than any other method with which I’m familiar, anyway. I, too, had food sensitivities in years past and I could eat very few foods without sufferings. But today, I can eat anything. And I’ve not taken remedies for food intolerances for a very long time, maybe even, I don’t know, 10, 15 years or so.
Jendi: So homeopathy doesn’t finish the job in short order or real quick, is what you’re telling us.
Joette: Well, it depends on the condition at hand. If someone has an ear infection, of course that’s an acute, remember, and they employ Hepar sulph, for example, every three hours for a few rounds, it’s likely the pain will disappear and put the person right within about a few hours, 12 hours perhaps, sometimes much less, sometimes even within the hour. And why? Because the ear infection was short lived. It wasn’t inherited. It was caught, so to speak. It was likely a bacterial infection that was just [founded – 00:08:54]. On the other hand, when someone has recently contracted food intolerances such as gluten or dairy, say within the last few years, it’s a matter of drawing out a timeline and looking back at what may have triggered such a state. So what do you suppose, Jendi, might have caused this state of affairs?
Antibiotics act like a bulldozer
Jendi: Well, from what I’ve learned from you today and in the recent past, I would guess that they took antibiotics.
Joette: Well, that’s often the case. Yes, it often will cause gut problems and gut dysbiosis.
Jendi: So then why didn’t the round of antibiotics that they took 10 years ago not cause the same problem that the one they took a month ago caused?
Joette: That’s a good question. I believe that it can be cumulative. I think the human body can only take so much and perhaps for that particular person, one round is able to be withstood while more than one might be just one too many.
Jendi: I’ve heard you use an image of a bulldozer in relation to antibiotics. Could you tell us about that?
Joette: Yes. I liken antibiotics to a bulldozer. A bulldozer goes into the virgin forest and it wipes it clean and then it exits. And now, the forest has to start up on its own again. It doesn’t have the plants. It doesn’t have the trees that it had before. It doesn’t mean that it won’t grow again. Of course, it will. We see little sprouts coming up within a few days if there’s moisture and warmth and sun. But it takes many months for a bush to grow and it takes many years for a tree to grow. And so all of that has to be reestablished. And even 10 years after the bulldozer has left, the land is still not virgin. It will take a long, long time for it to come even close to its original virgin state. Of course, it will never be considered virgin ever again. So once that bulldozer leaves, just because someone’s not on antibiotics now or it only happened five years ago, it doesn’t mean that those antibiotics haven’t changed the gut and created something new.
Always compare using previous notes
Jendi: It’s always good to have the visuals and that does make it a lot clearer and that helps me to remember.
Joette: Yeah. I want to make it clear for those who are treating their families, and those who are students of mine, or those who simply use my blog from which to learn, that you must always keep copious notes. Not long ones, just detailed in the correct fashion. We must always remember the phrase, “Compared to what?” How are you now? Compared to what? Now, you’re not going to ask the person, “Compared to what?” because they’re not going to remember. That was your job to know the comparison. When they say, “I’m the same,” “Compared to what” is what’s going on in your mind.
And the only way you can answer that is if you give it a numerical value, length of time and space between each episode of that particular symptom. Because I practically guarantee if the person were to look back, they have forgotten it. They often say, “It’s the same. I’m the same.” And when I hear someone say, “I’m the same,” I say, “Tell me what you mean by the same.” Now, most people think you’re supposed to remember that along with them but we can’t remember it. Even if we’ve written it down, we want to know that there’s a change. And they are the ones who are not going to remember it, generally speaking.
Jendi: The comparison aspect sounds like it is very key. Is that right?
Joette: Yeah, it is. It’s paramount, vital. It’s the most important aspect of being the person who’s curing their family. This is the place where too many become disillusioned with homeopathy, even other medical paradigms as well, thinking that snap, and it’s all done. Because even doctors complain about this, too, after someone is using a drug. Sometimes, they’ll tell the doctor the exact same thing. Even though they’re using drugs, they still have to keep notes to determine how it was before and compared to how it is now. Homeopathy will take their woes away but I don’t want people to think that it is magical. You must know how to approach the case, how to interpret the remaining symptoms, and assess their degree of change and help them recall what they were suffering with last time so as to match it appropriately.
Remember, this is medicine we’re talking about. Homeopathy is elegant medicine. It’s efficacious and well-documented but particularly in chronic conditions, it is not often rapid. For long-term illnesses, sometimes we must be patient. Sometimes, we must be happy with two steps forward and one back. Even with this pace, it is a better stride, in my estimation, than drug medicine. Because allopathy doesn’t claim to be able to cure gut dysbiosis or food intolerances and allergies. All they do is treat the symptoms. With homeopathy, it has a history of being able to do this but we might have to give it some time.
Jendi: It sounds as though it’s all about perspective.
Joette: Yes, it is. And I use numbers to assess that perspective. So it was a 9 in pain that lasted three hours and it was daily. Now, it’s a 5 lasting 30 minutes and it occurs about once a week. That tells us we’re moving in the right direction and we don’t change the remedies. We stay with them. Sufferers are not going to put it to you in that fashion. It’s up to the homeopathic mom to draw it out and write it down. So we must also use our measuring stick that is in a macro way of viewing it, not unlike the commodities market. When we’re in it, we experience daily ups and downs. “Oh, no, it’s going up.” “No, it’s going down.” We don’t know what it’s doing. It’s not until you pull back from a distance and view it from a macro perspective that the ups and downs become less significant. Because remember, we’re always aiming at long-term resolution, so we don’t want to get caught up in the day-to-day, “Oh, no, it’s doing this. Now, I’m doing that. Now, this is happening.” Give it a couple of months and then you’ll get a much, much better perspective.
Joette’s headaches and how she got rid of them permanently
Jendi: All right. I think I’ve got it. In the beginning, you mentioned you have a story to share with us.
Joette: Oh, yeah. Let’s get to that. I went on and on, didn’t I? It’s a personal story that will help demonstrate something that I hope will help our listeners understand what to expect when using homeopathy. So here’s my story. Many years ago – and this is a true story – I suffered from repeated sinus headaches. I never had any infections, just headaches. They were debilitating. No infections, just pain every time the barometric pressure made a change. Well, I live on the Great Lakes, on Lake Erie, and the barometer changes nearly biweekly.
So I lived with these pains nearly chronically. So I foolishly took analgesics and after a while, they didn’t help enough. I just wanted to live my life so I went to Canada – I live right on the border of Canada and the US – where I could get over-the-counter products called 222s. At the time, I’m talking back in the early 80s, they were not legal in the US, this drug, without a prescription, so I’d scoot over the bridge to Canada, a stone’s throw away from my home, and stock up on these little “dolls”, reminiscent of Valley of the Dolls. I thought I was clever to have figured this out.
Well, it turned out I wasn’t in the least bit clever because the more I took them, the more I took them. I was becoming immune to them. And after a while, my stomach began to bother me, and constipation set in, and too many woes to mention here. So I decided one day to stop, not just those but stop everything, simply stop. I recognized that I was pretty sick with the drug and I was pretty sick without it, just with a different set of symptoms. It was kind of like an epiphany for me. I was also taking other meds for other issues, too, you know, Maalox, because of what the drugs were doing, and plenty of others. I’ll admit it. I was foolish.
Jendi: Did you just stop the medication cold turkey?
Joette: Yes. And I rarely do anything just a little bit, to be honest. I suffered for many months, it might even be close to a year, dragging myself to work with this awful pain but at least having ceased the use of one drug and the side effects that went along with it.
Jendi: Once you stopped the use of the drugs, did the side effects completely stop also?
Joette: No, they did not. Parenthetically, I have to add that side effects don’t just always melt away just because you’ve stopped the drug. They can often, and do, become a permanent fixture in the body. Well, anyway, it was about this time that I had learned a little homeopathy and stumbled upon a remedy that is specific for the kind of pain I was experiencing in my face, head, and sinuses. The pain was worse on the left side and actually began above my left eyebrow and then it radiated and went across the whole front of my face. I mean, it radiated like a migraine-type pain across my forehead and then down under my eyes. And by the way, I don’t know if I mentioned, I don’t think I did, I had seen many doctors about this and no one could help me other than just giving me pain relievers.
Jendi: No, you hadn’t told us that yet.
Joette: Okay. Well, anyway, they were always eager to offer their advice which was written on a prescription pad, of course. And at first, I always remained hopeful that this doc would find the answer to my painful head but it took me years to get with the program. It took me an extravagant amount of time to catch on to what they could offer and I finally learned they could offer me nothing but more drugs, and I had had it with that paradigm at this point.
So in one of my first homeopathy books, I read about a remedy called Kali bichromicum 30X. It seemed to fit the picture of the kind of pain I was experiencing. So I took a dose and nothing happened. There was no change in the pain. So then after suffering with the pain for another few days or so, I reread the chapter and kind of realized that you often have to repeat a remedy a few times for it to take effect, so I did that. And to my delight, it went away after about three doses separated by three hours between each dose. So it took a day’s worth but it went away. Now, I knew what to take for each headache that descended upon me every week or 10 days or so.
But something happened. Instead of getting the horrible pain the next time the barometer changed, I became an expert on weather, I might say, because of this malady. I arranged my life around it. I didn’t get a headache at the next change. And the clouds came through and then they lifted to reveal the blue sky and the sun and nothing happened. No pain. This was the first time I’d been without this pain for years ever since I had moved back to my hometown of Buffalo, New York.
Jendi: So did you get any other headaches after that?
Joette: Well, I did. About a month later or something like that, remember this was 25 years or so ago so I don’t exactly recall, but the barometer dipped and I got a headache. But this time was a little different. It was not as painful, kind of like a shadow of its former self, not as debilitating. But I took the Kali bichromicum 30 again. And while I was waiting to take a second and a third dose, I forgot all about the pain. It was gone with only one dose. And that was that.
Jendi: So what do you mean? It took away the pain then?
Joette: Well, yes, but permanently. That was the last time I ever had a sinus barometric headache again. In fact, I’ve never had any kind of headache ever since that time, not any kind of headache. So I can’t even say that well, it moved to another part of my head and it was dismissed for this kind of pain but now it’s that kind of pain. Never again.
Jendi: That’s amazing.
Joette: It is. A little $10 bottle of Kali bichromicum 30 with a total of only four doses completely cured my chronic, debilitating, years old, drug treated, silly-decision-making-around-it headaches.
Jendi: That’s awesome. And you could have avoided all those trips to Canada and to the doctor and everything.
Joette: Yeah, absolutely. This is one of those gobsmacking stories. And now, I don’t want to give you the impression that this is what will happen to everyone in every case. After all, again, it’s not magic, it’s medicine, in spite of the fact that it seems that way sometimes, and this one certainly seemed magical to me. But I want to remind people, homeopathy is honest. It’s polite. It didn’t hit me in the head. It didn’t cause liver problems. It didn’t get me addicted to codeine. It’s unlike much of modern medicine that is beguiling, leading us to believe that the steroids on the eczematous skin is an answer, or that a child’s fever requires an antibiotic or Tylenol.
But I want to differentiate between a functional problem and an architectural one as well. That is, the architecture of my sinuses was intact. They were not distorted that I knew of. There were no growths as far as I knew. But what was occurring was that they were ill-functioning under the circumstances of weather changes. Now, my guess is probably at the same time, I was also probably eating foods that were adding to this picture to a certain degree, too, but it mattered not because it was completely done. Additionally, this illness was not a very old one. That is, it was not something that had plagued me since I was a child or that I had inherited but rather, only for about four years since I moved back to Buffalo, New York on the Great Lakes.
Jendi: In your case, if you had to report to a homeopath what had occurred, you would have been able to remember the success of that remedy.
Joette: Oh, there’s no doubt. This was such a memorable event. I doubt anyone would be incapable of its recollection. And I hear this from clients and students on a regular basis. But had my results been less impressive, it would have been important that the homeopath had kept a record of how often my headaches repeated, how severe and how long lasting they were so that all the important comparisons could be made. And again, why is this comparison important, Jendi?
Jendi: Because it gives information as to whether the remedy is correct and needs to be used for a longer period of time or if it has to be changed.
Joette: That’s right. That’s exactly right. So having said this, I have witnessed the same results in others with sinus pain on the left side. It simply vanishes after using this remedy. So little to no investigation is even necessary in this particular case.
Jendi: So what if you have sinus pain on the right side? Will that remedy work?
Joette: Oh, good question. Yes, but usually only if the pain begins on the left side or is above the eyebrow and is accompanied by tenacious mucus. Now, I didn’t have the mucus but some people do, and that’s when Kali bichromicum acts best. But there’s also another remedy called Sanguinaria and many others, too. Sanguinaria happens to be one of the remedies that I choose that I find that works for sinus infections or postnasal drip or other nose and sinus allergic conditions. It’s a great remedy as well. And as I said, there are others but these are my two top remedies specific for sinus issues.
Pass on the knowledge and help others
Jendi: So to wrap up today’s session, what are your closing words and how will you tie it all together?
Joette: Well, some might say that this story I relay is simply anecdotal. And their aim often when they do that would be to make it sound useless or nonscientific, without merit; hence, dismissible. And I say that to look at this kind of evidence dismissively is incandescently stupid. This is how we learn every day, all day. We learn from others. We share experiences. We pass along something that has helped us to others who can benefit. We lend a hand. So from my personal sufferings and triumphs to your hip pocket, I urge people to tuck this away to help someone who has sinus pain that either begins on the left side or even stays on the left side, for someone who has tenacious mucus and is painful from the barometric pressure shifts. Then if you find that this helps, pass it on to others. This is how we learn. This is how we do this.
Six hundred million people in the world depend on homeopathy. Today, there are 100 million people alone in India who depend on it and it is vastly on the rise. In fact, it’s said that it will double by 2017 in India. Is it any wonder that the competition is worried and coming out with their dukes up? Make note, folks, this is the medicine of the future and I urge all our listeners, students, my clients, and people who I will never meet or hope to meet, make it yours and your future, too.
Jendi: Thank you so much, Joette, for all your information, for sharing it freely with the podcast and all the information on the blog.
Joette: Oh, it’s my pleasure. Thanks for doing this with me, Jendi.
Thank you for listening to this podcast with Joette Calabrese. If you liked it, please share it with your friends. To learn more and find out if homeopathy is a good fit in your health strategy, visit JoetteCalabrese.com and schedule a free 15-minute conversation with Joette herself.
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Joette is not a physician and the relationship between Joette and her clients is not of prescriber and patient, but as educator and client. It is fully the client's choice whether or not to take advantage of the information Joette presents. Homeopathy doesn't "treat" an illness; it addresses the entire person as a matter of wholeness that is an educational process, not a medical one. In order to be treated or diagnosed, Joette believes that the advice of a holistic physician is in order.