Many folks are curious about how I found my way to homeopathy, about my allopathic training, and about other aspects of my background. In response, here is a bit of my personal history.
I grew up in northern New Jersey, and knew by the time I was eight years old that I wanted to be a veterinarian. As you might expect, I had all of the usual pets, and a few unusual ones. My thanks to my Mom and Dad for their patience and support through an endless succession of furred, feathered, scaled and shelled critters that I brought home. ("I'll take care of him, Mom. I promise!")
In my teens, I bred and showed tropical fish. This is the earliest experience I can recall that started me thinking more holistically. I discovered that my fish bred more successfully, and were more disease resistant, when fed live food (brine shrimp, tubifex worms) than when given commercial 'fish food'. Hmmm...
In college, I couldn't have a dog or a cat, so I got a boa constrictor named Owsley. I had Owsley for 16 years, and even managed to find him a mate. Imagine coming home from a backpacking trip to find 15 baby boas swarming around the habitat!
I'd like to think that my considerable adolescent rebelliousness eventually matured into a healthy nonconformity. In any case, I've always thought for myself, and so it's not surprising that by the time I finished veterinary school I had already joined the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association, and was particularly interested in nutrition. I quickly embraced and studied herbal medicine, and explored kinesiology, electroacupuncture, and other holistic modalities.
None of that, however, prepared me for my introduction to homeopathy. I moved to Santa Cruz, California in 1983, and met Dr. Richard Pitcairn, who was also living there at the time. He encouraged me to learn about homeopathy, but in my youthful arrogance I felt that I was doing just fine, thank you, with my nutrition and herbs. Then came a case that completely stymied my every effort to help. She was a German Shepherd named Halley who was dying from a chronic cough. Seriously! She had been coughing day and night for weeks, could not eat or sleep, had become emaciated, and was headed toward death. Nothing that I did, including allopathic drug treatment, had any effect whatsoever. Finally, Lori, Halley's caretaker, called to ask me if she could try a homeopathic remedy, Arsenicum album, which had been recommended by a human homeopath she knew. To make a long story short, the Arsenicum quickly cured the cough. It turns out that Halley had been treated for heartworms three years earlier, and arsenic is the active ingredient in the drug that had been given. The drug had induced a state like chronic arsenic poisoning. Thus, I had my first lesson in Similia Similibus Curentur: like cures like.
Needless to say, I was blown away. Shortly thereafter, I signed up for Richard's very first homeopathy workshop.
Homeopathy is more than a system of medicine; it is a way of thinking. Learning to think homeopathically is like learning to think in a different language. Not everyone is able to make the paradigm shift necessary to change from allopathic to homeopathic thinking. It turned out that I have a certain aptitude for this very unique system of medicine and thought.
I have continued to study all these years with some of the best teachers in the world. Along with the advancement of my homeopathic skills, and, in part, as a result of my own homeopathic treatment, I have also experienced considerable personal and spiritual growth. To paraphrase Samuel Hahnemann, the founder of homeopathy, in the first paragraph of his Organon, it all works together in the wondrous process of living life and striving to achieve one's highest potential.
While still studying with Vega, in 1990-91, I took a year-long course with Paul Herscu, ND, of the New England School of Homeopathy.
Finally, from 1996-99, I studied with Jeremy Sherr, another master homeopath for humans. Upon completing the three-year course, I received a PCH degree (Practitioner of Classical Homeopathy) from the Dynamis School of Homeopathy, with a specialty in philosophy.
Along the way, I have also studied, at least briefly, with George Vithoulkas, Vassilis Ghegas, Lou Klein, Misha Norland, Miranda Castro, Roger Morrison, Amy Rothenberg, and others.
In summary, the vast majority of my homeopathic training has been with some of the most advanced human prescribers in the world. I have translated that training into dog and cat terms (and, more recently, horse terms) in order to help my furry patients. As a result, I have been fortunate to have access to some of the deepest insight and most sophisticated techniques available in the world of homeopathy today.
I have written quite a few articles over the years for publication in holistic or homeopathic journals.
In the earlier years, I wrote for the journals of the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association (AHVMA) and the California Holistic Veterinary Medical Association (CHVMA). One reason that I started writing very early in my homeopathic career is that I took over as editor of the CHVMA newsletter from Richard Pitcairn in 1986. As you can probably imagine, it is a real challenge to get busy professionals to write publishable articles. In order to fill those pages, I started writing up my own cases that had responded dramatically to homeopathic treatment.
As my homeopathic skill improved, I was asked to write articles for human homeopathic journals, specifically Homeopathy Today, the Journal of the National Center for Homeopathy (NCH), Resonance, the Journal of the International Foundation for Homeopathy (IFH), and the New England Journal of Homeopathy.
Most recently, I have been writing for the Journal of the Academy of Veterinary Homeopathy (AVH), since this is where I feel I can do the most good.
In the past 5 years, the number of veterinarians practicing homeopathy in some form has increased about fivefold. As a result, most veterinary homeopaths practicing today are, at the very least, relatively inexperienced. I try to support and assist my colleagues in their professional growth by sharing what I have learned through articles, conference presentations, seminars, and mentoring.
Since the journals for which I write have a relatively limited circulation, I thought I would include in my website a number of articles that I have published for your perusal.
See Also: Published Articles
I have also done a fair amount of public speaking over the years. Early on, it was at venues such as the Whole Life Expo in San Francisco, and many Annual Conferences of the AHVMA. I addressed, for instance, the Ontario Veterinary College in Guelph, and the Annual Meeting of Affiliated Study Groups of the NCH. In recent years, for the reasons stated above, I have concentrated on the Annual Conferences of the AVH, giving presentations in Charlottesville, Virginia, Washington, DC, and Monterey, California. I recently (April, 2001) gave a post-conference workshop in veterinary homeopathy at the Annual Conference of the NCH in Burlington, MA.
Giving talks like these is usually quite fun. With a presentation of 90 minutes to 3 hours, I can pick a topic and do something interesting, informative, even enlightening. Although it can entail a considerable amount of preparation, it is basically a fun little project. A much greater challenge, though, is assembling a roomful of knowledgeable and relatively experienced veterinary homeopaths and teaching for three days.
For the past five years, I have been teaching seminars in advanced veterinary homeopathy in Massachusetts, Florida, and North Carolina. It is said that you never learn so well as when you teach. I have found this to be profoundly true.
I have been a mentor for a few veterinary homeopaths, and have helped others by answering questions and addressing issues posted to the AVH E-mail Forum and the AVH Mentor Forum. The serious teaching though, takes place in the seminars.
In my seminars, I emphasize case taking by having a new live patient each day. It is one thing to tell someone how to take a case, and quite another to show them how. These are real clients with real patients, where the rubber meets the road, so to speak.
I also study and prepare one 'featured' remedy to teach in great depth, a new remedy for each seminar. This has been tremendously beneficial to me (and my patients!), as I have gained much greater insight into the remedies that I have studied, as well as many others remedies related to them.
I delve into the finer points of homeopathic philosophy, primarily from Hahnemann's Organon and Kent's Lectures on Homeopathic Philosophy. I present a variety of tools that I have found useful in enhancing pattern recognition and a gaining a deeper understanding of remedies. I share clinical techniques, tricks of the trade, you might say, that I have learned from my teachers or developed on my own. Basically, I try to convey that which I have found to be of value in my own evolution as a homeopathic healer.
I have been blessed with great teachers who taught me not only the nuts and bolts, but also the creative side of homeopathy. Not just the science, but the art as well. The vital force is dynamic, and disease is dynamic, so healing must also be dynamic. Having received this great gift, I feel that I have a responsibility to share what I have learned with others, that they may heal their patients more effectively. It is, I believe, an example of what Hahnemann refers to in the Organon as a healer's highest calling.
Printed from Jeffrey Levy DVM PCH, http://www.homeovet.net/