Deepak Chopra Has a Cold
Although it’s been many years since I first read it, I remember very clearly an issue of Esquire Magazine that contained an article whose headline read: “Deepak Chopra has a Cold.” The article lushly described the author, educator and purveyor of alternative medicine in the full throes of his illness: each sneeze, wheeze and Kleenex treated as if it were proof that every word that the man had ever written or uttered added up to a pack of lies. As if the cold were God’s vengeance upon the man for insisting that allopathic medicine (which, ironically, is all but helpless in the face of the cold virus) may not be the best road to healing.
So it was all those years ago in Esquire Magazine and so it is today and so it will likely always be. That some patients are quite literally killed by their allopathic drugs is an acceptable reality. That allopathic drugs are constantly being taken off the shelves due to their toxic or ineffective nature is something that can be dealt with by government warnings or fines. And that the ever-increasing tide of malpractice suits against allopathic doctors is now thought best dealt with by changing the laws and making it harder to sue instead of making medicine safer—well, these days, that can only be called Business as Usual.
But let Deepak Chopra get a cold and we have proof positive that anyone who dares attempt to explore any other method of medical care other than the standard Western allopathic method is a fool.
Using homeopathy, or another form of holistic medicine, does not mean that you will never be sick again, but it does mean that you will look at illness in a new way and deal with the healing process in a new way as well.
Think about the reality of our present medical situation: for all our medical care, for all the money spent and all the time and energy invested, we are a country full of people whose lives are ever more defined and controlled by illness—chronic illness that our medical system no longer seeks to cure, but, instead works ever harder to “manage.”
Such a lowering of expectation is, to me, a frightening thing. It implies that, in the battle between sickness and health, sickness is most definitely winning.
The first sentence of my first book, "Let Like Cure Like," was an admission: “I was born sick.” I thought that that was important to get out of the way, right up front, because my interest in health and healing never was and never will be a noble one. It was and remains a selfish interest, one born of endless hours spent in my youth waiting in doctor’s waiting rooms, where I saw various versions of myself—children whose eyes were ringed, as mine were, with dark circles, whose noses ran, whose skin was pale. The sickly recognize each other on first glance and learn early on how to mete out their energy just to get through the day.
I wanted to find a way out of this group. I wanted to find a way to transform my body from being a hindrance into becoming the vehicle of my freedom.
It so often is this way—that those who dedicate their lives to a subject like health and healing do so because of a need. In my case it was my own need. In other cases it might be a loved one who is ill, whose need sends a parent or caretaker on a quest.
But in all these cases the object of that quest is the same; it is the search for a healing. For not only an understanding of the term and all that it implies, but for the reality of it as well, the moment in which shackles fall away.
The best definition I ever heard of healing is a simple one: freedom. The amount to which you live your life free to go where you want to go, do what you want to do is equal to the amount to which you may say that you are healthy. The quest for healing is, therefore, equal to the quest for freedom. And what goal is better than that? What parent would not want to see their child, the frail child that was once confined to bed, run free and happy?
But what does it take to bring about such a healing result?
My Karmic Link to Homeopathy
In my own life, it took me many, many years to begin to question the validity of allopathic medicine. I was, in my youth, the allopath’s best friend. I was taken to doctors many times for many different reasons: first as an infant for failure to thrive (I’d been a breech birth, severely underweight, and sickly), then for asthma, then for myriad allergies (I was seemingly allergic to the whole world), as well as for various chronic ear infections (including a catastrophic inner ear infection when I was twelve—a pain so great that I remember it to this day), upper respiratory infections (in my youth I was sick most years from November through May) and the like.
Jump ahead a few years. I was in my late 20’s. I had moved from Oklahoma to New York City and then fled NYC to the Connecticut suburbs. I was producing television for a regional PBS station and writing for a number of publications. I was also under an inordinate amount of stress, which was manifesting in the form of chronic illness.
I developed Irritable Bowel Syndrome, which progressed in severity over the years until I was diagnosed as having Crohn’s Disease. Based on this diagnosis, I was told that I could expect a future that would likely include heavy medications and operations. I was losing weight, unable to digest even the simplest foods and had to know the location of the nearest bathroom at all times. I was often in pain, and never could do what I saw everyone else my age doing—simply enjoying whatever food and drink they wanted. Again, illness was equated with restriction—with the life that is smaller than it should be, and defined and controlled by illness.
At this point, an old friend of mine named Peggye spoke up. She said to me again what she’d been saying for two years, that I should go and see her naturopathic physician who practiced homeopathy.
When I first moved to Connecticut, I was unaware that I was moving to a hotbed of homeopathy. That this was one of the rare states in our nation that had a long history not only or recognizing homeopathy as a form of medicine (and therefore one that must be covered by health insurance companies), but also a medical system to be taken seriously, with legal controls as to who can and cannot practice homeopathic medicine and education and licensing standards established an maintained as well.
I first heard of homeopathy when I went with Peggye to attend a lecture on the subject at a New Age (it was 1980, after all) bookstore in Westport.
I’ve often thought if I had behaved differently that night, my life might have been very different.
The lecture was given by a homeopath from India who had recently moved to Connecticut to establish a practice. He talked with a thick accent. He was very small and very formal. A very easy target.
Sad to say that, as he talked about homeopathy, about how homeopaths use remedies made from arsenic and cyanide (among other things) that had been diluted until every molecule of the original substance was gone, I made jokes. First just to Peggye, who laughed and then nodded at the front of the room to get me to shut up. Then to the rest of the room as other people in the audience laughed along.
That night I took what was a rather halting and dull talk on homeopathy and transformed it into a laugh riot, at the expense of both the Indian homeopath and homeopathy in general. I am quite sure that I managed to create an active doubt in everyone’s mind when it came to the subject of homeopathy and its viability as a healing tool.
I’ve often thought that I’ve had to spend the next three decades of my life teaching homeopathy, speaking about it, writing about it and being heckled and challenged and threatened just as that homeopath was in Westport in order to pay back the debt I racked up that night.
If I could locate every member of that audience, I would. And I would apologize if anything I said or did kept them from exploring homeopathy for themselves. Because I was wrong to make fun of it.
You see, homeopathy actually works.
Homeopathy, Healing & You
The first time I went into a homeopath’s office, I thought it looked like a fern bar. It was the fall of 1980, I was twenty-six years old and seriously ill. IBS had become colitis which had become Crohn’s Disease. My doctors were preparing me for the future possibility of cancer.
I sat in the outer room and filled out forms after forms after forms. As someone who had gone from doctor to doctor, seeking a cure, I was used to forms. But these were different, odd. Where other forms wanted medical background, doctors visited, etc, these wanted to know about my sleeping patterns, my food cravings, my general patterns of life, likes and dislikes—all sorts of things I had never been asked before.
And when I went into the consultation, I experienced something that I had never experienced before. First, the room was huge, sun-drenched, comfortable and quiet. There was nothing clinical about it. The homeopath was dressed rather like a gypsy. She had long, curly auburn hair, big jewelry and sandals.
We talked for a long time, not only about my disease, but also about me. About who I was and how I lived my life. Now I very well understand the nature of the case-taking and how important it is for the homeopath to be able to place the symptoms of the patient’s disease within the context of his or her whole life. It is not only important for the homeopath to understand the stressors that the patient is regularly experiencing, but also to understand the patient’s unique response to those stressors, as that is likely the cause of the condition at hand.
Our talk took well over an hour. At the end of it, the homeopath prescribed for me a single remedy. It came in a blue plastic tube that, rather like a Pez container, shot out a milk sugar pellet when its cap was turned. I was told to take three pellets at a time, to just rotate the cap and then place the pellets under my tongue without touching them. I was to do this three times a day for a week and then return to her office for a follow-up.
A week later, my illness was at least fifty percent improved. And I had, in that week, experienced something that I had never experienced before with any other form of medical treatment—the rapid, and gentle removal of the symptoms of the illness. I experienced no side effects, no drowsiness or weakness, no shifts in pain, just its gentle release and a steady, gentle increase in energy.
My healing was not complete. It would not be for some time yet, until a single dose of a single remedy removed the illness from me. So that, in more than a quarter of a century, I have never had another single bout of colitis or irritable bowel. So that I could stop worrying about it, looking for the next bathroom, worrying over what I could or could not eat, what would or would not cause me pain. And so that I also did not have to think any more about taking the next dose of medicine.
The best thing that I know about homeopathic remedies is that once they work, once they trigger a healing effect, the disease is gone. Simply gone. Totally gone. When it comes to homeopathic medicine, healed is healed.
Samuel Hahnemann, the German physician who is the Father of Homeopathy, tells us that we each are entitled to a healing process that is rapid, gentle and permanent. All three. We don’t need to depend upon allopathic drugs that we are expected to take daily for the rest of our lives, that are toxic, that are laden with side effects, that work by suppressing our symptoms and allowing us to pretend that they do not exist for the brief period of time before they must be taken again in order to continue the pretense.
There is a better way. Homeopathic medicine offers a path to healing that is safe and effective. I learned the truth of it years ago, in my own body, with my own healing. And I have seen it work again and again, for myself and countless others, over all these years since.
Homeopathy can change your life, if you will let it. It’s my hope that you will let it—that you will give homeopathy a try.
Vinton McCabe is a homeopathic educator. He is the author of eight books on subjects related to health and healing, as well as the series of “Homeopathy in Thought and Action” McBooklets that are Kindle exclusives. His just-completed work "What is Homeopathy?" is available now for Kindle download and is available in print edition from Basic Health Publications. For more information and for links to his materials all over the internet, visit his website at vintonmccabe.com.