Op-ed by Chanel Stynder, CCO at HWC
I have had a few “love/hate” relationships in my time but none as perverse as the one I have with Facebook and Facebook groups. “Don’t be so extreme Chanel”!
Okay, but wait, hear me out!
No group moderation!
Self-prescribing and lack of guidance!
Of course, there are good things happening, people connecting and finding Homeopaths. Common spaces to talk openly about Homeopathy and discussing their experiences with Homeopathy. But is this where we are? Is this what we have all worked so hard to accomplish? Listen, I get it, reaching the masses, telling the stories of success, and helping those who are in the desperate search for an alternative to Western Medicine, find that in Homeopathy. But how far will we go to reach those masses?
I have asked quite a few questions and I haven’t answered any! For sure we can quibble about my point of view, we could even argue about it, if it were up for debate. I do, however stand fully in my belief that what we have reached on Facebook is a kind of powder keg of information and misinformation about Homeopathy. Practitioners from different schools of thought battling it out on pages for all to see, it’s absurd. Literal people in need of very serious help and guidance being ill-informed by at-home prescribers, madness!!
One simple search on the internet finds me with journal articles asking the same questions, better yet, answering them and not in kind. “The general belief is that because these products or services are “natural” they are safe. The concept that “naturalness” is a guarantee of harmlessness is obviously both simplistic and untrue.”i This article, while not mentioning Homeopathy, brings up valid points about the practice of CAM therapies and our duty as practitioners to ensure that we are creating the safest spaces. That we ensure that Homeopathy is practiced in a safe and meaningful way, to bring about the truest form of health. The phrases that stood out to me where “incorrect prescribing” and “negligent practice”, do we honestly believe that that is what is happening on social media platforms?
Who do I hold accountable? US!! Homeopaths have allowed, for too long, this misuse of social media, run rampant within our field. So heavily protected are other forms of healing and health, that one cannot simply get certain medications or herbs. Yet some of our most deep acting remedies are readily accessible for unsupervised home use that it makes no difference that many of us have studied FOR YEARS and still re-read The Organon of Medicine yearly.
We seek recognition and take pride in the “Art” of Homeopathy, the practice of this art, the strictest of attention to detail in our case taking, but so quickly will watch the lay person dole out a prescription of “Causticum, twice daily, until you feel better” with little to no interference.
I have seen mothers, in Homeopathic groups rip each other to shreds after asking a question about a remedy choice, with little to no moderation, then go on to suggest multiple doses of a Nosode in very high potency for a newborn. We HIDE behind the fact that “Homeopathy is safe” and forget the very important caveat “when used correctly”. “If it isn’t the right remedy it won’t do anything” we yell from the rooftops, as we advise our patients to steer clear of menthol toothpaste and coffee. What are we doing exactly? What is our goal?
While we consume and benefit from all that social media does have to offer, have we really stepped back to ask if we are doing more harm than good. Is our extreme accessibility the best kind of accessibility? If we really want to be helpful, shouldn’t we open more free clinics? Where the time that is necessary to help someone properly can be taken to do the right thing? Make the best remedy choice? Evaluate the case with ALL of the information! Don’t we owe that to the patient and the practice
I cannot tell you how to proceed!
I cannot and will not argue with you!
I can say that we NEED TO DO BETTER!
We need to protect our patients and the world are our patients.
We need to be kind and gracious, while understanding that these practices are harmful and dangerous.
We need to do as Homeopathy says, tread lightly, knowing that even the littlest, most minute dose can have an outcome.
i The Medical Journal of Australia. The other side of the coin: Complimentary and alternative medicine. Steven P. Meyers and Phillip A. Cheras., https://www.mja.com.au/journal/2004/181/4/other-side-coin-safety-complementary-and-alternative-medicine
Chanel Stynder is a Canadian Homeopath who was born in Cape Town, South Africa. She studied at The Canadian College of Homeopathic Medicine (CCHM) in Toronto, Canada, where she grew up and lived the majority of her life. She has been practicing Homeopathy for 6 years virtually from Canada, Mexico and now South Africa, treating patients internationally. With a focus on Family Health, Trauma Recovery, Addiction and now Infertility. She believes that as students of Homeopathy we should always look to the root of everything we do including our practice of the “Art”, question everything, have an open-mind and have deep and sometimes controversial conversation to broaden our knowledge. Every conversation is an opportunity to learn!