In an attempt to connect with homeopathy in America this past summer while on holidays, I had the opportunity to meet up with a homeopath in Rockland County, New York and once again dropped in on The Center for Homeopathic Education in New York City (CHENYC).
As my (formal) training and practice has been exclusively in Ireland for the past 10 years, I knew homeopathy was indeed growing in the States but didn’t have any first-hand knowledge from talking with practitioners, and hearing about the challenges of practicing homeopathy there. I stumbled upon the website of Laura Josephson who practices in Nyack, just outside New York City. The town of Nyack is quaint, cosy and full of alternative practitioners and health food shops – so my kind of place. Laura was eager to meet a practitioner from Ireland and I found her to be warm, accommodating and open about many of the issues that arise in practice. Her breadth of training and knowledge in many areas of complementary medicine and therapies was impressive. Her lovely clinic is located in a beautiful old restored building behind the public library in the heart of the town. I also purchased one of her books, A Homeopathic Handbook of Natural Remedies, which is an excellent beginner guide to using homeopath for common ailments (coughs, colds, flu, etc). It is an easy to use, comprehensive guide and sits on my bookshelf for my own patients to browse!
I also visited the Center for Homeopathic Education in New York City again, which had recently moved into their own beautiful space at 500 8th Avenue in Manhattan. It was a big day for the Center as they were on their last teaching weekend of the year and about to graduate their first class! It was an exciting day to meet students and hear of the upcoming festivities. The new premise includes a lovely reception area, state of the art class rooms, student clinic and administration offices. I was met by the Administrator, Rachel Becker, who was brilliant at answering my many questions about homeopathy in New York and the Center’s vision for the future. I then met with Denise Straiges who is the Director and Dean of Clinical Affairs and Marcus Fernandez the Dean. Rachel, Denise and Marcus were warm and generous with their time and I returned the favour by offering my own ongoing support with their marketing and public relations. I have previous experience in these areas, both from University studies and my early employment at Whittier Law School in LA in their PR Department.
I also sat in on a lecture on the history of homeopathy with Kim Elia, an internationally renowned lecturer and practitioner. Though I graduated from the Irish School of Homeopathy 8 years ago, I was surprised at how much I still had to learn about the immense contribution of Samuel Hahnemann to homeopathy. This physician turned homeopathy was the father and pioneer of homeopathic philosophy and principles through his genius book, The Organon of Medical Art. I had forgotten about his enormous contribution to (conventional) medicine through his observations of inadequate practices in hygiene and hospital sanitation, which has been completely ignored in conventional textbooks. I was also unaware that his wife, Melanie, and son were brilliant homeopaths who made significant contributions in bringing homeopathy to the poor through offering free and low cost clinics. Kim reignited my commitment and interest in continuing my own education in homeopathic philosophy and history…so thank you Kim.
I came back to Ireland feeling both hopeful and optimistic about the future of homeopathy in America. As more people look for alternatives to conventional medicine and practices, it is essential that homeopathic practitioners have competent training and support to meet these growing demands.