5th Australian Homœopathic Medicine Conference

In October 2006 the WA branch was very proud to host the 5th Australian Homœopathic Medicine Conference.  Homoeopathy has come full circle in Western Australia.  It all commenced in 1846 with the arrival in Fremantle of four Spanish Benedictine monks, who established a monastery at New Norcia treating European settlers and indigenous people in the area.  These origins were recognised with a visit to the monastery at New Norcia during the Conference.

One hundred and sixty years later 179 people from around the world came to Fremantle, to participate in two days of professional development, camaraderie and celebration.  Delegates from far and wide found Western Australian hospitality warm and friendly and many lingered afterwards to enjoy the many tourist attractions including our famous wildflowers which were at their peak.

Review - Homoeopathy in the Real World 2006

http://www.homeopathywa.org.au/images/dom.jpgThe 5th Australian Homœopathic Medicine Conference 2006
28th - 29th October 2006
The Esplanade Hotel
Convention Centre
Fremantle, Western Australia

On the weekend of the 28th and 29th October 2006 179 homoeopaths, students and like - minded practitioners descended on the Esplanade Hotel in Fremantle WA for what was to be a truly wonderful weekend of camaraderie and stimulating presentations.

The Conference kicked off to a great start with our very special guest speaker, Dom Christopher Power, a Benedictine Monk from the small wheat belt town of New Norcia. Dom not only regaled us with his hilarious version of a day in the life of a Monk, but told us a little of the history of homoeopathy in WA.   While New Norcia, founded by Dom Rosendo Salvado in 1847, was the first place in WA and possibly Australia to use homoeopathy, Dom Chris gave credit to Jan Owen and the WA branch of the AHA for rekindling interest, helping to update the museum and library, and giving the monks an insight into their homoeopathic heritage.

The social program allowed plenty of opportunity to network with colleagues, catch up with friends, and integrate in the delightful relaxed setting of Fremantle. The welcome reception on the Friday evening prior to the Conference saw over 100 delegates enjoying finger food, local wines and a few laughs with old friends, having the opportunity to register before the morning rush was a real bonus and delegates enjoyed a chance to look through the proceedings manual before the event.

The conference dinner was held on the Saturday night. 80 hyped - up homoeopaths met in the bohemian atmosphere of La Tropicana café to eat, drink and swing dance!   Yes, our very own Sophie Yesburg and her partner Marcus demonstrated this wonderfully spontaneous form of dance, joined by Michael Blanch and Kate Diamantopolou, both budding homoeopathic swing dancers. The whole group then spilled onto the pavements of Fremantle to form a group swing dance circle.

On Sunday morning Patricia Hatherley presented a commemorative plaque to Peter Torokfalvy in honour of his many years involvement in AHA on a state and national level. Peter has been an outstanding president and spokesperson for the association working tirelessly to increase the public profile of our profession.

The New Norcia day trip was on Monday the 30 th October and a group of 45 departed from the Esplanade Hotel by coach and traveled through picturesque vineyards of the Swan Valley and out onto the Great Northern Highway towards New Norcia. On arrival in this charming town we were greeted in the monastery parlour with morning coffee and New Norcia's own nut cake and biscotti.   Dom Christopher was his usual friendly and hospitable self and the guides were informative and helpful. The atmosphere was relaxed and there was plenty of time to network, while enjoying lunch at the historic hotel and strolling around the museum, art gallery and gift shop. It was exciting to see the homoeopathic display taking up most of a display cabinet in the medical section of the museum, complete with a meaningful message about homoeopathy, both past and present. The day ended with wine tasting and a wander in the gardens at Carilley Estate, one of the most attractive vineyards in the Swan Valley. A great way to unwind from the intensity of the previous two days.

And now having described the general flavour and highlights of the conference here is a brief review of the key speakers and their papers. Every presenter embraced the theme of Homoeopathy in the real World and were generous and 'fearless presenters' as well as being 'fearless prescribers' and for that the homoeopathic community will be eternally grateful. The sessions were chaired by WA members Michael Blanch and Kate Diamantopoulo.

We were delighted to welcome Roger van Zandvoort all the way from The Hague as our keynote speaker.   What better qualified person could we find to explain to us the intricacies of repertorisation, particularly in relation to the Boenninghausen method, his chosen subject for the Conference.   He explained that how we have been taught repertorisation should not dictate what method we use to find the remedy, but rather we should be guided by the information we get from our patients, selecting the best method for the case. He demonstrated through the use of his Complete Repertory program that in some cases Boenninghausen's method will give better results because of the imperfections of the repertory, and we should therefore know a variety of techniques rather than being limited by just one.

Kent's method of seeking a single, usually small, complete rubric contrasted strikingly with Boenninghausen's method of translating any complete symptom in the case into several rubrics more closely representing the patient's experience.   Kent's method relies on trying to find a complete symptom (location, sensation or phenomenon, modality and/or concomitant) in 1 or 2 rubrics only, usually producing very few remedies to consider, which may or may not contain the remedy you are looking for.   The Boenninghausen methodology rule is to try to construct from the building blocks of the repertory, complete rubrics which more closely and accurately represent the patient's experience, within which should be the remedy you are seeking for the whole case.

Seeing these two quite diverse methods demonstrated on the screen clearly showed the value of knowing different approaches to finding the right remedy.   We could all see that Boenninghausen's method has been greatly under - used and no doubt there will be many practitioners going home to revisit Boenninghausen's work. We don't often have the benefit of "going back to college" to take another look at the basics of repertorisation, and over the weekend there was a lot of talk about rubrics, provings and the accuracy of our repertories versus the results we can expect.   Roger was a passionate and patient presenter, and I have no doubt we could have filled a whole weekend with his knowledge and expertise.

Dr Ivy Dieltiens was our second guest speaker and her presentation on "Post Tsunami Sri Lanka" which closed the first day of the conference had delegates glued to the screen as well as her words.   Ivy had heeded the call for help in Sri Lanka after the Tsunami on boxing day in 2005 and literally jumped on a plane.   While we are all to imagine how well organized and coordinated these type of disasters are by the groups who are regularly first on the ground, the picture she gave us was something quite different.   Not only was there a disparity between which villages got what aid - and some indeed received nothing - she also talked about fighting between neighbouring villages, con men and greed.   From a Homoeopathic point of view there were the challenges of dispensing the remedies - carrying bottles and pilules was not an option, so bottles of any type had to do - including old medicine bottles!   Follow ups were another issue and from a learning point of view, Ivy acknowledged that she couldn't learn from her mistakes without seeing the patients again.   There was also a steep learning curve in using translators who left a lot out or changed the context, and Ivy came to realize that perhaps her western homoeopathic view of there always being an outstanding mental/emotional state to be treated, didn't fit with the culture or understanding of these people.   Often it came down to treating pre - tsunami symptoms.   And often people didn't just come for treatment - they came to stare at the strange white doctor who handed medicine in old bottles.   A very grounding, inspiring and heart - felt presentation from Dr Ivy Dieltiens.

The final event of the Conference was the Panel, chaired by Dr Philip Bailey and graced by presenters; Roger Van Zandvoort, Liz Lalor, Nyema Hermiston, Michael Blanch, Peter Tumminello and Alastair Gray.   This was the part of the conference we as a committee were uncertain about! Nothing could be planned and no - one really knew whether delegates would actually stick it out to attend this event.   Homoeopathy in the Real World determined the questions chosen for discussion; and while most were topical, one stands out for me and certainly stimulated some excitable discussion.   "What do you think about giving a remedy by thought transference?"   I'll leave you to ponder that one for yourself!

Homoeopathy in the Real World.....on reflection the conference certainly did cover this topic in many ways. As one student said, ' as a final year student this conference has been a wonderful opportunity to consolidate many years of study. What a privilege to be able to start practice with the knowledge and freedom in knowing that so many methodologies are my tools of trade which can be chosen when the patient needs a different approach and knowing that this approach is supported by wonderful homoeopaths like Alastair Gray, David Levy, Jon Gamble, Peter Tumminello, Linlee Jordan, Isaac Golden and many others'.


Speakers at Homoeopathy in the Real World

Conference keynote speaker is Roger van Zandvoort.

Roger van ZandvoortRoger was born in Heerlen, Holland, in 1958. The words collect, organize, nature and complete have been part of his leitmotiv since he was very young. In order to meet his want of contact with an idealized nature, he became a big collector. In attempting to collect nature from "a" to "z", he started to collect butterflies when he was 7 years old. At the age of 14, he slept with open windows during the Dutch winter, hoping to create the ideal dry and cold temperature for his collection of more than 100 cacti, so that they would bloom in spring. Aged 20 he went to the 'Nederlandse Akademie voor Natuurgeneeskunde' in Hilversum, the Netherlands. Due to his deep knowledge of phytotherapy, acquired before and during this study, he was invited to start lecturing as soon as he finished his study at the Academy, while already making the phytotherapeutic lecturing material.

In 1982 he started to work on additions and corrections of Kent's Repertory, initially without intention to publish. At that time all his work was for the benefit of his patients, but gradually he dedicated less time to them and more time to his work on the repertory. From these efforts sprang a database, the "Complete Repertory", that started to be used commercially in combination with MacRepertory (Kent Homoeopathic Associates). Later follows association with 'CARA' (Miccant and Hompath), and now it is also joined by Comrep (Samuel), EZ4U (Jacques Paris), Quest for Similimum (Atul Systems) and Remedy (Samurai International). In 1990, guided by Dr. Künzli and later by Hansjoerg Hee and Dario Spinedi, 40 medical doctors from Germany, Austria and Switzerland started the huge operation to integrate Boger's Boenninghausen Repertory into the Complete Repertory. During 6 years Roger received and integrated their work into the Repertory.

After 20 years of work, consisting of updating and improving the Complete Repertory, Roger is still working full - time on this project, now called Repertorium Universalis. He is including classic works from Germany and the United States that have never been used, like Noak, Trinks, Possart, provings from German magazines, articles from the old American journals and, most important, the handwritten additions that Boenninghausen made in his last two repertories - "Systematisch Alphabetisches Repertorium der nicht - antipsorischen Arzneien" and the "Systematisch Alphabetisches Repertorium der antipsorischen Arzneien" - which were compiled, based on clinical confirmations from his practice.

Speaker Notes:

Roger Van Zandvoort
Working with a Swiss Army Knife: Using the Repertory
Roger will open and close the conference and help you to get the most out of your repertories.

He will introduce different repertorisation techniques and using case examples will demonstrate how and when to use them.

Review of Presentations and Repertory Connections. Roger will also be the last speaker and using his particular expertise will bring together the various aspects of the presentations at the conference. He will also take part in the forum.

Barbara Armstrong
Not Happy: Avoiding Patient Complaints
Research has found that the trigger for patients who progress to making a complaint about a practitioner is also likely to be one, or a series, of practical 'practice management' or 'communication' errors. We will look at the likely triggers, and what can be done to prevent them.

Tim Atterton:
Director, The BankWest Entrepreneurship & Business Development Unit at Curtin Business School.
The Business of Profit
Most business proprietors struggle with the financial aspects of running their own enterprises. As a result, many find themselves working longer and harder without making any more money! This situation is commonly referred to as the "busy fool" syndrome that besets most businesses at some time in their lives. This workshop will highlight the way to maximising profitability and gain a reasonable return on your personal endeavour. The session will be practical and entertaining; and provide you with information and new skills that can be applied immediately to your own operations.

Philip Bailey
Modern Day Lacs
Until recently Lac caninum was the only milk remedy that was in frequent use by Homoeopaths. In the past few years Lac felinum and Lac humanum have gained greater prominence. In my own practice use of the Lac remedies exploded from virtually nil to using several remedies as constitutionals in a very short time. Thus followed the recognition of the general themes to be found in all Lac cases.

Cameron Burgess
Marketing with Integrity: selling yourself without selling your soul
In this mini - workshop, Cameron will discuss the primary reasons why only 1 in 400 wellness businesses survive their first two years of trading and how, through the intelligent use of different types of marketing, you can ensure that your business is a success (without the hard sell). You must hear this presentation if you are serious about the success of your business.

Dr Ivy Dieltiens
Homoeopathy in Post Tsunami Sri Lanka
The presentation will be based on my experiences during an 18 month period, dating from my arrival in Sri Lanka in March 2005, following the tsunami which hit the coast on 26 December 2004.

This experience will cover 3 aspects:

  1. Six months of free clinics conducted in surrounding affected communities
  2. A teaching program conducted over 4 days (one day a week for a month) teaching relevant people the basic concepts of Homoeopathy.
  3. An in - depth case study of numerous patients treated by myself.

Jon Gamble
New Frontiers in the Treatment of Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a modern disease which is poorly addressed in Homoeopathic texts. Over the past 20 years Jon has discovered some interesting causes of IBS. As a result he has narrowed the remedy selection to a small number of remedies making this condition easily treated using Homoeopathic medicines alone.

Identifying the cause of IBS is an essential part of treatment leading to the selection of the most effective remedy. Up to 70 per cent of IBS cases belong to one category, which is what the presentation will focus on, but up to 15 categories of IBS will be described.

The presentation will be supported almost exclusively by Jon's own clinical experience and some little known medical research.

Isaac Golden
An Energetic Model of the Homoeopathic Mechanism of Action
Homoeopathic students are usually well trained in the physical sciences - anatomy and physiology, biochemistry etc., but receive very little training in the energetic structure of the world in which we live, including the energetic anatomy of humans.

However homoeopathic medicines are medicines of energy, and interact initially on the subtle levels of the patient, and then subsequently impact on the physical body.

The purpose of this lecture is to outline one model of the energetic structure of both the universe in which we live, and of humans in detail. This will then allow an explanation of how healing occurs on the energetic levels in general, and in particular, how homoeopathic medicines work.

Alastair Gray
27 Qualities of Highly Effective Homoeopaths
Alastair has conducted a substantial audit of many successful Homoeopaths around the world over the last decade. In this lecture Alastair outlines qualities and habits of busy dynamic and successful Homoeopaths. It's a surprising list.

It involves the realization that busy and successful Homoeopaths attend not only to the outer and external techniques of coaching, mentoring, marketing, advertising, fundamental and advanced business skills etc, but also the internal emotional and psychological structures, a commitment to continuously working on oneself, rarely if ever saying 'no', and finding ones own personal predilection.

Joanne Greenland
Understanding the Meaning of Disease. What are we Treating?
Over recent years I have repeatedly found through my own clinical experience that the diseases we are suffering from mean far more than just a group of symptoms. Of course to all homoeopaths this is nothing new. However, something that I think is not clear is that disease is actually there to tell us where we are going wrong in our life and not just to make us feel awful. Disease is actually there to help us get back on track with our life's purpose, with what we are supposed to be achieving.

What is often misinterpreted is that, 'the physician needs to know what needs to be cured'. If someone comes with a sore throat, they think they need their sore throat cured, that is, the symptoms gone. If this is achieved the patient considers themselves cured. However if nothing changes in their life the chance of the sore throat recurring is probable. Joanne has come to the conclusion, from repeated examples in the clinic, what needs to be cured is not the sore throat but the reason we have the sore throat. Fix this and you may never get another sore throat.

Linda Hanson
Thyroid Today: The Importance of Education for Both Homoeopath and Patient
Despite millions of people being suspected of having thyroid problems in America alone, many thyroid sufferers world wide struggle to get an official diagnosis and appropriate help for their condition in orthodox medical arenas.

There seems to be a resistance in standard medical attitudes to acknowledge the possibility of a thyroid condition being responsible for many of the problems that face not only middle aged woman, but increasingly men, and young adults both male and female.

We as homoeopaths can do much for the suspected thyroid patient who is struggling to have her/his difficulties acknowledged and addressed.

Nyema Hermiston
Is the Homoeopathic Community Ready for a Bird Flu Pandemic
In the comfort of our clinics it is all too easy to theorise about how Homoeopathy can help to prevent and treat a potential human pandemic of bird flu. However, the threatened bird flu is unlike a normal influenza, so it is something none of us has treated before. What strategies would we use so we can successfully treat patients and survive ourselves? This presentation can only be theoretical. It will cover an overview on the symptoms of a potential human pandemic of Bird Flu based on information from WHO, the Australian Government and the 1919 Spanish Flu epidemic, of which there is a Homoeopathic history. Remedies for each symptom picture will be proposed. There will be reference made to historical texts and strategies for Homoeopathic prophylaxis. This presentation is an opportunity to discuss ways in which the Australian homoeopathic community could work together to quickly find the 'genus epidemicus' in the event of a human pandemic. It can be the beginning of finding a way of developing a system to share information between colleagues so cases can be quickly and successfully treated.

Michael Higginson
Miasms and their Relevance Today
This paper covers an historical overview of the development of miasms and the varying contributors from Hahnemann and Kent, Allen and more latterly Boger, Close, Roberts, Dhawale, Speight and Ortega. Specifically it looks at the re - introduction of the time dimension as proposed by Dhawale allowing the practitioner to understand when to intervene logically in chronic disease when improvement is interrupted. Much of Homoeopathic teaching and literature is geared around the giving of the correct remedy and the patient's miraculous recovery. Much of my experience is about what you do when the remedy doesn't work. This paper talks a little about what you can do when the correct remedy doesn't work and provides a broader framework for understanding disease and medicines and providing advice to patients re outcomes and expectations.

Michelle Hookham
A Research Paper: Do the Services Provided by Homoeopaths Meet the Needs of the Patients.
Original Research, never presented before; an enquiry into homoeopathic services. Conducted in SE London in 1997, but directly relevant to the development of Homoeopathy in Australia.

In Fremantle Michelle will:

  1. Describe the aims, objectives and methodology of the research
  2. Present the results of this enquiry, including graphs of the results and a summary of people's perception of Homoeopathy in health care - primary, secondary, complementary or alternative.
  3. Discuss the relevance of Homoeopathic services - in the real world
  4. Look at how other countries provide Homoeopathic health care.

Linlee Jordan
Real World Treatment of Troubled Kids: Introducing a Treatment Schedule.
In the real world, case management issues in the treatment of challenging children (or any children for that matter) often seem to be more important than finding the right remedy. After careful reflection on these questions and many others Linlee has developed a pragmatic approach to the management of distraught families and their troubled kids. In her talk Linlee will give you tips about strategies that do work and also tell you some that failed. Most importantly she will outline the successful use of a treatment schedule for any child with ADHD, autism or chronic disease and the use of parent education techniques to help in practice management.

Pauline Kalbfell
Cole and Dyson: Miasmic Healing for Everyday Problems
My personal understanding of the concept of treating miasmic layers is that the miasms (or instinctive tendencies of the body) work like a 'family' within the person. As with our human families, sometimes these family (miasmic) members work in harmony with each other ( = health) and sometimes they conflict in a dysfunctional manner ( = disease). If a 'family member' is excessively dominant, then the other family members may become abnormally submissive. Therefore it becomes reasonable to treat most or all 'family members' (miasms) in order to achieve lasting harmony. I will explain how the Cole and Dyson method achieves this using descending potencies that also address the dyscrasias and constitutional layers while treating the miasmic layers.

Liz Lalor
Fertility Success Using Homoeopathy and the Vannier System
Infertility is a modern - day dilemma facing millions of couples world - wide. I have proven statistical success, now 106 babies still with 19 failures; that homoeopathy can help in this dilemma.

This session will be informative not only covering my program, and the particular remedies used, but also the philosophical relevance of the Vannier Drainage System of homoeopathy to today's infertility issues faced by millions of women who have used the Oral Contraceptive Pill. I will in particular concentrate on how to conduct an interview with the patient around the issue of ovulation. It is essential homoeopaths know what to ask to elicit the right information about a woman's infertility issues.

David Levy
From Idealism to Realism: Managing a Stable Homoeopathic Practice
David will utilise a range of ideas and cases based on 20 years clinical experience and will draw on some successes and failures from long ago and provide a solid framework for building a stable practice that is reality based.

Clare Middle
Dog and Cat Vaccinosis
Over the last forty years, companion dogs and cats in developed countries have routinely been vaccinated annually. This is a much more frequent practise than routine inoculations for any other species including humans, and has unfortunately led to adverse effects to vaccinations becoming more common.

The relatively short life span and generational cycle of dogs and cats, compared to humans, has led to these varied vaccinosis syndromes becoming genetically entrenched, to the point where such reactions could be considered miasms for these species.

I will discuss these vaccinosis syndromes as they present in scientific literature and as I have found them in animals in Perth, with examples of some Homoeopathic treatment methods I have used for my patients.

Peter Tumminello
Fearless Homoeopathic Solutions: Finding Unknown Medicines
Many ways of finding the simillimum have been developed. The rational mind has been stretched from pathological specifics, through fundamental repertory in Boenninghausen, to Kentian reportorial analysis and through to the kingdom and mind maps for the whole of the plant, mineral and animal kingdoms. Peter will look at the place of non - standard methods of finding the simillimum, those not based on reason but on the quality of forces, intentions, feelings and dreams and will illustrate this theme through three cases which use the penetrating truth of consciously invoked dreams to gain a healing with medicines.

As different as it may be from our traditions, this is real Homoeopathy in the real world.


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