Here are some random summertime ramblings from your friendly homeopath:
As I write this, Mercury is in retrograde and the moon is full. Do you all know what it means when Mercury is in retrograde? It is a time of reflection more than action, a time when we might meditate, plan, finish unfinished business, make new goals for ourselves, and watch, as our nervous systems and anything having to do with electricity, communication and circuitry may have a “double take” or need to jumpstart itself.
As a Classical Homeopath and Doctor of Chinese Medicine, the mercury retrograde and full moon together signify a time of greater intensity in the body and mind, when the mind might be very active, but not necessarily able to follow-through in the short run with it’s brain-storming.
For me, I notice it’s a time of reflection: I’m sometimes asked by people to describe exactly what I do. Sometimes when I travel, I receive information that is not available to me during my normal consciousness. And it was on this last trip, while walking to the boarding gate in the Boston airport, that I became aware of the exact complexity of my job, and my life work. If I were to write a work description, it would be this:
I’m sometimes a psychotherapist, listening intently to the full range of a person’s life issues, and doing my best to offer guidance; a chiropractor, working on low back pain, sciatica and a painful neck; a marriage and family counselor, helping to resolve an issue between husband and wife, or between mother and child; a physical therapist, working on a torn ligament, an occupational therapist, helping a patient regain her range of motion to return to work; a rabbi or minister, helping a patient return to her faith after a physical or emotional crises; a tantric advisor, helping to restore full sexual awareness and libido; a pharmacist, recommending the best natural medications for recovery of a wound, or an emotional imbalance, or determining the interactions between a Western pharmaceutical medication and an herbal or homeopathic medication; a teacher, helping Western medical doctors to understand alternative treatments, or teaching kids and adults how to do acupressure on themselves; a weight loss counselor, suggesting a sane, well-rounded program for loosing those extra pounds; an exercise physiologist, helping to develop an effective exercise regimen for my patient with back pain; a nurse / midwife, helping with fertility issues and to devise a birthing plan for my pregnant patients; a nutritionist, helping to optimize a patient’s protein / carbohydrate / fat ratio; an emergency room doctor, recommending how to treat a bee sting, food poisoning, acute migraine headache, or ankle sprain; an acupuncturist, using my intuition and training to locate trigger points and using tiny needles to re-stimulate the body/mind/spirit to heal itself; an herbalist, applying the ancient art of Chinese herbal medicine to our modern problems; a personnel department, managing issues with my staff; a businessman, juggling the needs of small business profit margins with the needs of my lower income patients; and a mediator, working to resolve the complex interpersonal issues that crop up in all aspects of my business.
I am often grateful to my mom and dad. To my mom, for teaching and encouraging me to develop my intuition, which is invaluable in so much of my work. And to my dad, for teaching me how to run a small business. I am lucky to have learned the yin and yang from them both – the inner and the outer realities of life.
And as many hats as I wear during a typical week, it is also just as often that I refer to so many specialists in many fields. The primary specialists I refer to are psychotherapists, for more in depth counseling, to support our healing processes; to psychiatrists, for pharmaceutical medications, to help with the transition in reaching my patient’s treatment goals as quickly as possible; to chiropractors and physical therapists, to assure the back is subtle, aligned correctly and the nervous system is working in conjunction with the rest of the body; with medical doctors, who are specialists in their fields, such as cardiology, neurology, ophthalmology, pain management and gynecology. My thanks for all the cooperation and teamwork I experience from the Western trained medical profession, in helping to interpret lab results, and perform their numerous diagnostic procedures, without which my work would in some cases be a “shot in the dark.” I love, and thrive, in this teamwork approach, of mutual respect and cooperation, between east and west.
If I had a magic genie looking over me, I would wish for not having to travel so much from clinic to clinic on different days of the week. But for now, I cherish my patients in different parts of the City of Los Angeles, and travel seems to be a part of the LA lifestyle.
I can remember the days when I rarely, if ever, ventured east of the 405 freeway, staying almost exclusively in my home city of Santa Monica. But the LA area has grown tremendously, becoming more complex, and diverse over the years, and I find it important to continue to reach out to patients from all over the City. Many patients have asked me to open an office in the South Bay area or the out in the Eastern part of Los Angeles towards Pasadena. And while I would love to be two places at once, for now I must rely on email and phone consultations for my patients in these areas, as well as for my patients scattered throughout the U.S. Some patients have even moved to other countries, and I continue to offer email and phone consultations with them. This works out very well.
Another wish is to open a free or low-cost clinic for acupuncture and homeopathy. I pioneered an acupuncture treatment program at the Venice Family Free Clinic for over 10 years. But that program was taken over by one of the local acupuncture colleges a few years ago. I tried to get something going at LA free clinic, and other people have approached me over the years as well. But none of these ideas has worked out. I even spoke of this idea with a friend last month who is a family therapist with a local, non-profit agency, and it was so inspiring to hear of the work she was doing to help those in need.
If any of you reading this have an entrepreneurial skill, or know of people who have, I would love to be part of a pioneering effort to start a not – for – profit or low cost homeopathy clinic for the needy in the Los Angeles area. I’m sure one of the homeopathic pharmacies would donate the medications to us.
Of course I share with all of you, my prayers for a safer world, where we won’t have the constant reminders of war and terrorism, which we have even today. And I pray for less divisiveness among our politicians, rather than the huge polarization we see among Americans who happen to identify more as conservative or liberal. I really feel these artificial labels merely work to isolate and overly dramatize our common issues. In reality, we all have a mixture of values, since we, as human beings are very complex. Wouldn’t it be nice if our talk show hosts, our political commentators and politicians spent as much energy on drawing us closer together, by pointing out commonalities, rather than further polarizing us by overly dramatizing our differences and making the “other” seem wrong or evil.
After all, according to the psychologist Carl Jung, “evil” is only the shadow side of our own unconscious needs and desires. So we all actually seek to externalize, rather than incorporate the “evil” and the “other” somewhere within our own consciousness. Our own fears have historically been our real task to integrate within our individual and collective psyche. Let us seek the peach of this integration, both on a personal and societal level.
Lastly, if you know friends or family who are not yet committed to the process of health and healing using homeopathy, acupuncture, herbs and nutrition, please pass my information on to them. I know that for myself, it is frustrating and exhausting trying to convince friends and family to use natural medicine as a first line of defense, rather than as a second alternative. But increasingly, in our toxic world, filled with chemicals, microwaves, everything wireless, and noise and smell pollution, it is nice to know that in the area of medicine, there are often healthy and effective options, which are non toxic and work to accentuate balance and wholeness in our lives, rather than segregate and polarize our lives further.
I have actually just finished production on a video, which explains for the beginner, much of what holistic health is all about. So please refer your friends to the following link to watch this video. It is a good little introduction:
As many of you know after reading my newsletters over the years, I am a big believer in the integration of traditional Western medicine and complementary medicine. There is absolutely no reason, other then political, that all forms of health and healing cannot be working more closely together, and even be housed under the same roof. I continue to work towards that goal.
In love and harmony for a wonderful summer.
Dr Randy Martin, OMD, LAc, PhD, QME, MUP, CCH
Doctor of Chinese Medicine
Certified Classical Homeopath