A Day in the Life of a Homeopath: Nigel C. MacGregor Hom, DCHM
Address: 58 Brock St. W. Suite 204, Uxbridge, Ontario. L9P1P3
Social Media: Twitter - @macgregorhomeo1, Instagram - @macgregorhomeopathicmedicine, Facebook - MacGregor Homeopathic Medicine
1. What inspired you to become a homeopath? During my years of high school I played a lot of football, taking it to a semi-professional level. After years of abuse on my body from the sports, I had to start the next chapter in life. Changing up my instincts of going helmut to helmut, now brain to books.
After moving to Ontario in 2015 I began my studies with Anatomy, Acupuncture, Physiology, Holistic Nutrition and Homeopathy. Learning the philosophy behind the Homeopathic mind set, that disease is dynamic and not material. This view opened up my mind to new ideas and to a new understanding of disease. The philosophy of homeopathy guided me to understand that our bodies are highly sensitive and reactive beings. We often hear about someone who can be sensitive to certain pollens or allergens, yet the pollen has always been around us and not everyone seems to be affected by the same thing. There was a stressor and it weakened the individuals vitality to be susceptible to a foreign object. We all have our own individual susceptibility to certain allergens, bacteria, organisms, viruses e.t.c. Taking an anti-histamine, anti-inflammatory or anti-bacterial never made much sense to me because I wanted my body to be able to do the hard work by fighting off the foreign object and to become strong to reduce or prevent further ailments. When I learnt that homeopathy has this philosophy that our bodies have been given everything they need to overcome illness, we should be using what we have been given, our health. Exposing ourselves to bacteria and allergens so that our immune system can develop the proper defence mechanism. When I discovered that homeopathy works on strengthening our vitality and susceptibility to these foreign objects, it made me want to pursue homeopathy to the greatest degree.
2. What does your average day as a homeopath look like? Now being a graduate of CCHM, my life has not changed all that much, other then the fact that I am now a registered homeopathy and have my own business to run. 4-5 days out of a week I work at a health food store in Uxbridge, ON, called Todays Natural Solutions. Providing health tips and my knowledge of nutrition for the public. It also allows me to talk about homeopathy, trying to introduce customers to a form of medicine they may have not be to familiar with. The other 2 days of the week I dedicate myself to be at my clinic which is also located in Uxbridge. My homeopath days might entail going around towns advertising about homeopathy and why someone may be interested. Making sure I also have time available for new patients and follow ups. A day may also look like posting on social media about a homeopathic remedy and when it might be well indicated, checking in with past patients to ensure progress is on track, coming up with ideas for my next talk for the public, staying up to date with homeopathic education from whole health now, re-reading the organon piece by piece and day by day. I also like to make sure I am up to date with my materia medica, studying a past remedy I was taught or adding a new remedy into my memory bank. John Millar N.D. taught us a way of learning remedies through the repertory, choosing a specific remedy and finding its individual rubrics and why it may be contained in the rubric and why that remedy has the symptom. A day in my homeopath days can be looked at as if I am back at school. Their is a lot of info to keep up to date or even old information that is not well known in the memory banks.
3. What do you most love about being a homeopath? What I love most about homeopathy is that it is safe and effective. All ages from unborn to elderly can use homeopathy. Wether you are extremely sensitive or find that you have a strong vitality and not many things act well for yourself. Homeopathy may be an option for you. I love the fact that no two persons experience the same set of symptoms so why should we be treated with the same medicine. We all can experience a headache and no two headaches are the same. This making homeopathy excellent for an individual. Although diagnoses are nice to have, they may not always be correct. The other reason why I love homeopathy is that as long as you can explain your symptoms there can be a well indicated remedy regardless of a diagnoses. And if you cannot describe well, often a homeopath can get good objective symptoms to point them in the right direction.
4. What is your favourite homeopathic story? My favourite homeopathic story that calls to me is about when a symptoms/ailment gets better, we tend to forget what we were like at their worse. Picture a man or a women who loves to indulge in foods and wine. These foods may be of high class meals consisting of steak with garlic mashed potatoes or a homemade dish of fresh spaghetti and sauce with a tendency to enjoy too many glasses of wine. Now these type of people like to over indulge during breakfast, lunch, dinner and maybe on vacation. They may also be considered a workaholic, dedicating there lives to their jobs. By nighttime they would be symptom free, going to bed with a full belly. Yet they would be awaken during the night with an intense burning pain coming from the stomach up the esophagus, causing difficulty in breathing and making them rush to the bathroom to reach for gaviscone (an anti-acid). Now this gaviscone works temporarily for the acute flare up of the acid-reflux/ heart burn, but it has yet to fix the issue. It only masks the symptoms, not correcting what is actually going on. Maybe this person should not eat so much rich and delicious food? Maybe the need to produce more stomach acid? Maybe the body is overburdened? That is easier to say then to persuade them to change lifestyle.
A remedy was prescribed, maybe the reader has guest what that remedy is? Yes!… It is nux-vomica. Now the remedy nux-v was prescribed by a homeopath and instructed the individual to take the remedy daily. Never hearing from them since the first prescription. Until 2 months later when the individual ran out of the remedy and the acid-reflux began to return. Calling the homeopath saying they need a refill. But before the remedy can be prescribed again a homeopath must go through the follow up procedure to make sure that the remedy is still indicated.
The moral of the story is that health takes time. It doesn't necessarily happen over night or over a couple weeks. Sometimes it can take a month or even up to a year, maybe longer. You just need to keep in sight that you are on the right track and sometimes we can forget how things used to be before we got better until those symptoms come back.
5. We don't need to know what you had for breakfast, but I'm sure it was healthy and delicious, so do tell! What did you have for breakfast? Breakfast! I would say that it is my favourite meal of the day. Now it is not necessarily a one meal show. First I like to began with a big glass of water upon rising. Maybe some lemon or lime water, but most often it is room temperature water. Second I go straight for the fruit, preferably fresh orange juice or a very ripe fruit, get a good source of fructose in my body to replenish glycogen used up over night from a solid restorative sleep. Next would be the big meal for breakfast. Maybe some soft boiled eggs with turkey sausages and potatoes or a nice big milkshake. The milkshake may consist of fresh seasonal fruit, maple syrup and collagen or gelatin to increase to protein. Then once my belly has been satisfied I may enjoy a nice cup of coffee blended with ghee, maple syrup and collagen or gelatin.
6. Tell us a little about your life before you became a homeopath. Before I was interested in natural health medicine and homeopathy, I was a semiprofessional football player in the CJFL for the Edmonton Huskies on the offensive line. Playing in the CJFL for 3 seasons in total 2012-2014, then realizing my body had enough. While I was playing football I was also working in construction, framing decks, fences, homes and condo/apartment buildings. I was going very hard on my body wether it was working 8 hours then football practice for a couple more hours or having to play in a game. My body was tired and needed a switch up. Before all that I was in high school and had no clue what I wanted to do with my life/career.
7. How did you change your life through homeopathy? Homeopathy has changed my own life by boosting my immune system and making me less susceptible to allergies. Before I would suffer from sever summertime allergies. Working on a golf course I was constantly sneezing, terrible itching of my eyes throat and palate. After my first year in homeopathy we learnt first aid, trauma and allergie remedies. Matching my symptoms to the well indicated remedy I have been allergies free for over 3 years. Now if I experience some sneezing and/or itchiness I just re dose my remedy and I tend to be good for the rest of the season.
Homeopathy has also changed my life with headaches. Before I would suffer from serious headaches once maybe twice a week. Now they seem to be getting further and further apart. When I do get a headache I have a specific remedy that matches my headache symptoms and after a few doses I can get back to myself and whatever activity I have to do for that day.
Lastly homeopathy has helped clear up my skin. I suffered from a dry itchy skin with rashes on my arms and limbs for over a year. After finding a chronic/constitutional remedy my skin has cleared right up and I feel like my immune system has strengthened. So homeopathy has helped me come along way.
8. What role did CCHM play in supporting your transformation? CCHM has played a very important role in my transformation. They are the shoulder that you can lean on when nothing feels like it is going your way. Yes, life is a struggle and there will be times when you feel like giving up. But the shoulder of CCHM is to not just pamper you or make you feel better. They are there to help pick you up and push you on your way. To continue when the going gets tough. Eventually you will break through on top and you will be so happy that you continued to push yourself. It will make you look back and think, “Hey, that was not so bad after all. I have been through worse and still made it on top”. Most often it is hard to see how far you have made it. We forget what things used to be like, where we started and get caught up in the present moment of not succeeding. When we self reflect and look back at times, you can see that those essays, case studies and materia medica were not all that bad. That maybe you now miss having so much on your plate. CCHM and the staff made sure that I was continuing to push through it all. Pushing through to the top. And once we make it to that top, there will always be the next mountain to climb. They helped my transformation in thinking, learning and questioning like a homeopath. Pushing you to succeed and continuing the succession.
9. What are three key memories from your experience at CCHM? The big three key memories from CCHM are as follows:
1. The intensive learning on how to take the initial case and then seeing the live action of Dr. Joe Kellerstein on taking a case during the colleges internship clinic. First you learn all questions that one may think of during a initial consultation. Then once you feel like you understand how to take a case, you get to watch the man himself perform the questions and try to understand through his train of thought. Most often you will not know what Joe is searching after, as he wears his poker face well. Keeping calm and inquisitive Dr. Kellerstein continues to push deeper into understanding the patient from there own perspective. Then once he hears what he wanted a light bulb shines above his head, creating the next questions to make sure that the remedy he has in his mind and repertory chart fits the case. It is almost like watching someone being interrogated by a detective except Joe is kind and gentle towards his patients, (no slamming fists onto the table or blowing cigarette smoke in your face. “What I picture when being interrogated by the police based off television shows”.)
2. Second would be the memory of leaving class after having back to back Dr. John Miller classes. Don’t get me wrong, Dr. Miller is my favourite teacher from CCHM. When you have him for both lectures in one day, by the end at 5pm your brain might be oozing out your ear canal. Wether its an intensive homeopathic style of pathophysiology or a well explained materia medica class, Dr. John Miller will not leave you bored at your desk. Playing rock n roll music and acting out remedies in class will be a memory I will always hold. At the end of the day, Dr. Miller himself is beginning to have sparks coming out his ears from all the brain work he puts out. Through all his efforts you can see his passion for homeopathic medicine and to educate his students.
3. My 3rd final memory from CCHM would be from Joan Weirs class. Unfortunately she no longer teaches at the college. Now Kanan Patel takes over the class of “Patient communication and personal development”. I remember it most from Joans class because thats when I first experienced the class. Using techniques to leave out whatever you have going on in your world and mind, so that once you step into your office your mind is clear and focused on providing aid for someone. Kanan does an excellent job with her own techniques. Its all about being open, sharing your experience and techniques how to free the mind from concerns so that you can stay focus and do what a homeopath should be doing, providing care.
10. What obstacles did you have to overcome in order to become a homeopath? What obstacle did I overcome to become a homeopath? I find the biggest obstacle for me to become a homeopath was the self doubt. Through the intensive program it is not hard to doubt yourself. Saying “Oh, this will never work. I cant do this. My family doesn’t know what homeopathy really is, how can I practice this different take on medicine?” But as time goes on and you keep pushing yourself to become a homeopath. Somewhere in the 3rd year of school, it all just clicks. You begin to see the remedies in your mind, connecting the links from patient expression to materia medica. That all this effort and hard work eventually does pay itself off and it feels really good. You understand that etiology is most often everything and sometimes it is nothing. You begin to think like a homeopath in seeing the complete picture. What remedy does this person make you think of most? Now we don’t jump to conclusions on what we think, thats what materia medica is for. To double check our ideas and make sure that what we see in front of us is actually the remedy the patient needs.
11. How do you see your future in homeopathy? How do I see my future in homeopathy? I see my future in homeopathy to be a long and hard journey. Just like school it takes time and effort until it all clicks. Currently I feel very drawn to homeopathy and I hope that it does not change. My current state of mind is to pursue homeopathy to the full extent. Working on creating a well established clinic, seeing results and seeing people smile after treatment. I want to educate the public in making homeopathy known so that everyone has a second, third, or fourth choice in providing aid for their health. Doing talks monthly at a health food store or maybe hosting a wellness event. I feel that homeopathy can be casted in the shadows and it gets wrapped up in this big ball of natural medicine, when it has such a different philosophical view of dis-ease. I often hear that someone says they know what homeopathy is but it is bunched into the ball of naturopathy. Yes it is good to know naturopathy, but wouldn’t you want to know the big difference between the two? Or what exactly is a homeopathy and how does it work? I can see my future working on getting the name of homeopathy out into the world and more known between the common overworked folk.
12. What do you love about the homeopathic community? What I love most about the homeopathic community is that there is something different in the air when homeopaths talk. We have been trained in health science but what separates us the most is our homeopathic mind set. I find that most homeopaths I meet have such a strong passion for homeopathy that it gets everyone else on the same page. That the energy/mood/spirit a homeopathy presents is so strong that it is addicting. Meeting someone who is passionate about making someone well. Our goal is for you to not come back into our office. It takes time to heal and it is not a straight line. But what I love most about homeopaths is that we want individuals to get better and the pursuit of understanding materia medica. We have many remedies and they can paint amazing pictures in our minds.
13. What advice can you offer to a person considering becoming a homeopath? The best advice I can give to someone who is interested in studying homeopathy or becoming a homeopath, is to just go for it! Just do it! No self doubt, don’t think twice, don’t think what others may think of you, that is their own problem. Be yourself and do what interests you, not what interest others. Now you may not understand the lingo of ‘Organon of the medical art’ right away. Heck, I don’t understand all of it completely either. We all learn at different speeds and methods. Best advice is to just start the journey of homeopathy, give it a try by testing out the methods/ideas, and try to prove it wrong. You might be amazed what can come from these little sugar pellets.
14. Can you recommend a couple of good books on homeopathy? Books to recommend for homeopathy? Choosing favourites has always been difficult for me, yet I always enjoy listening to what others choose a their favourites. We have so many books about homeopathy. You can read one book, learn that method and then learn something completely different from the next book. The ones that have made my homeopathic journey and still continue to use are; Boger materia medica, Materia Medica Pura, Morrison Desktop guide and Boenninghausen’s therapeutic pocket book. Now for books that aren’t so intensive of a read you could go with more recent homeopaths; Essence of materia medica by Goergoe Vithoulkas and Franz Vermeulen Prisma. George can paint a good mental picture of what a remedy may look like but it is not always exact how he describes, but it does get you in the ball park of a remedy.