Homeopathy and Nursing

My main approach to understanding your condition is to examine it from the perspective of the principles of homeopathic medicine. That is, I want to understand the totality of symptoms in great detail, and how the symptoms relate to each other, how they alter your life. In addition, I look at the medical context using a nursing model. I want to understand your medical diagnosis. If you haven’t been given a medical diagnosis, I will aim to apply one, so that that we have a clear understanding of how much we can expect from homeopathy, and whether or not additional diagnostic studies are necessary.

A “nursing model” of medical diagnosis goes beyond the usual (and simple) application of a “disease label.” In nursing we also look at educational needs, rehabilitative potential, social and environmental factors, and spirituality related to your problems. For you, sitting in the chair, this will all seem pretty seamless, and at the end of your visit I will discuss your treatment plan with you. For adult patients, I do a full physical examination. For children, I usually don’t, although I may examine selected areas or systems (for example, a rash) as needed. Licensed in Pennsylvania as an Adult Nurse Practitioner, for patients 16 and older, in additional to medical diagnosis, I may order laboratory tests, x-rays, or other studies. In children 15 and younger, I will render my nursing opinion of the problem, but I will not serve in the role of the medical provider of record, nor will I prescribe drugs, order tests, or other advanced diagnostics. Thus, for children, I will be happy to provide homeopathic care, but require that all children have a relationship with a pediatric medical provider (e.g., pediatrician, pediatric or family nurse practitioner, or physician, or a physician’s assistant).

My main treatment modalities are homeopathy first, and “regular medicine” second, although I have been known to use herbs and nutritional supplements to help support patients while healing occurs. My preference is to have you off of drugs, but I also realize that sometimes nature shortchanges us, and it’s just better to continue medication. In fact, sometimes medicine is the best way to address a problem, and to that end, I reserve the right to defer further treatment if I feel a patient is being patently unsafe or reckless. I like to treat “ecologically” with the least medication necessary, and with a preference for homeopathy, nursing advice, and nutritional/herbal care. I never push a patient to stop any medication.

Nutritional Supplements & Herbs

As for supplements, my feeling is that Nature has equipped us very well to live in the world, and in general, once the system is back in balance, there’s no reason to continue most supplements. I don’t believe that human beings need massive amounts of expensive supplements in order to live well. If you need supplements, I can order them for you, although I often send people to the health food or grocery store for them as well, since I have no need to be in the supplement business. In general, once people are doing well, supplements can be used during periods of weakness or minor illness (such as a cold or flu), to help “bounce back.”

What’s the Goal?

My goal–and the goal of homeopathic medicine and nursing–is to have you become stronger so you don’t need me much. Ideally, a patient comes in a few times over several months, and then disappears from my practice until they need a “tune up” or something new happens.

Sometimes, due to genetics, or the length of an illness, etc., patients see me on a fairly regular basis. I am happy to see folks fairly regularly. However, because I am a full time professor at Penn State (and thus not always available), I encourage people to sustain a relationship with a full time primary care clinician, such as a nurse practitioner or physician. For my older patients and for those with chronic health problems, a relationship with a physician who is connected to a hospital is important, in case admission is necessary. In any case, lifelong homeopathic treatment combined with common sense nursing approaches to problems seems very much to improve people’s health over the long term. That is my observation, although we still await long term studies that would support that observation