Homeopathy for Musculoskeletal Healing

Language
English
Type
Paperback
Publisher
North Atlantic Books
Author(s) Asa Hershoff
5+ Items In stock
Delivery time 24 hours
€19.91
Through a meticulous labor of love, Dr. Hershoff has produced a virtual musculoskeletal textbook for chiropractors and physicians who are pursuing a course of natural health care for their patients. The heart of his book, the first of its kind, addresses the homeopathic solutions for musculoskeletal complaints commonly seen in our offices and commonly experienced by many people in the course of their lives. As he focuses our attention on the musculoskeletal keynotes and affinities of the homeopathic materia medica, easy to read illustrations and charts help us reach the homeopathic cure, (or similimum) for many acute and chronic conditions. This book has the potential to relieve much human suffering.
More Information
ISBN9781556432378
AuthorAsa Hershoff
TypePaperback
LanguageEnglish
Publication Date1997-03-31
Pages301
PublisherNorth Atlantic Books
Review

This book review is reprinted with the permission of the Homeopathic Academy of Naturopathic Physicians

Reviewed by Durr Elmore

One beautiful aspect of Homeopathy is its versatility. Homeopathy is effective for all types of healing. Many people are introduced to homeopathy's efficacy by treating first aid or trauma situations. Others use homeopathic remedies in treating acute illness. Those practitioners with a deeper understanding of the homeopathys' principles excel in treating chronic diseases. Amongst this group, a small number of homeopaths look closely at miasms, discovering a way to treat ailments related to past and present complaints, and in effect are treating future (unborn) generations.

Dr. Asa Hershoff has written an excellent book designed for practitioners of the healing arts who specialize in treating musculoskeletal complaints-chiropractors, physiatrists, massage therapists, some osteopaths, and other's who work primarily with physical medicine. It is clearly written to introduce homeopathy to these practitioners, and is presented in a well organized manner with a user-friendly appearance. The graphics and layout of this book are wonderful. Many line drawings are effectively used to show areas of a remedies action and focus.

In the Introduction, Dr. Hershoff writes, "Homeopathy has a remarkable record for treating and curing musculoskeletal conditions .... The present book is an attempt to gather and consolidate this wealth of knowledge and practical guidance and to present it in a highly accessible form."

This book is designed for those with little or no knowledge of homeopathy. The first 70 pages present a relevant introduction to homeopathy and its principles. Using plain language and clear illustrations, Dr. Hershoff places types of care on a continuum, with the extremes being matter and energy. Homeopathy, of course, is at the energy end of the spectrum. Health and disease, and the life force, are discussed.

The infinitesimal dose and law of similars are presented, with a chapter introducing the concept of constitutional prescribing. The emphasis of this book, however, is on therapeutic or clinical prescribing.

The second section is called Condition Charts, giving a brief therapeutic guide of the most commonly indicated remedies for specific conditions (trauma, cervical spine, thoracic spine, low back pain, extremities, arthritis and headache.

The next section, Materia Medica, covers 120 pages and sixty-one remedies. Characteristics of each remedy are clearly presented and illustrated. The last section is a brief therapeutic guide, like a mini-repertory, listing remedies prominent in treating certain areas of the body and conditions, such as tennis elbow, arthritis of the hip, etc.

The only critique I will make of this book is I wish Dr. Hershoff had placed more emphasis on the power of homeopathy in treating all types of chronic diseases, and the necessity for a great deal of experience and education on the part of the homeopath in successfully doing this. If those new to homeopathy do not achieve success in their prescriptions, they should be encouraged to refer these patients to experienced homeopaths. Most of the conditions in this book are, after all, chronic (arthritis, sciatica, headaches, etc.). Granted, good results can be obtained by novices in the homeopathic treatment of trauma and acute injuries, but, unfortunately, treating chronic conditions usually requires a constitutional rather than a lesional approach.

In summary, Homeopathy for Musculoskeletal Healing is an important book, introducing homeopathy to health professionals, and is clearly written and well designed. This is a book for health practitioners without knowledge of homeopathy, as well as those who already use homeopathic remedies but are not real homeopaths. Homeopathy for Musculoskeletal Healing is a well-written, well-designed text that should place homeopathy 'on the map', making homeopathy understandable and usable to many practitioners.

SIMILLIMUM / Summer 1998
Volume XI No. 2

This book review is reprinted with the permission of the National Center for Homeopathy

Reviewed by Larry Malerba, DO

I'm always on the lookout for a good solid practical reference that will help me wade through the seemingly infinite amount of homeopathic data that is out there, and Asa Hershoff's new book seems to fit the bill nicely. The first word that comes to mind on perusing this book is "organization." Part of the author's goal as stated on page one is to "attempt to gather and consolidate this wealth of knowledge and practical guidance and to present it in a highly accessible form." It is clear that a tremendous amount of work must have gone into simply arranging the information in this book, let alone gathering the information itself. An obvious "information age" influence is apparent as evidenced by the numerous diagrams, flow charts, and illustrations that have a strong computer graphic feel to them. I love the nifty little graphic representation of each remedy in the materia medica section. This all adds up to a very strong aesthetic influence that is pleasing to the eye and therefore conducive to using this book as a reference.

Unfortunately, very few people understand the true nature of homeopathy, and there is a tendency for newcomers to pick up a first-aid or "therapeutics" book and get an allopathic impression that homeopathy involves giving one remedy for this, another for that, with little sense of its power to treat the totality of the person. Hershoff addresses this dilemma in the first 70 pages with what may be the most concise, yet thorough and clear, explanation of homeopathic principles and practice that I've ever read. The entire gamut of topics including vital force, law of similars, pharmacy, symptoms and case taking, acute vs. chronic prescribing, health, disease, cure, etc, are covered with great precision and a minimum of excess verbiage.

In addition, this information is presented in a modernized, "scientific," information-age type of terminology that will definitely pique the interest of those so inclined. For example, on page 17 Hershoff states: "Homeopathy excels at the level of pattern, software, or information technology - the level of biological intelligence. Though we can change the patterns of our behavior, lifestyle, or eating habits on a gross level, homeopathy can change the deepest patterns of biochemical, physiological, and even cellular function. Homeopathy frees the system from fixed, rigid patterns of function that hamper our deepest healing resources and capacities." And on page 29: "Old injuries, toxic drugs, emotional trauma, past illness; all these can leave an energetic pattern or imprint that exists indefinitely, and continues to erode the health and well-being of a person. Since these imprints or patterns exist on an energetic or information level, homeopathy is the ultimate tool for neutralizing them." This is great stuff, and the perfect book to give to your scientifically skeptical friends and colleagues, because it speaks in their language but does not compromise on principles.

The "meat" of the book is about the homeopathic treatment of acute and chronic musculoskeletal conditions and is broken up into three main sections. The "Condition Charts" section is an extremely well-organized sequence of therapeutic differentials relating to specific diagnoses such as trauma, sciatica, arthritis, and fibromyalgia, and also relating to conditions involving different parts of the musculoskeletal system such as cervical spine, thoracic spine, hip joint, knee, ankle, etc. Each remedy within a differential is clearly cross referenced to the appropriate place in the "Materia Medica" section that follows. This section consists of a materia medica of the musculoskeletal symptoms and indications of 61 different remedies. Keynotes, modalities, and psychological aspects of some remedies are also included. This may serve as a valuable study guide to the musculoskeletal aspects of both polychrests and smaller remedies such as Actea spicata, Formica rufa, Gnaphalium, Kalmia, Lachnantes, and Stellaria media. The next section entitled the "Therapeutic Guide" is a mini-repertory covering the various body parts and their associated conditions, and the following Appendix contains a nice little section on remedy relationships.

As I feel obligated to critique some aspect of this book, I would point out that since potency selection is already one of the more controversial aspects of homeopathy, Dr. Hershoff's recommendations as to specific potencies to be used for various remedies and conditions may potentially cause some confusion to the newcomer, and may add fuel to the fire of the more experienced who like to debate these issues.

North Atlantic Books has published another gem and Dr. Hershoff deserves much credit for the labor and love he must have put into this book. It is an excellent book to introduce homeopathy to orthopedic doctors, osteopathic physicians, chiropractors, massage therapists, and body workers of all types. The explanation of principles and practice is good reading for both the novice and the experienced, and the therapeutics and materia medica sections serve as an excellent reference and study guide for all homeopaths. Two thumbs up!

HOMEOPATHY TODAY / MAY 1997

This book review is reprinted from The Homoeopath with permission from Nick Churchill of The Society of Homoeopaths.

Reviewed by Alistair Dempster

Asa Hershoff is a naturopathic physician, chiropractor and homoeopath. He was founder of the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine, and was a key figure in the revival of natural medicine in Canada. He lives and practises in Santa Monica, California. I have given you this information about the author since his background is extremely pertinent to why he has written the book. His practical knowledge and chiropractic skills are well combined with his theoretical understanding and application of homoeopathy. This combination is well presented and readily understood and absorbed. As the text implies the scope of the book falls into the 'specialist' category and as such the approach tends to be symptomatic of the condition and thus Homeopathic Therapeutics for Musculoskeletal Healing would have been a more appropriate wordy but less attractive title.

The book is not just aimed at practising homoeopaths but also for anyone with an interest, or an involvement in the treatment of musculoskeletal problems, and would be desktop texts for the likes of chiropractors, osteopaths, massage practitioners, sports physiotherapists and so on. This is a book that should be used to see how good it is. Not much will be gained by merely reading through it. Like other books with materia medica content, and a therapeutic bent, they should be practical to use. I was impressed by the well thought out way in which the book was presented and laid out and as the author states the design was influenced by his interest in graphic arts, multimedia, "and the way people scan and assimilate knowledge in this information age". It reminded me very much of CD Rom interactive packages and I dare say it would lend itself to a suitable program. The design is said to lend itself to rapidly finding effective remedies for a wide range of musculoskeletal conditions. The main drawback could be the limited number of remedies offered for each designated condition as defined in the Condition Charts section. There could be a tendency to shoehorn patients into the symptom pictures presented, especially for an inexperienced practitioner. Having said that the therapeutic Conditions section is well researched from numerous sources and is also based, presumably, on the author's own clinical experience. I feel it would have been useful to describe Hershoff's approach, to include some short case examples of the conditions that have been detailed, to put us in touch with the patients and the circumstances that led to their illness. On the other hand the therapeutic charts offer remedies that repertorisation may lose, that is, those small remedies. It would also be useful for home use as the text is well laid out with attractive graphic charts and line drawings and include the essential components of homoeopathic philosophy. However my feeling is that the experienced practitioner and student plus those using homoeopathy in a therapeutic way would gain most from its day to day rise.

The chapter 'How to use this book', as the name implies, is essential reading as it tells us how to make effective use of the information available to prescribe accurately. It also briefly describes the four main sections of the book:

'Principles of Homoeopathy': there are 16 headings in this section which includes homoeopathic principles, therapeutic prescribing, disease and causation, potency selection and the healing process. For a 'therapeutics' book praise must be given to the author for including such a detailed outline of the essential tenets of homoeopathy and thus taking it beyond the realm of mere symptomatic prescribing.

'Condition Charts': there are 31 of these related to various major areas of the body with particular reference to musculoskeletal conditions. The chart summarises between six and eight main remedies associated with that condition along with Keynote descriptions of each. Beside each remedy name is a number which is a quick cross reference to an allocated number in the Materia Medica section - not a page number of the book. There were a couple of anomalies which were annoying such as in the Wrist section, page 105, where Rhus tox was number 44, but in the Materia Medica section Pulsatilla was 44. Similarly Viola odorata was 70 but turned out to be 61. In fact seven out of the eight cross reference numbers were wrong in this chart, but fortunately the materia medica section is arranged alphabetically and so the remedies were not difficult to find. I am sure the next edition will have these errors corrected.

'Materia Medica' section: this details all the remedies mentioned in the book and gives Keynotes, physiological affinity, symptoms and modalities, followed by a symptom profile, dosage and repetition guide and a Clinical Conditions box. The materia medica was good for scanning through and picking up the essentials about the remedy when comparing it with others of a similar nature.

'Therapeutic Guide': arranged in sections with special reference to the location of Condition Charts previously described. Kentian grading emphasis was applied to the listing of remedies for each condition listed.

In the Appendix there is a remedy relationships section applicable to the remedies used in the book. There is an interesting piece on antidotal substances giving details, such as, avoiding wine when taking Arnica, Agaricus or Belladonna.

Finally for those wishing to read more with relevance to the title subject the comprehensive bibliography offers plenty of scope and interest.

When all is said and done I found the book easy and useful to use with my initial misgivings about 'therapeutics = symptomatic' allayed by the careful and intelligent marriage between whole person and condition based prescribing. This book fills those gaps where whole person prescribing may be inappropriate, or when dealing with acutes, but at the same time always strives to remind the practitioner to give remedies according to the big picture, not just the small one. A useful and practical addition to any homoeopathic library.

The Homoeopath - Summer 1997

Review

This book review is reprinted with the permission of the Homeopathic Academy of Naturopathic Physicians

Reviewed by Durr Elmore

One beautiful aspect of Homeopathy is its versatility. Homeopathy is effective for all types of healing. Many people are introduced to homeopathy's efficacy by treating first aid or trauma situations. Others use homeopathic remedies in treating acute illness. Those practitioners with a deeper understanding of the homeopathys' principles excel in treating chronic diseases. Amongst this group, a small number of homeopaths look closely at miasms, discovering a way to treat ailments related to past and present complaints, and in effect are treating future (unborn) generations.

Dr. Asa Hershoff has written an excellent book designed for practitioners of the healing arts who specialize in treating musculoskeletal complaints-chiropractors, physiatrists, massage therapists, some osteopaths, and other's who work primarily with physical medicine. It is clearly written to introduce homeopathy to these practitioners, and is presented in a well organized manner with a user-friendly appearance. The graphics and layout of this book are wonderful. Many line drawings are effectively used to show areas of a remedies action and focus.

In the Introduction, Dr. Hershoff writes, "Homeopathy has a remarkable record for treating and curing musculoskeletal conditions .... The present book is an attempt to gather and consolidate this wealth of knowledge and practical guidance and to present it in a highly accessible form."

This book is designed for those with little or no knowledge of homeopathy. The first 70 pages present a relevant introduction to homeopathy and its principles. Using plain language and clear illustrations, Dr. Hershoff places types of care on a continuum, with the extremes being matter and energy. Homeopathy, of course, is at the energy end of the spectrum. Health and disease, and the life force, are discussed.

The infinitesimal dose and law of similars are presented, with a chapter introducing the concept of constitutional prescribing. The emphasis of this book, however, is on therapeutic or clinical prescribing.

The second section is called Condition Charts, giving a brief therapeutic guide of the most commonly indicated remedies for specific conditions (trauma, cervical spine, thoracic spine, low back pain, extremities, arthritis and headache.

The next section, Materia Medica, covers 120 pages and sixty-one remedies. Characteristics of each remedy are clearly presented and illustrated. The last section is a brief therapeutic guide, like a mini-repertory, listing remedies prominent in treating certain areas of the body and conditions, such as tennis elbow, arthritis of the hip, etc.

The only critique I will make of this book is I wish Dr. Hershoff had placed more emphasis on the power of homeopathy in treating all types of chronic diseases, and the necessity for a great deal of experience and education on the part of the homeopath in successfully doing this. If those new to homeopathy do not achieve success in their prescriptions, they should be encouraged to refer these patients to experienced homeopaths. Most of the conditions in this book are, after all, chronic (arthritis, sciatica, headaches, etc.). Granted, good results can be obtained by novices in the homeopathic treatment of trauma and acute injuries, but, unfortunately, treating chronic conditions usually requires a constitutional rather than a lesional approach.

In summary, Homeopathy for Musculoskeletal Healing is an important book, introducing homeopathy to health professionals, and is clearly written and well designed. This is a book for health practitioners without knowledge of homeopathy, as well as those who already use homeopathic remedies but are not real homeopaths. Homeopathy for Musculoskeletal Healing is a well-written, well-designed text that should place homeopathy 'on the map', making homeopathy understandable and usable to many practitioners.

SIMILLIMUM / Summer 1998
Volume XI No. 2

This book review is reprinted with the permission of the National Center for Homeopathy

Reviewed by Larry Malerba, DO

I'm always on the lookout for a good solid practical reference that will help me wade through the seemingly infinite amount of homeopathic data that is out there, and Asa Hershoff's new book seems to fit the bill nicely. The first word that comes to mind on perusing this book is "organization." Part of the author's goal as stated on page one is to "attempt to gather and consolidate this wealth of knowledge and practical guidance and to present it in a highly accessible form." It is clear that a tremendous amount of work must have gone into simply arranging the information in this book, let alone gathering the information itself. An obvious "information age" influence is apparent as evidenced by the numerous diagrams, flow charts, and illustrations that have a strong computer graphic feel to them. I love the nifty little graphic representation of each remedy in the materia medica section. This all adds up to a very strong aesthetic influence that is pleasing to the eye and therefore conducive to using this book as a reference.

Unfortunately, very few people understand the true nature of homeopathy, and there is a tendency for newcomers to pick up a first-aid or "therapeutics" book and get an allopathic impression that homeopathy involves giving one remedy for this, another for that, with little sense of its power to treat the totality of the person. Hershoff addresses this dilemma in the first 70 pages with what may be the most concise, yet thorough and clear, explanation of homeopathic principles and practice that I've ever read. The entire gamut of topics including vital force, law of similars, pharmacy, symptoms and case taking, acute vs. chronic prescribing, health, disease, cure, etc, are covered with great precision and a minimum of excess verbiage.

In addition, this information is presented in a modernized, "scientific," information-age type of terminology that will definitely pique the interest of those so inclined. For example, on page 17 Hershoff states: "Homeopathy excels at the level of pattern, software, or information technology - the level of biological intelligence. Though we can change the patterns of our behavior, lifestyle, or eating habits on a gross level, homeopathy can change the deepest patterns of biochemical, physiological, and even cellular function. Homeopathy frees the system from fixed, rigid patterns of function that hamper our deepest healing resources and capacities." And on page 29: "Old injuries, toxic drugs, emotional trauma, past illness; all these can leave an energetic pattern or imprint that exists indefinitely, and continues to erode the health and well-being of a person. Since these imprints or patterns exist on an energetic or information level, homeopathy is the ultimate tool for neutralizing them." This is great stuff, and the perfect book to give to your scientifically skeptical friends and colleagues, because it speaks in their language but does not compromise on principles.

The "meat" of the book is about the homeopathic treatment of acute and chronic musculoskeletal conditions and is broken up into three main sections. The "Condition Charts" section is an extremely well-organized sequence of therapeutic differentials relating to specific diagnoses such as trauma, sciatica, arthritis, and fibromyalgia, and also relating to conditions involving different parts of the musculoskeletal system such as cervical spine, thoracic spine, hip joint, knee, ankle, etc. Each remedy within a differential is clearly cross referenced to the appropriate place in the "Materia Medica" section that follows. This section consists of a materia medica of the musculoskeletal symptoms and indications of 61 different remedies. Keynotes, modalities, and psychological aspects of some remedies are also included. This may serve as a valuable study guide to the musculoskeletal aspects of both polychrests and smaller remedies such as Actea spicata, Formica rufa, Gnaphalium, Kalmia, Lachnantes, and Stellaria media. The next section entitled the "Therapeutic Guide" is a mini-repertory covering the various body parts and their associated conditions, and the following Appendix contains a nice little section on remedy relationships.

As I feel obligated to critique some aspect of this book, I would point out that since potency selection is already one of the more controversial aspects of homeopathy, Dr. Hershoff's recommendations as to specific potencies to be used for various remedies and conditions may potentially cause some confusion to the newcomer, and may add fuel to the fire of the more experienced who like to debate these issues.

North Atlantic Books has published another gem and Dr. Hershoff deserves much credit for the labor and love he must have put into this book. It is an excellent book to introduce homeopathy to orthopedic doctors, osteopathic physicians, chiropractors, massage therapists, and body workers of all types. The explanation of principles and practice is good reading for both the novice and the experienced, and the therapeutics and materia medica sections serve as an excellent reference and study guide for all homeopaths. Two thumbs up!

HOMEOPATHY TODAY / MAY 1997

This book review is reprinted from The Homoeopath with permission from Nick Churchill of The Society of Homoeopaths.

Reviewed by Alistair Dempster

Asa Hershoff is a naturopathic physician, chiropractor and homoeopath. He was founder of the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine, and was a key figure in the revival of natural medicine in Canada. He lives and practises in Santa Monica, California. I have given you this information about the author since his background is extremely pertinent to why he has written the book. His practical knowledge and chiropractic skills are well combined with his theoretical understanding and application of homoeopathy. This combination is well presented and readily understood and absorbed. As the text implies the scope of the book falls into the 'specialist' category and as such the approach tends to be symptomatic of the condition and thus Homeopathic Therapeutics for Musculoskeletal Healing would have been a more appropriate wordy but less attractive title.

The book is not just aimed at practising homoeopaths but also for anyone with an interest, or an involvement in the treatment of musculoskeletal problems, and would be desktop texts for the likes of chiropractors, osteopaths, massage practitioners, sports physiotherapists and so on. This is a book that should be used to see how good it is. Not much will be gained by merely reading through it. Like other books with materia medica content, and a therapeutic bent, they should be practical to use. I was impressed by the well thought out way in which the book was presented and laid out and as the author states the design was influenced by his interest in graphic arts, multimedia, "and the way people scan and assimilate knowledge in this information age". It reminded me very much of CD Rom interactive packages and I dare say it would lend itself to a suitable program. The design is said to lend itself to rapidly finding effective remedies for a wide range of musculoskeletal conditions. The main drawback could be the limited number of remedies offered for each designated condition as defined in the Condition Charts section. There could be a tendency to shoehorn patients into the symptom pictures presented, especially for an inexperienced practitioner. Having said that the therapeutic Conditions section is well researched from numerous sources and is also based, presumably, on the author's own clinical experience. I feel it would have been useful to describe Hershoff's approach, to include some short case examples of the conditions that have been detailed, to put us in touch with the patients and the circumstances that led to their illness. On the other hand the therapeutic charts offer remedies that repertorisation may lose, that is, those small remedies. It would also be useful for home use as the text is well laid out with attractive graphic charts and line drawings and include the essential components of homoeopathic philosophy. However my feeling is that the experienced practitioner and student plus those using homoeopathy in a therapeutic way would gain most from its day to day rise.

The chapter 'How to use this book', as the name implies, is essential reading as it tells us how to make effective use of the information available to prescribe accurately. It also briefly describes the four main sections of the book:

'Principles of Homoeopathy': there are 16 headings in this section which includes homoeopathic principles, therapeutic prescribing, disease and causation, potency selection and the healing process. For a 'therapeutics' book praise must be given to the author for including such a detailed outline of the essential tenets of homoeopathy and thus taking it beyond the realm of mere symptomatic prescribing.

'Condition Charts': there are 31 of these related to various major areas of the body with particular reference to musculoskeletal conditions. The chart summarises between six and eight main remedies associated with that condition along with Keynote descriptions of each. Beside each remedy name is a number which is a quick cross reference to an allocated number in the Materia Medica section - not a page number of the book. There were a couple of anomalies which were annoying such as in the Wrist section, page 105, where Rhus tox was number 44, but in the Materia Medica section Pulsatilla was 44. Similarly Viola odorata was 70 but turned out to be 61. In fact seven out of the eight cross reference numbers were wrong in this chart, but fortunately the materia medica section is arranged alphabetically and so the remedies were not difficult to find. I am sure the next edition will have these errors corrected.

'Materia Medica' section: this details all the remedies mentioned in the book and gives Keynotes, physiological affinity, symptoms and modalities, followed by a symptom profile, dosage and repetition guide and a Clinical Conditions box. The materia medica was good for scanning through and picking up the essentials about the remedy when comparing it with others of a similar nature.

'Therapeutic Guide': arranged in sections with special reference to the location of Condition Charts previously described. Kentian grading emphasis was applied to the listing of remedies for each condition listed.

In the Appendix there is a remedy relationships section applicable to the remedies used in the book. There is an interesting piece on antidotal substances giving details, such as, avoiding wine when taking Arnica, Agaricus or Belladonna.

Finally for those wishing to read more with relevance to the title subject the comprehensive bibliography offers plenty of scope and interest.

When all is said and done I found the book easy and useful to use with my initial misgivings about 'therapeutics = symptomatic' allayed by the careful and intelligent marriage between whole person and condition based prescribing. This book fills those gaps where whole person prescribing may be inappropriate, or when dealing with acutes, but at the same time always strives to remind the practitioner to give remedies according to the big picture, not just the small one. A useful and practical addition to any homoeopathic library.

The Homoeopath - Summer 1997