Creating Waves of Awareness
BOOK REVIEW: reprinted with the permission of the International Foundation for Homeopathy. PO Box 7 Edmonds, WA 98020
Homeopathy for Musculoskeletal Healing
By Asa Hershoff, N.D., D.C.
Reviewed by Gloria St. John, M.B.A
Is this book on your shelf? Perhaps not, but it should be. It is a sleeper-something really good that is not appreciated for quite a while after its publication. Asa Hershoff, an experienced practitioner, accomplishes something very difficult with this book. He has made it useful for self prescribing and beginners as well as being an excellent reference for the homeopathic professional. In fact, even if you on treat muscular and skeletal problems, or do so rarely, this book offers a materia medica of 60 remedies that will enhance your general prescribing capability.
The first part of the book includes a wonderfully clear description of the vital force, the heating process, and the preparation of homeopathic remedies among other subjects that confound the newcomer to homeopathy. The way he expresses these concepts, however, has value even for those who understand them well. After 75 pages, we are into the "meat" of the musculoskeletal system: the spine, the extremities, arthritis, and headaches. There are also sections on trauma and scar tissue.
Within each section are useful subdivisions. The spine, for example, covers each physical region thoroughly as well as common conditions like sciatica. The section on arthritis is divided into sections based on the extent of degeneration, followed by one on the small joints. Arthritis shows up again in the sections on the specific joints where it is likely to strike.
I must confess that I don't completely understand the reasoning behind the organization of each section. However, I have absolute confidence that I can find whatever I am looking for in this book, perhaps because of Hershoff's expressed interest in "the way people assimilate knowledge" and his desire to provide an "easy -to-use interface." If a condition is not in the first sections, there is a therapeutic guide in the back that presents an alphabetical list of additional conditions likely to occur by body site and offers the main remedies in typical homeopathic convention of capitals, italics, etc.
The illustrations are superb. My favorite is the knee joint, which is used to show remedy tissue affinities. Ruta, it turns out, is not just "for the knee" but is for the cartilage or tendons of the knee. Arnica is best for muscle tissue and Bryonia for problems with the bursa or joint space, with Rhus tox for ligaments. My next favorite illustration is for headaches-that most ubiquitous of conditions. Who can recall all the locations and modalities for even the top remedies? The two-page head-ache chart gives a graphic look at the symptoms of 12 useful headache remedies. I would only ask that future charts keep the head gender-neutral to allow the graphics to stand alone.
The book gives us an unexpected gift at the end-a chart of remedy relationships: complementary, antidotes, and incompatibles along with duration. I can already see that it is more extensive, not to mention much easier to read, than the section in my Boericke Materia Medica. It turns out that remedies needed for musculoskeletal healing are the same remedies used frequently for other conditions.
This book is well worth having as a general reference. I took forward to Asa Hershoff's future works. His depth and scholarly approach, combined with attention to form and layout, assure me that I will be able to learn whatever he is trying to teach.
Gloria St. John is currently editing a book on the natural treatment of arthritis.
RESONANCE - September/October 1998