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This book review is reprinted with permission from Volume 18, Winter 2005 Edition of Homeopathic Links.
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The Companion to Homoeopathy: The Practitioner's Guide
By: Colin Griffith
820 pages, hardback, ISBN 1-84293-148-2
Watkins London, 2005
Reviewed by Francis Treuherz, MA RSHom FSHom, England
Colin Griffith has bravely put on record his many years of experience in practice and teaching in the UK. This book is a major expose of how a homeopath thinks. It is about illness and disease but also about health and cures, achieved with painstaking work and flashes of insight. The excitement of the author is infectious. He writes anecdotal case stories of ordinary folk, and of Beethoven, Brahms and Byron. This is about clinical excellence achieved through a rigorous philosophy combined with intuition. It is not about first aid or self treatment, but it will enlighten the intelligent reader about when to go and consult a registered and trained homeopath. This rigorous approach will enlighten students and will remind experienced homeopaths of the sources of our thought processes, especially if our thoughts have become hardened, or have strayed into areas of heresy.
At a mighty 820 pages this book is heavy to pick up, but it is not heavy going. It is a joy to read. The introduction looks at our basic principles, and the ideas of hierarchy of our bodies and our pathology. We may be at present the Cinderella of the medicine fraternity but if our principles have a universal application we do not have to be. Maintaining causes are myriad and Griffith deals with just a few such as: antidotes, trauma, anaesthesia, surgery, allopathy, hormones, dental procedures and amalgam, nutrition, vaccines, allergens, family politics, and our own homeopathic judgements. The final major section looks at old and new miasms. The only section about which I have a strong negative opinion is where close to the end of the book he introduces eastern religious mythology or religion or philosophy; I am not sure how to classify this. I do not find it essential to our homeopathic model. It is a distraction from the rest of the book and muddles the clarity of expression; one cannot find a Karma in a proving. Griffith has found a way of interpreting miasms through an understanding of Karma. I know, however, that some readers will find this a useful prism through which to view the miasms.
We do not work alone, and I know that the author has developed a strong understanding of cranial osteopathy. I caricaturise regular osteopaths as manipulating a body into what they regard as a normal shape or posture; but a cranial osteopath or a cranio-sacral therapist enables the body to adjust itself, which is a meaningful parallel to the action of our minimum doses. The two therapies are truly compatible, as he shows in some of his case histories. It is these histories which bring to life the theoretical parts of the book. It is a long book, so take your time and read some every day for a few weeks. If your children can read long Harry Potter books you can read this one!
The footnotes are clear; one can see that Griffith has a deep understanding of our sources Kent, Clarke, Burnett, Fincke and more. There is a well-thought-out index of concepts, names and remedies. There is no bibliography; there was one but the publishers omitted it for their own reasons or just lost it. I hope that they include it in the next edition. I hope that there will be a next edition even if it has to become two volumes with the further experiences of Colin Griffith. I look forward to reading the book again soon.