This review was reprinted from the March 2002 edition of Homeopathy in Practice with permission from the Alliance of Registered Homeopaths.
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Homeopathy for Musculoskeletal Healing
By: Asa Hershoff
North Atlantic Books, Berkeley, CA, 1996.
xii + 314 pp., pb ISBN 1-55643-127-9
Reviewed by: Myriam Shivadikar
The purpose of this book is to gather and consolidate the wealth of information and practical guidance on musculoskeletal disorders and present it in a highly accessible form. The author is interested in graphic arts, multimedia and the way that people scan and assimilate knowledge, and this is evident in his presentation. The writing style is easy to read, with many subheadings and bullet point lists, and there are charts and userfriendly diagrams. The book consists of four main sections - each with a standardised format - and an appendix which offers a practical method of finding the correct remedy for various disorders.
'The principles of homeopathy' consists of 16 chapters, which provide an overview of homeopathic principles, and examine some of the key concepts necessary to prescribe a remedy. This should make it attractive to osteopaths and chiropractors as well as novice homeopaths. It is not meant to be a complete course on homeopathy yet it does provide a reasonable grounding in how to differentiate remedies, and advanced practitioners could find it interesting from the point of view of how the principles are explained and illustrated.
Section 2 consists of 31 'condition charts' related to specific musculoskeletal conditions/disorders or major areas of the body. A synopsis of the six to eight main remedies for the conditions or locations are described and are linked numerically to more extensive descriptions in Section 3. Some charts also provide illustrations of body areas and their associated homeopathic remedies. 'Materia medica' contains descriptions of 61 important remedies associated with the musculoskeletal conditions found in the charts. The symptoms and modalities are a distillation of the essential characteristics of the remedies, making it easy for a beginner to use. The focus of the remedies is the musculoskeletal symptoms, together with a brief description of other characteristic mind and body symptoms. The 'Therapeutic guide' section provides more extensive lists of conditions and locations and the remedies that can be effective for them, graded according to their relative importance. An appendix looks at the relationship of remedies in good detail and gives a guide to the sequence of prescribing.
This book will be popular amongst homeopaths wanting to know more about disorders of bones and muscles and which remedies are appropriate for different etiologies as well as remedies for different parts of the spine and joints. As a homeopath and a teacher I learnt a lot and was inspired by the book's simplicity to give lectures on this subject. Students noticed me referring to it, and many decided to go out and buy it because it is simple and practical to use as a reference book in the clinic.