Magnesium is a mineral, one of six alkaline earth metals - along with beryllium, calcium, strontium, barium and radium - that make up the second column of the periodic table. In nature, it can only be found as a salt, that is, in combination with other minerals such as magnesium carbonate, magnesium sulphate, magnesium citrate, to name but a few. Elemental or free magnesium that is not combined with another element is a highly flammable, lightweight, shiny gray solid that can only be produced artificially.
Looking back on all the consultations I’ve given over the years, there are some that stick in my mind as being especially instructive – where I learned something new or had a particular insight into the homeopathic process. One such case occurred about 10 years ago at a time when there was a great deal of excitement amongst a certain segment of the profession about some novel ideas about the relationship between the patient and the ‘simillimum’ - the remedy most reflecting his or her inner state.
When we met, the patient, a woman I’ll call Eliza, had recently been to see a physician complaining of feeling inordinately fatigued and subsequently been diagnosed with an underactive thyroid. There was nothing unusual about either the diagnosis or the main presenting symptoms. Hypothyroidism, especially amongst women, is common – one could almost say epidemic in the modern world, and, low energy is perhaps the premier symptom associated with it.
Harry (not his real name) is an Asian Indian man going on 80 who became my patient about a year ago. Since he lives over 9,000 miles away, we have not actually ever met in person. But on the suggestion of a relative who is also a patient of mine, he requested a consultation via Skype.
I was certainly happy to oblige and happier still that our Internet connection was quite clear – a better connection, in fact, than I get with some people Skyping from Vermont. A diminutive man with a shaven head (think Ben Kingsley’s portrayal of Gandhi), Harry has a cheerful affect and brisk Indian English diction that enhanced our connection even further.
Concerned about the antibiotic residues in the chicken you are eating? It turns out that antibiotics is only one of a number of ‘additives’ that may be finding their way into poultry meat. Scientists from Johns Hopkins and Arizona State University researching the presence of antibiotics in poultry not only detected banned antibiotics but also found traces of Benadryl, Tylenol, caffeine, arsenic and personal care products (which could mean anything from chapstick to cosmetics to perfume).1
To quote one of the authors of the study, “It is unbelievable what we found...."
When a person seeks out my advice and/or assistance about a healthcare problem, a primary goal is not only to understand the nature of the symptoms but also to understand the context of the complaint. Discomfort and disease do not just arise, they arise out of something — an environment, an inheritance, an experience.
The difference between symptom relief and cure in medical treatment most often depends on the depth of this understanding. This is the great challenge: to explore all the factors related to a person’s health in the unique context of his or her life. It demands time, perserverance and perceptive abilities.