– An interview with Henny Heudens-Mast (M. Grimes)

0363_HHeudens-Mast An interview with Henny Heudens-Mast

Henny Heudens-Mast is one the world’s finest classical homeopaths and teachers. Through twenty years of a more than full time homeopathic practice (a twelve hour work day is a short day for Henny-she has incredible energy!), with her keen observation and clear thinking, she has acquired a deep understanding of all facets of homeopathy. She truly understands homeopathy as taught by Hahnemann, Kent and Hering, and applies their highest principles in her work. She understands miasms and their practical application, using family history and the patient’s symptoms to access which miasms are present in every case, which need to be treated first, and which are expected to surface further down the road. Henny is practical, teaching what she has learned from her personal experience. She is a brilliant prescriber, with an uncanny understand of patients, materia medica, and is a master at patient management. Many of her students feel she is the greatest homeopath and teacher alive today. She teaches regularly in the U.S. , Holland, Sweden, Norway, Switzerland, Germany, and has her own school in Belgium (280 hours a year for five years, totaling 1,400 hours). In short, Henny is rock solid; she practices and teaches the highest standards of homeopathy.
 -M.G.
 AH: How did you begin in Homeopathy?
 Heudens-Mast: When I was child, I was treated with combination remedies and did not like it. When I was ten, I said to my mother, “I don’t like all those drops with the taste of alcohol.” I liked normal medicines, so, she started treating my illnesses with conventional medicine. I got interested in being a doctor at that time. When I was 26, I became interested in homeopathy because allopathy was not healing my children. So, I took my son to a homeopath. He was given Bryonia, and got even worse. My husband said, “Why don’t you study homeopathy yourself, then.” So I did.
 AH: Who have been your favorite teachers?
 Heudens-Mast: Kent.
 AH: And now?
 Heudens-Mast: Kent. Between Kent and Kent was Dr. Voegli. I was impressed with his work. His books are philosophical works, about his view of the human condition. And Margarie Blackie.
 AH: What did you like about Margarie Blackie?
 Heudens-Mast: I like the love she has for homeopathy and for her patients. This came to me throughout her book. I saw that she loved the patient and loved to do the work to heal the patient. And, I really appreciated her observations of the patient.
 AH: How did you begin your practice?
 Heudens-Mast: When I began, I was the only homeopath in the whole country. I gave that one pill and got a reaction. At first I was seeing patients out of my home. For four years I worked for free, treating my friends. I did not charge because I felt I was a beginner and just “practicing.” After a while, I was practicing twenty hours a day, because the demand was so large. One day, I helped a woman who had had migraines for thirty years. Her doctor contacted me after he saw her cured, and wanted me to work in his practice with him. I began to teach him, then others to practice, and when we had more practitioners, I could work less and this is healthier.
 AH: How did you teach the doctor?
 Heudens-Mast: During car rides to home visits I would discuss the Organon and the Lesser Writings. He would watch during my consultations, and I would be in on his consultations, showing him how to apply homeopathy in acute situations. Then we both had too many requests for treatment, and a third doctor joined, then a fourth, then a fifth.
 AH: These were trained Medical doctors? What attracted them?
 Heudens-Mast: They heard the results we were getting.
 AH: What is your practice like now?
 Heudens-Mast: I practice with 4 colleagues, one of whom is my son. It is a privilege to see him doing homeopathy. He is very enthusiastic. The rest of the family is very supportive to homeopathy in any way they can. Even painting windows of the practice, if necessary.
 AH: Can you talk more about practicing with your son?
 Heudens-Mast: One day, I sat in to supervise him, as I do with all my colleagues. Afterwards he told the patient “I had to be 32 years old to learn that. I had to listen to my mother.” We work as colleagues, not mother and son. It is no problem for us to do this.
 AH: How do you prescribe?
 Heudens-Mast: I am very classical. Only one remedy at a time, and I wait to see what the patient needs- not what I think, but what I see in them, what the vital force shows me.
 AH: What books do you use?
 Heudens-Mast: Kent is always my favorite. I read the Organon regularly. I read it in English. When I started to study homeopathy, the books were only in English. Now we have good translations, but I have learned that if you read in another language, you think more about what you read. So, I prefer to read the Organon in English.
 In practice, I use Clarke, and Phatak. Clark’s Materia Medica for me is wonderful. I love his beginning statements. Mary Tyler is a favorite book of mine. I like to sit under an apple tree and read it, or take it into my bath. I read this as a novel. She is a soft woman, much more sensitive than Kent. She describes the remedies in a feminine way. She gossips about them. Kent is very strict, rigid, but he is honest and clear. He is wonderful. In each book you find the character of the writer. Start with the one you love, then read the other ones and fill out the picture. You must study. It will never get from the air into your mind.
 AH: What do you think of computer repertories?
 Heudens-Mast: I use MacRepertory, but I don’t use it in the consultation. I don’t like to pay attention to the computer when I am talking to the patient. At the end of the consultation, I look in my books, but not while I am taking the case, and I never look at the computer during the consultation.
 AH: Do you use combination remedies?
 Heudens-Mast: NEVER! Combination remedies are not based on the principals of homeopathy. Homeopathy is looking for the simillimum. Combinations can never be the simillimum. Why give a combination remedy? If you need one tire on your car, you get one tire. You don’t put three tires on it.
 AH: Some say combination remedies may not help, but they cannot hurt. Do you agree?
 Heudens-Mast: People who take combination remedies for a long time will not respond that easily to one remedy. If it happens they need one out of the combination for their constitution, it won’t act. These are the most difficult people to treat. (Homeopaths are next difficult!) I would rather treat someone who had been on antibiotics for one year, than someone on combination remedies. I would have better results. Also, I don’t use intercurrent remedies or nosodes to treat. I only give a remedy if the vital force is asking for it, only if the symptoms point to another remedy. If you prescribe combination remedies, you are prescribing for the complaints. This is allopathy. If we do homeopathy, we must do homeopathy from beginning to end. From the interview to the prescription.
 AH: Do you have any examples from your experience with combination remedies?
 Heudens-Mast: I find that when you start to take them, you feel better. As soon you stop taking them, the problems come back. That is the sign of good suppression.
 AH: What is wrong with a little suppression?
 Heudens-Mast: The shortest cure is a straight line. If you disrupt the case, you can make the way longer. We like to make the cure as short as possible. So be careful, do not give strong things that suppress.
 AH: How long does it take the vital force to recover?
 Heudens-Mast: It depends on the individual’s vitality. In one of my patients, it took a half -year to get rid of the symptoms of the combination remedy they had taken for sore throat. The remedies Mercury, Lachesis, Apis, and Sanguinaria were in the remedy and were evidenced in the patient’s case. It is common to take combination remedies for colds from September to April, in our country. After three or four years like this, you can’t find a constitutional remedy. The patients have symptom of all those remedies.
 AH: Have you seen Lachesis engraft?
 Heudens-Mast: Definitely. Not more than other remedies. I have also seen Mercury, Lycopodium, and Sulphur engraft. Taking any remedy too much can engraft in a patient. Because combinations are taken so frequently it is worse. Repetition of dose is what causes this problem.
 AH: Do you suggest other modalities to your patients for treatment?
 Heudens-Mast: No, even physical therapy can confuse the symptoms. I tell my patients to do nothing. Only the right remedy, and to let it work. First the mental symptoms will disappear, them the physical complaints, as we know, according to Hering’s Law. You must wait to observe this process, and not confuse this by adding any other therapies.
 I do not mix types of therapies. If I have a case that isn’t progressing well and the patient says, “Should I try acupuncture, or osteopathy?” -I will call the very best therapist that I know and refer them. I suggest they try it for six months, but they must stop homeopathy during this time. I don’t suggest the use of other therapies, but if they come to me and ask, this is what I tell them. I do not recommend other therapies for a case in which homeopathy is working well, a case in which there is some improvement, some change. I have found that in cases where homeopathy is not working, these other types of medicine also won’t have an effect.
 Usually, these patients will return to me, after the other treatment. I think that is because I don’t mix. I know they don’t work together. Mixing therapies only antidotes or confuses the case.
 AH: How do you handle a case where someone is taking allopathic drugs?
 Heudens-Mast: The average person in Belgium takes seven drugs a day! This is too much. We treat patients that do not even know why they are taking a certain drug anymore.
 If someone is on many drugs, this is what I do. If, for instance, someone is on lots of asthma drugs, first, I cut down cortisone, then on the cortisone inhibitors, last the bronco-dilators. First I cut down on the frequency, then on the quantity.
 There are some drugs you can never stop, for instance drugs for when an organ has stopped functioning completely- like pancreas drugs, or any organ replacement medication. But blood pressure drugs can be cut down.
 AH: What do you tell your patients about vaccination?
 Heudens-Mast: In general, I think it’s best to give the parents books to read, and then let them make up their own minds. You can explain to a patient the good and the bad about vaccinations, whereas the medical world only tells them one side. A lot is harm is done by vaccines and this information is covered up. Give patients the other side.
 AH: Who do you feel should not be vaccinated?
 Heudens-Mast: Often, if after the first or second vaccination, a child has a strange reaction, I tell the parents to stop. Because, in this case, the NEXT vaccination can be VERY dangerous. These are the children who are at risk; the children who have an unusual or strong reaction. With the repeated dose, there can be harm. If, after a vaccination, you see a change in the child’s character, sleeplessness, or screaming in the night, tell the parents that the child is in danger from the next vaccine. These reactions to the dose of the vaccine will occur within the first week, not right away, because it takes a few days for the body to build up a strong reaction.
 AH: Are there any remedies that you feel are in overuse, or misuse?
 Heudens-Mast: All remedies are overused, especially if a teacher has taught that remedy at a seminar. The day after the seminar, many patients will get that remedy. I see this in the cases I look at. I can tell what seminars their homeopath has been to.
 AH: What dangers do you see for homeopathy today?
 Heudens-Mast: Homeopathy is going away from the basics. It is good to know new ideas, but we must build them on a solid base of the basics. Homeopathy is based on provings conducted on healthy people. Homeopathy is based on the law of cure. If we don’t obey these laws, can we call ourselves homeopaths?
 AH: What do you think about provings?
 Heudens-Mast: I never did a proving. If one had to be done, it should be done like Hahnemann recommended, on healthy people with lots of supervision. I would love homeopathy to reprove the old remedies. We have wonderful remedies, and we should learn them better.
 AH: What do you think the standard should be for Repertory additions?
 Heudens-Mast: A symptom should only be included in the Repertory when it has come out in a proving in a healthy person. I see a lot of symptoms which come out clinically. For instance, I have a patient who only loved orange, who was cured by Stramonium. But this was only once. These kinds of things should not be included in our repertory until we see it many times.
 AH: What can you tell use about your work with the ECCH?
 Heudens-Mast: My work with the ECCH (European Council for Classical Homeopathy) is very important to me. Our work is to set the standards for homeopathy is Europe. The experience of every representative is important so we can get the largest overview of the possibilities. Our goal is to establish standards for homeopathic education for every country in Europe, and establish legal possibilities for every homeopath in every country of Europe. (The ICCH is doing this same thing internationally).
 AH: You are involved a lot with homeopathic education. What do you consider to be the responsibility of the teacher?
 Heudens-Mast: Teachers are very important. Students learn from teachers. The teachers have to teach according to homeopathic law- laws that are true, not their expectations based on personal beliefs. They must teach only based on homeopathic laws.
 AH: What would you like to see in the future?
 Heudens-Mast: That homeopathy is recognized as a way of healing for all people, should they choose it, in all of the world.
 AH: Do you have any hobbies?
 Heudens-Mast: I always carry materia medical with me, and study wherever I am.
 AH: How do you recommend studying materia medica?
 Heudens-Mast: I prepare a folder for each remedy. In it, I put copies of information from all the materia medicas I can find on that remedy. I add to it any cured cases I find, or that I have treated. Whenever I want to study a remedy, I pick up the folder and I have it all there. I carefully study the Mind and Generals sections, and the most important physical symptoms, and especially the materia medica of Kent.
 AH: What are some of the places you have studied these materia medica folders?
 Heudens-Mast: Every place I have spare time- trains, buses, waiting for patients who are late, all the rooms of my house. Not in the mountains, never on holiday.
 AH: What do you do on holiday?
 Heudens-Mast: Enjoy family life -and I love my garden. I grow vegetables, flowers, and plants.
 AH: Tell me about your early life.
 Heudens-Mast: I was born in Holland. I lived there until I was an adult. Then I met my husband who was Belgian and moved with him to Belgium.
 AH: Tell me about your family.
 Heudens-Mast: My husband is most patient-a very sweet and understanding person. He is very supportive of homeopathy in every way he can be. We have been married for 34 years and we have three children -two sons and a daughter. I have one granddaughter and two on the way. My family gets together the first Sunday of every month. On that day we talk, eat, enjoy each other. My wedding anniversary is a very important family holiday for us. I will never lecture on this day.
 We always celebrated this day with our children and celebrated that we had children because of our marriage. Children have always been important to me. For our anniversary, we all go away for three days. We rent a cabin, ride bikes, swim, boat, hike. Next year will be the first time doing this with a grandchild.
 AH: What is your house like?
 Heudens-Mast: I live in a cottage. My home is in the countryside. We have a large garden and our home is surrounded by woods. Books of homeopathy are everywhere.
 AH: What brings you joy?
 Heudens-Mast: Family life and prescribing the right remedy.
 AH: What else brings you joy?
 Heudens-Mast: I just had my second grandchild, and a third in February. Yesterday, I came back from Switzerland. My husband came for me at the airport. I didn’t see him, as he was behind some people. Then I heard a little voice. It was my granddaughter calling to me as she was one who saw me. She is fifteen months old. She was so happy to go with her grandfather to the airport. These are the things that make me happy- such a small thing- the smile of the baby, her arms around my neck as she was so happy to see me again.
 AH: What is gratifying to you about being a homeopath? You put in some much time, and dedication, something about this work must please you very much.
 Heudens-Mast: What I enjoy is to be able to solve the problems of patients, to give them a happier life, a better life. To be better in all ways, as human beings. The rewards are the joy of doing this work. It’s nice to see the third generation. Now I see this from several families. I treat grandmother to granddaughters. I like this.
 AH: Have you noticed changes in the health of these families after three generations?
 Heudens-Mast: A woman in homeopathic treatment will not have so many problems getting pregnant, will have good pregnancies, and childbirth, so that children are stronger. The generations become strong. The vitality is more. If you treat one or two people in a family, it influences the whole family. A family is like a circle. Everyone stands at a certain point. Each has a role. After the remedy, the patient will get out of situations they don’t like anymore. It is as if after the homeopathic remedy, the individual steps forward, or backward. It disrupts the old pattern in the circle. Everyone else has to put a foot forward or backward to keep the circle.
 AH: You seem to have a very logical approach.
 Heudens-Mast: In my experience, truth is simple. Truth is logic. Homeopathy is truth, and it has to be logical. Thus, I try for myself, to look in a logical way, to understand homeopathy and apply it. I want always to see things grounded in logic.
 AH: What does it take to be a good homeopath?
 Heudens-Mast: In my opinion, to be a good homeopath, we must be obedient to the basics of homeopathy, to be brave, to be HONEST in teaching and in seeing the results of prescribing, admitting when a prescription is not right, and to find, as quickly as possible, the right prescription.
 AH: What do you look for when you prescribe?
 Heudens-Mast: When I prescribe I look for a remedy that covers the whole case- the roots, the tree and the branches. In most cases you can’t find this. Sometimes you just prescribe for the roots. Then you will see some things improve, or a new symptom comes up, and you prescribe only on that symptom. The patient is happy that some of the symptom are ameliorated. So they think you are doing your job. Homeopaths can explain anything. If he has a six-month aggravation, the homeopath can explain it. This chasing of symptoms is allopathy while using homeopathic medicines. The minute you say that this is homeopathy, you are lying to yourself. You need humbleness, in order to say to yourself, “Am I seeing the remedy or not? Is the patient truly on the way to cure?”
 AH: Is there really just one remedy for a person for life?
 Heudens-Mast: No, not usually. But if you wait, the remedies will present themselves to you, in the proper order. The case will come out. If a person had a certain picture in youth, and became another picture after an accident, they you know the person doesn’t have a strong constitution. You give the remedy that is presenting and wait, and eventually the other picture will come out. But seeing 40- 50 remedies in a patient shows that the right remedy could not be found. If you spot the first remedy needed correctly, and notice how the body reacts to it, then you see the next one. Step by step.
 AH: What mistakes do you see homeopaths making?
 Heudens-Mast: The first prescription is not the most difficult. The second one is the most difficult. We see a new picture coming and prescribe on it too soon. That is the most common mistake. We need to wait to make the second prescription, and not spoil the very good first prescription. If you spoil a case in this way, go back to the first prescription and see from there where you went wrong. It is usually in the second prescription that you will find your error.
 AH: Are there incurable cases?
 Heudens-Mast: No, there are homeopaths that don’t know enough. We must always be learning. That is why I don’t write a book. When I am 84 I will write my books. Until then I have to study, always looking to find that little secret to prescribe better. That is what homeopaths do.
 AH: Do you have any suggestions for students of homeopathy?
 Heudens-Mast: Devote time to study, observe people, be patient. Let the remedy work a long time. Be honest to see if the remedy was correct. Be brave enough to tell patient not to do other therapies. When you see a small improvement in the patient after giving a remedy, then the remedy is working. Keep off your hands. Who is impatient? You! Why then? It is the patient who comes with the complaint. Keep off your hands. Push away all your bottles and wait. When you hear that all is improving but not the chief complaint, the remedy is working perfectly. Be patient with your patients.
 The vital force is very wise. It creates the symptoms we use to prescribe on. Symptoms are your friends, not your enemy, because they disclose the beautiful picture. How nice is the vital force, that it shows the symptoms in the patient. If you prescribe the wrong remedy, it will show you the way with more and more symptoms. The vital force keeps silent if you disrupt the case. It makes you humble to see the vital force. It is a gift from creation that the vital force produces these symptoms so clearly. You must admire the power that created this vital force, which allows these symptom to appear.
 Christina Bautista lives  and  practices homeopathy in Austin, TX.
 138 T H E A M E R I C A N H O M E O PAT H _ 1 9 9 8
 An Interview With Henny Heudens-Mast, continued
 , M.D.  

Dr.Devendra Kumar MD(Homeo)
International Homeopathic Consultant at Ushahomeopathy
I am a Homeopathic Physician. I am practicing Homeopathy since 20 years. I treat all kinds of Chronic and Acute complaints with Homeopathic Medicines. Even Emergency conditions can be treated with Homeopathy if case is properly managed. know more about me and my research on my blog https://www.homeoresearch.com/about-me/
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