– An interview with Louis Klein, rshom (na) (Rowan Jackson)

LouKlein An interview with Louis Klein, rshom

Lou Klein is one of the best known and loved teachers of homeopathy in North America. His many years of clinical experience, deep mastery of Materia Medica, and solid, hands-on approach to case analysis combine to make him an extraordinary resource for students of all levels.
 This interview with Lou Klein took place in Los Angeles, November, 1997 where he was teaching his Master Clinician Class.
 AH: So, Lou, how did it all begin?
 Klein: My first course was with Dana Ullman, probably 22 years ago. I read Kent’s Lectures on Homeopathic Philosophy. Every time I would read it , well, it just resonated with me. I went back to Vancouver and started studying on my own, while I was working with a Medical Doctor named David Ghering. I eventually attended many seminars with George Vithoulkas. The first seminar I ever attended of his, the other students, who were all M.D. s, insisted that I be tested by George because till then his seminars had all been M.D.  only. I passed, and since then he has kept it open.
 AH: When did you study with Vithoulkas?
 Klein: The early 80’s, I think. I consider George Vithoulkas my first real teacher. From the beginning I had a real affinity for Homeopathy and then there was a period in my development when I had some questions about my ability to practice, as well as about Homeopathy in general. I think every practitioner needs to go through that. As a result of going through that process of doubt, my Homeopathy changed quite dramatically, and I became deeply committed. I feel that to do homeopathy you have to have a commitment and it has to be very deep. You can’t be on the fence. That’s one of the reasons I’ve made it an important point to treat other homeopaths. I know that the only way you can practice is if you’ve had some good successful treatment yourself, which has had a profound effect. If you haven’t, if your perspective is limited to your having had remedies that have only worked acutely, then ultimately, that will be all you will look for in terms of results for other people, or feel you are capable of treating honestly.
 AH: Or feel that the capacity of Homeopathy is limited, which would be a tragedy.
 Klein: Homeopathy is suffering as a result of that. I really feel that Homeopathy is languishing because there is a belief with some teachers that Homeopathy works only to a very limited point, to treat disease, and then the person has to do mainly spiritual work, which I think is true to a degree; but the limitations of Homeopathy are very high in their minds, and they pass this along to their students, or try to get them engaged in their “spiritual” pursuit.
 AH: Why is that ? Do you see Homeopathy as a calling with a very high bar?
 Klein: I think for now it is. I don’t see it that way in 20 years, if all goes well.
 AH: What’s going to make the change?
 Klein: Well, that was one of my goals in starting the school, to create master clinicians; people who will feel capable, with an ability to access the breadth of Homeopathic Materia Medica. Homeopathy has been stuck in a 60 polychrest mode. Historically, what happened was that people studied with George, and because of the demand, turned around and became teachers themselves, within a month or two; or, people started schools who had practiced Homeopathy very sporadically and briefly. What happens then is that these people teach other people without having had the real clinical experience to effectively do that. So then we’ve got a mediocre profession, all standing around flapping their hands, wondering why it isn’t working.
 AH: And the good news?
 Klein: What I see is a big shift in the last three or four years where there are a lot of very good clinicians starting to teach. This will change the way Homeopathy is perceived, as well as change the pool to select teachers and courses from. There are a lot of teachers who are still back in a retrograde mode, relying on 40-60 polychrests, and that’s it. They accuse people who are interested in using a great variety of remedies or new remedies, as being non-classical, or non-Hahnemanian, or whatever, and as a group, I believe they want Homeopathy to remain very static, not grow, not develop, because it suits the institutes they’ve created. There’s a sort of institutional aspect of Homeopathy. My feeling is that in order for it to develop, we need to incorporate a lot more remedies. My vision is that our current Materia Medica will be one percent of the Materia Medica available in 20 years.
 AH: Wow!
 Klein: So that in 20 years we will have very well proven, not week-end proving or poorly proven, but excellent provings of twenty thousand remedies. Can you imagine? What it would require is that we would have to use a computer, the information would have to be computerized.
 AH: Why wouldn’t it be?
 Klein: Because there are people out there who tell their students not to use a computer for the first two years, because they had to use the books, so their students have to go that way as well.
 AH: The old medical school model.
 Klein: Exactly, but I don’t see that as true. I’ve seen some of my students who started with computers doing excellent homeopathy.
 AH: It cuts to the chase. What new remedies have you proven?
 Klein: Currently, we’ve done the extractions for Helodrilus, the Earthworm, as well as Carboneum Bioxygenisatum, Carbon Dioxide. Earthworms are being used in medical research for nerve growth and lowering blood pressure. The other proving I’m doing, which is the most challenging, is the Brown Recluse Spider. The spider is very prolific in North America with a very bad bite, the symptoms of which are similar to Necrotizing Fasciitis. A number of the provers became suicidal during the proving. It was quite intense and I believe it will be a very important remedy.
 AH: Tell me more.
 Klein: A lot of the provers had been in provings before, some with unpleasant experiences as regards to follow-up, losing friends during the proving, connections with people broken, things like that. As a result of that we looked at the Helsinki Human Experimentation Accord and drafted an agreement that each prover, supervisor and master prover signs in order to participate. What it says is that no matter what happens we’re still going to be friends, that this is a freely entered into experiment. It’s worked out phenomenally well. There will be a book published as a result of the provings with the proceeds going to Homeopathic charities, like Homeopaths Without Borders. I would like to see provings published more regularly, as well as being more affordable.
 AH: It’s a reflection of you, Lou. Your care, good intentions and balance. I think it’s all a reflection of who gets the ball rolling. What other substances might you be interested in, without giving too much away?
 Klein: I would like to prove more of the elements and see whether Jan Scholten’s work holds up in provings. One of the reasons I proved Earthworm is that we tend to choose a lot of substances that are venomous or big, like Eagle, for provings, when the majority of people tend to feel like worms! So, I’d like to prove more soft-sided creatures, putting the Earthworm in the same category as Oleum Jecorus, the Cod, and Lac Dolphinum.
 AH: How do we know when a proving has been well orchestrated, what about an appreciation of standards?
 Klein: I don’t believe in week-end provings. I believe that every proving should be done properly, both for the safety and benefit of the prover as well as for the reliability, and effectiveness of the information. I think on some level every proving has some redemptive qualities. You asked earlier why Homeopathy is so hard. I think part of that problem lies in the provings. When we do a half proving, we get half the information that’s really necessary to get a full picture of the remedy. When you do a proving over a week end or 3-4 days, you may only get the primary symptoms of the remedy, you won’t get any secondary or reciprocal symptoms. Then what happens is that you have to work out the reciprocal side through clinical application, knowledge and conjecture.
 What has happened in the past is that a lot of the old provings were poisonings or the provings were done so poorly that we only have a very one-sided picture of the remedy. Part of what I’ve had to teach and learn myself is how to access the part of the proving that is not that apparent.
 AH: How do you do that?
 Klein: It’s a bit complicated. Actually, by understanding, through the Organon, the process of a proving, you can apply that process to the patient, as well as study the Materia Medica.
 AH: What cues do you use from a patient to help you zero in on a not well-described remedy or proving?
 Klein: That’s a very complex question I spend two years explaining in the course. First of all you need to have an in depth understanding of what a proving is from the Organon, then as a result of that understanding you are able to read a proving or information about a remedy with knowledge about where it came from and how to apply it. The problem with not well-supervised provings is that the secondary, or reciprocal effects aren’t well-recorded. Then it gets back to the allopathic model that all these secondary symptoms are all in your head and they’re not part of the proving.
 AH: What do you see on the horizon in the U.S.  with Homeopathy and the medical establishment?
 Klein: The biggest threat, and possible benefit, to Homeopathy is that the major pharmaceutical companies will start to manufacture Homeopathic remedies. When that happens Homeopathy will become very mainstream, and then we will probably see real Homeopathy versus those individuals who simply use a few remedies. We will be seen as either very odd anomalies to a very popular medical form, or we’ll be seen as specialists. One of the reasons I’m traveling around the country and teaching so intensively, trying to get people up to speed, is because I feel that if we have a solid base of people practicing in terms of numbers, the chances of Homeopathy surviving is much higher. Homeopathy will be very popular, but the type of Homeopathy practiced will become..
 AH: Allopathy with a remedy.
 Klein: Except the scale, we haven’t seen the scale.
 AH: Let’s go back to your teaching. Tell me about your school.
 Klein: Prior to starting the school, I was going around teaching for other people, and I would get frustrated because there wasn’t a sense of continuity. I wanted to make a connection with people and have a long term process, and see people develop and change. I think it’s fun to see the progress in other people.
 AH: You’re a nurturer.
 Klein: Yeah, and I wanted to nurture other practitioners. When I was teaching weekends, what I heard from most of the students was a kind of frustration, they were seeing a lot of different teachers, or they were coming out of foundation schools with a lot of frustration and confusion about what they were doing and why it wasn’t working all the time. My goal is to clear that confusion. It’s not that it’s going to work every time, because I don’t get 100% results, but we should get better results than we are; and if people are honest, they will see that they need to shift their results.
 I have an essential assumption that when I teach, it’s adult education; that I’m teaching colleagues, not students. My goal is to make people more effective, independent practitioners, so they in themselves have the resources to resolve situations and cure people. I don’t expect them to follow everything I do or say, but to find their own way. As part of the course I do personal consultations with them. It’s been an essential feature which distinguishes it from other courses. I like to be accessible.
 AH: You mentioned earlier that you went through your own period of doubt. Could you go into that a little for us. Your example might be helpful.
 Klein: When I originally started studying, I studied the small remedies in great depth. I basically read Boericke cover to cover because I heard that’s how George Vithoulkas began studying Homeopathy. So, that’s what I did. After a while, I was hanging out with other students of George, at his seminars and others, and basically, everyone was prescribing the same remedies he had taught . It tended to be a group of about 40 or 50 remedies, and they became “the polychrests”. Now I see people writing books on how they prescribe three or four hundred prescriptions of one remedy, which I find kind of remarkable. It’s most likely that they are missing remedies that are similar to that remedy, but are less well known.
 I did this too, but what I was noticing was that by prescribing from a group of about 40-50 remedies, you can do some good, but over the long run, you have to change the remedy frequently, you have to give new remedies; some people weren’t getting better, and for a long period of time I didn’t see a significant change in their overall health. So, as a result of that, I looked at their cases and realized that there were much deeper- acting remedies that I was actually missing, and I started focusing on these remedies. They are what I call “life history remedies”.
 AH: How do they differ from a constitutional remedy?
 Klein: I think we need a new term for it, the reason being that “constitutional” has the implication of being a polychrest. All remedies treat the constitution, even an acute remedy. The “life history remedy” is a remedy that goes very deeply into the life history of the disease of the patient. What were looked at as constitutional remedies tended to be remedies like Sulphur, which cover most situations the way people use it, like a catch-all remedy. You mention the word ‘egotistical’ to someone and they think Sulphur or Platinum. You mention ‘introverted’, and they think Natrum Muriaticum. There are probably a thousand remedies for introversion, but for whatever reason we have, these remedies have became icons that stand for general states and we prescribe them without searching for the real pathology of the patient.
 AH: What led you to that understanding?
 Klein: It’s my own standards that I have for myself in terms of Homeopathy and the standard I have for Homeopathy, which is very profound. I still get people snickering about small remedies, but I don’t think of them as small remedies, I think of them as remedies that we don’t have a lot of information about.
 AH: When God created the world, He didn’t make one thing less important than another.
 Klein: Yeah, and it’s this kind of prejudice that has come about in Homeopathy as a result of individuals trying to make sense of Homeopathy by simplifying it.
 AH: So it’s about comfort zone rather than correct application?
 Klein: It’s much more comfortable to know fifty remedies, and feel confident in them, than to use these other remedies and actually look carefully at the results and compare them. I know the kind of results I get when I use those very deep acting remedies is completely different then prescribing Sulphur and getting an amelioration, which is only a partial result.
 AH: Is there an approach you have when looking at a new patient’s case?
 Klein: No, not so much. The point for me is flexibility. There are a lot of factors that come into play, especially when you’re prescribing a lot of different remedies, so the main point for me is to remain very flexible. I don’t get rigid about the patient. If a patient says something that triggers a particular remedy thought, I don’t necessarily get committed to that remedy to the exclusion of everything else. That flexibility ultimately allows me to see the totality and have the remedy represent the totality in a very true way, as opposed to having my own one-sided view of the case. If a person says they like snakes, and you think snake remedy, I consider that a prejudice. A lot of people will, through a keynote, become committed to a remedy very soon in a case, then go about proving that it’s that remedy, instead of just being open to possibilities, which might be more difficult.
 AH: How do you deal with politics in Homeopathy?
 Klein: There are a number of choices we have. One is to become more regulatory, and then what usually happens is the most political people float to the top and become the most powerful parts in that regulatory environment; not necessarily the good homeopaths. That’s why I have this attitude that everyone simply practice and people will seek out those individuals who are doing a good job. If you look at the regulations around the world, it doesn’t promote excellent prescribing, it promotes safety for the public, which is very important, but not necessarily the goal that we have. I saw a lot of bad prescribing out there and decided to teach, to take action in a positive way, rather than rail against people who are doing poor homeopathy, or allopathic homeopathy. I don’t see that as a solution.
 AH: What’s this I hear about a book?
 Klein: I’m trying to write a practical book, a “how to” book of advanced Homeopathy.
 AH: Very needed. When will it be out?
 Klein: Oh my, I’ve been working on it for about a year, I don’t know. My family is bigger now and I don’t have that much time. In the last three days I saw 50 or 60 patients. When do I have the time to write a book?
 AH: Let-alone travel and teach. Where will your next sites be?
 Klein: I’m thinking of concentrating the Master Clinician Course in Vancouver. It’s a beautiful world-class city with inexpensive flights from all over, and I think it would be fun to have it there. I’m also considering one more in Minnesota. We’ll see.
 AH: Well, wherever you teach, I am gaining so much from your classes, I hope more and more people have the opportunity to attend them also. This interview has been fun, Lou, see you next time. 

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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