Jerry Kantor's new book is a long-needed contribution to the homeopathic compendium of resources.
Using engaging and memorable vignettes, The Toxic Relationship Cure gives an insightful discussion of how homeopathy is used constitutionally to help clients with longstanding responses to toxic and unhealthy relationships that have left them with psychological injury—injuries that have often morphed into dis-ease manifesting in both emotional distress and physical symptoms. Kantor rightly points out that our homeopathic library contains many excellent self-help and acute prescribing texts but little or nothing to help the layperson understand the relevance of homeopathy in longstanding bio-psycho-social-spiritual maladies.
He casts a wide net for his audience, aiming his text at victims of toxic relationships who are potential homeopathic clients; mental health professionals; and fellow homeopaths. For the first group, he explains that homeopathic care allows for true psychological and spiritual healing as well as relief from physical symptoms resulting from an injured vital force. For mental health practitioners who see victims of toxicity in their consulting rooms and feel frustrated with the length of time it takes to help such clients recover, Kantor offers a ray of hope in the form of homeopathy. For the professional homeopath, the book provides not only delightful and succinct synopses of our most useful polychrest remedies and some new and lesser-used remedies, but also a great client education tool.
Kantor organizes his book around relationship groups that can result in distorted and toxic experiences - Boss, Parent, Lover, Friend (and a “bonus chapter” on Spiritual Crisis). Starting with the Introduction, he gives one of the most useful descriptions of the basic premise of “like cures like” found in the literature. Using simple metaphors (snake bite, hyperactivity, vaccinations, reverse psychology, and the ever popular “hair of the dog” for hangovers), Kantor describes the essence of a disturbance to the vital force.
He then moves to what may be described as parables for each remedy he discusses. These are fictional stories rather than clinical case histories, a tactic that captures the reader's attention while showing the nature of the injury as well as its match to the essence of a remedy. “God loves stories” and so does the reader, and these parables are brief, to the point, and clearly etched.
As an example of the range of stories and remedies, here are Chapters 1 and 4 from the Table of Contents:
Chapter 1 - Clearing the Toxic Boss
She intimidates me—Lycopodium Clavatum
All he cares about are numbers - Psorinum
She won't take no for an answer - Carcinosin
He stifles my initiative - Crotalus Horridus
She is a bully - Causticum
He is a hypocrite - Kali Carbonicum
My bosses are laying waste to the planet - Positronium
Chapter 4 - Clearing the Toxic Friend
He set a trap for me - Drosera
She stabbed in the back - Ruta Graviola
He pulled the rug out from under me - Veratrum Album
They diminished me - Gratiola Officinalis
They wore me out - Phosphoric Acidum
Each remedy story is discussed in conjunction with what Kantor calls the Essence of the Remedy: a Key Idea, a Strong Pole (over compensation), a Weak Pole (manifested impact), and the Primary Terrain (the body system most closely associated with this remedy). For example, for Lycopodium's Essence we see: Key Idea: Insecurity. Weak Pole: Impotence, non-readiness, intimidated, distractible. Strong Pole: Bossiness, need
to be controlling. Primary Terrain: Gastrointestinal tract.
So, both the lay reader considering homeopathy and the practitioner get a delightful and succinct gem with facets of insight, practicality, and hope.
An additional advantage is Kantor's ability to incorporate his knowledge as an acupuncturist and scholar of Asian medicine into his understanding of the remedies. Here is an example: “According to the Chinese sages individuals who are hoarse, tend to cough, complain of a tickle in the throat, or hawk up phlegm suffer from Spleen dampness either caused by or reflecting the presence of anxiety. As found in Causticum, the phlegm's preference for the larynx may be accounted for by Hindu Chakra theory that links inability to feel comfortable in one's own identity, often pursuant to having an unpredictable alcoholic parent, with throat Chakra instability.”
As we become more a community of integrated healers, it's increasingly important to acknowledge the unique contributions each of us brings from our field of expertise into the homeopathic community.
Jerry Kantor's book is an excellent example of “less is more.” Using simple vignettes, insightful one-line descriptors, and crisp essences, he offers deep insight to the practitioner and renewed hope to the reader who is new to homeopathic constitutional prescribing. The Toxic Relationship Cure is a universally useful little gem.
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