The MICH Mission
The Montreal Institute of Classical Homeopathy is dedicated to innovating and teaching therapeutic approaches to:
Facilitate Holistic Consciousness
And embrace the immaterial dimension of life.
Create a more conscious and healthier world
By training practitioners who help others increase vitality, well-being and lessen unnecessary suffering.
respect and honour the wholeness of nature
Through Holism, respect and honour the wholeness of nature and the interconnectedness of life.
Address the whole person as a unique individual
Consider the life force as a dynamic principle
Use only medicines that are completely safe, ecologically sound and do not exploit nature’s resources in any way
Communicate and inquire using Dialogue whenever possible
Stimulate the innate, natural healing response by focusing on the immaterial reality underlying material existence
Support adaptation by accepting evolution as essential to life
Embrace transpersonal, transdisciplinary, transcultural, and non-denominational principles
Download the full syllabus of the MICH Diploma Program
Get a comprehensive view of the approach to health and holism that we hold at MICH
The Origins of MICH - Our MICH Experience
By Melissa Dair BEd, DHom, NDJudyann McNamara, DHom, CCH, NDand Carla Marcelis, DRs, ND, DHom
True Holistic practice requires addressing the root cause of disease, and classical, unicist Homeopathy is the best researched, most widely used, most highly individualized and perhaps only true form of Holistic treatment in Western Medicine. Homeopathy has a long, well-documented scientific history with a long list of masterful homeopaths, and therefore is the key modality and method of intervention at MICH for addressing the root cause.
In order to utilize homeopathy to its fullest potential, it is necessary to see the individual and his or her disease as a whole – an energetic totality, rather than prescribing on individual, unconnected symptoms. MICH has developed an advanced and proven holistic, completely integrated, therapeutic methodology that fulfills this requirement.
For many years, our group of practitioners and teachers got together every month to look at our cases. We were exploring holistic practice, which for us meant seeing the individual and his or her disease as a totality. This exploration was our effort to faithfully follow Hahnemann’s directive to find and address the “Totality of Symptoms” in every case, rather than prescribing on individual symptoms that are not connected. Our goal for each case was to find the core that connects the collection of symptoms as a complete whole. It was hard work. It is so much easier to gather symptoms and repertorize… but the results from prescribing this way are spotty at best.
In learning to perceive our cases as “totalities,” we found that neither analysis nor synthesis were of any help. It required a way of seeing that was beyond a mechanical gathering of information and problem solving methods. Each case required insight, and the process of coming to this insight was unique for every case. Of course! What else could it be? The “essence” of each individual is unique, each individual requires a unique approach, and each individual disease has a unique pathway in his return to health. It logically follows that the holistic diagnostic process and the perception required is also unique to every case. That means there are no protocols if we follow Hahnemann’s instructions!
When we looked at follow-ups, it became clear how this quality of perception is central to successful homeopathic prescribing. The best results came from those cases where the totality, the connection which brought all the key symptoms together in a theme, was clear to everyone. In other words, the more complete and unanimous the understanding, the better the results.
But, how do you get 15 homeopaths to agree on how to address a case? Hahnemann’s emphasis on the unprejudiced mind helped us see how we must all be in a state of open inquiry both in the case taking and the case discussion. We discovered that it is not always easy to be open and detached. What gets in the way? We do! When we considered that our sense of self is based on our ideas and opinions, at some point, a different or what seems to be a conflicting idea can feel threatening. These discussions required a lot of self awareness, in order for us to be sufficiently detached from the outcome, detached from our opinions and ideas, and completely open to the natural unfolding of both the case and the discussion for insight to occur. We developed nonjudgmental, encouraging ways and means of helping each other and ourselves to be more self aware and to get out of the way of the process.
We now realized that the natural unfolding of the case can be seriously hampered by the homeopath. We began to see how often we got in the way. We also got a clearer view of what was most difficult in case taking. Hahnemann refers to each individual case of disease as a uniquely individual expression. If you ponder that for a moment it becomes obvious that if something is unique, then by definition, it is something that no one else has ever experienced. In order to find the simillimum, the homeopath must be able to perceive something in someone else that the homeopath has never heard, considered, or experienced before. The homeopath is listening for something outside the realm of what is known to him or her.
What we found was that to hear something unique required: (1) becoming aware when we did not understand something, (2) staying in the discomfort of not comprehending without reacting to it, and (3) bringing awareness to the ways we would avoid, repress or escape from that discomfort.
We shared together that we all experienced the state of non-comprehension as uncomfortable and even threatening! Our brain and nervous system are programmed to do anything to avoid being in that state. The automatic, immediate reaction is to avoid being in the unknown.
We realized that this is why, even in our daily lives and relationships, we often assume we know what others mean when they are telling us how they feel. This automatic response is what gets in the way of taking a case. It is also what gets in the way of most communication.
We also found that this reaction can be of various flavours. Some examples are:
- trying to “fit” things into a perspective
- translating the words or concepts into ones which feel more comfortable
- blanking out that which is not recognized or uncommon
- having an emotional reaction (e.g. feeling nervous, getting angry, frustrated, blaming)
- rationalizing when not comprehending
- being distracted, thinking about something else
- completely avoiding, or being un-aware that the challenge even occurred
Changing this automatic response involves changing the way the mind works, and the way the thinking process operates.
How to teach this “perception of the whole”? It falls outside the category of conventional teaching methods and education.
Since we were teachers and had been teaching for many years, we were also considering how we would teach this process to our interns. What we realized was that this “perception of the whole” falls outside the category of conventional teaching methods and education.
We knew that theory is not enough, homeopathy students must be wholly involved in learning experiences. They had to practice open inquiry in all stages of homeopathic training. We needed to devise case taking and case discussion exercises which would take down the limiting fetters of the thinking process and open the mind to the natural unfolding of reality and truth, and encourage the self awareness integral to the whole process.
Homeopaths in the making need to practice open inquiry in all stages of homeopathic training in case taking and case discussion exercises that take down the limiting fetters of the thinking process and open the mind to the natural unfolding of reality and truth, and encourage the self awareness integral to the whole process.
The results were astounding. During internship, even before they graduated or started their practice, our students were able to utilize homeopathy to its fullest potential, able to perceive the individual and his or her disease as a whole.
We had fine-tuned an effective method of therapeutic inquiry (the Noumedynamic Method™) that enables our students to perceive the client from a holistic perspective through an in-depth exploration that enables the MICH practitioner to prescribe on the deepest dimension of the individual, with the most effective, individualized remedy to match the client’s expression from thousands of remedies from nature.
With the root cause having been uncovered and addressed, effective homeopathic, naturopathic and dietary supports are individualized to facilitate each stage of the unique healing process of that particular client. The client is fully engaged and self responsibility and self awareness are encouraged and supported.
Our MICH experience has been even more fulfilling, more gratifying, more expansive than we had imagined. The program challenges us all – students and teachers alike – to grow and evolve beyond our own limitations and points of view. Our world view, our understanding of homeopathy, our relationships – both personal and professional have taken quantum leaps! It is hard work, but worth it on every level. We work as a group, collaboratively preparing each class, exercise, exam. We look forward to our meetings, and our classes, we all go home enriched from the experience.
JUDYANN McNAMARA is the Founder of the Montreal Institute of Classical Homeopathy. She is an inspiring teacher and homeopath who has developed innovative ways of teaching holism and supporting practitioners in bringing depth and meaning to their work.
MELISSA DAIR and CARLA MARCELIS are Co-Directors and teachers at MICH
The method of Dialogue developed by Quantum Physicist David Bohm has proven itself to be an effective way to “Ensure good communication” and “Activate students” as well as develop collaboration and a holistic model for inquiry. Dialogue facilitates coming to the image totality in case discussions. See www.david-bohm.net/dialogue.
ii. SELF EVALUATION AS A TEACHING TOOL
Asking students to review the list of professional homeopathic competencies and scoring themselves on a regular basis helps them to monitor their learning, set their study goals, and gage their understanding. This review of professional competencies helps them to integrate what it means to be a homeopath – specifically. As a graduate, they will have acquired the essential skill of evaluating their own performance in each case, and the ability to monitor the need for post graduate professional training or the need to refer a case.
iii. CASE TAKING AS AN INTEGRATIVE APPROACH TO HOMEOPATHY
Video and live cases shown from the very beginning of the training can be used as a vehicle to integrate all aspects of homeopathic training (materia medica, case taking, etc.).
Remedies from the Materia Medica are always presented within the context of a real case; Parts of video-taped successful real-life cases which relate to the subject matter at hand, are shown as examples; Videos and live cases are used in class to model case taking. The video or case is regularly stopped and the students are asked to provide their observations or the next step. In this way, students learn to actively follow a patient and take notes.
iv. DIRECT EXPERIENCE
Students actively participate in practical, supervised exercises involving different aspects of case taking, such as: patient observation, listening, following the patient, self-awareness, questioning, and awareness of the process itself. As students increase their understanding and their capacity these exercises gradually evolve into full case taking.
v. PERSONAL EXPERIENCE
Students are required to see a personal homeopath on a regular basis in order to appreciate the role of the patient, understand the action of remedies, and have the direct experience of case taking.
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