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Natural Awakenings Westchester / Putnam / Dutchess New York

Homeopathy: Medicine for the Whole Patient, Not Just the Disease: Dr. Susanne Saltzman and Karen Diefenbach

Mar 30, 2016 06:28PM ● By Linda Sechrist


“It is more important to know what sort of patient has a disease than what sort of disease a patient has.” Despite the passage of more than a century, this quotation by Sir William Osler, the author of the first allopathic medicine textbook, is still meaningful although it is rarely practiced outside the arena of homeopathic medicine.

Homeopathic medicine, created in the late 18th Century by German physician, Dr. Samuel Hahnemann, uses highly diluted remedies made from natural substances. Used worldwide today by more than 500 million people, this form of complementary medicine follows the “Law of Similars” (like cures like). The diluted version of a substance as “curative” was Hahnemann’s most important concept of homeopathy. It was based on his belief that a substance that causes the symptoms of disease in healthy people would cure similar symptoms in sick people.

In experiments Hahnemann found that the “sort of patient” was more important than “the sort of disease”. His detailed explanations of this, published in The Organon of the Healing Art, are still in use today. The sixth edition, published in 1921 is the reference bible for certified homeopathic practitioners such as Karen M. Diefenbach, owner of Integrative Classical Homeopathy with Therapeutic Massage & Yoga in Tarrytown, and physicians such as Suzanne Saltzman, MD, owner of Hartsdale Homeopathy in Hartsdale (Westchester County) and Montebello (Rockland County).

Diefenbach, who has been practicing homeopathy since 2006, focuses on the patient before prescribing a remedy. Just as each patient has his or her own story, each homeopathic remedy has its own picture or energy state, which may include emotional as well as physical symptoms. “Homeopathy is very personalized medicine, which is why I can only determine remedies by listening to a patient tell their story,” says Diefenbach, who is also a licensed massage therapist, yoga teacher and holistic health practitioner.

During the duration of the first appointment, which is approximately two hours, a medical profile becomes clear, as do important details of a patient’s personality. “A patient might talk about their family history, how they function in the world, what makes them anxious, childhood diseases, any grief and traumas experienced, as well as therapies they’ve used and for what particular reasons. Making sense of all the details, I use this extensive patient history to create the framework within which to analyze any disharmonies, patterns, and the disease process. It’s like peeling an onion with many layers. We address the whole picture but I give one remedy at time,” explains Diefenbach.

Saltzman, who is certified in Functional Medicine by the Institute of Functional Medicine, has been practicing classical homeopathy for 25 years. “The body is innately brilliant with its own intelligence. It merely needs the right homeopathic remedy with the right energetic resonance to act as a catalyst to get it back into balance. This very individualized form of medicine fits perfectly with functional medicine, a patient-centered approach to wellness that addresses the underlying causes of disease using a systems-oriented approach to restoring health and reducing an individual’s dependency on pharmaceutical drugs. In a nutshell, this is the overall goal of my family practice,” says Saltzman, who is also the vice president of The American Institute of Homeopathy, the oldest extant national physician’s organization in the U.S. (established in 1844). Additionally, she is a member of the New York Homeopathic Medical Society of the State of New York.

Becky Chambers, a licensed homeopathic practitioner and author of Homeopathy Plus Whole Body Vibration: Combining Two Energy Medicines Ignites Healing, explains the energetics of homeopathy. “If the correct homeopathic remedy’s resonating electromagnetic waves resonate with the disease, then the person’s immune and defense system is augmented to elicit the curative process. The remedy amplifies the corresponding frequencies in the patient and produces results on the physical plane. This wave resonance is thought to lead to healing because it amplifies the body’s own ability to heal itself,” she says.

“The energetic phenomena that are theorized to underlie the effects of a homeopathic remedy are actually well accepted in Western science. Every substance is made of molecules that vibrate to a particular frequency, creating specific wavelengths of energy. If another resonating wavelength is added, the peaks or valleys of the two match up and amplify each other, creating greater peaks and valleys. This effect of this interaction of wavelengths is visible in the waves of the ocean, which either multiply in height or pass through each other relatively unchanged,” advises Chambers.

Homeopathy optimizes health and proves that the best remedy integrates mind, body, spirit and nature. “The idea of similar substances leading to healing is not new. Hippocrates, the Father of Western Medicine, and Paracelsus, the alchemical genius of the Middle Ages and the inventor of toxicology, agreed with this principle,” says Chambers.

Local Resources

Karen Diefenbach, For more info, call 914.631.4049  or email [email protected]

Susanne Saltzman, MD, Hartsdale Homeopathy, 250 E. Hartsdale Ave., Ste. 22, Hartsdale. For more information, call 914.472.0666. Visit


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