Exclusive Interview with Dr Navneet Bidani

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 Dr Navneet Bidani

A 3rd generation homoeopath, Dr. Navneet Bidani is having successful track record of treating thousands of patients suffering from acute and chronic diseases with homoeopathy and psycho-therapy. He did his Bachelors of Homoeopathic Medicine and Surgery (BHMS) from DS Homoeopathic Medical College, Pune. Having keen interest in Psychology he completed his master’s degree (M.Sc) in Psychology from CMJ University, Meghalaya with flying grades. He is highly skilled in treating the so called chronic-incurable diseases.  He has an extensive knowledge relating to human psychology, personality disorders, psychosis and stress apart from other physical complaints.

Dr Bidani is a respected mentor, who is specialized in homoeopathic repertorisation and case-taking. Spreading the knowledge about right and healthy living in the society, organizing seminars and awareness camps is his biggest passion since graduation days. Presently, he is practicing at Dr. Bidani’s Centre for Homoeopathy, Hisar, Haryana.

He is Vice President: Indian Institute of Homoeopathic Physician (IIHP), Haryana State; Secretary: South Delhi Homoeopathic Association (SDHA); Ex-National Secretary: Indian Homoeopathic Medical Association (IHMA); Editor: SDHA Chronicle – Bimonthly homoeopathic magazine; Editor: DREAMS – E-homoeopathic journal; Advisor: Homoeopathy world community.

Well known as an international speaker, mentor and teacher, he has given lectures in a number of National as well as International seminars and conferences. He is a well established author and has written more than 100 articles for various National as well as International journals and health magazines.

Achievements: Some of the formal rewards for which he has been nominated are:

  • HWF Bhartiya Chiktsa Ratan Award 2006, New Delhi.
  • Achievement Award in the field of Public Health 2007, Kolkata
  • Life Time Achievement Award in the field of Alternative Medicines 2007, New Delhi
  • Mother Teresa Award for health care 2010, New Delhi
  • National Excellence Award 2012 by Health Minister, Haryana
  • Dr. Hahnemann Achievement Award in Homoeopathy in 2012, Rohtak
  • Homoeopath Par Excellence Award 2013, New Delhi

Dr Abha (ED): You are the third generation Homoeopath in your family. How has time changed for Homoeopathic practitioners?

Dr Navneet Bidani (NB): I think that many things are changing. If you compare the homoeopathy of previous times to what we are doing now days, we have already entered a new era for homoeopathy. I say this for many reasons – one example is the arrival of computers and good computer programs. In the 21st century, knowledge in homoeopathy seems to have grown exponentially due to a broader recognition and practice, and due to the development of communication in modern media like the internet. Patients no longer write letters to their physicians but use the smart-phone or e-mail or other applications like ‘Skype’ to communicate with their homeopathic practitioner. Today we have advanced technology, the books of scholars from all over the world, the study of genetics etc. And I use and apply all of these in my practice.

But the present time is perhaps one of the most challenging for the practitioner because Homoeopathy today is undergoing a great change; in its evolutionary history. The various different methods and prescribing techniques that have been developed by the modern teachers make it a challenge for the practitioner to master one and practice it successfully. Some methods are used by ‘some’ people that do not fall into the realm of strict homeopathy – be it sleeping over the remedy name or putting a glass of water on a remedy name and then drinking the water or using pendulums to find the remedy. I don’t mind people using energy healing that do not fall in the realm of homoeopathy or science in general but such things should not be called Homoeopathy. If such is the scenario then why are we offended when conventional doctors are saying: is this a science or is this a playground for charlatans? There should be some guidelines for this, approved by senior members of the community. Every time there is an article denouncing homoeopathy, we get to hear that there is no research to show that homoeopathy works. Homoeopaths really need to do some introspection on this. If the international community does not understand that we must separate from craziness and we must fight bias and vested interests I feel there is going to be a very long way before humanity enjoys the real benefits of Hahnemann’s discoveries.

ED: What do you feel is the most gratifying for you as a professional – medical practice, teaching, writing or research? Or; what has been/will be your most gratifying achievement as a homeopath?

 NB: Firstly, being witness to the true healing power of homoeopathic remedies and then secondly, being its teacher. Apart from being passionate about homoeopathy as a practitioner, I have a burning desire to teach young minds to impart the technique so that they may learn this precious healing way. I believe that the more teachers there are – and more homeopathic schools and colleges – the greater the probability that homoeopathy will be embraced as a treatment of choice by all.

I genuinely feel blessed to have found my path in homoeopathic medicine. Effectively helping others as a Homoeopath and doing what I love is what I feel most proud of.  There is a unique sense of deep appreciation when a condition finds its cure. The most wonderful moments are when I hear from a patient “I want to tell you… I am much, much better now. Thank you.” My numerous hours of intense thinking, repertorizing and researching are behind, and the patient is sitting in front of me with a warm look and happy smile! Especially, if in the beginning there were so many problems that I was not sure on which to focus first. I have observed patients getting healthier, stronger and cured when they were told they would have to live with a disease or on medication for the rest of their lives. All of these events have been rewarding. My own experiences, with so many success stories along with the innumerable miraculously cured cases within the homoeopathic literature fill me with a deep sense of pride knowing that I am a part of this tradition of healing.

ED: What are your plans for contribution to the development of homoeopathy, how far have you been able to achieve them?

NB: I would like to see Homoeopathy become a household name and to see people all over the world using this as their first method of treatment. If this were to happen it would take the burden off our health care system and people would be a lot healthier than they are right now. Spreading the knowledge about right and healthy living in the society, organizing seminars and awareness camps is my biggest passion since graduation days. And as mentioned above, I have a deep interest in teaching andI am trying to be a good teacher, because I believe that the object of education itself, including homoeopathic education, is not only to place before the student all available knowledge but more so to develop his own powers of observation and powers of thinking and reasoning so that he is trained to observe carefully, interpret faithfully and reason out logically so as to enable him to arrive at valid conclusions. A good teacher therefore should not teach what to think but how to think. Unfortunately, due to varying reasons this objective of education is not always kept in view, as a result of which students are often taught and expected to merely memorize and cram facts and figures and present them in examinations. This tendency of teachers is to be deeply deplored. The student on his part should have the courage to see things for himself, understand the facts and come to his conclusions. If certain conclusions already drawn appear to be wrong, he must have the courage to question those and to form correct conclusions for himself.In more than twenty presentations in National as well as International seminars, I am trying to teach this by sharing my cured cases and introspecting on my failures. And I feel, I am quite successful so far in hitting the bull’s eye.

Not only this, I have written more than fifty articles and case-studies for number of homoeopathic journals and magazines like Homeo-Links, Homoeopathic Heritage, Asian Journal of Homoeopathy, National Journal of Homoeopathy and many more and earned a good words from readers. Moreover, I am writing two books, one on understanding a child’s constitution and temperament and the other one is on Psychology, Emotions and Homoeopathy. But I am not in any hurry as I want to give the best not only from theoretical point of view but also a practical approach based on experience.

ED: Homoeopaths (in general) do not tell the name of the medicines that has been given? Is it justifiable? It is not universally accepted. Many patients with history of believing in contemporary medicine undermine it and say‘Homeopaths just boast and do little.’Comment.

 NB: This is a subject that I’ve pondered many times. The bottom line, for me, is that there’s no correct answer. As with everything else about each patient – and homoeopath – what’s appropriate is bound to be different in each case. It really depends upon the kind of patient you attract or that walks in the door. A good percentage of patients are investigative, have been searching for alternatives, have already dabbled in homoeopathy and “just have a need to know.” With patients like that I tell them to get started with the remedy and after a week or two when the remedy begins to act I will be happy to let them know the name of the remedy. I explain that ‘scientifically speaking’ as a single-blind study, we may not want to have effects from the book knowledge and emotional input of this kind of research.

If they are fearful or adamant about knowing, then of course I tell them right away. However, with some people, knowing can almost be a barrier to cure.One reason is that the patient may look up a limited version of the remedy in a book, and decide that it’s wrong. Another reason is that a patient who has no knowledge of homoeopathy may be frightened of taking a remedy made from a toxic substance. There is much more that goes into a prescription than most patients can ever imagine. 

ED: Discussing mental health issue is a taboo in India. Observation tells, a lot of patients are either fanatic/anarchist or sociopath/narcissist/schizophrenic before their presenting complaints. How to tackle these types of issues?

NB: According to the World Health Organization, mental disorders account for 14 percent of the world’s illnesses. Yet there is still a lot of misunderstanding about mental disorders and as a result, sufferers may be dismissed, ignored or even blamed for their illness.The stigma surrounding mental health often leads young people to shy away from seeking the help and support they need, leaving them to face discrimination and exclusion.

For many, talking about mental health and having the courage to ask for support can prove incredibly beneficial, which is why de-stigmatizing the subject is so important. Left ignored and untreated, these conditions can result in adverse effects that last a lifetime. Mental health issues are complex and often completely misunderstood, with this lack of awareness and understanding often compounded further by the paucity of assistance available. Changing this state of affairs will require a concerted effort but must be done. We homoeopaths should consider arranging ‘Mental Health Workshops’ for our patients, friends, colleagues, neighbours and for society. In many cases, people are unaware of the support their homoeopathic doctor can offer. This is where people with and without mental health problems come together to have a conversation as this helps to transform inaccurate attitudes and opinions about mental health. Workshops like these can help to raise awareness of, and de-stigmatize, mental health issues. Surely this taboo needs tackling so that people can fully realize their potential and achieve greater well-being; and the need for a solid evidence base is crucial to those discussions. Be approachable and encourage patients to talk: Developing a ‘We can talk’ culture around patient’s wellbeing and making time to listen is extremely important. When we homoeopaths are more receptive and understanding, patients will feel more valued, cared for and have confidence that their problems can be accommodated for.

Our society is changing fast and the demands are challenging. These demands call for in-depth acceptance and constant adjustments. Everything happening at personal, social, professional or day to day life has profound psychological impact. Job stress and poor interpersonal skills at both social and family level are beginning to show its effect. Modes of communication are rising but true communication is lacking. More and more people feel misunderstood, alone and unwanted. Emotions are unsatisfied and mind management skills are lacking. Result is obvious. This affects people’s ability to think, feel, act and relate in effective manner. They affect the happiness and progress in life. Psychological complaints are rising alarmingly. From a homoeopathic point of view, the prevalence of mental illness in our society is not simply the result of living in a fast-paced, stressful society, but also because our medical care system has effectively suppressed various physical illnesses. Homoeopaths assert that by treating symptoms as “causes” rather than as “effects,” conventional medicine masks the symptoms without curing the underlying disease process. Homoeopaths theorize that, worse still, the treatment and suppression of symptoms forces the disease process deeper into the organism so that it then manifests in more severe physical pathology and more serious psychological disorders. A true integration of Psychology and Homoeopathy offer complementary means to recognize the pattern of such suffering and consequently strengthen and maintain the immune system’s ability to balance the body and mind.

ED: Should Software Study be integrated along with MM, Organon and Repertory in the syllabus of B.H.M.S.?

NB: Yes, absolutely. As the homoeopathic literature has grown, so too has the importance of software to modern homoeopathic practice. Homoeopathy is a dynamic science and so many aspects and concepts have been added to the science in the last few decades and lot of work is going on in the field of homoeopathy, physicians need to be updated. Different schools of homoeopathy are deriving newer technique and methods to reach to the simillimum, miasmatic load, prognosis, related remedies, newer remedies, concepts etc. Each school has its advantage and contributions towards homoeopathy which one can use and implement in his/her practice and achieve better results. But it’s practically not possible to reach all information without help. With a homoeopathic software like RADAR you get all new concepts and guidelines to use those concepts.

Homoeopathic software now provides instant access to precise case analysis and thousands of references, anywhere, anytime. Reliable and comprehensive homoeopathic software has become an essential tool for the practitioner, researcher, teacher and student alike. With the use of computers and software we are able to access much more information very quickly. These programs will improve the accuracy of prescribing homoeopathic medicines, and they will even increase the speed in which practitioners can prescribe the correct remedy.

ED: Your view as to how can the Indian Government at the centre can patronize Homoeopathy? The fund allocated to AYUSH goes under-utilized. How to rectify the situation? Any direct solution to Mr. Modi through PMO?

 NB: The present governments of our country both at the centre as well as in various states seem to be sincere in fulfilling their election pledge of carrying efficient medical aid to the nooks and corners of the vast rural areas of our country. In this most vital task of carrying efficient medical service to the rural people, the large number of homoeopaths of our country can play the most effective role. But we cannot be utterly dismayed if we go to peep into the qualitative aspect of this vast society, in the matter of fulfilling its task with minimum necessary efficiency.

But before approaching Indian Government, we need to strengthen the education system and try and stop the mushrooming of substandard homoeopathic colleges in India. Of course the efficiency standard of the qualified physicians of the various indigenous systems of medicine may not be any way better than those of our society; we are quite aware of that. But that is no consolation for us. If we at all want to be sincere to our responsibility to the people and fully avail ourselves of the opportunity that has been offered by the present situation in our country, we must take all measures to improve the educational and professional standard of the whole homoeopathic society of our country, from bottom to top, irrespective of institutionally trained or self-taught category of homoeopaths. This task of elevating educational and technical standard of all homoeopaths of our country can be best achieved by regular refresher courses, symposia etc. at all levels. This responsibility can be most efficiently taken up by CCH and other national organizations of Indian homoeopaths. And if we fail in this urgent task, Homoeopathy is sure to be discarded in no time, both by the people as well as by the government, as a useless hoax.

ED: Job prospects for Homoeopaths (especially having done MD Psychiatry in Homoeopathy) in Rehabilitation centre and psychiatric hospitals. Comment. 

NB: The career of a homoeopathic psychiatrist is becoming important now days because of arising mental problems in the society. Post-graduation in Homoeopathic Psychiatry offers a wide range of job opportunities. Since the hallmark of a psychiatrist’s career is diversity and flexibility, a homoeopathic psychiatrists can seek employment in regular hospitals as well as in mental hospitals. They are free to set up their own private clinics. They can work as counselors in large-scale industries, rehabilitation centers dealing with drug addiction, alcoholism, and mental problems where the goal is to help individuals with persistent and serious mental illness to develop the emotional, social and intellectual skills needed to live, learn and work in the community.

Apart from these, psychiatrists also often work as counselors in institutions, including schools, colleges, hospitals and health centers. Psychiatrists specialized in children’s problems deal with juvenile delinquents and they can work in children’s’ rehabilitation centers. The relatively high salary and opportunities to help people with emotional problems or mental illness makes this a rewarding career for those with compassion, communication and problem-solving skills. But those interested in this field must be willing to invest a significant amount of time in their education and training. And you will need to have the following skills, if you really want to be a good homoeopathic psychiatrist:

  • self-awareness, sensitivity and empathy;
  • a broad-minded, non-judgmental attitude and a respect for others;
  • a genuine interest in the emotional problems faced by people;
  • an understanding of the importance of confidentiality and also an awareness of its limitations;
  • a belief in people’s inherent ability to change and develop;
  • an energetic and positive approach;
  • an ability to establish rapport with others;
  • a good sense of humour;
  • an understanding of equality and diversity issues;
  • Confidence to explore difficult and painful aspects of a patient’s life.

ED: Suggestion for a novice Homoeopath without much financial background. How to start his/her clinical practice?

NB: A love of studying homoeopathy is a major requirement for success. Homoeopathy is intellectually stimulating, fascinating and a life-long study. There is always more to learn and discover. Students and practicing homoeopaths should always strive to look beyond their own field and educate themselves in all fields of knowledge. My advice for the young is: Be hard workers and plow the field. The archeological field of homoeopathy is still full of undiscovered treasures. Gather experiences and write them down. Your degree of popularity increases with each publication. Take your interesting articles and case studies and publish them in professional journals like ‘Homoeopathic Heritage’. Never drift from the teachings of our Master Hahnemann. Everything is there in the Organon. We must develop an eye to read it, to read in between the lines, understand it in the light of modern medicine.The satisfaction of helping your patients transform their health in dramatic and lasting ways is one of the best parts of homoeopathic practice. Patients are very grateful to finally find someone who listens, who cares and who can help them so much. You can make more difference in people’s health and lives with homoeopathy, I believe, than with any other form of medicine. 

ED: Your suggestion on vaccination and its alternative Homeoprophylaxsis.

Well, this is quite a controversial question. There is nothing really documented. There are only few trials and a lot of misunderstandings. Even though majority of homoeopaths are in favour of such a thing called Homeoprophylaxsis, my views are somewhat different. In every epidemic we all know that there is one remedy, which is covering in a significant percentage the symptomatology of the epidemic. We call this remedy the “Genus Epidemicus”. If this remedy is given in the whole population during the epidemic, it will probably prevent some cases going into the full exposure of the epidemic. Unless we understand the mechanism of action of such an idea we will be making wrong assumptions. I’ll try to explain it by giving a famous reference of Scarlet fever epidemic in which Hahnemann successfully prescribed Belladonna. Here one thing worth highlighting is that when Hahnemann wrote that Belladonna will protect from scarlet fever, he gave it during the epidemic and not before the epidemic. And the explanation is that since the symptoms of the patients with scarlet fever were matching the symptomatology of Belladonna then this remedy will act as a curative remedy only for those people of course, and not as a preventive. So a curative response were misunderstood and misinterpreted as prophylaxis. Under no circumstances we, homeopaths, could be talking about Homeoprophylaxsis in the way that vaccinations are used and acting today.

Moreover, all persons who fall ill in an epidemic have a predisposition to it. If they do not have it they will not fall ill. If they fall ill they do so in a different manner each, some reacting mildly, some more severely and some even die during the epidemic. If we take all the cases homoeopathically we see different remedies indicated. So the predisposition to disease is different and independent of the type of remedy picture that they will develop when struck by the epidemic. So the remedy picture has nothing to do with the predisposition of the organism, it is a totally different thing. Therefore, there is no way to prevent something to which it is not related. I do not see how a remedy given in advance in every organism can counteract the predisposition!!!

The practice of giving beforehand potentized remedies without knowing whether an epidemic will manifest or not and claim that this remedy works as protection, is to say the least, irresponsible.A remedy will act and prevent only once the symptoms of this remedy are starting to manifest already, and the remedy could then act as a curative agent in the very beginning stage of the epidemic not as a prophylactic. The difference is enormous in explaining to the public what exactly we are doing, instead of giving the impression that we have discovered another way for preventing diseases.

ED: Share with us a recent and successful case treated with Homeopathic Medicine.

NB: One of my most recent cases was a young girl of nine years old with severe anxiety and panic disorder.  She would not touch her brother for fear of contagion and washed her hands immediately after; could not go outside for fear something would happen; could not eat normally or go to the bathroom easily without much anxiety. During the initial appointment she was constantly getting anxious and needing to be calmed, so that her breathing would normalize.  She was also very impressionable; you could not tell her that anything was bad for her as this had become an obsession.  There had been two very traumatic episodes in her life which contributed to this state.

Physically she was very tall for her age and thin; almost to the point of emaciation.  She had also developed very quickly from a baby, had recently gone through growing pains and even began sexual development before the age of 9.

Phos 200c was given, after approximately 2-3 months her parents reported that she was 95% improved in every way.  She began playing outside again, hugging her brother without fear, had no more anxiety attacks, began eating and defecating normally, etc. There was still some anxiety but now it did not inhibit her from trying new things.

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About Author

Dr Abha B.H.M.S is an alumni of Bharati Vidypeeth Deemed University's Homoeopathic Medical College, Pune. She has more than 10 years of clinical experience into practising homeopathy. Currently, she is Editor, The Homoeopathic Heritage and www.homeopathy360.com.

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