Dr. Francine Burke, DC, DNBHE, an NUHS faculty member and a local chiropractic and homeopathic physician, spoke with students Jan. 27 about treating autism with homeopathy. Autism is a disorder that affects the brain and gastrointestinal tract. It is becoming increasingly common with a 10-fold increase in the last 20 years.
Students can expect to encounter the condition frequently when in practice, Dr. Burke said. Parents, especially now, are looking for alternatives to improve or resolve the condition outside of conventional medical care.
A great benefit of homeopathy is that it is not only safe but cost-effective for families, who may already be spending significant amounts on health care. Because children diagnosed with autism progress and get worse, early treatment is key.
Conditions of autism can include repressed social interaction, communication skills and cognitive functions. However, Dr. Burke reminded students that homeopathic remedies treat the whole body and may also be able to help recurrent ear infections, allergies, digestive problems or other health concerns. The treatments are particularly good for children because they are easy to take and often taste good even to the most finicky of eaters.
The seminar was sponsored by the Homeopathy Club, which frequently brings in local experts outside of the university to speak with students on various topics. Some of the club’s goals include building a supportive homeopathic community on issues of common interest and discovering homeopathy’s place in integrative and naturopathic medicine.
During the talk, Dr. Burke discussed two cases in which autism was treated through homeopathic methods successfully. She also talked about the hot topic of vaccination and its much discussed connection to autism.
Last year, National University hosted a popular debate on the safety and effectiveness of vaccinations. National University welcomes both sides of the debate and prides itself as an environment that fosters an attitude of scientific inquiry.
Regarding vaccines, Dr. Burke stressed that when in practice, students need to be cautious about this issue with patients. She also talked about the importance of treating every patient individually and listening to specific mental symptoms that can include despair, depression and insatiable appetite.
“Considering a patient’s various symptoms can be like putting together a puzzle to find the right remedy,” she said.
For example, based on symptoms, one patient was given two different nature-based prescriptions before finding one that dramatically improved her conditions. After a month on calcium carbonate, the patient had the ability to read and comprehend for the first time in her life, experienced better moods and improved conversational clarity and meaning.
Other positive case studies like this exist but more high-quality research is needed, according to Dr. Burke.
In addition to a rigorous program at National University, students also have the opportunity to learn and participate in educational events outside the classroom such as Dr. Burke’s seminar. Many of these events are arranged by various NUHS student clubs and organizations. For a full list of clubs visit the NUHS website.