By Laura Sholtz, RSHom (NA), CCH, FBIH
The Third Annual Joint American Homeopathic Conference was held on Saturday and Sunday, April 12-13, 2008, at Warwick, Rhode Island. Sponsored by the National Center for Homeopathy, in association with several other homeopathic organizations including NASH, the conference offered talks for both the student and experienced practitioner. About one hundred attendees came from the New England states, Canada, and as far afield as California. Half of the people registered for this conference were NASH members.
The conference officially opened with a reception on Friday evening, although there was a pre-conference seminar with Dr. André Saine from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. the same day. Exhibitors lined two halls, creating an appealing marketplace filled with books, remedies, membership tables, and other sundry offerings. To me, the most wonderful thing that happened on Friday night was the pasta station: chefs prepared each person’s dinner individually (very homeopathic). Each person chose his/her own ingredients, and then each dinner was cooked right on the spot while the person watched. Very impressive, and very delicious! Following dinner, the Second Annual Poster Session was held from 7:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. Attendees had the opportunity to meander through the rotunda, peruse the various posters, and ask questions of the presenters. Chief Editor, Richa Eland and Assistant Editor, Suzanne Smith of The American Homeopath created a poster telling why members should submit their cases, et cetera, for publication in NASH’s own journal.
The Saturday introductory schedule offered four talks ranging from “The Homeopathic Interview” and “Curing the Incurable” by our very own president, Manfred Mueller, to talks on menopause and home remedy kits. The advanced schedule opened with André Saine sharing his research and several of his brilliantly cured cases during epidemics. The afternoon offered four more presentations on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), substance abuse, the placebo effect, and, my favorite that afternoon, Dr. Todd Rowe’s fast-paced talk on “The Desert Community” and its medicines.
A bus trip to Newport was planned for Saturday evening, but many of us opted to eat at recommended restaurants in Pawtucket instead. Nine of us piled into two cars. We had a great time and wonderful food, enjoying the company of friends, both old and new. We returned to the hotel with full bellies and happy hearts, full of joie de vivre, and goodwill towards all. I hope those who traveled to Newport had as good a time as we did.
The Sunday schedule was slated for the advanced homeopath, although students were also welcome. Jeremy Sherr offered two talks during Sunday morning: one on his proving of Helium, and the second on “AIDS and Homeopathy.” An impassioned homeopath, Jeremy’s discussion of AIDS in Africa, and the video case of a cured Western patient, was both erudite and moving. Jeremy also offered a post-conference seminar on “The Syphilitic Family of Remedies” on Monday and Tuesday.
By Sunday afternoon, the crowd of attendees had thinned; many people had already left the conference. Following the silent auction (where attendees could list their own prices for such various donated items as books, CDs, courses, remedy kits, et cetera, and hope theirs was the highest bid) three talks were scheduled, along with a panel discussion on the “Sensation Method.”
Beginning on the Friday and continuing throughout the weekend, four organizations held their annual membership meetings at the joint conference; NASH held its annual luncheon meeting on Saturday from 1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. This was the first year that NASH’s entire Board of Directors was in attendance: Manfred Mueller, President; Cassie Travaini, Vice President; Julie Mann, Treasurer; Carleen Johnson, Secretary; Laura Sholtz, Registrar; Basil Ziv, Bi-National Representative; Liz Bonfig, Administrator. The positive energy surrounding this hard-working group was palpable. After being introduced to the membership, each Board member reported on work completed during the past year. There was adequate time for questions and answers.
Of the 50 NASH members registered for the conference, only nineteen members attended the annual meeting. As the Board works very hard throughout the year, and is quite proud of its accomplishments as a unique organization, members who had not attended the meeting were asked why they had not attended. Several people said they could not find the meeting room. A few members attended the round-table discussions that were occurring at the same time. And others were not even aware the meeting was taking place. Improved communication is high on the agenda for next year’s annual meeting.
This Third Annual Joint American Homeopathic Conference was educational, inspiring, and fun. Seeing old friends and making new connections are both important parts of why we enjoy such gatherings, along with the valuable educational component. Coming together to celebrate and foster the growth of homeopathy is a worthy endeavor; each of us must do our part to make these opportunities a success. If you didn’t come this year, you missed a very fine conference, a mini-vacation, and a respite from the ordinary. We all hope you will make the effort to attend next time and support your professional homeopathic organization. And let us know what you can offer to further improve NASH.
About the Author: Immediately resonating with homeopathy when she first heard of it curing a baby’s colic, Laura Sholtz practices and teaches homeopathy in central Maine. She lives in Exeter, Maine, with her husband, one daughter still in college, and a tribe of cats. She can be reached by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.