Saturday, April 7, 2012

Are You Using Both Sides of Your Brain?

Finches impatiently waiting to feed
In looking at the science and art of homeopathy, I am struck by the inclusion of both hemispheres of the brain in using this wonderful modality. We listen and look at our clients; we analyze. We read our rubrics, and select which thoughts best convey our conception of the client. We may come to a few remedies that we feel are right, and whether through intuition backed by logic, or logic alone, we dispense a particular essence to our clients. This composition is rife with words that use one part of the brain. The act of typing involves both. Should we go to our software and look at families of remedies, we may take in text, and various icons or images that engage both sides of our brain. Left brain is hunter, killer, logic, analytic, causal, and linear. Right brain is iconic, illogical, intuitive, nurturing, empathetic.

Recently reading a skeptic's post on homeopathy online, it struck me that most of these skeptics are men. Most are young and white. I thought it odd, and talked with a fellow homeopath about his thoughts. He perceived them to be angry young men engaged in some science based career, feeling they didn't quite live up to the solid science academia that would recognize their talents. I got the feeling that they were angry they felt slighted by the scientific world, not being bright enough to make a name for themselves. After thinking on this for a long time, I added a bit more to it. Most homeopaths are women, most skeptics are men. Most women use their right brains, buttressed by their tendency to listen to intuition, and, having children, a nurturing tendency. Most men use their left brain, and tend to prefer science and logic over intuition and nurture. These men went deeper into their left brains, instead of correcting the imbalance. The imbalance comes when one lives solely on one side; when a man becomes too vested in his logical, alphabet-dependent left brain, which favors math and science. This is true with women, as well, when logic flies out the window, and intuition and emotion carry the reasoning away. When one lives too much on one side, perversity and psychosis can develop. Often, though, I find myself telling new mothers in my office to listen to their intuition; nothing brings it out more than a newborn baby. We were told by Dr. Spock to let the baby cry; a male writing a book on something we should have trusted ourselves to know! We are so much in our right-brain after childbirth, there is often that 'lost-my-brain' feeling we often describe as new moms. The left brain (memory, linear thinking) takes a back seat to our right brain (nurturing, intuitive), so desperately needed to raise our young.  How often does the young mother, craving some left-brain stimulation, feel ravenous for some adult conversation? This may be the overworked right brain letting her know there is an imbalance.

What about ridicule, a tool often employed by skeptics?  This is a fear-based, rigid reaction to losing power. The left brain is struggling to maintain power, and the right brain is dormant. The hunter/killer instincts are overdeveloped, and seeking blood. Feeding this need, the skeptic attacks, over and over, unaware of how it must look to onlookers. Looking back through history, we see the overreactions to new thought, new paradigms: witch hunting was the most obvious of these overreactions. Killing women was the largest mass murder in history, a hysteria there was no basis for it. Here were left-brain centered men attacking harmless, innocent women, and often children.

A junko pretends he's a finch
Sometimes, as with homeopathy, we must use both sides; either side will not carry the day. We must use our senses and our logic, our intuition and our analysis, to be successful. I've noticed sometimes, that I have a strong hunch that one remedy will be better than another. When alone, I often do not verbalize or cogitate on the reasoning. When at clinic with another homeopath, I often must. I now see how and why this happens, and realize it is more that I intuit something that has an actual logical thought process; selecting the remedy is often just the most obvious point this occurs.

How often do we use one side of our brain too often? Can you see in your own life where you may become stuck on one hemisphere? Too much book-reading, not enough image, or vice versa? I often feel the need to spin wool into yarn, or knit a few rows, just to center myself. It's often when my left side has become hypertrophied, and my right brain is screaming for attention. This morning I went outside with my tea and book. I sat and watched the finches fighting for room at the feeder. Even with 5 pages left in my book, I could not concentrate, and sat watching the finches till my right brain was happy. 

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