When Bill Woford discovered homeopathy as an alternate approach to medical treatment at age 65, he ultimately discovered a new purpose for his retirement years, too.
Now 77, Woford is a committed practitioner in the field and has even written a book on the subject that outlines a quicker way to identify the right remedy for a chronic disease?without the use of prescription drugs.
?Why I was given this discovery, I?ll never know,? Woford said. ?I just have to accept it.?
He admits that homeopathy is not a widely understood approach to medicine.
?A lot of people tell me, ?Oh, it?s herbs,?? Woford said. ?But it?s the furthest thing from herbs you ever saw. We do make some remedies out of herbs, but really, it?s a medicine that matches the symptoms of the natural illness.
?The universal law says that when two illnesses are in the body at the same time, they annihilate each other: ?Like cures like.? That?s what it?s all about.?
Woford said he always had an interest in natural health, but he waited until he retired from his career as flight instructor to pursue the topic.
?I didn?t know anything about homeopathy,? he said. ?I just was interested in natural health.?
Living in southern Oklahoma at the time, Woford enrolled in a distance-learning program through Clayton College of Natural Health in Birmingham, Ala.
The first course they sent him was in homeopathy.
?I couldn?t even spell it, let along pronounce it,? Woford said. ?But when I started studying it, I just fell in love with it. I was sort of a natural to it, you might say. I wrote my master?s thesis on homeopathy and got a good grade on it.?
He earned his master?s in natural health through Clayton and has a diploma in homeopathy from the Hahnemann Academy of North America, which is named after Samuel Hahne?mann, who discovered homeopathy in the late 1700s.
When Woford makes the case for the effectiveness of homeopathy, he points to himself as proof. He said he used that approach to cure the chronic disease that had expressed itself in asthma and emphysema.
?I annihilated my acute illness of asthma and emphysema?it got me off of prescription drugs so I was whole again,? he said.
Though he doesn?t actively promote his homeopathic practice?he said most of his patients have come by word of mouth?Woford can cite several other success cases, including one patient who had suffered with coryza (annual hay fever) for 25 years, and a 48-year-old male who, due to alcohol, was facing the liklihood of a liver transplant.
?After the first dose of his ?Perfect Homeopathic Medicine,? in a LM1 potency, he is getting nothing but good improvement, showing all positive signs that in about three months he will be cured,? Woford said.
How does homeopathy work?
Woford said every person is born with one of seven inherited ?miasms??a predisposition to a specific disease. It can remain dormant throughout a lifetime.
?We also have acquired miasms, but mainly it?s the inherited one that causes all the problems,? he said. ?When it?s triggered, it causes a chronic disease. The chronic disease pushes up the acute ills, such as asthma, exzema, autism, hypertension and other kinds of illnesses.?
The job of the homeopathic practitioner, then, is to find the right natural remedy for an individual so that it mimics the symptoms of the illness, relying on the universal law: that two illnesses will annihilate each other, resulting in a cure.
?What we have to do is find that needle in a haystack?we have to match the symptoms that the remedy puts out to the symptoms of the natural illness,? Woford said.
One of the criticisms of homeopathy is that it can take a long time to find the right remedy for a particular patient.
That?s where Woford?s book comes in. He said he has devised a strategy that increases the success rate of a first prescription from the standard 60 to 65 percent to nearly 100 percent.
He calls his strategy ?delusions and fears.?
?It?s my contention that everyone with a chronic disease has at least one delusion and one fear,? he said.
By cross-matching suggested remedies for a person?s particular combination of delusions and fears?found in a thick homeopathic source book?the commonly mentioned remedy emerges as the more effective one.
In his own case, Woford said he realized he had a recurring fear of things catching on fire, as well as a recurring delusion that thieves were in his house.
He looked up both in the source book, compared the remedies suggested for each, then settled on one that applied to both. Taken in the right potency, it cured him.
Woford has written about his discovery in ?A Medicine that Cures,? a 200-page book published earlier this year by Tate Publishing & Enterprises, which describes itself as ?a Christian-based, family-owned, mainline publishing organization with a mission to discover and market unknown authors.?
Woford said the book is just getting out into the homeopathic community, so it?s too early to know how it is being accepted.
If it catches on, Woford expects some resistance from practitioners of conventional medicine, who, Woford says, depend on the sales of prescription drugs to enhance profitability.
?The medical profession does a great job of keeping (homeopathy) clandestine,? Woford said. ?They just don?t let people know about homeopathy because it threatens their profession.?
Journey to Hillsboro
Woford moved from southern Oklahoma to Hillsboro to be nearer to relatives. His oldest daughter lives in Peabody.
?We searched out several cities, and this was the right one,? he said. ?It was a beautiful place.?
Woford said he intends to continue to be a homeopathy practitioner out of his home. While he?s not looking to expand his clientele? ?At my age, I want a more private life, so I didn?t hang a shingle,? he said?he would welcome e-mail inquiries via his Web site: http://billwoford. tatepublishing.net.