Taking Charge of Your Health

I would like to welcome Dr Herman Spies today. He is a functional medical doctor with a vast experience on how to integrate various complementary medicines and modalities into an allopathic practice. Welcome. Thank you very much, Daleen. I would just like to ask about you and how you ended up in the position where you’re practicing integrative and functional medicine with all different equipment and tools that you use in your arsenal. I started off as a medical doctor and I think like most people in natural medicine, we must have had a personal experience somewhere along the line. Mine was my daughter, she was born with severe colic – screaming from literally five o’clock in the morning until 11/12 o’clock at night and passing out. And she had reason to scream because for her tummy to work we had to literally manually help her tummy. Okay. We took her to all my specialist friends one after another and nobody could help. And every time my wife came home I said to her, ‘Well, what do they say?’ She said, ‘They said your diagnosis is right, she’s got severe colic.’ And then I said to her, ‘So, okay what did they give?’ And she’d always said, ‘They wanted to give me a prescription but we’ve already got everything in the cupboard.’ And I was desperate because I knew the screaming wasn’t going to stop and then one day she said to me, ‘Why don’t we go to Dr Louis?’ Now she was referring to Dr Louis Potgieter who was somebody I knew as a small boy and I phoned him up and said, ‘Dr Potgieter would you like to look at my girl?’ He said it’s fine, so we drove the day to Houghton and we were sitting in his office chatting, we hadn’t seen each other for 13 years and I just heard my wife walking outside in Houghton with all the rooves lifting with this child, not screaming but I tell you it was ear-piercing. And after we said our hellos he just knocked on the window and showed my wife, ‘Come in’. So my wife came in he took his little light and he looked in her one eye and he looked into her other eye for about two-and-a-half seconds and said, ‘This child has got reflex pancreatitis.’ Now, at that point in time I was a medical doctor for 13 years – so I kind of looked at him in total disbelief and he just burst out laughing and he said to me, ‘Go get the bloody medicine and give it to this child.’ We were so desperate because this was going on for eight months – screaming, screaming, screaming for eight months. And we were so desperate when he said go get the bloody medicine, we got into the car and drove to Rosebank Weleda pharmacy and for the first time in my life as a medical doctor I bought a homeopathic medicine. I was desperate. We started giving this child the homeopathic medicines, just three days later her tummy started working, just two weeks later for the first time in her life at eight-and-a-half months I saw my baby girl smiled. Oh wow! And when I saw that, if he can do that in two-and-a-half seconds I want to do that too – and that’s where everything started. Wow! Then he became my mentor and I said, ‘Where do we start?’ And he said, ‘Well, first you need to know what’s wrong with your patient.’ So he lent me all his thick, German textbooks on iridology and he said, ‘Start by studying the eye so that you can at least see what’s wrong with your patient.’ Fortunately, I had a little bit of German at school so it was tough. I was going to ask you. We didn’t have Google translate then. No. Then I heard there was a course here in Cape Town on iridology flew down to cape Town. Was that with Dr Florrie Kirschbaumer? Dr Florrie, yes. She’s amazing. Yes. Came down, did a course and I had an idea what was going on with my patients. So I went back to Dr Louis and I said, ‘I did this course!’ And he said, ‘Fantastic! Now you need medicines to help your patients.’ So he introduced me to a homotoxicology course from Heel in Germany. Right. Started learning about these medicines that I knew nothing about and we started seeing progress. Homotoxicology sees homeopathy but it also sees conventional medicine and it meets in the middle. It’s a bridging course to teach medical doctors like myself to start using natural medicines. And he became my mentor and I can tell you I must have driven him mad. Every time I saw a new patient in my practice or a returning patient, I said to them, ‘Okay, we’ve tried the other stuff are you happy with the results?’ And if they said, ‘Maybe not 100 %.’ Then I said, ‘Would you like to try something else?’ This is just so valuable because I think at the time I started reporting and writing and researching on natural medicine, the most difficult thing doctors faced is how do they make the switch from an allopathic practice and using natural products and ‘becoming’ a homeopath because they would lose their patients. Yes, it was tough. You know, I can tell you I started off as a medical doctor with 100% conventional medicines and then I started with this other thing in my practice – the patients got to choose. Initially I had a conventional practice and then I had a choose practice, the patient had the choice natural medicine, conventional medicine. And eventually things started progressing to the point where if a patient came to me and said, ‘I want conventional medicine.’ Then I’d say, ‘You know what? I’m not comfortable using those medicines, would you like me to refer you to one of my colleagues?’ It was a gradual process and I think that process took about a year – year-and-a-half – and then I totally switched over to natural medicines. Do you ever prescribe conventional medicine still? Of course, I do. Okay, I just wanted to check. I’ll tell you, in my practice I do use if I had to guess two/three courses of antibiotics per year. Oh my word! We always start with natural medicines, we’ve got so many other things that can help support the patient to heal naturally. You would for example look at Ozone when you’re getting a super bug and not another course of antibiotics? Absolutely. Okay. We use ozone. We support the gut flora. We’ve got Rife resonance treatments that we use in the practice. So what we do is we support the body in a natural way but if we find that the patient’s immune system is so weak with all the additional help and support we give them and they can’t cope, then of course we put the patient on an antibiotic and we help them. So we know that causes trouble but then we go back and we try and restore the gut flora as much as we can possibly do so.

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