Illness Closed Some Doors and Opened Others

Dunn County News, Menomonie, WI

Wednesday, February 11, 2004

Illness closed some doors, opened others

Finding her way back to health, local homeopath, Marybeth Buchele, finds her new career
By Deb Anderson, Lifestyles Editor

Homeopathy, a natural system of healing, has been around for nearly 200 years. In fact, many medical schools sprang up from the practice of homeopathy.

However, during the early 20th Century, homeopathy lost prominence. Then in the 70s, came a resurgence of interest that waned. Now, once again it is growing in popularity among all kinds of people, and throughout many countries.

The principle of “vital force” it recognizes in mankind is gaining momentum. Homeopathy is becoming a force to be reckoned with in the world of modern medicine.

For Marybeth Buchele, homeopathy is not just a profession or a remedy, it is a life-altering experience. A certified practitioner of classical homeopathy, Buchele chose her career as much as it chose her.

Following the birth of her first child, Kate, in 1980, Buchele became extremely ill, suffering from severe allergies. Many of her symptoms developed gradually.

Scents, especially new carpet smell, cigarette smoke and exhaust were overwhelming. Many foods, including dairy, wheat, corn, soy, oranges, tomatoes, beef and chocolate, were intolerable.

These combined reactions caused her to become so ill that she would occasionally pass out.

“I was basically disabled,” she said.

While there was a family predisposition to allergies, no relative had allergies to such a severe degree as she did.

Compounding her problems, she had chronic fatigue. Medical testes revealed that at some time in her life she had the Epstein Barr Virus—the antibodies were in her system. But she found little help from the traditional medical community.

Buchele said she faded, lost weight and “looked like death warmed over.”

The years marched on, and although she never really recovered, in 1984 she gave birth to a second child, Lauren. Illnesses hit her even harder with sensitivities, fatigue, chronic headaches and nausea.

“I was very, very tired,” said Buchele, “but I struggled on because I loved them [her children] dearly.”

In 1988, she had another child, Matt. And conventional medicine still did not provide her with any acceptable answers.

“I learned to live with it [illness],” she said, even though it was taking its toll on her marriage, too. Ultimately the marriage would come to an end.

Nevertheless, throughout the ups and downs of life, she managed to persevere, seeking answers for her deteriorating condition.

“I went on a lengthy quest to find a way to restore my health,” said Buchele.

It was then she found homeopathy and the remedies she attributes to her health and well being. She also found her new profession.

Although she had earned a degree in journalism from Iowa State University, which she used for a period of time, free-lancing for the Associated Press, Better Homes and Gardens, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune and other publications, she found she enjoyed the interview process, but not the writing.

“It’s hard to succeed when you like half your job and not the other,” she said.

Time spend at home raising her children and coping with illness had also given her the opportunity to be creative as she pursued her needle work of sewing , tatting and knitting and honed her fiber art skills on the loom. And while those avenues appealed to her professionally, too, her health prevented her from traveling down that path.

“If I had not gotten sick, I would be Jenny Elliot,” said Buchele with a chuckle. (An entrepreneur, Jenny Elliot is the owner/operator of Dragon Island Designs, a textile and sewing shop in Menomonie; co-manager of the Menomonie Farmer’s Market; proprietor of On Fire! Ovens catering and a Dunn County News columnist.

Buchele said she then grew introspective, asking herself, “What is it I enjoy? What is it I want to do?”

She found herself reacting to her circumstances much the way her father, Wesley F. Buchele, who invented the giant round baler and taught farm machinery design at Iowa State, approached life.

“Growing up as a Kansas farm boy, he saw a problem and wanted to do something about it,” said Buchele. “Baling is hard, heavy, awful work and he wanted to find a solution. Farmers still come up to him and shake his hand for making their lives easier.”

Through homeopathy, Buchele found her own solution for health. By 1998, she started receiving compliments about her overall appearance: “You look different,” was a common statement.

Now, thanks to homeopathy, she said most of her sensitivities have disappeared and her energy is back. And excited about what she had learned, she wanted to share homeopathy to help make life easier health-wise for those who suffer with poor health.

“I found a solution for health and wanted to pass it on to others,” she said.

Buchele graduated from the Northwestern Academy of Homeopathy in Minneapolis. Much like many a pre-med student, her classes included physiology, anatomy, pathology, psychology, microbiology and chemistry. She has advanced her education through the Homeopathic Master Clinician Course of Luminos Schools of Homeopathy, headquartered in Vancouver, B.C., Canada, a two-year program she completed last fall. Next month she will complete a four-year postgraduate program with Dynamis School for Advanced Homeopathic Studies, headquartered in England with classes in Denver.

Buchele is registered with The Society of Homeopaths (North America) and is certified in Classical Homeopathy by the Council for Homeopathic Certification.

In July, 2000 she was listed as one of Minnesota’s top 100 alternative health care providers by Minnesota Monthly Magazine.

Still a contributing author, she is now published in The Impossible Cure: The Promise of Homeopathy, and Simillimum Homeopathic Journal, where she is also a consultant to the board of directors and the publication’s marketing director.

Originally from Iowa, Buchele lived in Minnesota for 30 years. Her children now grown, she came to Menomonie a year-and-a-half ago.

She maintains a practice in St. Louis Park, Minn. And one in Menomonie at 500 Main Street, Suite 320. Currently accepting new clients, her local office hours are by appointment, by calling (715) 231-6068.

Also a teacher, Buchele offers classes on homeopathy, women’s and children’s health (she and her husband have nine children between them—“lots of opportunities to treat children and a good way to learn”), lifestyle changes and natural healing.

“I enjoy reaching out and educating people,” said Buchele. “For me, it’s a lot of fun.”

A lemons-to-lemonade story, Buchele’s venture is all and more than she had hoped it would be. A blend of old and new, this career allows her to use her interviewing skills while helping people. But now, the face-to-face interviews are longer (initial consultations are generally three hours in length) and during that time, she not only asks questions about background and symptoms, but makes observations, assessing skin color, hair, eyes, energy, posture, gait, and more. She said the condition of nasal mucus and fingernails are also health indicators.

“Homeopathy is a safe, scientific system of healing which recognizes the interaction between our bodies and our emotional states in treating illness, rather than focusing just on the disease alone,” said Buchele. “The idea is to know how the body works and to understand the diseases, signs and symptoms.”

Symptoms, she said, are your body’s way of talking to you. But if the symptoms are removed but the root or cause of the symptoms is not dealt with, the same problem can recur. Homeopathy seeks out the root cause to eliminate it altogether.

For that reason, she works holistically, working with “the whole person,” looking at everything going on in a person’s life that contributes to his or her inner imbalance. Based on her in-depth fact gathering, Buchele then chooses a single remedy best suited to the individual.

“Each person responds to life differently,” she said, “therefore we give one remedy at a time.”

Remedies, of which there are more than 4,000, are all-natural preparations (in liquid or dry pellet form), often plant-based and made from herbs, minerals or other natural substances, and are officially recognized by the FDA and held to exacting standards of manufacture by that agency. Developed from documented experiments called “provings,” remedies have undergone extensive studies.

Homeopathy Today, a monthly publication of the National Center for Homeopathy in Washington, D.C. that is targeted to the homeopathy consumer, states, “Anything that can cause symptoms can be studied in this way.”

In homeopathy, many substances have been studied and are now used in non-toxic form. Remedies remain stable, retaining their therapeutic properties and, according to Buchele, with proper storage may have a shelf life of nearly 100 years. Prices vary, but may range from $6 to 20 per bottle.

Remedies can be used in conjunction with other therapies such as nutritional and chiropractic. And Buchele said homeopathy has also been successful in treatment of animals.

While most remedies are available over-the-counter, self-care is not always considered appropriate, thus individuals find guidance and information through homeopathic practitioners.

Buchele said homeopathy successfully addresses inflammatory conditions, autoimmune diseases, chronic gastric and intestinal disorders, stomach or head pain, depression, breathing problems and shortness of breath, difficulty concentrating and staying on task, chronic muscle or joint pain, chronic fatigue, allergic disorders, seasonal “blues,” anxiety, viral syndromes, chronic ear infections,

skin diseases, inflammations and eruptions, menopausal symptoms, menstrual complaints and other hormonal imbalances and many more conditions. Additionally, she said frequent recurrence of colds, flu, headaches or other acute illnesses and their tendency to become chronic is aborted.

Basically, according to Buchele, conditions amenable to homeopathic treatment include anything that does not involve destroyed tissue. However, even in cases if irreversible tissue damage, homeopathy can ease a person’s symptoms, improving quality of life without the side effects of drugs.

While on a remedy, individuals may notice a change in one to four weeks. But, after the initial consultation, Buchele advises that clients who get the best results visit with her about every four to six weeks for at least a period of six months.

And, in answer to, “Why did my friend get worse before she got better?” Homeopathy Today states, “Sometimes healing is a bit like cleaning house—it’s a little messier when you’re in the middle of cleaning than before you started. But usually, when that happens you feel better anyway…This response is called an aggravation.”

And while on a remedy, most homeopath’s clients continue to see their family physicians.

“Homeopathy is not ‘instead of’ but ‘along with,’” said Buchele.

Although Buchele’s services are not covered by health insurance, the costs may be eligible for reimbursement through a person’s work-based medical-flex plan or health savings account.

“It is very important for people to know ‘there are other choices,’” said Buchele. “We live in a time when we have choices and options. And that’s a good thing. If you lose your health, you are not stuck there the rest of your life.”

Because she has first-hand experience with illness followed by success through homeopathy, Buchele feels she can truly relate to her clients and they to her.

“When you have received the gift of getting your health back, what better thing to do than pass it on to people, which is why I’m so passionate about this,” said Buchele.

“I truly found my niche in life. Had I not gotten ill, I would never have this focus,” she said, fully aware of the irony. “I’m doing exactly what I want to do and I’m having so much fun helping people get their health back. I want others to learn about this safe, effective, gentle way of working on your health.”

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