Even as a young girl growing up in Israel, Zoe Rubinstein had the instincts of a healer. “It was mostly focused on animals, bringing those injured pigeons and kittens home, although my mom wasn’t happy about it,” she says. “As I got older and had a family, this need to heal was transferred to people, starting with family and friends.”
Her passion for healing ultimately drove Zoe to pursue a career as a classical homeopath at Scottsdale Homeopathy. But the path was not a direct one.
She actually started off in computers during her compulsory service in the Israel Defense Forces. Being trained in computers for the IDF required a commitment of an additional three years in the army, on top of the two mandatory years for women. Although she enjoyed it, and was very good at it, she says it didn’t really fit who she was. “I did it because my parents wanted me to. At a young age, it’s hard to determine our course in life,” Zoe says.
Shortly after completing her IDF service, at the age of 23, she was sent by an Israeli computer firm to work with its subsidiary in New York City, eventually settling in Phoenix for its warmer climate in 1999.
Zoe began exploring homeopathy when her oldest daughter, Shai, had a persistent cough and nothing else worked. Initially, she had her doubts.
“Homeopathy is the science of really high dilutions and I was very skeptical before I started. I learned about a lot of other alternative medicines, but I didn’t get into homeopathy because at first it didn’t make sense to me. But when your kid is sick, you’ll try anything, as long as you know it’s not toxic and it’s not going to hurt her,” Zoe says. “She had been coughing and coughing for two weeks. The first time I gave her a homeopathic remedy there were just two or three more coughs, and then quiet … she fell asleep. It was mind blowing. But I thought, OK, that was a fluke, the cough must have run its course. But I was so curious that the next time my kid got sick, that was the first thing I went to, and again, the healing was so rapid. At the point, I was hooked. I knew I had found something incredibly powerful and that every mother should know about this.”
That was in 2001. Zoe started studying on her own, researching the field of homeopathy at night, while working as a computer consultant by day. After several years, the busy mother of two made the difficult decision to leave her successful career in computers and go back to school to pursue her calling.
“Just the thought that I could help somebody feel better and get better, and I’m not doing it, felt like I’m betraying my own purpose in life. When you know in your heart what your life purpose is, but you’re sitting all day doing computer stuff, you know you’re missing something huge. That’s not what you came to this world to do,” she says.
After graduating from the American Medical College of Homeopathy in Phoenix, Zoe was certified as a classic homeopath. She now owns Scottsdale Homeopathy, where she works alongside Jyl Steinback, a classic homeopath and executive director of Shape Up US. Once she started practicing homeopathy, she finally felt fulfilled. “I wake up in the morning so happy, because I know that I have another day, another opportunity to help someone. Writing a computer program never made me feel as good as when a mother sends me a text message that her kid is finally saying a word. Nothing in the world can compare to that.”
Partnership with patients
Zoe describes homeopathy as a very gentle therapy, with no side effects and no toxins. Instead of suppressing or relieving symptoms, like conventional medicine, she says homeopathy stimulates the body’s own ability to cure and push the illness out of the system. The goal is to help the patient return to a state of well-being.
During the first appointment, Zoe spends two to three hours getting to know everything possible about her patients. Because homeopathy is highly individualized, Zoe says she needs to understand her patients’ mental, emotional and physical states, so that she can match them with the right treatment. “I can have 10 kids with ADHD and each will need a different homeopathic medicine. We are treating the person, not the illness, bringing them into perfect balance,” she says.
Zoe sees homeopathy as a partnership between practitioner and patient. She spends time educating patients, so that they take an active role in their treatment and make changes in their lives to support homeopathic healing. For example, if a patient consumes large amounts of alcohol or is exposed to toxins at work, it could interfere with the therapy. “I empower my patients to understand the homeopathic treatment and be responsible for what they’re going through,” she says.
Many of Zoe’s patients are on conventional medication when they first come to see her. Although she says that these medicines can slow down the body’s response to homeopathic remedies, she tells them to talk to their physicians before dropping any medication.
While homeopathy can be used to treat both acute and chronic conditions, Zoe focuses on chronic illness, mainly for women and children. When it comes to women’s wellness, she addresses issues such as menopause, PMS, migraines, bipolar disorder, hormone imbalance, depression, anxiety, chronic fatigue and more.
But her main concern is helping children. “That’s where my heart and passion are,” Zoe says. She addresses behavioral problems, learning disabilities, ADHD, temper tantrums, anxieties, eating disorders and autism.
“With autism, there’s a longer process of healing. Not in all cases, but in general, children with learning disabilities, for example, will respond faster to homeopathy than kids with autism. It’s a feeling like there’s something stuck, and in order to release that, I use CEASE Therapy,” says Zoe. CEASE stands for Complete Elimination of Autistic Spectrum Expression. “It’s a release, a detox of toxins, used while treating them homeopathically at the same time. Once we do that, we see that awakening, we see them starting to respond to the homeopathic process. I see great results with my autistic patients. We see amelioration, where symptoms slowly start to go away to a point that they are completely reversed.”
Zoe, who recently participated as a vendor in the Arizona Autism Coalition’s first Autism Expo, says that after treatment she sees kids with autism calm down; restlessness and behaviors like spinning or hand-flapping vanish. Zoe says she also sees encouraging results when the main care giver embarks on homeopathic therapy at the same time as their child. Care givers, who often come to her exhausted and drained, may experience renewed strength and energy, which in turn helps invigorated the child’s treatment. However, she is cautious not to make promises, since each situation is unique, and the last thing she wants is to build up false hopes.
Zoe is the middle of three sisters who were raised in a very secular Israeli home. “My sisters are my best friends. Growing up in Israel in the ’70s was magical. I remember the frequent road trips exploring Israel and how warm and open people were everywhere we visited,” she says. But it wasn’t until she was older that she had an urge to learn more about her roots and Jewish spirituality. “I’m a very spiritual person. The shelf in my home is full of books of Jewish spiritualism. I’m self-taught. I’m a researcher at heart and I always investigate,” she says.
Now she sees a correlation between being Jewish and being a healer. “I truly believe that loving and giving are a huge part of who we are as Jews. I think there’s a connection there. It’s about giving to the community.”
When Zoe talks about helping and healing, you can hear her conviction.
“Coming from that Israeli, Jewish background, for me, healing is about loving your neighbor as yourself; it’s about bestowing love and compassion. As a woman and a mother, it all comes together under that word, healing. That’s where my heart is.”
What is Homeopathy?
Homeopathy is a gentle, safe, and natural system of medicine that works with your body’s natural healing ability to relieve symptoms, restore itself and improve your overall health. It is extremely safe to use, even with very small children, pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers and pets.
Homeopathy has none of the side effects of many traditional medications, is very affordable, is made from natural substances, and is FDA regulated. Homeopathy is used to treat chronic conditions, like anxiety, asthma, depression, autism and arthritis, as well as acute illnesses, like colds, ear infections, migraines and sore throats.
The word homeopathy is derived from the Greek words “homeos” (similar) and “pathos” (suffering). It is based on a rule of nature called the Law of Similars, which states that “like cures like,” or that a medicine can cure a sick person if it can cause a similar sickness in a healthy person. For example, if you peel an onion, your eyes burn, itch and water. You might also have a runny nose and begin to sneeze. If you had similar symptoms during a cold or an allergy attack, such as a runny nose, watery eyes and sneezing, a homeopathic preparation of allium cepa (red onion) would help your body heal.
Although homeopathic remedies are derived from natural substances, homeopathy should not be confused with herbal medicine, Chinese medicine, or other types of natural medicines. It is its own, unique therapeutic system.
Homeopathy recognizes that each person exhibits disease in a unique and different way. Two people with the same disease will not necessarily receive the same homeopathic remedy. Conventional medicine seeks to control illness and symptoms through the regular and continuous use of medications; if the medicine is withdrawn, the symptoms return. In homeopathy the idea is that a person needs just enough of the homeopathic remedy to stimulate their healing response. In other words, homeopathy seeks to cure a person so that they do not need any medications —homeopathic or otherwise.
A brief history of homeopathy
Homeopathy is a system of medical practices that originated with the work of the German physician Dr. Samuel Hahnemann (1755-1843), an experienced orthodox physician as well as a competent chemist, a good mineralogist and botanist, and an able translator of eight different languages. Hahnemann discovered that patients with certain diseases could be cured with substances that produce similar toxic effects. He termed this principle “similia similibus curentur” – “let likes be cured by likes,” also known as the law of similars.
The law of similars was already known and described by Hippocrates and Paracelsus and was utilized by many cultures, including the Mayans, Chinese, Greeks, Native Americans and Asian Indians, but it was Hahnemann who codified the law of similars into a systematic medical science.
Hahnemann spent several years experimenting on himself, his family and a group of followers, testing a wide range of natural substances, such as plants and minerals. He was the “father” of experimental pharmacology. He and his colleagues catalogued over 200 medicines of plant, mineral and animal origin. Each substance was tested, i.e. taken by healthy volunteers who kept detailed records of their physical, mental and emotional reactions. Repeating this type of experiment led him to observe and describe the basic principles of homeopathy.
A guiding principal in Hahnemann’s teaching is “Primum non nocere” – “First, do no harm.” Because of his desire to minimize the harmful effects of the medicines that doctors were using he repeatedly diluted and succussed (vigorously shook) each medicine to reduce its potential to poison and cause harm. What surprised him in his use of these preparations was that the more stages of dilution and succussion the drug had gone through, the greater its potential to cure quickly and harmlessly. His observations laid the principles of how homeopathic medicines are prepared using dilution and succussion.
In the 19th century this method spread rapidly all over Europe and, through European emigrants, to North and South America. By 1900, about 10% of doctors in the United States were homeopaths, but due to various political and social changes, homeopathy became relatively unknown in the US until recently. This was not the case in other countries that have a wide acceptance of homeopathy such as France, Germany, Mexico, Argentina, India and Great Britain. The World Health Organization estimates that homeopathy is currently practiced by over 500 million people worldwide.
– from scottsdalehomeopathy.com