Tidbits on the Holistic Journey of Dr. Roger DeHaanDr. Roger had a humble beginning on a diversified organic farm in Michigan, the oldest of 9 children. The idea of organic was in his DNA early on. This included partnering with his father in a high producing dairy goat project. When Roger wrote 2 dairy goat veterinary specialists about a certain problem, both wrote back: "You should become a veterinarian."" Following that inspiration, he began his pre-vet training, which resulted in his graduation from Michigan State University with his DVM degree in 1967.
Life has many twists and turns. Along the way a spiritual experience prompted his enrolling in a non-denominational theological seminary. While there he was employed by Dr. Rivers who prescribed vitamins and raw foods in his practice. A true pioneer. He commented one day: "They do not teach veterinarians to think anymore!" Nevertheless, I was very thankful for my four years of medical training in medicine, surgery and dentistry. All of which came in handy during my 12 years of agricultural and community mission development in the rainforests of Colombia SA. The vision was to work alongside the natives, co-laboring with them. Because in a real sense we depended on them to survive and thrive in the rainforest jungle; and they depended on us for the educational, agricultural and spiritual training we represented.
Unknown to us, drug trade was fermenting in huge FARC guerilla training camps nearby. A M19 undercover agent, who deceived us as to his intent, stayed in our home for 10 days. When he left he shared we had been "spied on by 10 other guerilla groups." Nevertheless, he was deeply impressed by what we had accomplished, how we networked with the natives, gardens, animal programs, education of the youth and more.
Earlier an army general dropped in by helicopter. His assessment was our mission did more for Colombia than any other mission he had inspected. A communist leaning judge had also been in our home for several days. He was shocked, opining that what we had attained already was more than his vision for communism could accomplish. Whereas in our opinion we were just a drop in the bucket...just beginning...and definitely had not arrived at fulfilling our own vision. Which remains true today. But it does witness that sometimes small pebbles create waves which appear to have little significance, but combined with other small pebbles, contribute to advances in physical, emotional and spiritual changes far beyond our current comprehension. Which is also the story of the impact of the AHVMA on my life, as the years have unfolded.
Due to chronic undiagnosed illness on my wife's part, and the fact that she reacted to every drug medical doctors prescribed, we ended up in Dallas TX for alternative therapies. Whereas life appears to allow chaotic "accidents", as I look back, I have sensed angelic protection, purpose and guidance throughout. Following are a few examples.
→ Confused and lost driving on a Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex highway system, my wife stopped at a health food store for directions. Bill, who visits the store infrequently, serendipitously happened to be at that store at that precise moment. Noticing her desperation, he asked if he could help--and soon became our weekly holistic mentor regarding cleansing, herbology, AK testing, iridology and much more. A serendipitous God-send for sure.
→ Soon I met Dr. Ralston who you AHVMA old timers will remember. I worked with him for a few months before I left the Dallas area, who later became instrumental in my dive into and later teaching Prolo Therapy to vets. Prolo continues as one of my "silver bullet" treatments for ligament, disc, shoulder, hip and ACL degeneration.
→ Dr. Tiekert was another door opener for me. One year I taught a session on the gut/lumbar and hip degeneration relationship. Tiekert asked me to also teach this in Florida a year later representing AHVMA. That opened other doors for future presentations, such as Contact Reflex Analysis with Dr. Carsten, several on Prolo Therapy, and others. My ongoing lesson has been to never despise small open-door opportunities. Also, that the teacher always learns more than the student, and students also inspire and teach the teacher! Lesson #2: we are in this TOGETHER!
→ Sovereign encounters continue regularly. Dr. Leu from Switzerland showed up one day at my clinic in MA. She had just completed her certification in acupuncture with the highest mark ever. I invited her to participate in weekly treatments on pets, and also teach me. 6 months later her husband suddenly switched his Ph.D. program to an out of state university. It was sink or swim. I swam. In my experience combining chiropractic, osteopathic VOM, acupuncture (which I have transitioned to agua-puncture with B12 and homeopathics), and if required prolotherapy... is an amazing team of co-therapies. Why? Because they complement and synergize together as a holistic wellness powerhouse.
→ I had learned about energy medicine and homeopathy at AHVMA. One day my father-in-law showed up with a homeopathic "Remedy Maker". Already I was collecting homeopathic test kits specific to various animal diseases and syndromes. My father was an innovator and out of the box thinker back on our farm, and I must have inherited some of his creative DNA. By marrying the principles of energy medicine, homeopathy, CRA/AK, nutrition and flower remedies, I was beginning to understand the power of "holism" as it relates to body, mind, soul and spirit. For instance, is cancer an immune disease, a nutritional disease, a parasitic disease, a frequency chaos disease or an emotional/spiritual disease? Or ALL of the above? I have concluded it is often a mix of all of the above. And like a 3 legged stool, knock one leg out, and the system begins to collapse, or often recedes into temporary remission. Knock out all legs and the body heals itself. However even with that knowledge, we win some and we lose some. Which keeps us humble, open, forgiving, optimistic-and determined to keep learning. Right?
→ About 2005 I was in a seminar which included a one-hour session on book writing. I love writing, believe the pen can be more power than the sword, have written many articles--but never authored a book. I happened to sit down with the presenter's son-in-law after the presentation. And discovered he was a publisher. Wow. Would he look at an article I wrote? Yes, it has potential! And thus my first of 3 books on health. The First was titled We Don't Die: We Kill Ourselves... our Foods are Killing US! The next was titled: CREATION MANDATE: Healing for People, Pets, Plants & the Planet. The third: CREATION CARE: The TRUTH about "Living Green" and Healing Our Planet. And now, as of last week, I scribbled down an outline for a forth book. The tentative title: SETTING CREATION FREE!!!
→ The latest health rage circles around the gut BIOME. Whole university sections are hot on the subject. However, Dr. Christopher 50 + years ago taught "All Chronic Diseases Begin in the GUT." The science goes back to Hippocrates and further. The Ancients knew it. And we are finally catching up. And of course, AHVMA is on board. Dr. Margo Roman is one of my mentors in this science; in fact we are working together on creating a homeopathic kit to help in both the diagnosis and treatment of gut dysbiosis. One more tool in our toolbox, right?
In my experience something new, or a new angle of something old, rings my bell about every two years. Life seems to be about multiple TRANSITIONS. Learn what you are supposed to, get good at it, then be ready when your bell tolls again. Often these are sovereign encounters. Sovereign encounters seem to work best when one learns to slow down and discover their own unique nitch. Meditation and prayer are keys to nitch building inspirations. For instance, after a restful night's sleep, I often wake up with an inspiration - often in the form of a phrase, thought, or idea hitchhiking my conscious mind. I have learned the importance to pay attention, inspect, write down and dig into those waking thoughts. Because they seem to be birthed out of the subconscious ponderings of my heart and spirit.
I am a meditative type of person. Often, I discover what is deep down inside by writing down and amplifying those thoughts. To this end, I have notebooks, yellow pads, and also 3x5 cards carried in my shirt pocket. Like most of you, I do not have photographic memory... I have to diligently work, practice, ponder and memorize. Thus, when a thought or phrase hits my consciousness, I will write it down. Here is a current example. This past week a client has a dog with hearing problems. We were talking about contralateral problems in the body. Out of the blue I mentioned I have a left ear hearing problem. In Chinese medicine sometimes the ears and kidneys are related. So out of the blue I opined: I wonder if I have a right-side kidney problem affecting my left ear? I wrote that down. I am looking at this note as I write. So next week I will show this to my son who is a naturopathic practitioner. Hey Reuben, can you check this out? And if it proves valid: better nourish my kidney to put the brakes on my hearing loss, right? Can I assume you also have learned the power of journaling by writing down thoughts and notes? If not, this is a "word to the wise"!
This past July I turned 79 years young. Actually unbelievable because I feel healthier now than 20 years ago. I have a spring in my step, joy in life, with a sense of rest and peace no matter what. One help is that I have developed a clinical protocol that fits me, which gives me confidence no matter who shows up. I also have learned my limits, and when to refer out. I do not advertise anymore. Clients find me on the web plus client referrals. Also I have a general guiding prayer: "Lord bring me the ones I can help, and please keep the rest away." Which a few years ago I upgraded: "Lord bring me the ones I can help, and please send the others to someone who can help them." And thus TRUSTING that somehow everything will work out in-flow--as long as I also remain in-flow.
Thus, I look back in awe, that a farm boy who assumed he would remain on the farm forever, has had out-of-the-box opportunities, open doors and vistas few encounter. I am encouraged that countless others are beginning to see what we see: therapies and modalities which the AHVMA family has laid down their life to inspire, teach, and mentor. Thankfully also having a seat and influence at the dominant AVMA. And yes, drawing into our circle hundreds and thousands of other travelers.
One final thought. A few years ago two holistic vets asked me: "Is Holistic Veterinary Medicine a ministry"? My immediate response was: YES! We are an essential health ministry to God's creation. We are physicians, which in the original languages translates: TEACHERS. Rather than rapid-fire prescription pad doctors who authorize toxic drugs as their primary answer and seldom teach--we are more line with Creation Law: "The Laws of Nature and Nature's God." We qualify as the original physician/teacher. Of course, our primary ministry burden is in the areas of natural health care: of the body, the soul, and the spirit--of all life. By "all life" this introduces the ONE HEALTH concept that all of life is related. Our emphasis is prevention of dis-ease at all levels of the environment, food chain, farm, and family. And if illness hits, to: "above all do no harm." Frequently this may include pharmaceutical drugs, surgery, and dentistry. But mostly ministering with hands-on touch, remedies, and therapies. This includes ministering remedies which creation provides, as we individually "tune" into the "Laws of Nature and Nature's God". Which in my mind includes study, meditation, inspiration, research, and prayer, combined with downloads of hard learned experience. Which is preparation for what? Your and my HEALTH MINISTRY!!!
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