Homoeopathy was first mentioned 2,500 years ago by Hippocrates who said there were two different ways of using medicines: one was to use medicines that had the opposite effect to the symptoms of disease e.g. using anti-inflammatory drugs to treat inflammation and the other way was to use drugs that produced the same effect as the symptoms. Modern western medicine followed the first path.
Two hundred and fifty years ago a German doctor, Samuel Hahnemann, became very concerned about the side effects of the medical treatments being used by his profession. He was experimenting on himself when he noted that the bark of the cinchona plant (which was commonly used for treating malaria), now known as quinine, caused similar hot and cold feverish symptoms associated with malaria. This inspired him to devise the system of medicine called Homoeopathy that is based on the use of similars or ‘like cures like’. He also found that by diluting the substances hundreds of times and sucussing (shaking) them very hard in between dilutions there were no side effects. Even well known poisons such as arsenic could be used safely.
Homoeopathy is also based on the principle that every living thing has a ‘Vital Force’ of energy and symptoms such as headaches, acne, asthma etc. are a sign that the Vital Force is trying to heal itself. The skill of the Homoeopath is to find the right remedy, out of a choice of thousands, which will match the character and symptoms of the patient and stimulate his/her Vital Force to heal itself.
Homoeopathy is an holistic system of healing which looks at each patient as an individual not as a disease. During the first consultation, which generally takes about one and a half hours, I will take a very detailed case history covering all aspects of the patient’s life including birth, childhood, previous illnesses, traumatic incidents, diet and life style. The more information the patient gives the easier it is for me, the Homoeopath, to find the right remedy. Follow-up consultations generally take up to an hour.
The remedy may be given as a single little pillule or as drops to be taken on a daily basis. Each patient is different and so is their reaction to the remedy. Some people feel a difference within a few hours of taking the remedy, for others it may take longer. Sometimes the effect is so subtle that patients do not notice a difference until their following consultation when they realise that some or all of their symptoms have disappeared. However there are a few things to bear in mind in relation to the healing process:
- symptoms may get worse before they get better
- symptoms can move from one place to another but generally down the body or towards the extremities
- symptoms may move from vital organs to less important organs in the body
- symptoms tend to move from the inside towards the outside of the body
- symptoms tend to disappear in the reverse order in which they appeared
Homoeopathic remedies are safe and effective and can be used in pregnancy, by nursing mothers, new-born babies, children and people of any age or condition.
You should always consult a trained homoeopath before taking a homoeopathic remedy as by taking the wrong remedy, or the right remedy, in the wrong dose, you could create new symptoms in a patient. I advise my patients to purchase a small Homoeopathic First Aid kit containing a number of basic remedies that can be used for first aid in the home e.g. for bumps, burns, cuts and bruises or when travelling, for sickness, insect bites, food poisoning and diarrhoea. They can then ring me for advice as to what they should take in an emergency.
These are just some of the ailments that homoeopathy can help:
- Anxiety / Grief
- Asthma / Hayfever
- Coughs /Colds / Flu
- Constipation /Diarrhoea
- Digestive problems / Flatulence / IBS
- Emotional problems / Anger / Mood swings
- Exhaustion / Fatigue
- Fears / Phobias
- Headaches / Migraines
- Infertility /Pregnancy / childbirth
- Menstrual problems / PMT / Menopause
- Skin conditions / Acne / Eczema / Psoriasis
- Stress / General feelings of being unwell
More and more GPs now accept that there is a place for homoeopathy within their practise and are happy to refer their patients to a homoeopath or a homoeopathic hospital.