Homeopathy: The Real Deal

Last year I began a course of Homeopathy; an alternative form of therapy that works to treat disease by prescribing small doses of natural substances. With all the stigma surrounding alternative therapy, people tend to err on the side of caution: Surely anyone can say they are a homeopath…it must be the placebo effect…what if they put me in a trance?  But with a little digging, I wanted to let you know what you could be missing out on if you don’t give alternative/complementary therapy a try.

Dodo Kitching, from Sage Homeopathy, based in South London, kindly answered a few frequently unasked questions.

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1. What sparked your interest in homeopathy?
I took my baby to see a homeopath because he kept getting ear infections. The outcome was that he never had another one. I then began treatment myself as I had had a lot of problems after the birth and was amazed at how I not only benefited physically but emotionally as well.

2. How do you train to be a homeopath?
I trained at the School of Homeopathy in Stroud which is accredited by the PSA (Professional Standards Authority) and the Society of Homeopaths.  Training is either three years full-time or four years part-time. At the end you receive a Diploma in Homeopathy which allows you to practice. Alongside this you must complete a course in Anatomy and Physiology as well as Pathology and Disease.

3. What should I expect at my first appointment?
The first consultation take about 1 1/2 – 2 hours. This is because we need to understand as much as possible about the physical, emotional and mental state of the patient in order to give the best possible prescription. We will find as much out as possible about the presenting complaint and the effect it has physically and emotionally. We will then take a full family medical history and ask about any life changing events, likes and dislikes, fears and dreams. Sometimes questions in the homeopathic consultation can feel unrelated to the  complaint the patient has come with. This is because we see the mental, emotional and physical planes of the patient as being intrinsically linked and so we are looking for patterns on every level to confirm our prescription.

4. Will it cure me?
No medical practitioner can ever make a promise like that as it would be misleading and unfair. All any of us can do is to promise to do the very best we can to help our patients.

I think one of the most important things for anyone to think about, is what is their expectation of cure? What in fact is cure? Realistically, most medical treatment results in management of symptoms in order to enable daily  life to carry on although increasingly there is an attitude that modern medicine should cure everything. In homeopathy, if we can improve the emotional and mental well-being of the patient then this is a huge achievement, even if the physical symptoms can only be palliated. This is because the patient’s whole outlook changes. For me this is health.

5. Prescription medicine is based on science. What is homeopathy based on?
I looked up the definition of science in the Oxford English Dictionary – ‘the intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behaviour of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment.’ Contentious as some people may find this, this is how most complementary medicine works.

Homeopathy has been around for over 200 hundred years and is an evidence based medicine. All our remedies go through rigorous testing and data collection with control groups before we prescribe them to our patients.

6.  So there’s no difference?
Our approach toward disease differs hugely from allopathic medicine in that we treat the individual’s response to the disease rather than treating the disease as a ‘one size fits all’. A simple example would be if you infected ten people with the same flu virus, they will all share common symptoms e.g.slight temperature, sore throat but everyone will have unique ways of expressing the virus.

One person will have the sensation of sandpaper in the throat and feel better for drinking huge quantities of cold water,whereas another will have vague throat symptoms but have a high temperature made all the worse from company. All of these symptoms are individualising and it is why it’s likely a homeopath would prescribe a different remedy for each person.

7. Can you take prescribed medication while you are treated with homeopathy?
Homeopathy can work effectively alongside prescribed drugs although there are always exceptions. It can be very effective in counteracting the side effects of radiation and chemotherapy.   A homeopath should never advise a patient to change their prescription medicines and should always ask them to discuss any change that they might be considering with their doctor first.

8. How long will it take to see results?
We are all individual and we all respond differently depending on what the ailment is, at what stage they are in the disease and how vital they are. However, I would always expect to see a change after one month, to the patient’s general well being, however subtle.  They may describe it as feeling lighter, having more energy or feeling brighter or it may be more profound.

For more information or to book a consultation, in the South London area, contact Dodo Kitching on: 

E: sagehomeopathy@gmail.com

W: http://www.sagehomeopathy.com 

To find a homeopath in your area go to findahomepath.org

Image courtesy of Sattva at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

My first 5 tips to beat feeling unwell

‚ÄčI knew, when I woke up this morning, that I didn’t feel well enough to handle the day but I told myself to ‘get a grip’ and go in to work anyway. Have you had a morning like that before? 

The worst part is that I can’t identify what’s actually wrong with me; I just have a sudden feeling of being overwhelmed with all my aches and pains from head to toe.

So what do you do when all your pains feels too a bit too much? Here’s my five go-to tips, for bringing your body and mind back to normality.

Stop

Sometimes the pressure you put on yourself to keep going makes everything feel worse and you need to press pause. If that means taking a more lengthy trip to the toilet while you’re at work so you can do the next step, then find the time and space to do it!

Sense check

Try a short 5 or 10 minute meditation so you can get a sense of how your body feels. Start by focusing on the top of your head and work your way down to your toes. Try and identify what area feels painful and check whether these are everyday aches or if anything feel unusual. Unusual pains should be monitored and then may need to be reported to your GP or consultant. 

Beyond the physical pain ask yourself, how are my pains making me feel emotionally? It’s good to have awareness of yourself and grasp how much more of your day that your senses and physical body can take.

Medicate

Don’t be a hero. If you have an auto-immune disease or anything that means you’ll feel chronic or acute pain you’re likely to be prescribed some form of pain relief. If it gets too much then take your prescribed painkillers without a feeling of guilt. There won’t be a cheering audience for you when you’ve made it outside of the other end of the tunnel, that is pain, without them so do yourself a favour.

Rest or Exercise or both

Sometimes there isn’t a drug that can solve feeling ‘blah’ (that’s general unwellness by the way). Simply powering down is all you need to power up. On the other hand, it might be light exercise like stretching or walking that will relieve ill-feeling in the body. Decide if its one or the other or a combination of both that you need next.

Bathe 

You’ll be surprised how good you’ll feel after a soak in the tub. Water is really therapeutic. I’ll talk more about the power of water and the best things to use in it, in a later blog. If a soak isn’t possible then a long warm soapy shower should do it. 

There you have it. Once you’ve done at least some of these five tips, you’ll be on to a better, less stressful tomorrow. Now I’ve written this blog post, I’m off to do no.4! Rest. Toodles.