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.
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:
To find a homeopath in your area go to findahomepath.org
Image courtesy of Sattva at FreeDigitalPhotos.net