How does Homeopathy work?
There is an erroneous assumption that the prescribing of homeopathic remedies is a pharmaceutical intervention based on physiological responses and therefore should be tested in the same way. Multi-centre laboratory trials (Belon, 2004) have demonstrated biological effects of highly diluted preparations and a number of scientific theories have been used to explain this phenomenon (Baumgartner, 2002). Research using the latest technologies is underway to test these theories experimentally [click here for the Homeopathy Research Institute website]. What we understand in practice is that a homeopathic remedy, correctly selected for you as an individual, can restore a healthy balance. (Baumgartner, S. 2002 Basic research efforts to elucidate the potentiation procedure of homeopathy. In: Future directions and current issues of research in Homeopathy, Freiburg: Samueli Institute, 1-10. Belon, P et al. 2004 Histamine dilutions modulate basophil activation. Inflammation Research, (53), 181-188.)
What is the research evidence?
Homeopaths draw on tried and tested knowledge documented over two centuries of clinical cases, and apply this informed by recent research and up-to-date understanding of health. Clinical trials play an important role in the development of homeopathy, and indeed homeopathy was the first health discipline to systematically compare treatment to placebo in 1829. There is a growing body of high quality research into homeopathy in practice that supports the suggestion that homeopathy can be effective, cost- effective and safe as a treatment option. Up-to-date resources are available from The Homeopathy Research Institute.
What are homeopathic remedies?
Homeopathic remedies are prescribed in tablet or liquid form. They are derived from plants, minerals and other naturally occurring substances. Remedies are fully tested and prepared by pharmacists under highly controlled conditions.
Is Homeopathy Safe?
Homeopathy has an excellent safety record (Bornhöft et al. 2006; Dantas & Rampes 2000; Woodward 2005). As homeopathic remedies are non-toxic, they can be taken by babies, children, during pregnancy and can work very well alongside prescribed medicines. As remedies are dispensed on sucrose tablets or tasteless liquid, children find them quite acceptable. (Bornhöft G, Wolf U, et al. 2006. Effectiveness, safety and cost-effectiveness of homeopathy in general practice – summarized health technology assessment. Forsch Komplementarmed; 13 Suppl 2: 19-29Dantas F, Rampes H. 2000.Do homeopathic medicines provoke adverse effects? A systematic review. The British Homoeopathic Journal, 89:S35-8 Woodward KN., 2005. The potential impact of the use of homeopathic and herbal remedies on monitoring the safety of prescription products. Hum Exp Toxicol;24:219-233.)
Who visits a homeopath?
I have seen people of all ages seeking help for a wide spectrum of complaints - from minor to the more serious. Many come with long term chronic conditions such as migraines, problems with digestion, tiredness and post surgery. I am consulted by women with hormonal issues, and for remedies to take during childbirth. Children attend with parents concerned about complaints such as allergies, skin problems, asthma, recurrent infections and some behavioural problems. I am frequently consulted by people with a range of emotional issues. To help you decide whether homeopathy is for you and to answer any questions you may have, follow this link to The Society of Homeopaths.
What happens during a homeopathic consultation?
When you first make contact I will ask your reasons for seeking my help, any medical test results and treatments. This enables me to assess if it is appropriate for you to start homeopathy. If not, I refer you back to your doctor or suggest you seek assistance from another health professional. During your homeopathic consultations I encourage you to continue ongoing treatment with a medical professional. Your first consultation gives you the opportunity to discuss all aspects of your health in privacy and confidence. I take a holistic view of your health to select a homeopathic remedy that best matches you as an individual. I supply the homeopathic prescription, at the end of the consultation or a few days later in the post. In most instances I supply a single named remedy which you take as a one off dose or on a repeated basis for a limited period. I provide lifestyle and dietary advice if appropriate. We agree a plan and arrange follow-up consultations at time intervals appropriate for you, usually 6-8 weeks apart, or sooner for acute or very painful conditions. To monitor your progress, I normally ask you to report (by phone/email) between appointments. At follow-up consultations (usually about 45 minutes) we discuss changes you have experienced, and I provide homeopathic prescriptions as required. The time you will need to see a homeopath and number of consultations depends on the reason why you sought help and how you respond. Timing of return visits is determined by individual need. For long term conditions, once you are making good progress, I monitor your progress by phone or email, I supply remedies by post and you return for consultations as needed. Many patients have been registered for a number of years and consult me as and when the need arises. Homeopathy is tailored to the individual’s needs. It is important that you have sufficient information to make an informed choice about your healthcare. I encourage you to have medical tests offered by your doctor and to take opportunities to discuss options.
How many Follow Up consultations will I need?
Each case is an individual case and it depends on the individual's health complaints and how long they have had their health problems for. A rough guide is: Two - Three months of homeopathic treatment for every month one has been ill. I always suggest that we revise the case development after four - six months of homeopathic treatment. Follow Up consultations are as the word implies; to follow up the previous prescription to assess whether the first remedy has caused a change, whether first remedy needs repeating, whether another layer needs tackling as well as the patient's reaction to the beginning of the treatment. Follows up will be suggested at intervals recommended by me. At the begining of treatment I suggest you to book every 8 weeks depending on your symptoms and the consultations will become further apart as the treatment progress. The majority of patients see me every 8-10 weeks and some even longer. Of course it is up to the patients to decide when they need a Follow Up appointment. My time period suggestion for follow ups are in order that we can work faster through people's case.
How long does treatment take?
This depends very much on what sort of illness you have, and how long you have had it. You will usually notice some change or improvement after the first prescription, but improvement continues gradually over time. As a guideline, you can expect to see me once a month for three months to begin with. If further treatment is needed, you may find that follow-up appointments are scheduled at progressively longer intervals as your health improves.