We often refer to homeopathy as a gentle therapy. However, if administered by a professional homeopath it is an extremely energetic treatment. If you suffer physically, mentally or emotionally you will want to discover the relief that homeopathy can bring to you on all levels.
On this page I am answering the most frequent questions about homeopathy. If you have another question don’t hesitate to ask me. I would love to hear from you and will be glad to answer. Ask here..
What is homeopathy and how does it differ from conventional medicine?
Homeopathy is a natural form of medicine used by over 200 million people worldwide to treat both acute and chronic conditions.
Conventional medicine is largely reductionist in its nature. It concerns itself with isolated systems or body parts. This means that the cardiologist is treating your heart problems, the psychologist your depression and the rheumatologist your arthritis. Each of these specialists is treating the problem as if it existed in complete isolation and as if no connection whatsoever existed between those symptoms.
In homeopathy we will want to find out what what causedthe symptoms that you are experiencing and suffering from right now: physically, mentally and emotionally. Hence, it is a holistic approach, with the idea that the symptom picture that is produced and reflected in the different parts of your body stems from one imbalance. Meaning that all these seemingly unconnected symptoms that you are experiencing, have it’s roots in the same cause.
When the homeopath has taken into account the totality of the symptoms he will treat you with one single remedy. It is the remedy that contains all the elements of your pathology. It is completely congruent with your current physical, mental and emotional state.
This may sound a little abstract, if this is the first time you hear about homeopathy in a clinical setting. I say clinical setting because I think most people are familiar with homeopathic remedies that you can buy in the pharmacy. While there is nothing fundamentally wrong with that, it is essential that we do not call this homeopathy. And results that are produced are incomparable. You can read more about the subject of treating yourself with homeopathic remedies here.
Conventional medicine is always antagonistic in it’s nature – this means it is acting directly opposing the symptom. If you have an inflammation your doctor will describe an anti-inflammatory drug, if you have a bacterial infection you will be described an antibiotic and if you suffer from allergies you will be taking anti-histamines. Anti-? Against.. It will not cure the underlying pathology, but suppress the symptoms.
In homeopathy we know that symptoms are a necessary part of cure. Your organism is producing symptoms to re-establish homeostasis – meaning a balanced healthy body state. Your organism is actually constantly adjusting and working without you even knowing it. You are continuously attacked by external stressors, but quietly in the background your organism takes care of it all. You are aware of it only if the disturbance is more serious and hence the organism has to produce more serious symptoms.
Let me explain with an example: Let’s say you have eaten spoiled oysters. Your body will release histamine as part of its immune response to the foreign pathogen that you have ingested. Histamine increases the permeability of the capillaries to white blood cells to allow them to engage pathogens in the infected tissues and eliminate them. You may feel very uncomfortable, while this is happening. And at the same time you will feel nauseous another live saving mechanism of your organism to induce vomiting and eliminating as much of the spoiled oysters as possible before they can cause any further harm. Now none of these symptoms are pleasant. But they are vital and they won’t last. See, the symptoms are not the problem – they are actually the best possible response of your body to protect you. When your organism has been producing symptoms (pain, skin eruptions, inflammation, fatigue, anxiety, depression etc) for a prolonged time without cure, it is a sign that your immune and defense system are weakened (due to stress, lack of sleep, environmental factors and prolonged use of medical or recreational drugs) and a homeopathic treatment is indicated.
We must never inhibit such symptoms but work with them. If we suppress these symptoms the disease that has caused them will be pushed further into the organism and cause even greater harm. You can also see now why, if you want permanent cure, it is of no use to treat on a material level, as only symptoms can be affected, but not the cause.
So where is the cause? Now this will require you to think about the difference between a dead body and a body that is alive. On a material point of view the dead body and the living body are exactly the same.. the heart, the lungs, the brain the cells – everything is there.. what is missing is your vital force, this energy that is animating your body’s autonomic nervous, immune and defense system. The homeopathic remedy will act on the immaterial plane of the vital force, because this is where the imbalance is located. Hence we are passing from a material, mechanical way of treating to an energetic treatment where real and permanent cure is possible.
What kind of conditions or diseases can be treated with homeopathy?
Homeopathy is applicable to a broad range of pathologies including
- Acute inflammations such as bronchitis, sinusitis or tonsillitis
- Chronic inflammation such as rheumatoid arthritis, peptic ulcers, crohn’s disease, asthma etc.
- All sorts of skin conditions
- Hormonal imbalances such as menopause or thyroid issues.
- Chronic degenerative diseases
- Mental/emotional issues such as depression, anxiety, burn-out or fatigue.
Most people are seeing a homeopath when conventional medicine has failed to produce a permanent cure. Or because they would have to take strong medication and are reluctant to do so.
Are there any harmful side effects from taking a homeopathic remedy?
Since the remedies are highly diluted, they do not contain significant amounts of the original substance from which they are made. Therefore, they do not have the toxic effects associated with many conventional medications or other substances. They are, however, powerful energetic stimuli and must be used with discretion. Sometimes, as part of the curative process, a person will experience a temporary intensification of symptoms.
Are there any situations or reasons not to use homeopathy?
Yes. Sure. Any condition that requires emergency care or a mechanical intervention such as a surgery. However, after the emergency care has been administered, or even in parallel, homeopathy can help speeding up the healing process. You must also be willing to open yourself up to the homeopath and answer questions to the best of your knowledge and truthfully. If you are unable to do this, it is not the time to do homeopathy.
How long does it take for homeopathy to work?
Well this depends on several factors. For one the depth of the imbalance and then your vitality– with this I mean the strength of your immune and defense system. Some pathologies may have been gradually developing and worsening over many years, so it will take quite a while to reverse that. However, if the right homeopathic remedy has been chosen you should see positive changes within a few days even in serious, long lasting conditions.
Some conditions can be permanently cured within just a few days or even hours.
What happens during a homeopathic consultation?
Essentially I will listen deeply to you – listening to understand many different aspects of your personality and state of health on a physical, mental and emotional level. My aim is to see the world through your eyes. Therefore, I may ask you to repeat yourself sometimes, in order to understand what you say on different levels. Once you have told me everything that seems important to you, I will ask you specific questions. It is important to express yourself honestly. The better I understand your nature, the easier it will be to find the best remedy for you. While many homeopaths limit their consultation to the interview I was trained to perform a physical exam as well.
Is there a physical exam?
Unless you decline, a physical exam is included in my consultations.
Why? First and foremost, I want to be able to make sure that we are not dealing with a life-threatening emergency that needs immediate emergency care. Let’s say you are complaining about abdominal pains and during my physical exam I palpate your abdomen and I suspect appendicitis. I will make sure you get to the emergency room as soon as possible. By law I am not allowed to make any kind of diagnosis, so I won’t be able to tell you what I suspect, but I will be in a better position to give you the best possible treatment advice. In such a case I may still give you the indicated remedy, which may buy you some time, or even calm the inflammation completely, but we will make sure that we have all the bases covered.
Secondly we do not want to lose time. Let’s say during the interview one of the symptoms you are describing is a painful itchy eye. From across the table I can see that your eye is irritated and red, but only when I use the ophtalmoscope, can I be sure that we are not dealing with an eye injury. I may for instance see a splinter in your cornea. If I wouldn’t have checked closer, I may have prescribed you a remedy that would not have helped and we would have lost precious time. When a mechanical, surgical treatment is indicated, no remedy can do its job instead. However the indicated remedy will help with your concomitant symptoms and help speed up the healing process after surgery.
Another reason is to help me get a better idea about what is happening on a physical level. Let’s say you are experiencing fatigue and weight gain and when I palpate your throat I can feel swelling of your thyroid gland, I know we are dealing with a hormonal issue. I might also find confirmatory signs to find the right remedy.
In follow up visits checking in with you physically may also give me a better idea if the cure is going in the right direction and help me with prognosis.
Why not just treat myself with homeopathic remedies from the pharmacy or health food store?
It is important to know that the prescribing process of a homeopathic medicine as compared to a conventional medicine is very different. Conventional medicine prescribes according to the pathology. For a certain set of pathologies there is a certain set of drugs indicated. In homeopathy we do not prescribe on pathology, but on the full symptom picture. This means that it is very likely that in 10 cases of asthma, we prescribe 10 different remedies. Considering this, it will be very difficult for a patient with only a basic knowledge of homeopathy to choose the right remedy.
We also must differentiate between an acute and a ‘constitutional remedy’. An acute remedy will be indicated in acute states, for example: bronchitis, a sprained ankle, food poisoning etc. Most people who seek to treat themselves with homeopathy do so for acute conditions. Although there are a certain set of remedies that have shown to be effective in certain acute states, it will still be a shot in the dark to prescribe a certain remedy for a certain state, let’s say Nux Vomica for indigestion.
If you are trying to treat yourself for a chronic condition and hence are looking for a ‘constitutional remedy’ it gets even more ‘iffy’. First of all, it is next to impossible to understand your own deepest imbalance. We seem to be blind to our own states. Even professional homeopaths need to see another practitioner for their own treatment. In addition, professionals use up to 5,000 possible remedies in varying strengths. Health food stores and pharmacies usually carry 20 to 30 basic remedies in very low strength. So it is basically impossible to even get the remedy in the dosage you require.
Treating yourself with homeopathic remedies usually is a recipe for frustrations and can lead to greater difficulties. It is also a sad truth for the homeopathic medical system that people ‘try’ homeopathic remedies by themselves and then logically conclude that homeopathy does not work, because the remedy was not correct and hence did not produce the desired results.
You must also be careful not to confuse ‘polypharmacy’ homeopathic medicines with homeopathy. Many health food stores and pharmacies sell medicines that consist of several homeopathic remedies mixed together (probably in the hope that one of them will be compatible with your symptom picture). This is not homeopathy. One of the guiding principles of homeopathy is to administer one single substance only at a time. Although these medicines may be in a homeopathic dose (diluted), they have nothing to do with homeopathy.
Should I change my diet?
Diet is not strictly speaking an issue in homeopathy, but eating foods that are well suited to your system will promote the healing process. On the one hand, the right remedy will facilitate more appropriate food choices. On the other hand, the right food will facilitate the remedy to act more thoroughly. So bringing in the nutritional aspect is a win win.
Homeopathy can be a great aid in treating obesity. If you are overweight and you feel that this is a burden to your physical and emotional health, you should consider homeopathy in conjunction with dietary changes.
What about supplements?
I find that most people actually get the right amount of vitamins and minerals out of their diets. If I suspect you do not, I will suggest you make certain changes to your diet. However, I find supplements problematic in three ways:
- You really don’t know what you are getting when buying a supplement. Quality and composition vary, even what is actually in the capsule versus what is written on the packaging does often not correlate.
- In a majority of cases it is not a problem of actual supply that we are dealing with, but a problem of absorption. Your organism is getting all the right amounts nutrients, but for one reason or another cannot metabolize some of the substances. The right homeopathic remedy will address this issue.
- Supplements are not a holistic approach to nutrition. You may be surprised but only a fraction of vitamins, minerals and other trace elements your body needs for proper functioning are identified by modern science at this point. There are many other nutrients you need that do not even have a name yet. In other words: taking all the nutrients that are in an apple for instance in supplement form can never be as beneficial as eating an apple. Nature is lightyears ahead of modern science. Plus, many substances only act when they are absorbed in combination with other substances.
That being said, there are certain circumstances where a supplement is needed either on a permanent basis or temporarily.
Sir Yehudi Menuhin (1916-1999)vwas a Jewish American-born violinist, and conductor who performed more than 500 concerts for the Armed Forces, which earned him the French Legion of Honor and Croix de Lorraine, the Belgium Order of the Crown and Order of Leopold, the Order of Merit from West Germany, and the Order of the Phoenix from Greece. He also received more than fifty additional honors, including an honorary knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II said this on homeopathy:
“Homeopathy attracted me because it is so subtle, so discreet and so effective in approach to the whole human being, and I have certainly met some remarkable people who practice it. For me it is a personal preference as I try to steer clear of all doctors, as few have this commitment, and it is because I find that the world deals these days so much in terms of size and mass and volume and is always striving for bigger mass and bigger volume. The mentality that seems to dominate is meeting one mass with a greater one in order to overcome the lesser. This is, of course, nonsense, as any thinking human being knows, for it does not apply to human life. Many people close to me have benefited from homeopathy. “
120 - 180 minutes
40 - 60 minutes
120 - 180 minutes