What is Homeopathy?
Homeopathy is a holistic medicine discipline which uses specially prepared diluted substances (given mainly in tablet or grain form) to trigger the body’s healing mechanisms.
A Homeopath will prescribe medicines according to the patient’s specific set of symptoms, and how they experience them, taking into account their overall level of health.
Homeopathy is based on the principle of “like treats like” – that is, a substance which can cause symptoms when taken in large doses, can be used, specially prepared, in minute amounts to treat similar symptoms. For example, drinking too much coffee can cause sleeplessness and agitation, so coffee made into a homeopathic medicine may be used to treat people suffering from sleeplessness and agitation.
The principle of treating “like with like” dates back to Hippocrates (460-377BC) but in its current form, Homeopathy has been widely used worldwide for more than 200 years.
Homeopathy was discovered by a German doctor, Samuel Hahnemann, who was looking for a way to reduce the damaging effects associated with the medical treatment of his day, which included the use of poisons. He began experimenting on himself and a group of healthy volunteers, giving smaller and smaller medicinal doses, discovering that, as well as reducing toxicity, the medicines became more effective as the doses were lowered.
What does a Homeopath do?
A Naturopathic Homeopath, in addition to prescribing an individualised homeopathic remedy, will also apply other indicated Naturopathic therapies, focusing on:
- Use of the individual homeopathic remedy
- Treating the whole person, not a symptom
- Applying additional therapies such as Nutrition, Bach Flowers, Tissue Salts, Herbs, Iridology and Chinese Medicine Diagnostics
What happens in consultation with a Homeopath?
A Homeopath seeks to gain a thorough understanding of your health and the exact symptoms you are experiencing. With detailed knowledge, the practitioner can prescribe a homeopathic medicine (known as a ‘remedy’) that matches you and your symptoms as closely as possible.
During the first consultation, your homeopath will ask lots of questions to build up a complete picture, taking into account a wide variety of factors such as medical history, personality traits, stress triggers, likes and dislikes, lifestyle and dreams.
This first consultation will usually take between 1 and 2 hours, depending on the practitioner and the level of complexity of your case. You will be asked many questions so that the practitioner can build a picture of your unique makeup in order to find the most suitable treatment plan and remedy.
Homeopaths registered with the ANP follow a Code of Ethics which includes client confidentiality.
How long will I need to see a Homeopath for?
Homeopathic treatment involves a gradual process of change towards better health. The first follow-up is usually about four weeks after the first prescription, although in some cases it maybe sooner.
The second session tends to be shorter than the first – usually between half an hour and an hour. Your homeopath will ask about changes that have occurred, using their detailed notes as a reference point, before deciding on the next step in your treatment.
The number of consultations that may be needed is difficult to predict – it depends on several factors such as the age of the patient, how long the symptoms have been going on and your response to your prescription.
How much does Homeopathy cost?
The cost of your homeopath will depend on a range of factors including their specialism, experience, location, level of service and personal preference. There may also be a small additional fee for the remedies your homeopath prescribes for you, which have to be obtained from a homeopathic pharmacy.
Qualifications required to be a Homeopath
To become a competent Homeopath you will need to be educated to Diploma Level 6, or BSc Honours level. This training takes approximately 4-5 years depending on whether you study full time or part time.
Homeopathy Professional Development
In order to maintain professional status, level of competence and code of conduct as a Naturopathic Homeopath, membership associations such as ANP will require a minimum amount of further training and continued professional development (CPD).
A good Naturopathic Homeopath association, such as ANP, will provide ongoing training and other activities aimed at supporting their members stay abreast of the latest developments in the field of Herbal Medicine.
What can Homeopathy help with?
Common complaints that a Naturopathic Homeopath is consulted for are:
- Hay fever
- Eczema and other skin conditions
- Bruising and injuries
- Children’s health
- Musculoskeletal complaints
How can I find a homeopath in my area?
Professional, qualified homeopaths can be found via the ANP Practitioner Directory.