What is Homeopathy?
Homeopathy is an evidence based system of medicine that was developed by a medical doctor, Samuel Hahnemann (1755–1842) who was dissatisfied with the aggressive medical procedures of his time. Homeopathy is based on principles that have their roots in the ideas of Hippocrates (c.400BC) and Paracelsus (1493-1541). The most important principle is the ‘Law of Similars’ – the idea that a substance that produces a set of symptoms in a healthy person will cure those symptoms in a sick person.
Homeopathic medicines are made primarily from natural substances such as plants and minerals that have been highly diluted. These are administered in extremely small doses and are safe for all ages and free from side-effects.
Homeopathy is concerned with the person as a whole rather than with isolated symptoms or diseases. Homeopaths recognise that people respond to physical and emotional stress in different ways and see symptoms as an expression of imbalance. Treatment aims to support the body’s innate ability to regain its equilibrium and heal itself. In order to gain a clear and accurate picture of you as an individual your appointments will usually be longer than those you have with your GP.
What do Homeopaths treat?
Homeopaths treat people not diseases. This means that the homeopath will prescribe on the symptoms you have as they affect you specifically – rather than by prescribing a particular medicine for a particular illness.
We are not allowed to make claims for the efficacy of homeopathy in relation to specific illnesses, but you can read about the evidence base for homeopathy on www.homeopathy-soh.org. People consult homeopaths for many reasons including:
- emotional problems such as depression and grief
- the effects of stress and trauma
- behavioural problems and learning difficulties
- sleep problems
- chronic fatigue and post-viral syndromes and other long term, chronic complaints
- hormonal problems
- psychosexual problems
- skin problems
- asthma and allergies
- headaches and migraines
- acute illnesses such as colds, coughs, flu, earache and childhood illnesses
- pregnancy, childbirth and post-natal care
- sports and other injuries
What to expect from your first appointment:
Your first appointment will last up to an hour and a half. A detailed case history will be taken – this will cover your presenting complaint, medical history and any significant health problems in your family. You will also be asked questions that may seem strange, for example about your temperament, any food you particularly like or dislike, the kind of weather you prefer, whether you have any recurrent dreams, whether there is anything you are afraid of.
At the end of the consultation you may be given a remedy straight away, or it may be necessary to spend some time thinking about your case before prescribing.
The cost of your remedies is usually included in the treatment fee. Sometimes it is necessary to order remedies specially for you from a homeopathic pharmacy, in which case there will be a charge. These will be posted directly to you with an invoice.
Follow up appointments (lasting 30-45 mins) are generally at four-weekly intervals. In an acute situation or if you need more support, it may be necessary to see you more frequently.
How to take your remedy:
Homeopathic remedies are best taken on a clean tongue. Ideally you should avoid eating, drinking, smoking or cleaning your teeth for 15 minutes before and after taking your remedy. Don’t worry if this is not always possible in acute situations and with small children.
Remedies are generally administered as small pills or tablets which should be dissolved under the tongue. Do not wash them down with water. Strong substances such as coffee, peppermint, eucalyptus, camphor and menthol can interfere with remedies. If you are using these regularly it is advisable to discuss this with your homeopath. Store your remedies away from strong-smelling substances and direct sunlight.
See practicalities for fees and other information
To make an appointment, or to discuss whether homeopathic treatment is for you, phone 07954 375 770 or 0117 914 9107.