How can homeopathy nourish your soul?
Alternatively spelt ‘homoeopathy’, this modality is based on the idea that ‘like can treat like’. Homeopathy involves using a minute concentration of a harmful substance to stimulate the body’s natural healing properties and alleviate similar symptoms to what the substance may cause at full strength. These highly diluted preparations are known as ‘remedies’, and they are derived from minerals as well as plant and animal extracts.
Homeopathy is a ‘whole-person’ treatment intended to restore overall health and harmony, so a patient’s family history and personality are taken into account by the practitioner, as well as the symptoms they are experiencing. Homeopathic treatments are prepared by progressively diluting an active ingredient as well as vigorously shaking the solution to ‘potentise’ it. This remedy is then taken by mouth, often in tablet or spray form.
This modality was developed by Samuel Hahnemann, a German doctor, in the late 18th century. Hahnemann was inspired to explore the so-called ‘principle of similars’ when he experienced symptoms resembling malaria after ingesting cinchona bark, from which quinine (an effective malaria medication) is extracted. In Australia, homeopathic preparations are classified as low-risk and regulated by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA).
Benefits of homeopathy
If prepared strictly according to homeopathic principles, the remedies themselves contain such low concentrations of active ingredients that they do not carry a risk of side effects. Unfortunately, however, some preparations labelled as ‘homeopathic’ have actually been found to contain toxic substances including heavy metals.
Homeopathic care is popular worldwide, and although a scientific basis for its effectiveness has not been discovered, health improvements after homeopathic treatment are commonly reported. Homeopathy may also be beneficial in reducing the use of antibiotics to treat conditions for which they are not effective, and homeopathic remedies are also less expensive than pharmaceutical medicine.
Homeopathy may assist in relieving symptoms related to:
- Arthritis, rheumatism and osteoarthritis
- Chickenpox and shingles
- Digestive and gastrointestinal issues
- Eczema and psoriasis
- Headaches and migraines
- Hormonal issues
- IBS and bowel disorders
- Insect bites
- Menopause and hot flushes
- Mental health
- Respiratory and breathing issues
- Sinusitis and sinus issues
- Skin, hair and nail issues
- Vertigo and dizziness
What to expect from a homeopathy session
On your first visit to a homeopathic clinic, you will be asked not only about your health concerns, but also about your lifestyle, what causes you stress, your family history and other subjects. Homeopathic practitioners approach health as a holistic integration of your mind, body, spirit and emotions, so they will take care to obtain a complete picture of all the factors that could affect your wellness, and frame your symptoms within that context. For this reason, your initial consultation may take two hours or more.
The practitioner will then select the best homeopathic medicine customised not only to your health concern but also matched to your individual constitution. This means that different remedies might be prescribed to different people who present with similar symptoms. Your homeopath will suggest a remedy for you to take, usually in liquid, tablet or pilule form, intended to stimulate your body’s natural healing abilities.
Homeopathy is not advised as a substitute for traditional Western medicine, and it should never be used instead of conventional vaccines. It is not recommended for serious illnesses, or conditions that could potentially become life-threatening. You should not stop taking pharmaceutical medication that you have been prescribed by a medical professional if you are undergoing homeopathic treatment, and please ask your health practitioner about any possible risks of adverse interactions with your existing medicine.
As with any exercise or wellness program, please consult your medical professional before commencing homeopathy. If you have an injury or other health issue, or any concerns at all, also speak to your homeopath, who will be happy to address these and customise the treatment to your individual requirements.