Although conventional medicine removes the symptoms of many common ailments and chronic diseases, it does not change the reason fro our becoming ill in the first place, so we are likely to fall ill again. Homoeopathy treats you, the individual, taking into account your inner nature, the causes of your illness, and the kind of stress you experience. While it cannot change the stressful world in which we live, it can help us to function better within it. You will soon become familiar with the remedies and how to use them for different ailments. Each remedy covers a range of complaints, and there can be more than one remedy for each ailment.
Learning how to use homoeopathy does require some effort but the results can be exciting and rewarding as you observe how quickly the body can heal itself.
WHAT IS HOMOEOPATHY
Homoepathy is a gently yet effective form of treatment for many conditions, illnesses and diseases. It is holistic in nature, which means that in determining treatment the whole person is considered as well as the specific problem or illness. The medicines, or remedies, used in homoepathy are minute doses of natural substances, which have been taken from plants, animals or minerals.
The word homoeopathy comes from the Greek homoios meaning similar, and patheia meaning suffering, which together mean “similar suffering”. So in other words, homoeopathy is the treatment of disease with substances that would, in a healthy person, elicit the symptoms of that disease. Conventional medicine is based on the opposite principle in that it combats a disease with strong doses of a medicine that will produce the opposite condition.
If we think of health as a state of ease, both mentally and physically, then illness is a state of “disease”. Homoeopathy works with the idea that we all have an innate ability to overcome “dis-ease”. The energy, or vitality, that we all have within us enable us to grow, repair damaged tissue, respond to stresses in our environment, and generally function with a sense of well-being. When something happens to us that causes us to feel undue stress, we start to produce symptoms: these are the expression of our “disease”. By giving the appropriate homoeopathic remedy, this natural healing energy is stimulated and the body can once again restore itself to balance and free itself of the symptoms that limited its normal or true function.
Homoeopathic remedies allow the body to heal itself, without any of the harmful effects that can come from the use of conventional drugs. It also has a long-term benefit in that you raise your level of health generally, thus making you less susceptible to diseases in the future.
You can use this leaflet to learn how to treat simple cases of accident and minor injury, and other ailments that are not complicated. You should consult a professional homoeopath if:
- Self prescribing is not working, or your ailments are recurring
- You are suffering from general stress and your resistance to infection is lowered.
- You have a range of complaints.
- You feel that your physical and emotional health is out of balance.
- You have a serious health problem
THERE ARE THREE BASIC LEVELS OF DISEASE TO CONSIDER:
ACCIDENTS AND INJURIES
When a complaint is the result of an external event, causing localized damage to tissues, you feel well but temporarily indisposed. Homoeopathy promotes rapid healing and restores vitality.
Examples: burns, bruises, cuts and grazes, insect stings, puncture wounds, sprains, strains, fractures, ill effects after dentistry or surgery.
You feel generally healthy, have no major problems but occasionally suffer from a cold or influenza. An acute illness comes on quickly, and usually goes away sooner or later by itself. It could be a cold or minor infection or a temporary imbalance caused by overexertion, travel, or overeating. The symptoms of infections and colds, such as fever, catarrh, and cough, are the natural response of the body’s immune system. When treated homoeopathically, the body works with, rather than suppresses, these symptoms. This in turn helps the body to recover health more quickly.
Examples: bacterial and viral infections, such as colds, coughs, bronchitis, tonsillitis, cystitis, ear infections, influenza, childhood diseases, and ailments from other causes such as exhaustion, sunstroke, travel sickness, hangover, nervousness prior to taking examinations.
With chronic diseases, there is usually a history of suffering different complaints, one or more deep underlying causes, lowered vitality, and complaints that frequently recur (such as those acute illnesses mentioned above), or steadily get worse. There may be a medical diagnosis, but in many cases the person simply feels unwell, even though conventional tests detect nothing amiss. Homoeopathy can treat deeper ongoing problems that have psychological and/or physical symptoms. These extreme conditions are more complex and require constitutional treatment from a professional qualified homoeopath. The treatment can take several months, or years depending on severity and how long the patient has been suffering
Examples: P.M.S. and other menstrual or hormonal disorders, infectious mononucleosis, rheumatism and arthritis, depression, debilitating or auto-immune diseases, as well as hyperactivity, behavioural problems and learning difficulties in children.
VISITING A PRACTITIONER
If you decide you would like to be treated by a professional homoeopath, you will find the process of prescribing follows a similar pattern for you r treatment to that used for acute self-prescribing. Here are some pointers about when to go and what to expect from your practitioner. Do you have expectations of homoeopathic treatments? Do you consider it to be a magic bullet? A miraculous cure? A lengthy and prolonged course of treatment? All of these are possible, but the truth is not as black and white. There is a range of factors that determines how quickly you will be “cured”
Homoeopathic constitutional treatment is based on a person’s total symptom picture. This includes present and past medical history, genetic makeup, and current symptoms – physical (general and particular), emotional, and mental. The first consultation can last for two hours, during which time you homoeopath is learning about you and the pattern of your ill health. You may find that the homoeopath’s questions are unusual, or seem to you to be irrelevant. The choice of remedy will be based on a detailed analysis of your individual emotional and physical reactions to a variety of stimuli in your environment, in both health and disease.
Some homoeopaths may refer to a constitutional picture as a homoeopathic “type”. This means that the symptoms and reactions are understood as a recognised pattern of general physical, particular, and mental/emotional symptoms. For example a Calc Carb type is likely to be slightly overweight, fair haired, fearful, and lacking in self-confidence, as well as perspire on the head while sleeping and have a strong desire for boiled eggs. The recognised pattern correlates with the picture of the remedy and is verified by clinical experience. Viewing a person as a “type” can be helpful in the objective understanding of the pattern; but because of the complexities involved in constitutional prescribing, the constitutional remedy may often be different from what is indicated merely by “type”.
However, since there are many subtleties and variations in people’s natures it is important to see a professionally qualified homoeopath, in order to be sure that the remedy selected is the most indicated one. A classical homoeopath gives one carefully selected remedy suited to your nature and symptoms. After taking the remedy, which may be one dose or a series of doses of one remedy, it is important to wait and see what changes take place. You will be asked to return for a further appointment so that the action of the remedy can be assessed. Sometimes you will experience a worsening or intensification of some symptoms after taking a constitutional remedy. This “aggravation” can be considered as the remedy “kicking in”, and it is usually short lived; if it is not, contact your homoeopath. Aggravation of symptoms is usually a good indication that the remedy is well chosen for you, and you will feel better afterwards – it is therefore to be looked forward to!
Cure is measured not only by the degree to which symptoms are relieved but also by how you feel in all aspects of your physical, emotional, and mental health. Depending on the complexity of your medical history, the healing process may take place over some time. How often you need to see a homoeopath will depend on the nature and history of your complaints.
CONDITIONS WHERE HOMOEOPATHY MAY HELP WITH WOMENS PROBLEMS
CYSTITS Causes & Symptoms:
Cystitis is a sore and inflamed bladder lining, usually caused by infection. The main symptoms are burning pains during urination and a strong need, not always successful, to pass urine.
-If you feel a desperate urge to urinate but hardly any urine is passed, the urine feels
almost scalding, and the pain is intense, choose Cantharis (This is the usual first remedy)
-If the urine feels burning, and you pass a little by accident when you cough, choose Causticum
-When the usual symptoms are present, and the pain is worse when you finish urinating, choose Sarsaparilla
-For long-term or persistent cystitis, which is made worse by sexual intercourse choose Staphysagria.
THE MENOPAUSE Causes & Symptoms
The menopause is when the menstrual periods stop, usually in the late forties or early fifties. It is a perfectly natural process.
Remedies can help associated problems such as night sweats and hot flushes.
-If your moods and emotions swing from one extreme to the other, and you have hot flushes that rise up your body towards your head, choose Lachesis
-When you are very weepy, feeling emotionally sad and alone, and even seemingly in despair, choose Pulsatilla.
-If you become very irritable, and you lose interest in your family and friends, even though they are dear to you, and you have sweating and hot flushes, choose Sepia.
PREMENSTRUAL TENSION (PMT)
Causes & Symptoms The symptoms of PMT usually come on about the week before the start of the menstrual period. They can range from utter despair, through weepy sadness, to irritability, and even violent rage. The effects generally fade as the period begins, although in some women they can persist into the next cycle (“post-menstrual tension”)
Which remedy -If your main emotions are jealousy and suspicion, and you are usually very talkative and passionate by nature, choose Lachesis
-When you are tearful and sad, or perhaps you feel sad but cannot cry at all and you want to be left alone to keep all your feelings to yourself, choose Nat. Mur.
-If you are very weepy, and you feel alone and abandoned and unsupported, and you feel better in company and worse in a stuffy room, choose Pulsatilla.
-For total indifference and lack of interest, even towards your loved ones and you are bad-tempered and touchy choose Sepia.
PERIOD PAINS Symptoms
Many women experience cramps or aches in the lower abdomen, during the menstrual period. These are usually worse on the first few days, and then fade.
Which remedy -When the pain is only eased when you bend double or press the site hard, and you also feel extremely irritable, choose Colocynthis.
-If the pain comes on before the period, and is worse on the left side, and you cannot bear any touch or pressure on this painful part, yet the pain ceases as soon as the blood flow starts, choose Lachesis.
-For shooting pains that improve with warmth or gentle massage choose Mag Phos.
-If worse when lying down, the patient prefers to keep on going choose Belladonna
-Angry – “This is not fair” – “I cannot bear this” choose Chamomilla
-With scanty flow and with dragging sensations in the pelvis, choose Sepia.
MASTITIS & BREASTFEEDING PROBLEMS
Causes and symptoms Mastitis is inflammation of the breast, usually due to bacterial infection. It is most common when breastfeeding, because germs spread from the nipple along the milk ducts into the breast tissue, and the ducts then become blocked.
Which remedy -If the breast is red and hot and throbs painfully, and perhaps has red streaks radiating from the nipple area, choose Belladonna
-When the breast feels hard, heavy and painful, and there may be an associated headache, choose Bryonia.
-When the breast feels heavy and “stony” with hard nodes, and is also very swollen and tender, and the nipple is cracked and sensitive, making breastfeeding painful, choose Phytolacca.
-If breastfeeding is difficult because there is not enough milk, choose Calc Carb.
-When there may be an emotional cause linked to the mastitis or milk shortage, and you feel weepy and lacking support, choose Pulsatilla.
Which remedy -When the veins have been bruised or feel bruised, choose Arnica
-When the patient is over-weight, chilly, subject to cramps in the calves and feet, choose Calc. Carb.
-For varicose veins associated with haemorrhoids choose Hamamelis.
-Particularly useful during pregnancy, when some degree of pelvic pressure impedes the venous circulation, choose Pulsatilla
-Multiple warts that are horny and itchy, choose Calc Carb
-Warts on the hands, choose Kali Mur.
-Large hard pigmented warts, choose Sepia
-Hard painful wards, choose Sulphur
-The most useful remedy for wards in general, almost a specific, is Thuja.
Compiled by: Deirdre Mackesy, RGN,D.Ac,LCH.(Hom). Homoeopath.
I run regular introductory workshops in homoeopathy. It is perfect for those of you who want to learn the basic principles of Homoeopathy and their application to everyday emergencies and first aid. It is an ideal opportunity to learn how to use homoeopathy for your family, friends and pets! safely and effectively.