The most common question I get asked as a homeopath is, “can you recommend a remedy for (stress/eczema/insomnia/weight loss/chronic fatigue etc. etc.)”
Sometimes it is just that simple, if you crush your fingers in a car door for example, then a dose of Hypericum will help immediately, but usually I have to explain that homeopathy is a bit more complicated than that, and for chronic problems, similar to those above you need a proper consultation.
So, although homeopathy certainly can help with all of the above conditions, let me explain why we can’t just hand a pill over after discovering the problem and expect the same result as we do after a properly chosen remedy.
Homeopathy, like all holisitic medicine looks at why our body is producing those symptoms, and then, instead of treating the symptom (like a painkiller for a headache or a plaster over a cut) it helps the body with the problem it’s having, negating the need for it to produce that symptom. A very easy example of this is with a headache. We can easily determine if a headache is caused by lack of sleep – and know that sleep will get rid of it, or if it is caused by stress, and if possible remove the stress and see our headache disappear. Of course, there are many less obvious reasons we may get a headache, but these are two easily recognisable reasons where we all accept the cause and effect.
As homeopaths we ask lots of questions to discover why you’re having the symptoms you have. We see symptoms as a cry for help from the body, and just as a headache is a demand from your body for sleep if you haven’t slept, any symptom you have is a complaint that something is wrong, whether it’s a mechanical or an emotional problem.
Because we’re all so different, and what causes stress in one person doesn’t in another, we need to dig down and investigate the symptom itself as well as your fears, dreams and even life experiences that have had a big impact on you to find out why your body is producing the symptom it has, and treat that problem, rather than the symptom itself. Then we need to match up that information to a remedy, which can sometimes be remarkably simple, and sometimes ….. not so much!
I hadn’t been qualified very long when I got my first cancer patient. He didn’t want anything to do with hospitals so, after researching what could help him, he decided upon homeopathy. I was worried – what if I couldn’t do it well enough? What if I got it wrong when he was having no other treatment? (and all of us sometimes misunderstand what’s going on and get it wrong occasionally – but give us another chance!) However, this time I needn’t have worried – it was almost as if he was a walking manual on the remedy he needed. Just about everything he said pointed to the remedy I gave him with great confidence, and years later he’s still doing well.
Sometimes after a consultation I’m not at all sure which is the best remedy to give, and then it’s time to hit the books and my homeopathic software, discovering more and narrowing down my remedy choice. At the moment there are over 3,000 easily obtainable remedies from any homeopathic pharmacy – and other, more obscure ones which you’d have to go further afield to find, so we have quite a few to choose from, and all of us homeopaths want to choose the very best remedy for our patients that we can.