Is Homeopathy Right for You?
Today Homeopathy has become more widely accepted by health professionals as an alternative therapy that has had and continues to have positive effects on a wide range of conditions.
There is much more scientific literature to support the claims that homeopathy practitioners make than ever before. In a medical world where there is talk of untreatable superbugs and antibiotic resistance, many more people are in search of an alternative method of treatment that conventional medicine cant offer them. If you listen to the followers of homeopathic medicine you may find that this could be the therapy that people are in search of.
There are currently over 100,000 practitioners of homeopathic medicine and over 12,000 of these are licensed health care practitioners or medical doctors. Homeopathy is regulated in the European Union (by Directive 2001/83/EC) and the UK has five hospitals where homeopathic medicine is available funded by the NHS as well as numerous clinics.
BACKGROUND AND HISTORY
Homeopathy was first introduced by Dr Samuel Hahnemann who was unhappy with the medical theories of the time. He carried out his own research testing different drugs on healthy volunteers to look at the affect drugs used to treat medical conditions had on a healthy normal human body. What he found was quite remarkable. Hahnemann discovered that most of the drugs he was testing induced physiological effects on the volunteers that were similar to the symptoms of the conditions they were used to treat normally.
He then carried out further investigations involving dilution and shaking (succusion) of the drugs to assess what dosage was required in order for a therapeutic result to be seen. His findings showed that the more diluted the drug was, the quicker and more successful it was at curing certain conditions. Modern homeopathy is based on the key principle of Hahnemann's findings that like cures like.
The current method of preparation of most homeopathic medicines involves repeated dilutions of medicines that in theory should leave the resulting preparation devoid of any molecules from the original medicine.
The most recent scientific literature has examined the possibility that the solvent used to dilute the medicine is able to take a molecular imprint of the molecules of the medicine. Whatever the method of action of homeopathic medicine, it cannot be argued that for some people suffering from some conditions it relieves and often cures the ailment successfully.
Homeopathy can be used to treat a wide range of conditions including asthma, eczema and premenstrual syndrome but as with all alternative therapies it is not suitable for sufferers of some conditions. It is therefore advisable that you seek your doctors advice before embarking on a course of homeopathic medicine.
WHAT TO EXPECT AS A PATIENT
A licensed homeopathy practitioner will take a highly detailed medical and lifestyle history and will ask a great deal of questions relating to your current lifestyle and health. The method of treatment will then be decided based upon this and will advise you as to how and when the remedy should be taken. A good practitioner will be happy to answer any questions you ask and should make you feel informed and at ease with the treatment process.
Homeopathy should never replace the role of conventional treatment and therefore any current courses of treatment that you are taking should not be stopped unless you are advised to do so by your GP. It is often helpful if your practitioner is also a qualified medical doctor as this will allow you to receive the best of both worlds with regards to your treatment. Homeopathy should complement and not replace conventional treatment.
It is possible to receive a referral to a homeopathy clinic or hospital via your GP, however many doctors are opposed to alternative treatments therefore some gently persuasion maybe required. Although your GP can obtain a referral for you, it must be remembered that you are NOT legally entitled to receive one and it is purely at the doctors discretion.
If you do face opposition from your doctor and you wish to continue to pursue the homeopathic route then as a patient you are within your rights to change your GP and now would be a good time to switch to a GP qualified in homeopathic medicine. Your GP is also a source of knowledge from whom you can obtain recommended homeopathic practitioners and clinics.
Back Trouble UK.
www.trusthomeopathy.org - An excellent source of information.
Bellavite P., Ortolani R., Conforti A. (2006). Immunology and homeopathy. 3. Experimental studies on animal models. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2006 Jun, 3, (2), pp. 171-86.