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Before you find a homeopath why not learn more about this widely known and complementary therapy.
Homeopathy dates back to the 18th century where early homeopathy practitioners developed remedies that in undiluted form cause symptoms similar to those that it seeks to alleviate. Homeopathy is becoming increasingly popular and homeopathy practitioners can be found all across the country. Our site offers information that will help answer your homeopathy questions.
Homeopathy is a complementary therapy originating from ancient Greek tradition and has been used in the UK for over 200 years. As with many revolutionary therapies, homeopathy encountered great opposition from established medical practitioners during its scientific beginnings in the late 18th century. German physician Samuel Hahnemann was critical of practices of the day (like bleeding a patient in the belief it would cure disease) and looked for alternatives.
As a result of Hahnemann's interest in a South American tree-bark called cinchona that was being used to treat malaria, homeopathy was born. Hahnemann took a daily dose of the bark and developed symptoms similar to someone suffering with malaria. Concluding that for a drug to be effective it must produce symptoms that are similar to the disease it is trying to treat, Hahnemann began testing his theory on other drugs. The term 'homeopathy' comes from its translation of the Greek for "similar disease".
Homeopathy gained popularity during the 19th century and after suffering a decline in the early 20th century became popular again around the 1970s. Homeopathy is now widely used in modern medicine after the public once again developed an interest in holistic natural remedies and therapies.
When you find a homeopath it is a good idea to understand how and why it works. Homeopathy is a therapy that aims to aid our body's healing process by using diluted natural substances. These substances, in large quantities, would produce symptoms similar to the disease trying to be cured but as a smaller, purer quantity will help our body to heal itself by increasing natural energy. It is not the same as a vaccination which infects us with the disease but instead produces symptoms that are similar.
Homeopathy uses animal and plant extracts, minerals and salts. Individual parts of these substances are then dissolved in alcohol and diluted further. Homeopaths believe that to benefit from the healing power of the substance it must be spread out across the whole solution and so it is shaken to activate the remedy and then converted into a pill form or as a cream, powder or tincture. One remedy is usually taken at a time but the remedy may contain a number of combinations.
Homeopathic therapy can help the immune system to deal with a number of acute conditions like sore throats and fevers to chronic illnesses such as arthritis and asthma. Some remedies are available over the counter and a pharmacist can advise you on specific ones for your condition. Remedies are also available over the internet but these will not be tailored to your needs.
It is important for anyone considering visiting a Homeopath (or indeed any practitioner or therapist) that you check tthey have undergone thorough training and accreditation. They will be listed on their governing body public register which can be found on the internet. Generally your Homeopath will have trained for around 3 years and adhere to the governing body code of ethics and practice.
The British Homeopathic Association (BHA) and the Faculty of Homeopathy has members who are doctors, nurses, dentists and other healthcare professionals trained in homeopathy. There are currently five homeopathic hospitals in the NHS but qualified homeopath doctors can work within community clinics and general practice. Homeopathy is available on the NHS but will require a referral from your GP and can be restricted depending on your Primary Care Trust.
Before making a private appointment, find about charges and payment arrangements (if you have medical insurance for instance). Some homeopathic practitioners provide a questionnaire about your health and symptoms before your first appointment but if they don't make some notes about the issues with your health.
Your first consultation with your homeopath will involve answering questions about your general health, any conditions you're suffering with and past history. The homeopath may ask about your emotional state, lifestyle and family medical history.
The homeopath may also ask about any sensations, feelings or sleep patterns, in particular dreams that you have. Your therapy will take a holistic approach (meaning the whole body) so keep an open-mind and answer honestly.
These factors all help the homeopath make a diagnosis and a decision about what remedies will best treat your condition and how to take them. Your homeopath may advise you to take the remedy half an hour after eating and to avoid strong foods or drink as these can cancel out the effects.
Your first homeopathy consultation will take around an hour and a half as the homeopath takes a detailed history and decides which remedy is best for you. Some homeopaths won't make a diagnosis straight away and will book you in for a follow-up appointment so they can work on your case. Discuss this before choosing your homeopath. Follow-up consultations generally last about 30-45 minutes and take place a few weeks after your initial appointment.
Costs vary in private practice and expect to pay £35 - £90 for your first appointment and £20 - £60 for appointments after that. This price usually includes the cost of your homeopathic remedy but check with the practice first.
How many consultations you require will depend on the nature of your condition and your recovery rate. Your homeopath will monitor your progress at your follow-up appointment and inform you if further sessions and remedies are required.
Studies have shown homeopathy to be a safe therapy when applied by a trained homeopath and can be used by people of all ages. The natural remedies used offer an alternative to pharmaceutical drugs and are safe, even for pregnant women, with no danger of addiction or toxic effects. Some homeopaths have warned of symptoms worsening slightly before they improve but this situation is extremely rare.
Cancer patients and anyone taking prescribed drugs should first discuss with their GP about homeopathic therapy and then inform their homeopath during their first consultation.
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We always advise with any conditions, ailment or health problem you take independent medical advice from your GP before considering a complementrary therapy, alternative medicine or alternative treatment.