To become a homeopath?

The homeopathic community and homeopathy course providers in the UK have worked together to create a series of interviews with experienced homeopathic practitioners. In these short videos they share details of previous careers and what led them to train as homeopaths, as well as what they love about the role they now do.

There are case examples given by the practitioners and they offer an insight into what it is like to work as a homeopath.

The videos are all accessible from the Homeopathy Course Providers Forum website.

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The Faculty response to petition calling on the RCVS to ban homeopathy

Homeopathy has a long history of being used successfully in veterinary practice for both domestic and farm animals. The EU recommends its use in its regulations on organic farms and is funding research into veterinary homeopathy as a way of reducing antibiotic use in livestock. It is nonsense to suggest that responsible pet owners and farmers are unable to distinguish between effective and ineffective medicines; they continue to use homeopathy because they see its benefits.

Membership of the Faculty of  Homeopathy (VetMFHom) is bestowed on qualified veterinary surgeons who have completed a minimum of three years study of homeopathy and after a rigorous examination procedure. It differentiates the qualified veterinary homeopath from an unlicensed healer.

In a statement, the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons said “… homeopathy is currently accepted by society and recognised by UK medicines legislation, and does not, in itself, cause harm to animals”. Before going on to say it could see no justification for banning veterinary surgeons from practising homeopathy.

In an age when antibiotic resistance is such an important issue, veterinary surgeons and farmers who have found they can limit the use of these drugs by using homeopathy should be applauded and not attacked.


Peter Gregory
 BVSc MRCVS VetFFHom
Veterinary Dean, Faculty of Homeopathy

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Getting to the route of sickness by removing maintaining causes and obstacles to cure

Homeopaths are trained in how to recognise and advise the removal of what we refer to as ‘maintaining causes’ and ‘obstacles to cure.’ In simple terms, this means eliminating habits or changing elements of lifestyle that are clearly injurious to one’s health and will deter healing.

I am consistently shocked by people who complain about feeling unwell whilst not being able to recognise that often, their complaints are self inflicted.  Take for example the heavy smoker, who has a chronic cough or the person with a myriad of digestive issues, who insists on eating fast food most of the time.  These are obvious examples; others include people that are not even aware that their habits are causing distress to their body.  The patient who is underweight, with no energy and chronic health problems; on investigation, her diet consisted of nothing fresh, but all pre-packaged food with low nutritional value; her energy spent on looking after her young family, who unfortunately, also eat this diet. A result of this self neglect leads to the prescription of pharmaceutical medications, which can often exacerbate the condition in the long term, whilst possibly giving short term relief.  The sickness is therefore compounded and invariably some of these medications cause new illnesses, knows as ‘iatrogenic’ disease.  Hahnemann, in Aphorism 74 of The Organon of Medicine states: ‘Among chronic diseases, we must unfortunately include all those wide spread illnesses artificially created by allopathic treatments.’

So, the removal of what Hahnemann referred to as ‘causa occasionalis’ (maintaining causes) must surely make sense and pave the way for true healing to begin. Whatever medication, in whatever medical discipline, will not be fully effective until this is done. In Aphorism 77, Hahnemann states: ‘Diseases engendered by prolonged exposure to avoidable noxious influence should not be called chronic, they include diseases brought about by:

  • The habitual indulgence of harmful food and drink
  • All kinds of excesses that undermine health
  • Prolonged deprivation of things necessary to life
  • Unhealthy places, especially swampy regions
  • Dwelling only in cellars, damp places or other close quarters
  • Lack of exercise or fresh air
  • Physical or mental over exertion
  • Continuing emotional stress etc..

These self-inflicted disturbances go away on their own with improved living conditions if no chronic miasm is present, they cannot be called chronic diseases.’ There are several classifications of chronic disease (according to Hahnemann) which will be covered at a later date. Although the language here could possibly benefit from being updated, it is clear that the underlying message is to enjoy a healthy lifestyle suited to your unique constitution, which is balanced on every level.

What is important here is to recognise that through individualisation and the identification of circumstances peculiar to a patient, obstacles to cure can be removed; only then can true individualised homeopathic treatment begin.

The homeopathic approach, in its entirety is set out in Aphorism 3 of The Organon.

‘If the physician clearly perceives what has to be cured in disease, ie, in each individual case of disease (knowledge of the disease,) if he clearly perceives what it is in medicines, which heals, ie: in each individual medicine (knowledge of medicinal powers,) if he applies in accordance with well defined principles what is curative in medicines to what he has clearly recognised to be pathological in the patient so that cure follows, ie, if he knows in each particular case how to apply the remedy most appropriate to its character (selection of the remedy),  prepare it exactly as required and give it in the right amount (the correct dose,) and repeat the dose exactly when required ‘and lastly, if in each case he knows the obstacles to cure and how to remove them so recovery is permanent, then he knows how to treat thoroughly and efficaciously and is a true physician.

Gill Graham, BSc (Hons), BA (Hons) RS Hom, DHMHS

As ever, professional homeopathic advice should be sought: http://www.findahomeopath.org/Search/Postcode

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The fourth principle of homeopathy: The Potentized Remedy.

Concluding our series of blog posts around the principles of homeopathy, as developed by Dr Samuel Hahnemann, UK homeopath Gill Graham talks about the fourth principle of homeopathy and shares facts around the worldwide use of homeopathy:

Homeopathic remedies are made from natural substances such as plants, minerals, animals but the process of their manufacture is unlike that of any other medicine. A remedy made from a specific substance is put through a process of serial dilution, the end result being a very dilute extract is made.  Each step of this dilution involves the substance being shaken with force; homeopathically this is referred to as ‘succussion.’ It has been found that by succusing in this way the remedy becomes active and dynamic (generally latent in its crude form) and the degree of the succussion produces a final potency of a remedy which will be given in accordance with the presenting vital force.

Fundamentally, potentization means that a substance has been prepared according to homeopathic philosophy and homeopathic pharmaceutical standards, through serial dilution and succussion.

To conclude.

To show the extent of its popularity, even in the wake of fanatical sceptisism by institutions of often dubious repute, over 200 million people worldwide use homeopathy on a regular basis, which undoubtedly is testament to its effectiveness. It is included in the national health systems of a number of countries e.g. Brazil, Chile, India, Mexico, Pakistan, Switzerland, United Kingdom. 10% of people in the UK use homeopathy, an estimated 6 million people. There are over 400 doctors in the UK that use homeopathy, regulated by the Faculty of Homeopathy and promoted by the British Homeopathic Association. In the NHS approx. 40,000 homeopathic prescriptions are provided to patients per year by doctors working within the homeopathic service. There were originally 5 homeopathic hospitals (Glasgow, Liverpool, London, Bristol and Tunbridge Wells). Tunbridge Wells closed in 2007 and in 2010, the Royal London Homeopathic Hospital changed its name to the Royal London Hospital for Integrated Medicine. There are more than 1,500 professional homeopaths (non-medically qualified homeopaths) in the UK, regulated by the Society of Homeopaths (65%), Alliance of Registered Homeopaths and Homeopathic Medical Association. They largely operate in private practice outside the NHS. In addition, there are many vets that use homeopathy as an integral part of their practice. Randomised controlled trials, clinical outcome studies and observational studies are ongoing via The Clinical Outcome Research in Homeopathy data base (CORE-hom).  It currently comprises over 1015 clinical trials in homeopathy and is updated regularly as new trials are completed. (Source: Homeopathy Research Institute.) In addition, there are many other research projects continuously being performed throughout the world by a variety of eminent institutions.

The objective of summarizing the underlying homeopathic principles was to help and clarify philosophy and practice, whilst also discussing the extent of its popularity as a system of medicine world wide. Even though homeopathy is over 200 years old, confusion still exists as to its foundations, its underlying philosophy, and its role in health care; hopefully any grey areas are now clearer. Please feel free to share if you think others would benefit.

Gill Graham, BSc (Hons), BA (Hons) RS Hom, DHMHS

As ever, professional homeopathic advice should be sought: http://www.findahomeopath.org/Search/Postcode

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References

Homeopathy Research Institute

Available at:

https://www.hri-research.org/resources/homeopathy-the-debate/essentialevidence/use-of-homeopathy-across-the-world/ [Accessed: 20 May 2016]

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The third principle, The minimum dose

Healing according to Hahnemann should be done ‘rapidly, gently and permanently; to remove and destroy the whole disease in the shortest, surest, least harmful way, according to clearly comprehensible principles.’ (Aphorism 2)

The minimum dose of a remedy, (one of these principles) simply means the minutest amount of a substance to nudge the vital force in the direction of healing. Too high a potency of a remedy or unnecessary repetition can result in unwelcome aggravations.  In homeopathy, less is more. The body has a way of signaling through the manifestation of symptoms, when a higher potency is needed or more frequent repetition of a remedy.

If there was one ‘principle’ in homeopathy that people had a problem with understanding, it would be the infinitesimal doses of a remedy given; in other words, the perception is, there is nothing in a remedy. This has been said to me on many occasions. However, it remains the case that empirically and in thousands of studies, both observational and through clinical outcome and randomized controlled trials, homeopathy has been seen to heal many people worldwide.

For those who cannot come to terms with the fact that homeopathic remedies do not contain any active material because of the molecular limits of Avogrado’s number, the current scientific evidence suggests that homeopathic remedies are nanoparticles and not ordinary conventional bulks of source material. Given this, intense scientific consideration must be seriously focused now on how nano particles can act in the body to stimulate a healing process. Much of this research is headed by Dr Iris Bell (MD, Ph.D) from the University of Arizona College of Medicine, and for those who would like more detailed information, please read and study the research: (Bell, I, Koithan, M, 2012. ) Research in this area is ongoing and is constantly being updated, by various eminent scientists and homeopaths throughout the world.

3rd principle blog

 

 

Bell IR and Koithan M. (2012) A model for homeopathic remedy effects: low dose nanoparticles, allostatic cross-adaptation, and time-dependent sensitization in a complex adaptive system. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2012; 12(1):191(epub) Available at:

http://bmccomplementalternmed.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1472-6882-12-191  [Accessed: 20th May 2016]

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The second principle, The single Remedy

In this series of blogs explaining the principles behind homeopathy as originally developed by Dr Samuel Hahnemann over 200 years ago, UK homeopath Gill Graham introduces the second principle:

The second principle of Classical homeopathy is The Single Remedy. Hahnemann was forceful in his opinion in prescribing with one remedy for the totality of symptoms, using words such as ‘it is inadmissible’ to prescribe more than one remedy at a time (Aphorism 273, The Organon)

The reasoning and thinking behind this lies in the fact that if many remedies were prescribed at once, it would be impossible to ascertain which remedy was actually working and could massively confuse a case. It is simple common sense when we consider that each remedy is ‘proved’ individually, the combined interaction of many remedies’ at once has not been. This obviously has many similarities to where a GP of conventional medicine, prescribes single drugs for single complaints, the interaction of all these drugs, collectively untested, at times, with devastating consequences. Why should homeopathy be any different, given the powerful effects of so many of the remedy’s.? It remains the case that there will always be one remedy that resonates with a case more than another; wherever possible, the homeopath should go with this.

However, as ever in life, there will always be grey areas and flexibility at times is necessary as long as a remedy is given sufficient time to act, and if there is a definite change in the presenting symptoms and aspect of the Vital Force.  In this instance Hahnemann, in the 4th edition of the Organon suggested that remedies could be alternated, given in short succession, and condones the use of tissue salts, in specific cases that demanded a different approach.

Catherine Coulter, in ‘The unfolding of Experience’ sums up the ideal situation in prescribing, by stating that: ‘the strongest, deepest current in classical homeopathy – the tug that pulls the stream to the river and the river to the sea- is to address the multiple manifestations of the single disordered life-force with a single remedy; in a phrase, to shape unity from multiplicity.’ It remains the case that if this pure, philosophically appropriate method of prescribing can be attained and in whilst doing so, promotes healing without other remedies being involved, we have demonstrated the dynamic power of pure, classical homeopathy.

single rx (blog)

 

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The first Principle, The Law of Similars

by Gill Graham.  BSc (Hons), BA (Hons) RSHom, DHMHS

The derivation of the word ‘Homeopathy’ (originally homoeopathy) comes from the Greek homoeo, meaning ‘similar’, and pathos, meaning ‘suffering’. This leads on to the first principle which is ‘Similia Similbus Curentur,’ translated from the Latin as: ‘like cures like.’ This principle predates Hahnemann and in fact, goes back to ancient ayurvedic scripts. The idea/concept of ‘the law of similars’ had first been mentioned by Hippocrates (The Father of Medicine, 460-377 B.C.), then by P.A. Paracelsus (1493-1541) although Hahnemann was responsible for creating ‘Homeopathy’ as we now know it; a complete system of medicine.

Through much research and hands on practice, Hahnemann proved that a substance that can cause disease in a healthy person, can actively heal the same or similar disease in another. For example, Belladonna, a well known homeopathic remedy is used to treat high fevers, redness in the face and tongue. Were belladonna to be ingested in its raw form, the symptoms of the poisoning would be exactly this. Also, think of what happens when you are exposed to a raw onion.  Your eyes water and nose burns.  The homeopathic remedy allium cepa (made from onion) can relieve these symptoms, once again, treating ‘like with like.’

The task of the homeopath is to match the patients’ symptoms to the correct homeopathic remedy, specifically those that are characteristic to the patient. This is explained in aphorism 26 in the Organon, where Hahnemann states: ‘In the living organism a weaker, dynamic affection is permanently extinguished by a stronger one which although different in nature nevertheless, greatly resembles it in its expression.’

The simillimum is just that, totality; not partial, but a complete reflection of a state that is mentally, physically and spiritually in alignment with its subject.

This article is part of a five part series and following sections will elaborate on more principles. The first part can be found here.

To find a homeopath or find out more about homeopathy the website here has lots of information to share.

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Clarification of the basic homeopathic principles including reference to worldwide practice.

by Gill Graham.  BSc (Hons), BA (Hons) RSHom, DHMHS

When considering whether to follow the homeopathic route in the treatment of our own health or that of our friends and families, there is invariably, much confusion as to what homeopathy is and how it differs from conventional medicine. For ease of understanding, the underlying principles will be clarified, as far as possible.

The Organon and Homeopathic Philosophy

The Organon of Medicine, written by Samuel Hahnemann, the founder of homeopathy is the cornerstone of homeopathic principles and practice. The first edition was written in 1810 in aphoristic style (paragraphs with numbers.) The book lays out the doctrines of homeopathy in a logical sequence of thoughts and philosophy and practice. In total there were 6 editions, five of which were published in Hahnemann’s lifetime, the 6th completed in 1842, but he sadly passed away in June of 1843 before it could be published.  Thanks to the efforts of William Boericke the 6th edition was published in 1921.

In order to fully embrace homeopathy, it is helpful to understand basic homeopathic philosophy. If you have been following my blogs here, you will already be aware that I repeatedly refer to the mind/body connection and how symptoms should be treated in their totality as opposed to being seen as separate problems.  The fundamental tenet of homeopathic medicine is to treat the imbalances of ‘the vital force’ leading to ill health as a whole, ideally with one remedy which matches the symptoms of the mind, body and spirit (this remedy is known as the Simillimum.) The Vital Force is an undefined energy, capable of fuelling an organism, it is inherent in all living things, which if disrupted or disturbed can result in disease. “The material organism without the vital force is capable of no sensation, no function, no self preservation; it derives all sensations, and performs all functions of life solely by means of the immaterial being (the vital force) which animates the material organism in health and disease.” (Aphorism 10, The Organon)

Hahnemann refers to it also as ‘dynamis’, ‘vital principle’ and ‘vital energy’. James Tyler Kent refers to it as ‘The Simple Substance,’ which is the dominating force in the organism, the absence of this force, is death.  To help with an understanding of this, energy parallels can be found in various cultures; the Ancient Chinese know The Vital Force as ‘Chi, the Japanese and Koreans as ‘Ki’ and in the ancient Sanskrit writings of India it is known as ‘Prana.’ Underlying this, there are 4 basic principles which govern homeopathy; each of which will be discussed in the following blog posts.

To find a homeopath or find out more about homeopathy have a look here.

hwfm blog

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Hayfever – an ideal place for homeopathy?

It’s that time of year again, the one that all the warmth lovers eagerly anticipate (or at least hopefully wish for) and those who suffer from hay fever retreat inside, counting down until the season is over. The dark rooms, closed windows, sunglasses to cope and countless days of irritable sneezing, sniffing or weeping eyes, or the over the counter meds to get through each day. Neither of which make for a particularly glamorous sounding summer. Or that enjoyable either.

But what can homeopathy do? Well, as well as ideally helping to strengthen your own healing ability longer term and perhaps reduce the chance of getting the hay fever, whilst you’re in the thick of the season you can also treat the symptoms with remedies that may help.

Following is a round up of the most commonly used remedies in hay fever:

Allium Cepa

  • Strong burning sensation from the eyes accompanied by a bland watery discharge – better open air.
  • The eyes are sensitive to light, often red and irritated with burning and smarting. 
  • Nose can become red and sore from the copious, burning, acid discharge. 
  • Sneezing on entering warm room. The voice can be hoarse and there can be a hacking cough on breathing in cold air. 
  • Allium cepa hayfever often comes on worse in spring or August, is worse for being in a warm room and better off for cool air. A peculiarity is that it particularly affects the left eye or nostril or may start off on the left side and spread to the right. 

Sabadilla

  •  Persistent and spasmodic sneezing, running nose, copious watery discharge and an itchy, stuffed up nose. 
  • The eyes water in the open air, from sunlight or whilst sneezing. 
  • Symptoms are also worse for cold air and there is usually improvement from eating warm food and warm drinks or from keeping warm. 

Euphrasia

  •  Eyes water all the time with acrid watering (cf Allium Cepa)
  • Burning and swelling of the lids (especially the lower), blinking, conjunctivitis like symptoms.
  • The nasal and throat symptoms are less marked but include profuse watery bland mucus, which is easily discharged. Euphrasia symptoms are worse for sunlight, evening and night-time, for windy weather and indoors, and better for the cool, open air.
  • Euphrasia tincture can also be used as a local eyewash by diluting one drop in an eyebath of cooled sterile water. 

Arundo

  •  Hayfever begins with burning and itching of the palate and conjunctiva.
  • Annoying itching of the roof of the mouth and in the nostrils sometimes with pain at the root of the nose.
  • Initially the nose can discharge clear mucus which can then turn green and slimy with lots of sneezing.
  • Loss of smell.

Wyethia

  • Intolerable itching felt on the roof of the mouth and behind the nose, sometimes extending into the throat and ears.
  • Irritable throat with dry cough.
  • Everything in the head feels dry and irritated, but the nose may still be runny.

(Information from www.materiamedica.org.uk)

Find out about how one sceptical vet discovered homeopathy and his experience with hay fever here:

To find a homeopath, or to find out more about homeopathy www.findahomeopath.org

Em Colley RSHom BSc(Hons) Practitioner of Classical Homeopathy

 

 

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A Perfect Balance- Homeopathic Homeostasis

As we have spent April celebrating Hahnemann’s Birthday, and in turn Worldwide Homeopathy Awareness Week, it is fitting, in Hahnemann’s honour, to briefly focus on one of the key teachings in The Organon, that of striving to achieve the perfect mind/body balance.  Gill Graham.  BSc (Hons), BA (Hons) RSHom, DHMHS writes:

Coincidentally, (or maybe so synchronized) this has been a huge focus for me over the last few weeks, having been inadvertently put in situations that demand that it is addressed, with both patients and friends. It appears to be a state that many are seeking, but for whatever reason are unable to achieve.  As a homeopath and holistic practitioner covering many disciplines, I see it as fundamental to good health and wellbeing. Edward Whitmont in ‘Psyche and Substance’ states: ‘The mind is the epiphenomenon of the body, and the body is the epiphenomenon of the mind.  We operate as body-minds.  The body is the visibility of the soul, and the soul is the life of the body.’ In other words, we cannot separate the two, we are not a collection of parts, and should not be treated as such. One remedy to treat the totality of symptoms is optimum; ideally, the simillimum.

Hahnemann considers that disease is an imbalance in the Vital Force and that homeopathy works by stimulating the body’s own healing mechanisms.  Symptoms are natures way of indicating that something is ‘off kilter’ and needs to be healed. There are several references to this in the Organon: ‘In the state of health the spirit like vital force (dynamis) animating the material organism reigns in supreme sovereignty. It maintains the sensations and activities of all the parts of the living organism in a harmony that obliges wonderment (Aphorism 9.) When the body is in a state of ‘imbalance’ or flux the entire being is not in in harmony with itself, symptoms that appear are giving vital clues as to where the healing should be focused: ‘The physician has only to eliminate the totality of symptoms in order to remove simultaneously the inner alteration, the pathological untunement of the vital principle, thereby entirely removing and annihilating the disease itself,’ (Aphorism 21) suggesting harmony needs to be restored to the organism to achieve a perfect balance, contributing to radiant mental and physical health.

Hahnemann’s’ language and turn of phrase can at times be confusing and complicated to those who are new to homeopathy, and given that the first editions of The Organon were written in the last half of the 19th century, this is to be expected. Fundamentally he is suggesting that for perfect health the body needs perfect balance. Yesterday, this was brought to my attention in a very simple way.  I was at a yoga class where we were all attempting ‘tree pose’ (Vrksasana.) It has to be said, there are certain poses that I have difficulty in mastering, this is one of them. I started to wobble, desperately trying to concentrate on a key spot, unable stop my mind wandering; the more I thought about it, the wobblier I became. I became distracted by the others who all seemed to be balanced, focused and ‘perfect.’  Eventually the inevitable happened and I fell; the predicted imbalance had become self fulfilling, I imagined I would fall, therefore, I did. In reflection after the class, I realized that to have the perfect equilibrium, it was not just about balancing on one leg with my foot up the other, it was a state of being in total alignment with myself, mind and body. Similarly, imagine a ballet dancer and see her posture as she moves gracefully across a stage.

It is balance that allows her to create beauty in her moves, her mind is calm and focussed.  She requires not only physical strength but alignment and discipline and a strong mental focus and a belief that she will not stumble. Were she not balanced, the performance would be unstable, shaky, volatile and inconstant.  Any state of equilibrium requires total harmony of the mind and body, fluctuations need to be addressed and brought back into line. The objective of giving the simillimum (the homeopathic remedy covering all aspects of a patient) is to achieve what Hahnemann termed ‘the harmony that obliges wonderment.’

In referring back to my tree pose, balance had more to do with my mind than my body.  A chaotic mind makes for an unsteady pose (do not forget, in homeopathy, the mind is top of the hierarchy of symptoms.) On my next attempt, at a subsequent class, having realised the connection, I found that breathing correctly, focussing and visualising myself as someone deeply grounded in her roots, like a tree that can flourish because of this stability allowed me to be centred and calm, and less aware of the perceived perfection of others and more concerned with achieving my own level of composure and equilibrium. This is once more similar to seeing everyone as unique in homeopathy; there is not one remedy that fits all; individualisation is key.

What follows is a poem I recently wrote for one of my friends who has been diagnosed with cancer.  I was in the Dutch Antilles at the time, by the sea when she told me the news. Shocked and sad I was driven to write, the ultimate in therapy for me; and in doing so recognised the ever flowing tides of the sea are characteristic of the ebb and flow of life and of the fluctuating mind body changes we all experience. True health is true equilibrium and as stated here ‘a divine homeostasis,’ the ultimate goal of homeopathic treatment.

Life is a series of waves

The ebb and flow lifting us up knocking us down devastating, cruel

But we are vibrant, alive when we are raised to the sky balanced precariously on the crest of a wave

Joyous, exulted, super human

Then we surf, riding high some day’s others, floating gently with no great flux

This is the calm, the equilibrium

The unforgiving, unpredictable waves sweep us off our feet we lose our balance and crash,

unceremoniously to the ground

floundering in the unfamiliar weaving our way through the tides to breathe to stand, wishing we were the solid rocks standing majestic, but hard, brittle they do not move, boring, static, impenetrable

We are flesh, blood, bone, brain and heart – thinking, loving, hating

We are capable of vibrancy, ecstasy, joy despair and disgust

The ocean inevitably calms and serenity returns

A deeper, more meaningful calm

A divine homoeostasis

Your holy fragile humanity has been nourished the tumultuous waves have been ridden.

Flourish now, as you will.

Balance; what we as homeopaths strive for in our patients; the waves are like the symptoms, warning us of tumultuous times, but ebbing and flowing as we address the totality.  Life is not meant to be an everlasting calm ocean, but by riding the tempestuous waves, and addressing and hopefully correcting the route cause, the depth of our being; our very essence becomes magnificent in its serenity and equilibrium.

As ever, go to:  www.findahomeopath.uk. for advice and to find a homeopath in your area.

 

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