"Homoeopathy is an effective and scientific discipline of
healing which assists the natural tendency of the body
to heal itself. It recognises that all symptoms of ill health
are expressions of disharmony within the whole person,
and that it is the patient who needs treatment, not the
disease.

The main principle is based on the Law of Similars or ‘like cures like’. This means that any substance that can cause symptoms in a healthy person can restore to health a person showing similar symptoms in illness"

Samuel HannemannHomoeopathic remedies work by stimulating the body’s own healing power. This stimulus will assist your own system to clear itself of any symptoms of imbalance. The aim is to get you to a level of health so that eventually you will need less frequent treatment.

How was homoeopathy discovered?

In 1796 a German doctor, Samuel Hahnemann, discovered a different approach to the cure of the sick which he called homoeopathy (from the Greek words meaning similar suffering). Like Hippocrates two thousand years earlier, he realised that there were two ways of treating ill health, the way of opposites and the way of similars.
Homoeopathy is an effective and scientific system of healing which assists the natural tendency of the body to heal itself. It recognises that all symptoms of ill health are expressions of disharmony within the whole person and that it is the patient who needs treatment not the disease.
As a new patient, these ideas may be new to you but homoeopathy has been established for more than 200 years.
Treating “like with like” Take for example, a case of insomnia. The way of opposites (conventional medicine or allopathy) is to treat this by giving a drug to bring on an artificial sleep. This frequently involves the use of large or regular doses of drugs which can sometimes cause side effects or addiction.
The way of similars, the homoeopathic way, is to give the patient a minute dose of a substance, such as coffee, which in large doses causes sleeplessness in a healthy person. Perhaps surprisingly, this will enable the patient to sleep naturally. Homoeopathic remedies, properly prescribed, are safe and can also be given to pregnant women, babies and children. This is because only a very minute amount of the active ingredient is used in a specially prepared form.
Your homoeopath will give you a homoeopathic medicine or remedy which matches your symptoms as you experience them. This also takes account of you as a person — your individual characteristics emotionally as well as physically.

How does it work?
Homoeopathic remedies work by stimulating the body’s own healing power. This stimulus will assist your own system to clear itself of any symptoms of imbalance. The aim is to get you to a level of health so that eventually you will need less frequent treatment. What will your homoeopath need to know? In order to find the right remedy for you as an individual, your homoeopath will need to know all about you. A detailed understanding of who you are, along with any complaints and details of how you experience them, is needed to assess your case correctly. So anything you can tell your homoeopath that is typical of whom you are will help this process. Finding out about your general energy level, your past medical history and the way you live are also important. Anything you say will be treated in the strictest confidence. The initial consultation may last an hour or more.
What will the treatment be like? Your homoeopath will give you a homoeopathic remedy, usually in the form of a tablet or tablets, occasionally as powders, which should be allowed to dissolve in your mouth; or you may be given a liquid remedy with instructions. Your homoeopath may advise you to avoid coffee, peppermint and preparations containing menthol, eucalyptus and camphor, as these may interfere with the action of the homoeopathic remedy. Do make sure that you understand the instructions before you leave.
Homeopathic RemedyIf you are given homoeopathic remedies to take at a later date, be sure to store them in a cool dark place, away from anything with a strong smell and try to avoid placing them near to your mobile phone.
Please tell your homoeopath about any medicine or supplement that has been prescribed for you by your doctor or that you take regularly. Also mention any recent or immediate dental treatment. These may affect your homoeopathic prescription.
If you are taking a homoeopathic remedy and you feel that you need to take additional medication - conventional or homoeopathic medicine - consult with your homoeopath to discuss how this might affect your homoeopathic treatment. Your homoeopath can give first-aid advice, if necessary. If you develop a cold, headache or any symptoms that concern you, please discuss them with your homoeopath.
What will happen once treatment starts? After taking your remedy, you may notice some changes. Reactions to homoeopathic remedies vary with the individual. Some patients experience a period of exceptional well being and optimism. Sometimes your symptoms can appear to get worse for a short time. This is a good sign that the remedy is taking effect. Sometimes a cold, rash or some form of discharge may appear as a ‘spring cleaning’ effect which means your system is going through a clearing out stage. Similarly, old symptoms can reappear, usually for a short period. These symptoms will pass and must not be treated, as they are a very important part of the healing process. If any response to your treatment concerns you, do contact your homoeopath as soon as you can, as it is important to know what happens as treatment progresses. You might also want to make notes of any changes and take them with you to discuss at your next appointment. A follow up appointment allows both you and your homoeopath to assess your reaction to the homoeopathic medicine and decide how your treatment can best be continued.

How long does treatment take?
This depends very much on what sort of illness you have, as well as the other individual characteristics of your case. So it is difficult for your homoeopath to assess this until after your second appointment. A slowly developing complaint or one that has been experienced for some years, may take longer to improve, although there may be a response and improvement quite soon. Acute complaints can get better more quickly, sometimes in a matter of hours.
Homoeopathy cures from the inside and often outer symptoms such as a skin complaint, are the last to clear. In the long term, it is much better for you to be cured of both the cause of your illness and its symptoms, rather than merely relieving or suppressing the symptoms. Remember that every case is different and no two patients are alike.
If you wish to discontinue your treatment for any reason, your homoeopath will talk things over with you.

Will there be advice about diet and lifestyle?

A homoeopath will ask you about your usual diet and lifestyle and may suggest changes, especially if it seems that this is contributing to your illness. Of course, a good basic diet is necessary for good health, with less sugars, fats, alcohol and refined foods. There is an increasing awareness of the benefits of foods free from artificial colourings preservatives and flavourings. Whole foods and organic foods, free from chemical pesticides and fertilisers, are also increasingly available.

What about seeing a GP?
We recommend that you should maintain your relationship with your GP and continue taking your prescribed medication. The need for these may lessen as homoeopathic treatment progresses. If so your GP may decide to gradually and carefully reduce them. Homoeopathy has a different philosophy but by working in this way with your GP, the two systems of health care can provide a complementary service. There are no known drug interactions between homoeopathic remedies and conventional medicines.

Can I treat myself with homoeopathic remedies?
You can use some remedies at home to treat first aid problems such as cuts, stings, minor burns and bruises. Ask your homoeopath for further information.

Good books on Homoeopathy
Practical Homoeopathy by Sylvia Treacher, Parragon Book Service.
The Complete Homoeopathy Handbook by Miranda Castro, Macmillan Press.

For further information on homoeopathy contact
The Irish Society of Homeopaths
Ruxton Court,
35-37 Dominick Street,
Galway.
Tel. 091 565 040 www.ishom.com