Homoeopathy has been with us in the modern context for about two hundred years, though the concept of healing like with like goes back to ancient Greece c. 400BC. Hippocrates used the famous Greek tragedy as catharsis for people suffering from grief – in watching the grief onstage it prompted them to spill out their own grief, thus bringing about healing. This application of the homoeopathic principle is a good illustration of how it works. The introduction of the remedy stimulates a person’s system into a healing response which is what brings about the improvement. Homoeopathy has uses which are many and varied.
It can benefit people suffering from acute complaints which come on relatively quickly, are self-limiting and are over in a few weeks at most. These are ailments such as gastric upsets, childhood illnesses, colds and flu – anything that comes up once and moves on again. Homoeopathy can help the individual move through the illness more easily, without getting stuck in it. These rarely require more than one consultation with a homoeopath. They also respond very well to self-help measures at home. A good book and/or workshop on the use of homoeopathy in the home and a remedy kit to deal with a range of ailmentsis a good place to start. The kits available have a range of remedies that would cover most simple situations and a workshop can give the owner the skill and knowledge to get going with it.
Chronic complaints are generally defined as being of longer duration than six weeks and are generally more deeply -seated. Anything that recurs on a regular basis would fall into this category – for example reccurrent coughs and colds, skin complaints, menstrual disorders, IBS etc. Children who seem to be always sick can respond very well to homoeopathy. Treatment is more complex and is best carried out by a qualified homoeopath. Based on personality and lifestyle, medical history and other factors, your homoeopath will select a remedy that best matches your symptoms.
The treatment process varies in length, ranging from an initial consultation with just one or two follow-ups to treatment lasting several months or occasionally years. Many people find that taking the time out to talk about themselves very therapeutic in itself. Lifestyle issues can come to light in this way and new directions and decisions are often part of the healing process.
For those with long-term illnesses for which there is no expected cure, homoeopathy has many ways of dealing with quality of life issues and the amelioration of symptoms. It is possible to make people more comfortable with the use of remedies even when a cure is not expected. It has been used widely in care of the elderly and also in treatment of patients with conditions such as CF, MS or cancer.
Homoeopathy is sometimes used for transformation and spiritual development. Remedies can help to bring us more in touch with ourselves and to move more easily through life, especially in times of transition. If life is changing around us, or our circumstances have become difficult for us, remedies can provide gentle assistance in moving from one phase of life to another. It’s easy to get stuck in an emotion or to get trapped in anxiety for the future, depression or grief. Homoeopathy provides people in these situations with support to move through life with more ease. In the area of addiction, remedies can help people through the process of recovery as well as helping them to detox their bodies.
Homoeopathy can be excellent in the maintenance of health, providing fine-tuning when necessary. Sometimes when we’re a bit run-down or have several small niggly ailments a well-prescribed remedy can put us back on track again, leaving us the energy to get on with life to the full.
Elinor Hitching Lic ISH, IS Hom is a Registered Homeopath working in Ennis.