Treatment Options

Maintaining Health : Regaining Health

Homeopathy

What is homeopathy?

Homeopathy

Homeopathy

Homeopathy is a system of medicine which has been used for over 200 years and aims to stimulate the body’s own natural immune response. It works on the principle of treating like with like; in other words symptoms can be treated with a medicine prepared from a substance which could cause similar symptoms in a healthy person. Homeopathic doctors use these substances in dilute forms to treat their patients.

Conventional medicine will deal usually with the illness, whereas homeopathy works by assisting the patients’ self-healing and self-regulating ability in promoting a return to balance and health. It is gentle and practically free of side effects. It has the ability to improve the patients presenting problem as well as their overall well being.

Homeopathy takes a holistic, person-centred approach to treatment. Therefore, patients with the same diagnosis may be treated with different homeopathic medicines depending on the signs and symptoms, and the impact of life events on the patient’s physical and mental well-being. The patient’s personality, preferences and lifestyle are also important.

The effectiveness of homeopathy has been demonstrated in a number of research trials and publications to date, a copy of which is available on request. In addition, patient outcome studies have consistently shown excellent results. This, coupled with a low incidence of side effects makes homeopathy a popular choice for many people.

What are homeopathic medicines?

Homeopathic medicines are manufactured by repeatedly diluting and succussing (vigorous shaking with impact) a preparation of the original substance in water and alcohol. After dilution the medicine is added to lactose or sucrose tablets, pillules or powders. It is important to note that homeopathy is not the same as herbal medicine, and is a distinct discipline in its own right.

Over-the-counter homeopathic medicines that can be bought in high street shops tend to be in either the 6c or 30c potency. 6c means that the substance has undergone 6 steps in a series of dilutions, where each step involves diluting 1 part medicine to 99 parts alcohol/water. The more stages of dilution and succussion the preparation has gone through, the more potent the medicine is – therefore a 30c medicine is more potent than a 6c medicine. Homeopathic doctors prescribe a range of high and low potency medicines depending on the individual.

Is homeopathy safe?

Homeopathy’s safety and gentle action is increasingly attractive in the face of worries about pollution, food safety and the side-effects of many conventional treatments. Homeopathy uses dilute preparations that are by definition non-toxic. This is because homeopathic medicines are made from a very small, yet effective amount of the active ingredient. Two hundred years of practice, research and trials have proved the safety of homeopathy for both people and animals. More recent studies have continued to demonstrate this consistently favourable safety profile. Unlike some conventional drugs, homeopathic medicines are non-addictive.

What/who can be treated with homeopathy?

Whilst homeopathy is often used as the first treatment of choice in a wide range of conditions, it is important to view homeopathy as complementary to conventional medicine, rather than an alternative. The term “integrative medicine” is now increasingly being used to describe this. As a system of medicine, homeopathy is designed to treat the whole person and can therefore be considered in almost any situation where a person’s health is depleted, whether in the mental, emotional or physical sphere. This may be a chronic, long term problem or could also be very useful in the treatment of minor ailments, from cuts and bruises to coughs and colds.

The ultra-high dilutions used in homeopathy mean that the medicines are safe to use for babies, children and pregnant or breastfeeding women under the supervision of a medically-qualified practitioner.

In summary:

Who provides homeopathy?

Homeopathy is provided at the Wellness Clinic by Dr Gary Smyth, a medically qualified homeopath who has trained at both the Glasgow Homeopathic Hospital and The Royal London Homeopathic Hospital. He has dual training in both conventional medicine and in homeopathic medicine. One of the many benefits of attending a medical doctor, who is trained in homeopathy, is that he will know when it is appropriate to use homeopathic medicine, conventional medicine or a combination of both. The most effective and appropriate treatment will be discussed and individually tailored just for you.

What happens during a homeopathic consultation?

Homeopathic doctors work in the same way as any other conventional doctor. History taking, examination and investigation are all important in establishing the diagnosis. However in addition to the history of the presenting problem, previous medical history and family history, homeopathic doctors may ask questions about your lifestyle, eating habits and preferences, the effects of temperature and weather changes, your temperament, personality and sleep patterns, in order to form a complete picture of you. This picture will be matched to the symptoms of your illness so as to allow the selection of a particular type and strength of homeopathic medicine. In this way, a truly “whole person” approach is taken encompassing your mental and emotional health in addition to your physical health.

Although appointments can vary, as a guide a first appointment lasts approximately 60 minutes, with follow-up appointments typically lasting 30 minutes. During the appointment, the doctor and patient will discuss and agree a treatment plan, identify goals for treatment and suggest the likely progress to expect.

At the end of the consultation your homeopathic doctor will give you a prescription and advise you how often to take the medicine. Homeopathy is usually taken in tablet, pillule, powder or liquid form. In addition, you may also be prescribed a homeopathic gel or cream for use on your skin.

The homeopathic doctor will always ask for your consent for a letter to be sent to your GP following the initial assessment and at periodic intervals thereafter. This is to improve communication between the clinic and your GP and to keep your GP aware of your homeopathic treatment.

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