Therapy of the Month – Homeopathy

by Rowan on October 25, 2017

In this month’s interview, we explore the history and practice of homeopathy with Rachel Boone, Bellenden’s resident homeopath

What is Homeopathy?

Homeopathy is a system of medicine which has two key defining factors:
patients are always seen holistically, meaning that every part of a person is considered, and remedies are prescribed on the principle that ‘like cures like’.

Samuel Hahnemann, a German doctor, teacher and translator, developed the concept now known as Homeopathy over 200 years ago, during the revolution of thought that was the European ‘Enlightenment’. Medical practices at that time seemed to him both ineffective and distressing, so he began conducting ‘provings’ on himself to find alternatives. He discovered that a substance that could produce symptoms in a well person often seemed to alleviate similar symptoms in someone suffering from them. This aligned with Hippocrates’ description of ‘healing by similars’ in the 5th century.

Homeopathic remedies are mostly made from plant, mineral, chemical and animal sources. They are highly diluted to lessen side effects and ‘sucussed’ (shaken) to potentise them. They come in various forms, including pillules, tablets and liquids. The remedies are safe for all the family at any time of life and are prescribed according to each patients individual characteristics following consultation.

What are the main benefits that homeopathic treatment can provide?

I feel homeopathy and other therapies have a great role to play alongside conventional treatments as part of a more integrated healthcare. People are unique, complex and individual so ‘a one size fits all’ approach has imperfections. A confidential homeopathic consultation gives someone the time, space, kindness and support to voice all their concerns Homeopathic remedies provide a more natural way to try to resolve both underlying and acute symptoms, with a longer term view to improving overall vitality. Often patients seek out homeopathy when a health problem hasn’t been successfully resolved, when they are having unpleasant side effects using conventional medication, or if they want to try a more natural approach from the outset. From my own experience, after years of using homeopathic treatments the migraines I developed as a teenager and suffered from for years are no longer a problem.

What attracted you to becoming a Homeopath?

After having two children with easy pregnancies and very few family health problems, it was a huge shock to find my third child had severe learning difficulties and epilepsy. Although grateful for the care and help we received from conventional medicine, I recognised the limitations of what was available to help her. Homeopathy was my immediate first choice for an alternative as I had friends around me who had been using it successfully for years. We found the consultations and remedies very supportive and whilst I initially focused on improving my daughter’s health, I soon became aware how much they could also help me in caring for her. Along the journey of navigating how to understand her condition and coming to terms with the emotional grief and physical demands associated with caring for someone with long term ill-health, there have certainly been some life-saving remedies! When you feel something has truly been of great benefit to you, you naturally want to use it to help others. Along with my own homeopath, who is an inspirational mentor and teacher, I was lucky to have outstanding encouragement, support and understanding from my family.

What is your favourite thing about Homeopathy?

That mental and emotional symptoms are always considered as important as the physical, and never ignored. Mental health is now at last becoming a much more talked about concern. Homeopathy has always looked at the ‘whole’ of a person and I feel it has much to offer in this area.

What has been the highlight of your career in Homeopathy so far?

There have been quite a few special moments – it’s hard to describe just one! It’s very exciting to be able to help your first patient after qualifying and starting your private practice, and it makes all the training feel worthwhile. Any time I work with someone who really wants to engage with the process over time and see the benefits to them is a very rewarding experience. Joining Bellenden Therapies was also a high point as I love integrating, working and sharing ideas alongside a wonderful team of practitioners!

What is your favourite therapy to use as a patient (besides Homeopathy)?

Cranial Osteopathy and Flower essences have been consistently used by my family over the years. They are subtle and gentle but effective, and very relaxing too! I would recommend them to anyone. I am also very open minded to other forms of therapies. All types of treatments have their benefits, and I wish they could be implemented more alongside conventional medicine. Whatever someone feels works for them is of value.

A lot of remedies have great names. Which, in your professional opinion, is the most fun to say?

Tough question! Some of the less well known ones are great – they sound like they’re straight out of a Harry Potter book. EUPATORIUM PERFOLIATUM! Ipecacuanha has a nice ring to it although I usually stick to the shortened ‘IPECAC’. I do have a favourite remedy, although homeopaths aren’t supposed to so that’s a secret! I would of course only prescribe it if it fit the symptoms.

Rachel Boone has been a qualified Homeopath BSc (Hons) since 2011. She is a registered member of the Society of Homeopaths, who set high standards for ethics and continued professional development. Rachel is based in South London and works at Bellenden Therapies on Fridays.

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