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Posts Tagged ‘homeopathy’

It is the same here as anywhere, people are used to having to wait for medical treatment. The day’s patients were sitting outside the Red Cross building as early as 6am this morning. After eating breakfast and walking to the centre we usually arrive by 8-8:30am. We expected today to be a long day as it was our last day in Teupasenti but we saw all the patients by 4:30. I am enjoying working alongside Carla as she takes her time with each patient while taking the case and also during the dialogue about the remedies needed. There is so much to consider from a medical and from a homeopathic perspective. Each case is always individually assessed and the treatments needed to cover each aspect of the person’s case as it presents currently are carefully chosen, keeping in mind the possible underlying reasons for the current symptoms. It is normal with homeopathy that the treatment for one person with a diagnosis of say diabetes will be different from another diabetes case, and here with HTSF that is still very true.

IMG_20171024_080546520_HDR(Patients waiting outside the Red Cross building in Teupasenti on the HTSF mission’s last day of case taking.)

IMG_20171024_080639894_HDR(Nicole waiting for the front door to open on the steps of the Red Cross building where the HTSF dispensary is located.)

Although Carla Marcelis completed medical school training she decided not to practice medicine and instead chose to study and practice homeopathy. With a comprehensive understanding of human physiology and of pathological processes and many years of studying naturopathy and nutrition, this type of first aid/first line homeopathic healthcare that HTSF is offering in Honduras comes naturally to her, and she admittedly loves doing it. As of this September she has replaced Martine Jourde who decided to retire the position of President of HTSF. The methods used here are not the typical Classical method of homeopathy but more in the vein of the Banerji protocols developed by Indian Homeopaths originally working with cancer patients and who later created protocols for all types of chronic and acute disease states.

During numerous homeopathic missions in Africa, Central and South America, Martine developed the HTSF complexes and protocols as a complete set of remedies that are beneficial in areas with both wide-scale poverty and a lack of medical services. She has a background in physiology and epidemiology, as well as more than 30 years of experience in using homeopathy with animals, people and even plants. HTSF is her contribution to helping humanity benefit from the ecological and economic aspects of homeopathy along with its resulting contribution to sustainable development, and to help provide access to safe and affordable health care in Developing, and perhaps one day Developed, Nations. This model of intervention is about access to homeopathic services but also about training locals and community leaders and giving them the capacity to provide these homeopathic services themselves and increasing their healthcare autonomy. The HTSF project reflects Martine’s vision of seeing the positive impact of homeopathy wherever it is used and her understanding that homeopathy can also help to restore balance between all living organisms on the planet. You can read more about Martine and her work on the MICH site.

I feel fortunate for the opportunity to have worked with Carla on this humanitarian mission. For most of her cases I sat with her taking notes and hearing the cases through her translations. One thing that is remarkable is how Carla can easily shift between three languages, English, French and Spanish, both while speaking and writing, and yet her mother tongue is actually Dutch! Her many years of teaching and training were evident also as she made sure I was following the case and giving me further information about what the pathological implications may be or what symptoms may be pointing to according to the underlying health issues. A homeopath is never satisfied with a diagnosed disease name knowing that it is basically a group of symptoms stemming from a deeper issue. I was always welcome to jump in with suggestions of what to ask or if we might need further information about a symptom.

It was the same after the patient left us to sit in the waiting room and we could dialogue the case. Dialogue is a communication method used during case taking but also as a way of exploring a case with more than one homeopath. It allows everyone to add to a shared train of thought and to sink in to the group understanding to feel the person’s state. I think any homeopath trained in this way would admit that two or more homeopaths means a much greater and broader perspective on a case and that it is a fulfilling way to work since you can learn so much and the inclusion and appreciation of a larger picture makes an even better prescription possible.

IMG_20171022_104357787_HDR(Carla and Nicole working at the hotel on administration and entering patient’s cases into a database.)

IMG_20171024_143602030_HDR(Carla taking a case on paper while I am entering the notes on my computer.)

On this last day Carla and I saw a woman with very high blood pressure who was in tears as she had lost her nephew the day before and a son just over a month ago. Carla was very concerned she could have a stroke at any moment as all the signs were present for this. Her daughter who came with her has had chemo treatments for Lymphoma and despite this was looking quite healthy with her only two months of hair growth. We were able to give each treatments for their complaints noticing some similarity between the mother and daughter with their high blood pressure. The mother had been given an acute treatment in the waiting room immediately after taking her blood pressure since it was so high at 240/124. After the case taking Jorge Mario took it again and found that it had reduced greatly and was down to 209/119. Only one dose of a homeopathic and she was showing such improvement! Carla was also more comfortable now that her stroke risk was reduced. She will take remedies regularly for a week to help to further lower her blood pressure and another treatment for longer term to help with her health issues as well as the remedy Ignatia to support her during this period of grief and loss. Her daughter will also have a treatment for her issues taking into account that she has one round of chemotherapy left.

When it rains it pours, and for our last supper at Teupasenti it rained like the dickens. The sound on the tin roof of the little restaurant outdoor patio was deafening, and oscillated in intensity from dull pitter patter to intense roar. It served to create an exciting atmosphere as we sat around the table and discussed tomorrow’s travel plans and various other things. The yard with the hanging laundry of now soaking sheets and clothes was filling up with water while streams of water poured out of each fold of the corrugated tin roof. I could now see why the houses are built the way they are in this climate, with a raised sidewalk and tiles on the sidewalks and going halfway up the outside wall. If the water level rises quickly and rushes down the cement streets it will escape to the dirt roads and grassy banks around the small town and not into the houses. I was thinking that certainly there will be a lot of puddles tomorrow and since we will be travelling by car hopefully the roads are not washed out!

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(Carla going into the office and school supply shop to buy some clear tape.)

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Sometimes the work the volunteers do here is heartbreaking. A young man saw us passing on the street in the morning wearing our green HTSF aprons while on our way to the dispensary. He stopped us to ask us if we could help him, if we could answer his questions about his health. Carla said of course, come to the dispensary and sign in. He came that afternoon bringing his wife and young twin babies. We were all surprised by their story, as his appearance did not suggest their situation. The babies were born prematurely by two months and the mother had given birth in the mountains while alone since she was not expecting to give birth so early. She has four children already but we were all amazed with her strength and tenacity. After she gave birth alone to twins, she walked with the babies for an hour to get them to medical care.

The young man had recently lost many men in his family including his father, so he had no support financially or otherwise with his young family. He had also lost his job so the whole family has been unable to eat, including the mother during much of her pregnancy. The young babies spent nearly a month in the hospital since they were premature and were certainly also malnourished. Any money the family did have the past month was spent on medications for the young babies. While they were sitting in the consultation room with their tiny bundles on their laps a young girl was peaking through the open door into the office. It was such a stark reminder of how one person can have all the food they need, an education and be happy and joyful while another is unfortunate and struggling with the most basic of needs and lean with hunger.

The twins had pneumonia when they left the hospital, which is not surprising since premature babies have undeveloped lungs and are susceptible to any lung problems. They had had cyanosis and were definitely having problems with breathing. They really needed the remedy Laurocerasus but we did not have it here at the dispensary so Carla included Carbo-veg along with the chosen complexes to be given often over the next 24 hours to help them get stronger and recuperate their lung health. It was also important to give the whole family a parasite treatment and to support their nutrition and rebuild their systems. We sent them home with a lot of worry and concern but the parents were very capable and took the suggestions Carla gave them seriously.

IMG_20171023_165604057(Norbita showing the mother and father how to give the remedies to the babies.)

IMG_20171023_172609207(Both parents of the baby twins are illiterate so Norbita is taking extra time to explain how to differentiate the remedies and putting helpful symbols on each bottle.)

It was decided that the team would buy this family a good supply of groceries so they would be able to eat for the coming week or so. From past experience HTSF has learned not to give clothing, toys or other items to patients because then there are large line ups of people hoping to get handouts or gifts rather than patients with actual health concerns. Free is free in any culture no? In this case it was decided to make an exception as this was the main concern presently as well as how to keep these two tiny babies fed. The mother was worried about producing enough milk as she was not eating well, and since the babies are so weak and small they were not latching onto the breast to stimulate her milk. This was hopefully solved by also buying the mother a small breast pump that would help to stimulate her milk production until the babies got stronger and grew larger. They were going to return the next day for a follow up since the situation was so serious.

IMG_20171024_075851499_HDR(The team shopping for food staples for a young family with premature twins that had pneumonia and breathing problems.)

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Since 2006, HTSF has had a homeopathic dispensary in Valle de Angeles. In 2015, it was decided to make this the central dispensary for a network of homeopathic dispensaries to be developed over the next five years in four Honduran communities. A dispensary was created in Teupasenti as part of these new pilot communities.

Teupasenti is a municipality in the region of El Paraiso that borders Nicaragua. The name Teupasenti is an indigenous Mexican name that means ‘Respected Temple.’ It certainly has the feeling of a place that holds onto its people. The energy here is also really amazing, the people are friendly and warm, smile easily, and once the earplugs go in I have had the most amazing sleeps here. Even the first night I slept soundly and that usually never happens in a new place. In fact I have never slept so well anywhere while travelling as I slept in Teupasenti. The main economy in the area is based on agriculture with the most common production being coffee. Other main crops include corn, beans as well as tomatoes, sweet peppers and other vegetables.

They also raise livestock on a small scale, my guess would be mostly chickens, although on our last day we saw many cows on the roads as we travelled to Cantarranas. This makes sense as the usual meal includes corn tortillas, beans, chopped tomatoes and chicken. Hondurans also like to drink juice with their meals. Often it is tamarind (my favourite), cucumber lemon, passion fruit, lemongrass, sweet lemon and always with added sugar! It is good to always ask for it plain, and hope for the best. Some of the health issues here like diabetes and heart disease are due to the diet that is high in sugars. Soft drinks are very popular, and Hondurans eat a lot of meat, grains, starchy foods and few vegetables. They can also tend to eat a large, heavy meal very late at night and when cooking they add lots of MSG and packaged chemical flavorings to their rice and soups which can disrupt healthy digestive function. I didn’t try the coffee, although I heard it is better in Cantarranas so I am looking forward to giving it a go while I am there.

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(The usual breakfast and lunch fare of eggs, red beans, tortillas made out of a white corn, chismol with onions, tomatoes, bell peppers, radish and cilantro herbs, and fried plantain. All very simple but delicious.)

IMG_20171019_094738205_HDR(Transporting the infamous green HTSF bags from the hotel to the Red Cross building by local motor taxi.)

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(The hotel in Teupasenti with the restaurant across the street making our stay warm, friendly and wonderfully convenient.)

Staying in Teupasenti was a wonderful experience I found. We stayed at a hotel managed by Jimmy, who is gentle and kind and unfortunately has a Tourette’s like issue with repetitive sounds, a bit like he is sneezing but very loudly. I decided that LOUD is my chosen adjective for Teupasenti and perhaps Honduras as well. The day here begins early, by four and five am the streets are awake and by six it is ok to bring out the power tools. This accounts for the daylight hours that more or less begin around 4:30 and ends by 6pm year round.

The locals tend to eat late around six when it gets dark and the evenings are often about socializing and chatting late into the night. At the hotel the family table is outside next to the kitchen and like so many of the houses here, part of life happens outside since it is a fairly steady 24°celsius year round. So the washing, the laundry, the dining rooms and TVs can be outside under tin covered terraces or in other outdoor open structures. I have always appreciated this way of living since the 4 years I roughed it on Denman Island in my early 20’s. My hotel room happens to be next to the kitchen so the outdoor table is also outside of my room. It is pleasant to listen to Jimmy’s family and friends chatting away in Spanish and the kids laughing, but by 10pm I find the earplugs give me a bit of peace and quiet and I can drift off to sleep easily. I have discovered that earplugs are the way to go; I would not be able to sleep otherwise.

The weather is hot, and if the sun comes out it is downright sweltering. At 8am the sun is as hot beating down on your head as it is at two in the afternoon. The dogs seem to melt every afternoon. They lay on the concrete or tile front sidewalk of a house and become an oozy mass of fur, paws and sad dog face, all as if it was liquefied just a bit more than necessary to quartz a glaze on a piece of pottery in the kiln. I noticed a lot of people use umbrellas as sun shade and we saw several patients that had sensitivity to the sun including rashes and blisters. It is common to suggest they take Sol, an imponderable remedy made from sunshine, for this type of sensitivity. I did see one albino woman as well half hidden under her umbrella and considering the sun must be much more intense during the dry season, it must be a challenge for her to live in this climate.

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(An umbrella is a useful under the hot sun as it is during a rainstorm.)

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(Walking to the dispensary wearing the green HTSF smocks so it is clear that we are health professionals and part of a team.)

The dry season here is coming up and starts in November lasting into April with the wet season starting in May and ending in October. So far we have had a pleasant mix of both dry, hot parts of the day and some light rain or just cloud cover. The worst for me was when the air became trapped in the valley and the smoke of many wood fires used for cooking food was trapped with it. The women often cook in the backyards on ovens that are built more like simple adobe rocket stoves but without any baffle or means to burn off the gases of the smoke.

Many women who are spending a lot of time over the stoves cooking or making tortillas suffer from lung problems and watery, burning eyes. In homeopathy, the first step is to remove the exciting cause of the symptoms but that is often easier said than done. The best we can do sometimes is to strengthen the eyes, or remedies related to the liver and that can cleanse and detox the liver. In my case as I soon had a terrible migraine like headache and low energy. Nicole came to the rescue and suggested I take the remedy Ignatia for smoking inhalation. It worked very well and I was able to function fully again for the rest of the day at the dispensary taking cases.

In a similar vein there are also potential problems with women who are negatively affected by their contraceptive methods. Here the doctors often offer them the implant Implanon or the injection Depo Provera. When a woman has negative side effects it is best to suggest they stop using them. The alternative however such as a copper IUD is far too expensive, or it is inconvenient in the case of condoms. So it is a difficult suggestion to make to them knowing how hard it may be to comply. Doctors here sometimes also give these contraceptives to women as soon as two weeks after giving birth. A woman who is only breastfeeding, which is usual here since formulas are too expensive for most families, risks to reduce her milk supply and to negatively impact the baby. It is recommended to wait at least six weeks after delivery before taking any hormone based contraceptive so that the milk supply is well established and the baby is stronger.

The lack of good nutritious food and a poor supply of milk may actually explain why some of the five, six and even eight year old patients I have seen seem so much smaller and younger than their actual age! Even with the progestin-only forms of contraception it is still best to wait the six weeks after delivery. Perhaps it is a lack of education on the doctor’s part or they are just trying to keep a woman from having yet another unplanned pregnancy and see that as more important than the best health outcome for the current baby and the mother. It is a frustrating situation no matter the reason.

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(Jorge Mario explaining to a mother with her child how to take the homeopathic remedies.)

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Heading to the airport at 2:15am to catch a 6am international flight is one way to start an interesting adventure. Partly due to the excitement and partly to be alert when I arrived at the airport, I did not sleep that last night in Montreal. I was appeased by the very large spider inhabiting the top of one of the check-in kiosks on the way through the entrance to the baggage check. For me seeing a spider is usually a good sign I am doing something right. Nicole Préault who has been on many previous missions was there early but I arrived at 3am due to the infamous Montreal road construction that rerouted my taxi through the city rather than around it on the highways. My being late was not such an issue however and as we waited in the baggage check-in line we realized the Delta staff were all very late and only arrived a bit before 4am.

Our green HTSF t-shirts garnered attention and we started some conversations while waiting in line, and at least we were at the front of the line as it grew longer and longer over that early hour. It was certainly refreshing to run into a couple of women who already knew what homeopathy is, having used it before and who were interested in learning more about our volunteer medical mission and where we were going. Nicole explained what TSF (Terre Sans Frontière) does and how they are different than organizations like Doctors Without Borders since HTSF (Homéopathes de Terre Sans Frontière) works directly for the local people rather than just with local doctors and other professionals. She also explained that it is also possible for us to provide training to non-medical volunteers who can then use the homeopathic remedies when we are not in Honduras during missions.

When asked what we do exactly, we responded that we volunteer giving first line health care directly to the rural people. I had learned that the most common health issues in Honduras are often diabetes and heart disease. Nicole who has been many times before explained that we can also see issues related to violence, including domestic violence. Our new acquaintance seemed confused as to how homeopathy may help in this case and we explained that, as well as for physical traumas from violence, we can also help with emotional issues such as grief and loss, trauma related to sexual abuse, and problems of alcoholism. Homeopathy can be a one stop for all that ails you, which is why it is so advantageous for this kind of humanitarian medical mission.

IMG_20171019_191339248(Homeopathic remedy prescription being prepared for an HTSF patient. The remedies are in liquid form and are taken as drops usually once a day for a month or more.)

Once the three 50lb green bags for HTSF and our own luggage was checked it was a relief and much easier to move around, or so we thought. We only made it 20 paces and then were once again in a line, this time to get through customs. The staff there was also late and we were standing for another half hour or so. Next was security, which was no problem for us, and then we were off to find a very early morning croissant and coffee and to locate our gate. We saw familiar faces from our first wait in line at the seating area but everyone was too sleepy to chat again. In the bathroom I saw the mother of one of our new friends taking medications for pain. She had to be over 60 and it had been a terribly long wait standing in all those line-ups. For this case I would be taking Arnica rather than over the counter pain medications. Arnica is amazing to have on hand for airports as it helps with pushing our limits in all kinds of ways including staying up for a late night, sore muscles, aches and pains from standing, and on the other end with jet lag. I usually take Arnica before and after every flight but in my excitement I had forgotten on this trip. I decided I could take it later if I needed to. Once we were on the plane it was finally time to take a nap, I had essentially just pulled an all-nighter after all.

Arriving in Tegucigalpa was a relief, especially after the bumpy landing. Apparently this airport is known for its extremely short runway due to the nearby mountain ranges. Pilots need to be dexterous to land and take off in such cramped conditions and our pilot was definitely not. After some alarming initial wobbles the plane became steady on its wheels and we taxied off to the gate. Tegucigalpa, the capital city of Honduras was founded by Spanish settlers as Real de Minas de San Miguel de Tegucigalpa in 1578 on the site of existing native settlements of the Pech (Paya), the Tolupans (Jicaque), and the Twahkas. Tegucigalpa, like any major city in the world, has sprawled way beyond its former colonial core and is now a large, disorganized metropolis. It seems modernity is also arriving in Honduras in the rural areas now and in many ways the infrastructure and conveniences are developing and increasing by the year. For me it was the first time being in a vastly different culture than my own and although the city centre was similar to those in Canada, the further away we drove, the more it became a different world. It was as if all the historical means of transportation blended onto one small highway. Small trucks and buses, families in the back of pick ups, men on motorcycles, people on bikes and then the occasional Hombre on a horse and wandering donkeys all seemed right at home.

Screen Shot 2017-10-24 at 19.41.47(The homeopathic team for the mission in Honduras, Lauren, Diony the local liason, Norbita, Nicole and Carla.)

Our local liaisons Diony and Jorge Mario had warmly met us at the airport and explained the plan of how we were to get to Teupasenti to meet up with Carla Marcelis and Norbita Medina, who had already completed a two week mission in late September with two other Quebec homeopaths, Ilinca Domsa and Janik Tremblay. After cashing some US dollars for Lempiras they took us to a favourite restaurant for pupusas, a traditional Salvadoran dish of a thick corn tortilla stuffed with a beans, meat or cheese filling. A warm hot meal was definitely appreciated and the pupusas were filling and tasty.

I was privy to observe the enthusiastic explanation of how homeopathy works as Diony and Jorge Mario described to our government issue AMHON driver what it is. I have given this speech many times including the explanation of the Law of Similars (the main principle of homeopathy), using the example of how drinking too much coffee can cause alertness, anxiety, headaches and upset stomach, and therefore the homeopathic remedy Coffea can be used to alleviate symptoms like fatigue, insomnia, headache, migraine and tremors with this principle of like cures like. Only this time it was entirely in Spanish and I barely understood the words, but I could definitely relate to the passion and enthusiasm. HTSF is fortunate to have these two wonderful people as their representatives in Honduras that was certain.

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In a homeopathic session focusing is often used to explore the client’s experience at a more energetic, internal level than at the ‘story’ level of what is logically or rationally understood regarding their main complaints. This process is very helpful to see the larger picture and to see symptoms that might otherwise remain hidden. It is also a powerful therapeutic tool in and of itself and can be learned and practiced by anyone so they can further a process of discovery of deeper internal understanding on their own.

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In a homeopathic session we try to bring the attention away from judgments or trying to figure things out, but instead to allow for a flow of thoughts, feelings, sensations, and to encourage feelings of safety, connection and to being in the present moment. The homeopath also stays with acceptance of enigma or confusion as the internal felt senses are usually amorphous, vague and unformed. Even though this can be very uncomfortable as the mind and ego prefer to live in certainty and knowing, homeopaths are trained to hold this space for the client. Since this discomfort is often so unconscious, it is worthwhile to learn and practice a focusing technique.

The following model of focusing is a variation of the original focusing technique developed by Eugene Gendlin, Ph.D. Although it is different from the focusing used in a homeopathic session, it is possible to learn from a therapist or homeopath familiar with the technique in an experiential and in person way. This kind of learning is often more effective than from words on a page or screen.

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Focusing Instructions: Short Form

by Ann Weiser Cornell Ph.D. and Barbara McGavin

Bringing Awareness into Your Body
Take time to bring your awareness into your body. Perhaps first the outer area of your body, like your feet and legs, your arms and hands, and then sense the contact of your body on what you’re sitting on. Now bring awareness into the middle area of your body, Sensing your throat, and your chest, your solar plexus and abdomen, and belly.

Sensing or Inviting What Wants Your Awareness Now
As you let your awareness rest here, in this whole middle area, take some time to notice what is wanting your awareness now. Perhaps there was something that you noticed as you brought your awareness into your body. Perhaps it might need to be invited to come. You might say to yourself something like “I’m wondering what is wanting my attention right now.” If you’re wanting to Focus on a particular issue, say “I’m wondering what is wanting my attention right now about that issue.”

Waiting Until Something Comes
And then wait until something comes into your awareness.

Beginning to Describe Something
Now something is here. You can sense it somewhere. Take some time now to notice just where it is in your body. Notice if it would feel right to begin to describe it, as simply as you might tell another person what you are aware of. You can use words, images, gestures, metaphors, whatever fits, captures, expresses somehow the quality of this whole thing. And when you’ve described it a bit, take some time to notice how your body responds to that. It’s like you’re checking the description with the body feeling, saying “Does this fit you well?”

Acknowledging It
Now you might want to acknowledge it: “Yes, I’m noticing that’s there.”  Take time to notice how it feels in your body after you’ve acknowledged it.

Settling Down with It
Now you might imagine settling down with It, like you settle down with a friend. Just keep your awareness with It. Notice whatever comes.

Keeping It Company
You might just keep It company, spending time with It just as it is. And notice how It feels in your body.

Sensing Its Point of View
Now take some time to sense how It’s feeling from Its point of view. Sensing for Its mood, Its emotion, how It itself feels.

Letting It Know You Hear It
When you sense something from It, like how It feels emotionally, or what It’s wanting you to know, let it know you hear It, or see It, or sense It. You are Its listener. There is absolutely nothing more you need to do, other than let It know you understand. Notice if It feels understood, and if there is more. Stay with it as long as feels right, or until your time is nearly up.

Sensing for a Stopping Place
Take some time to sense inside if it is OK to end in a few minutes or if there something more that needs to be known first. If something more comes then take some time to acknowledge that.

Receiving and Experiencing What Has Changed
Take some time to sense any changes that have happened in your body, especially anything which feels more open or released.

Letting It Know You’re Willing to Come Back
You might want to say to It “I’m willing to come back if you need me.”

Thanking 
And you might want to thank what has come, and appreciate your body’s process.

Bringing Awareness Out
Take some time to bring your awareness slowly outward again, feeling your hands and feet, being aware of the room and letting your eyes come naturally open.

green heart

The more we can open the internal sensitivity to what is, the more we can live in a state of grace and flow, the more alive our intuition will be, and our decision making and choices will reflect a greater whole of who we are, not just our mind or thoughts.

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Appreciating the homeopathic process

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So, you have decided to try homeopathy after being referred by a friend or reading an amazing article that convinced you it might work. You are ready to book an appointment with a homeopath about your issue of say chronic anxiety and the more immediate problem of burn out and fatigue rather than taking medications, asking for stress leave, risking the flow of your career, and maybe upsetting your relationships in the process. With curiosity and an open mind, hopefully anyways, you would like to see what homeopathy can do instead.

No longer a parts based system, but a whole human being approach

The first thing to remember is that homeopathy is going to be very different than seeing a conventional doctor or a GP. Get out of that mindset that you can only bring one problem or issue to each visit. While a doctor may address you as segmented parts containing diseases and symptoms to fix, a homeopath is going to want to spend more time going over all the symptoms around your issue. They see you as a whole that needs some fine tuning, not a nervous system or a gallbladder that needs to be repaired, removed or replaced.

Also a doctor usually works with the short-term results, so if the symptoms can be altered or reduced quickly, then the person is considered better and all is well. The homeopath is looking at your long-term health, and so giving medications that alter or suppress a symptom without first looking into the original underlying reason for the anxiety or the fatigue is considered a risky short cut. A short cut that can lead to side effects from medications, a need for long term medicine use, or further health complications down the road. The better approach is to address the whole person, and to see that the treatment leads to the best possible long-term outcome for that person. The concept of wholeness is further explained in this article by Judyann McNamara, What is True Healing.

Chronic illnesses may be a reality but the idea that we have to feel worse over time is just not true. We can feel better and be healthier, and adapting and adjusting as we go is something homeopathy has the capacity to help us with.

A collaborative and self-responsible relationship of health

Another major mindset that needs to change is the relationship between the patient and the practitioner. Going to the doctor we have become used to presenting our problem, being questioned briefly, being examined, getting some tests done, and then we go home and wait for the prescription or referral to a specialist. This is easy from the patient’s point of view, yet it is also passive. You don’t have to do anything other than show up, and then continue to show up for follow up appointments when they are scheduled. A homeopath will want to see you for the initial consultation, and maybe a second time to clarify their direction in selecting a remedy or support. Then, once you are given the suggestion, they would like you to stay in touch! They actually prefer if you give them feed back on how you are doing and what is happening.

This is the only way the homeopath can know what to do next, or what to do in the case you are struggling with the healing process. Your process and experience are going to be different from another person’s, even if you came in with the same issue of chronic anxiety and burnout, so to follow a predefined protocol or therapy is not the optimal for each individual. The homeopath understands how significant the process back to health is for you, and by collaborating with you and following your needs, they can offer the best possible support and tools for you.

This is difficult to accept perhaps, but a homeopath wants to work with you, to hear from you and to know how you are doing.

Self rated health outcomes over generic test results

Unlike conventional medicine where it is the test result that directs the treatment process, homeopaths prefer to use the self rated health scores of each person. Researchers have found that Self Rated Health tests show the best indicators of overall morbidity (rate of disease) and mortality rates. How many times have you wanted to go to the doctor but you don’t because you already know what they will say, “Your test results are inconclusive so I have to conclude that there is nothing wrong with you!” This is an unfortunate development of the current medical system and why the hospitals and clinics are seeing so many patients with pathological diseases such as coronary artery disease, cancer, or arthritis. If they had been able to seek treatment when they first felt something was off … maybe the functional changes in their body systems could have been avoided and they would have been able to adapt and stay healthier, and avoided the need for medications and for painful, expensive and complex treatments later on.

A homeopath is going to work with you at any stage of the disease process, and the earlier the better for everyone. They trust that you know your own state of health and that you also know when you need support and tools for regaining your health. Think about a space ship that at the start of journey is only a fraction off its course to Saturn, many years later and it has little chance of even seeing Saturn! The earlier the course is corrected, the better chance the ship has to reach its destination.

This leads to self responsibility in health. Sounds daunting perhaps, but think about it. You are the one responsible for your health and healing. Not a doctor, or GP, or a blood test, or a specialist. You. Feels good somehow doesn’t it to consider it this way?

An open, accepting space to tell it how it is

Since the homeopath is looking at the whole of you, you can pretty much talk about any odd, seemingly unconnected, unusual thing that you want or feel like bringing up. It is distracting to the doctor, they want to stay on point and to keep things symptom related to the part being discussed. Homeopaths on the other hand have been trained to sit in discomfort, to be ok with feeling confused as to the what the patient is describing, and to not judge the person for whatever they may have experienced. It is all part of the homeopathic system of case taking. There is also a fundamental trust that everyone has the ability to heal already within them, even if at the moment it is latent. You are not coming to be fixed, but for tools and support, basically a get-unstuck-agent that will put you back on the road to good health and help you on your path.

Unlike a doctor that takes charge of the treatment process, a homeopath is merely the one to objectively fit together the presenting symptoms to see how they express the whole, like seeing a large unfinished jigsaw puzzle. Then they pattern match what they see in that puzzle image to what remedy or other suggestion can help you the most.

And get it out of your mind that a remedy is going to take over the healing for you. It is just a tool that helps stimulate the body to heal itself, as the body would be able to do naturally before it got stuck, and does all the time when we are healthy. We don’t pay attention while we feel great, but what is happening to bring about that great feeling? It is essentially the countless natural and internal processes at work keeping us alive and whole. The body is an amazing phenomenon if we stop to ponder it!

What can you do to get the most out of homeopathy?

  1. Share ALL the important things going on, it is not necessary to limit what you say or self censure.
  2. Be yourself at the consultation. The good, the bad and the ugly all matter when considering the whole.
  3. Be engaged in your own healing by asking questions and learning what you can do yourself. Learn to be self-responsible and self-empowered again.
  4. Give honest and current feedback about what you experience after taking a homeopathic remedy or suggestion. Keeping a journal with dates can be very helpful.
  5. Learn to trust in your own healing capability again, it is after all the only way we ever really heal.

What to expect after seeing a homeopath?

Again, this is going to be as unique as you are. Everyone is different and has different experiences and needs. And in all honesty homeopathy is not always immediate and easy. It might take time to find the best remedy match, or for you to feel empowered and trusting again so that the whole of you is on board to regain your health. However, when it works homeopathy changes lives and does ‘miraculous’ things. What do I mean by miraculous?

The global or whole person action of homeopathy means that when we take a remedy or support we may suddenly feel inspired to eat better, to go to the gym, to buy that house we always dreamed of, or to drop the procrastination that is holding us back, to reach out to friends, or to see our loved ones with greater appreciation. Remember, it is the whole of you that has the potential to improve! And the main complaint that brought you to see a homeopath, the anxiety and burnout, that too improves. And if it does not completely disappear, you can see it differently and discover ways to improve it, whereas before it was stuck, and there was only one possible, off course outcome. I encourage you to get the most of what homeopathy can offer! And to appreciate the journey back to health.

 

 

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World Homeopathy Awareness Organization

10 GOOD REASONS TO USE HOMEOPATHY

1. NATURAL ACTION
Homeopathy works by stimulating the body’s own natural defence mechanism to promote health and to resist infection and susceptibility to disease. Although gentle, the results can be powerful and long lasting.

2. HEALTH & WELL-BEING
Homeopathy improves health generally, rather than merely alleviating localized symptoms. It treats the whole individual, acting on the mental and emotional levels as well as the physical level, providing a balance in overall health and an increased sense of well-being and quality of life.

3. EFFECTIVE MEDICINE
When used correctly, homeopathy can be an extremely effective system of medicine, providing long-lasting relief from many acute and chronic conditions and illnesses.

4. NO HARMFUL SIDE EFFECTS
Homeopathic treatment offers a gentle and non-invasive approach to health, producing no toxic side effects, no dependency or addiction, and no withdrawal.

5. COST EFFECTIVE
Homeopathic medicines are surprisingly inexpensive to purchase, especially when compared to over-the-counter and prescription drugs.

6. FAST-ACTING FIRST-AID RELIEF
Homeopathy can be safely used at home or on the road to provide rapid relief for minor problems such as bruises, simple burns, sprains, insect bites, gastric upsets, etc. However more serious or long-lasting complaints should be treated by a qualified homeopath.

7. NOT TESTED ON ANIMALS
Homeopathic medicines are tested only on healthy humans in order to determine the range of action of each remedy.

8. COMPLEMENTARY MEDICINE
Homeopathic medicines can be used independently or along with conventional drugs and other therapies (with the full knowledge of your other healthcare providers). It can often alleviate unpleasant side effects of conventional treatments (e.g., chemotherapy).

9. ENVIRONMENTALLY-FRIENDLY
Homeopathy has no adverse impact on the environment. There is not waste of energy or natural resources in the manufacturing process and no pollution of the water supply, oceans, or dump sites when used. In fact, homeopathy is the ultimate Green Medicine!

10. MEDICINE OF THE FUTURE
Homeopathy is the second most widely-used system of medicine in the world. It is available in most countries and is gaining in popularity as an alternative to conventional medicine.

From the Canadian Society of Homeopaths at www.csoh.ca

 

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