Posts Tagged ‘self-rated health’

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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Unfortunately, a lot of us develop anxiety and tension around the holiday season. The reasons can be multifold but the result is usually the same. Sitting at the dinner table with family members who, for whatever reason, get under our skin, press our buttons and have us reaching for one too many glasses of wine. The mood is tense, something huge is never said, or it is and then the evening goes from pleasantries to dramas, and everyone goes home exhausted and wondering why that person can’t be more something or other, or why that family member just doesn’t get it.


Get what? Be more like what? What is it we are really trying to achieve? Ultimately, we may hope to change the other person, or have an ideal become reality and play out how we imagined it. Most of the things we try in order to improve the situation don’t work if we address only parts of the issue or we focus on changing what is outside of our internal experience. If we are fortunate, our partners and maybe the whole family, will go for counselling or decide to learn a communication technique such as Non-Violent Communication or Bohm Dialogue. Otherwise, we are on our own to face our pain and confusion and find a way back into the fold that is thicker than water and lasts a lifetime.

Is this a journey worth taking you might be asking yourself? I have known good friends whose family issues are dangerous or even life threatening, but for most of us they are just unpleasant, trigger our most sensitive buttons and leave us feeling things we would rather resolve, avoid or medicate. What if there was a more compassionate and global approach to how we view our experience with family? (For real life examples, read below)

Self-Rated Health methods

Research on the Self-Rated Health method (SRH – defined as an individual’s perceived global health state) suggests that it is a valid and powerful predictor of disease indication and of mortality. This ‘global health state’ is best understood and expressed by the individual and not captured by assessing and testing parts of the body or mind by various health domains (biological, psychological, social, behavioural, spiritual). It is the ‘experience’ of the individual that is sought, and it is filled out on a questionnaire or shared with a holistic health professional in a session.

With insight into an individual’s experience of their own health and their own association to their bodily functions and processes, SRH taps into a global health construct of ‘true health’ in a way that other methods cannot. SRH shows us, when seen from a transdisciplinary or holistic perspective in regard to health outcomes, that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. With a greater ability to address chronic health conditions, SRH is a complex indicator of global or ‘wholistic’ health and requires a transdisciplinary perspective to decipher it. Transdisciplinary is an approach that harmoniously integrates multiple aspects of an issue to create new emergent forms of knowledge that require global solutions to resolve health problems.


The Global or Wholistic approach

This is where a holistic practice such as homeopathy can be helpful. The homeopathic treatment process is similar to the non-leading questions and approach of SRH and allows the person to provide the symptoms and their inner experiences. This creates a complex of symptoms on many levels such as physical, emotional, social and non-physical, that can be assessed as a global state. A homeopathic remedy is doing exactly that, especially a core remedy, helping the body to reach a healthier state globally. In my clinical experience I have seen this first hand.

  • A young man who after taking a core remedy had a profound experience when viewing the portrait of his parents hanging in his living room. He was able to see his parents in a new way, embrace them and he no longer felt so rebellious or needing to leave a lot of distance between them and himself. The next time he went to a family function he noticed he was at ease and could enjoy himself, the usual tensions and his inner conflicts were absent.
  • After taking her first ever homeopathic remedy, a woman was able to appreciate her long time husband as her ‘knight in shining armour.’ That was a lovely moment as they had been married nearly 50 years but had been quarrelling and not communicating pleasantly for a long time.
  • A young woman who was struggling to relate to her alcoholic and depressed father described family get togethers as incompatible personalities fighting over different opinions. There would be little talking but instead accumulated anger and as a protection she withdrew from the family. She felt stuck in the middle as if she had to chose favourites between her two parents. After her core remedy, she was able to see that she does love her father and yet understood that the connection between them was weak since they never took the time to get to know each other. She wondered if she would regret that lack of connection when he died.
  • A woman was frustrated with her mother and had reached a melting point and she no longer wanted to spend any time with her. There was a big argument and she left her parent’s house determined never to go back. After taking a remedy she came back for a follow up and said that the situation with her mother had suddenly corrected itself in her mind and things were as they were before the argument. She wanted to spend time with her parents again, she felt they needed her help since they are getting on in years.
  • A mother of a young girl was having a very hard time with her separation from the child’s father. It was difficult for her to stand up to him and to express her needs and boundaries. She described it as a war zone and that it was more than she could handle and yet she knew that it also making things difficult for their daughter. After a core remedy she was able to go slower and not make decisions until she knew what she wanted. She no longer felt the intense fear and shame she had felt the past ten years and although she had some things to still work out, she was able to take the space she needed and the communication was more open and honest between them. The father was also committed to seeing a homeopath and working on his own issues to improve the family dynamic.
  • A woman during the session complains about her husband and how much he aggravates her. After taking a remedy she remarks that her husband is no longer doing the behaviour that was driving her so crazy, or at least if he is, it does not seem to bother her so much anymore.

Although these people had come to see a homeopath for other issues, usually a physical complaint, these relationship improvements were part of the global action of the remedies that the homeopath suggested for them. Relationship is a part of the global assessment we use to confirm that the remedy choice is indeed providing health benefits. Not only do we hope to see improvements in their original chief complaint, but also in their relationships with others and in areas such as their optimism and energy levels.

It is challenging work to look at ourselves and take responsibility for our part in the way relationships with our family are experienced. It is something we can do however, and each step we take can positively affect the people around us. Here’s to more enjoyable and energizing family dinners this holiday season!


How does holistic treatment support healthy living? Why try homeopathy? Having a life long study in the principles of nature and healthy living, Lauren Trimble is happy to share her knowledge and experience. The art of retuning the body’s natural healing capacity & developing consciousness in a compassionate and gentle way is the gift that homeopathy brings to her current holistic practice. If you enjoyed this article find out more at Birdsong.

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