- What is Homeopathy?
- What does Homeopathy Treat?
- What to Expect
- The Initial Interview
- Children & Adolescents
- The Sankaran or “Sensation” Method
- Conventional Medications
- Getting the Most Out of Homeopathy
- Research Supporting Homeopathy
What is Homeopathy?
Homeopathy is a method of therapy based on stimulating the body’s own healing process at the deepest level
, the level of the vital force
Samuel Hahnemann, a German physician, developed homeopathy 200 years ago, and it’s an important part of mainstream medical practice in Europe, India and South America.
Homeopathy itself is one specific form of alternative medicine. But many people confuse homeopathy with herbal medicine or nutrition or vitamins, and the term homeopathy is often incorrectly used for all forms of alternative medicine. Today, there are even practitioners who call themselves homeopaths who don’t do any homeopathy at all.
Historically, disease has been seen two different ways:
In classical homeopathy, each patient is evaluated as a whole person–mental, emotional and physical
, and the prescribed remedy is based on the pattern found on all three levels.
Homeopathy treats the person, not the disease, by removing the imbalance that allowed the disease to form in the first place.
Many people find it hard to believe that a single dose of a highly diluted substance can be more powerful than any other form of treatment, but once they see homeopathy work, they’re convinced.
What does Homeopathy Treat?
Almost all medical problems can be helped and sometimes cured by homeopathy.
Homeopathy works especially well in chronic conditions, including
- autoimmune disorders
- gastrointestinal problems
- menstrual and menopausal problems
- PMS (nutritional balancing is best for PMS)
- skin disorders, especially psoriasis & eczema
- recurrent infections
- insomnia (detoxification works best)
- chronic fatigue. (nutrition works best for CFS)
Emotional and mental illnesses also respond to homeopathy, and here’s a list of problems I’ve treated successfully:
- Bipolar Disorder (vitamins and minerals work best for Bipolar Disorder)
- Panic Attacks
- Anxiety & Phobias
- PTSD & Trauma
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
- Personality Disorder
- Relationship Problems
- Eating Disorders (especially bulimia)
- Sex & Love Addiction
- Childhood Behavior Problems
Homeopathy won’t cure drug addiction or alcoholism, but I often use it to help addicts and alcoholics resolve the issues that drive them to relapse.
Another striking use is for the psychotherapy patient who is just not making progress.
On the other hand, I’ve seen no response in patients with schizophrenia, and patients with autism can be helped, but certainly not cured.
Childhood behavioral problems respond well to homeopathy and nutrition, but not ADHD. There is evidence that a very strict elimination diet works for most people with ADHD, but it’s hard for adults to stick to this diet, let alone children.
Relationship problems are my favorite to treat because I’ve seen such dramatic results.
With the right remedy, marriages improve, people leave bad relationships, and people who get in the same bad relationship over and over again find themselves getting into healthier relationships.
What to Expect
Homeopathy is completely transformative.
With the right remedy, people’s lives and relationships change gradually but dramatically. The right remedy should not only heal the problem that brought you to treatment, it will help with all your problems–even ones you never considered treatable. And once someone gets the right remedy, they see definite and significant change within a few weeks.
But getting to that right remedy requires motivation and effort on the part of the patient. The initial interview is difficult, and I don’t always find the right remedy at the first visit. Often we have to repeat parts of the interview on follow-up visits, and sometimes we have to repeat the entire interview.
When we do find the right remedy, it’s not always obvious. Homeopathy doesn’t work like a drug. You don’t feel it working. You simply have to notice that things have changed. And since it works at such a deep level, people tend to forget how they were before. Very often, patients tell me the remedy I prescribed did nothing, but when I question them it turns out that every one of their problems is improving. I once treated a patient whose chronic pain went away after taking the remedy, and she didn’t even notice the pain was gone until someone pointed it out
Sometimes, when people first take the remedy, symptoms get worse for several days before improving. This can actually be a good sign, so people should wait and see. But if this aggravation of symptoms lasts more than a week, it is probably not the right remedy.
Unlike conventional medicine, which is usually taken every day, a single dose of a homeopathic remedy can last for several weeks or months, and sometimes as long as a year. Please don’t repeat the remedy too often. Everyone has bad days, even when the remedy is working. The remedy works best when it is allowed to work without frequent dosing. And treatment goes best when you work with your doctor to decide when to repeat the remedy.
When we do find the right remedy, expect deep, gradual transformation.
The Initial Interview
Classical homeopathy is completely different from any other type of treatment.
And the interview is completely different as well. The first visit is an in-depth interview that can last as long as 3 hours.
Everyone finds the interview difficult. Some people enjoy it, but not everyone. It’s not like any medical or psychiatric interview you’ve ever been through because I’m looking for information that people don’t usually think matters. I can’t lead you or even give hints. So often patients feel that they’re doing it all wrong and aren’t telling me anything, even when they’re doing fine. I’ve seen this interview process work well hundreds of times.
The interview is designed to let unconscious patterns surface. You can’t make that happen, but you can let it happen. It simply takes willingness and time.
My best advice is let go of any idea of what I want and just say what comes to mind.
Don’t try to figure out what I’m getting at. Don’t look for a right answer. Don’t psychologize or analyze. Just say whatever comes up. Repeating the same thing several times is normal. Sometimes a crazy or embarrassing thought will occur that you don’t want to say—these are the most important things to say. The thoughts you want to censor often lead right to the remedy. Sometimes it will seem you are talking total nonsense, and this is usually really good. When I ask simple or obvious questions, take me literally, and give me simple and obvious answers. I’m looking for information that is such a part of you that it will come through if you just let go and talk. Even if I ask the same question several times in a row, just say what comes to mind each time. It will work.
Also, feel free to use your imagination. When I ask, “What is that like?” you can give an image or a picture or an analogy. The interview starts with the problem that brought you to see me. Then we go into how you feel about the problem and how it affects your life. But the interview eventually goes far beyond you, requiring analogies and images to tell the real inner story.
Don’t expect the interview to make sense on a conventional level, but do trust that it works.
Children & Adolescents
Sometimes children and teenagers do really well with the interview. It all depends on whether they are willing to talk honestly with me. But when the patient can’t or won’t talk, there are other ways to find the remedy.
The homeopathic remedy a person needs corresponds to a lifelong state that is formed in utero, during pregnancy. Several times I have found a child’s remedy by interviewing the biological mother about her life during the pregnancy. Other times I have interviewed the parent who the child is most like and found the remedy that way.
There is no one too young for homeopathy.
The Sankaran or “Sensation” Method
Homeopathy itself has been completely transformed over the past few years by the work of Rajan Sankaran and his group of homeopaths from Mumbai, India.
I actually stopped doing homeopathy many years ago because I helped so few people. But with this new method of finding the remedy, I now feel confident that I can help most people I see.
If you saw a homeopath before 2004, the new style of interviewing will be very different. It can take longer, which is why I schedule 3 hours. But the Sankaran method actually leads us to the right remedy.
It’s no longer guesswork–we know when we’re there.
Homeopathy works just fine for people taking conventional medications.
When people come to me on conventional medications, they usually stay on those medications while we try alternative approaches. In fact, I don’t want them changing their medications at the same time we try a homeopathic remedy, because then we don’t know what is working.
Even when I find the right remedy and the patient is clearly improving, I do not stop medications unless I think it is appropriate and the patient agrees. Many of my patients choose to stay on their medications. And while I’m willing to manage psychiatric medicines, patients on medications for physical problems must work with their primary care doctors.
But for most problems, people don’t have to stay on medications forever. Remember, medication mostly treats symptoms, not the underlying problem.
In the long run, my approach usually works better than conventional medicine and the improvement is deep and lasting.
Getting the Most Out of Homeopathy
To get the most out of homeopathy, patience and perseverance are the key.
Stick With It: Sometimes I find the right remedy on the first visit; but often it takes several visits. In a few cases, it has taken years.
I’m constantly studying and I go to several homeopathic conferences each year, so I keep improving. I help far more people now than I did two years ago.
Trying remedies that don’t work can be frustrating, but when we do find the remedy, it’s worth it. Nothing in the world heals like the right homeopathic remedy.
Follow-Up:Don’t quit coming just because you get better. The right remedy will help in the first month, but people make the biggest changes when the remedy is repeated at the right time over several years.
Sometimes recovery is rocky, and other times a remedy that seemed to work at first ends up giving only superficial relief and eventually quits working altogether. Once we find the right remedy, you won’t need to see me very often, but patients cheat themselves by dropping out as soon as a remedy helps.
Know this:Homeopathy isn’t like western medicine where you only go when you have a problem. Over time, working with the remedy can cure several problems, bring about profound changes and strengthen you against future illness. It’s prevention as well as cure, and over time it can transform your life. Homeopathy can do far more for you than you imagine.
There’s a saying in Alcoholics Anonymous: “If all you get is what you came here for, then you’ve sold yourself short.” That applies to homeopathy, nutritional balancing and any truly holistic treatment; it will do far more than you could imagine.
Research Supporting Homeopathy
Homeopathy has been the subject of rigorous scientific research, and articles in such reputable medical journals as the Lancet, Pediatrics and the British Medical Journal show that it definitely works.
Here are summaries of several studies supporting the efficacy of homeopathy:
Linda K, Jonas WB, Melchart D, Worku F, Wagner H, Eitel F: Critical Review and Meta-analysis of Serial Agitated Dilutions in Experimental Toxicology. Human & Experimental Toxicology 13:481-492, 1994
Meta-analysis of 105 published studies of serially diluted and succussed solutions and their clinical effects. Of the high quality studies, 60% were positive. The results were the same for the 27 high dilution studies (>10-24) as for medium and low dilutions.
Kleijnen J, Knipschild P, ter Riet G: Clinical trials of homeopathy. BMJ 302:316-323, 1991
Meta-analyses of 107 controlled trials of homeopathy. Many used high potency remedies. 81 were positive. Of the 25 best studies, 15 were positive. Includes 10 studies of mental disorders; 8 of the 10 had positive results.
From the Conclusion: “The evidence presented in this review would probably be sufficient for establishing homoeopathy as a regular treatment for certain indications.”
Reilly D, Taylor MA, Beattie NGM, Campbell JH, McSharry C, Aitchison TC, Carter R, Stevenson RD: Is evidence for homeopathy reproducible? The Lancet 344:1601-1606, 1994
Isopathic treatment of allergic asthma with 30C remedy prepared of the allergen. Visual analog of symptom intensity showed homeopathy worked better than placebo, p=.003. Meta-analyses with respiratory function and bronchial reactivity p=.0004. This was a replication by an independent lab of a prior study. They did their best to make this an impeccably high quality study.
From the Conclusion: “To question the tool which has built most of today’s pharmacological practice is no less perplexing than asking whether homoeopathic treatments are active. Either answer suggested by the evidence to date–homoeopathy works, or the clinical trial does not–is equally challenging to current medical science.”
Linde K, Clausius N, Ramirez G, Melchart D, Eitel F, Hedges LC, Jonas WB: Are the clinical effects of homoeopathy placebo effects? A meta-analysis of placebo-controlled trials. The Lancet 350: 834-43, 1997
Of 186 studies identified, 89 were of good quality and with adequate placebo-control data for meta-analysis. The odds ratio in favor of homeopathy was 2.45, and for only the highest quality studies it was 1.66. The odds ratio for the studies of high potency remedies was 2.66.
The authors made a serious attempt to correct for publication bias, which offers the only possibility of rendering their results insignificant. If there are between 1000 and 5000 unpublished studies with negative results, then these results are not statistically significant.
Wayne B. Jonas, MD; Ted J. Kaptchuk, OMD; and Klaus Linde, MD A Critical Overview of Homeopathy Annals of Internal Medicine ACADEMIA AND CLINIC, COMPLEMENTARY AND ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE SERIE 4 March 2003 | Volume 138 Issue 5 | Pages 393-399
A review of 4 diferent meta-analyses of homeopathy concludes that homeopathy is superior to placebo and has been shown to be effective treatment for a few disorders, but that for most disorders it has not been studied.
Morag A Taylor, David Reilly, Robert H Llewellyn-Jones, Charles McSharry, Tom C Aitchison. Randomised controlled trial of homoeopathy versus placebo in perennial allergic rhinitis with overview of four trial series. BMJ 2000;321:471-476 ( 19 August
Objective: To test the hypothesis that homoeopathy is a placebo by examining its effect in patients with allergic rhinitis and so contest the evidence from three previous trials in thisseries. Design: Randomised, double blind, placebo controlled,parallel group, multicentrestudy. Setting: Four general practices and a hospital ear,nose, and throat outpatientdepartment. Participants: 51 patients with perennial allergicrhinitis. Intervention: Random assignment to an oral 30c homoeopathicpreparation of principal inhalant allergen or toplacebo. Main outcome measures: Changes from baseline in nasal inspiratory peak flow and symptom visual analogue scale score over third andfourth weeks afterrandomisation. Results: Fifty patients completed the study. The homoeopathygroup had a significant objective improvement in nasal airflow compared with the placebo group (mean difference 19.8 l/min, 95%confidence interval 10.4 to 29.1, P=0.0001). Both groups reportedimprovement in symptoms, with patients taking homoeopathy reportingmore improvement in all but one of the centres, which had morepatients with aggravations. On average no significant difference between the groups was seen on visual analogue scale scores. Initialaggravations of rhinitis symptoms were more common with homoeopathythan placebo (7 (30%) v 2 (7%), P=0.04). Addition of these resultsto those of three previous trials (n=253) showed a mean symptomreduction on visual analogue scores of 28% (10.9 mm) for homoeopathycompared with 3% (1.1 mm) for placebo (95% confidence interval4.2 to 15.4, P=0.0007). Conclusion: The objective results reinforce earlier evidencethat homoeopathic dilutions differ from placebo.