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The gentle, safe and speedy way of healing
By Ralf Jeutter, Ph.D. RSHom

I’m sure that most of you who read this, have heard of homeopathy before. But some of you might not know exactly what it is, how it works and what a homeopath does. The following is an attempt to explain homeopathy in straightforward terms, and to indicate in which circumstances it is really useful.

The German doctor, chemist, translator and linguist Samuel Hahnemann (1755-1843) is credited with being the founder of homeopathy. This is true in as much as he shaped the diverse elements of which homeopathy consists into a coherent and practical medical therapy. But some of the elements have been around a long time before Hahnemann used them.  

It was known, for example, long before Hahnemann that like can be cured with like, e.g. a burn is better be treated with something hot than with cold, frozen feet need the application of snow rather than warmth, etc. Equally, it was known that it was possible to dilute poisonous substances to make them medicinal. But it was Hahnemann who moulded a reliable method for curing acute and chronic diseases out of this. He further observed that the dilution of poisonous substances alone does not make them effective medicines. 

They also have to be succussed or potentised, which means that the substances are shaken vigorously between the steps of dilution. So far we cannot fully explain why the medicines should become more potent in this process. For the time being we speak of an ‘energy transfer’ which takes place through the process of succussion. If we add to this the very high dilutions to the point where we cannot detect any molecules of the original substance, it is clear why homeopathy is also called ‘energy medicine’. 

Disease, according to homeopathy, is not just an event which can be described physiologically and physically, but starts at a dynamic or energetic level, and only later manifests in physical symptoms. This is one of the reasons why homeopaths can detect disease processes long before they become diseases in the conventional medical sense.

Another aspect of homeopathy, which might be familiar to you, is that is a so-called ‘holistic’ medicine. What does that actually exactly mean in the case of homeopathy?  Firstly, it means that homeopathy does not view a person’s disease as an isolated event separate from the person. From a homeopathic point of view it is the person who is diseased, and therefore the sick person must be treated, and not just his or her disease. 

Secondly, it means that the homeopath has to take the full history of the patient, not just the history of the disease the patient is coming with, but also the history of any diseases the patient ever had (that gives us important clues as to the particular sensitivity of each patient), we want to know about food cravings or aversions, reactions to the environment (e.g. temperature, seasons, weather, etc.). All of this information gives us indications for the remedy the patient needs. 

Homeopathy is an individualised treatment, which means the patients will be prescribed that remedy which suits his or her overall state best (which is most similar to his or her state). In most cases a homeopath only ever gives one remedy at a time, and observes in great detail how that remedy affects the patient.
What can homeopathy treat? Potentially it can treat any disease successfully. In reality there are limitations. These have to do with the quality of the homeopath – if your homeopath is not well trained or does not take very thorough cases, he or she will not be very effective in treating diseases. 

Another limitation has to do with the state of health of the patient: the earlier any disease is treated the better the chances of a full recovery. Homeopathy will have, like other treatments, difficulties in treating very long-standing chronic diseases in the advanced stages, e.g. cancer, multiple sclerosis, many auto-immune disorders. But even in these cases homeopathy can often help. Homeopathy is certainly the first choice remedy for any acute disease, and has a brilliant track record in children’s complaints.

What should you look out for in a homeopath? Make sure he or she is well trained, has attended one of the so-called accredited colleges (where the training is usually a minimum of four years). They should be fully insured, and part of one of the bigger homeopathic societies. Of course, most importantly, you should feel comfortable with your homeopath, so that you feel that you can tell him or her everything s/he needs to know.

There is this myth that homeopathy is slow acting. But this is not true. It can actually help very fast (esp. in acute diseases usually within hours). Even in chronic complaints the patient should know within 2 to 4 weeks whether the treatment is going in the right direction. Sometimes nothing can happen, and that simply means that the right remedy has not been found yet. Therefore, you always have to give a homeopath a bit of time to find the right remedy. 

This is often a difficult and time consuming task (for the homeopath). But a good and dedicated homeopath will gladly put in this work, because there is nothing more gratifying than to see the power of homeopathic remedies, and you, as a patient will not forget the moment where the remedy starts to affect you in a positive way.

My own practice is in central Hove, and I am very lucky to work with a good group of people, who practice different therapies: osteopathy, acupuncture, ayurveda, psychotherapy and physiotherapy. For the patient this is the best way to work, because not every therapy suits everybody all the time. And it simply happens that one therapy has done a good job, and another can complete it. 

At the moment I am treating patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis, glaucoma, swollen adenoids, I am treating children with behavioural problems, patients suffering from depression, chronic insomnia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, migraine, etc.  I always offer 15 minutes free consultations to see whether homeopathy is the best treatment for the person who comes to see me. For more information on my practice and my training, please go the websites mentioned below.

Ralf Jeutter, Ph.D. RSHom
Integral Clinic
2 Wilbury Crescent
Hove BN3 6FL
01273 775559