Healing with Homeopathy: why women choose homeopathic care and commonly asked questions about treatment.
Homeopathy (Patient outcomes)
Homeopathy (Materia medica and therapeutics)
Women (Health aspects)
|Publication:||Name: Townsend Letter Publisher: The Townsend Letter Group Audience: General; Professional Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Health Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2012 The Townsend Letter Group ISSN: 1940-5464|
|Issue:||Date: August-Sept, 2012 Source Issue: 349-350|
|Topic:||Event Code: 200 Management dynamics Computer Subject: Company business management|
|Geographic:||Geographic Scope: United States Geographic Code: 1USA United States|
Some material excerpted from Whole Woman Homeopathy by Judyth
Reichenberg-Ullman, Prima Publishing 2004; to be republished by Narayana
Publishing and Picnic Point Press 2012.
How to Know If Homeopathy is For You
You may be one of the fortunate women who has never had to deal with gynecologic problems--regular, painless or slightly painful periods but otherwise just fine. Or you may have suffered from excruciating periods from the onset of menstruation. Perhaps you were able to become pregnant easily and sailed through labor and delivery. Or you may have been surprised by recurrent miscarriages. Your breasts may be problem free or you may have suffered from fibrocystic breasts or breast cancer. You may or may not have had to deal with vaginal or bladder infections, uterine fibroids, ovarian cysts, morning sickness, postpartum depression, mastitis, endometriosis, and other common women's problems. Your moods may be steady and predictable or all over the map. Depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, panic attacks, performance anxiety are all problems that we hear about often from our women patients.
You may feel inclined towards a natural approach but have no idea how to choose from the many varied approaches and modalities. Here are some compelling reasons to choose homeopathy to address your women's health issues.
One Medicine for the Whole Woman
You may consider your body, mind, and emotions as separate parts of you, but that is not how a homeopath thinks. We look at you as far more than the sum of your individual parts, rather, as a unique whole, integrated organism. Whether you seek out conventional medicine or natural alternatives, most healthcare practitioners will do what is called a "review of systems." In other words, they will ask about any problems that you have or have had in the various parts of your body and organ systems. They will be interested in your thyroid, adrenals, reproductive system, and nervous system, and will likely prescribe medication or supplements aimed at bringing into balance these different "parts" of you. A homeopath, on the other hand, looks for the common thread that ties together all of your complaints and chooses one specific substance from nature, prepared as a homeopathic medicine, to help you return to equilibrium. This includes all of your organs, all of your body parts, your body, mind, and emotions: one medicine for the whole woman.
It may seem surprising, unlikely, or even impossible to find a single medicine to address all of your concerns on all levels. But that is exactly what homeopaths are trained to do--to interview in such a way as to find that single substance that matches your symptoms most closely, the simillimum. When you take that substance as a homeopathic medicine, your vital force will come into balance, and all of your symptoms will generally improve significantly.
You just need to take, either once or on a repeated basis, that single substance in order to bring about healing. Your homeopathic practitioner may also make dietary or lifestyle recommendations, but it is much more common, initially, just to take the homeopathic medicine in order to be able to clearly observe any changes and be able to attribute the change(s) to the homeopathy, rather than make a number of changes at the same time and not be completely sure which intervention changed which symptom. It is likely that your homeopath will not recommend sweeping dietary changes, at least not when you are just beginning homeopathic treatment.
Some styles of medicine, conventional or natural, tend to be more "one size fits all." There are particular nutritional supplements or dietary recommendations for all patients, or for patients with a particular diagnosis or problem. If you are looking for a tailor-made prescription, you will like homeopathy because your practitioner will choose one out of over 3000 medicines, depending on what is unique about you.
Deep-Acting, Even Transformational
Over a period of months or years, patients report profound changes in their relationships, ability to engage positively with the world, mental and emotional clarity, stability, and happiness. It is common, even expected, for longstanding problems to become resolved and for lifelong patterns of difficulty to be alleviated.
Whether you are pregnant, nursing, highly sensitive to medications or treatments, or feel vulnerable for whatever reason, rest assured that homeopathy is as safe and gentle as any form of medicine, conventional or natural, that you will find.
Some people have heard that homeopathy, though, effective, is slow to act. That is not true. In acute conditions, such as bladder infections, you should notice a dramatic improvement within 1 5 minutes. Other conditions may respond in a matter of days or weeks, but it is generally not a gradual process. It is true that, when there are longstanding and deep complaints, there will be more and more improvement over a period of months, or even years.
Compatible with Most Other Approaches
Homeopathic medicines can be used along with conventional medications and are compatible with many other treatment modalities. It is a good idea, however, to not begin other interventions at the same time as you take a new homeopathic medicine. There are certain substances that are highly aromatic, such as tea tree or camphor, that you may be asked to avoid, at least until it is clear whether the chosen medicine is acting effectively. In general, the goal of homeopathy is to move the organism in the direction of healing rather than to suppress symptoms. So, it is best to avoid concurrent treatments that are suppressive; in other words, that alleviate symptoms without strengthening the organism as a whole. As example is that corticosteroids, such as prednisone, an immunosuppressant, have the opposite effect from homeopathy. There are situations when you may take the two at the same time, even long term. In other cases, when it becomes clear that the homeopathy is acting effectively, the steroids can be tapered off, in consultation with the prescribing physician.
The only significant cost of homeopathic treatment is the initial appointment, which lasts about an hour and a half to two hours. The subsequent appointments are at least eight weeks apart and are quite economical. The cost of the homeopathic medicines, compared with conventional pharmaceuticals, is minimal. You may be encouraged to take one or a few supplements, but they will be far fewer, in quantity and cost, than with many typical alternative medicine practitioners.
We find that the patients whom we have seen over a period of years stay healthier and happier, suffer from less chronic illness, and have fewer hospitalizations.
Questions Women Often Ask About Homeopathic Care
* What are the chances that homeopathy can help me? Of course, your prognosis with homeopathic treatment depends on a number of factors, including diagnosis, overall state of health, mental attitude, lifestyle, and degree of happiness with your life However, the most important factor is whether your homeopath can find the best medicine for you. We typically estimate at least a 70% success rate if you continue with homeopathic medicine for at least a year. Enough positive results should be evident within five to six weeks to have a good idea of whether the medicine is correct.
* How can homeopathy help if my problems are hormonal? Hormonal imbalances are, like any other problem, a result of an imbalance in your vital force. If that overall equilibrium is effectively addressed, your hormones, along with any other symptoms, will improve considerably. It is not the case with homeopathy for only one symptom to improve while the others remain the same. The homeopathic prescription addresses all of you. If you suffer from endometriosis, migraines, and depression, the same medicine will significantly help all of these problems.
* Can I still be treated homeopathically if I am taking hormones, antidepressants, or other drugs? Definitely. You do not need to stop any medications before beginning homeopathic treatment. It is common, though, once you are feeling better in all ways, to no longer need some of the medications that you were taking previously.
* What if I have serious pain, such as excruciating bladder infections or periods? Or heavy-duty menstrual bleeding? It is a misconception that homeopathy can only help with minor complaints. On the contrary, we expect dramatic and rapid relief from severe bladder pain in the case of cystitis, and profuse menstrual pain or excessive flow should diminish within hours to days.
* Can homeopathy also help depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, panic attacks? We specialize in the homeopathic treatment of mental and emotional problems, and have written columns in the Townsend Letter for 20 years. We have documented many long-term cases of our patients with these and other psychiatric diagnoses improving considerably with homeopathy. Many of these individuals no longer need their psychotropic medications.
* Do I have to stop taking my vitamins? Not at all, but you may need to take fewer supplements to feel just as good or better, since your homeopathic medicine will treat all of you.
by Judyth Reichenberg-Ullman, ND, DHANP, LCSW, and Robert Ullman, ND
Judyth Reichenberg-Ullman and Robert Ullman are licensed naturopathic physicians, board certified in homeopathy. Their books include the upcoming Homeopathic Treatment of Depression, Anxiety, Bipolar Disorder and other Mental and Emotional Problems (a revision of the previous title Prozac Free), as well as A Drug-Free Approach to Asperger Syndrome and Autism, Rita fin-Free Kids, Rage-Free Kids, Prozac Free, Homeopathic Self-Care: The Quick and Easy Guide for the Whole Family, Whole Woman Homeopathy, The Patient's Guide to Homeopathic Medicine, and Mystics, Masters, Saints and Sages: Stories of Enlightenment. The doctors have taught internationally, and they practice at the Northwest Center for Homeopathic Medicine in Edmonds and Langley, Washington. The doctors live on Whidbey Island, Washington, and in Pucon, Chile. They treat patients by phone and videoconference, as well as in person, and can be reached at 425-774-5599, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, or www.healthyhomeopathy.com
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