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A beginner’s guide to homeopathy

A beginner’s guide to homeopathy
According to the Society of Homeopaths, homeopathy is a “holistic medicine which uses specially prepared, highly diluted substances (given mainly in tablet form) with the aim of triggering the body’s own healing mechanisms”. It’s often described as a “complementary or alternative medicine” to traditional Western medicine.

There are many reasons an individual would turn to homeopathy rather than traditional medicine. Some are looking to explore other treatment options, particularly if traditional medicine doesn’t or no longer works for them. Others prefer the idea of using more natural remedies to treat themselves and their family members, all the while gaining a deeper understanding of their physical, mental and emotional wellbeing.
We spoke to three expert practitioners, Sam Adkins from New South Wales, Australia; Em Colley from North Yorkshire, UK; and Eileen Scullion from Dublin, Ireland; to talk about the basics of homeopathy and their experiences.
If you’d like to learn more about homeopathic remedies and treating your family at home, check out our article on Treating common ailments with homeopathy.

How did you get into homeopathy?

Sam: “I visited a homeopath when I was 16 and couldn’t believe how interested he was in my health challenges, and how much time he took to understand them. Like most of us, I was used to GPs who are always stretched for time, so this was a very new experience. I then had a miraculous homeopathic experience when my first born had his first ear infection - he was in severe pain with a bright red ear and burning fever. A single dose of belladonna 200 completely stopped the ear infection and all its associated symptoms in 4 hours. I was amazed and resolved that day to study homeopathy.”

Em: “My horse had an ‘incurable’ eye disease and she was treated for two years with steroid injections into her eyelid, which she would have to be sedated for - not a lot of fun. She was also given anti-inflammatory drugs and her liver was starting to respond negatively to these. At the point of suggesting that we remove her eye, we looked at other options to take a less drastic route and homeopathy was recommended. We used a vet who had trained in homeopathic medicine in addition to his veterinary training, and 5 days of tablets later there was no more need for the anti-inflammatory drugs or steroids. No more eye disease for the rest of her life. I guess that sparked something, but at the time I was 16 and it was another year before I tried homeopathy for myself to help with migraines and skin issues.”

Eileen: “I got into homeopathy quite accidentally knowing nothing at all about it.   
My background is in Hospitality, Tourism and Events Management and I have worked in some beautiful places around the world including Greece, Italy, The Alps and Australia.

“After a period of feeling out of sorts and mentally and physically exhausted, I began to explore holistic medicine – initially just looking for a quick fix! What evolved was a total change of thinking about my health. Starting with an amazing experience in Reiki, I went on to explore other complementary therapies and once I came across homeopathy I knew that was it – I was hooked. I did a short weekend course, then signed myself up for 4 years of training and saw a homeopath for physical ailments such as IBS, chest infections and period issues.. I could not believe the positive changes that were taking place at such a rapid pace. I was even more thrilled to learn that it could help on an emotional level too. It was, and still is an amazing journey of self-discovery and healing.”

Sam Adkins homeopathy
Sam Adkins,

How does homeopathy work?

Eileen: “Homeopathy is a natural system of medicine that uses remedies to stimulate the body’s own innate ability to heal itself. It offers superior results by treating the underlying causes of illness, not just the symptoms of the disease. When the core problems are removed, the body is freed up to release the symptoms, so restoring health and harmony.

“They can safely be used alongside conventional medicine. They are non-addictive and easy to take as remedies are available in both pill and liquid form.

“Homeopathy acts as a form of preventative treatment. By boosting the body’s immune system, homeopathy can help improve a person’s susceptibility to illness and infection.”

Sam: “Instead of pharmaceutical drugs that act on your body and need the liver to break them down and detoxify them for you; homeopathy does no such thing. Instead, it acts as powerful catalysts for healing and does not need to be broken down by your liver.”

Em: “Many people have no idea what homeopathy is, they may lump it in with holistic medicine in general, or assume it entails herbs or oils. For me this is a gentle, effective medicine with a huge scope and potential for living well, preventing illness and recovering from it - on a physical, mental and emotional level.”

Eileen Scullion homeopathy
Eileen Scullion,

How are remedies taken?

Em: “In terms of actually taking the remedy, you do so in a clean mouth (don’t eat or drink for 5-10 minutes before or after taking the remedy) and you let it dissolve under your tongue. There’s also a ‘minimum dose’ principle to follow. You take one remedy and observe the reaction it has. Sometimes you may need to repeat the remedy as the effects wear off and other times just one tablet is all you need. It’s one of the hardest areas to grasp and sometimes requires you to go back to the books and see whether another remedy may be more appropriate in the situation.”

Sam: “There’s also the ‘like cures like’ principle, which means that homeopathic medicines are chosen for their ability to produce similar symptoms in a healthy person that they can cure in a sick person. This is how we know what medicines can help certain conditions.”

Emma Colley homeopathy
Em Colley,

How can I get started?

Sam: “For beginners homeopathy can feel like a minefield as there is so much to understand. When I first started becoming interested in this incredible medicine, I was told that if I gave the incorrect medicine I couldn’t make the symptoms worse so that gave me the confidence to try, and soon I found the specific medicines that seemed to work wonders on my children.  

“An excellent idea is to take a beginners course such as my Online Family Homeopathy Course and then get yourself a kit so you can treat your family members. This kind of fast, easy background training will get you off to a great start using simple homeopathy effectively.”

Em: “The kits which you can purchase from Helios Homoeopathy are fantastic and I recommend them frequently. They’re a really great way to get started using homeopathy and you can help lots of common complaints - bee stings, fever, bruises, trapped fingers, coughs etc. They come with an informative booklet so you can learn about how to give the remedies, more about the remedies themselves and also what might be useful for specific complaints.

“If you’ve a smartphone or tablet then the Homeopathy UK app is great too. Books for beginners such as Miranda Castro’s books are worth getting a hold of. There are loads of resources on the internet too, online journals such as Homeopathy for Everyone, the British Homeopathic Association website and others have a wealth of information for everyone from beginners to more experienced homeopaths.”

Eileen: “Start trying homeopathy for minor ailments for yourself and your family. There are lots of first aid books and resources online to help you select remedies. The staff at health stores can also advise you in selecting suitable remedies. It’s such a great tool to have to be able to nip common complaints in the bud with natural remedies. My clients tell me they feel highly empowered in being able to treat themselves with a natural, drug-free alternative.”

Homeopathy is just one of the many natural ways we can look to treat our ailments and help us feel more like ourselves again. But taking care of our mental and emotional wellbeing is also just as important as treating our physical complaints, so it’s always worth taking some time out for ourselves now and again. Why not look to unwind and book an overnight spa break in Yorkshire? Get in touch with the Titanic Spa team today.