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Homeopathy in Southport

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These and other FAQ's can also be found on the extremely useful Homeopathy Home website at . Find out more from The Society of Homeopaths

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What is homeopathy?
Homeopathy is an alternative system of medicine that was founded in the early 19th century by a German physician, Dr. Samuel Hahnemann (right). It had its greatest popularity in the late 19th Century, during which time about 15% of all medical doctors were homeopaths. In many other European countries this percentage was similar. However, with the advent of modern medicine, homeopathy was touted as "old and stodgy" by practitioners of conventional medicine and its popularity took a nosedive. This trend has reversed recently and since 1980 homeopathy is experiencing a strong resurgence of interest in the U.S., the U.K., as well as many other countries. Homeopathy rests on the principle "Like Cures Like". This means that a disease can be cured by a medicine that is capable of producing symptoms similar to those experienced by the patient in a healthy person. Therefore the most important part of homeopathic treatment lies in the lengthy interview which the homeopath conducts with the patient in order to determine all the symptoms which the patient is experiencing. The homeopath then decides which medicine to prescribe based on the closest match between the patient's symptoms and the known symptoms elicited by the medicine in a healthy body.
To view a video explaining homeopathy click here.

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A homeopathic remedy is normally a single substance usually derived from a plant, an animal, or a mineral which is then subjected to a special procedure which brings out the medicinal properties of the original substance. There are currently about 2000 substances whose specific effects on the body have been recorded. Examples are charcoal, salt, poison ivy, snake poisons, etc.

Homeopaths have discovered by experience that the effect of homeopathic medicines is strengthened dramatically upon successive dilutions and vigorous shaking between each dilution. The final dilution is very high. It is this use of high dilutions that has given rise to controversy. Many conventional doctors claim that homeopathy functions only as a placebo. However, several controlled clinical studies have been performed by medical researchers, showing that homeopathy is an effective method of treatment for man diseases. Information about up to date Clinical Trials can always be found here. The best summary of research can be found in a study published in the British Medical Journal. Its authors are not homeopaths but medical school professors asked by the Dutch government to review existing research: "Clinical Trials of Homeopathy.", Kleijnen, Jos, Knipschild, Paul, et al., British Medical Journal, Feb 9, 1991, v302, n6772, p516(8). Another, more recent, study stated “Compared with placebo, homeopathy provoked a clear, significant, and clinically relevant improvement in nasal inspiratory peak flow, similar to that found with topical steroids.” British medical Journal August 19th 2000.

The degree of dilution is referred to as the "potency" of the remedy, with higher dilutions corresponding to higher potencies. The potency is denoted by a number and a letter on the label, such as "6c", "12c", "12x", etc. (higher numbers denote higher potencies). Homeopathic remedies are available in different preparations: tablets, liquids, and globuli (small white pellets). Tablets and globuli are made of impregnated milk sugar, whereas liquid preparations are solutions of the medication in water with some amount of alcohol added as a preservative.

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Once the correct remedy is administered, the body’s inherent defenses will be able to receive from the remedy the missing signal that will trigger and properly channel the body’s untapped reserves. The recruitment of these reserves will allow the ill person to overcome the pathology and return to health.

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The key to finding the right homeopathic remedy is individualisation. This means that the totality of all symptoms experienced by the patient (including those apparently unrelated to the main complaint) has to be known in order to prescribe the medicine. The mere name of a disease, like flu, cold, arthritis, fibromyalgia, etc. is not enough. For this reason, please refrain from asking the tempting question: "I have disease X – which homeopathic remedy should I take?" In the course of a thorough interview (normally between 60 and 90 minutes, initially), the homeopath tries to form a complete picture of your current state. This includes your emotional, mental, and physical symptoms

Many health food stores now offer prescription-free homeopathic remedies. They are frequently labelled with a disease name like "Diarrhoea", "Head Ache", "Allergies", etc.. Since careful individualised matching of symptoms is necessary to find the correct remedy, these products rarely cure. Sometimes a temporary amelioration of symptoms can be achieved but in general you should not expect too much from these preparations

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Unfortunately, in many countries alternative medicine is not covered by all the health insurance systems. Homeopathic remedies are comparatively inexpensive and the only major cost is to the practitioner. The first visit will be the most expensive one since much time (60 to 120 minutes) is devoted to the initial interview. Follow-up visits are shorter and comparatively infrequent, and are therefore also less expensive.

United Kingdom: £40-£100 - initial £30-£50 - follow-up

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Homeopathic preparations are extremely safe to take because of their highly diluted form. Nonetheless, frequent repetition of a dose without the advice of a professional is not recommended. Remedies should not be taken together with food because this might interfere with their absorption. Take them at least 20 minutes before or after eating or drinking and let them dissolve in the mouth. Your homeopath will give you more specific instructions if necessary.

Sometimes an initial worsening of your symptoms can occur. This initial aggravation is usually a good sign and signifies that your body is responding to the remedy. Although the physical symptoms might get worse for a short period of time, you as a whole will start to feel better almost immediately. The aggravation will subside quickly, followed by the recovery. Remedies can also bring back symptoms that were present many years ago but again this is usually brief and is part of the Direction of Cure.

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This is a difficult question to answer in a general way. It depends on the nature of your illness (acute or chronic, long standing or recent, etc.), your constitution, and the specific remedy given. In acute cases often times relief can be felt a few minutes after taking the remedy and the first dose can cure the illness completely. Chronic cases take longer to respond and a full course of treatment may take many months.

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Have a look at my links and further reading page. Books about homeopathy are available in many health food stores and bookstores.

(New informative VIDEO on Homeopathy click here.)

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