What is Homeopathy?
What is Homeopathy?
Samuel Hahnemann (1755–1843), a German physician and chemist, was the founder of homoeopathy. The fundamental principle behind homoeopathy is that ‘like cures like’. Practitioners believe that homoeopathic preparations work by stimulating a healing response in the body by way of its similarity to the existing complaint.
Homoeopathic preparations in general are made using the processes known as ‘potentiation’ and ‘succussion’ meaning that the disease, tissue or plant extract (known as the nosode) is diluted in water a number of times with vigorous shaking between each dilution to the point where none of the original material is contained within the preparation by the end of the process. The process of succussion is said to transfer the protective activity of the nosode used to the diluting water. It is unlikely that the preparation contains a single molecule of the original extract at the end of the process.
How do I find the right practitioner?
Like any professional - dentist, hairdresser, plumber or doctor, it’s important to know that your naturopath & homeopath are qualified. The profession is strictly regulated and a naturopath must have graduated from an ‘accredited’ college to join a professional organisation like the HHAI.
The sign of a good naturopath & homeopath is that they are happy to work in with your doctor, physiotherapist or other health professional (and hopefully vice versa!). Naturopaths & homeopaths are trained to know interactions between natural medicines and prescription drugs, so it is important that all your health care practitioners know what medications you are on, natural or prescription.
The other ‘intangibles’ of finding the right practitioner are personality and approach. Apart from the professional organisations, recommendation by doctors, other health professionals or friends is often the best guide to finding the right naturopath & homeopath for you.
What to expect in a consultation.
One of the biggest points of difference between naturopaths, homeopaths and doctors is the time spent in a consultation. On average the first consultation takes an hour. In that time a thorough medical history is taken, as well as looking at your diet and lifestyle habits. In addition to a thorough case history your naturopath & homeopath may diagnose using other methods including iridology, tongue diagnosis, reflexology or a blood test. By the end of the consultation, your naturopath & homeopath should explain what their diagnosis is and how they intend to help you.
How often do I need to see my naturopath or homeopath?
This will depend on the reasons you are going. To help with a cold or flu, often one or two visits will do the trick. For more serious or long-term (chronic) conditions, the visits may be more regular. Once your treatment is over, or you are happy to continue with dietary changes, then it’s a good idea to have a yearly check-up with your naturopath & homeopath, in a similar fashion as you would have regular checkups with your doctor or dentist.
What does it cost?
Each practitioner will have his or her own schedule of fees. At this stage there are no government/Medicare rebates for naturopathy & homeopathy. However, most private health funds will refund some amount of the consultation. This will vary from fund to fund, and according to your table of cover. HHAI has a list of private health funds that cover naturopaths & homeopaths.