How to be a Good Homeopathic Patient
Have ever asked yourself this question, “Am I or would I be a good Homeopathic patient?” Have you ever wondered what your role as a patient is? Is this role different from how you have approached your disease or role as a patient through traditional medical care in the past?
You may never have contemplated this question or even considered that it might be important, but it is important if you really want to bring yourself back into a state of health and well-being on a very deep level (to be well in your own skin). Entering this incredible modality as a patient will open you up to a whole new paradigm of healing.
What makes a healing modality homeopathic? You might have heard that the basis of homeopathic treatment is Like Curing Like equal to the old adage, “the hair of the dog that bit you.”
What does that mean? Any substance which can cause symptoms when given to healthy people can help to heal those who are experiencing similar symptoms. The homeopath is concerned with health not disease, with healing rather than curing.
Symptoms are not the only focus and the aim is to prevent suppression of symptoms and call the vital source into action. The true natural healer does not look upon their patient as suffering from disease, but as men and women in search of health. They look at the symptoms to discern the hidden causes of the disturbance. It is the homeopath’s job to evoke “the will to be healthy” because health and vigor are natural. They look at the patient as a human being and are concerned with their entire being; body, soul and spirit.
Sometimes a homeopath might just treat an acute symptom with remedies that alleviate the acute symptoms. It may be what is needed in that moment, but the homeopathic practitioner is looking for a deeper cure, not just symptoms being alleviated or suppressed.
We may go to the health food store and buy a remedy for our colds or aches and pains and may find relief for acute symptoms, but this is not the goal of homeopathy. Again, the symptoms are a descriptive evidence of a state of disease and the homeopath is seeking to alleviate that imbalance, not suppress the symptoms.
Because of interdependence, there may be obstacles to cure. A good homeopath will pay attention to lifestyle, nutrition and emotional and mental habits and prescribe lifestyle changes that make it easier for the remedy to reach deeply into the cause of the dis-ease. They will lay out clear expectations about the process of being a homeopathic patient. They will encourage you when you discover parts of yourself that have been hidden and help you as you go through deep self-reflection and decisions about your life and lifestyle. The most important part of the homeopathic modality is that your body knows how to heal itself. The remedy and the relationship with the homeopath will call the patient’s (your) very own vital force into action. That is why it is important to find a good homeopath and why it is so difficult to treat yourself.
So why is it important to you as a homeopathic patient to enter into this relationship with a different frame of mind? When you enter into the process of cooperation with a homeopathic physician, you work together to understand the symptoms you experience and the disturbance in your vital force. These symptoms that appear are unique to you. For instance, if your elbow hurts, it is not sufficient to look for a remedy only related to an elbow hurting. As an individual, your elbow may only hurt when it rains, when you lift something, at night or it may hurt when you look across the room. The homeopath is looking at you as a complete being and looking at how the pain in the elbow illustrates the cause of the disturbance in your health. The homeopath may look to coexisting symptoms that may seem unrelated, but always occur at the same time to provide distinctiveness to symptoms. For instance, if when your elbow hurts you also get a sinus infection. They don’t seem related but if they always happen together then that is something further to look into.
A homeopath may also take into account a symptom that is preceded by an event that has triggered the symptom. The event may have been something that was emotional, a physical trauma or even something like getting caught in the rain on a blustery day and you haven’t been well since. This will also give an indication of the remedy that would be best to prescribe.
The treatment of a simple cough would be a good example of how modalities and concomitants are important in choosing the right remedy for you as an individual.
Here is an example of four different cough remedies and their different characteristics. You can see they all have a different set of symptoms that show different types of disturbances in the vital force. The point is to find the one that matches your symptoms and modalities.
1. Aconite Napellus
The characteristics of this remedy is for a cough after exposure to cold, dry wind. Symptoms include: sudden onset; constant, dry cough; croupy; waking up in the night coughing, feeling anxious and fearful; symptoms worsen in the evening in a room and improve with open air.
Symptoms include: Hard drive, tickling, exhausting cough with trembling
“Clergyman’s sore throat”; violent tickling while speaking; sensation of heaviness, weight on chest; feels cold, anxious, hoarse and sweats at night; symptoms worsen from inhaling cold air, laughing, talking, touch, warm food or drink, change of weather or getting wet in hot weather; symptoms improve in open air, after sleep or from eating cold food or drinks.
3. Antimonium Tart
Symptoms include: A persistent cough with rattling chest; can’t spit up mucus; feeling cold and sweaty with a pale face; weak and drowsy; gasps for breath; symptoms worsen in the evening, from lying down, from warmth, from damp cold weather, from sour foods and liquids, and from milk; symptoms improve when sitting up in a cold open room and from expectoration.
Symptoms include: Congestion loosens, expelling thick yellow mucus especially in the morning; coughing fits with gagging or choking; cough disturbs sleep; thirstless with dry mouth; weepy, want sympathy, clingy and changeable mood; crave fresh air which improves symptoms; symptoms worsen from warm room in the evening, from lying down or becoming over heated.
This is only a glimpse of the complexity of the homeopathic healing process and an understanding of why it is hard to observe yourself, why it is very difficult to treat yourself and to see the center of the case. Even if you have a homeopath, the first rule of being a good homeopathic patient is to find a good homeopath and then:
Understand that it’s a process – Sometimes getting to the root of the pathology is like peeling an onion and has many layers, so patience is a big part of the healing process. As a patient you may have a mask that you wear for protection. It may take a few remedies to get under that mask and to develop trust to allow the homeopath to see where the distortion in the pattern is.
Pay attention and ask questions – Once you’ve been given a remedy, pay attention to modalities. For instance, are you better in the evening or worse in the evening? Note any changes, however insignificant and ask your homeopath about them. Your homeopath will determine the significance of those changes and whether or not a new remedy is needed.
Opening yourself to options other than today’s traditional medical route will allow you to get to the root cause of your disease or ailment and help set you on a path to bring yourself back into that state of health and well-being. Being a good patient of a homeopath can help you on that journey.
Joan Elizabeth studied homeopathy at Baylight Center for Homeopathy in Portland, Maine. She has been a homeopathic patient since 1982, which helped cure her Rheumatoid Arthritis. She decided to study homeopathy because it is easier to remain well then to cure chronic disease and because of her growing concern about the cost of health care, the over prescription of pharmaceuticals and how that causes illness. She believes Homeopathy helps you stay well and is affordable. For more information, visit: www.greenamberattunement.com.