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Verena Groom-White, RSHom

Registered Homeopath

Dip Hom Med, MNCHM

 
 

                 

 
 

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FAQs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What does a consultation involve?

What will happen after my consultation?

Do I have to avoid eating or drinking anything while I am being treated?

How are homeopathic remedies made?

Isn’t it dangerous to use poisonous herbs?

How long will my treatment last?

Can you treat any condition?

Can homeopathy be used alongside conventional medicine?

Is it true that homeopaths don’t agree with vaccination?

Can homeopathy be used for pregnant women and small babies?

How do we know homeopathy works?  Could it just be a placebo?

If the remedies are so dilute, how can they work?

Is homeopathy scientific?

Is there any real evidence that homeopathy works?

Can I take over-the-counter homeopathic remedies?

Is my personal information safe?

 

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What does a consultation involve?

The initial consultation will last approximately one and a half hours.  I will ask questions about your physical symptoms, as well as general things about food likes and dislikes, thirst, perspiration and sleep etc.  I will also ask you about your personality, fears and anxieties in order to get a clear picture of how you respond to certain situations.  This will help me to determine which remedy is best for you.  In some circumstances, I may advise you to contact a medical practitioner to have tests or discuss other options.  All consultations are conducted in the strictest confidence, and all your personal information is kept secure in accordance with the Data Protection Act.

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What will happen after my consultation?

Photo: Pietro Ricciardi

After the first consultation I will send you the remedy I have prescribed.  It will be in the form of either drops or tablets.  I will usually ask you to make another appointment in 6-8 weeks' time so that we can review how things are going.

During this period you may notice certain changes.  Sometimes there is a reaction after taking the remedy, which often takes the form of a discharge (for example, a runny nose). 

Or you may notice a temporary release of emotional symptoms.  Later, you may notice that old, sometimes forgotten, symptoms appear briefly.  Homeopaths believe this is a good sign, as it means the body is dealing with conditions that were previously suppressed or not dealt with at the time.

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Do I have to avoid eating or drinking anything while I am being treated?

It is best to avoid eating, drinking or cleaning your teeth for 15 minutes before and after taking a remedy, as this can reduce its effect.

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How are homeopathic remedies made?

Photo: Ezran Kamal

There are five regulated homeopathic pharmacies in the UK which make remedies.  There are more than 3,000 of these made from a wide variety of plants, minerals and the animal kingdom.

They are prepared by a sophisticated process of dilution and succussion (vigorous shaking), after which very little of the original substance remains.  Homeopaths believe that remedies work by using the energy of the original substance, rather than its material properties.

Homeopathic medicines come in different potencies (strengths) in the form of liquid, powders, and hard or soft pills.

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Isn’t it dangerous to use poisonous herbs?

It is easy to confuse homeopathy with herbalism, because we also use plants in some of our medicines.  Herbalists use tinctures (crude doses), but, although many medicinal plants are POTENTIALLY poisonous, our medicine is highly diluted, so there is no chance of toxicity.

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How long will my treatment last?

This can vary because each individual case is different. Some patients report changes within hours or days, but deep-seated conditions may take some time to resolve.

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Can you treat any condition?

 

 

It’s important to remember that homeopathy treats the individual holistically, rather than named diseases.  So, ten people suffering from the same condition are likely to need different remedies. 

However, if your symptoms persist you should always consult a doctor.

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Can homeopathy be used alongside conventional medicine?

Yes, because homeopathy works in a different way, it can safely be used alongside conventional medicine.

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Is it true that homeopaths don’t agree with vaccination?

Homeopaths specialise in the treatment of individuals and their unique responses to disease.  So we work with a different health model from the conventional one, which aims to increase 'herd immunity'.  The Society of Homeopaths acknowledges that there is much anecdotal and scientific evidence to support the arguments presented for and against vaccination.  We believe that parents should be supported in making rational, informed decisions on the short and long-term implications of vaccination.

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Can homeopathy be used for pregnant women and small babies?

 

Homeopathy can be used to support women with common problems of pregnancy, such as morning sickness, backache and fatigue.

Because homeopathic remedies are non-toxic, they are suitable even for very small babies.

 

 

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How do we know homeopathy worksCould it just be a placebo?

Homeopathic medicine gained great popularity in the 19th century due to its impressive successes in the treatment of infectious diseases.  The death rates in American and European homeopathic hospitals from cholera, scarlet fever, typhoid, and yellow fever were typically two to eight times less by percentage than those in conventional hospitals (Bradford, 1900; Ullman, 2007).

  Homeopathy successfully treated the flu epidemic of 1918.  While the mortality rate of people treated with traditional medicine and drugs was 30 percent, those treated by homeopathic physicians had mortality rate of 1.05 percent (Grimes, 2009).

While it is true that there is an element of placebo in any therapeutic relationship, homeopathy has been in continued use for over 200 years and its success rates are much higher than that which could be attributed solely to placebo. For instance, homeopathic remedies are regularly used on babies and animals, who clearly have no appreciation of what they have been given.

Many meta-analysis trials have shown that homeopathy is more than placebo, for example:

     K. Linde, N. Clausius, G. Ramirez, et al

     Are the clinical effects of homeopathy placebo effects? A meta-analysis of placebo-controlled trials.

     Lancet 1997:350:834-43

 

     J. Kleijnen, P. Knipschild, G. ter Riet

     Clinical trials of homeopathy

     Br Ned J 1991:302:316-23

 

     M. Cucherat, M.C. Haugh, M. Gooch, J-P. Boissel

     Evidence of clinical efficacy of homeopathy. A meta-analysis of clinical trials.

     Eur J Chin Pharmacol 2000:56:27-33

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If the remedies are so dilute, how can they work?

Unlike other forms of medicine, homeopathy does not work on the material level.  The remedies are so dilute that there is little or no molecule of the original substance remaining. 

Homeopaths  believe - and there is mounting evidence to suggest - that homeopathy is what is known as an ‘energy medicine’.  In other words, that homeopathic remedies work by using the energy from the original substance. 

Experiments in the area of quantum physics, that is, at the sub-molecular level, tend to support our theory that homeopathy is rather like a message to the body to heal itself.

There is also some evidence that water has a 'memory', and research into that is ongoing.  A study by Masaru Emoto has shown that water contains 'messages' of any thoughts or emotions it is exposed to: http://www.whatthebleep.com/crystals/

An interesting book about water, including the memory of water in the quantum field, is The Story of Water: Source of Life by Alick Bartholomew (Floris Books, ISBN-13: 9780863157387).

Furthermore, a recent study by French virologist and Nobel laureate Professor Luc Montagnier reports the electromagnetic effects within high dilutions, such as those used in homeopathy:

http://www.homeopathyeurope.org/nobel-prize-winner-reports-effects-of-homeopathic-dilutions

 

Speaking in 2010, Professor Montagnier said: "High dilutions of something are not nothing. They are water structures which mimic the original molecules.  It's not pseudoscience.  It's not quackery.  These are real phenomena which deserve further study."

 

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Is homeopathy scientific?

 

We are frequently told in the media that there is no evidence that homeopathy works and that it is 'unscientific' (i.e. not based on any scientific evidence). The implication is that mainstream medicine is. Interestingly, the British Medical Journal recently reported that 50% of all treatments prescribed through the NHS are not evidence-based – in other words, not supported by scientific research. If we were to apply the same requirements asked of homeopathy to the NHS, all these treatments would have to be discontinued. The best evidence that homeopathy works is provided by patients who say they feel better after using it.

 

Science has only recently been able to explain how anaesthesia works, but no one would have dreamt of getting rid of it before this point was reached. Indeed, orthodox medicine has often relied on clinical experience and their observations of it working, rather than a scientific understanding of the way it works. For example, aspirin is one of the most widely used drugs in the world, yet it was used for over 70 years before it was discovered how it worked in 1971. The drug is still actively being researched because it has many effects on the body that even today are still not fully understood. Saying that homeopathy does not work because there is no scientific evidence is illogical.

 

I often say to my patients that, while 'experts' in the early 17th century believed the earth was flat, it continued to be round! These 'experts' refused to listen to Galileo or look at his evidence, and he was imprisoned for his views. Eventually, science caught up.

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Is there any real evidence that homeopathy works?

Yes, there is a good evidence base for homeopathy.

By the end of 2007, 134 Randomised Controlled Trials of homeopathy had been published in peer-reviewed journals.  Of these trials, 59 are positive (i.e. demonstrating that homeopathy has an effect beyond placebo), 8 are negative and the remaining 67 are inconclusive.  This is despite the fact that RCTs are not a good way to trial homeopathy because it is an individual treatment.

In 2005, the largest service evaluation of homeopathic treatment, carried out at Bristol Homeopathic Hospital, reported that 70 per cent of 6,500 follow-up patients experienced improvement in their health:

     D.S. Spence, E.A. Thompson, S.J. Barron

     Homeopathic Treatment for Chronic Disease: A 6-Year, University-Hospital Outpatient Observational Study

     Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 2005, 11:793-798.

 

There have been many other studies, as well as meta-analysis trials like those listed in the How do we know homeopathy works?  Could it just be a placebo? section above, which demonstrate that homeopathy does work. Below is just some of the more recent research:

 

     Dr. Concepción Campa, Dr. Luis E. Varela, Dr. Esperanza Gilling, MCs. Rolando Fernández, Tec. Bárbara Ordaz, Dr. Gustavo Bracho, Dr. Luis García, Dr. Jorge Menéndez, Lic. Natalia Marzoa, Dr. Rubén Martínez

     Homeoprophylaxis: Cuban Experiences on Leptospirosis

      Presented at the International Meeting on Homeoprophylaxis, Homeopathic Immunization and Nosodes against Epidemics, 2008, Havana

 http://www.finlay.sld.cu/nosodes/en/ProgramaNOSODES2008Eng.pdf

 

      A. Steinsbekk, R. Lüdtke

      Patients' assessments of the effectiveness of homeopathic care in Norway: A prospective observational multicentre outcome study

     Homeopathy, 94 (2005), 10-16

      http://www.scopus.com/record/display.url?eid=2-s2.0-11844297403&origin=inward&txGid=79ie_u0p0cPFoTLkdzTDA2p%3a2 

 

      Claudia M. Witt, Rainer Lüdtke, Nils Mengler, and Stefan N. Willich

      How healthy are chronically ill patients after eight years of homeopathic treatment? – Results from a long-term observational study

     BMC Public Health, 8 (2008), 413

      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2630323/

 

For laboratory evidence see:

     Memorandum submitted by Dr Peter Fisher' (HO 21), House of Commons Science and Technology Committee

     Evidence Check 2: Homeopathy

     London: The Stationery Office Limited, 2010, pp. Ev 25-26.

 

For further examples of studies of clinical practice, in addition to those above, see:

     Donal McDade

     Evaluation [of a] Complementary and Alternative Medicines Pilot Project

     London: Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety, 2008

      http://www.getwelluk.com/

      Full report at:

       http://www.dhsspsni.gov.uk/final_report_from_smr_on_

the_cam_pilot_project_-_may_2008.pdf

 

       Dr. Adrian Hunnisett

      Homeopathy Service Survey

     Cirencester: The Park Surgery, 2005

 

      M. Brook et al

     Archives of Facial Plastic Surgery, Effects of homeopathic Arnica Montana on bruising in face-lifts – results of a randomised, double blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial

     Volume 8, No 1, Jan-Feb 2006

 

For the latest research updates see:

     www.homeopathy-soh.org/research/

     https://www.hri-research.org/

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Can I take over-the-counter homeopathic remedies?

You can try to alleviate some minor ailments with over-the-counter remedies.  However, more serious or recurrent problems need proper assessment by a qualified homeopath who can examine the underlying causes and determine the most appropriate treatment.  If your symptoms persist you should always consult a doctor.

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Is my personal information safe?

All consultations are conducted in the strictest confidence, and all your personal information is kept secure in accordance with the Data Protection Act.

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Home  |  About me  |  What is Homeopathy?  |  FAQs  |  Testimonials

Contact details  |  Directions  |  Fees  Useful Links

 

 

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Page last updated 23 March 2017.