Sonam Kushner, CCH, HMC, professional homeopath

THE CONSULTATION

During the initial interview or consultation, what may seem striking and different to you is, a) that you will spend less time in the waiting room and more time with your homeopath, and b) that he or she is so interested in details that may seem somewhat incongruous or irrelevant. This is because, whilst taking into consideration any specific complaints that you might have, their main goal is to gain a total understanding of who you are as an individual, on a deep level. For example, when considering anxiety or depression, which are endemic and often debilitating conditions in our present society, in homeopathy, there is not one specific remedy that would be given to each person who suffers from these ailments.

A homeopath will consider carefully your very own manifestations of an anxious or depressed state, with details of your personality traits such as restlessness, fears, moods, memory, food desires, body temperature, noise tolerance, the affects of music, sleep patterns and dreams. General factors, such as how the weather, seasons, different environments and times of the day, may worsen or improve your mental, emotional and physical symptoms, are also taken into account. In the case of children or babies, not only the mother’s present state and relationship with her children, but also her state during pregnancy, will also be considered important.

It is the homeopath’s “job” to perceive with as much accuracy as is possible in this initial visit, where the central disturbance lies, which affected by stress, causes your particular symptoms of dis-ease to manifest themselves. Whatever information they can gather is assembled, much like the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle, until a complete picture of the person emerges that can be seen to match with the existing picture of a remedy.

A homeopath is like a detective, ferreting out pieces of information which will give them the clues they need to find the right remedy. There are over 3,000 remedies in the Materia Medica (a reference book which lists homeopathic remedies and their therapeutic actions/indications), so even with the best intentions sometimes, it is not entirely possible to hit upon the “right” remedy for someone after spending an average of two hours with them during the one initial visit. Some homeopaths will suggest a remedy on the spot, others will go away and work on the case further before they feel happy with their decision. In India, some homeopaths ask to see their clients over a period of a few days, until they are sure of the remedy that is needed.

Now, with the intergration of the Sensation Approach of case-taking, a homeopath will also be listening and observing any words and gestures that you may use to describe your experience of the inner disturbance which is causing dis-ease. Focusing on this inner sensation and excluding any interpretation or theorizing, we wait until we are able to hear the expression of the pure language of nature- or the inner song that exists within each of us. One's goal is to arrive at the common point between mind and body, or the Vital Sensation. By going into such depth with a person, we are able to come to the kingdom and the sub-kingdom and confirm this information with proving symptoms (see more). Once this is established clearly, a remedy which matches that sensation is given, and a healing response begins. Thus we see that both approaches of case-taking, the traditional and the Sensation Method, may take different routes, but the final destination is the same- that of reaching the simillimum.

The first follow-up after a remedy is taken is usually scheduled for approximately six weeks later. This allows enough time for the remedy to act, and for changes to be evaluated. If the first remedy given has acted well, showing a beneficial shift on any of the mental/emotional and physical levels, then this will have been a successful response. In this case, one will then wait and see what evolves. If the first remedy taken has not had an efficacious result, often another picture will have emerged, or on the second visit, more information is revealed to the homeopath, which will then help to define more clearly what remedy the person needs.

Patience is perhaps the most important and essential quality needed when doing homeopathy. The concept of taking a few pellets of a remedy once and then waiting six weeks is a novel one, and hard for most people to grasp. There needs to be an awareness and an understanding that if one has been sick for a long time with a chronic problem, it may take a while, sometimes up to a year or two, for a full recovery. This is to be expected, especially with skin or hair disorders. Homeopathy, used in a “constitutional” way, takes time. Just as it took a while for a disturbance to surface, a chronic problem cannot evaporate overnight.

Thus homeopathy demands not only patience, but also a certain amount of commitment and trust to the process. This includes following your homeopath’s advice and working with them when problems arise. Following up with your appointments are important because one’s response to a remedy fades over time. Knowing if it is time to repeat the remedy, wait, change the potency, or if you need a different remedy, can only be determined by your homeopath’s observations and evaluation. Self-prescribing can rarely be effective in the long run, and sometimes it is even hard to understand the instructions that your homeopath gives you. It has been known that when told to take their remedy in water, a person has sat in the bath whilst letting the remedy dissolve in their mouth!

Even with a long-standing situation, one can often observe shifts happening during the first six weeks after taking a remedy. Often, the first thing one notices is a general sense of peace or well-being. A previous problem that seemed insurmountable and fraught with emotions, can be viewed with a different perspective. A long-standing physical problem can be seen to shift in its intensity. Improved sleep and energy are other indicators that changes are taking place. Initial changes may either be subtle, or some symptoms may temporarily increase, the latter response is called an “aggravation” and usually passses quickly. Sometimes a person will experience a brief return of old symptoms. These are all signs that the remedy is resonating with the energy of the person, and that your body, mind and spirit are beginning to heal themselves.