What is the difference between a Classical Homeopath and other practitioners who use homeopathic remedies?



Classical Homeopathy states that a patient has one remedy that is particular to their state and illness, and therefore there is one root remedy that will be most effective.


Others who call themselves homeopaths may prescribe many remedies one after the other in rapid order or a combination of remedies together. They may hook a person up to a machine and let the machine do the remedy selection. Or they may use muscle testing (kinesiology), pendulums, or other gimmicks to choose the remedy. Practitioners who use these machines and other gimmicks are poorly trained, if they have any training in homeopathy at all. They use the machines and gimmicks because they don’t want to devote the years of study necessary to master homeopathy. None of these ways of choosing is as effective for the patient as finding the single right remedy based on an extensive interview by a well-trained classical homeopath. See “Pseudo-homeopathy”


Q: What can I expect from homeopathic treatment?

You will have an initial three hour interview. The overall goal of the interview is for Marybeth to understand the pattern of mental, emotional and physical symptoms as they express themselves in you.


Once Marybeth discovers your root remedy, she will give you a prescription for a remedy that mirrors the specific pattern of your symptoms.


Stimulating the body’s own healing response is the most important factor for full recovery from the illness and in achieving optimal health. Through accurate selection of the prescription, Marybeth is able to achieve superior results in working with her patients.


Q: How does treatment proceed after the original intake?

Usually a patient will take the homeopathy remedy daily and then return for a follow-up appointment in 5 or so weeks. At the follow-up appointment, Marybeth will assess the effectiveness of the remedy. Based on past experience, patients are often better at the first follow-up appointment. These patients will continue to take the same remedy when indicated. Other patients will need a new prescription. It is important to allow enough time for homeopathy treatment. There are many remedies and finding the exact prescription can take time.


Q: Is dietary or nutritional therapy used?

Health is freedom. Those who seek health should support their remedy by eating a balanced diet and exercising regularly. The goal of homeopathy is to free people from synthetic medications and allow them to live a long and energetic life.


Marybeth may suggest you take natural, nutriceutical supplements as an adjunct therapy, particularly when patients have long-term serious conditions.


Q: Is homeopathy herbal medicine?


No. Homeopathy is very different from herbal medicine. Herbal medicine involves the use of doses (and sometimes rather large doses) of substances as they are found in nature, whereas homeopathy is the use of various substances (plant, animal, mineral) in minimum dose. This means that a homeopathic remedy is made of a very minute amount of substance from plant, mineral or animal sources. And remedies are prepared in a very specific way in FDA-licensed pharmacies. Many herbal products on the market are not prepared in pharmacy-grade facilities.


Is homeopathy a form of herbal medicine?
Homeopathic medicine and herbal medicine are both useful and fascinating systems of healing, but they differ considerably in their approach.


Homeopathic remedies come from a variety of natural sources, including many herbs. Other homeopathic remedies may be prepared from minerals, such as phosphorus or gold, or from animal products, such as the ink of the cuttlefish or the venom of a spider. The common theme of all homeopathic remedies is that we are looking for a substance which, given in excess or an overdose, could recreate the symptoms of the disease we are trying to treat.


Although we may often use plants that an herbalist might employ in healing, we tend to use them in a very different way. Herbalists use plants in rather large doses as teas or decoctions or alcohol-based tinctures or in dried/pill form, intending the herb to have a specific medicinal effect on the body, and often use several herbs in combination to achieve a desired effect. Homeopaths select the single substance (of plant or other origin) that best matches the ways the body is expressing its illness, and give this substance in a very tiny dose not for a specific medicinal effect, but rather to invite a healing response from the body.


Q: How is homeopathy different from herbalism?

Any plant used as an herbal remedy can also be used in homeopathy, yet homeopathy uses many other substances besides plants. When a plant remedy is required, it is prepared in a homeopathic manner in FDA-licensed homeopathic pharmacies.


Also, most herbal practitioners suggest herbs based on broad guidelines and often use the same herb for all their patients with a particular ailment. With homeopathy we know that we get the best results by finding the one specific remedy that most closely matches a person’s particular symptoms. This method of remedy selection is much more demanding on the practitioner than the one-size-fits-all approach of herbalism (or of conventional medicine) but far more effective for the patient. This is why it is important to have a well-trained homeopathic practitioner: exact prescriptions yield profound healing; “close-enough” or one-size-fits-all remedy choices do not.


Q: Is there research on homeopathy?

Research supporting homeopathy’s effectiveness has been published in reputable medical journals such as PEDIATRICS and LANCET. For a more complete discussion of this, visit the National Center for Homeopathy’s website,www.homeopathic.org.


Briefly however, homeopathic research is producing positive results:


Over 100 studies published between 1966 and 1990 showed that homeopathy produced positive results in 76% of the studies in conditions such as infections, digestive disorders, flu, hay fever, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, recovery from surgery and psychological problems.


A 1994 study published in Pediatrics by Jennifer Jacobs, MD, demonstrated that homeopathy was effective in childhood diarrhea in Nicaragua.


Another 1994 study published in The Lancet by David Taylor Reilly, MD, found 82% of asthma sufferers improved significantly when treated with homeopathic dilutions of their main allergens as compared to only 38% improvement in the placebo control group.


Several cost-effectiveness studies have also been published, including Jennifer Jacobs, MD, Edward Chapman, MD and Dean Crothers, MD, “Patient Characteristics and Practice Patterns of Physicians Using Homeopathy” in the Archives of Family Medicine, November Volume 7, pages 537-540, 1998: A survey of 27 physicians specializing in homeopathy were questioned about their patients. These findings were compared with national statistics on patients treated by conventional general and family practice physicians. Physicians who use homeopathy spent more time than the national average with each patient, but ordered fewer tests and prescribed fewer conventional drugs. This study was funded by Boiron Research Foundation.


Q: What is your training in homeopathy and other forms of alternative medicine?


A: I have completed Northwestern Academy of Homeopathy in Minneapolis, MN, a 3½ year program. Then I completed the two-year Luminos School of Homeopathy postgraduate course. In March, 2004 I completed the four-year Dynamis School for Advanced Homoeopathic Studies with Jeremy Sherr. I attended the one-year Catalyst School of Homeopathy in 2009 and completed CEASE Therapy training in 2015.  I have over 2,000 hours in homeopathy study, including the professional conferences I have attended over the years.


I have completed the coursework for certification as a Bach Flower Essence Practitioner. I have studied vitamins and mineral supplements for over 35 years and worked in health food co-ops for three years, including managing a health and body care department in a large natural food co-op. I also worked for two years as a sales representative to the natural foods stores while I was in homeopathy school. I am certified as a Reiki Master, although I have chosen to not practice this healing art professionally. I have completed courses in herbalism and Traditional Chinese Medicine.  I have completed an beginning class in Reflexology, although I do not use this healing art in my practice at this time.


Q: What are your credentials?


A: I am a member of the Minnesota Homeopathic Association, the North American Society of Homeopaths and a practitioner-member of the National Center for Homeopathy.  I am certified by the Council for Homeopathic Certification, which involves a rigorous exam and submitting cases.  I am registered with The Society of Homeopaths (North America).  And I am a Certified CEASE Therapist.

I attend seminars and training on homeopathy and related healing modalities and earn at least 20 C0ntinuing Education Credits (CEUs) a year.

I was listed as one of Minnesota’s top 100 alternative medicine providers by Minnesota Monthly magazine in 2000. I have testified at and lobbied the Minnesota Legislature on behalf of the “Freedom of Access to Alternative Health Care” legislation that passed in 2000 and took effect in Minnesota in 2001. I was marketing director and advisor to the board of directors of the Homeopathic Academy of Naturopathic Physicians for almost 3 years. I teach classes on homeopathy, women’s and children’s health, lifestyle changes and natural ways to improve your health and to heal colds, flu and allergies.


Q: How long will it take for me to get well?


A: How long it will take each person to heal is a very individual thing. On a good remedy you should start seeing nice changes in your health within a fairly short time, usually one to two months. However, you will notice in your new patient paperwork that I ask you to
work with me at least nine months. I do this for two reasons:
1. It might take a while to find the right remedy for you. We have almost 5,000 remedies in homeopathy to choose from. While I have a very good track record of choosing the right remedy the first time for a patient, my record is not perfect (no one has a perfect record!). So I may need time to find the right remedy for you.
2. It will take time for the remedy to work. The best healing is gentle, deep and gradual, rather than quick and harsh. So we need time for the remedy to do its work in your system and to get you the deepest, most thorough healing possible. I find that I often will work with a person about a year to 18 months to get the very best healing. The first few appointments will be six or so weeks apart; after several months, we may be able to space your appointments out more.


Q: What about my current medications?

There are no known or suspected contradictions or drug interactions between homeopathic and conventional medicines. However, even though homeopathy is effective in many areas, it should not replace conventional medicine.


You are advised to remain in regular contact with your heath care physician and to note that I am not a medical doctor. I do not diagnose or treat specific symptoms or illnesses.


My goal as a professional homeopath is to help strengthen the constitution and thereby raise the general health of the client. Over time my patients should become healthier and they may be able to reduce conventional medications. However, this should only be done with the support, co-operation and supervision of their regular medical physician.


Q: Why doesn’t insurance cover your services?


A: Homeopathy isn’t reimbursed or covered by any health insurance plans in either Iowa or Wisconsin. Why? Because it never has been. To change this situation, you should raise the issue with your insurance plan.


On the other hand, most medical-flex plans may reimburse homeopathic services. These are plans your employer sets up so you can have money taken out of your paycheck before it is taxed (called “pre-tax dollars”). Depending on the plan, you can then spend this money on day care expenses, pharmacy co-payments, deductible payments for health care services or for homeopathy and other non-reimbursed health care services. Check with your employer about whether you have such a plan and how to enroll in it.

Health savings accounts, which are somewhat similar to medical-flex plans, may be available to people who purchase individual health insurance, if they choose a HSA-eligible health insurance policy. Please check with your health insurance sales person or health insurance provider for more information


Q: How does homeopathy work with children? How much do you work with children?


A: About 30 to 40 percent of my practices in both Ames,IA and Menomonie, WI are with children. Homeopathy works very well for children. I find they often heal faster because they have so much more energy and vitality than adults and they haven’t gotten stuck in ill health for years or even decades like we adults. I have three children, so I have a lot of experience relating to children and helping them regain their health.


Q: I don’t have any health problems but I have a cold. Will you work with me right now?


A: If you are already a patient, I would be happy to help you with your cold. We can talk by phone and I will suggest a remedy or remedies and other strategies to improve your health. We usually can do this by phone, and you can make the $10 payment by online using Paypal.


See Acute Care page for more information.


If you are not already a patient, we need to meet face-to-face and the cost is $50 plus the cost of the remedy or remedies, at $8 to $15 each. If you want me to help you with your cold, please call me as soon as possible. If you reach my voice mail, please leave a message stating you need some help with your cold and give me phone numbers and good times to reach you. I will return your call as soon as possible.


And before we talk, please review the phone consultation questionnaire (located at the “Acute Care” button).


Q: What if I get a rash or a discharge after taking the remedy?


It is important for you to know that if you have, in the past, had a discharge from any opening of your body and eliminated it unnaturally with drugs or inappropriate herbalism or homeopathy, it may return for awhile as you improve under good homeopathic care. The same thing may happen with an old skin rash or warts. You may even feel old emotions return briefly. Call me if these things occur BEFORE taking drugs or supplements to stop them. It is likely that I will be able to recommend homeopathic remedies or other natural strategies to help with this process.


Q: What will interfere with the success of my remedy?


In order for a remedy to work, I ask you not to drink coffee, regular or decaffeinated, or use products with camphor such as Ben Gay, Vick’s, Carmex, Noxema, Tiger Balm or mothballs. You should avoid regular use of cortisone, antibiotics and oral contraceptives.


Make sure to inform me if you use any medications or if you are in need of dental work. Also, avoid using electric blankets, magnetic mats or mattresses and avoid bathing in natural hot springs.


Q: I’m doing a bit better, why do I have to come back? Can’t you just send me another bottle of the same remedy?


A: I schedule follow-up appointments for my patients at intervals that will allow time for the remedy to work, yet not so much time that the person stops making progress with the remedy. I need to see a person periodically so I can assess whether the remedy is the right remedy, to see if the person making the progress I would expect them to make on a good remedy and to see if there are changes we need to make to get better progress for them.
This is a very subtle process and is best done in person, particularly when I first start working with a person. When I’ve tried to skip in-person appointments, that has always turned out to be a bad decision and ends up taking much longer for the person to heal. Also, I am very ambitious for my patients. I prefer to help them completely regain their health, rather than just getting them a bit better.


Q: You want to send me a new bottle of remedy, but I’ve still got some remedy left. Why can’t I just finish this bottle—I hate to waste it!


A: I have found if a person is on the same bottle or potency of remedy for too long, that toward the end of that bottle the remedy doesn’t work as well, it sort of “runs out of steam.” Our bodies seem to like taking a remedy that is slightly different each day, which is what happens to the remedy when you shake it—the shaking increases the strength or potency of the remedy ever-so-slightly each day.


But there seems to be a limit to how much the potency of a particular bottle can be increased. When that point has been reached—when the potency of the remedy in that bottle can’t increased any further—then the remedy stops working for the person. I prefer to not let that happen.

If you wish to recycle your remedy and flower essence bottles and your mailing boxes, bring them to your next appointment.  I reuse the mailing boxes and put the bottles in the hands of area herbalists; I can’t reuse them.


Q: My friend is seeing you and she takes her remedy at one drop per day. You are having me take my remedy at seven drops per day. Why the difference in how we are taking our remedies?


A: Each person’s sensitivity or response to their remedy is very individual. I try to gauge what dosage of remedy would be best for each person so they get enough remedy to make nice progress, but not too much of the remedy. That is why I have you take one dose of the remedy when you first receive it, wait three days and then call me. At that point we will determine how you responded to the remedy and I will give you directions on how to continue to take the remedy.


I developed this individualized approach after I discovered that a “cookbook” or routine way of taking remedies (using the same approach for all my patients) didn’t work for a significant number of patients.


Q: Why do you have offices in two cities (in two different states, no less), plus see patients in a third city?


A: I first set up my practice in St. Louis Park, MN in 1999. Then in 2002 I moved to Menomonie, WI and I started seeing patients in Wisconsin while continuing my St. Louis Park practice. In 2003 a very persuasive patient who lived in Duluth, MN caught me in an ambitious moment and I agreed to travel to Duluth to see patients. You might say my practice is an example of “have patients, will travel.” I do this because I want to help people improve their health. I travel to serve patients who don’t have a local homeopath.

In 2010 I started seeing people in Ames, IA, where I grew up.  In 2011 I moved to Ames to care for my very elderly father, who is doing very well now.  In 2014 I closed my Minnesota practice.  I was sad to do that, as I miss living in Minnesota, but with so many well-trained homeopaths in the state, I knew my Minnesota clients would be well taken care of.


*Homeopathic Master Clinician, Registered with The Society of Homeopaths (North America), Certified in Classical Homeopathy, Certified CEASE Therapist

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