Professional Care

When to Self-Treat Your Ailments and How to Know When Professional Homeopathic Care is Needed

I encourage self-care for uncomplicated ailments like colds and flu and injuries. In fact, when I teach introductory homeopathy classes, I talk about a number of remedies that can be easily used at home, such as allium cepa (for the common cold of sore, watery eyes and watery, runny nose with the space below the nose sore), arnica (for strains, sprains, bruises and physical trauma of all kinds) and calendula (for open wounds, slow healing wounds, rashes, sunburn).

These are acute conditions, ailments that will get better whether or not you do anything for them. So if you take the wrong remedy for a few doses, you can’t do much harm because you will get well regardless of what you do.

Sorting out what to self-treat and when to seek professional homeopathic care can be a bit of a challenge, however. I’ve worked with people who have self-treated for ailments that should have been treated professionally and they have disrupted their system with the flawed use of remedies.

To help you sort out when to self-treat and when to seek professional help, here are seven primary indications when professional homeopathic care is recommended:

  1. Disease Prevention and Health Promotion:
    A constitutional homeopathic remedy can help “tune up” a person on many levels, mentally, physically and emotionally, to help them experience vibrant health, energy and well being.
  2. Genetic Disorders:
    Although homeopathic remedies cannot heal genetic disorders, patients with these problems who receive homeopathic care often experience fewer of the various complications of their ailments compared with people who do not pursue homeopathic care. Which means that homeopathy can reduce the impact of genetic disease on a person’s life.
  3. Preconception, pregnancy and postpartum:
    Homeopathy helps both mom and baby. It can lead to quicker conception, especially if both prospective parents receive homeopathic treatment. It can reduce the chance of miscarriage, remove the “common” symptoms of pregnancy (nausea, hemorrhoids and heartburn) and promote a smooth, uncomplicated labor and delivery. (As a side note, the babies born to moms who have received homeopathic care from me are uniformly very calm, healthy, alert, easy babies.)
  4. Recurrent, Subtle Symptoms:
    A person may not have any clearly diagnosable condition but may not be as healthy as he or she could be. That person may have subtle, vague and seemingly unrelated symptoms such as low energy, sore throats, poor sleep, headaches, poor digestion, irritability, etc.
  5. Serious Acute Symptoms:
    While conventional medicine is effective in dealing with serious acute symptoms such as injuries or fast moving infections, one can often use homeopathy alongside such health problems with great results.
  1. Recurrent Injuries:
    This refers to situations were people re-injure themselves in the same spot months or years after the initial injury. The person may have an internal weakness that makes him or her susceptible to such injuries. Not only can homeopathy provide deep healing of the injury itself but it can also help remove that susceptibility to easy injury.
  2. Chronic Ailments:
    Homeopathy is very useful and effective for most chronic diseases: asthma, hormonal problems, depression and allergies are all treatable with homeopathy. Many people with chronic diseases eventually use homeopathy because conventional medications can create side effects that are more difficult than the original disease.

This Is An Example of What Not To Do In Self-Treating

K.A. called me in July to ask my advise on what to do with her allergies. She said she had been “playing around with remedies” for her seasonal allergies. At first she seemed to have found a remedy that gave her some relief from her very severe allergies to birch tree and other pollens. But she found that after taking that remedy for a while it seemed to work less and less well. She started taking the remedy more often, eventually taking a tube (containing about 40 doses) every day. At that point the remedy was hardly working at all, and in fact she said she thought she was getting symptoms from taking the remedy so often. She asked me what she should do.

I told her it sounded like that remedy was what we call “a close remedy,” it acted at first, but over time it became less and less effective, which is typical for a close remedy. In cases like this, taking the remedy more and more often will not help the remedy work better. If the remedy is the right one, it will act. If it is a close remedy, it will sort of act at first, then its effects will taper off.

I suggested she not take any more of the remedy, in fact to leave remedies completely alone for several months. After her system had a chance to settle down from being so overdosed, we got together, I found a very good remedy for her and she was able to cope with birch and other tree pollen much better. As a side benefit, her digestion improved, her extreme worry about her children eased and she felt well enough to start a postgraduate program.

She still is doing well, usually she just needs a few doses of her remedy at the beginning of spring.

Where K.A. went wrong was when she continued taking a remedy that had worked, but was no longer working. She thought if she could only take enough of the remedy, it would start working again. That may be how some pharmaceutical drugs work, but it isn’t at all how homeopathic remedies work.

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