Our Basic Philosophy
Our basic assumption is that a healthy human body is designed to adapt to challenges in its environment. These include exposure to harsh physical conditions, unhealthy diet, sleeplessness, emotional stress, chemical toxins, and acute illnesses. The immune system, endocrine (hormonal) system, nervous system, detoxification and elimination systems, and circulatory system are all mechanisms upon which a body relies to stay well in the face of these challenges. Since these must all operate harmoniously to maintain health, we recognize them as one well orchestrated-system. In homeopathy we call the system the "life force." When the life force is not equal to its challenges, disease sets in.
Our job as homeopaths, then, is to stimulate optimal function of the life force and to identify and minimize those challenges as listed above.
The Initial Visit
We generally spend between two and three hours in the first visit. We do so to understand your entire medical history. After the visit, we recommend a homeopathic remedy. The remedy is chosen not based on your presenting condition per se’, but based on the entirety of your health history. For example, a person with chronic headaches who is better when he cools his head needs a different remedy than a person with chronic headaches who is better when she wraps her head warmly. A person with irritable bowel syndrome who is very timid and weepy in disposition will need a different remedy than someone with irritable bowel syndrome who is very angry and aggressive.
We may also discuss other lifestyle factors or nutritional supplements that may be of benefit. We tend to approach health from a standpoint of “What is the least amount of intervention that will deliver the greatest amount of benefit?” We rarely, if ever, recommend handfuls of supplements or batteries of procedures.
Follow Up Care
Follow up care is necessary to make sure your health is improving and to keep it improving until you are all better. While we believe we are very good at what we do, we are not perfect. Some of our recommendations may not work for you, and we will have to adjust our plans based on emerging information. Follow up visits will typically take place every two to six weeks at first and become less frequent over time.
Some people expect homeopathy to produce a miracle cure, and they come to us with an attitude that they'll "give it one chance." While occasionally we do see such miraculous results, they are the exception rather than the rule. You should approach homeopathic care as a process that may take time, or you should choose another approach. Getting to the bottom of a chronic disease is like solving a mystery. We do a thorough investigation and chase down the best leads. Sometimes we solve the case quickly, and sometimes we have to re-evaluate our information and change our plan. We value a permanent fix over a quick fix.
It is also important to keep occasional follow up appointments even if you feel as though you are doing well. These visits help us preventing backsliding. Getting healthy is like rolling a ball up a long hill. You get it rolling in the right direction, and then you have to go catch it before it rolls back down. Health is the same way. If you fall back into old patterns, you will lose gains made in your health. We can also use these visits to transition from getting well to staying well. Choosing good food, effective exercise, and dealing with stress effectively all contribute to longer and healthier life even in people with no obvious health problems.
A homeopathic remedy will occasionally cause an aggravation, which is simply an intensification of current symptoms. These are typically mild and brief, lasting one to five days. An aggravation generally indicates that the correct remedy has been prescribed. On the other hand, the absence of an aggravation does not indicate an incorrect choice of remedy. Because of our experience, we are usually able to choose the correct remedy at the correct potency to reduce the chances of an aggravation.
Direction of Cure
Direction of cure is a concept unique to homeopathy. Because it is not intended to treat symptoms directly, symptoms don’t always go away in the order we’d like them to. For example, suppose you come seeking help with a rash that has plagued you for two years. You also have chronic headaches that have been bothering you for six months. Under good homeopathic care, your headaches might go away first. Your skin might actually get worse at first. This would be consistent with the proper direction of cure, and your skin will heal in its own time. A homeopath who doesn’t understand this concept will change the remedy, and both the headaches and the skin will remain chronic problems. Again, we value a permanent fix over a quick fix.
We are aware that the cost of homeopathic care is an issue for some people, especially in light of the fact that it is generally not covered by insurance in North Carolina. However, even with insurance, many chronically-ill people are spending substantial money on co- payments for medications, doctor’s visits, and procedures. Over time, the one thing that will save money on health care is being healthy. You may find that homeopathic care costs less than $100 per month for a year, and less and less over time. In the big picture the cost is actually very low.
We will gladly work out a plan with you to estimate the amount of care you will need over a period of time, and arrange a payment plan if need be. We need to get paid but try very hard to make our services available to everyone who wants them.
Patients Taking Medications
Many of the people we work with are already taking medications when they come to us. This is fine. You should never discontinue a prescription drug without the prescribing physician’s consent. Typically, we will choose a homeopathic remedy and watch its effects on your health. Once it is clear you are getting well, you will work with your prescribing physician to taper off medications as appropriate. We are happy to communicate with your physician if need be.
Be aware that homeopathy is more difficult to evaluate in a person taking conventional medications, simply because the symptoms the person experiences are not “pure.” Some symptoms of your natural disease may be masked by medications, and other symptoms are not natural, but caused by your medications. We have to understand the natural disease in order to choose the correct remedy. Furthermore, we can’t permanently remove side effects of a drug as long as the drug continues to be taken. Finally, your body’s reaction to the remedy will typically be inhibited to some degree by your medications. We can still help, but it may take longer.
Please explore the rest of our website or call our office at 828-254-3004 for more information. Useful books on homeopathy include:
- Homeopathy: Beyond Flat Earth Medicine by Timothy Dooley,
- Impossible Cure: The Promise of Homeopathy by Amy Lansky,
- Everybody’s Guide to Homeopathic Medicine by Stephen Cummings and Dana Ullman.
We’re glad you have chosen homeopathy as part of your health care plan, and we look forward to working with you.