Homoeopathy is an effective and scientific system of healing which assists the natural tendency of the body to heal itself. It recognises that all symptoms of ill health are expressions of disharmony within the whole person and that it is the patient who needs treatment, not the disease. As a new patient, these ideas may be new to you, but homoeopathy has been established for about 2000 years.

From the Greek words homios ("like") and pathos ("suffering") the word homeopathy simply means treating like with like. In other words, a substance that causes symptoms in healthy individuals can also be used to treat the same symptoms in sick individuals. ' Those who merely study and treat the effects of disease are like those who imagine that they can drive away the winter by brushing the snow from the door. It is not the snow that causes winter, but the winter that causes the snow.' (Paracelsus, 16th Century philosopher and physician)

It was just over 200 years ago that Samuel Hahnemann, a German physician and chemist founded modern homoeopathy. The theory of homeopathy is based on three of Hahnemann's principles:
1. The " law of similars," Which states that a substance that can cause disease in a healthy person can cure similar symptoms in diseased persons;
2. The " principle of the minimum dose," which states that by diluting a substance, its side effect is minimized.
3. Prescribing for the individual, which advocates basing treatment not only on the medical diagnosis but also the patient's temperament, personality and emotional and physical responses

How does Homoeopathy work?

A living organism, such as a human person, is a complex system that maintains its integrity through the various challenges that it confronts. The organism responds to such challenges by adapting itself - its own sense of balance - to best suit the situation. The body responds to a cut by setting healing mechanisms in motion. This is an example of the human organism doing what it is in its nature to do - finding the best way it can to deal with and adapt to changes while keeping itself together as a functioning whole.

What happens in a Homoeopathic consultation?

A homoeopathic consultation involves exploration of many aspects of the individual including the symptoms of the specific complaint, other previous illnesses, general energy levels, how that individual's body reacts to various situations or conditions (temperature, climate, foods, stress) and so on. The first consultation is therefore longer - usually one to one and a half hours - than subsequent ones; the homoeopath is attempting to ascertain a pattern that will indicate a remedy to which the patient is most likely to be sensitive.

What kind of complaint can Homoeopathy help with?

As a complete system of medicine, homeopathy's scope of action is very broad. The following list, though not comprehensive, will give an idea of the kinds of problems that homoeopaths frequently treat:
· Allergic Conditions - eg. Hay fever, asthma, food allergies.
· Recurrent Conditions - eg. Sinusitis, ear infections, migraine.
· Skin Disorders - eg. Eczema, psoriasis, acne.
· Bowel Disorders - eg. Irritable bowel syndrome, constipation, piles.
· Problems in Women - eg. Menstrual problems, ailments in pregnancy, menopausal problems.
· Problems in Children - eg. Behavioural difficulties, sleep problems, Bed-wetting.
· Chronic Conditions - eg. ME, arthritis, bronchitis, high blood pressure.