For an adult the initial homeopathic consultation for a chronic problem is lengthy and comprehensive. Please read this page carefully to prepare for your initial homeopathic consultation with Dr. Bradley. It would also be valuable to read an Introduction to the History and Principles of Traditional Homeopathic Medicine, if you have not already done so. The information on this page is not relevant to you if you are only scheduled for a naturopathic, nutritional, or counseling appointment – although it may still be of interest.
NATUROPATHY and HOMEOPATHY
Many people mix-up the terms “naturopathy” and “homeopathy” (pronounced: ho”me-op’ah-the). Dr. Bradley is trained as a doctor of naturopathic medicine (N.D.) and she is board certified in homeopathy. This means she is a naturopath who specializes in homeopathy.
As a naturopathic doctor, Dr. Bradley is trained in the full spectrum of conventional basic and clinical medical sciences, as well as many natural therapies. This includes homeopathy, along with the other natural therapies such as nutrition and herbal medicine. Therefore, homeopathy is one type of natural therapy a naturopath may use to help someone recover his or her health. In addition to the basic training in homeopathy that all naturopathic medical students receive, Dr. Bradley specialized in homeopathy and did her residency in homeopathy. Thus, she is both a naturopath and a homeopath. She also may use herbs, nutrition and supplements with you as additional support, but this is separate from the homeopathic process and remedy selection.
THE HOMEOPATHIC CONSULTATION
Essential to effective homeopathic care is the information that you provide to the practitioner. The homeopathic interview involves extensive discussion that may cover unfamiliar ground for those who are used to the questions of other types of practitioners. The kinds of information the homeopath requires are described below to help you start thinking about these things.
Your homeopathic evaluation and the choice of the correct remedy depend in a large part on a thorough understanding of all the specific symptoms you experience. But in addition, general information about what you are like as a whole person is also very important, such as your level of vitality, emotional well-being and personality. Dr. Bradley will want you to state in your own way the problems that have caused you to seek help and describe them as fully as possible. Initially, she will avoid asking a lot of question in order to not prejudice your description.
How you experience your problems is more important then your speculations on why you have them. Therefore, the feelings and sensations you experience when ill are the most important symptoms and characteristics to share with your homeopath.
Your experience of your health problems should be described in as much detail as possible. The types of information that will help to select the correct homeopathic remedy includes:
- A description of the onset of symptoms. For example, do you associate the onset of your symptoms with an emotional upset, prolonged or pronounced stress, lack of sleep, exposure to weather, an injury, drug use, surgery or any other factors?
- A description of the aggravating and ameliorating (improving) factors. It is important to know what makes your symptoms better or worse. Anything that clearly influences the intensity or pattern of your symptoms should be reported. For example: Does your condition vary with time of day or night, or season of the year? Is it affected by your position (sitting, standing, lying, etc.)? How do temperature, weather, eating and sleeping affect your condition?
- The character of sensation or pain. Describe the nature of the sensation in your own words. For example: Is it tingling, burning, numbness, crawling or itching? Is the pain cutting, dull aching, cramping, sharp, pressing, etc.? The character of a pain is different from the intensity.
- The precise location of the complaint.
- A description of any discharges or bleeding from any part of the body.
- A description of the “concomitants.” Anything that regularly occurs in association with your symptoms should be mentioned. For example: Are you always nauseated when you have a headache? Does your skin clear up when you get your menstrual period?
- A description of your diet. Be ready to describe which foods you crave or have strong preferences for (even if you don’t think they are good for you), foods that you strongly dislike and foods to which you react poorly.
- General information. In addition to information about your local symptoms, the homeopath needs to know a lot about you in general. This is very important, and may be decisive when choosing the correct remedy. For example, does any particular symptom or your general sense of well-being change as a result of environmental or emotional factors. How are you affected in general by temperature, weather, time of day, activity level, eating and sleeping? What makes you feel better, what worse? This may be very different from what makes a particular symptom better or worse.
- Understanding your sexuality may be important. If your sexuality or sexual activity (or lack of) is a source of difficulty for you then it would be of interest to your homeopath.
- The homeopath will want to learn about your mental and emotional nature and personality. For example: How do you react to stress in your life? What emotional patterns limit your ability to fully express yourself or reach your full potential? How expressive of your emotional states are you and in what ways do you express them? What about your memory, clarity of thought and so on? What kinds of fears and phobias do you have? Anxieties/worries?
- Finally, dreams are important. What kind of dreams do you have? What themes are recurring? Nightmares? What feelings do you experience in your dreams? This information is not for purposes of psychoanalysis but is useful to confirm different homeopathic remedies.
ACTION OF THE REMEDY
Based on the information you provide, one homeopathic remedy will be selected which fits your individual constitution. This remedy is the best to stimulate your inner healing abilities. After a remedy is given the individual’s response is carefully observed and the remedy is changed only if necessary. Each individual experiences the reaction to the remedy in a different way. Usually the effects are gentle and gradual, though at times more rapid or dramatic changes occur. Since the remedies work to better your general health, you should not be concerned if local symptoms do not change right away. Occasionally a remedy will be given that is not a prefect fit. If this happens usually either only temporary improvements occur or nothing at all happens, however the follow-up visit will usually reveal the correct remedy. Sometimes the action of the remedy is so dramatic people feel like they are well and that they need no further attention to their health. This initial reaction shows that the person can get well. However, consistent follow-up is essential to insure long lasting health. If there are any concerns about what is happening after taking a remedy, please call.