Homeopathy is a very personal life choice when it comes to your health care. Many people want an alternative to traditional or conventional medical treatment that focuses solely on a particular symptom or illness rather than on the person as a whole. When a gentler, more natural approach to managing your health is what you desire, a homeopathic doctor may be the solution.
Homeopathic doctors share a philosophy that an individual’s body, mind, lifestyle and emotional wellbeing are all factors when it comes to good health. Homeopathic treatments are customized to a specific individual and their total health, rather than dishing out a standard medicine to treat a symptom alone (such as a one size fits all approach). Homeopathic professionals believe that the best way to treat an illness, and also prevent illness, is by stimulating the body’s own natural defense mechanisms and by triggering the body’s self-healing properties.
What You Can Expect When You Visit a Homeopathic Doctor:
An initial visit with a homeopathic doctor would typically be a lengthy one as the doctor will want to get to know you in depth. An initial consultation or visit may be an hour to an hour and a half and you should be prepared to provide full disclosure with regard to your health, emotional state of mind, and lifestyle. Some doctors may have you complete a questionnaire prior to your visit since there are many areas to be covered.
Some of the most common things a homeopathic doctor may want to learn about you are:
- Your own personal medical history (i.e., medical conditions, illnesses, injuries, hospitalizations, medications, etc.)
- Your family’s medical history (medical conditions that family members have as well as substance abuse issues or mental disorders)
- Lifestyle (how you spend your time, eating habits and the types of food you eat, food likes and dislikes, sleep patterns, interpersonal relationships, spiritual life, do you exercise, hobbies and activities, intimacy, etc.)
- Personality traits (are you aggressive, unassertive, depressed, timid, shy, do you worry excessively, angry, bitter, aloof, easy-going, happy-go-lucky, etc.). These types of attributes may be difficult to share with a health care provider but are extremely important as they can contribute greatly to your overall health.
- What is your everyday life like and how do you function on an everyday basis (stress, worry, memory and recall, tired or lethargic, how you cope with situations, are you happy at your job, parenting issues, elderly parents, etc.)
Revealing such personal issues with someone else about your life can feel a bit intrusive, however, it’s important for a homeopathic physician to understand all aspects of your life and how all of the pieces fit together in order to come up with an effective homeopathic remedy or treatment plan. Homeopathy looks at the broader picture instead of just trying to treat a specific symptom since homeopathic remedies are specifically tailored to an individual’s personal situation. Your health care professional will use all of this information, in addition to a physical examination, to determine the best course of treatment. Lab tests may also be used to help assess your current health situation.
The study or practice of homeopathy is not a licensed profession and does not actually require a specific license. Every state requires a license to be a practitioner in the medical profession and many licensed doctors choose to be trained in homeopathy. Different types of licensed doctors in the United States require additional training in order to partake in the practice of homeopathy and offer it as part of their practice. There are also different agencies such as the Council for Homeopathic Certification (CHC) and North American Society of Homeopaths (NASH) that offer certifications to individual homeopaths. Individuals, who are not licensed practitioners, can be trained in homeopathy and can act as counselors.
These individuals must be careful not to act in such a capacity where they are diagnosing an illness or condition or offering homeopathic treatments since they may be subject to legal ramifications in their state since they are not licensed as a medical professional. Other licensed medical professionals like nurse practitioners, chiropractors, dentists, and midwives may also be allowed to practice homeopathic care if it is within the scope of their designated license and they have the proper training.
In your search for a homeopathic doctor, it is advisable to do your homework. Check with a national organization like the National Center for Homeopathy to find homeopathic doctors in your area. Inquire as to how long they have been in practice, the type of training they have, if they are a licensed practitioner, how much of their practice is devoted to homeopathy, what their fees are and if insurance will cover your visits. Pay attention to recommendations and reviews too. If you do your homework up front, you should be able to find a homeopathic professional that will be committed to providing the best care possible.