"He who has health has hope, and he who has hope has everything." - Sufi proverb

About Complementary medicine  

What is complementary and alternative medicine?

Complementary and Alternative Medicine is a term used to describe the broad group of therapeutic and diagnostic healthcare disciplines that are currently outside the realm of conventional western medicine (allopathy) and its allied healthcare.  

As the names suggest, Complementary Medicine is used along with allopathic or conventional western medicine; Alternative medicine is used instead of allopathic medicine.

These include whole medical systems such as Homeopathy, Naturopathy, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Ayurveda and Siddha medicine, energy therapies such as Qigong, Tai-chi and Reiki, manipulative therapies such as Chiropractic, others like Reflexology, Nutrition therapy, Vitamin therapy, Aromatherapy, Iridology, Kinesiology, Yoga therapy, etc.  

Lately, a new approach is emerging that is known as "Integrative" or "Integrated" Medicine, that combines treatments from conventional western medicine and complementary or alternative medicine.

When should I choose a complementary medicine such as homeopathy?

Complementary medicine has become popular in the recent decades because of its safety, effectiveness, low cost, non-invasive approaches, minimal or no side-effects, holistic approach, and because of concerns over the rising costs and side-effects of allopathic medicine. 

When you try homeopathy is entirely up to you, although in the earlier stages of the ailment, there is a much higher success rate. An article in The Business Times tackles this question. You can read it at: http://health.asiaone.com.sg/alternativemedicine/20050903_001.html

About Homeopathic treatment

I read that homeopathy offers ¡°individualised¡± or ¡°tailor-made¡± treatment. What does this mean?

You can get comprehensive general information about Homeopathy on our Services page.

Homeopathy aims to "treat the person suffering the disease, not just the disease itself". This means that homeopathy looks at each person as unique, and looks for solutions that are unique for him.

For example, take two patients suffering from fever. While an allopathic doctor would prescribe the same medicine for both, the homeopath observes the overall symptoms.

  • The first patient suffering from fever has high level of thirst, yet wants to drink only small sips, and his symptoms get worse after midnight. He also feels very restless and extremely prostrated. This patient would require the homeopathic remedy Arsenic Alb.
  • The other patient is suffering from fever caused by exposure to cold wind, and the patient is full of anxiety and fearful of death (disproportionate to his illness). This patient would require the homeopathic remedy Aconite.
  • So, the same remedy may not cure two cases of the same disease.

Thus, Homeopathy individualises the treatment for each patient. The name of the disease is not as important to the homeopath as the unique set of symptoms experienced by the patient.

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What should I expect in the first consultation?

Homeopathic treatment is aimed at treating the patient as a whole person, and not just his disease. The homeopathic consultation is somewhat different based on whether the patient is suffering from an acute (short-term) complaint or a chronic (long-standing or recurring) complaint.

For an acute complaint, the homeopath takes down details of the patient's present ailment including what makes the symptoms worse or better, etc. This consultation takes between 15 to 30 minutes.

For a chronic complaint, the homeopath takes a detailed interview of the patient, which can take between 45 minutes to 1 hour (longer, if the patient has many layers of issues). Besides his main complaint, details of his personal and family medical history, sleep patterns, excretory functions of the body, what factors make his symptoms better or worse, even seemingly unrelated information like his food cravings and aversions, temperament, moods, emotions, etc, are noted.

Based on the unique multi-dimensional picture thus constructed, the homeopath selects one (sometimes, two or more) homeopathic remedy that most closely matches the patient. Even if the patient has several ailments in different parts of the body or even emotional issues, the selected remedy treats him as a whole person, and brings about improvement on all the levels.

The homeopath may also prescribe Flower Essences and / or Biochemic Tissue Salts, as necessary.

Remedies are usually prescribed in pill (sugar pellets) and tablet form. Occasionally, they may be prescribed in liquid form.

In some cases, detailed analysis and after-study of the case may be required. In such a case, the remedy may be given later, along with lifestyle suggestions.

After the first consultation, do I have to visit the homeopath often? Will subsequent consultations also take the same amount of time?

During follow-up visits, patients report how they are responding to the remedies, which helps the homeopath make decisions about further treatment.

For acute complaints, usually one to two visits (within a few days) is sufficient.

For chronic complaints, follow-up visits are usually required between 2 to 4 weeks. This will enable the homeopath to evaluate the healing reaction in the patient, continue or modify the treatment plan, etc. Occasionally, the homeopath may ask the patient to go for certain tests, laboratory reports, etc. Second and subsequent visits are much shorter and take between 15 to 30 minutes. The length of time a person must be treated for a chronic problem depends on how long he has suffered the problem, its severity, the patient¡¯s healing reaction, etc.

I heard that problems get aggravated after taking homeopathic remedies ¨C is this true? Are there side-effects of homeopathic remedies?

The highly diluted substances used in homeopathy do not cause toxic or allergic reactions. However, the symptoms of an illness can sometimes worsen for few days after a homeopathic remedy is taken; this is called "homeopathic aggravation" and is considered a good sign, indicating that the remedy has started working.

It is also possible that upon taking homeopathic treatment, some old suppressed symptoms re-surface. This is also considered to be beneficial because the re-emergence of old symptoms shows that they are no longer suppressed and can indicate the original factors of the recent illness and be treated.

The response to a homeopathic remedy is not placebo, as the remedies work even on infants, children and animals, who do not have any knowledge of what placebo effect is. Furthermore, if an improperly chosen homeopathic remedy is given, it will not work.

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Are homeopathic remedies very slow in action and of use only in chronic illness?

No. In fact in acute conditions such as sore throats, colds, coughs, injuries, burns, insect bites, diarrhoea, headaches, etc, homeopathic remedies can have quick (often dramatic) results.

When can I expect to see improvement?

In acute illness, rapid results are achievable, and you should see improvement in one to two visits. For some acute problems, such as food poisoning, diarrhoea, flu, fever, injuries, etc, a beneficial response may be expected within a matter of hours or a couple of days.

In chronic illness, gradual improvement (in 1-2 months) can be seen. However, complete improvement depends on how long the person has suffered the illness, how severe it is, his healing reaction, etc. The progress will be slow if the person's vitality is low (possibly as a result of previous illness, vaccination or conventional drugs). Generally, the mental and emotional symptoms, and the energy level improve first before the physical complaint.

During homeopathic treatment, you may find that some earlier suppressed symptoms reappear briefly. This is actually beneficial because the re-emergence of old symptoms shows that they are no longer suppressed and can indicate the original factors of the recent illness and be treated.

Are there any rules to follow during homeopathic treatment?

You will be given detailed guidelines by the homeopath. Generally, you will be asked to avoid black coffee, recreational drugs, camphor, etc as these interfere with homeopathic remedies.

No specific diet restrictions are placed, except those that are specific to your condition e.g. avoidance of sugar intake in a diabetic patient, foods that disagree with you, etc. Generally, a balanced, nutritious diet is recommended, including a healthy intake of fruits and vegetables.

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Can I stop my allopathic or other medication when I start homeopathic treatment?

It is not advisable to stop or reduce the dosage of allopathic or other medication already being taken without consultation with your homeopath or allopathic doctor who prescribed them. In most cases, homeopathic and allopathic treatments are compatible, and there may not be any need to stop other medications.

If you are taking other herbal medicine, it is best to reduce their use during homeopathic treatment.

Will homeopathic remedies interact negatively with my existing treatments?

Homeopathic remedies work well with most allopathic medicines. Always inform your allopathic doctor about your homeopathic treatment, and have him monitor the medications you are taking; it has been found that many patients need less of allopathic medication during the course of homeopathic treatment. Never discontinue or reduce your allopathic medications without consulting your medical doctor(s).

Will homeopathic treatment be covered under my company's benefit plan?

Several companies now cover homeopathic treatment costs in their medical expenses reimbursement plan. However, check with your human resources department for details of your company¡¯s specific plan.

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About Homeopathy

Who benefits from homeopathy?

Person of all ages can benefit from homeopathic treatment, including pregnant women and infants. Children respond particularly well because their reactive powers are often stronger than those of adults.

Is homeopathy effective for children?

Homeopathic remedies are safe and very effective for children. They are very effective in temperament/behavioural problems in children like irritability, obstinacy, temper-tantrums, thumb-sucking etc, throwing or breaking things, violence towards siblings or other children, biting, etc. Most children's ailments like cold, cough, fever, vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal colic, tonsillitis, respiratory problems, allergic tendencies, can be treated very effectively with homeopathy, without any side effects.
Children love to take homeopathic remedies since they are administered in milk sugar pills.

Can homeopathy cure everything?

Just like any other system of medicine, homeopathy also cannot claim that it can cure everything. However, it has been shown to be effective in many, many ailments, even mental and emotional ones. As with any doctor, the homeopath also cannot guarantee a cure for any patient.

Can homeopathy work for everybody?

While homeopathic treatment will suit most people, some persons just do not respond to it at all, despite the best chosen remedy.

As with any other treatment, patients should continue with homeopathic treatment for some time (3-6 months, for chronic conditions). During the course of the treatment, change in symptoms including re-appearance of old symptoms, may require a different remedy altogether. Therefore, patients who are not able to keep to follow-up appointments may not get full benefit from homeopathy.

While every effort will be made to bring rapid cure, homeopathy is not for people who expect quick response for an illness that has been going on for years, and for those who do not have patience during the treatment. Patients should continue treatment for a few months, to reap full benefits of the treatment.

Also, since homeopathy relies heavily on information given by the patient, it is essential that patients learn to observe their own symptoms, be completely open with the homeopath and give full and accurate information. Incomplete or withheld information may lead to inappropriate selection of remedy.

Although there are no strict diet restrictions in homeopathy, there are certain substances such as black coffee, recreational drugs, camphor (or products containing camphor) that interfere or negate homeopathic remedies. If the patient is unwilling to avoid such substances, homeopathic treatment may not be of much use for him.

Are there controversies associated with homeopathy?

Yes. Homeopathy is an area of complementary medicine that has seen high levels of controversy and debate, largely because a number of its key concepts seemingly defy commonly understood laws of science (particularly chemistry and physics).  

  • It is debated how something that causes illness might also cure it.
  • It has been questioned whether a remedy with a very tiny amount (perhaps not even one molecule) of active ingredient could have a biological effect, beneficial or otherwise.
Homeopaths believe that the diluted (and potentised) remedy carries an energy imprint of the original substance, and thus acts on the dynamic plane to bring about a cure on the physical and other levels. Till today, no one has been able to show exactly how homeopathic remedies work, yet the magic remains ¨C more than enough clinical evidence has been gathered around the world that shows that homeopathic remedies work.

Homeopaths point out that homeopathy does work safely and effectively, but that modern scientific methods have not yet explained why. The failure of science to provide full explanations for all treatments is not unique to homeopathy.

Many supporters also feel that if homeopathy is proven to be helpful and safe, then scientific explanation or proof is not necessary, because the results speak for themselves.

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If homeopathy is so effective, why has it not overtaken allopathy (or conventional western medicine)?

Homeopathy, just like allopathy, has its own strengths, and has a place of its own. It is not a question of "overtaking" or being "number one". There are situations where allopathic methods are the only options such as when surgery is absolutely required or in certain emergency cases.

Despite is effectiveness, homeopathy has lagged behind for various reasons ¨C

  • The controversies surrounding its basic principles such as "like cures like", "using potentised i.e. highly diluted substances", etc
  • The difficulty for the homeopath in finding that one single remedy that best matches the patient (from more than 2000 remedies)
  • The need to "wait and watch" in homeopathic treatment. Homeopaths do not repeat the remedy unless really necessary. In the fast-paced world where people want instant results (or suppression of symptoms), it is difficult to practice homeopathy which gives gentle, gradual healing
  • Homeopathy has not had the financial backing or funding that allopathy has from drug manufacturers, since making homeopathic remedies is not as profitable to manufacturers as allopathic drugs.

However, in the last 2-3 decades, homeopathy has been slowly gaining ground, and is the 2nd most widely used system of medicine in the world, with over 500 million people using homeopathic remedies today.

Where can I buy homeopathic remedies?

For face-to-face consultation, the homeopath will provide the homeopathic remedies for you. For online consultation, you can choose to purchase the recommended homeopathic remedies from a pharmacy near you or through online homeopathic suppliers such as Boiron, Nelson's, etc.

Contact Us today to set up an appointment!

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