Homeopathy

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I’ve procrastinated on writing this post about homeopathy because it’s complex and hard to put into words what it is and how it works. I am not a medical professional and this post does not act as medical advice, I am simply sharing our experience with homeopathy thus far (we started homeopathy in January of 2015). Homeopathy has been truly life-changing for our family and our love and appreciation for it continues to grow with time.

I can’t tell our story about homeopathy without explaining how we were led to it, because it was an absolute God thing. I was introduced to the concept of homeopathy around the same time I was introduced to the supplement-heavy biomedical approach to Autism. We were seeing great things from a low glutamate diet (REID), but as I was becoming aware of more ways to help our son, I wasn’t quite sure REID would fully get us where we needed to be. To be completely honest, I wish I had had more faith in REID at the time, because it has continued to heal us, but I am also so thankful homeopathy entered our lives when it did. I began internally debating our next steps, fearing I wasn’t doing “enough” or as much as others to help our son. I started becoming consumed with research, frantically trying to further understand the world of methylation, biochemical pathways, microbial imbalances and how to help my son achieve health in these areas, naturally. I wasn’t comfortable, at that time, with giving him the suggested biomed supplements because of the glutamate risk and his previous reactions to them. I also (naively) thought homeopathy was a little “woo-woo” for me and that they were just sugar pills.

Overwhelmed with our options and possible next steps, I decided to give it to God and simply pray that we would be led in the right direction. Out of the blue, my sister-in-law, who had been living in Costa Rica, mentioned that a local health practitioner she visited with, and told about our son, had some thoughts and opinions about him and his health. Apparently, this practitioner felt compelled to make the statement that our son wouldn’t be fully recovered from Autism unless we treated him with homeopathy. She even suggested a very specific homeopath to use. This random woman in Costa Rica had no clue who we were, nor did she have any personal experience with the homeopath, but for some reason she felt called to share this information with our family. The timing and audience for this conversation was just too coincidental to ignore. I did a little digging on the homeopath, and found that she had previously done some webinars with the Autism support group, Thinking Moms Revolution. Not only were we led to her, but she had a large client base of children with gut issues and Autism! What were the chances? Despite not technically being “REID approved,” I felt we had to at least give homeopathy a shot; and since I truthfully didn’t know if I believed in it, I figured there really wasn’t any harm in trying. Thus our journey with homeopathy began.

Homeopathy has helped to restore our health (my son and I both) in more ways than I can count. Though our homeopath recommends we always stay under the care of a medical doctor, we personally use homeopathy for everything – from the common cold, fevers, aches, pains and stress to its ability to resolve underlying imbalances/infections, trauma and emotional distress from years ago. We’ve noticed both subtle and drastic changes. For example, with my son, a few days after dosing we are often blown away with more complex speech and language, stronger coordination, motor planning, eye contact, sociability, good/more normal bowel movements, etc. The pattern of these “gains” in relationship to dosing, undeniably attributes them to homeopathy. While we have experienced some peak periods of “wow gains” and some valleys of “aggravations,” I can without a doubt say we have witnessed overall and ongoing steady forward progress from homeopathy. I too have noticed a greater amount of emotional stability and peace when dosing myself. Because we are so connected with our children, I feel the need to share how important I believe it is for mothers to use homeopathy alongside their children. As I mentioned above, my love and appreciation for homeopathy continues to grow and I have every intention to continue to use it for the foreseeable future.

So what is Homeopathy & How Does it Work?

Homeopathy was created by a German physician over 200 years ago as one of the safest and most natural forms of medicine. It is hugely popular outside of the United States, particularly in Europe. In fact, it is often recognized as the first form of national healthcare for many countries. It was widely used in the United States until the rise of conventional western medicine but can still be found scattered throughout health food stores and amongst trained practitioners. Homeopathy differs from conventional medicine as it is based on the concept of like cures like and does not function as suppressive medicine (temporarily suppressing symptoms); rather it works to resolve the root of the problem. Homeopathic remedies are derived from natural substances (often plant based) and given in extremely small doses. These natural substances are given in such low diluted does that often not a single molecule of the substance is left, rather just the energy or electromagnetic signature of the substance is what’s left behind (the coating on the outside of the sugar pellet). This energy works almost like a vibration throughout the body which stimulates the body to clear it at a cellular level and restore balance. Individualized remedies are largely chosen based ones emotional health but also take into account ones hereditary background, mental health, physical symptoms, and toxic exposure, in an effort to best fit the individual and provide the body what is needed to restore balance. When the body is in balance, it is better equipped to naturally restore health.

Finding the Right Homeopath?

There are all different types of homeopathy (classical homeopathy, CEASE, homeotoxiciology, etc.) and hundreds of homeopathic practitioners – some more aggressive than others. We chose a practitioner who practices a blend between classical homeopathy and CEASE, focusing on the bigger picture of our health/body and implements remedies at very low doses. I cannot stress enough how grateful I am that we chose this type of homeopathy (and our homeopath), because of the extremely diluted doses. While the lower doses may take a little longer for progress, it has allowed us to avoid the emotional rollercoaster of intense behaviors and symptoms that sometimes arise from aggravations. Our homeopath also varies the remedy used, instead of just continuing to increase one’s constitutional remedy.

Not only should you consider they type of homeopathy that best works for your family, but you should also pay careful attention to the homeopath you choose, because they are the ones ultimately responsible for interpreting your needs and suggesting your remedy. One of the reasons why I love our homeopath is because she brings me so much peace and I truly believe she gets us and our journey and our expectations.  While I didn’t know it early on, the role of a homeopath similarly resembles a therapist because of the unique emotional aspect of homeopathy. You will want to find a practitioner that you feel is best for your family. Trust your gut!

Many homeopathic practitioners from around the world offer consultations via Skype or other secured video conferencing, so don’t limit yourself to your geographical area. Additionally, I wouldn’t be overly concerned if your homeopath is not up to date with common biomedical terms or even glutamate, because they approach things from a totally different perspective.  While this may be beneficial, it isn’t imperative for them to do their job well. Additionally, many health practitioners may incorporate the use of homeopathic remedies but are not trained homeopaths. I would encourage you to find a true homeopath to best fit your health goals. The most important thing is to trust your gut and remember you can always change practitioners.

Finding the Right Homeopathic Remedy?

Once again, homeopathic practitioners approach things quite differently than conventional medicine. This has taken us some time to understand and has been a bit of a learning curve. For instance, when choosing a remedy for a common cold, they will consider additional symptoms, like mannerisms, quirkiness, emotional state, or likes/dislikes that accompany the behavior or increase/decrease the severity of the behavior. Instead of focusing on traditional cold symptoms, I would share oddities we are experiencing – like a runny nose, sore throat that is worse on the left side, red left cheek, and symptoms that worsen with heat. While there may be several homeopathic remedies for the common cold, these traits and oddities are essential for the homeopath to choose the right remedy for the individual. As you can probably tell, homeopathy is highly individualized and because of this I wouldn’t recommend attempting it, at least initially, without a practitioner. Our homeopath, works from current day issues, stress, trauma and works her way back through development in-utero to determine a course or plan on how to help a specific individual.

Choosing the Proper Dose?

Choosing the proper dose is just as important as finding the right remedy. Initially, this decision needs to be made by your homeopathic practitioner. In our early days I wouldn’t even dose a homeopathic remedy from our local health store without first consulting with our practitioner. I consider our son and myself, extremely sensitive, and still I know others more sensitive than us, so it’s important to have an idea about what you can tolerate prior to dosing. A family friend had to dilute their remedies in over 20 cups and simply smelling the cup would result in a reaction from their child and some react from simply holding a piece of paper with the remedy on it.

What does a typical dose look like for us? Dry pellets come in different sizes (size doesn’t change strength) and different strengths (6c, 30c, 1m, etc). Originally, we only tolerated the diluted 6c remedies, but have worked our way up to 30c from there. These dry remedy pellets can be found online or in most health food stores, and are ideally stored away from essential oils and heat to avoid reduction of potency.  Once a strength is chosen, we typically take 2 pellets of that remedy and dissolve them into a specific amount of water (determined by our homeopath) and that becomes the ‘remedy bottle’. The remedy bottle is often an 8oz glass or plastic bottle (metal can cancel the remedy), in which we pull from for further dilution.  We usually end up diluting one drop of a remedy into 3-5 individual cups of water before dosing with a plastic spoon or glass dropper (again, metal can cancel the remedy). Very often it is ultimately only 1 drop of the diluted water that will be consumed.  These are commonly referred to as “water remedies”. “Succussions” (tapping the original remedy bottle with the dissolved pellets) create a higher and stronger energetic frequency to the remedy bottle. From our experience, never succuss your remedy more than your practitioner advises you to. Doing so, can and will result in a stronger dose and could possibly trigger a cascade of behavioral reactions or aggravations. Also, word of advice, once a remedy bottle is made, they are best stored in the refrigerator.

Troubleshooting Homeopathy?

Though your homeopath will guide you, finding the right dose of a remedy may require a bit of trial and error. If a dose is too high, it is not uncommon for you to see a temporary worsening of symptoms and a surge in high glutamate type behaviors (see this post for more glutamate type reactions) following dosing. This is called an aggravation and may last anywhere from one day to a week or two. If the dose is extremely high, a reaction may take longer to notice and may even occur up to a week later. We’ve also experienced a range of temporary die-off type reactions from remedies, runny nose, “pee-tox,” histamine rash, bloody nose, fighting underlying colds, etc. Fortunately, there is always the possibility of “canceling” a dose. Ways to cancel a remedy include: consumption of mint (all types), tea tree, caffeine and coffee. Depending how strong the dose is, several attempts at canceling may be needed. When the remedy and dose are both right, we may see a tiny bit of irritability on day one of dosing, quickly followed by increased gains, peaking around day 3 or 4. About a week out, though still seeing some gains, we will usually see about a 25% reduction in them from our peak days and we are ready to dose again. This is hugely individual, based on the given remedy, person, dosing, and homeopath.

My Pros of Homeopathy?

In my opinion of course…

  • You’ll always have the option to “cancel” remedy if there is a negative reaction
  • Homeopathy addresses the body as a whole instead of nitpicking every small imbalance
  • Its ability to resolve underlying imbalances/infections
  • It is hugely affordable (depending on practitioner) compared to traditional options
  • Less glutamate risk compared to conventional supplements
  • Less frequent dosing (only once a week for us)
  • Stories of fully restoring health (I think diet seems more overwhelming when you have to consider implementing it long term. While we have made this way of eating a lifestyle change, our goal is to allow ourselves some more flexibility)
  • Less poking, prodding, emotional stress and insurance companies
  • Homeopathy offers peace that you’re addressing the root cause.  I cannot stress the level of peace this has given me!!  I believe this peace has largely influenced and contributed to my positive outlook on our overall health, which is huge.
  • It works…

How Have We Benefited From Homeopathy?

This list is not at all comprehensive!  REID has also played a big roll in many of these but the majority of these areas we can also easily attribute them to some of our “gains days” after dosing with homeopathy…

  • Overall improvement in coordination and motor planning (this one is still a work in progress but we’ve experienced gains like rotating legs going up and down stairs, getting himself dressed, brushing teeth, crossing the midline, etc.)
  • More complex speech
  • Resolved histamine intolerance
  • Made a huge** dent in yeast overgrowth
  • More social and engaging
  • Better eye contact
  • Resolved constipation (this was a big issue for us)
  • Normalized bowel movements
  • We’ve been able to avoid most over the counter drugs for acute illnesses
  • Emotional stability
  • Has allowed us to tolerate more foods than we’ve historically been able to