Why do we become sick?

We become sick when we can no longer adapt appropriately to the circumstances of life. These circumstances may seem to be due to external factors, such as allergies, the weather, stress, germs etc or may just seem to be an inability to feel well. In homeopathy, we look at both the internal factors and external ones, seeking to understand the circumstances of life that may be influencing the health of the whole person. Much of modern medicine focuses on the external causes of disease–germs for example–and drugs are given to kill them. While that serves an important role, homeopaths also ask the question as to why some people get sick while others don't and what can be done to help the body's own immune system fight off germs (or other factors) more effectively. Merely killing the germs doesn't always lead to greater health as the body has not cured the problem itself and some drugs merely suppress symptoms, making things worse in the long run. In this case, the same or more serious symptoms tend to recur and the problem may become more chronic and difficult to cure. Homeopathy and other holistic systems of healing seek to establish a higher level of health and in so doing prevent illness as well as helping to cure it. Looking for the cause of disease outside of oneself does not always take into consideration all the complex factors as to why we get sick. The root causes of illness need to be understood, whether that is genetic, emotional or due to a particular physical trauma many years before. Homeopaths believe that the body carries a memory of significant experiences–even if there is no physical condition remaining–and these experiences may create illness, even years later. Homeopathy helps the body resolve these experiences for itself, allowing true healing to take place.

What conditions does homeopathy treat?

Homeopathy is able to treat most physical and emotional conditions. A homeopathic consultation involves an analysis of the whole person. Each person is unique and the homeopath needs to understand as much as possible about all the concerns a person has. This allows the homeopath to understand the underlying causes of any disease state. The correct remedy choice will allow the whole person–body and mind–to realign to a more optimal state of health. An overall wellness should be the result, including any particular condition a person is experiencing.

What does homeopathic treatment involve?

The initial interview takes between 1 1/2-2 hours. In this time, the homeopath needs to find out all the necessary information to make a correct analysis and homeopathic remedy choice. This involves exploring all aspects of a person's experience of being ill and also a detailed history of all previous diseases and personal history. Once a homeopathic remedy has been chosen, another appointment will be made 3-6 weeks after the first visit.

How do we find a homeopath?

It is best to find a homeopath who is certified and recognized by the profession. A list of certified homeopaths can be found at www.homeopathicdirectory.com. They have all been certified by the Council for Homeopathic Certification. Some homeopaths have licenses in other professions, including being a medical doctor. Other homeopaths practice outside of any medical licensure and are called professional homeopaths. It is most important to know that a homeopath is well trained and experienced, not just that they have a medical license. Currently there is no specific licensure for homeopathic medicine in the United States that is evaluating a professional level of training. Another list of practitioners can be found through the National Center for homeopathy at www.homeopathic.org. Using that list, it is again best to choose a practitioner certified through a professional organization.

Richard Pitt, CCH, has been a homeopath for over 20 years and since 1996 has had a private practice in San Francisco.  He originally trained and practiced homeopathy in England. He is Director of the Pacific Academy of Homeopathy and teaches at the academy as well as at other schools in North America.