Homeopathy is truly integrative in that it works in partnership with conventional healthcare, and other complementary or natural therapies.
People use homeopathy in this way for:
- Enhancing other therapies by synergistically working to achieve the same goals, but from a different perspective, or in a complementary way.
- Supporting other symptoms or issues accompanying the main complaint undergoing treatment, and to help improve quality of life.
- Managing unwanted side-effects of other important or essential treatments.
- Focusing on general wellbeing, while conventional treatment is focusing on addressing a specific condition.
These scenarios are described further below.
The underpinning models of complementary therapies, such as homeopathy, often provide different perspectives and tools for understanding and assisting clients with their health. By blending conventional and complementary treatments, a more holistic approach can be created, taking into account physical, psychological, social and even the spiritual wellbeing of the person.
Support for accompanying issues or symptoms
Many clients have a complexity of health problems, and although their main complaint is being addressed by conventional treatment, they experience other symptoms or issues accompanying the main complaint which effect their quality of life. Depending on the nature and severity of these, clients may find homeopathy can assist with their management.
Homeopathic medicines can be used to manage side-effects of other essential treatments. For example a Cochrane’s review of the use of Homeopathic medicines for managing the adverse effects of cancer treatments, found preliminary data in support of the efficacy of topical calendula for the prevention of acute dermatitis during radiotherapy, and Traumeel S mouthwash (a homeopathic mixture, called a complex) in the treatment of chemotherapy-induced stomatitis (inflammation of the mucous membrane of the mouth).
Tautopathy, a method related to homeopathy, is often employed by homeopaths to help clients manage unwanted side effects of medications they are taking. (Of course, anyone experiencing side-effects from their medication should consult their doctor to have it reviewed.)
Promoting general wellbeing
We are more than our illnesses. Complementary medicines tend to treat the whole person experiencing the illness, and as such focus on the ‘bigger picture’ for the individual. Working with a complementary and natural medicine practitioner to focus on general wellbeing can fulfil other important needs in our health journey.
Homeopathy in your healthcare plan
This article may have given you new ideas on how homeopathy may form a part of your healthcare plan. Integrating conventional and complementary medicine is about helping you get the best possible outcomes, and treating the whole person by addressing unmet needs. Its important to have good communication with your healthcare professionals, and let them know what different therapies you’re using.
Kassab S1, Cummings M, Berkovitz S, van Haselen R, Fisher P, Homeopathic medicines for adverse effects of cancer treatments, Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2009 Apr 15, <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19370613>
Watson, I 2004, A Guide to the Methodologies of Homeopathy, Revised ed, Cutting Edge Publications.
Australasian Integrative Medicine Association n.d., What is integrative medicine?, viewed 26 August 2015, <https://www.aima.net.au/what-is-integrative-medicine/>.