Recently, the mother of my teenage client presenting with nightmares and poor sleep commented, “the unique thing about this homeopathic approach is how much my child is heard and understood”. As a Natural Healthcare Practitioner incorporating homeopathy into my integrated health plans, I am familiar with this surprised reaction from clients, especially parents!
Homeopathy, along with other natural therapies such as essential oils, breathwork and craniosacral therapy, can support your child from birth through to young adulthood.
When someone first comes for treatment, they often play a role in the extensive case-taking that is part of the first session. They realise that, while they have brought their child for a particular symptom, such as anxiety or a skin complaint, homeopathy takes note of “whole person”, physical, mental and emotional, in order to prescribe an appropriate remedy. A child may not always find it easy to explain their symptoms and a parent’s words can help with this process.
Why see a homeopath?
I first experienced homeopathy when my son, then aged 3, developed eczema. It affected his sleep making him grumpy. Our dedicated GP had prescribed soothing moisturisers and bath lotions. Sometimes they helped, but over a period of time I realised they were not really getting to the root of the cause. Eventually I was put in touch with a homeopath.
Homeopathy, alongside an integrated health approach, can support a person’s overall wellbeing. I will see children displaying symptoms of skin conditions, hormonal issues, fatigue, stress, bullying, hay fever or mild physical pain.
What is homeopathic treatment?
Homeopathy is an individualised holistic medicine which uses specially prepared, highly diluted substances (given mainly in tablet or liquid form) with the aim of triggering the body’s own healing mechanisms.
A homeopath will prescribe medicines according to the patient’s specific set of symptoms, and how they experience them, taking into account their overall level of health.
Children at any stage of their development will be going through many challenges impacting their physical and mental comfort. Homeopathy is based on the principle of “like treats like” – that is, a substance which can cause symptoms when taken in large doses, can be used in small amounts to treat similar symptoms. For example, drinking too much coffee can cause sleeplessness and agitation, so according to this principle, when made into a homeopathic medicine, it could be used to help people suffering from sleeplessness and agitation.
The principle of treating “like with like” dates back to Hippocrates (460-377BC) and in its current form, homeopathy has been widely used worldwide for more than 200 years. Homeopathy was discovered by a German doctor, Samuel Hahnemann, who was looking for a way to reduce the harsh side effects associated with some of the medical treatments of his day, which included the use of poisons. He began experimenting on himself and a group of healthy volunteers, giving smaller and smaller medicinal doses, discovering that as well as reducing toxicity, the medicines actually became more effective as the doses were lowered.
What to expect
The first appointment for your child takes at least 1 hour and includes gaining an understanding of their emotional, physical and mental situation. This information is used to prescribe remedies that are usually made from plants, trees and minerals. Follow up appointments are usually between 4-6 weeks.
How else can you use homeopathy?
People use homeopathy in different ways. Sometimes it is used at home as part of a First Aid Kit for things like insect bites. A typical kit includes homeopathically prepared remedies such as Apis or Ledum. Arnica is a favourite “go to” First Aid remedy for mild bruises, so it is useful in the school playground! More chronic symptoms require a trained homeopath, but ALWAYS consult your GP in this situation or if you are concerned about your child getting worse.
Another way for children to take homeopathy is in the form of mineral tissue salts, which are biochemic remedies and can be purchased over the counter. I like to suggest Tissue Salts as more of a supplement to take daily as a course, especially during the winter months. These prepared Tissue Salts are safe for children of all ages, including babies.
To learn about the research trials and research-related issues in homeopathy visit The Homeopathy Research Institute website
As ever you must seek medical attention if you are concerned about your child’s symptoms. Homeopaths are trained to look at the actual symptoms and how disease is for you. We explore the individual’s susceptibility to disease, family history and life choices.
Amal Alaoui is a London-based craniosacral therapist and homeopath providing holistic health consultations for mind, body and soul. As well as craniosacral bodywork and homeopathic therapy and prescribing, Amal offers lifestyle coaching mentoring to help you achieve optimum wellbeing. You can view Amal’s schedule at triyoga here.