Emotional well-being
Emotional stress caused by grief, shock, abandonment, disappointment or major life-changes such as moving home, may leave us drained and prone to illness. If left untreated or uncorrected, ‘acute’ emotional responses can become a more long term pattern.

Homeopathy may  provide an excellent early intervention and also when illness has become more permanent. Homeopathic medicine may help to balance the mind and emotions. Homeopathy may be used in people of all ages – from children with behavioural problems and teenagers with loss of confidence, to adults going through marital breakdown or redundancy.

Connecting mind and body
An often overlooked connection between mind and body is the way in which even mild mental ill-health can have an adverse affect on our physical selves. American researchers found that mild depression can quicken the deaths of patients with heart problems: the incidence of abnormal heartbeat was three times higher in depressed patients (1) It is also now thought that stress may raise cholesterol levels (2) potentially increasing the risk of heart disease. Homeopathy is a holistic therapy which aims to help mind and body.

In a national survey conducted by The Society of Homeopath UKs, 87% of patients who complained of mental and emotional problems reported positive change.

What is Homeopathy?
Homeopathy is a holistic system of medicine, based on an understanding of the interconnection between mind and body. By taking a full case history, homeopaths aim to treat the whole person, not just the disease. Instead of attacking symptoms with strong drugs, homeopathy aims to stimulate and strengthen the immune system, thereby helping the body’s natural tendency to heal itself. Homeopathic medicine is prescribed in very low dilution after a special matching process, which takes into account individual symptoms and characteristics.

“My energy levels went up, sleeping was loads better and my head is just one hundred percent better. I feel like I’m a normal person again. I’m not depressed anymore.” Newcastle homeopathy patient

Homeopathic medicine
Homeopathy is a system of medicine that helps the mind and body heal. Unlike strong antidepressants or tranquillizers, homeopathic medicines do not pose toxicity problems (3) and are not addictive.

Homeopathic remedies contain a very diluted amount of active ingredient and can be safely used alongside other forms of medical treatment and many patients become well enough to reduce or come off prescribed medicines. In 2005, doctors prescribed 29 million anti-depressants to patients: more than two million people in Britain are now taking them(4) Homeopathy is a viable alternative worth considering when the Government’s Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency (MHRA) concluded in 2005 that anti-depressants had been over-prescribed and the risk of side-effects outweighed the benefits.(7)

Homeopathy for the mind
It is not only counselling that has a role to play in preventing serious mental illness. In a national survey conducted by The Society of Homeopaths UK, 87% of patients who complained of mental and emotional problems reported positive change (5)

Homeopathy has been found to be as effective as prescribed drugs in the treatment of anxiety.(6) Both the MHRA and the National Institute for Health & Clinical Excellence (NICE) say GPs are prescribing too many pills for those who do not have a serious medical condition and they advise people to seek other treatments.(7)

Homeopathy in the NHS
In a typical Primary Care Trust (PCT) of 200,000 people, there will be around 25,000 who suffer from depression, anxiety or neuroses (8) The IMPACT service in Nottingham offers homeopathic treatment for NHS patients with common mental health problems. The service has demonstrated that 74% ofpatients in this category experienced significant improvement and many were able to come off conventional medication.(9)

Homeopathy for young people
In 2005, NHS (UK) guidance outlined that children under 18 should not be prescribed anti-depressants yet 40,000 children are thought to be taking psychiatric drugs for depression, anxiety and other problems.(10)

Homeopaths take into account the world of the patient: their family dynamics, their peer experiences and their subjective feelings. Homeopathy takes a holistic approach to young people suffering from mental health problems and has a track record of alleviating attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).(11)

When to visit a Homeopath
Whilst homeopathy can help in serious cases, it is obviously better to seek treatment before getting to this stage. This means recognising that minor symptoms are early warning signs: increased irritability, sleeplessness, feelings of dread or guilt, can indicate a need for attention. Many patients arrange regular check-ups with their homeopath in order to continually maintain their health.

PLEASE NOTE THAT IN ANY LONG-TERM OR CHRONIC ILLNESS THE ADVISE OF YOUR MEDICAL HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONAL SHOULD ALWAYS BE SOUGHT

How to find a qualified and registered homeopath?
To find a homeopath, contact The Australian Homeopathic Association www.homeopathyoz.org

References:
1. Duke University Medical Center: Paper presented to the American College of Cardiology scientific sessions, March 5, 2005
2. Steptoe A & Brydon L. Associations between acute lipid stress responses and fasting lipid levels 3 years later. Health Psychology 2005, Vol 24, No 6:601-607
3. Dantas F, Rampes H. Do homeopathic remedies provoke adverse effects? A systematic review. Br. Homeopathic Journal 2000 (Supl 1); 89:pp35-38
4. Department of Health November 2005
5. The Society of Homeopaths National Service Evaluation; The Homeopath 25.2, 2006
6. Vainchtock A, et al. Medicoeconomic evaluation of the management of anxiety disorders in outpatient care. Health and System Science 4;2000:103-115
7. National Institute for Clinical Evidence guidance 2005
8. Office of National Statistics
9. IMPACT Integrated Medicine Partnership. Innovation, Choice and Effectiveness: Acupuncture, Chiropractic and Homeopathy in Primary Care 2006
10. Thurneysen A, et al. Homeopathic treatment of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: a randomised, double-blind, placebo controlled cross-over trial. European Journal of Paediatrics: 27 July 2005, Springer-Verlag
11. Steinlen M, Thurneysen A, et al. Homeopathic treatment of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: a randomised, double-blind, placebo controlled, crossover trial. European Journal of Paediatrics, issue 1 – online: 27/07/2005