My introduction to homeopathy came through an NHS GP in 1996. Desperate to do something for the insomniac, coughing bundle of mucus and phlegm that had been my daughter since her first set of vaccinations, I acted on his recommendation to consult with a registered homeopath. My husband and I were impressed by the results: a cough, catarrh and snot-free infant who could sleep properly for the first time (along with her relieved parents) and who went on to thrive. As medicine goes, it simply worked. Job done. Sorted.
What we saw in the way the remedies worked to resolve her health problems, in the way that the homeopath described they would, and when he said they would, led me to conclude that homeopathy was clearly a good and effective form of medicine. But I was puzzled as to why it was so unfamiliar, overlooked and underused. I now see that this is because most people in our country are too accustomed to 'standard', pharmaceutical based medicine, along with a very narrow scientific and cultural view on how healing occurs and what effective medicine ought to be (i.e. a drug or surgery of some form or another). Most people are simply unaware of homeopathy’s existence and capabilities, as well as that of any other authentic and successful forms of holistic medicine.
Following my daughter’s cure, with the aid of her homeopath and a basic homeopathic First Aid or Home Health Care kit, my family and I benefitted greatly from simply trying out homeopathic treatment for various ailments, illnesses and injuries. We subsequently spent much less time clogging the NHS with things we found we could take care of ourselves (and often better) through this alternative form of treatment.
As time has gone on, we appear to have become healthier and more resilient to things like the usual annual round of flus and colds, and have mended and bounced back faster if we have succumbed to viruses, food poisoning or physical injury. As each of my daughters (and god-sons) has left home I have given them their own homeopathic kit and encouraged them to use it to take care of and be responsible for their own health, as far as is sensible and practically possible: we still consult with our GPs, attend NHS Walk-In clinics, or go to A&E if necessary.
But what prompted me to become a homeopathic practitioner myself was the effect on my mother-in-law of an ever-increasing mix of drugs prescribed in good faith, but badly managed, between her GP and her rheumatology consultant. Their combined side-effects led to her being unable to eat and thus nourish herself properly; which led to her further physical deterioration; which led to her weakened gut becoming paralysed by the effects of the opiate-based painkillers being prescribed; which led to a near fatal intestinal blockage. This was deemed inoperable because of her greatly weakened state: if the blockage didn’t kill her, then surgery likely would. She squeaked through, by force of her own will to live, but not before enduring ‘cold turkey’ at the withdrawal of all the prescription drugs, and very nearly dying.
Having experienced by then how effective homeopathic medicine is – even if 'only' as palliative care in chronic illness - and understanding that it is neither useful nor kind to burden a body with lots of drugs, I felt that even if I was unqualified to help her and her condition at that point, I would like to be able to help someone else avoid the distress that she endured. It simply isn’t necessary, and it certainly isn’t good medicine.
So I undertook four years of training in classical homeopathy at the award-winning British School of Homoeopathy, graduating and gaining my professional practitioner’s licence in 2012. My course included two years' study of Anatomy & Physiology and two more of Clinical Pathology. I am registered with the Professional Standards Authority and the Society of Homeopaths. I work to the Society's code of ethics and to the best levels of practice, as informed by my professional instructors and the National Occupational Standards for Complementary and Natural Health Care.
I am also committed to the process of continuing professional development.
Some of the life experience I bring to my professional qualification includes working as a voluntary rape crisis counsellor; work in the NHS in the field of HIV/AIDS; living in ethnically and religiously diverse communities; some years as a brownie guider; being a director and the administrator in a successful small company; being a wife and mother of three; and growing to realise that kindness, courtesy and respect for others are probably the most undervalued of our human virtues.
Sandra Joyce MA (Hons), LBSH, RSHom