Why am I a practitioner of homeopathy? Because I am by nature a pragmatist and a problem solver, as well as a compassionate individual.
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 chose to act on his surprising 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 exactly 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 and 'marginal'. I now see that this is because the majority of us in the UK are accustomed from birth to pharmaceutical based medicine, along with the very narrow 'scientific' and cultural view taught in British medical schools as to how healing occurs, and what effective medicine ought to be (i.e. generally a drug or surgery of some form or another aimed at a single organ or specific symptom). Most people are simply unaware of homeopathy’s existence, long history, capabilities and global success rate, as well as that of any other authentic and successful system of holistic medicine.
Following my daughter’s cure, with the support of her homeopath and a basic homeopathic First Aid or Home Health Care kit to use, my family and I benefitted greatly from simply trying out homeopathic treatment for various ailments, illnesses and injuries. We subsequently spent much less time troubling the NHS with things we found we could take care of ourselves (and often better) through this alternative form of treatment.
As time went on, we became healthier and more resilient to things like the usual annual round of flus and colds, and mended and bounced back faster if we did succumb to things like 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, call NHS 111, or go to A&E if necessary.
But what prompted me to choose to become a homeopathic practitioner myself was witnessing the effect on my mother-in-law of an ever-increasing mix of drugs prescribed in good faith, but badly managed, by her GP and her rheumatology consultant. The combined side-effects of these led to her being simply 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 very likely would.
Over a very grim seventy-two hour period she squeaked through, by force of her own will to live, but not before enduring ‘cold turkey’ on the withdrawal of all the prescription drugs, and very nearly dying. She told me afterward that it was the most frightening thing she'd ever gone through, and this from someone who'd suffered a serious accident that left her crippled at the age of forty, several bouts in intensive care units due to sepsis after post-accident orthopaedic surgeries left her infected, and a young married life marred by several miscarriages and one still-birth; she was no sissy!
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. Experience has shown me that where the primary focus in health care is on drugs and surgery, it's fabulous for dealing with emergencies, but it does not amount to good medicine overall.
So I undertook four years of training in classical homeopathy at the award-winning British School of Homeopathy, graduating and gaining my professional practitioner’s licence in 2012. I am registered with the Society of Homeopaths and the Professional Standards Authority. 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 and professional supervision.
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 fields of HIV/AIDS, health education and health promotion; living in ethnically and religiously diverse communities; some years as a brownie guider; working as a director and 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 vital, but also the most undervalued, of our human virtues.
Sandra Joyce MA (Hons), LBSH, RSHom