Thoughts on the world, homeopathy, mindfulness and food...
A collection of blog posts - feel free to respond with your thoughts and comments - I love to have feedback - thank you!
It’s 10 years this year since I graduated from the North West College of Homeopathy in Manchester and walking to the car yesterday morning I was musing over how I’m really enjoying my practice. It was somewhat of a rocky ride in the beginning, graduating in 2007, with the recession in 2008, sceptic attacks intensifying and really continuing over the past 10 years; and on a personal level, a separation and divorce. Things are much calmer now, though I work around being a mother, pet owner and somewhere in there have occasional time for myself to encourage creativity, run, swim, read, as well as fitting in getting out there to seminars and learning from some inspiring people.
So, me as a homeopath; it’s been 14 years in the making. 2003 I began, keenly in February 2003 at my interview for college. I had thought that it was like university education – I had to apply early to get a place. And so I sat there, and was told I should read The Organon, read The Science of Homeopathy and Medicine for the New Millenium by George Vithoulkas. I went away and read them. Maybe I’d not recommend reading all of those before you start studying (if anyone is reading thinking about studying homeopathy in the future) but definitely for those interested in learning more about homeopathy could check out Medicine for the New Millenium.
Hugely important too, the philosophy and very foundations of homeopathy, The Organon is a must on any homeopath’s reading list. Chatting this weekend to the Principal at the North West College of Homeopathy, she was talking about a homeopath she knew who would prescribe remedies but then be frequently confused by the response of the patient. He’d had less of a philosophical training than her and was helped massively by conversations with her about Kent’s writings and Hahnemann’s work in The Organon. In fact, she mentioned he was a convert, went off and read the texts she recommended, and his practice was enhanced by them.
So it seems to be tangent time again, but whilst I’m here, I would recommend anyone interested in homeopathy or how it evolved take a look at A Homeopathic Love Story; The Story of Samuel and Melanie Hahnemann. I only read it this year, but wish had done so earlier.
Tangents aside, what I’d like to talk about here is a blog for those starting out in practice this time, or recently graduating getting going. Firstly we need you! I truly believe that our profession is in need of more homeopaths right now, we have so many more people seeking out natural healthcare, in need of really getting better. More people are growing tired of palliation, of there not really being an answer, of antibiotics no longer working, of antidepressants not dealing with the real issue. It takes time to build your practice - I dived out of college, full of enthusiasm (and a 6 month old baby!) determined to set up and be busy immediately. It took time. 5 years until I was supporting us on my income from homeopathy, and during that time I did part time, flexible jobs to support us. We had to eat (and buy lots of books - didn't matter how little we had - books for both of us were a key priority)!
Secondly, I have not found anything as exciting and all encompassing as homeopathy yet in my life. Working with this I have seen changes I would never have expected, seen people get better who had been recommended surgery as the only option, and then not need the surgery at all. Been recommended doses of medication that they were reticent to take, agree with their consultant for a window of time, then see improvement in blood results, to the point they no longer are recommended the medication. Seen people come off antibiotics that they’d been on for years. Others reduce other drug medication and be more well than before. Get rid of symptoms they’d had for many years.
Once you get deeper beyond the symptoms and a remedy, which are all important and clearly also much of what we do; the connections that you make in life, the remedy connections are so exciting. You’re seeing the natural world reflected in people, in actions, in films, poetry and stories. Seeing archetypes all around us. Sitting in with Dr Jonathan Hardy over the last two days, seeing patient videos, seeing people basically read from the Materia Medica (our books describing the medicines we use in homeopathy), knowing that patients have been helped on a level that unlikely anything else would have managed. And several times other systems had been tried, many other systems in some cases. So, so beautiful.
Which brings me to my third point – get out there and learn. Go listen to the experts – don’t feel disempowered by them; remember that they were beginners too once and spent time learning from many others. So read, learn and listen. Go meet people, talk homeopathy, lap it up. Be like a sponge and take in all you can. Find a place that resonates for you – practitioners that make sense and go learn. I’ve gained so much from working with practitioners for periods of time – I studied the periodic table for 3 years in courses with Jackie McTaggart, then another 2 and a half years with Jeremy Sherr on his postgraduate Dynamis course. Delving into full weekends with homeopathic teachers is suiting me well at the moment and I write this on the back of a weekend with Dr Jonathan Hardy, following last weekend with Dr Prasanta Banerji. The conferences which give a flavour of many practitioners work are great too, but my leaning at the moment is this way. For now…
And the fourth point – meet other homeopaths. We are often isolated in practice, doing our best to help people, in a situation where we rarely talk about our work – confidentiality binds us to keep quiet, do our work and then move on, not chatting about the specifics of our day. So to be amongst those who understand, to share difficult cases (with client’s permission always), and to be understood. So refreshing!
That brings me along to a sub-point here, do regular supervision. I see my supervisor every 6-8 weeks and think it’s really important. I also regularly see my homeopath, and feel that’s relevant to mention too. It’s easy to forget about oneself whilst working in a caring profession – and if no one is looking after the helper, it’s easy to not be able to help quite as well. So if only for your clients – look after yourself!!
I think that’ll do for now. With perhaps one last point of learning how to talk about homeopathy to others. That might mean you study how to give a talk, get out there and give a talk or just learn how you chat to someone in the supermarket about what you do. We need to be communicating a clear message to the world about the potential of this amazing medicine. I was chatting to a couple of newly qualified practitioners about the beauty of using social media to help us get the word out – in simple terms - and I am really passionate about helping others to do this. This year I’ve talked at the Alliance of Registered Homeopaths conference and in 2015 at the Society of Homeopaths conference, as well as a day workshop with the South West Homeopaths group in 2016.
So that really is it for now!
Get out there, get doing what you love and I’d love to hear more about how it’s all going for you!
I'm a Homeopath working in the Skipton (North Yorkshire) area. I am also able to offer food intolerance testing using Kinesiology and advice around diet and lifestyle.
Em Colley Homeopath
Practitioner of Classical Homeopathy
BSc(Hons) Psychology and Neuroscience
Laughter Yoga Leader
Focussed Mindfulness Practitioner
Dip (SNHS) Kinesiology
Dip (SNHS) Holistic Nutrition
Certificate in Whole Food, Plant Based Nutrition