Ninemonths welcomes Natalie Cruttenden as our online consultant in naturopathy and homeopathy.
Natalie Cruttenden is Ninemonths.com.au’s consultant naturopath and homeopath.
Natalie Cruttenden has been involved in Naturopathic Medicine since 1992. She graduated from the Southern School of Natural Therapies in 1995 and went on to complete post graduate studies in Homoeopathy in 2000.
In addition to running a Naturopathic practice specific to women, Natalie also works as a Registered Nurse at the Royal Women’s Hospital. There she has spent time in the gynaecology services, reproductive biology and the Women’s Health Information Centre.
She can be contacted directly at:
Naturopath Homoeopath Registered Nurse
Resonance Complementary Therapies
231B High St
Ashburton VIC 3147
Phone: 03 9885 5964
Mobile: 0439 820 640
Or if you have a question for Natalie please Email your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org
What is Homeopathy?
Homeopathy is an exceptionally safe form of natural medicine that uses very small doses of medicines to stimulate the body’s own healing ability. It is a truly holistic system that recognises the interdependence of the mental, emotional and physical aspects of ourselves, and allows for a lasting cure on each of these levels.
Homeopathy aims to restore the individual to a greater overall state of health and vitality. According to homeopathic philosophy, all symptoms represent the body’s best effort to heal itself. Instead of being viewed as negative, symptoms of disease are seen rather as positive, adaptive responses to various stresses experienced by the individual. The nature and character of these symptoms give the homeopathic prescriber the information needed to make an accurate, individualised prescription. By stimulating the body’s inherent healing capacity, the symptoms are eliminated rather than suppressed, and an improvement in overall health is gained.
Homeopathy is based on the Law of Similars, which means, briefly, that any substance that can create symptoms in a person can also cure those same symptoms, if given in the correct dosage. Coffee, is a good example of this. Coffee stimulates the nervous system and can cause sleeplessness if taken late at night. Coffea, derived from coffea, taken in tiny quantities does exactly the opposite – it soothes the nerves and helps to promote sleep.
The History of Homeopathy
About 200 years ago a German medical practitioner, Samuel Hahnemann (1755-1843), conducted an experiment that led to the development of homeopathy as we know it today. Hahnemann had been practising in the medical field but found many of the treatments of the time to cause more harm than good. Disillusioned, he left medical practice and turned to translating medical texts.
In 1791 he translated an English text on the use of Cinchona bark, from which quinine is obtained to treat malaria. As he worked he began to question the basis on which these treatments had been prescribed and decided to experiment on himself. After taking some Cinchona bark he started to develop palpitations, drowsiness and anxiety. His fingers and feet became cold, he had a marked thirst and there was a numb sensation over his entire body. In other words, he developed the symptoms of malaria. When he stopped taking the Cinchona the symptoms disappeared.
This experiment caused him to explore the concept of ‘like cures like’ or the Law of Similars. This states that any substance that can cause harm can also effect a cure. This idea was by no means new. In fact Hippocrates, the ‘father of medicine’, had advocated this medical philosophy in the fifth century BC. But it was Hahnemann that extrapolated this Law and developed it into the homeopathic system of medicine. Through continued experimentation with all variety of substances Hahnemann found that the more dilute the medicine, the fewer side effects were caused. He went on to find that this process of dilution, called ‘potentization’, not only reduced undesirable effects but also enhanced the curative capacity of the medicine. As a result homeopathy is one of the safest, and most effective, systems of medicine available.
Who Uses Homeopathy?
Homeopathy is practised all over the world. It is particularly well known and used in England, Germany, France, Mexico, Brazil,
Argentina, India and Australia. The English Royal Family has been under the care of homeopathic practitioners since the 1930’s.
Because of the non-toxic nature of the medicines all people, regardless of age, can use them. This includes infants all the way through to the elderly. They are employed in both acute (short lived) and chronic (longer lasting) illnesses.
The use of Homeopathics During Pregnancy, Labour and Postpartum
Homeopathy can be used to treat a whole array of conditions that occur during pregnancy, labour and post partum.
The following are some of the most commonly presenting conditions during pregnancy and the appropriate medicine. This list is by no means exhaustive so do not worry if your symptom picture is not presented here. Your homeopath will be able to help you.
With a sense of weakness and dragging – Kali carb
With a bruised sensation and lameness – Bellis perennis
Mild discomfort caused by enlargement – Conium
Breasts feel hard and tense – Bryonia
Breasts fell hard and tense with red streaking – Belladonna
In the toes and feet – Calc carb
In the calves – Nux vom
Large, hard stools with pains that shoot up the rectum – Sepia
No desire to pass stool. Difficult to pass even when soft – Alumina
Hard stool with piles or inflammation around anus – Sulphur
Fainting During Pregnancy
Fainting associated with sadness or grief – Ignatia
Fainting associated with irritability – Chamomilla
Fainting due to heat – Belladonna
Fainting brought on by movement – Bryonia
Burning sensation behind breastbone, great thirst – Capsicum
Craving ice cold drinks which are vomited once warm in stomach Phosphorus
Heartburn worse at 11am with gnawing sensation in the stomach – Sulphur
Over excitement, mental over-stimulation – Coffea
Feeling you will never get to sleep again, especially after grief – Ignatia
Feeling afraid – Aconite
Nausea worse in morning, vomiting small amounts of food – Nux vom
Constant nausea, everything vomited up – Ipecac
Nausea with cravings for cold, juicy foods – Veratrum album
Vomiting from movement of the foetus – Arnica
Nausea with much flatulence – Calc fluor
Skin is marbled with knotted, painful veins – Carbo veg
One foot hot, the other foot cold – Lycopodium
Purplish discolouration of the skin with a feeling of constriction –
Homeopathics to Avoid During Pregnancy
All the homeopathic medicines are safe to take during pregnancy with the notable exception of Pulsatilla. Because of Pulsatilla’s capacity to stimulate the uterus to contract it is not to be used before 35 weeks gestation.
How to take Homeopathic Medicines
Here are a few things that you need to bear in mind when taking the medicines:
- The medicines usually come in the form of small tablets or even smaller pillules. When you are dispensing these from the container tap the pillule into the lid then drop it under your tongue and allow it to dissolve. This avoids the need to touch the pillule and possibly contaminate it.
- When giving a homeopathic to a baby the pillule can be crushed (to make it harder to spit out!) or dissolved in some water. If the child is being breast fed the mother can take the medicine and it will be expressed through the milk.
- Avoid taking the medicine within half an hour of drinking coffee (including decaffeinated), eating and brushing your teeth, unless you use a mint-free toothpaste, as these substances can inactivate the medicines.
- Keep the medicine away from certain essential oils. These include peppermint, eucalyptus, tea tree, camphor, rosemary and thyme. These oils also inactivate the medicine.
- Your practitioner will tell you how often to take the medicine. This can range anywhere from every 15 minutes to once a week depending on the focus of treatment. A good rule of thumb, though, is to decrease the frequency of dosage as your symptoms improve. Unlike most conventional medicines, in homeopathy more is not better.
What to expect from a Homeopathic Consultation
The first time you see a homeopathic practitioner you can expect the consultation to last for 1 to 11/2 hours. During that time the practitioner will ask you a whole array of questions. Most will be about the issue at hand, but they will also want to know about your past history and your family history of illnesses. Because homeopathics are prescribed on the characterising symptoms that are individual to you, you will be asked questions that paint a portrait of your situation, with each symptom adding a piece to the jigsaw.
Often the practitioner will want to know whether you feel better or worse at particular times of the day, in the warmth or cool, moving or being still, and so on. They will ask whether you’ve noticed other things that make you feel better or worse or whether you have any particular food cravings or aversions. They will also ask about how you are feeling within yourself. Are you feeling stressed, irritable, anxious or extremely happy and at ease. What kinds of situations stimulate certain reactions from you? All this information leads to the prescription of the right remedy for you.
At the follow up consultations the questions asked are concerned primarily with assessing your response to your prescription and to make a future treatment plan. These follow up sessions usually take about half an hour.
Throughout your treatment issues surrounding diet and lifestyle are also be explored as they very often impact upon your current and future health.
How to find a Homeopathic Practitioner
In Australia, there are a number of professional associations that represent homeopaths. You can contact these associations to find a suitably qualified practitioner in your area. Alternatively, look in the local phone book and give some practitioners a call. You can look under homeopaths and naturopaths as many naturopaths use homeopathy along with nutrition and herbal medicine. Feel free to ask them questions before you book in. Often people want to know what qualifications the practitioner has, how long have they been in practice and whether they have experience in treating the condition concerning them.
Australian Natural Therapists Association (ANTA)
Free call 1800 817 577