© The Press
26 April, 2000
Homoeopathy is a respectable and sensible alternative to conventional medicine which is gaining greater mainstream acceptance, says Christchurch medical specialist, Dr Wendy Isbell, who works mainly with homoeopathy.
"Homoeopathy is a very safe form of medicine which treats the whole individual. It is concerned with aiding recovery from illness and with maintaining good health," she says.
Dr Isbell, a general practitioner, has been practising homoeopathy for the last 14 years, with much success. She was drawn to the alternative form of medicine because it combines the use of intellect and intuition.
She is a member of the Pegasus Medical Group and a fellow of the British Institute of Homoeopathy. She is also a senior research fellow with the Homoeobotanical Institute and has an interest in Flower Essences.
At the Light House, 177 Bealey Avenue, Dr Isbell operates a general practice, as well as specialist assessment and homoeopathy. This includes immunisations and wellness checks for adults and children, cervical smears, mammograms and bone density checks for women and prostate checks for men. Last year, the practice celebrated the registration of its 10,000th patient. In the past, she says, people have often only gone to homoeopaths as a last resort and "looked apologetic about seeking homoeopathic help."
"This is no longer the case. I am now being consulted at the start of an illness. People have begun to realise how much homoeopathy has to offer, often the result of friends or family having benefited from the medicine."
Homoeopathy uses natural remedies, many of them made from plants and herbs, which treat the person not the disease. Homoeopathy has been practised throughout the world for almost two centuries, benefiting millions of people with a wide spectrum of illnesses. Some of the more common illnesses that Dr Isbell finds herself treating with homoeopathy are eczema, asthma, and recurring ear infections in children, glandular fever and injures in young adults, colitis, migraines, digestive problems, pre-menstrual and period pain in adults, and definite illnesses, such as arthritis, in the elderly.
Homoeopathy can also be used for depression, fatigue, and stress. "The treatment makes a difference to people's quality of life."
Dr Isbell says for many of her patients they find her background in traditional medicine makes a difference. "They feel secure in knowing that throughout the consultation both fields of medicine are being applied, my diagnosis and prescribed treatment being the most appropriate of the two or a combination for maximum benefit. "Homoeopathy has considerable potential to treat illness and to promote health, helping people to their optimal well-being. I have enjoyed watching so many people improve their health and well-being as a result of the medicine."
Consultations by Dr Isbell are reimbursed by most health insurance schemes, usually at specialist rates.
For further information phone 366-0508
Homoeopathy is a safe and effective method of treatment that differs from conventional medicine in its approach to the patient and to the concept of ill health.
Homoeopathy encourages the body's natural healing responses to an illness. It works on the principle that an illness can be treated with a medicine that produces similar symptoms in a healthy person, treating like with like. Allium cepa, a homoeopathic remedy prepared from onion, is an example. It is a remedy which would cause watery eyes in a healthy person but can be used to treat people with hay-fever experiencing these symptoms.
While no medical treatment can be said to be 100 per cent safe, Christchurch medical specialist Dr Wendy Isbell says homoeopathy comes close because of the minute level of the original substance in most remedies.
"There are therefore few harmful side effects, homoeopathy being safe to use for children, frail and older people and pregnant women under the supervision of a qualified practitioner."
Homoeopathy is "fully effective over the whole range of mental and physical disorders," having been shown to be particularly effective in the management of chronic conditions such as eczema, arthritis, pre-menstrual syndrome, and other conditions that do not tend to respond well to conventional treatments, she says.
Homoeopathic treatment can often be used alongside conventional treatments for the benefit of patients.
"An example is use of these remedies to help patients with cancer cope with the side effects of treatment such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
"Patients cannot be poisoned by homoeopathic medicines, or become addicted to them, and bacteria cannot become resistant to their therapeutic action."
She says homoeopathy works to improve the general health and well being of the person, treating both the mind and body.
Each dose is a subtle correction to the system, and improvement comes from a partnership between the remedy itself and the person's own healing processes. It can be used for definite illnesses or to work on undefined symptoms and general ill-health.
Dr Isbell says patients are becoming increasingly concerned about the limitations of conventional medicine, such as the side effects of many treatments and the growing resistance of bacteria to antibiotics.
"While these are necessary and appropriate for treating many conditions, homoeopathy is a safe, effective and cost-effective form of medicine.
"Used by trained and regulated health care professionals homoeopathy has a place alongside conventional medicine in improving health and quality of life," she says.