Health....Focus on...Homeopathy
compiled by Emma Hibbs

Root of the illness

Homeopathic remedies are fast filling the shelves of our chemists and making their mark alongside conventional medicines. So what are they and how do they work?
The new medicine of Homeopathy was devised 200 years ago by a German doctor called Samuel Hahnemann, and is based on the idea that like treats like.Using properties of plant, animal or mineral substances, patients are given a diluted version of what is making them ill in order to boost their resilience to the condition. For example, if a person was showing symptoms of a high fever, they would be given a small amount of a raw plant material that makes temperatures rise. In turn this would kick start their immune system to fight the original fever. Ingredients are highly diluted and luckily have no side effects, although you should always take advice if in doubt. Practitioners may gradually adjust the potency to suit the patient.
Mary English, a homeopath from Somerset, became interested in the therapy when her baby son developed croup, a difficulty breathing.'I tried a homeopathic remedy from a chemist and it worked!'she says. 'I went to treat myself for allergies to animals. Cats always made me wheeze, but now I have a pet of my own.'
Your first homeopathic session will last about an hour and will cost about £50. In most cases you can expect two follow-up sessions, costing less.
What is it good for? Remedies work on four levels; physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. It is particularly useful for treating skin disorders and food allergies. Because the method is mild it is ideal for children with croup and colic and adults with anxiety, insomnia or depression.

Acne threatened my ballet dream.

Leanne Cope, 20, from Wiltshire, dreamt of dancing with The Royal Ballet. She had the talent and drive, but facial acne and a stress fracture in her toe were hurting her chances.

Photo by Jump

'About 6 months ago I was going to lots of auditions. I knew it wasn't just my dancing they were looking at, but the whole package. Having good skin helps build your confidence whatever job you do. But, in this job you are expected to look good because people are paying to look at you, and see you perform. I tried covering up my spots with make-up but it made them worse. I was also worried about a stress fracture in one of my toes, which had been painful for two years. It was alright when I started dancing but by the end of the day it really hurt. And there was always the chance it could one day become a proper break. I'd tried physiotherapists for my toe and my GP gave me tablets for my skin. Then, a friend recommended Mary English and her homeopathic remedies. I thought, "Well, lets give it a try".
We met and I explained everything about myself, from my diet to my demanding schedules. I was given two tablets, one to be taken immediately and the next 24 hours later. Mary prescribed pulsatilla for my skin and silicea for my toe.
My foot ached for a day and hasn't given me any trouble since, and I was amazed when my skin began to clear. I could put away the foundation!
It cleared it up in about a week and I was very surprised how quickly it worked. It was great to feel naturally radiant.
I am now dancing for The Royal Ballet at Covent Garden's Opera House and loving it. I'm so happy I discovered homeopathy.'

Mary English's business is called The Hensley Healing Practice. Contact her by visiting

[email protected]

copyright Take a Break's Fate and Fortune January 2004 H Bauer Publishing