Each year, from the 10th to the 16th April, homeopaths, patients of homeopathy, and others interested in natural healthcare, come together to celebrate Homeopathy Awareness Week. It is also a commemoration of the birth date of Dr Samuel Hahnemann, the founder of homeopathy, who was born on the 10th April, 1755.
In the UK, 15% of our population already use homeopathy, and a further 80% have heard about it. However, many people are not quite sure what makes homeopathy different from other systems of medicine. The events which are organised during Homeopathy Awareness Week are there to help you to learn more about homeopathy, and the many health benefits which it can bring to everyone.
Homeopathy Awareness Week is both a national and an international event. For those in the UK this is what's happening this year:
I feel refreshed - which can only be good news for my patients! I love my job - which is running my clinics, seeing my lovely patients, and teaching and tutoring homeopathy students. But every now and again I need to come up for air. So at the beginning of September I took 4 days off to do just that.
Was it worth it? Well, although term is about to start at Salisbury Homeopathy College, and I'm scurrying around researching lectures as well as keeping clinic going strong, I feel I can still easily stay in touch with the benefit. In fact, the photo above connects me with how I feel - even though I didn't go to this lake!
Have you ever tried a retreat yourself?
After a retreat you could feel
Yes, it seemed like an indulgence back in early 2017 when I planned it - arranging time off work, sorting out childcare plans, spending money on me. But everyone has benefited from my action - including my family! I spent days out in nature, getting in touch with the me that gets forgotten and letting my heart refill which is what sustains me when I am offering my work to other people.
But how do you choose a retreat?
Well, it could be anything that makes your heart sing (or your headache stop!).... meditation, yoga, chi gung, a religious setting, a non-religious setting, a health spa, a weekend in a B&B (but no internet and time in nature). It could be near, it could be far.
I like to have a 'teacher' or facilitator I really trust to run my few days away. Last year I went on a homeopathy course in Greece with my favourite homeopathy teacher, Professor George Vithoulkas. This year I chose to spend time contemplating nature and the cycles of life with one of my favourite spiritual teachers, Annette Host.
So if you're contemplating a retreat I urge you to make the time! All of those around you will benefit - and so will you.
Being self-reliant is something we all feel good about, but we also need to be able to ask for help.
Why not become self-reliant by learning how to use homeopathy at home for friends and family?
I run one day introductory courses in Shrivenham, Highworth and Witney, and a deeper 2 day course in Salisbury, throughout the year. Courses are taught with at least on other colleague - you get lots of benefit from getting several different perspectives and experiences in one course. All courses include useful course notes and refreshments, and are taught in conjunction with the Award Winning Salisbury Homeopathy College.
Click on the posters below for more details.
It occurred to me that I support people to be healthy, using natural and environmentally friendly remedies, from the inside out. But what do we put on our skin? Or put into our bodies food-wise? Does this support the same natural, healthy or even organic values?
We have an Open Day coming up in Highworth! This is your chance to meet some practitioners and discuss any aches, pains and ailments that you have and how we might help you. You can have a look around, or book a Spine Check with Becky (07525 002627) or FREE half hour homeopathy talk on the following:
#2. The Magical Beauty of A Remedy Working
When a remedy is well selected it works gently and effectively. It astounds me! How is it this tiny little white tablet, or drops of a liquid remedy, can make such a profound change? How is it that each remedy, from a choice of about 3,000, is able to beautifully match the individual's symptoms and help that person to move forward? It is a most elegant and simple form of natural medicine.
Homeopaths throughout the centuries have written about the wonder of homeopathy in wonder and awe since Dr Hahnemann first discovered homeopathy in the 18th Century. More than 200 years later I find myself repeatedly humbled an amazed at the beautiful simplicity of this system of medicine.
Some authors that I love to read, who continue to inspire and that also make a good introduction to homeopathy are:
photo: courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net by vitasamb2001
they are experiencing emotional stress and might be feeling grief, anxiety or depression. Some even come because their mental function is not what it was - such as memory problems, or difficulty concentrating. Each person has a history of how they came to be where they are at healthwise today. To focus on this we discuss the obvious - what they want help with, but in more detail than most have experienced before - and the less obvious, such as their preferred sleeping position, food they hate and favourite weather! Of course, all of this talking is confidential, and this allows people to talk freely about things they might not be comfortable talking about elsewhere.
Children can be very knowledgeable about what affects them, and sometimes they explain things more clearly than adults. Other times I listen to their parents or carers and use my skills as an 'unprejudiced observer' - which all homeopaths must be - to understand a baby or young child better. Even screams or a tantrum are vital clues to the homeopath and all part of what I need to know to be able to select an appropriate remedy.
My favourite bit is listening to what makes each person unique, and I love it when people hear themselves say something out loud and make connections they've never made before!
Things I love about being a homeopath #2 to follow soon.
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Photo by renjith krishnan courtesy of freedigitalphotos.com
It's been almost 8 weeks since I went to Alonissos - in pursuit of learning, of course! It's a hard life....
Finally I have made time to reflect on my week's learning at the International Academy of Classical Homeopathy and the teaching I absorbed after my daily commute on foot up the hill from Votsi, past citrus trees and bougainvillea, to Professor Vithoukas' Academy. Apparently I was lucky - it was certainly hot, but not like previous years. But first, how I got there.
It was quite a pilgrimage to Alonissos. Flying through the night from Heathrow to arrive in Athens in the early hours.... hopping on a twin prop plane and flying through dawn and sunrise to get to Skiathos, with its alarmingly tiny airstrip..... waiting for the ferry to arrive in Skiathos and meeting one of the teachers, Professor Jorgos Kavouras, at the ferry terminal..... sailing past many islands to arrive in Alonnisos.... catching a lift up the hill to Votsi, the village stayed in, and forcing myself to stay awake despite no sleep since Saturday morning so I could sleep through Sunday night ready for the morning's lectures!
This was the first time I'd met Professor George Vithoulkas in person. I found his energy and enthusiasm empowering, and his humility was almost a surprise. In person George is smaller than I'd imagined from the videos I have seen of his lectures, and he somehow reminded me of wise Yoda (I have 2 small boys so my knowledge of Star Wars is greater than it would be otherwise!): magnanimous, wise, compassionate and humble. George started the course optimistically by saying "I have the impression that things for homeopathy are going the right way in the world." This was music to the ears of beleaguered British homeopaths, used to a somewhat more negative outlook with regular attacks on the provision of homeopathy in the media. This optimism was echoed by the German Professor Jorgos Kavouras,who joined Professor George Vithoulkas in teaching this course.
A day in the of an International Course Student...
Here is the flavour of a typical day!
Waking in the morning in my hotel room and getting myself a breakfast of yogurt, fresh fruits and nuts whilst admiring the beautiful sea views, before packing my old but trusty laptop into my bag and walking to meet colleagues in the village. Off up the hill, past huge barking dogs, for a 15 minute trudge (which got easier as we got fitter!) to the Academy at the top of the hill.
Arrival at the Academy meant a welcome sit down and large drink of water to get back to normal temperatures before setting up my desk in the main lecture hall. George might open the day, and Jorgos would take the first session - discussing long and involved cases consultation by consultation, going through each prescription and why stick with it, why and when to change it, and all the questions that raised for us. This is unusual, to have such a detailed foray through case taking and valuable as this is like everyday practise - rather than the 'wonder cases' often saved for conferences! I was impressed at Jorgos' professional dedication and humility - his openness to sharing the warts and all nature of his cases - to a group of fellow professionals. He shared cases of MS, trigeminal neuralgia and hypertension, to name a few, but the aim was always to show the beautiful how and why of prescribing a remedy to fit the 'whole person'.
Other topics could be more philosophical - for example, discussions about infectious diseases like SARS and the role of homeopathy and allopathy, a specific illness like hydronephrosis or the state of homeopathy in the world.
Of course, there were breaks - and it was wonderful and a surprise to catch up with fellow alumni from my University course: people I've not seen for a decade and yet it felt like yesterday discussing lectures and students of old. And it was a chance to get to know new people and find out how homeopathy is being treated in their countries - generally a lot more positively than in Britain!
After more lectures a trip down the hill to lunch was the routine! Dimitri's restaurant with its Greek salads and delicious fresh cooked food a leap in life quality compared with grabbing a sandwich at lunchtime between patients! I managed to explore a little in the long lunch break, and found a beautiful little cove just down the hill from Votsi visited by Greek and foreign tourists. A coffee and the restful nature of staring out across the beautiful sea with green mountains rising from the depths did so much to restore and renew my soul that if I were my own doctor I would prescribe this as an annual trip to ensure that I can rebuild my energy after a year of supporting others!
One of the most fascinating parts of the course was the live cases. These might be in the morning or afternoon/evening. George, now in his mid-eighties, still takes 'live cases' where the patient sits in clinic with him and the case is simultaneously broadcast (and translated) to all of the students sitting in the hall. I won't disclose details due to confidentiality, but there were patients of all ages, from babes to elders, with a wide range of mental, emotional and physical symptoms and difficulties. Some of these patients have come to the clinic on the annual International Course for a couple of years and those that had seen them before remarked on the improvement in their health.
George's precision in case taking and detective-like, relentless search for the best remedy was an inspiration. His knowledge second to none and I picked up some good tips on how to pursue the quest for this remedy in my own consultations, using the computer as an aid to intelligent prescribing. Wonderful!
Of course, a trip back down the hill to a restaurant for a meal before bed and glass of Retsina was the perfect end to the day. Chats with great colleagues late into the evening about the day, life and the Universe helped put everything into perspective and 'logged' the day's teachings firmly in my mind.
So, to finish, I share a Youtube video celebrating 20 years of the International Course at Alonissos. Enjoy! Who knows, I may even see you there one day......
Open Day and Free Homeopathy 'Drop-In' or Taster Sessions
Highworth Holistic Health, 26 Newburgh Place, HIghworth
Saturday 6 June, 10am - 2pm.
To celebrate the opening of my new clinic in Highworth I'm offering an Open Day and free 15 minute taster sessions on 6 June*. This is ideal for those who want to find out more about homeopathy, or to meet me, with no obligation to book further appointments. The clinic is at Highworth Holistic Health, 26 Newburgh Place, and there will also be information and sessions with other practitioners in McTimoney Chiropractic, Thai massage, baby massage and more!
At the taster session you can find out how homeopathy could help any ailments or emotional issues you, your famly or friends are facing. You are welcome to come alone, or bring them with you. Depending on the ailment or injury I may be able to offer an appropriate homeopathic remedy in the session free of charge. Just come along and find out more. There will also be free leaflets available, a chance to chat informally, as well as a few homeopathic books and remedy kits available to browse or purchase.
I am a fully qualified and registered homeopath who has been treating serving individuals and families of all ages since 2006. I treat people for a wide range of ailments, from physical symptoms and injuries to emotional issues and difficulties.
If you would like more information, to book your free session, or simply to call for a chat to see what homeopathy could do to help, please call 07811 398642. I run clinics in Shrivenham, Highworth and via Skype.
* if you are unable to make 6 June but would still like a free 15 minute taster session, please call me as I have a limited number of sessions available on other dates in Highworth and Shrivenham.
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Joanna Shipley RSHom, Registered Homeopath. Loving homeopathy and natural health and passionate about sharing through practice and teaching. Lecturer and tutor at Salisbury Homeopathy College and NYR Organic Consultant. Informal talks, courses, workshops and provide one to one consultations for all ages. Clinics in Shrivenham, Highworth and via Skype.