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 Homeopathy: Healing Through Homeopathy - A Case of Chronic Headaches 
Chronic headaches are one of the most common and distressing problems for many of our patients. Homeopathic medicine can be remarkably effective in treating headaches, regardless of their etiology. In eliciting the patient's symptoms, a homeopathic interviewer must understand many explicit details concerning the headaches, including how long the patient has suffered with the headaches and any original etiology, quality and intensity of pain, site of the headache and whether it is localized or radiating, causative factors, time of onset, duration, other symptoms of any kind which accompany or precede the headache, and any modalities (ie: what tends to make the headache better or worse). Whereas allopathic, or even holistic, medicine, may not vary treatment of a headache according to the above factors, homeopathy makes definite distinctions.

In Kent's Repertory, the most standard repertory used by most homeopaths, there are 89 pages devoted to head pain. Listed under the general rubric (heading) "head pain, headache in general", 259 homeopathic remedies are listed. Kent lists 4l different qualities of head pain ranging from the more common "dull pain", "shooting", and "sore" to the more unusual "lan-cinating", "boring", "crushed, as if shattered, beaten to pieces", "grinding", "as from a nail", "stunning; stupefying", and many more. Homeopathy can even determine the correct remedy for a headache according to the etiology, prescribing differently depending on whether the headache was due to exposure to a draft, chill, or heat exposure, followed anger, grief, or "excessive joy". or occurred after ingestion of specific substances such as alcohol, candy, meat, milk, coffee, tea, or even lemonade. Further details which differentiate between remedies might include periodicity, onset after listening to music, after lactation, before, during, or after the menses, or during the climacteric.The homeopath learns quite quickly that the only way to find the correct remedy for his or her patient's very specific symptoms is by an extremely detailled casetaking. It may take five or ten minutes just to gather the necessary symptomatic informa- tion about the headaches. In a case, such as the one that follows, where there are several types of headaches, this same type of explicit information must be gathered about each classification of headache. This type of interview, needless to say, requires the full attention and patience of the homeopath. As with any symptom, if the patient has experienced it for more than a couple of months or has had it in the past, it falls into the category of chronic illness and the homeopath must take "the full case". This means interviewing the patient for one to one and a half hours about all of his or her symptoms, physical, mental, and emotional, rather than just the headache symptoms. On the other hand, if the headache is acute and isolated, not part of a chronic pattern, one may evaluate only the headache symptoms and prescribe accordingly.

If you know a little bit about homeopathy and we ask you, "What is the single most common remedy for headaches?", you might respond, correctly, "Belladonna". However, in a homeo- pathic practice, if you know only about Belladonna, you won't get very far in helping your pa-tients alleviate their headaches nor in achieving the homoepathic goal in the treatment of head-aches, to have them go away pretty much once and for all, or, if they do return, to be infrequent and of mild intensity.

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 About The Author
Judyth Reichenberg-Ullman ND, MSWJudyth Reichenberg-Ullman, ND, DHANP, MSW is a licensed naturopathic physician board certified in homeopathic medicine. She graduated with a degree in ...more
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