When it comes to alternative medicine, sometimes we have to step back in order to go forward. Our bodies have the capability to heal themselves, it’s how we’ve biologically evolved to survive, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t need a little extra push to get there.
Melissa Sawyer is a homeopathic practitioner who aids people’s bodies to heal themselves with the proper catalyst. The beauty of her work is allowing the body to do its own healing by treating the entire person and then working its way back to the disease. Learn more about Melissa and her work here:
Tell me about your professional background in Homeopathy.
I am a graduate of Baylight School of Homeopathy in Portland, Maine. I currently have certification as a Classical Homeopath and have chosen to continue my education at AHE/NYC World where I focus on clinical studies. I work with a variety of clients from infants and children to adults, pregnant mothers and even pets!
I am riveted on what the body is innately designed and capable to do for us and as a homeopath, look at the combination of symptoms the body expresses to alert us of where there is a disturbance in the vital force. I work closely with my clients in both acute cases as well as chronic to restore the body to equilibrium and its highest function of health. Prior to becoming a homeopath, I have certification in Polarity therapy, Attunement, and owned a vegetarian/vegan restaurant until 2014.
What made you want to get into this work?
I began studying homeopathy after closing my restaurant. I have always studied how the human body is working to help us maintain our highest health and function, and I am a firm believer in natural ways to assist the body in this difficult job. The food we eat, medications, vitamins or supplements we take, the exercise we enjoy, and our mental/emotional experiences all play a major role in how well we survive and thrive.
Homeopathy is what tied that all together in my experience. It really is one of the only whole health models we have. It takes into consideration the experiences as they begin, even in our birth, to create a pattern of how we express our vital force. I wanted to help people find the patterns of dis-ease in the body rather than mask them. I wanted to support people in looking at the body as one unit where all of the pieces work together.
What has been your favorite aspect of this work?
My favorite aspect of this work is having a relationship with my clients in which they feel seen and heard. In so many ways, allowing my clients the time to discuss all of the things that they feel are relevant to their health is the first stage of healing.
I love that the body does this work on its own and that the remedies I provide are simply a catalyst in the process. In many cases for people, homeopathy is the first time they have had a practitioner not break their body into pieces and treat the disease. In this work, we treat the entire person and instead of looking at the disease and working our way back, we look at the expression of the vital force and work our way forward.
It can be frustrating to think that if we don’t experience symptoms in a clinical textbook way, that people can spend years undiagnosed or misdiagnosed. So in homeopathy, our focus is on the individual experience and the unique way our bodies express themselves.
Can you explain what homeopathic medicine is and what a typical treatment is like from start to finish?
I think it’s important for people to understand that homeopathy is gentle and works with the body’s innate desire to heal itself. In chronic cases, it can take some time to gain equilibrium. That is very different from the allopathic model of suppression and a “quick fix”.
A new client looking for chronic care will spend about 2 hours in their initial intake and we explore physical and mental health concerns, as well as health history. Once the intake is over, I make an assessment of all of that information and find similarities to the patterns that they are suffering from.
Everything that is discussed is related in one way or another and it is my goal to find the largest totality in the case. A single remedy that fits the symptom picture is prescribed and a dosing schedule is chosen. Homeopathy is so individual, there is no one specific strategy for everyone, there are thousands of remedies to choose from. It’s my job to find the most similar remedy picture for my client.
After a remedy is given, we will have a follow-up within 7-14 days and discuss the next steps. An acute case is a shorter intake and the follow-up occurs within 24-48 hours.
What sort of health challenges can homeopathy be effective for and why?
Homeopathy can be used successfully for many health concerns. I have clients who use homeopathy for acute symptoms only like: stings, colds, accidents, grief, sleep issues, etc. I have clients who use homeopathy for chronic health concerns both physical and emotional.
Homeopathy can be used independently as well as in combination with allopathic medicine or other whole health modalities. There has yet to be a case that I have seen where there hasn’t been some overall benefit when homeopathy is used. The body is designed to help us live and survive because its immune system and vital force create a defence mechanism to fight illness, and that is true for anybody.
Homeopathy works WITH the vital force so it’s really a win-win. ANY time you allow the body to overcome a health deficit, you are strengthening its natural ability to do so and because homeopathic remedies are simply catalysts for natural healing, we are stronger every time we use them.
What is homeopathy like from the patient’s point of view?
I think from a patient’s point of view, homeopathy feels like they are supported and heard in the initial intake, sometimes even for the first time. It can feel in part like a therapy session as well as a doctor’s appointment all at once. If someone is used to the allopathic model only, it can be a completely different experience with a homeopath, because we let the patient tell us how they experience their suffering. There really isn’t anything we don’t want to hear about.
A homeopath will help keep the client guided in the right direction but the client is the focus. The goal of the homeopath is to be an unprejudiced observer and let the patient’s expression of dis-ease lead us to the right remedy…we are not trying to make this experience fit into the box of a diagnosis, but instead acknowledge that the patient may have a unique way in which they experience their symptoms.
What would you say to someone skeptical about homeopathy and its effectiveness? How do you approach that?
People are definitely skeptical of homeopathy and that’s ok! I often explain some of the basic principles of homeopathy and discuss the more common homeopathic options they may already be familiar with like arnica gel, teething tablets, and cell salts that are found right on the pharmacy shelves. I think it is important for people to question what they put into their bodies and I wish they would do it more, to be honest!
Homeopathy is used by more than 500 million people worldwide, was introduced more than 200 years ago by a German physician and chemist- Samuel Hahnemann, and The American Journal of Public Health has put homeopathy among the top 3 complementary and integrative strategies in health care. I recommend people try homeopathy for acute examples first and see for themselves, I also highly recommend they do so while under the guidance of an accredited homeopath.
Besides alternative medicine do you have any universal health and well-being tips that you’d like to share?
I think being a homeopath has helped me understand that healing and health are different for everybody so I encourage people to be their own best health advocates. Try things that feel good to them, ask questions of their health team, look at their overall health and wellness and make it a priority in their lives.
I find that in mainstream health we rely heavily on things that suppress our symptoms and systems for convenience and we are suffering the consequences of this choice in such a profound way. Find something that excites you, find something that lights you up, do something you love as often as you can. Once on a homeopathic journey, I find that most people begin to identify their own obstacles to cure in their environments and strive to remove or change them.
Homeopathy brings us back into homeostasis and that is truly the balance of health.
If there was one piece of advice you could give to someone who is struggling, what would it be?
A single piece of advice I would give to someone is: listen to your body. We are innately designed to do everything if we just listen to what the body, mind and spirit are saying. Trust yourself…the body will tell us what we need to know and indicate if we need help in the event we are not vital enough to overcome something on our own, but we must listen. That is what a symptom picture is for-it is the expression of the vital force.
If there is too much “noise” in our lives and we find ourselves in chronic sickness, start small. Start by making your health and well-being a priority over everything else. One of my favorite quotes by Oscar Wilde says: “To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance.” This is absolutely true.
What resources would you recommend?
Impossible Cure- The Promise of Homeopathy by Amy L. Lansky, PhD
Discovering Homeopathy by Dana Ullman
This is my website:
Homeopathic medicine is a gentle way to heal your body without attacking it. It uses the natural-born gift of being able to heal ourselves and provides the catalyst to do so. Melissa Sawyer has been helping others unlock this power within themselves, you can learn more about Melissa and her work here:
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