1. What inspired you to become a homeopath?
My original inspiration came from my uncle in Goa, India who has helped many people through homeopathy. When I went to university, I pursued my BSc. In Biomedical Science with the intention of going into allopathic medicine. But during my undergrad as I took courses in pharmacology and learned more about drug interactions and contraindications, I realized that that was not where my heart was. I wanted to practice medicine in a more holistic way, addressing the whole person and treating the individual, not the disease. I worked for several years after and explored various programs, at which time I came across CCHM’s diploma program in classical homeopathy. The philosophy and program resonated with me. I graduated with honours and as one of the valedictorians in 2011 and feel like joining this program is one of the best decisions I have ever made.
2. What does your average day as a homeopath look like?
My average day involves working out of my home office in Toronto where I do initial consultations and follow-ups. Some of my clients are overseas or out-of-town so I do some consults virtually via video conference or phone calls. With both local and international clients, I work flexible hours.
3. What do you most love about being a homeopath?
I love how stimulating this profession is - each individual and case is different. You can never get bored in this profession or “outgrow your job.” I love the challenge of constantly learning, and I learn something new from every client. I feel like I am just at the tip of the ice berg with homeopathy, and I know I will be learning for the rest of my life. I love the whole person and individualized approach that homeopathy uses. I also love helping my family and friends. My grandmother recently fell very ill and homeopathy has helped tremendously in her healing journey.
4. What is your favourite homeopathic story?
There are so many good ones but one that really stands out for me is the trial in Cuba several years ago where homoeoprophylaxis was used in the prevention of leptospirosis. It shows, on a large scale, the safety and medical and cost effectiveness of homeopathy for infectious diseases. It goes right back to the roots of homeopathic medicine where Hahnemann first used Belladonna homoeoprophylactically to prevent Scarlet Fever in 1798. My fourth year independent research project was also on homeoprophylaxis (for mosquito-borne illnesses in India).
5. We don't need to know what you had for breakfast, but I'm sure it was healthy and delicious, so do tell! What did you have for breakfast?
Two hard boiled eggs and a cup of black coffee.
6. Tell us a little about your life before you became a homeopath.
Originally from India, I was born in Mumbai and moved to Muscat, Oman in the Middle East when I was 1.5 years old. I lived in Oman for 18 years and came to Canada for university as an international student, graduating with a BSc. in honours Biomedical Science from the University of Guelph. After graduation, I did a year of naturopathic medicine at Bastyr University in Kenmore, Washington, then lived in Vancouver for a few years where I worked as an assistant in naturopathic clinics, as a health and product advisor in health stores and as a nutrition specialist for a company that provided lifestyle assessments, genetic testing and customized vitamin formulations.
7. How did you change your life through homeopathy?
With my education and work as a homeopath, I have been able to help clients, family, friends, colleagues and myself. It is the wisest and most sensible approach to treating anyone. I personally was diagnosed with ADHD and fibromyalgia several years ago, and I haven’t used any allopathic medications, only homeopathy and almost entirely symptom-free on both accounts. Homeopathy has helped me to look at and understand people from a different lens and better understand how our bodily systems and different aspects of our being are interrelated.
8. What role did CCHM play in supporting your transformation?
CCHM gave me the hub of amazing professors and excellent education in classical homeopathy to take out to the world. It was a safe and supportive space to learn and grow. It is a challenging world out there and school can sometime feel like a bubble, but what I love about CCHM is the practical training right from the second year, internship and externship, and ongoing support and professional development/educational opportunities the CCHM community offers to its alumni.
9. What are three key memories from your experience at CCHM?
1 – The amazing staff and professors. I loved them all and each of them brought something different to the table. I appreciated the different perspectives and learning from their collective wisdom, experience and knowledge, including golden nuggets of information! One lecture that really stood out for me was Joan Weir’s lecture on homeopathic energetics where we learned some great grounding techniques.
2 – I hosted three out-of-town students in my small and humble apartment on school weekends and we always had a fabulous time together. I always looked forward to school weekends which were also social weekends! I have made deep and lifelong friendships.
3 – Graduation day, celebrating with my classmates, professors, family and friends and the valedictory speech I did with two other classmates.
10. What obstacles did you have to overcome in order to become a homeopath?
The biggest challenge for me was financial, but I overcame that by working full time while in homeopathy school. It was tough as I had a heavy-duty job and most of my evenings, weekends and vacation days were consumed with classes and coursework. Free time was almost non-existent, but I knew it was a temporary sacrifice to make. I was very fortunate to have a supportive network of family and friends who respected my choice and encouraged me along the way.
11. How do you see your future in homeopathy?
In the near future I plan to work with Dr. Batra’s, a multinational homeopathic company, at their first clinic in Canada, for which I was recruited. The launch date is TBD, but I look forward to working with this reputable company that has an effective business model with well-established clinics all across India, Europe and the Middle East.
12. What do you love about the homeopathic community?
The people! I love collaborating with my colleagues and learning from each other. I find the homeopathic community an enlightening one filled with avid learners, seekers and compassionate people.
13. What advice can you offer to a person considering becoming a homeopath?
Do what you are passionate about. Talk to practicing homeopaths to get their perspectives on the profession, including the opportunities and challenges. This is what I did before enrolling at CCHM and the homeopaths I connected with were extremely helpful. You also need to understand the business aspects, costs and challenges to running your own practice.
14. Can you recommend a couple of good books on homeopathy?
A couple of good books that first drew me into homeopathy include “Impossible Cure: The Promise of Homeopathy” by Amy L. Lansky, PhD and “The Science of Homeopathy” by George Vithoulkas.
15. Anything you'd like to add?
I recently moved back to Toronto after an 8-month trip to India. While in India I did further training in homeopathy with Dr. Batra’s Academy – I did a certificate course in homeopathic oncology and learned a great deal on this topic, from a professor with over 30 years of experience working with cancer patients. I also collaborated and consulted with a team of homeopaths from across the country on various cases almost on a frequent basis. I am especially thankful to Dr. Samir Chaukkar, the Dean of Dr. Batra’s Academy whom I am now collaborating with through his company Homeopathic Health Solutions, and Dr. Pente Pravin whom I am also collaborating with via online consultations and other projects in the works with his company, Dr. Pente’s Advanced Homeopathy and Research. I also practice reflexology therapy and find that it is a great complement to homeopathic medicine.
More about Annabelle:
Annabelle Menezes, HOM, DCHM, Healing Path Wellness
Annabelle Menezes has over 15 years of experience in the holistic health/wellness industry. She received her BSc. with honours in Biomedical Science from the University of Guelph. During her undergraduate degree Annabelle grew interested in natural medicine. She then took courses in natural medicine and worked in naturopathic clinics, as a health and product advisor in health stores, and as a nutrition specialist for a health company that focused on customized supplements and nutritional support. She went on to pursue training in classical homeopathy at the Canadian College of Homeopathic Medicine and graduated with honours and as valedictorian. Annabelle then pursued training in reflexology therapy through the Reflexology Association of Canada. She is currently Co-President of the Ontario Chapter and on the National Board of Directors of the Reflexology Association of Canada. Annabelle has been in private practice in Toronto since 2012.