From Jodie Tatlock, Toronto
I recently took a first-aid course in homeopathy at the Canadian College of Homeopathic Medicine (CCHM). It was a great supplement to my homeopathy class at school (The Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine) and it was just in time for my volunteer trip to Peru. CCHM generously donated first-aid kits allowing me to really put my growing-knowledge of homeopathy to the test.
Prior to this trip, using homeopathic medicines had been reserved for my own aches and pains... and of course my boyfriend and family, who reluctantly put up with my incessant inquiries about their health. While participating in the medical campaign in Peru I was able to prescribe homeopathics under supervision for a wide variety of health conditions, and to my surprise, I realized how perfectly they complemented almost all my treatment plans whether natural or pharmaceutical. A true homeopath may argue that it should not be used in conjunction with other medicine, however, I quickly learnt that when treating acutely the combination can be very effective.
For anyone familiar with homeopathy you have most likely heard of the medicine called Pulsatilla. For those of you who don't, it is commonly used in children with moodiness, emotional sensitivities, those who are very tearful and constantly in need for comfort and reassurance. While my colleague and I were working with one woman, we were struggling to complete the physical exams because her three-year old was terribly upset that her mother wasn't paying her enough attention. Each of us took turns trying to entertain and comfort the girl but nothing was calming her down. It should have dawned on us sooner but when it did it was very obvious that this was a pulsatilla child - we gave her the medicine and within 30 seconds she stopped crying, let go of her mother, engaged with us, and was extremely well-tempered. The gentle effects of homeopathy are so beautifully seen in children and this was a very eye opening experience for me.
In addition to treating patients, travelling to Peru was another invitation for my own personal use of different homeopathic medicines. And thanks to the affordability I was able to make my own travel kit before I left. I used them effectively for travellers diarrhea (aka a traveller's life-saver), altitude sickness, ear pressure from flying, sunburns, and headaches. Understanding that these do not burden my body or create side-effects like some of the medications I had options of taking, I couldn't be happier that I was able to travel for a month with minimal discomfort.