Liz, 54, a psychotherapist from London, uses homeopathy and other natural medicines to treat multiple sclerosis (MS) and other ailments. Her two children, aged 12 and 18, also use homeopathy.
I’ve had MS for over 30 years. It started with numbness in my arms, and feeling a bit sluggish, but when the numbness moved to my right leg, I went to the doctors. I got more symptoms and Initially I was diagnosed with optic neuritis [inflammation that damages the optic nerve], but soon after it was diagnosed as MS.
In those days, the only medication offered for MS was steroids, but they made you put on weight. At the time I had an eating disorder and low self esteem, so the thought of gaining weight freaked me out, so I declined all medication. I remember running out of the hospital in Russell Square [London] because I couldn’t bear having any more tests; it was horrendous.
Afterwards, I went into self-sabotage. I didn't look after myself. I was drinking and taking recreational drugs – “having a good time” – but underneath it all, I was dealing with issues that I later found out to be childhood trauma.
Making a connection
When I started having psychotherapy aged 27, this was the first step to helping me look after myself. I learnt about the mind-body connection and began to take an interest in what the cause of my health problems were. I started to understand that my childhood trauma was possibly in relation to what was happening in my body.
I took an interest in what symptoms meant and remember reading this book that said rheumatism in your fingers and hands, which I had, was linked to anger that wasn’t expressed. I didn’t understand at that time why I’d be angry, but it kind of made sense.
Soon after, I got interested in homeopathy. I liked it because it was an alternative and I wanted to take something that wasn’t going to give me any side effects. When I travelled, I took my homeopathy kit with me and I wouldn’t let it go through the X-rays at the airport – I was very serious about it.
A different approach
I kind of lost of interest in homeopathy for a while, but when I had my daughter I was very keen on having a natural birth and I had the most amazing midwife. My son, who was six at the time, had tonsillitis for the third time in 18 months and had been given the usual antibiotics. I wasn’t happy about it, but at the same time I couldn’t bear seeing him so distressed. My midwife suggested that I take him to see a homeopath. Someone else I knew had also recommended the same homeopath, so I thought, ‘Right, let’s give this woman a go’.
From the moment I met the homeopath, I really liked her. She explained fever and infection in a very clear way, so I completely understood what she was saying. When my son had tonsillitis again, I followed her advice and gave him one remedy for 24 hours, then another remedy, and he recovered in 48 hours. It was remarkable because in the past it had been a whole week out of his life.
From then on I trusted her and started seeing her myself – for everything from MS, to menopausal symptoms and flu. There have been times when I’ve been ill and people have been telling me to do this or do that, but I’ve stuck with my homeopath.
A new generation
My children have been treated by our homeopath for everything from worms to boils, and it’s interesting to see their approach to conventional medicine as a result. My son, who’s just gone off to university, hasn’t taken any medication since he was six, and won’t even take a pill if he’s got a headache.
My 12-year-old daughter has never taken medication, and she’s got faith in homeopathy. When she’s ill, I give her remedies. We start off with Belladonna, or Aconite if something’s come on quickly, or Arnica if there’s any anxiety or shock. Or, if it’s something new, I’ll take her to the homeopath. She responds very well to homeopathy, and is rarely sick.
Seeing the homeopath is an important part of maintaining mine and my family’s health. My homeopath is so confident about her work and what she does that it breathes confidence in me. I also have psychotherapy and am open to anything natural that’ll help in the moment, but homeopathy confirms my belief in my theory of health and wellbeing. It’s a big addition to helping me continue the way that I’m going.