Homeopathy: Healing that goes to the root

Updated On:26 Aug 2013 01:04 PM IST   By: Shiphony Pavithran Suri

FAST FACTS
Programme: Bachelor of Homeopathy Medicine & Surgery (BHMS)
Job profile: Homeopathy Doctor, Lecturer, Scientist
Best BHMS colleges: Dr. M. L. Dhawale Memorial Homoeopathic Institute, Govt. Homeopathic Medical College, Calicut, Father Muller Homoeopathic Medical College, MangaloreNational Institute of Homoeopathy, Kolkata, Nehru Homoeopathic Medical College, Delhi
Best PG colleges: NIH-Kolkata, Dr. M. L. Dhawale Memorial Homoeopathic Institute, Nehru Homeopathic Medical College-Delhi, Government Homeopathic Medical College-Thiruvananthapuram
Recruiters: Government/ private hospitals, dispensaries, colleges, research institutes, pharmaceutical companies


Photograph: Shutter Stock
Homeopathy sector is likely to grow 30% annually and reach a size of Rs. 4,600 crore


Ten years ago, Rathinavel, a Class 10 student from Salem was on an emotional roller coaster. He was juggling between board exam stress and his father’s prolonged ailment. His dad who had sleepless nights was diagnosed with kidney stones – a condition which can give terrible lower back pain. An immediate surgery removed the stones but the relief from the pain was short-lived. Waves of cramps triggered off another kidney stone episode. Allopathy doctors were alarmed about the recurrence of the condition, but Rathinavel’s ailing father opposed further surgery. 

As a last resort, the family approached a homeopath. After a long interaction, the doctor informed about the lengthy treatment which would take at least 4-6 months to cure him. The doses helped to reduce the pain. Within a few months, the X-Ray report showed multiple stones descending downwards. Gradually stones were flushed out of the system. Those regular doctor visits piqued Rathinavel’s interest in homeopathy as a career path.

“It was a miraculous recovery, and made me curious to know everything! My dad’s doctor fished out books and taught me some basics,” recalls Rathinavel, now 25. He went on to do a BHMS at Vinayaka Mission’s Homoeopathic Medical College & Hospital (VMHMCH) in Salem and is currently pursuing an MD in Pharmacy at Baxin Homeopathic Medical College, Noida.

India, a homeopathy hub
With India being the super hub of largest number of homeopaths (over 5 lakhs) in the world, homeopathy is fast being viewed as a mainstream form of treatment in India and the world today. Homeopathy market is likely to grow 30 percent annually and reach a size of Rs. 4,600 crore as the number of takers is growing fast within and outside India.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) homeopathy is the second largest system of medicine in the world. It can be an effective alternative treatment for chronic occurrences like allergies, skin diseases, chronic gastritis, sinusitis and migraine and many more.

 



“The armoury of homeopathic drugs is very huge. Allopaths still prescribe a list of less than 200 drugs, whereas homeopaths have to deal with 4000 drugs”

Dr. Manish Bhatia
Founder Director of Hpathy.com





“I have treated Leukaemia patient who was put on a ventilator. Homeopathy medicine worked well with allopathy medicines”

Dr. Rahul Tewari,
Private Practitioner, Delhi





“Two specialisations, paediatrics and psychiatry, have gained popularity among students”

Prof Dr. Mansoor Ali KR
Govt. Homeopathic Medical College, Calicut,


The origin of drugs
“The armoury of homeopathic drugs is very huge. Allopaths still prescribe a list of less than 200 drugs, whereas homeopaths have to deal with 4000 drugs,” shares Dr. Manish Bhatia, CEO of Hpathy Medical Private Ltd  and Founder Director of Hpathy.com, the largest homeopathy journal portal in the world.

According to Dr Bhatia, their journal ‘Homeopathy for Everyone’ caters to 50,000 subscribers across world and has had a galvanising effect among homeopaths. The administration of treatment has radically changed. Today most young practitioners use homeopathic software to go through the huge data of drugs and symptoms. Popular software includes RADAR, HOMPATH, MACREPETORY and IFIF.

Homeopathic drugs are prepared from natural sources like animal, plant and energy substances. The method of preparation is called potentisation – A specific amount of these substances are dissolved in a predetermined quantity of water or alcohol to make the ‘mother tincture’ (the active principle of the substance). It is further diluted and shaken to achieve the correct strength or potency.
 

  • Read review of another alternative medicine: Ayurveda 


“Serpentine queues of mothers with infants inside my clinic makes many think that I am a paediatrician,” laughs Dr. Rahul Tewari, a private practitioner in Delhi. Homeopathy is child-friendly and safe. Instead of large bitter antibiotic capsules, kids love to pop white pills which are mildly sweet. It can effectively treat viral infections commonly occurring in children - such as common cold, influenza, measles, chickenpox, mumps and jaundice.

Dr Valavan Manager – Scientific Affairs, Schwabe India
Job verticals in pharma company

Schwabe is the only MNC operating in the field of homoeopathic manufacturing. It entered India when the demand for its products shot up. Dr Valavan reviews the expansion and job outlook . 

Q: Do you feel that homeopathy is picking up in India?
A: Absolutely! The ASSOCHAM yearly report reveals it all – in 2007, there were about 40-50 million people who opted for homoeopathy. And in 2011, the figure jumped to 100-120 million.

Q: Making homeopathic drugs is tougher than allopathy. Is this true?
A: Yes, we prepare drugs in serial dilutions. To make 200 potency drug, correspondingly we have to undergo 200 steps to achieve the potency. (50,000 potency = 50,000 steps, 100,000 potency = 100,000 steps). 

Q: Pharma companies employ BHMS grads. Tell us about verticals and salary range.
A: Pharma companies values at least 18-months’ experience. The hierarchy is similar to any corporate company - Officer/Asst/Deputy/General Manager & Director. Homeopaths are hired in R & D, product development, manufacturing, marketing and sales departments. Entry level salary of fresher is Rs. 10,000 to 15,000 per month. As your experience increases, it can go up from Rs. 50,000 to Rs. 100,000 per month.    

Q: Any recent breakthrough. 
A: There have been many ground breaking experiments in homeopathy. Research done by IIT Bombay has revealed that homeopathy pills work on the principle of nanotechnology. Homeopathic pills made of metals (gold, copper, iron) retain their potency even when diluted to a nanometre or one-billionth of a metre.


Knowing the mind and body

Homeopathic treatment has a personalised touch. A typical first clinical appointment lasts for one or two hours. Doctors ask patients open-ended questions to describe the symptoms and own experience of diseases like major illness, lifestyle, hobbies, stress factors, childhood history and reactions to weather.

Treatment varies according to physiological and psychological factors. So it may happen that two people with acne vulgaris will receive completely different homeopathic treatment. Dr. Rahul recalls one of the innovative treatments administrated at an orphanage. “With the help of a dramatist, I used to design drama themes for children based on their personal history. I used to compare and analyse psychological symptoms like a child’s outburst on stage and what he shared individually. It helped me zero in on right medication,” he shares.

Being a good listener, a must
You must develop a knack for going to the heart of the matter. A good listener can pick up the verbal signs of pathology and can respond to patient’s personal issues and problems. You can excel if you have the ability to inspire trust, and form a rapport with all kinds of people.

Homeopathy versus Allopathy
Homeopathy treatment takes time to show results. This is because it affects the root of the disease without side effects. The cost of medication is low. “We approach patients in a holistic way by treating the patient as a whole and not just the disease. With minute doses, homeopathy helps to enhance the self-healing capacity of the body,” says Dr A.K Seth, who is the Chairperson of Department of Homeopathy, Ganga Ram Hospital, Delhi.

Unlike allopathy, which aims to relieve symptoms, homeopathy stresses on the idea that ‘like cures like’; that substances which cause symptoms can be used in small doses to cure the disease. “The indiscriminate use of allopathy can be avoided as alternate medicine can easily treat day-to-day infection. Antibiotics tend to kill the healthy bacteria, destroying the immune system. Homeopathy medicines are ultra dilute which make them non-toxic and safe,” he adds.

There are a number of diseases which can be surgically cured, but homeopathy works curatively and can help avoid surgery. It can cure ailments like septic recurrent, tonsillitis, piles, fissure-in-ano, fistula, appendicitis, chronic ear discharge, vocal cord nodules, polyp in nose-ear, kidney and biliary (small) stones, small size uterine fibroid, ovarian cysts, warts, corns.
 
Myth: Does it work for all?
Like any other medicine, homeopathy has its limitations, and there are many debates on whether it works or doesn’t work at all. “The medicine’s reaction depends on the defensive mechanism of the body, type of disease and patient’s prior treatment and multiple factors,” reflects Dr Mansoor. Another bias is that homeopathy is slow. “We should not compare it with modern medicine. The lengthy treatment aims at rooting out the disease as opposed to suppressing it,” shares Dr. Bhatia.

Is holistic medicine your calling?

At present there are over 180 colleges in India. Those who have passed 10+2 with English, Physics, Chemistry and Biology can opt for Bachelor of Homeopathy Medicine & Surgery (BHMS) - 4 1/2 year programmes along with one-year of internship. Selection is based on All India/State/internal college entrance test. Besides learning homeopathy philosophies, medicines, the syllabus covers all basics of MBBS. 

After BHMS, students can explore MD in Homeopathy, which spans three years. According to Dr. Mansoor Ali KR, a Professor at Govt. Homeopathic Medical College, Calicut, two specialisations, that is, paediatrics and psychiatry, have gained popularity. MD students studying in government colleges can receive stipends ranging from Rs. 15,000 to Rs. 25,000 per month. Many private colleges do not fund expenses.
 

 


Photograph: Shutter Stock
HOMEOPATHIC DRUGS are prepared from natural sources like animal, plant and energy substances

Follow your mentor
It is advisable to get adequate hands-on experience under the supervision of qualified homeopaths in hospitals or clinics. This will improve your professional knowledge and you will learn how to take timely decisions. Dr. Seth recalls his initial days of working with a popular doctor. “He was a genius who had a gold mine of books on homeopathy. I was lucky! He made me read journals, which were not available anywhere in India,” he share.

Employment scenario 
A BHMS graduate can find jobs in hospitals, medical colleges, government dispensaries, NGOs, research institutes, homoeopathic publications, homeopathic software development, insurance industry and even BPOs and KPOs.

If you are curious and passionate about scientific revelatory experiments you can join Central Council for Research in Homeopathy (CCRH) - a fresher can enter as a senior research fellow and draw a salary of Rs. 20,000 plus HRA. With experience you can rise to the ranks of research officers, scientists (gazetted medical officers) who earn around Rs. 60,000 to Rs. 70,000 per month.

Research is also an option
Researchers are involved in three kinds of work - fundamental research, clinical research and drug proving. “I work on fundamental research where I focus on collaborative research projects with institutes like IITs, AIIMS. I design protocols and review them,” says Dr. Saurav Arora, Senior Research Fellow at CCRH. Dr. Mansoor feels doing private practice is more lucrative than any other job. Running your clinic may not give revenue immediately, but it has more potential for the growth. With decent personal set-up and experience one can earn between Rs. 20,000 to 50,000 per month. However, there is no limitation once the doctor builds reputation in the market. “Clinical practise has its own charm. It’s a different pleasure to meet patients and cure them. Whereas in research you can explore a lot but you have a limited clinical contact,” concludes Arora. 

The collective approach
All medicines cannot satisfy all patients - some will provide cure and some will just provide relief. Homeopathy medicines can be taken simultaneously with other systems of medicines. ”I have treated a leukaemia patient who was put on a ventilator. When the condition got deteriorated the family turned to me. I gave three doses of arsenic album within the gap of 15 minutes. The next morning he was out of the ventilator. Thereafter, he continued his allopathic chemotherapy along with homeopathy,” reveals Dr Rahul.

In chronic ailments, taking Homeopathy medicines can improve immunity to prevent recurring illnesses to maintain good health. There are groups trying to correlate and coordinate with modern medicine. Many hospitals seek help from holistic medicine department – it can help those patients who cannot be treated by modern medicine. It’s time our medical education system too worked towards the direction of multiple treatments.

Homoeopathy is neither fast nor slow. It just follows the laws of nature and takes optimum time to cure, treating the core problem rather than the symptoms. If you are prepared to give holistic regeneration to pubic health then BHMS is the right path for you! 

TOP 10 homeopathy colleges
Father Muller Homoeopathic Medical College, Deralakatte, Mangalore
Govt. Homeopathic Medical College, Calicut
M. Shaikh Homoeopathic Medical College, Belgaum
National Institute of Homoeopathy, Kolkata
Nehru Homoeopathic Medical College, Delhi
Bakson Homoeopathic Medical College& Hospital, UP
Govt. Homoeopathic Medical College, Thiruvananthapuram
Orissa Medical College of Homoeopathy& Research, Orissa
Homoeopathic Medical College, Punjab
Vinayaka Mission’s Homoeopathic Medical College, Tamil Nadu
TOP 5 homeopathy pharma companies
Dr. Willmar Schwabe India, Noida
Hahnemann Publishing Company, Kolkata
Fr. Muller Homoeopathic Pharmaceutical Division, Karnataka
Sharda Boiron Laboratories, UP
Bakson Drugs and Pharmaceuticals, UP
TOP 3 homeopathy colleges abroad
Faculty of Homeopathy, Luton
Institute of Complementary Medicine
KIKOM, University of Bern

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