A dying child was the catalyst that prompted Trish Moroney to become a homeopath. Working as a head teacher for a large London hospital school she often became close to her pupils, many of whom were seriously or terminally ill, and also was part of the care team as education was integrated into the life of children who were being treated over a long period of time.
But it was the particularly aggressive way that one child had to be treated that made her think if there must be an alternative, especially for terminally ill children, to help them suffer less and have a better quality of life.
‘The doctors were doing a brilliant job but the treatment was terribly aggressive. There was a lot of intervention and the child was on a massive drugs regime. I knew it was probably what the parents wished but it was heartbreaking. It bothered me that there was no alternative. It was an aggressive treatment regime or nothing, there was no choice,’ said Trish.
At that point she had no idea what the answer was but she began thinking about a different job that would involve a gentler care regime for children and considered the possibility of working in a hospice.
Then an advert in the Times Educational Supplement helped her to find her true vocation that allowed her to get involved in treating children in a gentle but non invasive way. ‘The advert was for a homeopath training course. I went to find out more and I realised that they key to gentler treatment was to look at the individual rather than particular symptoms. It was a life changing moment,’ she said. ‘I realised that what had bothered me about the aggressive treatment of that child was that he had not been treated as an individual but as a set of symptoms. It struck me that the key to homeopathy was the individual. It was what I really wanted to do. The individual is at the centre of homeopathy. It is also about integrity in the broadest sense of the word, ie, treating the whole. It was so refreshing and challenging. Traditional medicine doesn’t look for the common denominator which is the patient.’
Trish had no experience of homeopathy but her father and brothers were all doctors and she realised that had she followed a different route at school she probably would have studied medicine too.
After four years of training at the London School of Classical Homeopathy Trish, who lives in Painswick, Gloucestershire, now has clinics in Bristol and Cheltenham, trains homeopaths in conjunction with several colleges accredited by the Society of Homeopaths and lectures abroad. She believes having an even and refreshing attitude to combing complimentary treatments with traditional medicine is what people want and that overall it is about choice. ‘My role as a homeopath is about interpreting the signs and what the person’s body needs in terms of a small adjustment that will allow the body to heal itself. It can take time and the first consultation can be an hour long, but it is important to find out about the person, a luxury GPs, for example, don’t have. I have the priceless privilege of how long I want to spend with my patients.
‘The idea behind homeopathy is that remedies in very dilute quantities stimulate the body’s own healing powers and build up the immune system. A child with eczema will be given the same cream as the next or previous patient by a doctor. But with homeopathy the individual child and his or her particular set to circumstances are examined so you are treating like with like. An individual prescription will be made based on how the patient experiences the problem.
‘I will treat people who are on medication. I am not going to tell them they should come off medication that is not my job. Homeopathy works at a different level. I always advise patients to tell their doctor that they are using homeopathy.’
Trish loves treating children. ‘Many parents are worried about giving their children too many antibiotics and they also seek a gentler approach. Treating children is very different because you have to observe them very closely and they don’t have the vocabulary’, she added.
She has also found that homeopathy is useful for treating a number of women’s problems including heavy or painful periods and the menopause. It can also help with a number of ailments in pregnancy including tiredness and nausea. Remedies can help with sore nipples and milk flow and may also help with post baby blues. Babies and young children’s problems include colic, eczema, earache, sleeping and teething.