WinterComfort is a Cambridge-based charity providing support for the homeless and rough sleepers. A 1-year homeopathic project started in 2009 saw about 50 service users taking advantage of this service. The project was run by Thierry Clerc, a local clinical homeopath.
The majority of consultations focused on acute and physical ailments, with muscular tension, cuts and skin infection the top complaints. The other prescribing focus was on detoxifying the body and supporting the weakened organs. Most clients were recreational drug-users, and on multiple allopathic medications. Detox therapeutics and the prescription of lower potencies on a daily basis were then provided. Acute homeopathic prescription using well known remedies such as Arnica, Rhus Tox, Bryonia or Hepar Sulf showed spectacular results.
Beside homeopathy, a strong emphasis on hygiene and hydration proved very helpful. By ensuring that people were increasing their intake of water for example, most clients were better able to eliminate toxins and their bodies had a chance to function more normally. Most service users were also suffering from additional problems. For these cases, the use of combination remedies was preferred as this approach supported both the mental state and a body weakened by drugs or poor diet.
About 20% of consultations were chiefly about mental and emotional issues with insomnia and depression as the main complaints. In this area, it was more difficult to gauge the success. Many users coming to WinterComfort do not necessarily stay in Cambridge for a sustained amount of time. This means that they were not able to come for regular visits. However, many reported a clear and positive impact of actually being offered a thorough consultation. There was at least one case of a service user coming back every month from Haverhill to have a repeat treatment.
The main learning from this project was that, in such an environment, a practitioner requires a flexible and open approach to work closely with all the services the charity provides. Finally, it is extremely important to keep the prescription extremely simple, with no more than one or two pills a day, or more when needed, and ideally in water.
This experience also tested some of Thierry’s limits. He met people who had lost everything – family, belongings, and sometimes hope in life. This was most severe with ex-army personnel who had returned from Iraq or Afghanistan and turned to alcohol and drugs, losing their job and family along the way.
By the end of the project, WinterComfort was extremely open with many of the medical staff realizing how effective homeopathic therapy could be. As homeopathy is under constant media attack in the UK, Thierry felt that his volunteer work had helped raise the profile of homeopathy. It also enabled him to meet people he would not normally see through private practice.
To find out more information on WinterComfort and read about the great work they do for the homeless and rough sleepers of Cambridge, check out their website by clicking here.
Check out Thierry Clerc’s website to find out more about homeopathy by clicking here.
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