New England School of Homeopathy

Just the Facts Ma’am: What Every Homeopath Wants Their Patients to Know


Review of a talk given by Amy Rothenberg ND at the National Center of Homeopathy Annual Convention. March 1998, San Diego, California.
By Sada Sat Kaur Khalsa

Dr. Rothenberg’s excellent talk could also have been titled, “What every Homeopath Needs to Know.” She provided important information for patients as well as ways for practitioners to help their patients through the healing process. Her dynamic, engaging style kept us all attentive and writing very fast!

After a general overview including why people come to a homeopath and what to expect on a first visit, Dr. Rothenberg covered many consequential and sometimes complex topics. Her experience and thoughtful insight shed light on issues that affect a person’s ability to reach the highest level of health through homeopathic care.

Some highlights:

There are times when you are not successful in treating someone. Perhaps you don’t hit it off, or it may be a shortcoming or the inexperience of the homeopath that prevents success. That is the time for the homeopath to refer to a colleague or to see this patient together with another homeopath who will bring another perspective.

What to avoid while taking a homeopathic remedy? In Dr. Rothenberg’s experience most patients do not need to avoid anything in order to achieve to good results with homeopathy, although she does make general recommendations about healthy eating and living. A naturopathic physician, she believes lifestyle changes can help the patient feel better too and help decrease the risk factors for common diseases.

That said, she has observed that some peoples’ remedies will be antidoted by certain exposures, most notably to coffee (both decaf and regular) although there are those patients who refuse to stop drinking coffee and still get good results (with perhaps a shortened time of efficacy of the remedy). For her patients who experience headaches from caffeine withdrawal she recommends cutting the caffeine with decaf and phasing out. To take the edge off a caffeine withdrawal headache, she recommends very strong chamomile tea (2-3 tea bags in one cup).

What about people who feel they need the energy from their coffee? To help with the missing “pick-me-up” of caffeine she suggests keeping a high protein snack, such as almonds, handy for an energy boost.

For those people who are constantly exposed to possible antidoting substances either through their work or hobbies, it is possible to get around most of this by finding the correct dose of the indicated remedy and the correct frequency.

Is there dental work coming up? Or will the patient be painting their house or laying a new carpet? Dr. Rothenberg suggests that they try to limit their exposure to these sorts of things as much as is feasible so that if they are not getting better she can trust that it is because she didn’t choose the correct remedy as opposed to the remedy’s action having been antidoted. If there is limited exposure to possible antidoting substances, often the remedy will kick in again in a few days. Depending on the situation, Dr. Rothenberg may decide to wait a few weeks before repeating the remedy.

“As people get better, the antidoting factors do seem to decrease in number and frequency of occurrence. This enables the person to be freer in their life, which is really one of the main goals of homeopathic care.”

What about taking other homeopathic remedies while on a constitutional remedy? This is a particularly common situation since many patients have taken acute care classes or have read acute prescribing books. Dr. Rothenberg tells her patients that many times the acute problem or the way you experience it will be of great importance to the homeopath as a key to the next remedy in constitutional treatment. And if she misses that, it will be more difficult for her to do her job.

The homeopath needs to understand why you got your acute problem in the first place; if the acute problems are still appearing with the same frequency and severity, then the constitutional remedy was probably wrong. If you are getting the problem less often, or it is less severe or doesn’t last as long, then things are moving in the right direction and Dr. Rothenberg would definitely not give you that or any other remedy.

In families where children tend often to get first aid or acute kinds of problems, if the mother is giving remedies all the time, it is important that the mother knows that remedies actually impact the person and affect overall health. And as is generally true with homeopathy, less is more. In this case, Dr. Rothenberg will offer those families a medicine chest full of other kinds of natural medicines and home remedies to choose from so they don’t always need to go to homeopathy.

In an emergency, a severe acute illness or long lasting acute illness that does not seem to be resolving, she doesn’t hesitate to give a well indicated homeopathic remedy as needed and then continue with the constitutional care when the acute problem resolves.

There were several other topics covered briefly including homeopathy during pregnancy and nursing, other medications, and homeopathic research, all covered clearly and succinctly in the limited time available.

Dr. Rothenberg’s closing words touched upon some of the highest and dearest hopes of both patients and practitioners: “My greatest hope as a homeopathic doctor is that I will really understand every one of my patients and be guided to find the right remedy for their health; that I will have a greater understanding of what it is to be a human; and that my patients will be voluntary partners on their healing path.”

Thank you to the National Center of Homeopathy for their permission for us to re-print this article from their September 1998 issue of Homeopathy Today. For more information about membership to the NCH or subscribing to their publication, you can contact them at:

National Center for Homeopathy
801 North Fairfax Street, Suite 306
Alexandria, VA 22314
(703) 548-7790