Homeopathy is a form of complementary medicine. Homeopaths use homeopathic remedies as a way of kick-starting the body’s natural healing systems. They prescribe patients with highly diluted substances based on their symptoms.
Homeopathy subscribes to the ‘like for like’ philosophy of treatment, where substances that can cause symptoms in large doses are administered in very small doses to counter the symptom. Essentially, it is the belief that using very small, ‘non-toxic’ doses of homeopathic medicine can be effective.
Homeopaths assess their patients by asking them in-depth questions about their health problems, lifestyle, medical history, diet and personality. Through this holistic approach, homeopaths draw up prescriptions for their patients and then track their progress through follow-up appointments.
As most homeopaths run their own practices, they also have managerial, marketing and administrative duties.
Salary & benefits
Salaries tend to vary, as most homeopaths are self-employed. Really, your earnings are dictated by your reputation and the number of clients that you have. Most homeopaths, however, charge between £40 and £250 for consultations.
Most homeopaths starting out will probably have to hold down another job to make ends meet, as they might only earn around £6,000 in their first year.
Few homeopaths will work more than three days a week, and experienced homeopaths might earn somewhere in the region of £10,000 to £18,000. Those at the top of their game might earn £27,000 to £32,000 a year.
As most homeopaths are self-employed, working hours will vary depending on the number of appointments that they manage to arrange. Weekend and evening work might be required to accommodate certain clients.
Homeopaths might have previous medical training or they might only train in homeopathy. Those with medical training can complete a short course to use homeopathy in their treatments, whilst non-medical professionals should complete a course at a homeopathic college which is recognised by the Society of Homeopaths or the Alliance of Registered Homeopaths.
Homeopaths will need solid communication and interpersonal skills and an in-depth knowledge of remedies and disease processes, as well as good analytical skills. They’ll need an excellent bedside manner and must be able to deal with patients maturely and appropriately.
Training & progression
After qualifying, many homeopaths undertake further courses and personal research to hone their skills and knowledge. A variety of organisations, including the Faculty of Homeopathy, offer training courses for experienced homeopaths.
Opportunities for career progression are fairly limited in this area of work. Most homeopaths work on a freelance basis and, therefore, career development is all about building your reputation, growing your practice and securing more and more clients.
Some homeopaths eventually develop their practice enough to employ other people who specialise in different areas of complementary medicine.