Among the many internships and rotations offered at NUHS, the homeopathy rotation at the Center for Integral Health (CIH) in Lombard is one of the most unique.
At CIH, students are able to study a valuable treatment tool while working alongside medical doctors and other health care practitioners.
“As soon as I found out it was an option, I was thrilled to sign up,” said Melissa Betance, ND, who graduated with her naturopathic medicine degree in April 2022.
Dr. Betance has been interested in homeopathy since she first started using the treatment tool at a young age. Similar to the doctors at CIH, Timothy Fior, MD, DHt, and Joel Sheppard, MD, her grandfather was also a medical doctor who transitioned to becoming a homeopath. In just a short period of time in the rotation, Dr. Betance said she’s learned a great deal while also witnessing a lot of healing among patients.
“It has only confirmed the effectiveness of homeopathy, and it is wonderful to see how life changing it can be for chronic case patients,” she said.
As part of the rotation, she has been able to fully embrace integrative medicine. In addition to medical doctors, she works in collaboration with naturopathic doctors and certified nutritional specialists.
“I most enjoy discussions about where medicine is heading with the doctors,” she said.
Nina Nani, ND, ‘22, who also participated in the rotation, has enjoyed treating the wide variety of patients who have been coming to CIH for several years. CIH has a reputation that attracts patients not only from Illinois but surrounding states, including those farther away in California, Texas, and Florida.
Some of the most common conditions treated are acute post-COVID syndrome, gastrointestinal complaints such as constipation or diarrhea, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children, various skin conditions, and chronic heart conditions.
Being able to work on these real patient cases has greatly deepened Dr. Nani’s understanding of homeopathy.
“I saw several unique cases, but they had one thing in common: the patients did not perfectly match all the keynotes of the remedy that was prescribed,” she said. “From this, I learned that there is a variation in presentation, especially among the polycrests (i.e. the major remedies).”
For other students considering the rotation, Dr. Nani recommends they familiarize themselves with the major remedies (Sulphur, Arsenicum album, Natrum muriaticum, Ignatia amara, etc.) and practice finding symptoms in the repertory program to help them learn the entire Materia Medica more quickly and in turn help patients more effectively.
“I learned practical details such as where to purchase rare remedies, how to graft remedies, and how to create higher potencies from existing remedies,” she said. “But I am most grateful for the advice I received from CIH doctors about practicing homeopathy, particularly the importance of good mental health practices and a community that supports you. Also, to not be discouraged if the first remedy you select for a patient is not completely effective and to not be afraid to prescribe different remedies to address different complaints in the same patient.”