Communication It’s everything Post 1

We often don’t realize how much we rely on speech, and even fewer of us understand the impact and power of nonverbal communication. Somewhere, a long time ago, I read that only 30% of our communication with one another is verbal ? talking to each other ? and the rest, a whopping 70%, is nonverbal!

That astonished me. I hadn’t really thought about it until I read the article. After that I made a conscious, concerted effort to learn nonverbal communication: body language.

This topic of this issue of Homeopathy Online is “Women’s Health,” but it is also about a field that women are often thought to excel in: communication. Each of us, male or female, needs to communicate effectively with our patients, with each other, and, indeed, with ourselves.

How well do we communicate the vision and the practicalities of homeopathy to our patients? How well do we observe them and listen to them, allowing them to communicate their needs and wants to us? How can we as a community of practitioners best communicate with each other? And do we as individuals communicate clearly enough with ourselves to see how to improve our skills and better serve our patients?

I’ve been a practicing homeopath for 27 years. I now look back at my own efforts to communicate properly with my patients and see where my deficiencies were. I see how, over time, I compensated for them or changed my behavior in order to create a better dialogue between myself and my patients.

Fortunately, I have always believed, first and foremost, that the patient is in charge. I see myself as a part of a “team” that works in the patient’s best interest. Other team members might be an MD or a chiropractor, for example, and we are all working to help the patient get well.

I also believe it is my responsibility to educate my patient so that he or she has all the information necessary to make knowledgeable decisions about treatment. I’m up-front about the fact it will take anywhere between 1 to 3 years of “work” homeopathically to get them back into harmony with their Vital Force.

I cover the things that I know antidote remedies. I send each patient out of my office with a 2-page handout. I tell them to call me if they want to eat or drink something that’s on that piece of paper so we can talk about it first. Different things antidote different people. We have to communicate with each other in order to put out the brush fires that break out along their path to cure.

It’s not unusual for me to spend 30 to 60 minutes with a patient while I explain what homeopathy is, how Hering’s Law of Cure works, what they can expect, how long it might take, what their responsibilities are, and what mine are.

I’ve found that it helps tremendously to have the patient call back 48 hours after taking their remedy to check in with me. If the remedy is correct, I know that within that time frame the patient will already be having some interesting reactions to it. I can assure them that yes, this is the correct remedy, and yes, it’s okay to feel these sensations, and again we talk briefly about Hering’s Law of Cure. This 48-hour check-in goes a long way to establish trust and rapport with the patient, and it allows me to answer their questions and allay any misgivings they may have.

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