Biographical background information about Sarah Whittaker, homeopath at Phoenix Homeopathy
* information about my homeopathy qualifications and training can be found here.
I haven't always been a homeopath.
After a degree in English at the University of Sussex, and a stint working for a blind solicitor at Brighton Law Centre, I went back to college and completed a Law conversion course and then the vocational Legal Practice course.
I completed two years of articles at London law firm Mishcon de Reya (then best known for representing celebs including the late HRH Diana, Princess of Wales). After qualifying as a solicitor, I accepted a job at Mishcons, working as an assistant solicitor in the litigation department.
Moving on to a plum job as a lecturer at BPP Law School, I was quickly promoted to Head of Litigation on the LPC course, and, aged just 28, I had the world at my feet.
Life suddenly took a dramatic u-turn, after a devastating diagnosis of multiple sclerosis (MS) in 1995, swiftly followed by the double whammy of the additional diagnosis of Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy (CIDP) and a long spell of being almost completely paralysed in 1996, necessitating in-patient treatment and specialist rehabilitation. Whilst I eventually recovered some mobility to a limited degree, ill-health and disability meant the end of my beloved legal career.
Some years later, the additional discovery of a hormone-havoc-wreaking pituitary tumour, and then a disabling fall (badly damaging my left pelvis and right hip, and shocking my spine), means I live with more than my fair share of health woes and disability, and have had to create myself a life very different from the one I was anticipating.
Thankfully for me, I discovered homeopathy, wholefood nutrition, meditation, visualisation, homeobotanicals, flower essences, and the joy of a creative life, and these are the tools I rely on for wellbeing in my daily life.
Whilst I'm deeply grateful for the support I've had from the NHS over the years (special mention goes to Jodie, an amazing physiotherapist who helped me re-learn to sit, stand and manage stairs in 1996), my view is that homeopathy in particular has helped me, in my daily life, to an extraordinary degree.
As a practitioner, I'm by no means against pharmaceutical drugs (and I never, ever advise others as to the wisdom of otherwise of taking them). My own personal view is that they're best reserved a method of last resort. In any case, my own GP hasn't yet been able to find a painkiller that has worked for me without unacceptable side-effects.
My other life
On non-clinic days, I relax by designing jewellery for my Mojo & the Maker brand of organic, natural and unfussy jewellery.
Each piece is made by hand here in the UK. I handcraft pieces when MS allows (that’s me at my bench a few years ago), but other pieces are handmade to my exacting standards by a team of skilled local artisans and goldsmiths (many based in the warren of workshops that make up Birmingham’s historic Jewellery Quarter).
Mojo & the Maker is stocked in selected galleries, and is sold through Not on the High Street and the Mojo & the Maker website.
Fiddly, dextrous bench skills are tough to master at the best of times, and tougher still with a disability, but when I can physically manage it, I enjoy creating joy with jewellery as much as I love helping clients in clinic.
I count myself very lucky indeed to enjoy a balance of caring and creativity in the two parts of the new life that has been reborn, Phoenix-like, from the ashes of my beloved lost legal career.