"I didn't believe in that sort of thing"

Lenio* is four years old and has been suffering from recurrent warts for some time. Even though the doctor's been treating them, they keep popping up all over him. His mother goes to Helsana's complementary medicine advice centre in search of an answer.

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Lenio* doesn't like talking about his warts. His kindergarten teacher thinks they're stupid and ugly and is fed up with having to do things to them. What helps? "Cutting them out got us nowhere. After a month at the most they came back," Lenio's mother, Isabelle, told us. Nor did a visit to a healer do any good. "I was looking for a new and holistic approach. Constantly treating the warts was a lot of trouble for Lenio."

Isabelle phoned the complementary medicine advice line, a service Helsana provides free of charge. "We discussed Lenio's medical history and his problems and what alternative treatments might be appropriate for him," she said. "By the time we'd finished, I had the addresses of several recognised naturopaths and all I needed to do was arrange an appointment."

Response too late

She opted for a doctor practising natural medicine in the next parish, who discovered that the boy's gut flora were disturbed and that his immune system needed to be strengthened. "Lenio often got tummyache after breakfast. He went without cows' milk for a bit and the homoeopathic medicines helped to sort everything out again." After two sessions of bioresonance treatment, the warts disappeared too. "I didn't believe in that sort of thing and was surprised it worked so quickly." The family's glad to be able to draw a line under the whole story at last. "It's a pity I spent so long trying out different things instead of getting advice from an impartial expert. We could have saved ourselves a lot of money and trouble."

*Lenio and his family are insured by the Helsana Group, but want to remain anonymous.