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Homeopathy is a safe, gentle, effective system of medicine that seeks to stimulate the bodys own natural healing capacity.
Conventional medicine typically views symptoms as something wrong and tries to suppress or eliminate them. By contrast, homeopathy considers symptoms the vocabulary of disease and the bodys attempt to restore balance, however uncomfortable the effort. The goal is to understand and treat the root cause for any problems, not to mask their existence.
Homeopathy looks at individuals, not diseases. For example, no two colds are alike. One may come on slowly and be runny; another may come on quickly and include a dry cough. In one, the person may be irritable and want to be left alone and in another, he or she will want comfort and company. A well-trained homeopath most likely will treat each cold with different remedies.
This healing system is based on the philosophy that the body, mind and emotions are not separate entities, but fully integrated. The homeopath considers all aspects of a patients being physical, emotional and mental when seeking and prescribing a remedy.
Where homeopathy has proven effective
Homeopathy can be used in first aid or emergency situations, acute illness, and long-term chronic conditions, as well as emotional problems, obstetrical and pediatric conditions. It also can be extremely useful as a preventive medicine for constitutional strengthening. It is also safe to use during pregnancy and for infants and the elderly.
In all cases, the remedy is selected on the totality of the symptoms you express, along with the uniqueness of each personality and the information you give to the homeopath.
First Aid or Emergencies
Includes treatment and / or speeds up the healing process for such injuries and emergencies as sprains and bruises, broken bones, minor burns, skin irritations, insect stings / bites, and teething or tooth pain.
Generally defined as symptoms that will eventually go away on their own. Includes colds, flu, coughs, sprains. Homeopathy can also be used to assist sensitive but acute conditions such as morning sickness or other illnesses during pregnancy .
Beneficial for many auto-immune diseases, gastrointestinal disorders, skin conditions, recurring ear infections, chronic fatigue syndrome, migraines, asthma, allergies, hormonal disorders, depression, grief, behavior disorders, and arthritis. Since homeopathy treats the person, not the disease, it can be useful in addressing a wide range of disorders. Even in advanced cases, where curative treatment isnt possible, homeopathic medicines may prove effective in improving quality of life.
In this category, the patients goal is improvement or strengthening of his or her general overall health. Homeopathic treatment on a constitutional level can boost the weak constitution and decrease its susceptibility to disease or illness.
History of Homeopathy
Over 200 years ago, a German physician, Dr. Samuel Hahnemann (1755-1843), developed a system of medical treatment called Homeopathy. Based on his observations and experiments, he formulated the Principle of Similarity, which states that substances which cause reactions in a healthy body or mind can be used in an extremely diluted form to treat the same reactions when part of a disease process.
He devoted his life to developing this system, in part by performing Provings, in which healthy humans are given small experimental doses of the substance to gauge the effects. Hahnemann proved almost every remedy of his time on himself while he was alive.
In 1810, Dr. Hahnemann published the first edition of the Organon. Five more editions appeared during his lifetime; the sixth was written in 1842 and published posthumously. Even today, every serious study of homeopathy begins with the Organon. The most advanced homeopaths base their practice on the 6th Organon. See FAQs.
History in the U.S.
In 1825, several physicians who had studied in Europe brought homeopathy to the United States. Soon, other doctors followed their lead. By the mid-1800's, several medical colleges taught homeopathy, growing to 22 within a few decades. Faced with a popular rival, the medical establishment soon drove homeopathy into the background. By the 1940s, homeopathy was no longer officially taught in the U.S.
In recent decades, homeopathy has enjoyed a resurgence. Physicians dont have treatments for many diseases. Some patients find homeopathy when forced out of the medical world. Others seek more holistic approaches to healing or dont want the side effects of drug therapy, a common western way of suppressing symptoms.
Principles of Homeopathy
Samuel Hahnemann's revolutionary system of healing is based on the four fundamental principles:
the law of similars
the single remedy,
the minimal dose, and
the potentized remedy
The law of similars
The total picture of the patient should be as similar as possible to the drug picture of the selected remedy. This is known as similia similibus curentur or likes cure likes. This principle states that any remedy that can make you ill also can cure you if customized to fit the individual. That is why the same illness in two patients may call for two different remedies.
The single remedy
"Unitary" or, more often termed, classical homeopathy means that only one remedy is given at a time because only one remedy can correspond properly to a patients complete condition. A prescription that doesnt aim for this totality isnt homeopathic. Homeopathy is based on provings, and there have never been provings done on a combination remedy.
The minimal dose
Remedies are diluted to extremely small or infinitesimal doses. Thats because in homeopathy, less is more. This also allows almost any substance to be used as remedies without any side effects. Homeopathic remedies are thought to work on a deep plane and resonate with the body, triggering a positive healing response from the persons own vital force.
The potentized remedy
Disease occurs on an energetic level. So does homeopathy. All remedies undergo a process to increase their healing energy first, dilution of ingredients, then a vigorous shaking (succussion). It is believed that when a remedy is succussed or shaken vigorously, the water molecules take on a photographic memory of the original substance. The more a remedy is diluted, the stronger its ability to stimulate healing becomes.
Other useful principles of homeopathy to understand:
A carefully chosen homeopathic medicine stimulates the bodys healing process. The idea is to gently encourage the movement toward health. A remedy that is too strong or given too often can result in an aggravation, where symptoms are temporarily intensified. While some homeopaths believe an aggravation is necessary to procure a healing, this isnt so. However, aggravations are sometimes unavoidable if there have been many years of suppression of symptoms with western medications.
A homeopathic remedy must be customized to fit the individual with that disease, an approach called "individualization." The totality of the symptoms gathered -- physical, emotional and mental -- will guide the homeopath to the correct diagnosis and treatment.
Each homeopathic medicine is first tested in healthy volunteers and their symptoms recorded to develop a complete profile of the remedy. Such trials are known as "provings." Since all remedies have been proved before used clinically, we can predict the kind of symptoms they will cure in advance. This is one of the great things about homeopathy.
According to homeopathic thinking, a disease originates from a disturbance of the patients "vital force." This is the essential energy that sustains life. Homeopathic remedies seek to restore balance and fundamental strength to the life force.
For more information, see FAQs.