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The following provides basic information about homeopathic medicine for your information and education. If you are interested in knowing more about homeopathy, don't feel like reading this dissertation and/or interested in how it could be an option for you, please reach out to me directly to have a conversation at email@example.com.
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Homeopathy is a system of natural medicine that has been in use worldwide for over 200 years. It is recognized by the World Health Organization as the second most widely used therapeutic system in the world. Millions of people benefit from homeopathy.
The name homeopathy, coined by its originator, Samuel Hahnemann, is derived from the Greek words for
‘similar suffering’. Hahnemann 1755 – 1843, born in Meissen, Germany was a medical doctor and a chemist who became disenchanted with harsh and ineffective medical interventions of the time. Through rigorous scientific experimentation and the application of inductive reasoning, Hahnemann created the homeopathic system of medicine. His careful observations led him to uncover the laws of healing found in nature upon which homeopathy is based.
Homeopathy is founded on two main principles, the first being ‘like cures like’, which means that a substance capable of producing certain symptoms in a healthy person, can be used to treat those same symptoms in a case of disease.
In Homeopathy we trust that the body will always be using its most effective healing response to a given situation. By using medicines which can stimulate a similar healing response, we boost the body’s own vitality, and work with it, instead of against it.
The second main principle in Homeopathy is that only ‘the minimum dose’ should be employed, in order to avoid the side effects. This principle is based upon the understanding that homeopathic medicines are stimuli for healing vital force (qi or chi or life force) and that we need only give enough to produce a response. This ensures that treatment will be as gentle and natural as it is healing and effective.
Remedies are prepared from diluted substances, such as plants, minerals, or animal products, which are repeatedly diluted and succussed (vigorously shaken). As this standardized method of dilution and succession continues, the remedy becomes more powerful. This process is called potentization and it is the hallmark of all homeopathic remedies.
How Do the Remedies Work?
Although there is no current scientific explanation for how these remedies work, homeopaths believe that within every living person there exists a force, a life energy called the “vital force” (qi or chi or life force) that is responsible for maintaining balance and health in the body, mind and emotions. This idea is ancient and universal, and can be found in every culture and medical system throughout the world (except for modern medicine which ignores this concept). From this point of view, illness can be understood as resulting from an imbalance within the organism, an imbalance of the vital force. The symptoms of a disease, the complaints that we suffer are expressions of that imbalance.
Hahnemann theorized that giving a homeopathic medicine to a patient with a “similar” illness was like giving a tiny push to the imbalanced vital force, stimulating the body’s natural defence mechanisms to put the organism back into balance and heal the disease.
Homeopathy treats people, not diagnoses. When a person is ill, that illness has a unique pattern. Everyone tends to get sick in a way that corresponds to the heredity, environmental factors, stresses and weaknesses that are unique to that individual. As a result, five different people with flu might require five different homeopathic medicines, because they have five different sets of symptoms. Treatment is thus individualized based on the unique way that each of those five people are ill with the flu. The homeopath is not so much trying to eliminate the symptoms, but rather find the right medicine to stimulate the body’s healing powers so that health is restored.
***This is not to replace the advice of medical professionals or common sense in the event of an emergency. Please respect this viewpoint by looking at homeopathic medicine as both an alternative and complement to modern medical interventions.***
Conventional medicine views disease as being localized in organs, tissues etc.. Thus arthritis is understood as a joint disease, neuritis is a nerve disease, angina is a heart disease. The treatment involves one or more drugs for each different problem, resulting in multiple drug therapy for patients with more than one complaint. The homeopath, on the other hand, views a person as a physical, emotional, and mental unity, so that all symptoms are considered to be part of one disease process. Thus, the homeopath would treat a patient with many complaints with only one medicine at a time.
Modern medicine tends to view symptoms as something bothersome to be gotten rid of or as a problem to be controlled. In contrast, the homeopath has great interest in the patient’s symptoms because (s)he realizes that they are the organism’s only way of expressing the underlying disease. Each symptom is an intelligent expression of a complex living system out of balance. Thus, the homeopath listens carefully to everything the patient says. The patient is encouraged to speak freely about any problem, complaint or symptom no matter how small or peculiar. Nothing is unimportant. It is by paying attention to the totality of symptoms, physical, emotional and mental, that the homeopath can discover the best medicine for the patient.
Another important difference between homeopathy and modern medicine has to do with the way medicines act. Modern drugs are said to have “therapeutic effects” and “side effects”. The “therapeutic effects” are desirable and result from and act on one or more organs to control, modify or suppress symptoms. The “side effects” of drugs result from their undesirable actions on body tissues. These unwanted effects are just as much a part of a drug’s action as the “therapeutic effect”. Homeopathic medicines differ in that they do not act on particular organs or tissues. Homeopathic medicines act on the entire organism to stimulate healing. There are no “side effects” with a homeopathic medicine. Sometimes remedies may result in an initial, mild amplification of symptoms, which will usually ease within a day or so. In rare cases symptoms may be aggravated.
Homeopathy works with the body, so whether used as a singular option or complimentary to conventional treatment, it is a supportive and non-suppressive option for healing and wellbeing.
Yes! A healthy lifestyle is very important in any program designed to improve your health. Many health problems are caused by unhealthy living patterns and will only be helped by changing lifestyle. Also, homeopathic medicines are most effective if the patient is taking good care of himself or herself. A healthy diet, regular exercise, plenty of sleep and a balance of work and relaxation are an important foundation for treatment. If this is not reflective of your lifestyle now, that's ok! Supporting you through the whole process is how we move forward.
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