Homeopathy is a natural medicine
that has been practiced for over two hundred years.
Its approach to treating disease is distinctly different that allopathic
medicine (traditional approach).
Allopaths treat a disease by suppressing symptoms or attempting to
eliminate the microbes associated
with the condition. Homeopaths use remedies to stimulate the body's
own defenses against the illness.
In homeopathy the symptoms of an
illness represent the body's efforts to heal itself and we can
reinforce these efforts by administering very small doses of a remedy
that would - if given to a healthy
person -produce the same symptoms. It is similar to immunization where
very small doses of a treated
virus produces immunity to that virus.
What is Homeopathy?
Samuel Hahnemann, a German physician, first formulated the principles of homeopathy
at the end of the eighteenth century. He had given up the practice of medicine when
he found the therapies of his time to be ineffective and extremely harmful, and did
not resume practice until he discovered in homeopathy a means to help people heal
gently, rapidly, and reliably. Homeopathy spread quickly throughout Europe and to
the United States, where at the beginning of this century 15-20% of all doctors were
homeopaths. Despite repeated criticism from orthodox medical circles, the validity
of Hahnemann's ideas continues to be demonstrated over 200 years later.
Homeopathic treatment, like all truly natural therapies, seeks to stimulate the innate
healing power of the individual so that all physiological systems function at their best.
As the person moves toward his or her optimal level of general health, he or she feels
better. Secondarily, localized symptoms improve as the strengthened body defenses become
active. But the homeopathic remedy does not directly treat a symptom or condition.
Instead, it simply helps to initiate the process by which the person heals him or herself.
The homeopath views a person's health as a condition of the entire individual rather than
in terms of the presence or absence of isolated symptoms. Homeopaths do not diagnose disease
or treat diseases. Remedies are selected which best correspond to the person's total state.
Evaluation of the individual's level of health and choice of the correct remedy does depend
in part on a thorough understanding of all symptoms. But in addition, important indicators
of general health, like the level of vitality the person experiences and his or her emotional
well being, demand close attention.
Law of similars. A remedy is chosen which is capable of causing, in a healthy person, symptoms
similar to those of the sick person. The symptoms the sick person experiences are thus the
most important guide to the choice of the correct remedy.
Remedies. Homeopathic remedies are usually made from plants and simple minerals. These
substances are prepared by a process of repeated dilution and shaking (or pounding), which
makes them capable of stimulating the healing process. As little remedy as possible is employed.
After a dose is given, the individual's response is carefully observed, and the remedy is
changed only if necessary.
Since homeopathy is used to assist people rather than treat illness, anyone, whatever the
diagnosis, can benefit from homeopathic care. Homeopathy helps by increasing the individual's
strength and resistance to disease. Homeopathy does not cure disease, nor is it a substitute
for good health habits. Good health provides the individual with the freedom to do what he or
she would like to do with their life. Illness is any condition on a physical, emotional or
mental level that impedes this freedom. Although homeopathy does not replace conventional
medicine, it addresses the root of the imbalance, and in many cases lessens the need for
allopathic medicines and treatments. In general, health depends in good measure on eating
well and exercising adequately, getting enough rest, dealing effectively with stress, and
Acute illness. Homeopathic care is often effective during acute illness. Again, the
remedies are not directed at removing symptoms or killing germs, but rather toward strengthening
the person so that his or her own healing capacities work better.