September 02nd 2009 - Homeopathy (pronounced: home-ee-AH-pah-thie) comes from the Greek words homeo meaning similar, and pathos meaning suffering or disease. Developed over 250 years ago in Germany by Dr. Samuel Hahnemann, Homeopathy has been utilized throughout the world as a safe, affordable, effective, and profound medicinal modality. Today, Homeopathy is practiced in nearly every country by physicians, clinicians, veterinarians, and lay persons alike with great success.
Let us begin by defining what Homeopathy is not. It is not herbalism, acupuncture, traditional Chinese medicine, yoga, meditation, massage therapy, hydrotherapy, vitamin supplementation, pharmaceutical medication, magic, dangerous, illegal, an old home remedy, unscientific, contraindicated.
So what is it then? Homeopathy is, in its broadest sense, a lifestyle. It is based on a key founding principle that every being has an energy called a vital force, or a self-healing, self-regulating response. This vital force can be disrupted in a multitude of ways, creating health problems. Homeopathy is an individualized treatment that responds to this disruption of the vital life force via stimulation of the body’s own healing responses. The basic tenets of Homeopathy are: “Like cures Like” (which is embodied in the name), “Less is More”, and “Do no Harm”.
“Like cures like” is a classic Homeopathic understanding that a substance may create symptoms that it can also relieve. Also referred to as “the similia principle”, this concept considers symptoms as a part of the body’s innate attempt to heal itself. With Homeopathic care, the body’s vital life force is gently stimulated into a healthy healing response in the prevention or treatment of illness.
Homeopathic remedies are very small doses of highly diluted substances that would produce the same or similar symptoms of illness in a healthy person if he/she were given it in larger doses. A remedy with a higher dilution ratio will have a stronger effect on the vital life force, while a lower dilution ratio will have a weaker effect on this energy. Less is more.
The individualized nature of Homeopathic treatment by a practitioner begins by selecting remedies which fit the totality of the patient, including not only symptoms and prevailing health concerns, but lifestyle, emotional, mental and spiritual states, and other factors. In this way Homeopathy is a richly wholistic health approach, as it truly treats the entire being, not just a series of symptoms.
What can a person expect from Homeopathic care? There are two main usages of Homeopathy – acute care, and constitutional treatment. Acute Homeopathic care has stellar results in supporting acute medical treatment for all sorts of ailments, conditions, accidents and injuries. For minor acute conditions such as colds, flu, minor injuries and non-life threatening situations, Homeopathic treatment is unsurpassed with its ability to alleviate these symptoms. Because there are no toxic side effects of Homeopathic remedies, they become a brilliant medicine for small children, pets, and the elderly for whom pharmaceutical and over the counter medications could become dangerous or may be inappropriate.
Acute Homeopathic treatment empowers individuals in their own health care, and lifts the heavy burden from our medical offices and clinics for standard, easy to treat ailments. These remedies are very affordable – a small home Homeopathic remedy kit may cost between $50 and $100, and contain 50-100 remedies which will treat thousands of conditions and last for decades if stored correctly.
Constitutional treatment is more in depth, and requires a skilled Homeopath to work with. An initial constitutional treatment session consists of an extensive health intake form, which will include information such as inoculation history, overall health and medical status, surgeries, accidents or injuries, medical conditions, and issues that the client may consider of greatest concern. The consult with a Homeopath will last 1-3 hours, and is in-depth, personal, private, and primarily focuses on the chief major complaint or concern that the client would like to see addressed and alleviated if possible.
Generally, the Homeopath will then extensively research a vast databank of remedy possibilities which spans thousands of remedy potentials. This may take up to two weeks. Once the single remedy that most closely matches the client’s experience of their chief complaint - that which most matches the suppression of his/her vital life force – is identified, it will be administered in the smallest possible dose, typically a singular dose.
Once the remedy has been taken, both the Homeopath and the client will wait for up to 4 weeks before scheduling the all-important follow up visit. During this waiting period, the client will be asked to take note of all the aspects of his/her life, especially in relation to the chief complaint or concern. During the follow up visit, the client will be asked about his/her experiences thus far. Were there any improvements? Any setbacks? Were there any changes? If so, what were they? If not, explain what remains the unchanged. Were there any “coincidences”? How about dreams? These and many more relationships will be investigated to assess whether or not the remedy is working and is a good choice.
Optimally, there will be clinically viable improvement overall for the client, extending into all areas of his/her life. This will translate into improved overall health, well-being, and vitality. Because Homeopathy is both and art and a science, constitutional care often requires a more lasting relationship between the client and the Homeopath, as life and health situations do not always have a cut and dried resolution, but require something more refined.
In my next article I will discuss the financial implications of considering Classical Homeopathy as a viable health alternative. Stay tuned…..
Robin Cunningham Myers, CH, LMT, SF, RRMT is a Classical Homeopath currently residing in Baton Rouge, La. She is owner of Wholistic Alternatives, an integrated health practice, offering personal holistic wellness experience spanning nearly 35 years. Visit her website at: www.wholisticalternatives.com , or contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Taos, New Mexico
Taos, NM 87571
All who have walked the path of Homeopathy before me