Homeopathy: A postgraduate holistic medical specialty
Homeopathy is a scientific medical practice which treats a person rather than diseases. Recognizing that the whole person, the body, the mind, and the spirit, is affected when the person is sick, Homeopathy treats that whole person. It is this totality of the individual that Homeopathy seeks to cure, rather than focus on the sickness or on a diseased part. It is Homeopathy's treatment of the whole person, the totality, that makes it a holistic medical therapy. The physicians who practice Homeopathy have completed their years of professional medical training and received their professional degrees. They then study Homeopathy as a postgraduate medical specialty.
Homeopathy: A natural medicine
Homeopathy is a natural medicine. A homeopathic medicine is used to stimulate the person to heal himself. Homeopathic remedies are made from natural sources, be they animal, vegetable or mineral. However, homeopathy is not herbal medicine. Those homeopathic medicines which are made from herbs are precisely manufactured to potentized substances far beyond their herbal origins according to standards and procedures set forth in the Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia of the United States. The Homeoapthic remedies made from animal and mineral sources are treated similarly so that they, too, are potentized beyond their origins.
How Does It Work?
Homeopathy: The Definition
Homeopathy, the word, is derived from Greek. It is made up of the Greek root ομοίοv and παθοç.
Transliterated, these roots become Homeopathy. The prefix homeo-
means like; The suffix -pathy means suffering. Homeopathy: like
suffering or like disease.
Homeopathy: The philosophy
does not become sick in part. The whole of him becomes sick: body,
mind, and spirit. The body will manifest symptoms in the illness, but
the physical body is not the origin of the illness. At death, the
physical body remains, but it is no longer curable. That which is
curable has left the body. The vital force has left the body. An
imbalance in the vital force is the origin of the illness. The symptoms
expressed by the body, the mind, and the spirit are simply the signposts
telling of that imbalance. Homeopathic doctors use those symptoms to
select a remedy especially for that person in his illness, but the
remedy is a potentized substance having an energy force. That energy
force acts on the vital force. Once the vital force returns to balance,
the person heals himself.
Homeopathy: Three principles
has three principles or tenets. These principles are the rockbed of
homeopathy. They have remained unchanged over the centuries, their truth
continually re-demonstrated through successful treatment of the sick.
The first principle or tenet is similia similibus curentur
which is a Latin phrase meaning likes should cure likes. Each person
shows symptoms of his body, mind, and spirit when he is sick. Some of
these symptoms are common to the particular sickness and some of them
are unique to that person in his sickness. The homeopathic physician
matches the symptom picture of the homeopathic remedy to the symptom
picture of the person, with particular attention paid to those symptoms
which are unique to that individual. Thus, for the homeopathic remedy to
be curative, the symptom picture of the remedy must be like that
picture which the sick person shows.
The second principle of
homeopathy is the single remedy. It would be quite impossible for one to
know which ingredient was doing what to a sick person if that person
were given a medicine which was a combination of ingredients. Therefore,
the homeopathic doctor gives only one medicine at a time to the sick
person. The doctor allows sufficient time to pass to observe the effects
of that one medicine on the ill person.
The third principle of
homeopathy is the minimum dose. Drugs given to people in material doses
are frequently found to cause side effects or adverse reactions. To
minimize this problem, the homeopathic doctor gives the smallest
possible dose so as to maximize the beneficial effects and minimize the
side effects of the medicine.
Homeopathy: What Is Its History?
The concept that like should cure likes dates back to Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine, who lived in the 5th century B.C. It was known by Paracelsus, a Swiss physician of the sixteenth century. But it was Samuel Hahnemann, a German physician born in 1775, who formalized this concept into a scientific system of medicine which survives today. His first edition of the Organon, the basic book on the subject of Homeopathy was published in 1810. Dissatisfied with the medical practices of his day, Dr. Hahnemann had given up the practice of medicine and had turned to translation of books to support his family. In translating Cullen's Materia Medica, he found what he believed to be a fanciful discussion of the way that Peruvian bark, Cinchona, worked in intermittent fever.
He experimented on himself by taking the substance. He found that he developed the symptoms of intermittent fever. He then used the substance to treat successfully a woman with the symptoms of relapsing fever. Cinchona was the first of many substances which Hahnemann introduced into homeopathic medicine. Each of the remedies used in homeopathic medicine is tested in the same way that Cinchona was tested. A particular substance is administered to a group of healthy volunteers while another group takes placebos. No one knows until after the test who took what. Careful records are kept as to the symptoms developed by the volunteers. These records provide the basis upon which a picture of that particular remedy is formed. In homeopathic treatment, the doctor matches the picture of that remedy to the picture shown by an ill person. Likes cure likes. This testing of a remedy is called a "proving." Hahnemann found that, despite his use of medicines which had pictures to match the pictures of the sick person, he had trouble with adverse effects on administering the drugs to patients. This led him to the concept of potentization of the remedies. By this process, which consists of serial dilutions of a medicine with agitations of the solution at each step in dilution, he reduced the physical dose of the medicine, while raising its energy level. Such a potentized medicine he found to be very beneficial to the patient, while avoiding the side effects of the crude drug.
Homeopathy: What About Treatment?
There are two categories of treatment in homeopathy: acute and chronic. Acute treatment has to do with the treatment of a self-limited illness. Such an illness, for example, a cold, might be handled by the body sooner or later. But the homeopathic medicine gently stimulates the person to recovery. Moreover, since the homeoapthic medicine treats the person rather than just the symptoms, it does not suppress the symptoms. Without suppression, the person is returned to a better state of well being.
The other category of treatment is chronic treatment, sometimes called constitutional treatment. This has to do with the treatment of a long-standing problem within the person. Such a problem would be considered chronic whether present all of the time or whether recurring intermittently. The difficulty and the length of chronic treatment is affected by many factors, such as the nature of the problem, the family medical history, the kind of previous treatment, and the person's inherent constitutional strength. The goal is to bring the person to a state of well being.