What is Homeopathy?
Homeopathy is an alternative system of medicine used to stimulate the body’s ability to heal itself. Founded over 200 years ago by German physician Dr. Samuel Hahnemann, Homeopathy continues to be one of the leading natural health treatments internationally today. It can be used as a primary mode of health care or it can be used complimentary or supplementary to existing treatments. What makes Homeopathy different from other healing modalities and treatments is its holistic and unique approach to health and wellness in the being.
Our bodies are an organized and intelligent collection of cells, tissue, organs, muscle, bones, skin. And all of these make up the various systems of the body from our respiratory, circulatory, digestive and so on. These systems work together in unison to keep everything regulated, balanced, and ordered.
Conventional medicine tends to view a person’s symptoms and ailments as separate and usually ends up giving out isolated treatments and medicines for each specific symptom. This can result in a person being on multiple medications and treatments for all sorts of ailments.
A homeopath will approach the multiple symptoms and ailments as a whole and will tend to prescribe a single remedy to address the whole, the totality of the symptoms. This remedy is meant to not only address the physical, but also the mental and emotional. These too make up part of who we are and are big components of our overall health and well-being. When we are low in energy and we are dealing with all sorts of stress, that too can take a toll on us. Not only does our physical body need to be in balance but also our mental and emotional bodies. Homeopathy helps to bring about health and wellness to us fully, physically, mentally, and emotionally.
No one else is like you. No one else has your body, mind, or spirit. No one else has lived your life, seen what you’ve seen, experienced what you’ve experienced. You are unique and you have your own unique expression, behaviour, and way of doing things.
In Homeopathy, there is no ‘one size fits all’. Take the common cold for example, how you experience it and how your symptoms are expressed will differ from one person to the next. Your homeopath will take into account the quality of your expression of all of your symptoms, mental, physical, and emotional, and make a personalized prescription and remedy unique for you and what you are going through. It is an individualized treatment meant specifically just for you and your life.
~Safe & Gentle Treatment~
The remedies used in Homeopathy are all natural and come from plant, animal, or mineral. They are made through a process known as potentization in which the substance is highly diluted and then succussed (shaken vigorously) to remove toxicity while amplifying the healing energy. The remedy is given in either liquid or pill form.
Homeopathic remedies are safe and contain no side effects unlike other medications. They are prescribed with the principle of the Minimum Dose in mind which is the minimum dosage and potency needed to stimulate the body’s own healing mechanisms. This brings about a subtle and gentle healing response yet at the same time can be quite powerful allowing patients to feel ‘more like themselves’ with increased energy. Homeopathic remedies have been used effectively and safely on the elderly, pregnant women, children, babies, and even animals.
~Like Cures Like~
“that which may poison, may also heal”
Treating via ‘like cures like’ is the main principle of homeopathy. As far as we know, this discovery goes back to the observations of Hippocrates (460-377 BC) who is considered to be the father of medicine. What it means is that a substance which can cause symptoms in a person, that substance can also heal those symptoms. Think of what happens when chopping a raw onion, your eyes water, nose runs, there’s a burning sensation. Someone suffering from a cold with these symptoms could find relief from the homeopathic remedy Allium cepa, made from red onion.
Dr. Samuel Hahnemann first discovered this principle in the late 1700’s. While translating medical texts he came across a book claiming Peruvian bark as a cure for malarial fever due to its bitter action on the stomach. Not satisfied with the book’s explanation of why it worked, being the scientist that he was, he ingested amounts of the bark for a period of time recording his observations. He found that through his consumption of the bark he was developing symptoms of malarial fever. Hahnemann wrote: “The Peruvian bark, which is used as a medicine for malaria fever is effective because it can cause symptoms similar to malaria in healthy individuals.”. It is through treating with ‘like cures like’ that provides the stimuli to the body to heal the like symptoms through its own abilities.
Fueled by his curiousity, Hahnemann went on to test many more natural medicines and substances on himself as well as both healthy and sick participants. Through his experiments he found this principle to be true. He compiled his findings and devised this system of medicine calling it Homeopathy. ‘Homeopathy’ comes from the Greek ‘homios’ meaning “similar” and ‘pathos’ meaning “suffering”.
“Similia similibus curentur” … “Let likes be cured by likes”
During his homeopathic practice, Hahnemann noticed that while successfully treating patients with acute conditions such as colds, headaches, etc., a number of them would return to him with the same issues. He discovered that these acute conditions could actually be part of a bigger, underlying chronic condition. He also found that of his patients, despite suffering from the same illness or disease, there were always some sort of distinguishing characteristics from person to person. It was then that he learned that we are actually treating the person, not the symptoms.