What is Homeopathy?

“The highest ideal in medicine is the rapid, gentle and permanent restoration of health”

Dr. Samuel Hahnemann
(1755-1843) Founder of Classical Homeopathy

What is homeopathy?

Dr. Reinhold Voll originally thought that if he was testing electrical responses of the meridians, then the body should respond to electrical therapy.  His attempts at treating patients with electrical therapy were only marginally successful.  At one point he discovered that homeopathic remedies made changes to the meridian reading more effectively than the electrical therapies he had been testing.  This discovery was the basis for the significant relationship that developed between homeopathy and BioEnergetic science.

Homeopathy is considered to be the original “alternative medicine,” yet it is neither and herbal medicine nor a dietary regimen but rather a philosophy of health and formal system of natural therapy that traces its origins to the work of Dr. Samuel Hahnemann in Germany.  Hahnemann called the orthodox medicine of his day “allopathy” from the Greek word allos (different) and pathein (disease, suffering). To counter this form of treating disease, he names his system “homeopathy,” from the Greek homoion (similar) and pathein (disease, suffering).  The cornerstone of Hahnemann’s homeopathic doctrine is the ancient, natural “Law of Similars” – like cures like.  In terms of therapeutic significance, this means that a substance producing specific symptoms in large crude doses conversely will stimulate the body’s reactive and restorative processes to alleviate those same or similar symptoms when administered in minute doses.  For instance, Ipecac produces vomiting if taken in large quantities, but in minute doses it can alleviate vomiting.   Poison ivy creates rashes and itching eczema, but when taken in homeopathic doses it can help the body overcome those same symptoms.

Upon this principle Hahnemann built his systematic methodology, which he later defined by the Latin phrase similia similibus curentur, “Let likes be treated by likes”.  According to Hahnemann, the proper remedy for an illness is that substance which, in a healthy person, would produce the same set of symptoms exhibited in the sick person.  Although the Law of Similars predates Hahnemann by many centuries, he was the first to utilize it for therapeutic purposes.

Homeopathy sees symptoms as the body’s natural response in fighting illness.  Consequently, symptoms are utilized as a source of information to guide the selection of the most appropriate homeopathic remedy for a person’s specific ailments.  Such remedies utilize minute amounts of natural substances to stimulate the body’s self-healing processes and utilize the body’s resources to resolve symptoms rather than suppress them.

In contrast, conventional allopathic medicine perceives symptoms to be the result of illness, and generally proceeds on the principle that disease, or a symptom of disease, is cured by using a medicine that opposes the symptoms – sometimes by direct suppression and sometimes by an indirect route that leads to their removal.  For example, in allopathic treatments of pain, drugs such as aspirin and opiates are used to relieve the pain.  Opium works by dulling the central nervous system.  Aspirin blocks the production of certain inflammatory compounds that can cause pain.

Homeopathic treatment, like all truly natural therapies, seeks to mobilize the innate healing powers of the individual so that all physiological systems function at their best, and the body’s innate curative powers are put to the full use.  All symptoms would be taken into account to find the substance that would produce the most similar symptom picture.  That substance, administered in homeopathic dilution, would then stimulate the body to eliminate the underlying cause of the toxic response.

Homeopathic remedies are created by breaking down a crude substance, repeatedly diluting it, and succussing or “pontentizing” it.  In effect, the energetic “signal” of the substance has been transferred to a carrier solution – usually a water/alcohol mixture.  Dilutions may be so high as to have no trace of the original molecular substance whatsoever.  It is important to note that in homeopathy, the signal rather than the substance is considered to have the healing effect; the weakest dilutions are considered to be the most potent, working at cellular and subcellular levels in the body to stimulate its immune system and other natural defenses.  Homeopathic remedies never cover up or suppress symptoms, and they have NO TOXIC SIDE EFFECTS.  There are thousands of homeopathic remedies in use today, mostly derived from natural sources, but any substance can be made into a homeopathic remedy.

Homeopathy came to America in the 1830’s.  The American Institute of Homeopathy was established in 1844, and by 1910 there were 22 homeopathic medical schools, 100 homeopathic hospitals, 1,000 pharmacies and 14,000 homeopathic physicians.  Unfortunately, the growing antagonism of the AMA forced homeopathy into a rapid decline in the early 20th century.  By the 1920’s, it had been largely replaced by allopathic medicine.

However, homeopathy continued to grow and flourish worldwide.  India, Great Britain, Western and Central Europe, Central and South Africa all sustain numerous homeopathic practices.  German physician developed advanced techniques in Homotoxicology and in Immunotoxicolgy , using homeopathic formulations.  Homotoxicology – primarily through the use of homeopathy – helps the body eliminate toxic responses to antibiotics, x-rays, metal poisoning and mycotoxins that create stress and illness within the body.

Homeopathy works effectively in a wide variety of acute and chronic problems, including infections, allergies, gynecological difficulties, digestive problems, learning problems, etc.  It also helps to prevent future problems by increasing the individual’s strength and resistance.

Homeopathy does have limitations, but with a good nutritional program, a protocol that addresses the pH balance of the body, and good rest and exercise, the body has a tremendous capacity to heal itself.  No treatment therapies should be considered substitutes for good health habits.  In the long run it’s not only the “insults and injuries” that impact our health, but our constitutional makeup, and the resources that we have made available to the body over its lifetime, that contribute to good health.  Diet, lifestyle, stress factors and emotions all combine to create a bio-landscape of good health, energy, and general well-being.

What is a homeopathic remedy made from?

Homeopathic medicines (more commonly called remedies) are made from a large variety of plant, mineral, or animal substances.  They may be distributed in the form of a small pellet, tablets, or liquid remedy.

Can homeopathy improve your health?

The body has an extensive immune or healing system that normally keeps a person healthy.  Homeopathy understands that the actual cause of illness is the failure of the immune system to work as it was intended.  Stimulating the body’s own healing response to these failures is the intent of a homeopathic remedy.

How does homeopathy differ from conventional medicine?

How does the concept of homeopathy differ from that of conventional medicine? Very simply, homeopathy attempts to stimulate the body to recover itself.  Let’s look at an example:  the common cough.

First, we must accept that all symptoms, no matter how uncomfortable, represent the body’s attempt to restore itself to health.  Instead of looking upon the symptoms as something wrong which must be set right, we see them as signs of the way the body is attempting to help itself.   Instead of trying to stop the cough with suppressants, as conventional medicine does, a homeopath will give the remedy that will cause a cough in the healthy person, and thus stimulate the ill body to restore itself.

Second, we must look at the totality of the symptoms presented.  We each experience a cough in our own unique way, yet conventional medicine acts as if all coughs were alike.  It therefore offers a series of suppressive drugs – something to suppress the cough, something to dry the mucus, something to lower the histamine level, something to ease falling asleep.

Homeopathy on the other hand, looks for the one substance that will cause similar symptoms in a healthy person.  The person with a cough characterized by being worse when breathing cold air, and sounding like a deep bark, will need a quite different remedy than the person whose cough is loose in the morning, dry in the evening, and better when sitting up in bed.  We characterized both as “coughs” but they are different illnesses in the individuals, and therefore require different homeopathic treatment.

In conventional medical thought, healthy is seen simply as the absence of disease.  You assume that you are healthy if there is nothing wrong with you.  To a person versed in homeopathy, health is much more than that.  A healthy person is a person who is free on all levels – physical, emotional, and mental.  Obviously, a person with a broken leg is not free, on the physical level, to move around.  But on a more subtle level, a person who cannot eat certain foods or is allergic to certain materials is also experiencing a lack of freedom on the emotional level.  Likewise, a person who cannot absorb what he has read or cannot remember day-to-day appointments is experiencing a restriction on the mental level.  The homeopath recognizes such limitations and attempts, through the use of properly selected remedies, to restore the person to health and freedom.

An important basic difference exists between conventional medical therapy and homeopathy.  In conventional medical therapy, the aim often is to control the illness through regular use of medical substances, even if the medication is nothing more than vitamins.  If the medication is withdrawn, however, the person returns to illness.  There has been no cure.  A person who takes a pill for high blood pressure every day is not undergoing a cure but is only controlling the symptoms.  Homeopathy’s aim is the cure: “The complete restoration of perfect health,” as Dr. Samuel Hahnemann said.

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