Homeopathy is a system of natural therapeutics which heals deeply, gently and thoroughly.It has been in use around the globe for over 200 years. Founded by Samuel Hahnemann, a German physician, it is a complete system of medical theory and practice that has become recognized internationally as one of the principal forms of Complementary and Alternative Health Care. Homeopathy can be used to promote rapid and deep healing of a wide variety of ailments and injuries, both acute and chronic. It also has a long history of effective prevention of illness, as illustrated by its lifesaving role in the great cholera and influenza epidemics of 1837 and 1918.
What is Homeopathy?
In the late 1700’s, Samuel Hahnemann, a German physician, published his work on a new system of medicine which he called Homeopathy.This system, based on the “principle of similars”, or “like cures like”, had its roots in the Ancient Greek writings of Hippocrates. Hahnemann was the first to be able to create a complete system of medicine based on this principle. He also created the name “homeopathy” from the Greek “homeo”, meaning “similar”, and “pathos“, meaning “suffering”.
The Principle of Similars
The principle of similars is the use of medicines in minute doses, called homeopathic remedies, which, in large doses, can create symptoms similar to those a person is experiencing.
For example, a dose of coffee in homeopathic form, Coffea cruda, can help sleep come to a person who is sleepless from too much excitement. Another remedy made from the honeybee, Apis mellifica, quickly calms pain and swelling from a beesting. Another homeopathic remedy, Allium cepa, made from red onion, can provide relief for stinging, watery eyes and other symptoms of hay fever or colds.
Your homeopath selects a remedy for you based on your particular symptoms and how you experience them. General physical and psychological characteristics also make up an important part of your “homeopathic portrait”. Your homeopath will match this highly individualized “portrait” to a remedy that has similar characteristics.
The remedy that matches you and your symptoms gently stimulates your body’s own healing ability, and your natural balance can then progressively be restored.
How does Homeopathy work?
We all have a natural internal mechanism for healing and for continually restoring balance in body and mind. When we are off balance, we feel it! We also feel the restoration of balance when it occurs. This process occurs continually throughout our lifetime.
Each individual is unique,and therefore each person’s state of balance and off-balance is unique as well. Homeopathy works with who we are as an individual to keep the balancing mechanism well-tuned, or to retune it if it seems to be out of order.
What is my Homeopathic Portrait?
When our internal healing mechanism is not well-tuned, each of us shows it in our own way. We each develop our own pattern: what makes us feel better and what makes us feel worse, what types of pains or other sensations we have and where they are, what functions of the body and mind are not working as well as they ordinarily would, what sets off our emotions and what soothes them. Homeopathy examines that individual pattern in detail, whether it is simple or complex, and works with this unique “homeopathic portrait” to help re-tune the natural healing capacity of each person. Then, once again, balance and health can be restored.
This attention to the uniqueness of each individual is fundamental to the practice of homeopathy, and it enables the “re-tuning” of the balancing mechanism to be precise and profound.
How long does Homeopathic treatment last?
Depending on the condition being treated and the goals of the person consulting, homeopathic treatment can vary in length. Homeopathic remedies, when properly selected, can take effect quite quickly. However, for chronic conditions that have developed over time, improvement will often occur at a gradual, though noticeable, pace.
For recent or acute illnesses, the effects can be very rapid. Some people feel changes occurring almost immediately after taking the remedy. The pain of a beesting, for example, can be relieved rapidly by Apis mellifica.
For chronic or complex illnesses or symptoms, change will most often occur more gradually. Your homeopath will meet with you regularly to evaluate your progress, and will propose adjustments in treatment as needed, always based on the principle of similars.
Does Homeopathy work for everyone?
As with any therapeutic system, some people do not experience significant benefits from homeopathic treatment. This could be due to the nature of their condition, or to some difficulty in determining the most similar homeopathic remedy.
As each person is complex and unique, it may take your homeopathic practitioner some time to reach a deep understanding of you and your symptom picture. It may be helpful to set a time frame with your practitioner, for example, six to twelve months, at which time progress can be evaluated.
Can Homeopathy be used for health maintenance?
Many people who use homeopathy develop a long-lasting relationship with their practitioner. As health improves and symptoms are reduced, the regular consultations occur less frequently, with an eye to health maintenance and prevention of illness. Homeopathy can be used to good effect at all the different stages of life, and so provides support for all the members of the family as they experience the challenges of birth, growth, adulthood, and aging.
Why do people use Homeopathy?
People who use homeopathy often do so for a number of reasons. Some of them are:
Homeopathy treats the whole person.
Homeopathy takes into account the connections between mind and body, as well as observing the important connections between different parts of the body. It also recognizes the importance of symptoms or sensations that may seem like “just little things”, but that add up to create the unique portrait of you as an individual.
Homeopathy is non-toxic.
Any potentially toxic or addictive properties are removed through this process.This makes homeopathy safe for everyone, including children, the elderly, and pregnant women. If you are pregnant, or if you have a serious illness, it is recommended that you consult a professional homeopath before using any homeopathic remedy.
Homeopathy is effective.
Many people find that homeopathy brings a wide range of benefits to their health. Better sleep, more even energy levels, more balanced appetite, and easing of symptoms that seemed to be “here to stay” are some of the effects commonly experienced.
Homeopathy is a good value.
Your homeopath works with you in depth to get to the root of the illness or symptom, then carefully researches and selects a homeopathic remedy that will stimulate healing at this deep level. As your health improves, you find yourself spending less and less on being sick, purchasing fewer medications, and enjoying life more. In addition, homeopathic remedies are extremely economical, compared to the price of most other conventional and natural medicines.
Homeopathy is easy to use.
The homeopathic remedy recommended by your professional practitioner is easy to take, as it is administered in liquid or pellet form under the tongue. Children enjoy sucking on the sweet pellets, and homeopathic remedies are also available in powder form. Infants can take the remedy dissolved in a small quantity of milk or water, depending on their age. In most cases, repeated doses are not necessary, so you do not have to remember to take something every day.
Homeopathy can help avoid over-use of antibiotics and over-the-counter medications.
infections, for example, can be helped through a constitutional treatment so they are less susceptible to infections and eventually stop getting them altogether. Yearly bouts of seasonal allergies, recurring sinus congestion, repeated bladder or yeast infections, and other such symptoms that come back again and again can often be turned around by homeopathy, so that they decrease significantly, and even disappear over time. In this way, over-use of medications needed to treat these acute symptoms can be avoided.
Homeopathy involves you in your own health care.
When you consult a professional homeopath, you form a team dedicated to supporting your health and well-being. You are involved in the process of reaching a deeper understanding of your health challenges and your healing ability. Throughout this process, you are in charge of your healing. Your homeopath listens to you and asks you questions that lead to further understanding for both you and your practitioner. Your homeopath works closely with you to provide the best services possible and to accompany you along your path of discovery.
For more information on how to select a professional homeopath, click here.