HOMEOPATHY is a form of medicine that gently supports the body’s ability to heal itself through the use of homeopathic remedies” and uses the philosophy that “like cures like”. It is very powerful medicine yet it is extremely gentle and safe for everyone to use, including children, pregnant women, people taking many medications and even pets
Homeopathic medicine is a system that has evolved from the research and discoveries of Samuel Hahnemann, a German physician. Hahnemann was frustrated with the ineffective treatments available in his time, and began research on his own. During this research, Hahnemann tested Chinchona (Peruvian bark), the source for quinine, and a treatment for malaria. He discovered that by taking very small doses himself, he developed the symptoms of malaria, the very disease that quinine was used to treat. This led him to develop the Law of Similars: the theory that like can cure like. This is contrary to the standard medical assumption that an opposite or antidote medicine must be used to cure a symptom (think “anti”-biotics for an infection.) Homeopathy was very popular in North America at the beginning of the 1900’s due to its brilliant success in treating epidemic diseases.
Homeopathic remedies are prescribed based on the concept of treating the whole person rather than treating just the disease. A Homeopathic or Naturopathic Doctor gives a remedy to stimulate the body’s defence systems to improve the healing process and affect a cure. Symptoms are seen as a helpful reflection of how the person, on physical, mental and/or emotional level, is coping with outside influences. When a warning light comes on in your car, you would investigate what was wrong with the engine, not just disconnect the light! Suppressing or masking the symptoms of an illness without understanding and treating the cause behind them is rarely effective – the body just brings out a new set of symptoms that are often more serious. Homeopathic remedies are prescribed to effectively respond to the message the body is sending out through symptoms.
This illustrates the concept of the vital force. Homeopathic and Naturopathic Doctors who prescribe Homeopathy understand that the body has an inherent energy of creation that animates and moves us. We call this the vital force, and understand that that it is always trying to move us towards our best state of health. Many other cultures also have this understanding. It’s been called Qi, Mana, Vitality, or the Spirit to name a few. Part of the reason Homeopathic Medicine is so hard to study in a double blind placebo controlled studies is that measuring the vital force in evidence based models is difficult. Quantum physics has better models for understanding this kind of diminutive molecular relationship and sphere of influence; however few of us are such advanced physicists! . Still, it is intuitive that we all have this internal quality, and this is the arena that homeopathic remedies operate within.
Homeopathic remedies are derived from natural substances from the mineral, plant and animal kingdoms. There are currently thousands of remedies, with new ones being tested (or “proven”) every year. Proven remedies have many symptoms – in other words, their effect covers many specific physical, mental and emotional characteristics. Potency is also important in the Homeopathic Rx. Depending on the type of ailment and the vitality of the individual, a remedy is prescribed at a particular potency. Potency reflects the number of times the remedy has been diluted and succussed or shaken. Strangely, the more dilute the remedy, the higher the potency and the more powerful its medicinal effect.
The specific remedy chosen is one, which if given to a healthy person, would elicit the very symptoms of the illness it cures. A proving is the method used to determine the symptom picture specific to each remedy. To prove a remedy, a group of healthy people are given a Homeopathic dose of the substance, and the symptoms experienced are meticulously recorded. Once it is known what symptoms a homeopathic remedy causes, it is then known what it will influence and cure when given in infinitesimal doses.
Because homeopathic remedies are very specific, it is crucial to take a full and complete case in order to determine exactly the right remedy. With homeopathic treatment, it is crucial to find out all the specific details about a condition, for example: Do you feel better with cold, or with warmth? Where specifically is the symptom? Does it change with the time of day, or with body position? Does the sufferer feel weepy, irritable, anxious, want to be alone or need reassurance? As you can see, there are many factors involved in choosing a Homeopathic Rx! The correct remedy would rebalance the body and deal with the root cause of the symptom. Because each remedy is so specific, a remedy that works for one person’s symptoms may not work for someone else. If the wrong remedy is taken (or a remedy that is only related to the right one, but is not the correct remedy for your symptoms), usually no effect will be noticed – your symptoms will not improve – but you may even feel a little worse. For this reason it is important to receive homeopathic treatment from a practitioner who has been trained professionally, and not self-treat beyond simple first aid and home care.
When taking a homeopathic remedy there are a few things to keep in mind:
- Take at least 10 minutes away from food, gum and beverages.
- Classically, it is suggested to avoid coffee, mint, camphor, and other strong smelling or tasting herbs, several hours before and after taking the remedy. The importance of this varies depending on your own sensitivity.
- Your remedy will come as a small vial with many small white sugar pellets, or occasionally as a liquid. Drop the required number of pellets in the lid, then drop them under your tongue and allow them to dissolve.
- Homeopathic remedies last “forever” – in other words, you can safely keep them beyond the expiry date that is printed on the tube, and they will remain effective as long as they are not exposed to strong scents or heat.