Homeopathy is a complete system of medicine which assists the natural tendency of the human body to heal itself. It acknowledges that all symptoms of ill health are a mere manifestation of the disharmony within the whole person and that it is the patient that requires treatment and not the disease. It has been in existence worldwide for nearly two hundred years and its popularity is rising in the present day.
What types of illnesses can Homeopathy treat?
People suffering from all kinds of illnesses, from arthritis to migraine, depression to ulcers, including ‘modern day’ illnesses like AIDS, can be helped by homeopathy in regaining their health. Since different people react to the same illness in different ways, a homeopath approaches patients in a holistic manner. The physical, emotional and mental or spiritual state of each person are regarded as intimately connected. Homeopaths understand that symptoms of disease are evidence of the body’s natural immune systems response to healing itself and these clues are used to guide them when prescribing a remedy.
All types of chronic illnesses, except surgical cases, can benefit from homeopathy. Acute illnesses can also be managed successfully. Because the medicines are free from toxic side effects, homeopathy can be use in the treatment of pregnant women, babies, children and nursing mothers.
- Some examples of illnesses commonly treated by homeopathy are:
- coughs, colds, flu, ear infections, sore throats, asthma, hay fever, bronchitis
- digestive and gastric complaints, constipation, irritable bowel syndrome
- PMT, painful or difficult menstruation, menopausal flushes
- anxiety, panic attacks, depression
- rheumatoid arthritis
- urinary tract infections, candidiasis
- headaches and migraine
- skin diseases: acne, eczema, psoriasis
- paediatric problems: colic, teething, bed wetting, ADHD
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Is there any Restrictions?
It is suggested that you avoid the following substances, practices and items to insure the best response from your remedy:
- Camphor, or camphorated products including products containing eucalyptus and camphor oils
- Dental work, teeth cleaning, drilling or anesthetics
- Electric blankets
- Mint, or mentholated products
- Recreational drugs
- Some conventional drugs (Be sure to tell your homeopath what you are taking)
- Stress, which can lower the resonance of a homeopathic remedy
How it works ?
Homeopathy remedies are prescribed to the Law of Similars which states” That which makes sick shall heal”. For instance, we know that when cutting a strong smelling onion we often experience an acrid running nose, a soreness in the throats and stinging, watery eyes. A homeopath will prescribe Allium cepa (made from onion) for patients who suffer from cold and a sore throat with similar symptoms. This Law of Similar has been part of medical practice since ancient times but homeopathy (similar & suffering) as we know it today was first formulated two hundred years ago by a German physician, chemist and linguist, Dr. Samuel Hahnemann.
A homeopathic remedy acts as a signal which energizes or stimulates the body’s healing power, mobilizing the defense systems and working in the mental, emotional and physical aspects of the being. Just as a television produces images of the program it has been tuned, so is a sick person very much in tune or sensitive to the correct remedy and only a minute stimulus from the correct signal (or remedy) is required. Therefore, in homeopathy, only one remedy (or signal) is used at a time. The idea is to cure with the minimum amount of medicine and with the minimum amount of intervention. For the same reason, it is not possible to take an overdose of homeopathic remedies in the same way as in allopathy. Homeopathic remedies are not therefore intrinsically dangerous. Nonetheless, they are clearly capable of stimulating the body’s reactive forces powerfully and should be treated with respect.
What can I expect to happen ?
One may experience certain physiological changes upon starting a remedy. It is often noticed that the symptoms may get worse after beginning the treatment for a short period of time. This is a good sign. This is a signal that the remedy is taking the desired effect and that the recovery would begin once the symptoms have passed.
It is not uncommon to develop a runny nose, cold, rash or some kind of discharge. This is the remedy’s way of cleansing the body. Contact you homeopath if you are concerned by any changes that you notice upon beginning the remedy. Whatever you reaction maybe, the homeopath will need to know, so make notes, be detailed and list the changing symptoms.
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Is there any side effects?
Homeopathy influences the body’s energy rather than its chemical balance. Hence, the remedies do not cause side effects since there is no chemical trace to accumulate in the tissues. For the same reasons, it is not possible to take an overdose of homeopathic medicine in the same way as in allopathic medicine (which works on a chemical level) Homeopathic remedies are therefore not intrinsically dangerous. Yet, they are capable in stimulating the body’s reactive forces powerfully and should be treated with respect.
What is entailed in the treatment ?
Traditional homeopathic remedy is prescribed in the form of pills that should be allowed to dissolve under the tongue for greatest absorption. Patients should refrain from ingesting anything for aleast 1/2 hours after taking the medication. Your homeopath will usually advise you to refrain from any strong smelling substances while undergoing homeopathic treatment because such substances lessen the effect of the remedy. Tea, coffee, peppermint, eucalyptus oil, camphor or menthol products are some examples of the same. Store all remedies in cool dark places and well away from anything with a strong smell.
Please inform your doctor of any other medications that you may be on as well as any medical procedures that you are about to start, or have already begun. Because other treatments and prescription medications may impact the effectiveness of your treatment.
What are the three levels of homeopathic therapy?
Level1: First Aid
Homeopathy can be used in first aid to safely treat common ailments and occurrences, such as sprains and bruises, minor burns, skin irritations and reactions (including poison ivy, diaper rash and insect bites), teething pain, etc.
Level 2: Acute Homeopathy
Acute health problems are those in which the symptoms will eventually go away on their own. They are temporary conditions, such as colds, flu, coughs, sprains, etc. A homeopathic remedy can be useful and attractive because it is safe, gentle and has no harmful side effects. Homeopathy can also be used to assist sensitive conditions such as pregnancy.
Level 3: Constitutional Homeopathy
Constitutional homeopathy refers to the treatment of a person as a whole, including past and present symptoms. When accurately implemented, homeopathic constitutional care can elicit a profound healing response. Homeopathy can be extremely effective in treating chronic and long-term health problems. Recurrent ear infections, for example, can be treated with a homeopathic remedy for a longer period of time to strengthen the body’s immune system and to prevent future occurrences.
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What is Individualization?
Each patient is different from another and his reaction to all the internal and external forces or stimuli will therefore be different from another. This is called the principle of individualization. It is for this reason that two patients with apparently the same illness may be treated with different remedies. Let us take the example of common cold. An allopath will prescribe for each patient the same medication- a decongestant, an anti-allergic and an anti-pyretic. A homeopath first looks for the cause. He will ask you how you caught the cold- did you get wet in the rains, were exposed to a draft of air, got overheated or chilled, had cold drinks, etc. Then, he looks for the details of the symptoms- whether you sneeze or not, is there a runny nose, what is the type of discharge, etc. He finds out what factors aggravate or relieve the complaints, what are the associated symptoms, etc. Armed with these details, he selects a remedy similar to the illness and attacks it.
Can such small doses be effective?
Homeopathic remedies are indeed very small doses. However, they are specially prepared doses which undergo a specific process — including dilution of ingredients (called potenciation), as well as a vigorous shaking (succession).
Specially formulated homeopathic remedies are thought to resonate with the body, triggering a positive healing response. This response gently, and effectively, heals from the inside out.
The documented results from thousands of experienced homeopaths, and from millions of their patients, clearly show that these small, individualized doses produce profound health benefits.
What is the Principle of Individualization?
Each patient is different from another and his reaction to all the internal and external forces or stimuli will therefore be different from another. This is called the principle of individualization.It is for this reason that two patients with apparently the same illness may be treated with different remedies. Let us take the example of common cold. An allopath will prescribe for each patient the same medication- a decongestant, an anti-allergic and an anti-pyretic. A homeopath first looks for the cause. He will ask you how you caught the cold- did you get wet in the rains, were exposed to a draft of air, got overheated or chilled, had cold drinks, etc. Then, he looks for the details of the symptoms- whether you sneeze or not, is there a runny nose, what is the type of discharge, etc. He finds out what factors aggravate or relieve the complaints, what are the associated symptoms, etc. Armed with these details, he selects a remedy similar to the illness and attacks it.
What is potenciation ?
The remedies we use come from many sources. Most are derived from plants, but minerals, metals, animal products, and even some poisons, which have been used medicinally for generations, are also used. It seems alarming that homeopathy uses poisons, but you can rest assured that all substances whether of plant, mineral, metal, animal or poisonous origin are put through a special process whereby they are serially diluted and vigorously shaken.
This special process is called “potentisation”, wherein the crude medicinal substances are serially diluted and “energized”. The dilution is frequently so great that no chemical trace of the original substance remains. However the characteristic energy pattern or the blue print of the original substance is imprinted onto the dilution. This process is very much akin to the radio or television signals, where the original program or scene is converted in to an electromagnetic energy pattern or signal which is transmitted to a receiver.
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How soon will I be cured ?
Homeopathic remedies cure the whole as opposed to the symptoms. The time it takes to cure a symptoms is directly dependant on the complexity of the ailment. Since the remedy works from inside out, internal disorders are the first to be cured as opposed to superficial outer symptoms. Be patient, for it is more beneficial to cure the cause of the illness as well as the symptoms , rather than simply relieve the symptoms. Two patients with a cold may look similar but may have completely different remedies prescribed to them.
Should other treatments be stopped or can you use homeopathy alongside other therapies?
Yes and no. It depends on the treatments as well as the nature of your complaints. Your homeopath will be able to advise you on this.
Many homeopaths are willing and able to treat their patients alongside some other therapies. Some will suggest (sensibly) that you do not have homeopathic treatment alongside for example, acupuncture treatment, as both are seeking to stimulate your body to heal itself in a similar way (but using different tools) … and this can be confusing!
Homeopathy will work alongside orthodox medical treatments, gentle physical therapies such as cranio-sacraltherapy, counselling and psychotherapies, botanical or herbal medicine etc.
What is the difference between homeopathy and conventional medicine?
Homeopathy is based on a”whole person” approach. In homeopathy, the remedy or treatment program is customized and individualized to the patient, with the intent of removing the underlying cause.
Conventional Medicine’s Approach
Conventional (allopathic) medicine usually relies on treating a patient’s physical symptoms. This treatment might also assume a person’s symptoms need to be controlled, suppressed or eliminated.
The difference may be stated in a simple analogy: eradicating the “symptom” of a car’s low oil level (the warning light) does not change, or remedy, the cause of the signal (low-oil).
Goals of the Homeopathic Approach –
It has been said that the work of the homeopath is to observe the patient, process and reflect on the gathered information, and then determine the underlying disturbance. This process can be thought of as a mystery, wherein the homeopathic “detective” attempts to discover where the flow of energy in the body has been blocked or impeded. Each signal/symptom offered by the patient can be thought of as a clue to determine the correct remedy. The patient’s eye contact, body posture, breathing patterns, voice quality, and expressions are also noted as potential clues. Next, the data must be reconstructed, as it might be in a mystery novel or movie.
When all of the information about the patient’s physical, mental and emotional symptoms has been documented, then the final search for the answer begins. Unlike a detective — or medical physician for that matter — the homeopath’s goal is not only to remove the symptoms, but also to eliminate the essential causal problem by stimulating the body’s natural curative powers. This is the reason for obtaining such a detailed analysis of the patient.
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