Homeopathy: What is Homeopathy?
Homeopathy is the art and science of healing by safe, gentle, and natural methods. The word is coined from the Greek word ‘homoios’ meaning like or similar and ‘pathos’ meaning suffering. It works on the principle of 'similia similibus curentur’ (Let like be cured with like) which means that anything that will cause a disease in a healthy person when given in large doses, will also cure when treated with micro doses of potentized homeopathic medicines made from the same substance. This substance will help to stimulate the body’s own healing power to fight the illness. This concept has been known since Hippocrates in 450 BC, and has been further developed down the ages until full scientific examination was undertaken by a German allopathic physician, Dr. Samuel Hahnemann in the eighteenth century.
Homeopathy is holistic; that is it treats the whole person and not just the symptoms, believing that symptoms are the body’s own attempt at self-healing and that any suppression of these symptoms will drive the disease further into the body.
Homeopathic medicines - also called remedies - have been proven for nearly two hundred years to be safe and effective in treating ailments serious and minor, acute and chronic, physical and emotional. Many rare and medically unexplained illnesses have been cured by homeopathy. Homeopathy can also play an important part in preventing diseases.
During the initial consultation which is usually quite lengthy and thorough, the homeopath needs to carefully question the patient in order to build up a multidimensional picture of the patient’s symptoms to match one drug’s picture and find an appropriate remedy for that particular person.
Several people, even though suffering from the same-name disease, may actually require completely different homeopathic remedies. The choice of the remedy is highly individualized; it depends not only on the physical symptoms of the person but several other factors, such as the person’s emotional, mental and constitutional make up, as well as the modalities that either adversely or favorably affect each symptom, are taken into consideration before choosing the appropriate remedy for that individual. A clinical examination may or may not be necessary.
The patient’s progress is reviewed on subsequent visits and further prescriptions may be necessary requiring a change in the potency or frequency of the current remedy, or institution of a new remedy. Although rapid results can be achieved, particularly in acute illness, a more gradual improvement is usually expected in chronic diseases and in patients with low vitality (possibly as a result of the previous illness or use of conventional drugs).
The length of time a person must be treated by homeopathy for a chronic problem depends on the length of time they have suffered from the disorder, its nature, and the reaction of the individual to the disease.
Homeopathic remedies are derived from raw, natural resources generally from the vegetable and animal kingdoms as well as from minerals. Although some remedies are used in less diluted form, most remedies in general use are highly diluted yet potentized; they are believed to have some, yet unidentified, physical energy that helps to stimulate the body’s own healing power as clinically observed in millions of people all over the world especially in countries like the United Kingdom, Germany, India, and Russia.
The remedies are prepared to modern high standards of safety and are recognized as both complementary and alternative to conventional or allopathic medicines. It is not advisable to stop or reduce the dosages of conventional medications already being taken without consultation with your homeopathic physician or the practitioner who prescribed them.
Homeopathic remedies (drugs) have no known side effects when correctly prescribed and are safe even for babies, children and pregnant women. Children respond particularly well because their reactive powers are often stronger than those of adults.
The diluted substances used in homeopathy will not cause any toxic or allergic problems. However, in some cases during the course of treatment, symptoms may be aggravated or new symptoms may appear. These are usually transient and may require some adjustment in the medicines taken.
While many acute and chronic illnesses and functional symptoms can be helped by homeopathy, diseases in their advanced stage and those with major structural changes may not always benefit from homeopathy. However, homeopathy can have a palliative role even in incurable illnesses, such as cancer, to provide comfort to the patient without major side effects often encountered with conventional medicines.
Homeopathy may be of help in some bizarre, unexplained, rare, but real problems or symptoms people experience for which there may not be any definite explanation/reason or cure in allopathic medicine.
Homeopathic remedies have been very useful in many common pediatric illnesses. For children who have not had satisfactory response from treatment, or had undesirable side effects from conventional medicines, prescribed by pediatric allergist, pediatric pulmonologist, pediatric gastroenterologist, pediatric dermatologist, pediatric otolaryngologist, or other specialists for conditions such as seasonal allergies/Hay fever, chronic infant/childhood eczema, recurrent boils, recurrent staph dermatitis, psoriasis, bronchial asthma, constipation, infant colic, chronic diarrhea, unexplained urticaria, chronic unexplained cough, chronic rhino-sinusitis, recurrent upper respiratory tract infections followed by/associated with ear infection/wheezing, etc, homeopathic treatment may be considered after learning more about homeopathy.
To learn more about homeopathy, or to find a homeopathic physician in your area, you may call National Center for Homeopathy (Tel: 877-624-0613, 703-548-7790), or visit their website at nationalcenterforhomeopathy.org. There are many other sources of information one may review by searching the web. If you are looking to purchase homeopathic remedies, a partial list of homeopathic pharmacies is included on the Links page of this website.