WHAT IS HOMEOPATHY?
Developed by Samuel Hahnemann, M. D. (1755-1843), homeopathy is a philosophy and method of healing practiced all over the world. Protected by Federal law, homeopathic remedies are supervised by the FDA, and economical, safe, and effective for first-aid and domestic use.
The Law of Similars.
In 1792, Hahnemann demonstrated experimentally that medicines elicit in healthy people the same array of signs and symptoms that they help relieve in the sick, and that medicines eliciting a total symptom-picture most like the illness of the patient are most likely to initiate a spontaneous, long-lasting cure. From this “Law of Similars” he deduced that the symptoms of illness represent the self-healing effort of the organism, which the similar remedy acts to reinforce by a concerted response of the patient as an integrated energy system.
The Classical Method.
Prepared from natural substances of diverse origin, homeopathic remedies are diluted and refined to minimize toxicity and enhance the depth and subtlety of their action. When given to healthy volunteers, each medicine elicits a characteristic array of physical, mental, and emotional symptoms that distinguishes it from every other, while patients seeking treatment are interviewed in the same detail and matched with the one remedy whose total symptom-picture most closely resembles their own. Because it must fit the individuality of the patient as well as the pathological diagnosis, close attention is paid to unique features that the usual medical workup tends to ignore, while the minute doses insure that they will have little or no effect unless they are correctly chosen, unless they are similar enough to the illness that the patient will be optimally sensitive to them, a crucial safety feature.
Pros and Cons.
Homeopathic remedies are wonderfully effective when properly chosen, as well as safe, economical, and gentle in their action, with very few side effects. Curative responses are thorough and long-lasting, need few repetitions of the dose, and pose no risk of chronic drug dependence. The process also allows and encourages patients to assume greater control of and responsibility for their own healing than is often possible with more drastic methods. On the other hand, homeopathy remains very much an art, such that even experienced practitioners may need to try several remedies before a close match is found, while in other cases there is no benefit at all.
When to Consider Homeopathy.
While healing is always possible, and any patient may respond to it, homeopathy is most often successful in the following situations:
1) functional complaints with no tissue damage (headache, insomnia, IBS, anxiety, PMS, CFS, ADD, etc.);
2) conditions with no good allopathic treatment (wounds, viral infections, emphysema, etc.), where much relief is possible with minimal risk;
3) before elective surgery (fibroids, gallstones, BPH, hemorrhoids, varicose veins, etc.), where there is no urgency for immediate action;
4) to reduce or eliminate drug dependence (for allergies, asthma, colitis, ear infections, hypertension, etc.), where drugs must be taken long-term or indefinitely; and
5) if allopathic drugs fail, or patients refuse to take them, as in terminal cases, where significant relief is still possible.
It is more difficult but still worth a try even in advanced cases with tissue damage, or where dependence on potent, addictive drugs makes it dangerous or harmful to withdraw them precipitately or without careful supervision. It is not, however, a substitute for trained and experienced professional help.
Written by Richard Moskowitz, MD and printed with his permission.