|Mary Jo Aloi, DHom(UK), PCH|
Homeopathy is a 200 year old system of healing. It was developed by a German medical doctor named Samuel Hahnemann. It is used widely in Europe, India and other countries around the world, and is gaining popularity in North America as more integrative approaches to health care are embraced.
Homeopathy stimulates the bodys own healing ability to restore health. The main principles of homeopathy are the law of similars, the totality of the person, and the minimum dose.
Most, but not all, of the conventional medical techniques of dealing with symptoms are aimed at getting rid of an individual symptom. The most obvious way to do this is to give a drug that has the opposite action on the body. The person has a fever, give a fever reducing drug; the person has constipation, give something that causes loose stools; the person has too fast a heart rate, give something that causes a lowering of the heart rate. You can treat every case of these symptoms with just a couple of drugs and the symptoms seem to go away, voila, cured or are they? If you look at the whole person, their whole system, often you find they are not better overall, something else is worse. New symptoms may seem unrelated to the original symptom, however many cultures throughout the world and throughout time have held an understanding of the body as completely interconnected. Whatever we do affects the whole being.
In homeopathy we do not give substances that have opposite actions on individual symptoms. We look at the whole person and at all the factors of an individual symptom from how the sensation feels, to what time of day it occurs, or what emotional trigger sets it off, to all the things that make it feel better and worse and then some. After all of this looking at the whole person and the details of all the symptoms, we find a substance to support the body in what it is trying (in its wisdom) to accomplish from these symptoms, we give a remedy that can cause the same symptoms in a healthy person. We give it however, in very dilute amounts (the minimum dose otherwise we may cause symptoms instead of curing them). This stimulates the system. It is a persons own body that does the healing. The remedy is simply a stimulus, a red flag saying hey you are out of balance here. The fact that a similar substance can cure is called the law of similars and has been shown to work both empirically and by clinical trials.
The stimulus from homeopathy can be helpful for a very wide range of health conditions, particularly chronic conditions which tend to require long term use of drugs with conventional medicine. Some conditions where permanent physiological changes have taken place may not be reversed, however homeopathy can still help to heal the person so they can better integrate these challenges in their lives.
Just as health and disease are processes, homeopathy is a process. Consulting a classical homeopath is a decision that should be made with the understanding that we need time to get to know each other and work together. Sometimes the first remedy tried produces rapid and permanent results, often the response to the first remedy gives important clues about what a better remedy might be. It is realistic to consult a classical homeopath if you can commit to an initial appointment and 3 follow up appointments. After this time period, results should be apparent.