Homeopathic Medicine: Principles and Practices
For over 200 years the practice of homeopathy, a low cost and nontoxic system of medicine, has been used to heal pain and illness and maintain the health of individuals. The German physician, chemist, and linguist Dr. Samuel Hahnemann developed homeopathy as an alternative to the medical practices of his time and provided the main principles that guide practitioners of homeopathy to this day.
Principles of Homeopathy:
The Law of Similars: often expressed as “like cures like”. In Health and Healing author Andrew Weil explains that in homeopathic thought, “a substance that produces a certain set of symptoms in a healthy person has the power to cure a sick person manifesting those same symptoms”.
The Body is Capable of Self-Healing: the practice of homeopathy posits that the body is filled with a vital force and is capable of self-healing. Thus remedies developed in homeopathy seek to assist the body in its own natural recovery. Furthermore, symptoms are seen as a part of the body’s natural healing process and not the root cause of illness.
First, Do No Harm: In our modern medical paradigm, side effects of treatments are seen all too often as a necessary and normal part of medical care. However, in the eyes of homeopaths such negative effects are seen as not only generally needless but dangerous and irresponsible on the part of medical practitioners.
The Law of Infinitesimals: One of the most controversial principles in homeopathy, which states that the smaller the dose of a remedy, when properly diluted, the greater its affect in stimulating the body’s natural vital force to react against disease and imbalance. Generally homeopathic remedies are diluted to the point where there is no molecular trace of the original substance used. According to Alternative Medicine: The Definitive Guide, “Some researchers believe that the specific electromagnetic frequency of the original substance is imprinted in the homeopathic remedy through the process of successive dilution and succession.”
These principles are the foundation upon which homeopathic practitioners assist their patients in living the highest quality life. Homeopathy goes beyond simply healing physical manifestations of ill health, instead widening their focus to include the patient’s mental and emotional wellbeing. A typical appointment with a homeopath begins with several hours spent on developing the patient’s case or profile. This process includes going over the individual’s medical history but goes much deeper, dealing with nutrition, exercise, sleep and dream patterns, phobias, stress levels, emotional states, and anything the practitioner feels will help identify the individual’s particular pattern of ill health.
Once the patient’s profile has been taken the practitioner then begins the rigorous task of selecting the best remedy for each individual's situation and symptoms. The classically trained homeopath will consult repertories and material medicas that detail the findings of 200 years worth of tests on thousands of substances to locate the remedy that best matches the patient’s profile. Classic homeopaths choose just one remedy to give the patient and wait to see its effects. Clinical homeopaths gives combination remedies. After a patient receives a remedy, follow up visits are scheduled so that the practitioner can track the effectiveness of the remedy and make changes when necessary.