THE ART OF HOMOEOPATHY
Homeopathy is a unique system of healing concerned with matching individual remedies to individual patients in a totally holistic manner that encompasses the spiritual, mental, emotional and physical levels of the patient.
A branch of medical science in the same way that many other systems of healing, such as pediatrics, psychiatry and surgery, are classed as medical sciences, homeopathy treats the whole person, rather than merely the presenting symptom or complaint of a patient.
It achieves this by using very small doses of natural substances to stimulate the body’s ability to cure itself. In this way, homeopathy heals and strengthens the whole person and helps prevent future illness by finding and treating the root cause of disease, rather than suppressing its symptoms.
Increasing numbers of people are looking for a treatment that heals the whole body, not just the physical; that treats the root of the problem, not just the symptoms; and that is natural and chemical-free. Homeopathy is such a therapy, and it is currently estimated that approx 500 million people around the world use homeopathy as their main form of medicinal treatment, with New Zealand currently experiencing a major groundswell of interest in this healing art.
There has seldom been a better time to study homeopathy, with the opportunities that are becoming available in New Zealand and internationally for practitioners.
BRIEF OVERVIEW OF HOMOEOPATHY
Discovered in the 1800s, physician Samuel Hahnemann noticed that the smaller the dose of a substance he used to cure a symptom, the quicker the body was stimulated into a cure. So Homoeopathy is sometimes called the Law of the Minimum Dose.
In Homoeopathy, a sick person is treated with a very dilute form of a substance, which, if taken in full strength, would have caused the same symptoms which they are suffering.
This is called ‘like cures like’.
As well as a physical body, Hahnemann realised people have a ‘vital force’, or energy, the level where homoeopathic medicines work. Homoeopathic medicines are made by serial dilution, followed by "succussion" (shaking) which transfers energy to the dilution. The number of potentiation steps is far more important than the dilution factor.
Homoeopathy is very popular in Europe, with pharmacies supplying both conventional and homoeopathic medicines. It is regaining popularity in England and the United States (see section below), and now is a growth area in New Zealand Pharmacies.
PHILOSOPHY OF HOMOEOPATHY
The concept of disease in homoeopathy is much broader than in orthodox medicine, which tends to restrict itself to the body’s physical functioning.
Homoeopaths believe a disease process can begin when a person is subjected to a stressor so overwhelming that the vital force causes the person to adopt a certain posture. For example, a wife who is abused may develop habits to keep out of her husband’s radar: she may become very quiet and fastidious so as not to trigger his anger. This posture may indeed help her to survive, but if her marriage ends, the posture continues, a needless restriction to her behavior. It has become a disease state.
All of us have certain conditions for feeling comfortable. Some people are sensitive to temperature, others to how well we are relating to people at home or at work. Some of us are very concerned about our physical appearance, others less so. Most of us have foods we dislike or positions we can’t fall to sleep in. These individual differences are of utmost interest to homoeopaths because they are the boundaries of our own particular remedy pictures.
The healthiest person, therefore, is generally the one who feels comfortable in the most situations, without placing restrictions on their behavior.
HOW DO WE KNOW WE ARE GETTING BETTER?
Homoeopathy utilises a special concept called direction of cure, based on the notion that our vital force, when confronted by a stressor, sacrifices its least essential organs or systems first. The woman in the example above could develop skin pathology when the abuse begins, but as the psychological stress mounts, the pathology could begin to affect her digestive system, and she may find she develops an ulcer or diarrhea. Homoeopaths also believe that when pathology is suppressed, it can move to a deeper level. We see this often in children with eczema, which is suppressed with topical steroids; these children often go on to develop asthma.
If the child in our example above undergoes homoeopathic treatment, a good direction of cure would be indicated by the asthma improving first. Then the child might experience a bout of eczema as the disease state is cleared from his system. Homoeopaths have observed that skin pathology often clears up from the top down, so it would be a good sign if the last of the eczema was on the feet or legs.
Sometimes patients respond to a remedy with a healing aggravation: a temporary worsening of their symptoms. This can be seen as the disease state’s last stand against the newly strengthened vital force.
Other signs of progress include a good energy level, renewed interest in hobbies and a new perspective on one’s situation.
Textbooks in our College curriculum which discuss these and other philosophical questions include The Science of Homeopathy by George Vithoulkas and The Spirit of Homoeopathy by Rajan Sankaran.
Homeopathy, a branch of medical science in the same way that many other systems of healing, such as pediatrics, psychiatry and surgery, are classed as medical sciences, homeopathy treats the whole person, rather than merely the presenting symptom or complaint of a patient. It achieves this by using very small doses of natural substances to stimulate the body’s ability to cure itself. In this way, homeopathy heals and strengthens the whole person and helps prevent future illness by finding and treating the root cause of disease, rather than suppressing its symptoms.
Increasing numbers of people are looking for a treatment that heals the whole body, not just the physical; that treats the root of the problem, not just the symptoms; and that is natural and chemical-free. Homeopathy is such a therapy, and it is currently estimated that approx 500 million people around the world use homeopathy as their main form of medicinal treatment, with New Zealand currently experiencing a major groundswell of interest in this healing art. There has seldom been a better time to study homeopathy, with the opportunities that are becoming available in New Zealand and internationally for practitioners.
HOMOEOPATHY IS WIDELY REFERRED TO AS THE 'MEDICINE OF THE 21ST CENTURY'.
Homeopathic medicines provide a viable, safe complement to conventional medicine, including antibiotic use. There is now much evidence to suggest that antibiotics should only be used when they are an absolute necessity. Although they can be real lifesavers, they also upset a person’s inner balance, and natural immunity. Over-use has also been shown to contribute to various strains of bacteria becoming resistant to standard antibiotic treatment.
In addition, with the organic industry poised to be a major growth industry in the 21st century and beyond, the overflow to homeopathic treatment will be a natural process. As greater numbers of people are subjected to greater industrial pollution, many will find conventional western medicine difficult to process. Homeopathy, therefore, is a safe and effective alternative.
The central premise of homeopathy is that a substance capable of causing symptoms in a healthy person can be used to treat an unwell person with the same symptoms. Modern homeopathy was developed by German physician Samuel Hahnemann over two hundred years ago. Hahnemann initially experimented with quinine, which was then in use as a treatment for malaria, and found that when he ingested it, he developed malaria-like symptoms. Over time, Hahnemann found that diluting healing substances eliminated side effects while maximizing positive effect.
Homeopathy is a holistic medicine, which means that a good homeopath takes time to build a thorough picture of the patient in order to select an appropriate remedy (the simillimum). Also, because homeopathy addresses the patient as a whole, one suitable remedy can initiate healing of all of the patient’s complaints, both physical and emotional. Homeopaths try to understand what caused a patient to develop pathology and they care about how exactly the patient experiences their illness and their situation in life in general.
Homeopathic remedies are mostly derived from plant, mineral and animal sources. Some of the earliest remedies included arnica, belladonna, sulphur, mercury and cuttlefish ink. Newer additions to the materia medica include cadmium and dolphin’s milk. All are put through a process called potentization, which is a series of dilutions and succussions. As an example, this is how a plant remedy is made:
A mother tincture is created by placing the plant in alcohol for a few weeks
One drop of this mother tincture is diluted with nine (for X potencies) or ninety-nine (for C potencies) drops of pure water in a test tube or bottle
This test tube is succussed--struck forcefully—either by hand or with a machine
The test tube now contains a 1X (or a 1C) potency of the remedy
One drop of this 1X or 1C is further diluted and succussed until the desired potency is obtained.
The final product is usually placed in alcohol or used to medicate small tablets. Common potencies in homeopathy include 30C, 200C, 1M and 10M.
Chemists will point out that when the dilution process has occurred twelve times, there remains no physical quantity of the original medicinal substance in the bottle. However, homeopaths believe potentization somehow captures the energy signature of the substance, which then strengthens and enhances the patient’s own life force. Homeopathy thus works with the body’s own healing mechanisms, unlike conventional medicine, which often merely suppresses or masks symptoms.
Over the past 200 years, and especially before the antibiotic era, homeopathy has proven its effectiveness on many fronts. Today it continues to gain acceptance and adherents, as patients search for more natural and gentle modes of healing. Modern innovators such as Dr. Jan Scholten of Holland and Dr. Rajan Sankaran of India have contributed more systematic approaches to finding the simillimum, as they and others constantly bring new remedies into the vast homeopathic arsenal.
Homeopathy will broaden your horizons and enable you to help others at a very deep level.
The entire homeopathic industry is poised for major global recognition.
WHY DOES HOMOEOPATHY HAVE SO MUCH POTENTIAL, AGAINST OTHER NATURAL THRAPIES?
Homeopathy treats every aspect of the human body- mind, physicality, emotions and vital force, or “spirit”. It is far more than a treatment for just physical conditions and diseases. Homeopathy recognises that all disease (dis – ease) stems from an energetic disruption, usually caused by an emotional disturbance at some point in the patients’ life. Homeopathy is an “energetic” therapy, which will treat the overall energy flow of the patient. Once the energy block is ‘unlocked’, deep and rapid healing occurs, often with results that could be termed miraculous.
Homeopathy is essentially a natural healing process, providing remedies to assist the patient to regain health by stimulating the body's natural healing forces. It concentrates on treating the patient, rather than the disease.