So many people ask this question, so I think it worth posting about!
- Homeopathic medicine has a set of guiding principles - it is a complete system of medicine in itself. Where these principles are not applied, then the remedy or substance will not act 'homeopathically'. Homeopathy embraces a theory of underlying illness which includes two important factors: susceptibility to illness and constitutional inheritance ( a near-equivalent to 'genetics'). Both of these can be addressed in conjunction with the treatment of illness while under the care of a homeopath.
- Homeopathy has the power to act preventatively in health-care and address inheritance long before the onset of serious illness. It does not depend on tests and diagnoses. (Although diagnosis and information from test results is helpful). This marks homeopathy as a unique system in all the world..where most natural therapies as well as conventional medicine can only act once illness begins and starts to progress.
- The remedies prescribed according to these principles differ in their constitution from all other substances we frequently use for medication whether drug, supplement, or herb. They are prepared using a specific method. All substances from which remedies are derived are put through a process of dilution and succussion. Each substance is further and further diluted in water. In between each dilution, the solution is 'succussed' or vigorously shaken and vibrated. But despite this process a 'homeopathic' remedy is only such, if it is prescribed on the basis of certain principles.
- An assessment/consultation by a homeopath differs very much from a doctor's visit. Homeopaths perceive and recognise disease patterns. These patterns will occasionally overlap and be similar to recognised conventional diagnoses of illness. But frequently, the information that a homeopath considers relevant and central to the prescription of an appropriate remedy, is irrelevant or even dismissed by orthodox medicine. For example, subjective experience of illness is key in homeopathic understanding of illness. So a person who has a headache can be prescribed any one of of several hundred different remedies depending on the individual headache. All people suffer differing headaches. So it doesn't to make sense to use one generic drug for that particular ailment: Headaches can be hormonal or injury related, stress or tension related. The can arise from dehydration or difficulties with posture. They can be due to eye-strain, connected with epilepsy, brain tumours and the list goes on an on. Headaches have a whole scale of pain raging from mild discomfort to extreme pain. From the homeopathic point of view, one medicine for all these differing types of complaint makes no sense. A solution must be tailor-made for that particular person and the 'story' behind their complaint.
- Diagnosis is not necessary in order to choose a treatment. Treatment is based on information acquired from the patient about all aspects of their health. Appetite, thirst, sleep, family history, personality, emotional stresses, previous accident and injury and surgeries, digestive functioning, as well as the presenting complaint and current illness, are all taken as markers for correct prescriptions.
- Homeopathy is holistic in its approach. One part of the body must be connected to the whole. A disease in one part affects the whole. One cannot treat one illness and then perceive no link with another illness ensuing in the same body afterward.
- Homeopathy has a set of guiding principles which allows practitioners to tangibly measure progress and cure. Otherwise, treatment would be blind and out of context. Do this and do that and prescribe this and prescribe that, and hope that it benefits the overall health and long-term health of a person? The 'removal' of one symptom may not always have a positive result in the body, as illness moves deeper and the person develops more problems.
- All ingested substances have side-effects especially when taken on a prolonged basis. This applies to herbs, foods, drugs, medication, and supplements....it also applies to homeopathic remedies. But homeopathic remedies pose far less risk to the body because of the method of preparation. They do not work in an organic physiologically measurable way.....they act as a stimulus to the immune system or central intelligence of the body and help it to reorganise itself in how it manages threats to healthy function. Homeopathy helps the body to consistently maintain homeostasis. The result and effect of the stimulus is noticeable, not the action of the stimulus itself. So, imagine a beautiful, tasty dinner and your mouth starts to water in physical response to that thought. You notice the effect upon yourself, but you cannot measure the 'cause' of the salivation - except you do have a suspicion as to what caused your mouth to water in the first place!
There is so much more to say. One day, hundreds of years ago, if someone had said the earth was round and not flat, we would have dismissed this as lunacy. If someone had told us many years before the invention of a microscope, that water was not empty and clear, but instead contained millions of organisms, constituents, a veritable seething amount of life within one single drop...we would have said that they were 'wrong' . As we evolve, we develop greater capacity to understand and perceive and explore. In the spirit of adventure and enquiry, openness and humility, and a desire to be of service to humanity and its troubles, homeopathy is a journey worth undertaking. For those who suffer, it is a healing balm.
"There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy"