Homeopathy, or homeopathic medicine, is a form of alternative medicine often included in a holistic healing system of treatment. Derived from the Greek words homoios meaning "similar" and pathos meaning "disease" or "suffering,” homeopathy means "to treat with a remedy that produces an effect similar to the disease or suffering." Homeopathic medicine uses very small doses of remedies that are prepared from substances found in nature such as herbs, minerals, plants and animals.
Principles of Homeopathy
A set of principles developed by Dr. Samuel Hahnemann maintains that illness can be healed from the identical thing that is generating the condition by creating a diluted substance originating from herbs, plants, mold, animal components, minerals and more. While these substances may produce symptoms of illness in a healthy person, a homeopathic remedy derived from these ingredients will have a curative effect when given in extremely dilute amounts to ill people who exhibit those same symptoms. An example of a homeopathic therapy would be to treat someone with allergies by creating a substance formed from the items they were affected by, diluting them with alcohol or water, and then shaking the mixture vigorously.
Dr. Hahnemann’s principles are based on the same thinking that created vaccinations. Vaccines such as those used for influenza cause a reaction in the body that protects against the actual disease. He also maintained that the more diluted a remedy is, the more potent it is and that the remedies actually work more effectively. In actuality, diluted homeopathic remedies may have no chemical trace of the initial ingredient. Homeopathic physicians and practitioners contend that although the substance is highly diluted, the electromagnetic energy of the original material is preserved, while harmful side effects of the remedy are eliminated. This bioelectrical communication thereby stimulates the body to heal itself.
Homeopathic medicine also operates on the principle that illness is specific to each person. As the emotional and mental components of the illness are just as significant as the physical symptoms, a detailed case history is important. A homeopathic practitioner will gather information about the individual regarding not only the specific details of the illness but also about their lifestyle, eating patterns and character traits before choosing a remedy.
Selection and Use of Homeopathic Therapies
Unlike allopathic medicine wherein certain drugs are administered for certain illnesses, homeopathic therapies are tailored to each individual; it is quite likely that no two people will receive exactly the same remedy for the same condition. And, since these remedies are so diluted, they generally have no unpleasant side effects, although it is not unusual to temporarily feel worse before feeling better. Homeopathic remedies assist in invoking the body’s inherent healing powers and are used to treat many different types of health issues, including:
- Headaches / migraines
- Motion sickness
- Shingles / Herpes
Homeopathic medicine views illness or disease as the body’s instinctive protective effort to rectify any imbalance instead of as an adversary to be conquered. Therefore, a homeopathic practitioner will select a therapy devised to encourage the body’s innate healing abilities with the intent is to restore the body to its natural healthy balance.
Carina Bachman / CrystalSpringsHealing.com
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