What is Homeopathy?

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How can Homeopathy help you and your family?
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What is Homeopathy? is a question we are often asked in our field of medicine. Naturopathic doctors are not “homeopathic doctors.” Nevertheless, some individuals will mistakenly refer to naturopathic physicians as such (my sister being one of them!). However, it is important to note that there are NO academic programs in this country offering medical degrees in homeopathy. Hence, in the US, there is no such thing as a “homeopathic doctor”.

When it comes to treatment, homeopathy is actually a type of medicine that is used along with herbs, supplements, nutritional intravenous therapy, pharmaceuticals (on rare occasions), etc. Unfortunately, most people are simply misinformed; so don’t feel bad if you’ve ever incorrectly referred to your naturopathic physician as a homeopathic doctor. Hopefully when you’re done reading this article, you’ll have a clearer understanding of what homeopathy is and how it might be used to help you!   

History of Homeopathy

The main principle of homeopathy is stated as “like cures like.” While the concept of “like curing like” dates back to Hippocrates (460-377 B.C.), the Greek father of medicine, it was German physician Dr. C. F. Samuel Hahnemann (1755-1843) who first started experimenting this concept on himself and then on others (who he deemed “provers.”)

Dr. Hahnemann administered medicinal substances to these healthy volunteers and took note of the symptoms that developed in each of his provers while taking a specific substance.  His observations gave the homeopathic picture (physical, mental and emotional symptoms) of each particular “remedy” he was trying to prove (what was known as “provings”). As a result, these remedies and how they are used are what make up Homeopathy today.

Homeopathy by Example

Perhaps walking through an example of a specific homeopathic remedy is the easiest approach to explaining how this medicine works. Let’s take the homeopathic remedy “Arsenicum Album” for example. Arsenicum Album is Latin for arsenic. “But wait…you are giving arsenic!?”, you might ask. Well the answer is “Yes and No”.

The process of making a homeopathic remedy involves diluting the original substance (plant, animal, insect, mineral, etc.) until there are no molecules remaining. What you are left with is only the “frequency” of the original substance.

And what’s fascinating is, in the end, the diluted arsenic retains the same frequency as the organic arsenic! Because of this, one might argue that this medicine works energetically.

So now that we know about this particular homeopathic remedy, how do you know that someone needs Arsenicum Album? To answer that, it involves a lengthy intake so that the physician can ascertain physical, mental and emotional symptoms that are (or have been) prominent in their patient’s life. These ailments are then matched to the remedy that would most closely recreate the same symptoms if a healthy person were to take the organic form with all of its molecules (Hahnemann’s provings). For this example, let’s take a look at the symptoms of true organic arsenic poisoning for a moment:

  • Mental plane: Causes anxiety, compulsiveness, need for control, dependency (especially because you are close to death and need people to help you). It creates extreme worry leading to panic attacks, depression and even suicidal impulses (especially suicide via knife stabbing).
  • Physical plane: Causes chilliness with a desire for great heat, peptic ulcers, gastritis, (stomach pains are better with drinking milk). It causes great thirst for frequent small sips of water, along with cravings for fat, lemons, and alcohol. Asthma, eczema, and insomnia are other common physical ailments.

The symptoms listed above are abbreviated, of course, but it nevertheless gives us a broad picture of what a person on arsenic is like. Now here is the magic of homeopathy:

If we dilute the arsenic many thousands of times over, the frequency that is left treats these very symptoms!

So, lets say I did a homeopathic intake and my patient was experiencing symptoms that sound just like arsenic poisoning. We would say she was in an “arsenicum” state and would prescribe her the arsenicum remedy. This is exactly what is meant by “like cures like.”

Classical homeopaths believe that we are all born into a constitutional remedy. I sometimes think of it as astrology, like being born a Virgo. It’s believed that determining someone’s constitutional remedy is the best remedy to consider when addressing illness or imbalance within them, while other remedies can be utilized for acute symptoms.

Obtaining an individual’s correct constitutional remedy involves a great deal of investigation, which can take some time. Thus, in order to better serve our patients, the Cameron Wellness Center is currently gearing up to obtain Homeopathic software that will cut the detective work in half.  With that new tool, we look forward to more efficiently diagnosing your remedy and facilitating health on all levels through the art of homeopathic medicine.