What is Homeopathy?
The principles of homeopathy were first formulated at
the end of the eighteenth century by Samuel Hahnemann, a German
physician. He had given up the practice of medicine when he found the
therapies of his time to be ineffective and harmful, and did not resume
practice until he discovered in homeopathy a means to help people heal gently,
rapidly and reliably. Homeopathy spread quickly throughout Europe and to the
United States, where at the beginning oft his century, 15 -20% of all doctors
practiced homeopathy. Despite repeated criticism from orthodox medical circles,
the validity of Hahnemann’s ideas continues to be demonstrated over 200 years
Stimulus to the body. Homeopathic treatment, like all truly natural therapies, seeks to stimulate the innate healing power of the individual so that all physiological systems function at their best. As the person moves toward his or her optimal level of general health, he or she feels better. Subsequently, specific symptoms improve as the strengthened body defenses become active. But the homeopathic remedy does not directly treat a symptoms or condition. Instead, it simply helps to initiate the process by which the person heals himself of herself.
Totality of symptoms. The homeopath views a person’s health as a condition of the entire individual rather than in terms of isolated symptoms. Homeopaths do not diagnose disease or treat diseases. Remedies are selected that best correspond to the person’s total state of illness. Evaluation of the individual’s level of health and choice of the correct remedy does depend in part on a thorough understanding of all symptoms. But in addition, important indicators of general health, such as the level of vitality the person experiences and his or her emotional well-being, demand close attention.
Law of Similars. Homeopathy is based on the principle that “like helps like.” A remedy is chosen that is capable of causing, in a healthy person, symptoms similar to those of the sick person. The symptoms the sick person experiences are thus the most important guide to the choice of the correct remedy.
Remedies. Homeopathic remedies are usually made from plants and
simple minerals. These substances are prepared by a process of repeated
dilution and shaking, which makes them capable of stimulating the healing
process. Remedies are given to stimulate the whole body to heal itself,
while herbsand regular drugs and medicines are given to take away specific
symptoms generally from specific parts of the body.
Homeopathic remedies are made at special FDA regulated and approved homeopathic pharmacies according to very high standards of purity. There is no homeopathic pharmacy in Minnesota. Certain health food stores and food cooperatives carry remedies. Our staff has a list of such stores in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area.
Minimum dose. As little remedy as possible is used. After a remedy is given, the individual’s response is carefully observed, and the remedy is changed only if necessary.
Scope of homeopathy. Since homeopathy is used to assist people rather than to treat illness, anyone, whatever his or her diagnosis, can benefit from homeopathic care. Homeopathy helps by increasing the individual’s strength and resistance to disease. Homeopathy is not a substitute for good health habits. In the long run, health depends in good measure on eating well and exercising adequately, getting enough rest, dealing effectively with stress, and living creatively.
Homeopathy can make your pregnancy go more smoothly and help your baby be as healthy as possible. Be sure to inform your homeopath if you are pregnant.
Acute illnesses. Acute care is often effective during acute illness. Again, the remedies are not directed at removing symptoms or killing germs, but rather toward strengthening the person so that his or her own healing capacities work better.
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