WHY WOULD I WANT TO USE HOMEOPATHIC MEDICINE IN THE FIRST PLACE?
In my experience as a professional homeopath, I find that most people try homeopathy because conventional medicine has failed them in some way. Either the drugs they have been given by their doctors are far too toxic and there are serious side effects already, or the drugs are not working well enough or not working at all. Sometimes the patient knows that something is definitely wrong, but the doctors are unable to diagnose the problem and are therefore at a loss as to how to treat the condition.
In pain, and frustrated with what conventional doctors - or allopaths, as they are also known - have to offer, 470,000 people in the UK each year turn to the very different experience of using homeopathy.
The answer is this:
Homeopathy is not only a healing art, but is also (disputably, I agree) extremely scientific. First discovered by Samuel Hahnemann in the early part of the nineteenth century, it has its roots in the Law of Similars. This law states that if a substance causes a particular set of symptoms in a healthy person, then that substance can cure that same set of symptoms when someone is sick in that particular way.
Homeopaths find out about the particular healing power that a substance has locked inside it by conducting what is called a proving.
A proving, in simple terms, means that a group of people test a future homeopathic remedy on themselves to discover what it can therapeutically do.
A proving is generally a well-structured event, in which the person masterminding it is the only person who knows what substance is being proved.
Very often, each prover has a supervisor. Each prover must keep a diary and mark down in it anything they feel happening inside them which they deem to be unusual. At the end of the proving, all the diaries are studied and the characteristic symptoms that are common to provers are understood to have been brought out by this new remedy.
When a patient is seen exhibiting those characteristic symptoms, that remedy is given, and if it is a perfect match to what is going wrong within the patient a healing process will take place.
The first remedy that Samuel Hahnemann proved was Cinchona Bark, or quinine, as it is more commonly known. When he tested this medicine on himself, he manifested a very similar symptom picture to that of malaria. Hence, China, as it is called in our books, is our number one remedy for that disease.
So far, I´m sure you´ll agree that the principles we have followed are very scientific, but there are two things about homeopathy that cause the medical profession to dispute its efficacy.
First, the fact that we choose our remedies by matching a whole picture of subjective symptoms to the symptom picture of a remedy when we prescribe.
For example, take two children with an ear inflammation.
One child is suffering with his right ear. He wants to be carried, and although he is in terrible pain and screaming, he quiets down as soon as he is in his mother´s arms.
Alternatively, the second child is thrashing about in pain. Her left ear is bright red and she is hallucinating, with a very high temperature.
The first child needs the remedy Pulsatilla.
The second child needs Belladonna.
If you take the remedy Pulsatilla and try to cure fifty patients with an ear inflammation, you will only be successful if all of them are in a state similar to patient number one.
The same rule applies to the remedy Belladonna, and patient number two.
Conventional drug trials test a certain medicine for its effects on a disease. Can you see how this is just not an appropriate test for a homeopathic remedy? And that it is impossible to prove that homeopathy works in this way?
Homeopaths know that the Law of Similars works because when they use it accurately, their patients get better. And, in my opinion, cured patients are the only test results that really count.
Why not do a test to try out the Law of Similars for yourself? From the proving, we discovered that Arnica causes, and therefore cures, bruising. Next time you bruise yourself badly, take some homeopathic Arnica and watch how quickly your body repairs itself.
THAT´S ALL VERY WELL, BUT WHAT MAKES IT SAFE?
The second reason for which the scientific world does not embrace homeopathy, and perhaps the most confounding principle, is that which concerns homeopathic potency.It is homeopathic potency, achieved by dilution and succussion (agitation), which makes our medicine safe.
I shall explain:
Samuel Hahnemann discovered that a highly diluted substance can cure patients if prescribed according to the Law of Similars, with absolutely no side effects at all.
Homeopaths are reproducing his method of healing all around the world, and are achieving the same positive results as he did, more than 200 years ago.
HOW DOES IT WORK, THEN?
In theory, as the substance loses its materialistic quality through dilution, it gains an energetic quality instead. Each higher potency produced, therefore, becomes less materialistic and more energetic.
Homeopaths try to match not only the characteristics of a remedy, but also the amount of energy to a problem in every case.
The remedies work very differently to conventional drugs, which are produced to have a direct affect on a human being. For example, painkillers kill pain, antibiotics kill off bacteria, etc.
A homeopathic remedy works by stimulating the person´s own energies, so that he or she can heal himself or herself. The ideal potency to do that matches the energetic level. Higher energy equals a higher potency (more diluted), and lower energy equals a lower potency (less diluted).
Most babies and children are very healthy, exhibiting plenty of energy, whilst some elderly and sick patients exhibit very little.
The fact that we all have the potential to heal ourselves is not a revolutionary idea. If you have ever cut your finger or suffered from a common cold, you will know that the potential is there.
A homeopathic remedy simply unleashes that power.
THE HOMEOPATHY EXPERIENCE
This will vary from practitioner to practitioner.
An initial consultation (case-taking) can take anywhere from one to four hours, depending on who you go to see and your individual set of circumstances.
Many patients have commented that the case-taking is very similar to counselling, because mental and emotional stresses are taken into account when choosing a remedy.
It is important for the homeopath to fully understand you and the nature of your problem(s) so that he or she can find the best medicine to help you heal.
Each important piece of information you reveal about yourself is like a piece of a jigsaw puzzle. Only when the practitioner can see the whole picture can he or she be sure that the prescription will be deeply curative.
Sometimes it takes more than one consultation to get there. Preliminary remedies can help to bring out or highlight symptoms that might have been forgotten in the initial case-taking, whilst boosting your energy stores and increasing your level of health at the same time.
This process ultimately leads to a ´deeper´ remedy, and, in turn, ´deeper healing´, as your homeopath gains greater insight into and understanding of you and your sickness.
When you embark on homeopathic treatment, it is best to view the process as one involving teamwork. You and your practitioner are going on a journey together that will ultimately lead you to better health and an increased sense of well-being.