History of Homeopathy
Homeopathy is a highly systematic, scientific method of therapy based on the principle of stimulating the organism’s own healing processes in order to accomplish cure. The word is derived from the Greek words: homeos – “similar”, and pathos – “suffering”.
The basic system was devised and verified by Samuel Hahnemann, a German physician, nearly 200 years ago. Homeopathy’s astounding success rate in both chronic and acute diseases has resulted in its not only standing the test of time, but achieving widespread acceptance in Europe, India, and South America as well.
Specific Components vs. Integrated Whole
Throughout history, disease has been viewed from two fundamentally different perspectives: as a malfunction on specific components of the body, or as results of deeper disturbances of the person as an integrated whole. The former viewpoint is the basis underlying orthodox medicine (which is called “allopathic medicine: Allo – “other” and pathy –“suffering”.) Whatever symptoms arise, they are counteracted by drugs in a reflex fashion, i.e. a decongestant for a runny nose, an analgesic for pain, steroids to counteract inflammation, etc.
The recent explosion of so-called “holistic” therapies is a rejuvenation of an ancient concept of health and disease. Each of us is a total, complete individual, no aspect of which can be separated from any other. Any valid therapy must be based on a deep understanding of the personas a unique whole; this implies a single dose (or “treatment”) for the whole person.
Moreover, any valid holistic therapy recognizes that the organism has its own mechanisms for healing, however ineffective they may be at any given moment. These healing mechanisms include all the chemical and physiological processes so well elucidated by modern science, and more subtle processes as well. In homeopathy we begin with the assumption that every organism is an individual and therefore is fundamentally a mystery. To include both the knowable and unknowable in our understanding, we seek of the “vital force” (the dynamic, or energy plane of the organism) as animating everything we call life (including the physical, emotional, and mental levels). It is this vital force that is being stimulated specifically by homeopathic remedies.
Symptoms and the Vital Force
Symptoms are a sign of the vital force trying to heal. This is a fundamental concept that must be understood by all patients and practitioners of natural therapies. The task of the Physician then is to gather as much information as possible about the totality in which the vital force is already acting. A homeopathic remedy is sought which, ideally, will stimulate the vital force in precisely the way in which it is already acting. In homeopathy. prescriptions are based on symptoms verbalized by the patient and any physical observations we make; it is not solely based on laboratory data, machine technology, extrapolation from animals studies, etc.
Homeopathic remedies are prepared from over 3,000 mineral, plant and animal sources. Each remedy has been experimentally tested on human beings in order to determine which type of individual responds most strongly to which substance. In homeopathy, prescriptions are based on the uniqueness of the person and the totality of symptoms, not on the type of disease.
In other words, there is some kind of resonance between each person at any given moment, and some mineral, plant or animal substance. The task of the Physician is to match the total picture of symptoms provided by the patient with a homeopathic remedy, which will most effectively resonate with their vital force as a whole. It is this powerfully stimulated vital force that cures whatever disease(s) that may be present.
Homeopathic: Law of Similars
The basic law underlying homeopathy, therefore, is the Law of Similars: Whatever substance produces symptoms in a healthy person will cure those symptoms in a sick person.
Professional homeopathic pharmacists prepare remedies in environments carefully controlled for temperature, odors, dust, light and humidity. The original substance is diluted in alcohol, and then serially diluted an incredible number of times, the vial being vigorously shaken between each dilution. Paradoxical is it may seem, the fact is that the more the original substance is shaken and diluted, the more its curative power is increased while eliminating all toxicity. To this date, science has not discovered how or why this happens, but it is a verified fact and experienced daily in homeopathic practice.
It is important to make clear that homeopathy is not a panacea, and it is not free of risk. There are rare patients who are not curable, and homeopathy is practically ineffective in people taking most allopathic drugs. In chronic cases, it usually does not produce immediate relief of symptoms. Indeed, the expectation is that there will be a healing crisis before cure follows.
Homeopathy Goal: Cure
Cure is the goal in homeopathy, and our results show that the vast majority of our patients can expect at least great strides toward that goal.
Our definition of “cure” is that attainment of a high degree of health. George Vithoulkas, a foremost homeopath in the world today, defines health in terms of freedom: Health on the physical level is freedom from having to put undue attention on the body because of pain, weakness, etc.; on the emotional level, health is freedom from being bound by the various passions (not mere absence of emotion, but a dynamic state of feeling all emotions while not being trapped by any); and on the mental level, health is clarity and selfless creativity.
On the average (always with notable exceptions), homeopathic cures take two months to one year, depending on the severity of the condition, the inherent strength of the vital force, and the amount of previous suppressive therapies. Appointments are scheduled each time for 30 minutes to 2 hour. The time is spent doing a homeopathic interview, which is an extensive review of all limitations – emphasizing the mental and emotional levels, but including the physical as well.
Appointments are spaced a month or more apart in chronic cases until clear progress is being made, at that time they may be scheduled once every two, three, six, or twelve months. If the patient feels that it might be desirable, relatives or close friends are welcome to be present during the interview.