Homoeopathy is an alternative healing system based on the observations of its founder, Samuel Hahnemann, that a substance which elicits a particular constellation of symptoms when given to a healthy individual, will cure a disease which produces a sufficiently similar symptom picture as the signature of its pathology.
One basic law of homoeopathy is that it is not a chemical approach where the ‘correct’ substance is supplied. Instead, it tries to define the basic energetic pattern of a client on which the desired remedy is based. Another guiding principle is that it works with one remedy at a time. In cases where a condition is chronic, a homoeopath will look for an overall ‘constitutional’ remedy. In chronic diseases, homoeopathy does not seek to “kick off” the client’s own healing process but rather helps to alleviate conditions.
Homoeopathic Remedies: In the two and a half centuries since the inception of homoeopathy, many hundreds of substances have been tested, their effects on healthy subjects meticulously observed and the information recorded as “remedy pictures” in the homeopathic manifest, Materia Medica.
Homeopathic medicines, or “remedies” as they are called, are prepared by a process called “potentization” or “dynamization”, which consists of radically diluting the starting material while subjecting it to repeated mechanical shock. So extreme is the dilution process that even the most virulent poisons become harmless and produce no problematic side effects when potentized; while, counterintuitively, their medicinal powers increase as the process continues.
Homoeopathy can be used in almost any case where there is no immediate need for a surgeon, and it works especially well in cases like coughs, colds, and cramps. However, in acute life threatening situations, one should not rely solely on homoeopathy.
The Practice of Homoeopathy:
At their initial meeting (which generally takes 1½ – 2 hours), the homoeopath attempts to get the most complete picture he/she can of the patient including, of course, but not limited to the patient’s main “presenting complaint”. The homoeopath’s task will then be to find and administer the “similimum”, that remedy whose picture is “most similar” to that of the patient. If the therapist has seen their patient clearly and given the correct remedy, the result may be quite miraculous with even chronic problems, psychological as well as physical, that have resisted other treatments and been deemed incurable, often disappearing, or being significantly ameliorated.
Homeopaths, resorting to what may, or may not be no more than a suggestive metaphor, often explain these phenomena by saying that the process of potentization somehow liberates the subtle energy associated with the starting material and that it is this energy, which, transferred to the patient in the correctly chosen remedy, acts to balance the patient’s energy system with curative effects.