What Is Homeopathy?

Homeopathy is an exceptionally safe system of medicine which recognises the importance of treating people as individuals, and which utilises the body’s innate tendency and ability to heal itself in order to effect a response. The homeopathic medicines (remedies as they are known) provide a curative stimulus to the body, when precisely prescribed according to the specific and individual symptoms experienced.

Homeopathic medicines are made from natural substances of plant, animal and mineral origin which have the properties of stimulating the body’s curative response to disease. Clues to the medicinal and therapeutic uses of these substances can be found from many sources such as ancient herbal folklore through to position on the periodic table. The symptoms that these materials can cause in a healthy person are the same symptoms that can be homoeopathically treated by that material when given in homeopathic dilutions. This is a simple explanation of a very complex process, but this idea of ‘like treats like’ forms the basis of the homeopath’s choice of remedy.

How does Homeopathy work?

The homeopathic system recognises that one medicine does not fit all. Homeopathy is a naturopathic and holistic form of medicine which treats everybody differently – the same remedy, dietary and general care advice will not necessary help everybody with the same illness or ailment. Several people with the same named illness may have certain symptoms in common (the basic diagnostic symptoms of the disease), but will also have other symptoms which are specific and individual to each person. In mainstream (orthodox) medicine these individual symptoms are largely unimportant, but are of vital importance when prescribing homeopathically. This explains why people with the same named illness are very likely to receive different remedies. This makes homeopathy a very flexible system of support both therapeutically and for long term health support.

The most effective remedy is always the one which covers all aspects of the case – the physical symptoms, the mental and emotional symptoms and the general sensitivities and pre-dispositions of the individual concerned. The least possible amount of a homeopathic remedy is used over the shortest possible time required to stimulate the body’s own curative ability. Homeopathy utilises the secondary effect of a medicine or remedy for the curative response. It is the body’s reaction to the medicine rather than the medicine itself which heals illness; he remedy is a stimulus to the body’s own healing ability which is why the treatment is so complete. Repeated doses of chemical drugs to suppress the outward manifestation of the disease is not the homeopathic way.

Homeopathy is not an appropriate system of treatment for people in search of a quick health fix, although results can be very quick in acute illness. Homeopathy seeks to treat underlying predispositions and causes of ill health. Homeopaths take a rational approach to health; emotional and environmental stresses, bad dietary habits etc can all undermine the body’s defence systems. It is not uncommon for the homeopath to give appropriate adjunct advice at the beginning of treatment. It takes careful self monitoring to note responses to remedies and a willingness to adhere to a course of action over time – the result is a higher level of vitality and an increased resistance to all disease processes.

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