Homeopathy

Homeopathy

Homeopathy LogoHomeopathy is one of the two most widely used forms of medicine in the world today. People are discovering the benefits of a system of medicine that is safe, effective and treats them as unique individuals. Homeopathy is a complete system of medicine that may help mental, emotional and physical illness.

Over 200 years ago, the German doctor and chemist Samuel Hahnemann developed the system of medicine we now call homeopathy. He had a very clear and humane approach to the practice of medicine:

"The highest ideal of cure is rapid, gentle and permanent restoration of health, or removal and annihilation of the disease in its whole extent, in the shortest, most reliable and most harmless way, on easily comprehensible principles." (Samuel Hahnemann: "Organon of Medicine")

Homeopathic medicines are chosen to address the whole person, because homeopaths believe the mind and body operate as one, and you cannot help one part of the body without affecting the whole. Medicines are chosen to fit all the characteristics of the person, so physical disorders are considered in relation to the individual’s mental and emotional state.

Homeopathy works on a principle known as ‘the law of similars’ or ‘like cures like’. This law states that a substance that can cause a disease can also relieve it. For example, coffee - or Coffea as it is known in Latin - is a stimulant that can cause temporary insomnia. Coffea may be used in minute potentised (i.e. homeopathic) doses to relieve that insomnia. Another example is that chopping onions can cause your nose and eyes to run with copious amounts of water. The onion - Allium cepa - can be used with colds and hayfever where the main symptoms include runny eyes and nose. The substances are diluted and shaken, called potentisation, which Hahnemann observed made the remedies more effective and reduced the likelihood of side effects.

Each new homeopathic medicine undergoes a particular process called a ‘proving’. Volunteers or ‘provers’ take the new substance until they experience symptoms. All symptoms that result from taking the substance are recorded in detail. In this way a huge variety of natural substances are tested for their healing and curative properties and can be added to the homeopathic pharmacy. Unlike orthodox drugs, homeopathic medicines are not tested on animals.

The first consultation may take between 1 and 2 hours, with follow-up consultations lasting between 20 and 45 minutes. Homeopaths need to build up a complete picture of your condition, including your past medical history. Prescriptions for acute illnesses, such as fever, vomiting or flu, are usually assessed much more quickly. You will be asked detailed questions about many aspects of your life, such as your emotional state, your sleep patterns and how you cope with stress. The homeopath will choose a medicine for you that most closely matches your unique pattern of symptoms.

Patients often feel a sense of wellbeing, optimism and relaxation after taking their homeopathic medicine. The speed with which you feel relief will depend on the condition being treated. In acute ailments, this can be very fast indeed. In more chronic conditions, your recovery rate will depend on the nature and duration of the illness and on your individual vitality.

Homeopathy can be used effectively by everyone, from babies and children to adults, including women during pregnancy. When prescribed appropriately, they are safe, non-toxic and non-addictive. They can be taken alongside drugs prescribed by your doctor and will not interfere with their beneficial action.

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