History of Homeopathy
Homeopathy, (pronounced "home - eee - op - ah - thee") is not a new invention in the medicinal world. Homeopathic medicine dates all the way back to the founding father of modern medicine, greek physician, Hippocrates. Hippocrates’ theory was that “like cures like” and afflictions could be cured when they were faced with similar symptoms. The word homeopathy actually stems from combining the Greek words homoios (similar) and pathos (suffering).
Although Homeopathic medicine has been around for centuries, modern homeopathic treatment practices only started to become standardized in the late 18th century. It rose to prominence when German physician Dr. C. F. Samuel Hahnemann became frustrated with the highly invasive and largely ineffective medical practices of his time. In response to the lack of results, and actual harm the “treatments” were causing, Dr. Hahnemann began to seek other options.
Dr. Hahnemann drew from the wisdom of Hippocrates' famous assertion that "like cures like" and begin developing the basic structure of the treatment protocol that still trains physicians and practitioners today.
In this article, learn how a homeopathic doctor works with patients based on these centuries old, time tested principles.
What is It?
The fundamental principle underlying all holistic and integrative medicine is that it is necessary to move far beyond and beneath the mere presentation of symptoms of any given illness, and to explore the symptoms’ actual underlying causes. By treating causes rather than symptoms, the body can be gently and safely restored to balance and wholeness.
However, getting access to the underlying causes is not always so easy. Many different ailments can share similar symptoms, and early on it can be difficult to differentiate between different illnesses.
This identification challenge is what sets homeopathic practitioners apart from other treatment professionals. Holistic treatment approaches are designed to use the body's own wisdom to locate and treat the underlying cause of each individual patient's symptoms.
How Does It Work?
A homeopathic doctor works using the traditional hierarchy of holistic remedies that was first developed by the founder of Homeopathy, Dr. Hahnemann.
The Law of Similars
The treatment process is based on Hippocrates' wisdom that "like cures like," a principle that today is called the Law of Similars.
The goal of treatment is to find a substance that mimics (supports) the patient's symptoms to induce the body's wisdom (immune system) to get to work to fight the underlying cause.
The Minimum Dose
The path of treatment uses the lowest possible quantity (the Minimum Dose) of the chosen remedy to induce the immune response.
The Single Remedy
The treatment focuses on a Single Remedy as opposed to asking the patient to juggle multiple remedies at once.
The Single Remedy may contain just one or multiple substances, depending on the symptoms the doctor needs to mimic to help the patient's immune system do its healing work. But the patient will only ever need to administer one remedy during the course of treatment.
The Totality of Symptoms
The best possible treatment result is achieved when the remedy matches the symptoms as closely and completely as possible. This is called the Totality of Symptoms.
Is It Safe?
Homeopathic treatment has been safely practiced for centuries. Unlike many treatments available through allopathy (modern conventional Western medicine), holistic treatment using the Law of Similars is gentle, non-addictive, intuitive, and safe.
In the United States, the National Center for Homeopathy provides oversight and guidance to stateside physicians and practitioners. In the UK, the British Homeopathic Association is the counterpart oversight organization.
A trained homeopathic doctor treats patients in a similar way to allopathic doctors by focusing on two distinct treatment paths: acute (sudden onset) and chronic (long-term management).
While the course of treatment may differ based on which category best fits the patient's needs, the approach to treatment is the same regardless.
The underlying goal is constant in all cases: to restore the patient to a long-term state of well being.
Who Can Benefit?
This type of gentle, safe treatment can be an ideal alternative for patients who either do not want to take or cannot take conventional medicines.
Just about anyone with a mental, or physical illness potentially stands to gain from homeopathic treatments. Thanks to its non-invasive nature, there are lots of options, and there is a lot of flexibility for all patients.
What Can It Treat?
Homeopaths (trained practitioners) can treat a wide variety of known health issues, both physical and mental.
Additionally, for patients whose symptoms do not fall neatly under a single diagnosis, homeopaths can customize a treatment protocol to address ailments that all too often fall "through the cracks" with conventional allopathic care.
Therein lies the unique thing about homeopathic treatments. Holistic remedies can be specially tailored to each person's unique needs and symptoms. Homeopathic medicine can almost be thought of as the “multi-tool” of the medical world. It can be used to supplement and treat almost everyone. That is the benefit homeopathic medicine has over western medication treatments, the dosages and remedies have more flexibility in treatment options and approaches.
Because it is safe and gentle, this type of treatment can also combine well with other non-medication-based treatments such as TMS (transcranial magnetic stimulation) for treating anxiety and depression. To learn more about TMS and if it may be right for you, check out this “About TMS” article.
TMS is a good combination with holistic treatments because, like homeopathy, TMS is FDA-recognized and is administered by trained physicians.
The most important fact to remember here is this: the modern medical field offers many more approaches to treating even complicated diagnoses in gentle, effective, long-lasting ways that recognize no two patients are ever exactly alike.
What works for one patient may not work for every patient and it is important to have trusted alternatives to consider when building your treatment plan.
If you are interested in homeopathic treatment and think it may be right for you, contact TMS Health and Wellness to learn more about building a customized treatment approach which is customized for you.