“The beauty of homeopathy lies in its simplicity,
The power of homeopathy lies in its depth,
The danger of homeopathy lies in its shallow application”.
Dr T.P. Paschero
Understanding the nature of homeopathy is difficult with our Western, scientific way of thinking. Homeopathy is listed second on the list of most used treatments for Complementary and Alternative medicines (CAM).
What is homeopathic medicine?
Homeopathic Medicine -Classical homeopathy- has a 200-year-old record of treating virtually all acute and chronic diseases, including ones considered incurable by the medical profession. It is especially, sometimes uniquely, effective in addressing undiagnosable conditions such as chronic pain with no detectable physical cause, constitutional weaknesses such as developmental problems of children, and lifelong spiritual issues of all kinds.
Classical homeopathy, which originated in Germany with the work of Samuel Hahnemann (1770-1843), is based on the remarkable discovery of a relationship between diseases affecting living organisms and substances of animate or inanimate origin. This relation is harnessed in the treatment of disease via a principle known as the law of similars, which calls for treatment using substances whose characteristics mirror those of the disease at hand. This observation is the guiding principle behind homeopathic philosophy, and claims its justification based on the clinical success of the homeopathic method. While homeopathy remains one of the most controversial of all forms of alternative medicine, it is increasingly regarded by a growing number of health professionals as among the most effective and comprehensive of them.
The process of treatment with homeopathy involves a very thorough first interview followed by regular follow up visits typically spaced every 3-5 weeks in the case of chronic ailments; acute conditions usually require a short visit with follow ups as needed. Subsequent to the long initial visit, homeopathy requires less resources of the patient than other forms of treatment such as acupuncture (which may require many weekly return visits) or nutrition (which requires following a careful dietary regimen). Treatment involves the taking of a homeopathic remedy, and supplements or dietary regimens are only occasionally prescribed.
Successfully prescribing a homeopathic remedy requires great precision in formulating a homeopathic diagnosis based on careful observation of the patient and the detailed interview. Usually there is no simple formula for determining homeopathic treatment based on the name of the disease alone. This is because the state of disease extends far beyond the presenting problem into the person’s conscious and unconscious life experience. The homeopathic approach can lead to very deep healing of a wide variety of medical conditions, and sometimes offers the only hope in those cases where no pathological or physiological malfunction can be detected.
“Physicians are constantly mistaking theproductfor theprocessof disease. The product can only be changed by changing the process. Destroying the product does not change the process. Correct the faulty process and the product will take care of itself.”Stuart Close,The Genius of Homeopathy
Classical homeopathy is used worldwide, and is experiencing an unprecedented resurgence in Europe and North America as well as being increasingly recognized in Israel. It has an especially strong presence in India, where some medical schools teach its methods alongside conventional therapeutics, and where both chronic ailments and serious acute conditions not seen outside hospitals in the West are frequently entrusted to homeopathic treatment. The main challenge of homeopathy is in reaching out to a large enough number of people in order to make a significant difference to the health of the public at large.
Homeopathic practitioners come from diverse medical and non-medical backgrounds. Skilful homeopathic practice requires a firm grasp the principles of classical homeopathy combined with a thorough scientific literacy, i.e. the ability to think logically and critically while maintaining an open-minded humility about phenomena that do not meet the expectations of reason.
“Homeopathy cures a larger percentage of cases than any other method of treatment and is beyond all doubt safer, more economical, … and the most complete medical science”. Mahatma Gandhi
Safety and compatibility
Classical homeopathy is extremely safe and can be pursued alongside virtually any other treatment approach. During homeopathic treatment transient aggravation of some symptoms sometimes occurs as the organism readjusts to its new state. Most importantly, homeopathic remedies do not interact with medications, herbs, or supplements because homeopathic remedies have no active chemical constituents. There are some conventional medications (mainly steroids and anti-convulsants) that interfere with the body’s ability to respond to homeopathic treatment. In such cases treatment can still be pursued, but recovery may take significantly longer.