What is homeopathy?
Homeopathy is a medical therapeutic method, which nowadays is used in all continents. It is used as a treatment for acute as well as for chronic diseases and is probably the seond largest therapeutic system in use in the world. The method was developed by its founder, Dr. Samuel Hahnemann, a german medical doctor and pharmacist.
The basic principle, according to which the therapist is choosing a suitable, single remedy after having taken the case is the law of similars (“likes cures likes”). It means that a substance, which produces symptoms in a healthy living being will cure those very symptoms in a sick organism if this substance is given homeopathically prepared. This very similar remedy acts then like a stimulus to the organism and its healing.
During case taking (Anamnesis) all details of the sickness and all relevant features of the patient are collected as a whole. The therapist is asking about specific modalities of the sickness (i.e. if warmth or cold applications aggravate or ameliorate or if motion or rather rest changes the condition of the patient), he or she asks for aversions and desires concerning food habits, he asks for the emotional and mental state of the patient as well as for hereditary traits. By doing so, a complete symptom picture of the patient and his/her disease is built. Thereafter, the homeopath analyses the case, identifies the most characteristic features and chooses the most similar single remedy. To be able to find this one out of about 4000 remedies, she/he uses the homeopathic repertory – nowadays mostly computerized – which lists most symptoms related for all the possible remedies.
In the ideal situation this remedy, chosen according to the rules of classical homeopathy, can not only help to cure a specific physical sickness, but is also capable to stimulate the organism as a whole towards healing. The success, however, depends on several factors such as the availability of enough clear, characteristic symptoms, the presence of obstacles against healing, e.g. moist walls in a patient’s home when treating someone with breathing problems.
In some, but not all cases, a first sign of an early healing reaction might be an aggravation of the symptoms, the so-called first reaction. This indicates that the organism is stimulated, and the first reaction will disappear after a short time.
If no healing process can be observed, the homeopath will analyze the situation, may ask for additional information and may choose another remedy or another dosage (potency) to stimulate the process towards healing.
The healing process may take various lengths of time and is again dependent on different factors. The longer the sickness was present, the longer is the process of healing and needs professional care like in every treatment of chronic diseases until complete cure has taken place.
Side effects during homeopathic treatment are extremely rare, but if they occur, they should be mentioned to the therapist so that she/he can react accordingly.