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 chooses a suitable, single remedy after having taken the case is the law of similars ("let likes be cured by likes"), and this principle is proved by vast clinical experience. 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 in a homeopathically prepared form. This very similar remedy acts then like a stimulus to the organsim and gives the information needed for healing.

During case taking (Anamnesis) all details of the sickness and all relevant features of the patient are collected as a whole. The therapist asks about modalities, which characterize the sickness (e.g. if warmth or cold applications aggravate or ameliorate or if motion or rather rest changes the condition of the patient), he asks for aversions and desires concerning food habits, he asks about the emotional and mental state the patient is in, as well as about heriditary traits. By doing so, a most complete symptom picture of the patient and his sickness is built. After this, the homeopath analyses the case and chooses the most similar single remedy according to the state, by analogy of the most characteristic features. To be able to find this one out of about 4000 remedies, he normally uses the homeopathic repertory (basically a list of symptoms which have been associated with particular remedies) or nowadays the repertory on computer, which serves him to find the individual suitable remedy.

In the ideal situation this remedy, choosen acording to the rules of homeopathy, leads to cure not only of the physical sickness but is capable to stimulating the organism as a whole towards healing. The success of this is dependent on several factors. For example the outlook is good if there are enough clear, characteristic symptoms to make a prescription. It may be less positive if there are obstacles against healing present, like moist walls in the patient's home when treating someone with breathing problems.

First signs of a healing reaction starting after taking the single remedy can be an aggravation of the symptoms, the so-called first reaction (though this does not always occur). This suggests that the stimulation of the organism takes place and disappears after a short time.

If in a suitable time no healing process occurs, the homeopath analyses the situation, asks for further information and chooses another remedy or another dosage (potency) to stimulate the patient towards healing.

If healing starts, it is a process, which takes various lengths of time and is again depedent on different factors. Improvement on many different levels can occur, not withstanding the main problem. The longer the sickness has been present, the longer is the process of healing and professional care is needed as in every treatment of chronic disease, until complete cure has taken place.

Side effects during homeopathic treatment are extremely rare, but should be mentioned to the therapist and can possibly be corrected through suitable adjustments.