What Is Homeopathy?

The term “homeopathy” has become relatively popular in recent years, yet its specific meaning is often obscured in vague definitions and confusion. It is a term that has been used to describe almost any therapy which is considered to be “alternative” or “complementary” medicine, and has been taken to be synonymous with everything from herbalism, to acupuncture, to the science of nutrition. Homeopathy is different from all these therapies — it is a complete medical system in its own right, which has proven highly effective in treating all types of chronic illness. In this article, I will introduce this powerful system of medicine, grounded in a discussion around the treatment of fibromyalgia.

Before looking at any specific condition (such as fibromyalgia), some basic definitions of the philosophy and means of homeopathy need to be understood. Of central importance to homeopathy is the Law of Similar Resonance, or the Law Of Similars. Essentially, this means that the cure of a disease in a patient is accomplished by a medicine that produces a similar state of disease in a healthy person. To get to know the medicinal action of any given substance, a “proving” is conducted — that is, the substance is administered to a group of healthy people who all meticulously record the symptoms that they experience. This complex of symptoms, or disease image, produced by a particular medicine, can then be applied to a patient who is suffering a similar state of disease. Each remedy is understood in a holistic way, with attention paid to symptoms occurring in all parts of the human being, including all physical, mental, and emotional symptoms.

Another important issue in homeopathy is that the dose given is both effective and safe. Part of the legacy of Dr. Samuel Hahnemann, who founded homeopathy in the 1800s, was the discovery of a safe and effective way to prepare medicines so as not to produce side-effects. This process of potentizing a medicine involves repeatedly diluting and succussing (shaking and energizing) the remedy, which increases its medicinal power, while eliminating the potentially dangerous biochemical effects. The technical details of this process are beyond the scope of this article, but are readily available in popular books on homeopathy. What is important to understand is that this process of potentization allowed the Law Of Similars to be used safely for the first time in medical history. The Law of Similars has been known since at least the time of Hippocrates, but was systematically avoided due to the risk that was posed by the crude non-potentized dosage.

So where does homeopathy begin with a condition such as fibromyalgia? The homeopathic view is that there is a different combination of disease processes which exist in individuals who have received this diagnostic label, each requiring a unique treatment plan.

This is why homeopathy is beneficial in the treatment of chronic illness. Homeopathy, particularly in its advanced form of treament called “Sequential Therapy,” is able to systematically and effectively address all the different disease processes which have come together to create the particular condition of the patient. Homeopathic Sequential Therapy is a form of treatment which addresses all the traumatic events that someone has experienced in their life, including major emotional shocks, physical shocks from accidents, surgeries, and side effects from medications. As in the expression “the straw that broke the camels back,” Sequential Therapy works to remove all the metaphorical straws that have added to a person’s burden (weakening their life force). Finally, at the end of treatment, the patient can be freed from their miasmatic inheritance, or the susceptibility to stress and disease which is genetic, which homeopathy generally considers to be at the root of a chronic illness such as fibromyalgia.

Although going through this process in its entirety can take some time, patients report that they start to feel relief from their condition fairly quickly. In addition to the process described above, additional means can be taken to provide more immediate symptomatic relief, such as remedies which help the body to detoxify, and remedies which provide relief for particular muscle pains and insomnia. Homeopathy, rather than having “side-effects,” seems to have “side-benefits,” with most patients reporting that they are better able to deal with stress, anxiety, and are less caught up in other emotional patterns that they’ve tended to live with before.

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