- What are the fundamentals/ basic approach of homeopathic treatment?
Homeopaths, like many modern physiologists, recognize that symptoms represent the best efforts of the organism to adapt to and defend against various stresses or infections. Because the body is not always successful in dealing with every stress or infection, it is important to find a substance in nature that has the capacity to mimic the symptoms the person is experiencing in order to aid the body in its efforts to defend and ultimately heal itself.
The “law of similars,” the basic principle of homeopathy, is even used in some conventional medical therapies, such as immunization and allergy treatments. These treatments, however, are not pure homeopathy since homeopathic medicines are more individually prescribed, given in smaller doses, and used to treat sick people and to prevent disease.
- Do the small doses used in homoeopathy possibly have any physiological effect? How can you respond to this?
Homeopathic remedies are indeed very small doses. However, they are specially prepared doses which undergo a specific process including dilution of ingredients (called potentization), as well as a vigorous shaking (succussion).
Specially formulated homeopathic remedies are thought to resonate with the body, triggering a positive healing response. This response gently, and effectively, heals from the inside out.
The documented results from thousands of experienced homeopaths, and from millions of their patients, clearly show that these small, individualized doses produce profound health benefits.
Although we do not understand precisely how the homeopathic medicines work, there is clear evidence that the medicines are active and can heal. Homeopathic medicines also have been shown to work on infants and on various animals (including dogs, cats, horses and even cows) where it is highly unlikely that they are acting only as a placebo. Homeo-paths also find that people who are being treated with homeopathic medicine for a chronic disease sometimes experience a temporary exacerbation in their symptoms as the body’s defenses are being stimulated. Homeopaths have found that a “healing crisis” is sometimes necessary to achieve healing. It is highly unlikely that this temporary worsening of symptoms is the result of a placebo response.
It is important to know that the small doses used by homeopaths only have an effect when a person has a hypersensitivity to the small doses given. If the wrong medicine is given to a person, nothing happens. If the correct medicine is given, the medicine acts as a catalyst to the person’s defenses. In any case, homeopathic medicines do not have side effects
- If a person is taking homeopathic medicines, is it fine to also take conventional drugs?
It is possible to take them together, though the homeopathic medicines often work fast and well enough that the person does not need to take conventional drugs. Some conventional medicines, however, are so strong that they inhibit any action of the homeopathic medicine. In such situations it is discretion of individual whether to take conventional or homeopathic medicine.
- What are Potencies?
Potencies relate to strength of a homeopathic medicine. Homeopathic medicine consists of natural substances that are extremely diluted. These dilutions, stimulate the defense system of your body. The amount of dilution is called potency. Let us see this example that illustrates this point further. The lowest potency scale is X. A medicine with 30X has more strength than a medicine with 6X. The C scale is a higher potency than X. Depending on your condition, a doctor may prescribe a dilution of X (decimal), C (centesimal), or M (millennial). M is the strongest and an extension of the C scale.
- What about treatment using homeopathy for terminally ill patients?
When a patient’s pathology has become too deep for complete return to health, there are many homeopathic medicines for palliation of symptoms. Medicines can be used to reduce anxiety, fears, depression, gastro-intestinal upsets and even the pain of the more advanced illnesses. It is always better to try than not, in the treatment of deep pathology. There are always the cases of remarkable recoveries in any form of medicine and these cases continue to perplex and delight us all. Moreover, it seems that patients who do have these remarkable recoveries have one thing in common. They make a quantum shift in their view of the world and their approach to health.
- Can homeopathy treat the side-effects of vaccinations?
Interestingly, homeopathy has been compared by analogy with vaccination. The use of micro-doses of a substance to improve immunity is the foundation of homeopathy. However, the difference lies in the preparation of homeopathics. Many people who react badly to vaccinations have found relief in homeopathy. Some may experience immediate and acute swelling of the limb at the site of the needle, others find that their children develop asthma concurrently or after vaccination, while others develop ear, nose and throat conditions, warts and other skin conditions. Many people would not associate these things as being connected with vaccinations, while Homeopaths take these associations seriously into account. Homeopaths have in their arsenal of medicines, just such ones for these kinds of reactions to vaccinations. We are all individual and we all react according to our particular susceptibilities
- There are homeopathic medicines sold in health food stores that are supposedly for specific diseases. If homeopathy is based on finding a medicine individually suited to the person, are these medicines really homeopathic?
These homeopathic medicines found in most health food stores are called “combination medicines” or “formulas,” since they have between three to eight different homeopathic medicines mixed together in them. The various manufacturers choose the medicines most commonly prescribed for specific symptoms and assume that one of them will help cure the ailment that the consumer has. But most professional homeopaths have found that the medicine individually chosen for the person tends to work more often and more deeply. It is, however, generally believed that combination medicines should not be prescribed for chronic or serious acute health problems. Such conditions require the supervision of homeopathic or medical experts.
- Do homeopathy medicines have any side effects?
No, many conventional medicines attempt to suppress symptoms without allowing the body to heal itself, sometimes resulting in harmful side effects. Instead of suppressing symptoms, homeopathy gently works with the body to stimulate balance or healing. Also, since homeopathic medicines have no side effects, this reduces the percentage of iatrogenic (doctor-induced) diseases.
Are there guidelines to follow for homeopathic medicines to be effective?
Yes, since homeopathic medicine stimulates your own defense system there are certain rules to be followed to maximize the effectiveness of the homeopathic medicine.
- Rules for Taking Homeopathic Remedies
Take nothing by mouth 10-20 minutes prior to or following dosage. This includes food, drink, chewing gum, toothpaste etc.
Limit as much as possible caffeine in any forms, such as soft drinks, coffee, or chocolate.
No camphor, such as in muscle and joint rubs. Avoid moth ball fumes.
Avoid raw garlic, cooked is okay.
Alcohol sensitivities: If the patient is sensitive to the alcohol, they may put the drops into a glass (3 oz) of warm water. Allow one minute for the alcohol to evaporate.
- Do homeopathic medicines take longer to work than conventional medicines?
The success of homeopathic medicine depends on the situation and how closely homeopathic rules (see question 5) are followed. In addition, for the most part, the duration of the healing process is proportional to the duration of your ailment. A chronic condition can be cured effectively, but not overnight.
- Can homeopathic medicine and conventional medicine work together?
Yes, homeopathic medicine and conventional medicines may work together. It is advised that you have your doctor closely monitor this situation. Since homeopathic medicines have no side effects, they do not interact with other medicine, homeopathic or otherwise. The only problem arises for the homeopath, as it gives a mixed picture and obscures the real symptomatology. Homeopathic medicines act on the immune system and generally can be safely taken along with conventional medicines. However, there arises a problem for the homeopath in the assessment of symptoms in a heavily medicated patient. For example, are the headaches a patient may experience a side-effect of the conventional medicine or are they natural to the patient? Homeopaths generally like to treat patients who are giving them clean symptom pictures. It can be problematic to distinguish these symptoms in a heavily medicated patient. Having said that, if a patient is being treated with both forms of medicines, as the homeopathic improves the state of the patient, conventional medicines can be reduced. Many conventional doctors will work hand-in-hand with alternative practitioners and will often recommend homeopathy when faced with patients who do not seem to improve using conventional approaches.
- How long will it take to see the results of taking homeopathic medicine?
This entirely depends on the vitality of the patient and the chronicity of complaints. A patient who is generally very weak and exhausted with a complaint of many years duration will take longer to heal than a person with a recent complaint and with generally a very high vitality. The medicines are taken in small quantity and over limited periods of time, usually at most a week or two. Then the homeopath will like to wait and see the effects of the medicine before increasing the dosage or perhaps changing the medicine as new symptom pictures arise. The goal is to treat the patient in as short a time and with as little medicine as possible to affect a cure. There is no such thing as taking homeopathy indefinitely, as there is with conventional medicine treatment. If the homeopathic medicine is not working, then the homeopath may have not chosen the best one for the patient, or the pathology is too far advanced for complete recovery.