Homeopathy might be a new concept to you, or something you've heard about and are interested in. We asked one of our local Naturopathic Doctor partners to break it down for us--learn all about homeopathy and how it can help you!
Homeopathy is one of the most popular and powerful systems of medicine that is able to restore the state of health and harmony by stimulating the body's own healing power. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), homeopathy is the world's second leading system of medicine for primary health care. But what exactly is homeopathy? How do you use it? Who can benefit? If these are questions you have, read on!
Homeopathic medicine was introduced and developed by Samuel Hahneman, a German physician, pharmacist and chemist. He is known as the father of experimental pharmacology because he was the first physician that scientifically examined various medical substances on healthy individuals to prove their medicinal effects. Before Hahnemann, medicines were given on speculative indications, without any experimental verification.
Due to its great success in treatment of many epidemic diseases as well as acute and chronic conditions, homeopathic medicine became well-known in Europe and then in North America in early 1900's. At that time, there were 22 homeopathic medical school and over 100 homeopathic hospitals in North America. Boston University, New York Medical College and Women’s College hospital in Toronto are examples of schools that used to teach homeopathy. With the rise of modern pharmaceutical companies, homeopathy lost its popularity in North America, while other countries in Europe and Asia continued a steady growth of homeopathic treatments and teaching. During the last decade, homeopathy has been reintroduced in Canada and has started to regain its popularity. New regulations are under considerations to be used in assessment and recognition of homeopathy as a regulated health profession in Ontario.
The Philosophy of Homeopathy
Homeopathy has a very holistic approach toward health and treats the patient as a whole in physical, mental and spiritual levels. From the homeopathic point of view, symptoms are considered defense and adaptation mechanisms of the body to overcome toxic exposure, infection, or stress. Therefore, treating symptoms without dealing with the underlying cause usually creates more complicated chronic conditions.
Homeopathic medicines activate and stimulate the body's own healing capacity to overcome the disease instead of suppressing or controlling the symptoms. As a result, after successful homeopathic treatments, not only do symptoms of the disease disappear, but the patient experiences a higher level of well-being and health.
Homeopathic medicines come from natural sources such as plants, minerals and animals. However, the process of manufacturing is very different with any other natural or herbal medicine. In homeopathic preparations, natural substances undergo a process of serial dilutions along with vigorous shaking to arouse the dynamic nature of the medicine.
How Can Homeopathy Help You?
Like Cures Like: The Main Principle of Homeopathy
A substance that can produce disease in a healthy person can stimulate a healing response in a person with that same picture of disease. For example: onions cause itchy, burning, watery eyes and a runny nose. A homeopathic remedy made from onion can be used for treating a patient who already suffers from the same set of symptoms in an allergic reaction or in cold and flu. Accordingly, the homeopathic medicine will mimic the body's own wisdom to help initiate the healing process.
Homeopathic treatments are individualized and medicines are prescribed based on the unique manifestation of symptoms in each individual. In fact, homeopathic medicine treats the patient as a whole, not the disease alone.
Homeopathy Can Help All Conditions
Homeopathy is able to correct the core imbalance that lies under many health issues and will restore the state of health and harmony by permanently eliminating the illness. Therefore, it is effective in treating any kind of health issue regardless of whether the origin is physical, mental or emotional. A well-chosen homeopathic medicine can produce a dramatic improvement in acute conditions (i.e., viral infections or physical injuries) as well as chronic conditions (anxiety, depression, allergies, arthritis, auto immune diseases, hormonal disturbances). Moreover, homeopathic constitutional treatments can help individuals develop a stronger immune system. Finally, since homeopathic treatments can be effective in emotional and spiritual levels, they will help the individual to achieve a higher level of self-awareness and spiritual growth.
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