An Introduction to Homeopathy and its Practice
Homeopathy is system of medicine which is based on natural laws which have always existed but which were only discovered, understood and applied therapeutically some 200 years ago. ‘Similia similibus curentur’ is the Latin phrase which was then chosen to describe the ‘law of similar’ which underpins homeopathy’s application – put simply it means ‘like cures like’.
The way of similar, the homeopathic way, is to give the suffering patient who has a set a of particular symptoms which characterize their condition, a minute dose of a substance which in large doses causes similar symptoms of an artificially inflicted disturbance in a healthy person. e.g. homeopathically prepared doses of onion (allium cepa) will treat certain cases of hay fever where the symptoms match those of someone suffering the effects of inhaling the fumes of a fresh chopped onion, homeopathically prepared coffee (coffea tosta) is used to treat certain types of sleeplessness which resemble the sleeplessness caused by drinking coffee.
The symptom expression of each remedy is discovered primarily through a standard procedure called a ‘proving’ where a substance is tested on a group of healthy volunteers for its effects and the symptoms recorded and compared to produce the information which defines that particular remedy. Each homeopathic medicine has its unique symptom expression recorded in the homeopathic ‘materia medica’.
The Practice of Classical or Unicist homeopathy involves a detailed case-taking by the homeopath where the patient is examined and listened to while they explain in as much detail as possible their present symptoms, thoughts and feelings and the past history which has led up to the present reason for consulting the homeopath. After recording the patient’s case the homeopath will analyse the whole picture and by comparing the symptoms to the known remedies in the ‘materia medica’ seek to find the single remedy which best covers the patient’s expressed symptoms mental, emotional and physical.
This one remedy will be given to the patient in an appropriate potency and frequency of repetition according to the homeopath’s assessment of their need. After a suitable interval the patient will return to see the homeopath to assess the effect of the treatment and receive more treatment as and when appropriate. The number of appointments, number of remedies and amount of treatment will vary for each patient according to their condition and its severity.