Karen Cohen, D.C.,CCH
A Guide to Classical Homeopathy
1998 Karen Cohen
What is Classical Homeopathy?
Homeopathy is a system of health care which concentrates on care of the whole person by methods that are specific, gentle and sympathetic to the body's needs. The word "homeopathy" is derived from two Greek words: homoios (like) and pathos (suffering).
The basic principal of homeopathy is that "like cures like", or that a substance that causes certain symptoms when taken in large doses can remove those symptoms when taken in minute, specially prepared forms. Because the substances used in homeopathy are extremely small, there are no side effects, adverse reactions, or contraindications.
How can a small dosage of a substance create change or have a long lasting effect on my system?
Homeopathic remedies can be thought to have a resonant effect on the body. Similar to the way in which a specific note, played on the violin in a specific octave, can have an effect on the molecular structure of a wine glass, the homeopathic remedy which exactly resonates with the symptom picture of an individual will have a catalytic effect, triggering a systemic response in the patient. The response is strengthening to the individual from the inside out.
The remedy stimulates a return to balance which in turn helps the individual resist disease, and become more flexible in adapting to one's environment.
There are Three Levels of Homeopathic Therapy
1) First Aid
Homeopathic remedies can be extremely effective in the treatment of common household occurrences such as falls and bruises, minor burns, bee stings and spider bites, skin reactions such as diaper rash and poison oak, infant teething etc. First aid remedies, when correctly chosen, can act quickly and safely.
2) Acute Homeopathy
Homeopathy can be useful in treating acute health problems conditions in which the symptoms will eventually go away on their own without treatment. Examples include colds, coughs, sports injuries, etc. Because homeopathic remedies are completely safe and without harmful side effects they are well suited in the treatment of conditions that arise in pregnancy and infancy.
3) Constitutional Homeopathy
Homeopathy is particularly effective in the treatment of long-term health problems. For example, in cases of recurrent ear infections in children, although the child may obtain antibiotic therapy for the acute ear infection, the problem may recur frequently, leading to a general state of impaired health. In such a case, homeopathy can be used to strengthen the system to prevent the future infections.
Constitutional Homeopathy Addresses the Physical, Mental and Emotional Planes
The philosophy of homeopathy holds that the mind, body and emotions are not separate. Every human experience has can leave an imprint in the physical body or the emotional sphere. For this reason, the homeopathic process begins with an initial in-depth interview. The homeopath will ask an extensive range of questions to achieve a complete understanding of the state of health on the physical, mental, and emotional planes. The homeopath also takes into consideration the energy level and how the individual responds to the environment.
Homeopaths are interested in understanding all levels of function: mental, emotional, and physical. For example, sustained emotional stress can cause problems in the immune system, difficulty in the digestion or assimilation of food, or difficulty sleeping and conversely, physical problems can result in emotional unrest or anxiety. Generally, all of the presenting symptoms of the patient, including the chief complaint, behavioral tendencies, and the patient's personality traits, are important symptoms in homeopathic analysis.
Homeopathic Medicines Stimulate an Internal Readjustment Toward Balance
Each of us experiences episodes of stress that can begin early in life or as we grow and develop. Our organism devises strategies that enable us to survive.
In health, our bodies respond to stress in a variety of mechanisms that maintain a process of continual balance is known as homeostasis. When stress or trauma exceeds the organism's ability to respond, the vital force or internal defense mechanisms will be unable to neutralize the stress. A variety of chronic symptoms can often be the result including such diverse conditions as; recurrent infections, fatigue, digestive disturbances, headaches, chronic allergies, and emotional imbalances such as depression or anxiety, etc.
Interestingly, homeopathy does not seek to remove the symptoms that the body produces. Symptoms are seen as a purposeful response to stressful stimuli.
This is most easily understood if we consider the symptoms of the common cold: These might include fever, lethargy, and the production of mucus. These symptoms are an intelligent response to a viral infection. The fever speeds up enzymatic processes and mobilizes specialized cells in the immune system that combat the virus. The lethargy requires physical rest so that all available energy is being used to overcome the cold.
In homeopathy, the goal is not the removal of symptoms but the recognition and removal of the underlying cause of the symptoms. For this reason, the correct homeopathic remedy is based on understanding the whole person rather than matching the symptoms of the disease.
How are Homeopaths Trained?
In the United States homeopathic physicians come from a number of health professions. Homeopaths can be medical doctors but many are osteopaths, chiropractors, dentists, acupuncturists, naturopaths, nurse practitioners, etc. Many years of study and clinical experience are necessary to become an accomplished homeopath. There are many major training programs in the US today: The International Foundation for Homeopathy Professional Course, in Seattle, Washington and The Hahnemann Medical College, in Berkeley, California are two such programs and the National Center for Homeopathy lists new and developing programs in the US.
1998 Karen Cohen
The Homeopathic Process
How Homeopaths Learn to Perceive