Homeopathy is an alternative form of medical treatment which is based on the premise that like cures like and employs highly diluted substances, which practitioners use to help the body to heal itself.
Your initial visit with a homeopath could last anywhere between 1 hour to 90 minutes.
During the first session he or she will discuss your medical history, your lifestyle, your diet and anything that could have an effect on your health in an effort to find the cause of your woes.
The actual costs of seeing a homeopath will vary from state to state, but you can take a look at our Homeopath Directory Listings how much homeopaths charge in your area.
About Homeopaths - A General Overview
A General Overview Of Homeopathy
Homoeopathy is an alternative medicine system of health care and healing which was developed and introduced by a German physician, Samuel Hahnemann. This was a time when medical practitioners were heavily experimenting on patients and this practice often caused more harm than good. Samuel however experimented on himself.
Homeopaths do not separate the patient from the disease, but rather pay attention to what part of the patients' back ground caused the illness in the first place. Contrary to allopathic medicine where drugs are introduced into the body to alleviate symptoms, homeopathic dilutions are prescribed not to treat symptoms, so much as for speeding up the body's own natural ability to heal itself.
This also clarifies why homeopaths spend more time during a session with a patient than the average general practitioner(MD) does. For the homeopath even the minutest detail of a patient's habits or lifestyle can have a profound effect of what medication is prescribed.
The First Principle
Like Cures Like or Law of Similia
The practice of homeopathy has one central and all-pervasive premise that can be found back in all treatments. Like cures like. This principle is also refered to as the "Law of Similia". This means that the same thing that can trigger disease in an otherwise healthy person will cure that same disease in a sick patient.
What this means...
Take an example of two patients coming to visit a homeopath with the exact same symptoms (Let's say hay-fever). The homeopath spends several hours talking to each individual in turn and takes meticulous notes. During the diagnosis interview the homeopath notices that patient A is a generally happy and upbeat person. Patient B however is unhappy with some aspect of his life or work (just as an example) and has a somewhat more depressed outlook on life in general.
According to this doctrine, patients may exhibit similar symptoms for different ailments, and conversely also receive different medication for the same symptoms. Some symptoms may be common to a specific disease while other symptoms are attributes of the dis-eased individual. The practitioners task is to match the symptoms of the medication to the symptoms exihibited by the individual, while maintaining special attention on those specific symptoms which are unique to the patient.
The Second Principle
The Single Remedy or Law of Simplex
The second major aspect of homeopathy is what's know as The Single Remedy Principle. This principle states that only one single remedy should be prescribed at any given time.
This principle states that only one single remedy should be prescribed at any given time. While this may seem strange to the average person, homeopaths however state that if multiple medications are prescribed it would make it impossible to determine which of elements triggered the body's natural healing process.
Additionally it would also make it more difficult to prescribe medication in the future. Mixing different drugs also increases the potential for causing detrimental affects in the patient's body system.
A mixture of more than one remedy in a single dose would actually become a new remedy altogether and this would mean it would have to be proved as a completely new medication and its effects ascertained separately.
The Third Principle
The Minimum Dosage or Law of Minimum
The minimum dose principle is based on the belief that all you need to trigger a healing response from your own body is the "stimulus" from the medicine. Based on this principle, homeopaths only prescribe the lowest possible potentisation or dilution of any medication. (Just enough to get "trick" the body into initiating a self-healing state).
How this works...
One way to think about what happens is to imagine a car that has been sitting in a garage for a long time and doesn't start because the battery died. In this example the minimum dosage is like jump starting the car by giving it a push or connecting jumper cables.
Once the car has started (provided there is enough gas in the tank) the car could take you anywhere and the battery would also recharge once the car gets going.
"In fact, the whole premise of homeopathy is centered around jump starting the self healing abilities of the human body".
This is the same reaction that homeopaths try to elicit in patients. Based on the assumption that the body "strives for balance", once the body starts healing it will continue the process until full health is restored.
The Fourth Principle
The Potentized Remedy or Potentisation
Homeopaths use a process called potentisation. Potentisation is not exactly the same as dilution, but similar non the less. During the preparation process the active ingredient is diluted several times to the point where there are almost no traces left of the original substance.
It is a process that renders the natural substances being used harmless. But because of what homeopaths call the 'memory of water' the energy of the substance is transferred to the water (or pills). In between dillutions the solution is vigorously shaken or tapped against a solid object (this process is called succussing) to increase it's "imprint" on the medium. The medium is the liquid the substance is being diluted in. (Both water and alcohol are commonly used)
As you can understand from the above, you either believe in the efficacy of homeopathy or you don't. There is no solid scientific basis for the practice. However, it has been used for over 200 years at least, and there are a multitude of documented cases where homeopathy has helped patients who were unable to get relief from traditional medicine.
However you feel about naturopathy or natural healing methods, the fact remains that the use of natural products, techniques and practices is growing rapidly in the health industry and homeopathy is no exception.