An Explanation Of Homeopathic Medicine
Homeopathy is a type of holistic medicine that makes use of highly diluted, specially prepared substances (mostly in tablet form). The goal here is to trigger the healing mechanisms of the body.
A homeopath prescribes medicines according to the specific symptoms of a patient, how they are experienced, and also takes into account the person's overall overall health condition.
'Like With Like' Principle'
The basis of homeopathy is on a principle called 'like treats like' - which means that a substance that may cause symptoms when it is taken in a large dose, may be used in smaller amounts for treating symptoms that are similar. For instance, when too much coffee is consumed it can cause agitation and sleeplessness, so according to the principle, when it is used as a homeopathic medicine, it can be used for treating individuals who are suffering from agitation and sleeplessness.
Sometimes conventional medicine uses this same concept. For example, when Ritalin is used for treating patients who have ADHD, or when pollen is used for desensitizing allergic patients. However, one important difference when it comes to homeopathy is that medicine doses (referred to as remedies) are very small which helps to prevent toxic side effects.
The Origins of Homeopathy
The 'like with like' principle dates back to the time of Hippocrates (460-377 BCO. Homeopathy in its current form has been used for over 200 years all over the world.
A German doctor by the name of Samuel Hahnemann created the practice of homeopathy. He was searching for a way that damaging side effects could be reduced that were associated with medical treatments of that time, including the use of poisons. He started to experiment on healthy volunteers as well as himself, by giving increasingly smaller medicinal doses. He discovered that, in addition to reducing toxicity, that the medicines became increasingly effective as he continued to lower the doses.
Another thing that Hahnemann noticed was that the symptoms that toxic medicines caused, like mercury which was being used for treating syphilis, were very similar to the diseases they were treating. That observation led him to his 'like cures like' principle. Hahnemann carefully documented his work, and these became the foundations for the modern-day practice of homeopathic medicine.
Visiting a Homeopath
When you go to see a homeopath, their job is to obtain a thorough understanding of your overall health as well as your symptoms. Once they have this detailed information they can search for a homeopathic medicine (which is referred to as a 'remedy') that will closely match your symptoms and overall health as much as possible.
During your initial consultation, the homeopath will ask you a lot of questions in order to form a complete picture of your health and take into account many different factors including medical history, stress triggers, personality traits, lifestyle, as well as likes and dislikes.
A homeopath wants to have a thorough understanding of what makes you unique, and how your mind and body express themselves. That is due to the fact that homeopathy views the complete picture. Patients with the same diagnosed condition - for example, hay fever - still are likely to need to have a different homeopathic medicine for their individual treatment and situation.
Usually, the initial consultation will take one to two hours, which will depend on the individual practitioner you are seeing. They will ask you many different questions and some might be strange to you if you are new to homeopathy. The reason the homeopath asks you so many questions is to develop a picture of what your unique makeup is, similar to putting a jigsaw puzzle together.
Most homeopathic treatment will involve a process of gradual change towards improved health. Usually, the first follow-up will take place around four weeks following the initial prescriptions. There are some cases where it could be sooner than this.
Your second session will tend to not be as long as your first one was - usually it will range from 30 minutes up to about an hour. During this follow-up, your homeopath will ask you about the changes that have taken place. They will refer to their detailed notes and listen to your account before determining the next step of your overall treatment process.
It can be hard to predict how many consultations will be necessary - it will depend on many different factors including the patient's age, how long these symptoms have been occurring, and how you respond to the prescription that you have been given.
Fees will vary widely and are usually charged on a per-session basis. Usually, the initial consultation will cost more since it lasts for a longer period of time. Extras are often included in fees like acute prescriptions and interim phone calls. Check with your practitioner ahead of time so that you fully understand the fee structure and what is included.
Should I see my doctor?
It is strongly recommended that you maintain a relationship with a regular doctor or a specialist when needed. Quite often traditional and homeopathic approaches are used successfully together by taking an integrated and complementary approach.
Since homeopathic pain relief are non-toxic, they don't interfere with traditional drug and medicine actions. However, it is also very important to make sure your homeopath is kept informed about any changes that your doctor makes to your prescribed medicines, and that your traditional doctor stays informed about what types of homeopathic remedies have been prescribed to you by your homeopath.
Some individuals do decide to turn to homeopathy due to being unhappy with the unpleasant side effects that they are experiencing from their traditional medication. However, do not stop taking medication that has been prescribed to you until you discuss it with the doctor first. When you stop taking prescribed medicines suddenly it can sometimes be dangerous.
Homeopathic medicine definitely has a lot to offer and can be used in combination with traditional medicines. Just make sure to only entrust your health with reputable practitioners and keep all of your healthcare providers fully informed.