Homeopathic is a word used to describe a form of holistic style health or alternative medicine that does not conform to the conventional means of treating sickness, injury or illness. Also known as homeopathy, it is definitely a very different approach to health and wellness and gives some individuals a feeling of control over the type of medicines they put into their bodies and how they manage their health. Homeopathy is based on the concept or theory that “like cures like”. What that basically means is that giving your body a miniscule amount of what ails you or is causing your symptom can also help to cure what ails you. It is also believed that the tiniest amount of a natural form of medicine, in a highly diluted form, can prompt the body to heal itself.
The History of Homeopathy:
Homeopathic medicine has existed for the last 200 years and was first introduced to the world in the late 1700’s by Samuel Hahnemann, a German scientist and physician. The concept of homeopathy came about during a time when there were inhumane and barbaric treatments for illness. Dr. Hahnemann believed that harsh treatments and potent drugs did more damage to the patient than they did good. His concepts and theories on treating patients were based on very specific principles such as the “Law of Similars” whereby something that caused a symptom in a healthy individual could have a healing effect when given to a sick person showing those same symptoms. This is the same type of concept used in the development of vaccines used in conventional medicine. A tiny amount of something that causes a disease is put into the vaccine to immunize and protect an individual from contracting that same disease. There have been continuous fluctuations in the popularity of homeopathic remedies and treatments throughout the years but there has been a steady rise in the practice of homeopathy in recent years.
Homeopathic Medicines and Treatments:
With modern day conventional drugs used to treat illness or injury, a pharmacy provides a patient information leaflet with doctor prescribed medications. This leaflet provides information on how the drug works in the body, what it’s intended to treat, dosage and how it should be administered. The leaflet also provides information on precautions, warnings, adverse reactions, over-dosage, drug dependency, side effects and risks. Many people turn to homeopathic medicine and treatment because they do not feel comfortable with the negative connotations of what can possibly go wrong by putting conventional drugs into their body, no matter how small the percentage.
Homeopathy has become increasingly popular as an alternative, natural way to treat your body. Ingredients used in homeopathic medicines, which do not need to be prescribed by a doctor and are available over-the-counter, are typically derived from a natural source such as plants or minerals. Again, the concept of less is more, that goes back centuries, is still used. A tiny amount of the active ingredient (which is believed to boost the immune system and kick-start self-healing properties in the body) is diluted with water over and over and over again until there is barely a trace of the original ingredient based on scientific standards and testing. It is unknown how this can possibly help to cure an illness or heal the body, however, believers in homeopathy swear by it and insist that it does work. Some say that the mystery behind the effectiveness of homeopathic medicine is based on the placebo effect (or mind over matter). Physiological changes can occur in the body because an individual believes the treatment is working (even if there are no medicinal substances at work) and the body basically has the ability to heal itself.
Homeopathic medicines and treatments are meant to work in harmony with the body’s natural immune system and are safe for adults and children. Homeopathy is typically used to treat things like colds, headaches, arthritis, allergies, and minor illnesses or injuries. It is not deemed an appropriate means of treatment for serious or life-threatening illnesses and disease such as cancer or heart conditions.
There are physicians and health care practitioners who are trained in the science of homeopathy and specifically practice homeopathic health care. These types of health care professionals do not rush through an appointment with a patient but take the time to get to know their patients looking at the big picture in regards to homeopathic care rather than focusing on one element or issue. A person’s health (physical, mental and emotional), their family history, medical history, diet and lifestyle are taken into consideration when practicing homeopathy to ensure there is balance and harmony in all aspects of a patient’s life to promote overall well-being.