What is Homeopathy?
Homeopathy is a 200 year-old-system of medicine developed in the early 1800s by Dr. Samuel Hahnemann, a physician in Germany. It is widely used in Europe and India to this day because of its safety and effectiveness. It is less commonly used in North America due to its not being taught in medical schools.
Homeopathy utilizes very dilute concentrations of plant, animal or mineral substances which have been tested on human subjects. Homeopaths are trained to select one or more of these medicines based on the individual picture the patient presents with, with an eye towards restoring the patient to his or her pre-existing state of health and shortening the course, frequency and intensity of symptoms.
Many times in medicine today, disease conditions are simply managed with pharmaceuticals which keep symptoms suppressed but which do not result in a lasting resolution of symptoms. Homeopathy offers an alternative model which has the potential to resolve symptoms in a gentle, long-lasting recovery. While symptoms usually improve within a few weeks, some conditions take even longer, depending on the length of time you have had the problem.
Homeopathic medicines are usually dispensed 1-2 pellets at a time and your practitioner will explain how often to take them. It’s important to not touch the pellets, but to dispense them into the cap of the tube and then directly onto your tongue. Allow the pellets to dissolve in your mouth, rather than swallowing them. If you happen to dispense more than 2 pellets into the cap, just take all of them rather than attempting to put them back into the tube.
Homeopathy is safe and you cannot overdose because of the dilutions involved.
You may hear homeopathic physicians speak about Sensitive Type. When a patient manifests many of the symptoms that represent a homeopathic medicine, they are said to be a Sensitive Type of that medicine.
For example, a Sepia Sensitive Type frequently presents with one or more of the following: dark hair, normal body build, fine dark hair over the upper lip, hemorrhoids, leg heaviness or varicose veins, constipation, frequent urinary or yeast infections, gallbladder complaints, morning sickness when pregnant, depressive type symptoms, desire for vinegar or acid foods, brownish discoloration of facial skin. history of acne or herpes, eczema, asthma and migraines.
In a patient with all these symptoms of Sepia, if they are prescribed Sepia, many of the symptoms will improve or disappear over time. The goal of homeopathy is to reduce the frequency and severity of the patient’s symptoms. This is done by discovering the patient’s Sensitive Type by careful, detailed history taking and physical examination, and follow up to ensure the patient’s symptoms are responding.
In addition, if the patient also has an acute urinary tract infection, she will also be treated with one or more Acute Medicines to help the patient deal with the pain, frequency, urgency of the acute problem.