So What is Homeopathy?

One of my goals as a physician-homeopath is to educate. Over the years, it has become apparent that a great deal of confusion exists with regard to just what homeopathy is. Many equate homeopathy with holistic and herbal medicine. Others think of vitamins and nutrition when they hear the word ‘homeopathy’ mentioned. In this article I will try to clarify what homeopathy is and how it can have such a powerful healing effect.

To begin, lets consider definitions. Classical or Traditional Homeopathy is a medical science. It was developed by a German physician, Samuel Hahnemann, M.D., nearly 200 years ago. Hahnemann discovered a natural law of cure and coined the term “homeopathy” to describe it. Breaking the word down we have– homeo (similar) and pathos (suffering).

According to the principles of homeopathy, diseases can be cured only when the human organism is stimulated by medicines capable of producing symptoms in a pattern similar to the disease in question. When medicines are given that oppose or suppress symptoms, one may temporarily feel better, but the disease condition is not actually cured. In fact suppression often leads to the worsening of one’s health. This is why we have so much chronic disease in our society.

A common example of suppression is the treatment of childhood eczema. The standard approach is to apply steroid creams or ointments to force the skin inflammation into remission. Once discontinued, the skin usually flares right back up. If suppressed for the longterm, children with eczema often improve on their skin, only to develop a deeper illness such as asthma, usually as the skin condition gets under reasonable “control”.

Hahnemann claimed that homeopathic principles underly all true healing responses. No real or lasting cure can result from any other approach. This concept is not conjecture or hypothesis but rather a verifiable fact born out of his own 50 years of meticulous scientific investigation and work with his patients, and over two centuries of clinical experience worldwide following his death.

Using homeopathy with my own patients has more than supported Hahnemann’s conclusions, as I have witnessed first hand countless numbers of real cures of chronic illness that the conventional medical establishment deems impossible. As an interesting comparison to the example above, in my own clinic I have cured many children of asthma. As their asthma resolved, many of them saw their old eczematous rashes return, and ultimately resolve completely with further homeopathic treatment. These experiences further support Hahnemann’s claim that suppression leads to deeper illness and homeopathic treatment to real cure. Of course the same results attain with virtually any illness when treated properly.

If homeopathy works so well, then why is it ignored or even disparaged by mainstream medicine? While many factors are clearly at play, I feel the main reason so few conventional doctors believe in or recommend the use of homeopathy stems from a deeply rooted training and belief in the material or mechanical theory of disease. In short, the modern scientific model of disease considers the human being as a broken machine, pure and simple. All disease conditions require a mechanical—drug or surgery—solution. In homeopathy, the remedy is aimed at restoring balance to the whole organism by rooting out the underlying disease cause, a disturbance of the person’s life force.

We live in a time where trust and faith in our own abilities to be healthy and heal ourselves is dwindling. We trust more in drugs and surgery than in our own life force and its capacity to regulate, balance, and restore health. As a result, we become diminished by the very system of healing we typically look to in order to make us well. It is not to say there is no place for drugs or surgery or regular medical care. For the short term, and in emergency situations, such interventions may be lifesaving. However, for the reversal of longstanding chronic illness and the restoration of health, vitality, and a deep sense of personal wellbeing, the modern medical approach seems to be failing us.

Homeopathy is elegant and highly effective. It offers observable, lasting, and often profound results for almost any condition we have a name for in the conventional world. These results are achieved by a simple yet powerful discovery made by the founder of homeopathy, namely “likes cure likes”.

Now, two centuries later, modern homeopathic pioneers continue Hahnemann’s legacy. Through a new model of healing that directly addresses the fundamental disturbances that compromise our health and vitality, we are able to effectively bring an answer to the physicians one and highest calling, to cure the sick.