Homeopathy offers a safe, gentle and effective means of restoring the body to health. Homeopathy comes from the Greek words “omoios” meaning similar and “pathos” meaning suffering. Samuel Hahnemann defined homeopathy as treating disease with medicines that are chosen in accordance with the law of similars. The law of similars states that a disease can be cured by a medicine that elicits symptoms similar to those the patient experiences as healthy individual. In other words the law of similars means “like cures like.” Therefore an important aspect of homeopathy is to determine all of the symptoms the patient is experiencing or looking at the symptoms as a whole. In homeopathy this is defined as the “totality of symptoms”. A symptom in homeopathy is anything – whether it’s subjective or objective – that we experience as deviations from our normal harmonious bodily functions. If symptoms are what we classify as deviations from harmony, then what maintains this harmony?
Vitalism believes that the bodily functions are due to a vitalisitic principle existing in all living creatures. This vital principal in homeopathy is coined as the vital force and is what maintains all the functions in health; it organizes the body, it’s reactions, and everything else involved. Because no two people have the same vital force, we must not classify a disease as always presenting with the same symptoms. Therefore, each patient will get sick in slightly different manners. In homeopathy this is defined as individualization. When prescribing remedies a homeopath will prescribe a remedy that is individualized to the patient.
The common medicines of Hahnemann’s day were usually very toxic and prescribed in large doses. Hahnemann wanted to find a better way to treat his patients. He found that as long as a remedy was made under the principle that “like cures like” the size of the dose did not matter. He then found that not only were the smaller doses less harmful to the patients, they were also more effective in the treatment.
Homeopathy incorporates the principal of holism within its realm of practice. It brings a holistic approach to medicine by focusing on the totality of symptoms and treating the whole person at what is believed to be the root of the disease. By finding the root of the disease homeopathic remedies restore the individual’s vital force to it’s harmonious balance relieving it of this dis-ease.
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