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  • Writer's pictureElizabeth Adalian MCH

Homeopathy Defined

Updated: Jan 27, 2021

Picture of pillule vials (Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images )

HOMEOPATHY was discovered by Samuel Hahnemann (1755-1843), who worked alongside doctors as a translator. He had become totally disillusioned about general medicine as it was administered at that time with its crude approach to treatment. He had observed such practices as blood-letting by the application of leeches when his children became ill. This affected him profoundly and led him to start experimenting with different substances. The first and most famous one was quinine (China Officinalis) - a well-known drug used at that time and renowned until today in the treatment of malaria. He started by taking it in crude form, as a result of which he developed those very classic symptoms of that disease which are so well known, i.e. shaking, sweating, and weakness. He then tried reducing the amount of the drug by taking successive doses of lower concentrations by diluting the solution before going even further until nothing of the original quinine was left in the dose. To his surprise, the impact of this approach was to have a healing effect but without the well known poisonous side effects of taking crude quinine. This model of testing is known as a 'PROVING' and is still carried out today although this method has been refined in the meantime. Nowadays, there are strict recordings of the results which are carried out under controlled conditions. New substances are being proved consistently as well as the original ones being re-proved.

So, HOMEOPATHY was born - the word deriving from the Greek - meaning 'similar suffering'. This is based on the observation that, when a substance is given to a healthy person, it creates the very same symptoms it can cure in a sick one.

Samuel Hahnemann had also discovered a way to remove the toxicity of the substance - be it derived from animals, plants, or minerals - by diluting and shaking it in water according to the strength required. This method is called 'POTENTISATION'. The potency selected is calibrated according to the exactness of the remedy chosen in balance with the vitality of the patient.

The homeopathic philosophy Hahnemann wrote in his seminal work, The Organon of Medicine, regards the organism as one and part of the whole, be it emotional or physical. Therefore, the homeopath takes a holistic approach when TAKING THE CASE of the patient. This is based on a HIERARCHY OF SYMPTOMS which is adhered to, the emotional ones taking precedent even if the presenting symptoms are physical ones. The single caveat to this rule is that the hierarchy is reversed if the physical symptoms are the cause of the emotional ones, e.g. in the case of extreme pain.

This means the immunity is raised on all levels by treating in this contextualized way. Each person has a different SUSCEPTIBILITY according to life events, inherited factors, and, of course, role models within the original family line (at which point the 'dice is cast' when young, so to speak).

The patient becomes part of their own healing process as this integrated approach is applied to their case. This means that the CASE-TAKING alone sets the 'ball in motion' once the process is understood by them according to this template. The language of the patient often determines the approach of the homeopath. For example, a patient presents with persistent tooth abscesses and, after countless visits to the dentist and repeated antibiotics, declared that she was 'spitting with rage' with a family member who had insulted her. Once this unresolved and ongoing dynamic was discussed with the homeopath, she started to realize why she had these repeated issues with her oral cavity - the area of self-expression. Also, once the appropriate remedy had been taken, not only did she resolve this perpetuating impasse in the relationship but her tooth abscesses resolved and she became free of these repeated and undermining orthodox interventions which had created more issues than they resolved.

In the CASE-TAKING, the patient is left to speak freely, only being brought back to the subject by the homeopath if they veer off course. Specific questions are asked regarding such aspects as:

family history of illness, health status as a child (as well as leading up to the current time), appetite, temperature, hormonal status, sleep, etc.

All these areas give a pointer to the type of remedy needed. Even if the treatment only addresses sleep or eating issues for example, huge changes can be made to the state of the adrenal glands. This is significant because they govern the equilibrium of the organism very significantly and are very intertwined with other systems of the body, such as the ones governing the hormones.

HOMEOPATHY can address acute illnesses, such as bronchitis, effects of injury, or shock, as well as those more deeply rooted. At the same time, it also acts to prevent a tendency to certain repeated patterns of illness.

The homeopathic philosophy is based on the self-healing properties of the organism through what is referred to as the VITAL FORCE which is re-balanced through the action of the appropriate remedy - known as the SIMILIMUM. One of the first APHORISMS in the ORGANON OF MEDICINE, the text which elucidates the laws of homeopathy, declares that it is 'THE ABILITY TO ADAPT TO CHANGES' which dictates health. At no time in history is this more challenged than in current times.

HOMEOPATHY works well for people at all stages of life and is completely safe so it can even be given to pregnant women and during labour to optimize, not only the health of the mother, but also that of the infant as they develop and grow. Trauma is avoided for both parties so the shock of the labour and the huge hormonal adjustment which ensues is tempered. This prevents post-natal depression from setting in, which is such a hidden feature of today's world This fosters the bonding process which is so key for the future development of the child and their experience of birth and mothering in turn of their own children, once they have moved further along their TIMELINE.

HOMEOPATHY can not only work into the future in this way but also retrospectively if the fundamental issue has not been addressed at the time of inception, even many years later - a unique feature of this individually targeted approach to healing. In my book Touching Base With Trauma I have more information and examples of how I have applied homeopathy to healing across the generations - a topic which is essential to reversing the damage done by so many historical challenges to the health of different individuals.

I am happy for this blog to be shared in the interest of furthering understanding of what homeopathy actually is.

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