Frequently Asked Questions
What is homeopathy?
There are many ways to answer this question. Fundamentally, homeopathy is a very unique healing art that stimulates the body's core vitality to rid itself of illness and promote wellness.
In a more formal sense, it is a medical system based on a specific set of principles regarding health, illness, cure and pharmacology. It addresses the causes of acute or chronic disease through the use of highly diluted and energized substances specifically chosen to match the individual state of the person and stimulate an inner vitality.
How does it differ from naturopathy, acupuncture and herbal medicine?
While homeopathy and these healing arts are similar in that they do not employ drugs or other conventional medical procedures, each one is also quite distinctive. Naturopathy is a broad term encompassing a host of natural healing arts ranging from nutrition to water cures. Acupuncture is one branch of Oriental Medicine that stimulates and balances the body's energy. Herbal medicine, also known as "Botanical Medicine", uses material doses of plant substances for treatment. Homeopathy is generally considered a natural healing art. It does not originate in the Orient, nor does it use material doses of substances.
What kind of conditions or diseases can be treated homeopathically?
Homeopathy is applicable to a broad range of maladies including acute inflammations, systemic imbalances, chronic degenerative diseases and mental/emotional disturbances. By its very nature, homeopathic treatment is not specific to a particular illness, but is directed at the underlying state of the person suffering from that illness. By addressing this state, the appropriately chosen remedy effectively addresses the illness.
What is in those remedies, how are they made and how do they work?
Homeopathic remedies traditionally derive from an extraordinarily wide variety of plant, animal and mineral substances. They are made through a process of serial dilutions, where the original substance is diluted in water and is 'successed', meaning that it is energized by shaking the dilution. The resultant remedy solution is then diluted and succussed again. This process is done repeatedly, sometimes hundreds or thousands of times, resulting in an extremely dilute and highly energetically potent remedy. By selecting a remedy that closely matches the individual characteristics of a person, a homeopath is able to stimulate a deep curative reaction.
How does a homeopath choose a particular remedy for a person?
Homeopaths take great care to understand people's symptoms, how they experience illness as well as their general state of being. By exploring what truly makes people unique, the homeopath gains insight into the nature of their vital life force and is thus able to select an appropriate remedy to stimulate it to effect a curative reaction.
Are there harmful side effects from taking a homeopathic remedy?
Since the remedies are highly diluted, they do not contain significant amounts of the original substance from which they are made. Therefore, they do not have the toxic effects associated with many conventional medications or other substances. They are, however, powerful energetic stimuli and must be used with discretion. Sometimes, as part of the curative process, a person will experience a temporary intensification of symptoms.
Can homeopathic remedies be taken along with conventional medications?
Yes. Many people who seek out homeopathic care are already taking conventional medication with the goal of reducing or eliminating the medication. With the proper remedy and treatment plan, this is often possible.
Is it ok for children, pregnant women, elderly people or animals to take homeopathic remedies?
Absolutely. Homeopathy is a wonderful, gentle healing modality appropriate for people of all ages and conditions. It also is extensively used to treat animals.
Are there any situations or reasons to not use homeopathy?
Yes. Although homeopathy can possibly be of benefit for the treatment of any condition, a positive outcome is based on working with a competent homeopath and a willingness to commit to a mutually acceptable treatment plan. If you are unable to do this, it is not the time to do homeopathy.
How long does it take for homeopathy to work?
Homeopathy can work in seconds or
it can take years. It all depends on the circumstances and how one defines " work. " Generally speaking, a really good constitutional remedy will begin to alleviate symptoms fairly quickly, sometimes within days, and then continue to have a positive effect over months and years. The severity and history of the problems will usually determine the length of time needed for true cure to happen. For example, a chronic pathology such as lifelong asthma will take more time to heal than an acute case of poison ivy.
What happens during a homeopathic consultation?
Essentially your homeopath will listen deeply to you -
listening to understand many different aspects of your personality and state of health. Facts of disease, descriptions of pains, emotional reactions, dreams and physical sensations are all relevant, as well as how you move your body and how you react to stress. Your homeopath may ask you to repeat yourself many times in order to understand what you say on different levels. It is important to express yourself honestly. The better your homeopath understands your nature, the easier it will be to find the best remedy for you.
How frequently is it appropriate to have consultations?
For the first 6 months to year it is best to see the homeopath every 4-6 weeks in most cases. However, this may differ in any particular instance.
What is Constitutional Homeopathy?
Constitutional prescribing a system of prescribing remedies based on a deep understanding of the individual's basic energetic state. When this basic energy imbalance is corrected, any troublesome symptoms will fall away.
Constitutional prescribing is a challenging discipline for which professional homeopaths train and study many years.
Why not just treat myself with homeopathic remedies from the health food store?
It is next to impossible to understand one's own deepest energetic imbalance. We seem to be blind to our own states. Even professional homeopaths need to see another practitioner for their own treatment. In addition, professionals use up to 5,000 possible remedies in varying strengths. Health food stores usually carry 20 to 30 basic remedies in lower strength. Treating oneself with constitutional homeopathic remedies usually is a recipe for frustrations and can lead to greater difficulties.
Should I change my diet?
Diet is not strictly speaking an issue in homeopathy, but eating foods that are well suited to your system will promote the healing process. On the one hand, the right remedy will facilitate more appropriate food choices. On the other hand, the right food will facilitate the remedy to act more thoroughly.
When one is healthy, the body more naturally is able to extract the nutrients it needs to function optimally. Eating sensibly, that is consuming appropriate quantities of properly balanced natural ingredients ,
is always a good idea. Your homeopath can help guide you in this area if you request.
What training do homeopaths receive and how are they licensed?
There are no licensed professional homeopaths in the United States today .
Some homeopaths may have licenses in other modalities such as acupuncture, naturopathy or conventional medicine. Professional homeopaths are mostly trained at various schools and training programs. Because there is an enormous body of existing knowledge to be mastered as well as recently developed methods and remedies to research, learning in homeopathy is a lifelong process. Homeopaths are always looking for new techniques and remedies to cure those difficult cases.
What are the origins of homeopathy and where is it practiced today?
Homeopathy has ancient origins in many different culture and traditions. The Vedas practiced forms of homeopathy 5,000 years ago in India . The ancient Greeks, most notably Hippocrates, also practiced homeopathically.
In more recent times, Samuel Hahnemann, a German physician
"re-discovered" homeopathy during the late 18 th century. He became quite famous for curing cholera epidemics amongst the returning Napoleonic armies. Today homeopathy is practiced around the globe. It is used widely in Europe, South America and India . It is said that in the city of Bombay alone there are 10,000 homeopaths.