can homeopathy do for me?
can be used in a large number of different ailments, ranging from acute
illnesses such as the common cold, to long-term chronic conditions such
as asthma, hayfever or depression.
In any given condition, homeopathy maximises the potential for the individual,
by working alongside the bodys natural curative mechanisms. In many
ways, this approach is the opposite to that used by conventional (allopathic)
medicine. Many drugs and procedures employed by allopaths express this
difference by the prefix anti-. Examples of these include antibiotics,
anti-inflammatories, antacids, and so on.
Homeopaths view symptoms as a natural reaction of the body to dis-ease.
If the body is denied this particular avenue of expression, it will then
have to find another way of manifesting the imbalance. It is important
to realise that a particular bacteria or virus does not cause the illness.
The illness is a collection of symptoms produced by the body in response
to the presence of the bacteria or virus. It could also be argued that
the individual must have been in a state of dis-ease, which
made the body susceptible to the bacteria or virus. In such a model, illness
precedes the presence of a germ and thus is not caused by
Homeopathy is able to address an individuals susceptibility and
can therefore increase a persons health, even where a diagnosable
disease is not present.
The denial of the bodys natural expression of symptoms is known
to homeopaths and some other healthcare professionals as suppression.
We often see the progression of disease after symptoms have been suppressed
and in some instances this progression is accepted by conventional medics.
For example, there is a commonly accepted link between eczema and asthma.
If the eczema is suppressed by the use of steroid creams, the bodys
natural expression has been denied and the imbalance moves deeper into
the body often to the lungs. Similarly, repeated use of steroids
in arthritic conditions may give rise to heart problems in later life.
These are not side-effects of the medication but an attempt of the body
to correct the original imbalance.
treatment can be roughly divided into three types:-
The first type of treatment would be used for conditions such as a cold
or flu, ear infection, food poisoning, etc. It relates to diseases
which are short-lasting and self-limiting. In such instances, a homeopathic
remedy is selected on the basis of symptoms relating only to the acute
condition. In the case of a cold, the patient would be asked questions
relating to the colour and texture of any mucus, whether they are hot
or cold, prefer company or prefer to be alone, if they are thirsty or
have any strange food cravings, the nature of any pain and any possible
causative factor (e.g. cold wind, emotional stress, etc.).
The second type of treatment would relate to the treatment of individuals
with long-standing conditions such as asthma, eczema, arthritis, insomnia,
depression, etc. Such conditions dont usually have very violent
symptoms and may get worse over time if left alone. Treatment of chronic
conditions involves a much more thorough analysis and the homeopath will
ask questions that appear unrelated to the condition to be treated. A
patient will be asked about personality traits, childhood experiences,
how they sleep, what they like to eat or drink, what makes them
tick, etc. Of course, symptoms relating to the condition will also
be required such as what make the condition better or worse, the precise
nature and quality of any pain, if the condition is affected by time of
day or year, or by emotional factors.
The third type of treatment is similar to chronic treatment in that the
homeopath will attempt to identify a remedy which covers the most striking
and characteristic symptoms relating to both mind and body. It is therefore
possible to treat individuals with homeopathy even if they have no medically
recognisable or diagnosable disease. In many ways, treating a healthy
person makes the most effective use of homeopathy and in this way, it
can be used as a prophylactic theres no better prevention
against disease than good health!
Some homeopaths use constitutional types in order to simplify
homeopathic diagnostics. It is used to identify patients according to
temperament, appearance, certain characteristics of behaviour and their
variance from the normal. According to this system, a
pulsatilla person is expected to be fair skinned with fine blonde
hair, weepy and emotional, soft, warm-hearted, loathes fatty food, seldom
thirsty and any pain gets better on movement in open air. In contrast,
a nux vomica person is generally tall, thin, dark haired,
can be spiteful, is pre-disposed to intestinal problems, is addicted to
stimulants such as coffee and narcotics and can be very irritable and
Such stereotypes are useful to a certain extent, but most individuals
do not fit neatly into a category. The types themselves are
very limited; the pulsatilla type, for example, would automatically
rule out the majority of the population of the world who are not Caucasian!
There is no doubt that pulsatilla is a remedy that may be
required by people of all races. This is clearly a very basic model and
should be treated with some scepticism. Most introductory books on homeopathy
have a section where remedies and their symptoms or types are listed.
It is important not to attach too much importance to these and remember
that they are only simplified stereotypes.