Homeopathy Supporting the Body's Healing Power
Dr Md Akhter Hossain
What is homeopathy?
Homeopathy is a method of treatment that support's the body's own healing mechanism. It is based on the law of similars “like cures like”, introduced by Dr. Samuel Hahnemann. Being a talented and renowned allopathic doctor in Germany, he observed that, with the application of allopathic medicine, a chronic disease is not cured completely. It gives palliation or relieves suffering for the time being. Moreover, the side effects of the medicine (s) produce other diseases later on, thus aggravating the sufferings of a patient. This disturbed Dr. Hahnemann and he concluded that allopathic system could not be a natural method of curing a disease.
He started his investigation of discovering a natural method to cure a patient. While translating “Cullen Materia Medica” he came to know that cinchona bark can cure malarial patient. But how does it work? He thought for proving and so he took the mother tincture of cinchona bark. To his surprise, he found that he was affected by malarial signs and symptoms. So after some days, he diluted the mother tincture many times and took it again. To his utter surprise, he was cured from malarial signs and symptoms. He got the answer of “similia similibus curentur”- Like cures like (2).
In large quantities these substances would cause the same symptoms to the patient which we are trying to cure. In small, pure, diluted doses, it is not only safe and free from side effects, but it triggers the body and mind to heal itself.
Principles of Homeopathy
There are mainly three principles of homeopathy. They are:
(1) The proving of substances, to be used as medicines on the healthy;
(2) Like Cures Like;
(3) The single remedy- Apply only one remedy at a time; and
(4) The minimum dose- The medicine is to diluted many times to increase the healing energy (2).
Homeopathic related Forces
* Vital force- It's aim is to keep a person healthy.
* Disease force: Inimical to health- It's aim is to affect and disorganize the vital force to make a person sick.
* Medicinal force: Produces signs and symptoms in a healthy person like a disease force. But as a remedy it's aim is to stimulate the vital force to cure a patient (3).
How Does Homeopathy Work?
In homeopathic philosophy, when a disease force invades human being, it tries to defeat the vital force for its reign. The vital force tries to protect the human body and mind by keeping it organized. But if the disease force is stronger than the vital force, it disorganizes the array of the vital force and defeats it. When vital force is affected, disorganized and defeated by disease force or by any means, a person becomes sick. The vital force then produces signs and symptoms for help. A practitioner, considering the signs and symptoms, applies a stronger similar homeopathic medicine to stimulate the vital force to produce similar signs and symptoms which influence and repel previous signs and symptoms and thus cure the sick person. It means that vital force is strengthened by the medicinal force and fight back with the disease force and thus defeats it (4).
While in allopathic system of treatment, diagnosis is applied to identify a disease, in homeopathy it is anamnesis. For anamnesis a homeopath considers the followings:
(1) Location of the signs and symptoms
(2) Causations of signs and symptoms
(3) Sensation: Feeling- pain, burning, itching, restlessness, desire, position etc.
(4) Modalities: Amelioration and aggravation
(5) Constitution: Short, tall, black, fair, fat, flabby, slim etc.
(6) Hereditary influence (genetic)
(7) Environmental effects: Marshy place, hills, seashore, industry, soil type, warm place, cold place etc.
(8) Previous medicines taken
(9) Types of miasm (predisposition to chronic disease)
How Do I Know If Homeopathic medicine is working?
There are several ways the body and mind reacts to homeopathic medicine:
(1) Physical symptoms get a little worse, but the mental state improves. Later the physical symptoms improve.
(2) Most common reaction is improvement of mental and physical symptoms. Often the improvement is rapid, sometimes only 20-45 minutes.
(3) The patient starts to feel better, then progress seems to decline. If the symptoms are still the same then take another dose of the same remedy.
(4) The patient starts to feel better, then progress seems to decline. If the symptoms have changed since the initial remedy, select a new remedy.
(5) The patient does not improve, feels worse or the physical symptoms improve but the mental state is worse. These reactions could signal two things-
* The incorrect remedy was selected initially.
* The illness is due to more to a constitutional imbalance.
Depending on the seriousness of the condition; try to select a new remedy again.
(6) The rule of thumb is if there is improvement the patient should be left alone. While homeopathy is safe, over-prescribing can be a problem, as it can confuse the symptom picture. We tend to think, if a little is good- more is better. With homeopathy a little goes a long way. Be patient and watch the symptoms (6).
The writer is Director (Training) NIPORT, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
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