Many Californians mistakenly use the terms "Homeopathy" and "Naturopathy" as one in the same. The truth is is that Homeopathy is its own specific system of Medicine, like Chinese Medicine or Herbal Medicine. Naturopathic Doctors receive Homeopathic training as part of their medical school program. Therefore, many Naturopathic Doctors are also Homeopaths.
So what is Homeopathy then? Most Americans have grown up with the conventional medical paradigm; learning to suppress symptoms as a means to “cure.” For example, when you have pain you take an aspirin to stop feeling the pain, or if you have a cough you take a cough suppressant, or suppress a fever with Tylenol. The symptoms may disappear and you may feel better, but these medicines do not cure.
As Naturopathic Doctors, we understand that symptoms are the body’s only way of telling you that something is wrong or out of balance. The pain is your body’s way to stop yourself from further injury and forces you to rest. The cough is the body trying to expel something from your lungs and the fever is one of the body’s most vital means of fighting an infection and killing invasive bacteria.
Homeopathy offers an approach that works with the body’s natural ability to heal. It is a system of medicine that is based on the laws of similars. This law of nature states that a disease can be cured by using a substance that can produce the same or similar symptoms of the disease.
Over 200 years ago, Samuel Hahnemann organized the system of medicine of Homeopathy. He was familiar with the law of similars and put it to use after observing his own symptoms after taking quinine. He realized that the symptoms he developed were very similar to the symptoms of malaria. Hahnemann remembered this and decided to conduct an experiment using it in the next case of malaria he saw. Amazingly, the patient was rapidly cured when given quinine. Hahnemann recorded the symptoms of more and more substances, and without fail, cured the diseases those symptoms represented.
Today, homeopathy is practiced around the world, and in some countries it stands as the primary method of treatment. Although the popularity of homeopathy has waxed and waned over the past two hundred years it has been again growing in popularity as people acknowledge its ability to restore health and often cure the incurable.
When using homeopathic medicine, a trained practitioner takes the time to understand all of the symptoms of the patient. Not only are the physical symptoms of their disease important, but the mental and emotional symptoms are also essential in choosing the best homeopathic remedy for that individual. If the right remedy is not chosen, often times no reaction at all is seen. This does not mean that homeopathy doesn't work. What is does mean is that the right remedy was not chosen. Given the right remedy, the body responds rather immediately and the patient often says, "I just feel more like myself..." The body realigns itself physically, mentally and emotionally.
Naturopathic Doctors trained in Homeopathic Medicine have a strong advantage over those trained in homeopathy alone, as it is extremely important to understand the natural progressive of a given disease before you can know how to prescribe for it.
Homeopathic medicines are extremely safe and effective. They are most often made from plants, minerals or animals. These substances are given in miniscule doses to eliminate the possibility of any side effects. Homeopathic medicines are safe in pregnancy, in children and the elderly. They can also be safely used in conjunction with other medications and neutraceuticals. This powerful medicine is also extremely cost effective.
Homeopathy can be effective in treating most acute conditions, like the common cold, the flu and ear infections. It is also successful in treating more serious and chronic diseases like ADHD, Autism, irritable bowel, crohns, ulcerative colitis, eczema, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and other auto-immune conditions to name a few, as well as mental emotional disturbances such as depression, anxiety, and bi-polar disorder.
Here are two examples of how powerful homeopathy is:
A 35 year old woman sought homeopathic care for her debilitating depression and anxiety. When her depression wasn’t keeping her in bed, her anxiety was preventing her from going out. She wasn’t able to hold a job, and trips to the supermarket were too overwhelming. She was so depressed at times she was having suicidal thoughts. She also felt very alone and that no one cared about her.
Taking all of these, and her other symptoms into consideration, I prescribed Aurum metallicum (which is made from gold). Over a period of three months she improved dramatically. Both her depression and anxiety improved drastically. She was able to get up in the mornings and function again. She began working again and was in the process of completing a six week intensive training with 60 other co-workers. When this patient first came to my office, she had been on two pharmaceuticals; one for her depression and another for her anxiety. She was eventually able to discontinue both of these.
A 60 year old male came in with a long history of chronic sinusitis. He had been having sinus infections since he was about 20 years old. In the past three years he had undergone two sinus surgeries that were supposed to eliminate his recurrent infections. Still suffering, he was then presented with yet another surgical option, which involved peeling away part of his face to then scrape out the sinuses in his forehead. To date, he had been on well over 30 rounds of antibiotics and was currently on eight different medicines all related to his sinus infections.
Obviously this approach was not working. He was an engineer and was very dedicated to his work, he would often become annoyed with co-workers who would “waste time” having non-work related discussions at nearby workstations. He would become so annoyed that he would interrupt them to warn them that he would write them up unless they used their vacation time to have these discussions at work. He was generally a chilly person.
I prescribed Nux vomica and had him discontinue two of his medications. After only three weeks under homeopathic care, his sinus symptoms cleared up completely. He was able to continue without sinus infections for an additional six months, which he had not done for over 12 years. Presently this patient is still doing well.
If you have further questions regarding Homeopathic Medicine, please feel free to contact us at 831.477.1377.
"The introduction of homeopathy forced the old school doctor to stir around and learn something of a rational nature about his business. You may honestly feel grateful that homeopathy survived the attempts of the allopaths to destroy it."
- Mark Twain
Harper's Bazaar , 1890