Homeopathy – Fundamentals
Homeopathy and the Vital Force
In order to fully appreciate Homeopathy, it is essential to understand some key aspects of the philosophy on which the homeopathic method is based upon.
One of the main principles of Homeopathy states that there is an energy that animates every living organism, known as the Vital Force. According to this principle, when a person is out of balance or has abnormal sensations, it is due to disturbances in the Vital Force.
Homeopathy and the Law of Similars
To be able to match a remedy for every single patient, Homeopathy works based on the “like cures like” principle. This principle was first introduced by Dr. Samuel Hahnemann (1755-1843), creator of Homeopathy. However, the idea underlying this principle predates Dr. Hahnemann and can be traced back to the works of the Father of Medicine Hippocrates (460-377 B.C.) and Paracelsus (1493-1541).
In the course of his studies, which involved countless experiments on himself as well as on his fellow colleagues and patients, the physician and pharmacologist Hahnemann came to the conclusion that the best medicine for a sick person would be the one that is able to reproduce similar symptoms in a healthy person.
For example, coffee, which produces excitability and sleeping difficulty in healthy subjects, can be used as a homeopathic remedy to relieve sleeplessness. Also, the humble onion, which can cause a runny nose, sneezes and watery eyes, can (when prepared as a homeopathic remedy – Allum Capa), be used to treat the symptoms of a person suffering exactly that type of a cold.
The role of the individual in Homeopathy
The singularity of each patient plays a major role in Homeopathy: In which specific way do symptoms manifest in a particular individual? As understood from a homeopathic stance, a patient who presents cold symptoms that include watery eyes, a runny nose and sneezing requires one specific remedy, while another patient with a cold that has no sneezing but coughing and thick green nasal discharge, needs a very different remedy.
Also, a person’s individual life history, experiences, personality traits, emotional state and social condition are to be considered important to the homeopath. Afterall, it is the specific aspects of the patients’s life what ends up shaping a unique and singular whole person. The idea behind this concept is the following: Homeopathy is just not merely treating a disease, as in the case of a cold, but rather, a particular person with a particular cold.
The homeopathic remedy as a stimulus
The homeopathic process is understood as follows: a homeopathic remedy works as a stimulus that should excite the Vital Force, that then comes back into balance all by itself. The goal therefore is to find the right homeopathic remedy that stimulates the Vital Force, so that this self-regulating process can start.
Homeopathy and the placebo effect
Critics of Homeopathy argue that what’s really at work is a placebo effect, because preparing homeopathic remedies involves diluting them up to a point where there are no traceable active substances left in them. Consequently, the mechanisms of action in which homeopathic remedies have an effect are not scientifically measurable. Nevertheless, Homeopathy continues to offer a system of remedies that has been in use for about 270 years, and it currently enjoys an ever-increasing popularity all over the world.