Homœopathy is a complete system of medicine developed by German physician and chemist, Dr Samuel Hahnemann (1755-1843), based on the principle of “let likes cure likes”. This law or principle is based on a long held belief as far back as Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine, and other ancient healers such as Paracelsus, that substances which produce symptoms in a healthy individual can be used to treat similar symptoms in a sick person. Thus homœopathic treatment is believed to stimulate the body’s ability to fight infection and susceptibility to disease.
Homœopathy is now used worldwide, with a 200 year history of clinical experience. It is recognised by the World Health Organisation as a valid form of healthcare.
In Britain, for example, there are five homœopathic hospitals available under the National Health Service (NHS), including the London Homœopathic Hospital. The English Royal family has used it since Queen Victoria’s time in 1830, and it has wide acceptance throughout Europe. In France the most popular cold and flu remedy is a homœopathic medicine, and in India over 10,000 doctors use homœopathic medicines to treat their patients.
Homœopathy may be used in the treatment of chronic illness, acute conditions and minor accidents requiring first aid. It is a complementary medicine and can work alongside conventional treatments and medications where applicable or required.
How does homœopathy differ from conventional medicine?
Conventional medicine is based primarily on the concept that diseases are caused by harmful organisms such as bacteria and viruses. Treatment aims to either kill these organisms or to oppose the resulting local symptoms with drugs.
Homœopathic treatment strengthens a person’s health, acting as a catalyst, stimulating and directing the body’s ability to fight infection as well as resolving any underlying susceptibility to disease. Homœopathy views many symptoms in its quest to treat underlying tendencies to ill health. In this context, mental and emotional symptoms can sometimes play an important part in understanding this susceptibility.
What conditions can homœopathy treat?
Homœopathy aims to treat the whole person, taking into account personality, lifestyle and hereditary factors as well as the history of the disease. Since all patients are unique, homœopathic medicines are prescribed to treat patients as individuals. For example, headaches in different patients would each be treated with different medicines, according to the patient’s individual symptoms.
Homœopathy can be of benefit for all ages, at any stage including pregnant women, mothers, fathers, babies, young children, teenagers, and the elderly. Homœopathy can treat the symptoms of a wide range of conditions including, for example:
- Acute complaints – coughs, colds, earache, food poisoning, hangover, travel sickness etc.
- Chronic complaints – skin conditions, hormone imbalances, autoimmune conditions, depression, headaches, behavioural problems, bed wetting, digestive disturbances, asthma, arthritis etc.
- First aid situations – bites, stings, hives, injuries, trauma, shock etc.
- Vague symptoms – where there are no identifiable causes of disease, but the person feels far from well
What does a visit to a homœopath involve?
The first consultation with a homœopath will take more than an hour, however simple acute complaints may only take 15-30 minutes. Information relating to current symptoms and past medical history will be required. Questions may also be asked about diet, sleep, lifestyle, and about some mental and emotional aspects. Physical examinations may be required according to the particular complaint.
Treatment then involves the prescription of the most suitable medicine, matching all of the symptoms and individual characteristics of the patient to the medicine. Two people with the same condition may have very different prescriptions because of their own unique set of symptoms. Your practitioner might also advise general lifestyle and dietary changes as part of a treatment plan.
What type of medicine will be given?
Homœopathic medicines are made from a variety of sources, such as plants, animals and minerals. They are prepared according to strict guidelines set out in international pharmacopoeias, and under the control of the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA). Since the medicines are very dilute, homœopathic medicines are considered low-risk when prescribed by a registered homœopath. These medicines can be given in the form of liquid, granules, powder or tablets and are designed to stimulate the body’s natural healing forces.
A single dose or repeated doses of medicine may be given. These small amounts of medicine are sufficient to stimulate the body’s healing process.
Where illness has developed over a long time, several successive medicines may be needed during the course of weeks, months or years.
Are there any side effects?
Healing takes place in different ways and reactions to a medicine vary. Sometimes there is an immediate improvement. Sometimes healing begins with an increased feeling of well being, even though symptoms initially remain. In some cases, old symptoms recur as part of the healing process. Occasionally there is a temporary worsening of the symptoms prior to improvement.
Your homœopath may also work in consultation with your doctor or other healthcare practitioner if necessary.
Can homœopathic medicines be taken with conventional medicines?
Homœopathic medicines may be taken in conjunction with conventional drugs without any adverse effects; however, it is recommended that the advice of an AROH-registered homœopath be sought regarding this matter. All professional members of the Australian Homœopathic Association are registered with the Australian Register of Homœopaths (AROH).
Naturopathy and homœopathy?
Many people mistakenly think that “Homœopathy” and “Naturopathy” are one and the same thing. Naturopathy is a broad-spectrum practice which includes a number of natural therapies, and practitioners are likely to prescribe multiple medicines and treatments such as herbs, nutritional supplements, massage, acupuncture, diet and iridology, and may include some homœopathy as well. Naturopaths are often considered to be the ‘General Practitioners’ of natural therapies, whilst homœopathy is a specialist and separate therapy in its own right.
Excerpt from the Australian Homœopathic Association website.
INTEGRATED HEALING THERAPIES
LEANNE SIPPEL BHSc (Hom), Cert IV Bowen Therapy
56 Gore Street
MURGON QLD 4605
Phone: 0438 684 705
MONDAY – FRIDAY
9:00AM – 4:00PM
ACN: 613 403 197