Sunday, January 4, 2015

Alternative Health Care Systems: Homeopathy


by


Maria Teresa De Donato, PhD, RND, CNC, CMH, CHom


About Homeopathy

Homeopathy is a philosophical and an alternative health care system based on non-aggressive, non-invasive therapies whose remedies are characterized by highly diluted substances aiming at soliciting one's own natural self healing ability. Depending on the specific symptomatology described by the client, the homeopath identifies the most appropriate remedy to recommend. The closer the remedy, also called “simillimum”, to the totality of the individual's symptoms and personality characteristics the more effective it is, and, consequently, the higher the possibility for the client to heal. Homeopathy, as a holistic methodology, has a mind-body-spirit approach to health, and sees symptoms as part of the body's alarm and self-defense mechanism and the disease as being not the cause of any substance or diseased-matter, but rather as the result of a blockage or derangement of the life force, the vital principle animating the body. Hence, according to homeopathy, healing is only possible depending on the ability and strength of the vital force to counteract the effect of the chosen remedy at any given time. 

Christian Friedrich Samuel Hahnemann


Although Hippocrates had already developed the Law of Similia, Galeno included the Aristotelian theory of the Four Humors in his practice, according to which blood, choler (yellow bile), melancholy (black bile), and phlegm must be kept in balance to maintain a state of vitality and health, and Paracelsus already argued that disease was not caused by external factors but rather by energy imbalance within the body which prevented healing from occurring, opposed amputation and introduced substances such as opium, sulphur, and arsenic in his practice, it is the German physican Samuel Hahnemann (1755-1843) who is considered the Father and Founder of modern Homeopathy.
Hahnemann was dissatisfied with what he considered as the failure of conventional medicine and contrary to some common practices such as bloodletting. After years of observation and proving remedies on himself and other healthy individuals in order to build up a homeopathic Materia Medica, he created a complete new, revolutionary health care system: Homeopathy.
The term homeopathy derives from the Greek words hómoios meaning 'similar or like, and páthos, meaning suffering and which is in contrast with conventional medicine, referred by homeopaths as 'allopathic', which originates from the Greek words állos, that is "other" or "different", and páthos with the latter being based on the use of pharmaceutical drugs to suppress symptoms and diseases. As previously stated, homeopathy does not fight symptoms for it sees them as a way for the body to communicate with us but rather tries to identify the leading cause of a certain health issue or disease in order to remove it while taking in account not only the physical condition but also, and above all, the mental, psychological and spiritual state of the individual.

Laws of Homeopathy


Homeopathy is characterized by the following major Laws:

  • The Law of Similia, also known as similia similibus curantur, that is “likes are cured by likes” and which is based on the assumption that substances that have the ability to provoke certain symptoms and diseases in a healthy individual are also able to treat them in a sick person;
  • The Law of Simplex, applied by those practicing Classical Homeopathy, which recommends one only remedy to be administered at a time. According to this law, in fact, once the correct remedy has been identified it should be effective and sufficient for healing to take place. In some particular and more complex cases, however, more than one remedy may be recommended also by classical homeopaths.
  • The Law of Minimum, according to which, though lower potencies may require longer time to be effective, their use will, nonetheless, avoid stressing the individual during the healing phase. Homeopathic remedies present a variety of doses, ranging from those resembling, as for concentration, some pharmaceutical drugs to those which are characterized by very high dilutions containing no material trace of the original substance used for their production. Though the Law of Minimum is valid and a fundamental one, also higher potencies can be as effective and in some cases even required.
  • Law of Vital Force, which in harmony with esoteric anatomy and physiology, is the invisible, subtle, dynamic energy animating the human body. Depending on its balance or imbalance it determines a state of physical and mental health or, to the contrary, one of disease.
  • Law of Chronic Diseases (Miasmas). Hahnemann defined a miasmas as “energy block(s) from healing” (aphorism # 78), that is a predisposition to chronic disease that is transmitted down from one generation to the other and which – he believed – are responsible for hindering treatment and preventing people from healing. To counteract them, he created remedies called Nosodes and identified three specific miasmas:
    a) Psora, which relates to scabies
    b) Sycosis, which is linked to gonorrhea,
    c) Syphilis, which is based on syphilis.
    In more recent times, Cancer and Tuberculosis have also been considered by some homeopaths as potential miasmas and added to the above list.
    Identifying the root cause of a health condition, especially chronic disease, with a specific miasma does not mean that the individual is affected or has been affected by psora, sycosis or syphilis but only that the specific miasma, or predisposition, was passed on from one generation to the other strengthening itself while weakening, at each generational passage, the vital force of the individuals and their ability to heal.
  • Law of Drug-proving, which is needed to create and elaborate the Materia Medica and consists in utilizing a healthy person to test remedies in order to identify symptoms produced by a specific remedy.
  • Law of Dynamization, which along with the process of dilution is the hallmark of homeopathic remedy production. Generally speaking, the high dilution and the process of dynamization (also called  potentization or succussion), that is the vigorous shaking of a diluted homeopathic preparation in order to activate the medicinal substance during its manufacturing phase, are common denominators of all homeopathic remedies.
  • The Law of Cure. According to Homeopathy the healing process takes place in the following order:
    a) Symptoms and disease heal from the deepest level, which includes vital organs, to the most superficial one;
    b) Symptoms and disease heal in the reverse order that they manifest, starting with the most recent and going backwards;
    c) Symptoms and disease improve or even heal from the top of the body going downwards;
    d) Symptoms and disease heal from the most important, vital organs to the least important, superficial organs; and
    e) Symptoms and disease heal from the center of the body to the periphery. 

Homeopathic Remedies

Homeopathic remedies are made of natural ingredients from infinitesimal amounts of substances originating from plants, animals, minerals and other biological sources.  They are effective and thanks to the high dilution process they undergo are safe, non-addictive, have no side-effects and can be used either as alternative or as integrative-complementary therapy in conjunction to pharmaceutical drugs or other conventional treatments.

Homeopathy can help many health conditions including acute and chronic ones.

Acute are problems you have that may start all of a sudden and usually last one day to a month (like flu, cold, cramps, cough, etc.).  Some of them may be caused by viruses, disappear by themselves, or taken care of either with antibiotics (conventional/allopathic medicine) or with more natural and less aggressive remedies (homeopathic remedies, herbalism and other holistic health therapies).

Chronic are problems that last two months or more (like arthritis, diabetes, migraines, depression, eczema, etc.) and may be caused by several factors including family history and environment. Though there is no guarantee that these sorts of health issues will disappear completely, most of them, if well managed, may lead to a normal life almost symptoms free through a change in eating and lifestyle habits.

For a complete list of homeopathic remedies you can click on

Dr. De Donato's Philosophy

As a Classical Homeopath Dr. De Donato follows the rules and principles of homeopathy established by Dr. Hanehmann more than 200 years ago.  She takes in great account the mind-body-spirit components, identifies the Constitutional type of each individual and matches it with the proper remedy. Her practice takes place via online conferences after the client has contacted her first via email to schedule a 15 minute FREE Skype consultation (dedoholistic), made the payment via PayPal, received and filled in a detailed questionnaire and sent it back to her. For more information, you can contact her at info@dedoholistic.com


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