The highest ideal of cure is rapid, gentle and permanent restoration of the health, or removal and annihilation of the disease in its whole extent, in the shortest, most reliable, and most harmless way, on easily comprehensible principles. (Hahnemann)
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What is homoeopathy?
How does it differ from naturopathy, acupuncture and herbal medicine?
What kind of conditions or diseases can be treated homoeopathically?
Are there any limitations of homoeopathy?
What is in those remedies, how are they made and how do they work?
What should I be aware of when taking homoeopathic medication?
How does a homoeopath choose a particular remedy for a person?
Are there harmful side effects from taking a homoeopathic remedy?
Can homoeopathic remedies be taken along with conventional medications?
Is it ok for children, pregnant women, elderly people or animals to take homoeopathic remedies?
Are there any situations or reasons to not use homoeopathy?
How long does it take for homoeopathy to work?
What happens during a homoeopathic consultation?
How frequently is it appropriate to have consultations?
What is Constitutional homoeopathy?
Why not just treat myself with homoeopathic remedies from the health food store?
Should I change my diet?
Should I change my life style?
What training do homoeopaths receive and how are they licensed?
What are the origins of homoeopathy and where is it practiced today?
How can I learn more about homoeopathy?

What is homoeopathy?

There are many ways to answer this question. Fundamentally, homoeopathy is a very unique healing art that stimulates the body's core vitality to rid itself of illness and promote wellness.
In a more formal sense, it is a medical system based on a specific set of principles regarding health, illness, cure and pharmacology. It addresses the causes of acute or chronic disease through the use of highly energised substances specifically chosen to match the individual state of the person and stimulate the inner healing forces.


How does it differ from naturopathy, acupuncture and herbal medicine?

While homoeopathy and these healing arts are similar in that they do not employ drugs or other conventional medical procedures, each one is also quite distinctive. Naturopathy is a broad term encompassing a host of natural healing arts ranging from nutrition to water cures. Acupuncture is one branch of Oriental Medicine that stimulates and balances the body's energy. Herbal medicine, also known as "Botanical Medicine", uses material doses of plant substances for treatment. Homoeopathy is generally considered a natural healing art. It does not originate in the Orient, nor does it use material doses of substances.


What kind of conditions or diseases can be treated homoeopathically?

Homoeopathy is applicable to a broad range of maladies including acute inflammations, systemic imbalances, chronic degenerative diseases and in the treatment of emotional disorders. By its very nature, homoeopathic treatment is not specific to a particular illness, but is directed at the underlying life force of the person suffering from that illness. By addressing this life force, the appropriately chosen remedy effectiv598c">Are there any limitations of homoeopathy?

Yes, it can not prevent old age and death, nor can it usually make lost organs and limbs grow back or stimulate a growth of a body unit for which there is no genetic code.


What is in those remedies, how are they made and how do they work?

All homoeopathic remedies are single substances and traditionally derived from an extraordinarily wide variety of plant, animal and mineral substances. They are made through a process of serial dilutions, where the original substance is diluted in medicinal alcohol and is 'succussed', meaning that it's healing properties are separated from the substance matter. The resultant remedy solution is then diluted and succussed again, which enhances the healing information and decreases the original substance matter. This process is done repeatedly, sometimes hundreds or thousands of times, resulting in an extremely potent remedy with very strong healing information and very little or no original substance. By selecting a remedy that closely matches the individual characteristics of a person, the homoeopathic remedy is able to stimulate a deep curative reaction on the level of life information or the level of the life force.
Conventional medicine claims that homoeopathy functions only as a placebo. However, several controlled clinical studies have been performed by medical researchers, showing that homoeopathy is an effective method of treatment for many diseases. The best summary of research can be found in a study published in the British Medical Journal. Its authors are not homoeopaths but medical school professors asked by the Dutch government to review existing research: "Clinical Trials of Homeopathy.", Kleijnen, Jos, Knipschild, Paul, et al., British Medical Journal, Feb 9, 1991, v302, n6772, p516(8). Another, more recent, study showed that homoeopathy is decidedly different in its action from a placebo and can be found in the Dec 20, 1994 issue of the British medical journal Lancet.


What should I be aware of when taking homoeopathic medication?

Homoeopathic preparations are extremely safe to take because of their highly diluted form. Nonetheless, frequent repetition of a dose without the advice of a professional is not recommended. Remedies should not be taken together with food because this might interfere with their absorption. Take them at least 30 minutes before or after eating or drinking and let them dissolve in the mouth. Your homoeopath will give you more specific instructions if necessary.
Sometimes an initial worsening of your symptoms can occur. This initial aggravation is usually a good sign and signifies that your body is responding to the remedy. Although the physical symptoms might get worse for a short period of time, you as a whole will start to feel better almost immediately. The aggravation will subside quickly, followed by the recovery.


How does a homoeopath choose a particular remedy for a person?

Homoeopaths take great care to understand people's symptoms, how they experience illness as well as their general state of being. By exploring what truly makes people unique, the homoeopath gains insight into the nature of their vital life force and is thus able to select an appropriate remedy to stimulate it to effect a curative reaction.


Are there harmful side effects from taking a homoeopathic remedy?

Since the remedies are highly diluted, they do not contain significant amounts of the original substance from which they are made. Therefore, they do not have the toxic effects associated with many conventional medications or other substances. They are, however, powerful energetic stimuli and must be used with discretion and proper knowledge of application. Sometimes, as part of the curative process, a person will experience a temporary intensification of symptoms. Homoeopathic remedies are also non-addictive.


Can homoeopathic remedies be taken along with conventional medications?

As a general rule no. However, the individual case has to be assessed and a temporary period may occur where conventional drugs are being reduced with the aim of eliminating the medication altogether, while homoeopathic remedies are already administered. The application of both kinds of medications should be avoided, because it can cause severe aggravations in the patient. In some life threatening situations or drug dependencies, however, it may be justified to apply both medicines at the same time.


Is it ok for children, pregnant women, elderly people or animals to take homoeopathic remedies?

Absolutely, homoeopathy is a wonderful, gentle healing modality appropriate for people of all ages and conditions. It also is extensively used to treat animals.


Are there any situations or reasons to not use homoeopathy?

Yes. Although homoeopathy can possibly be of benefit for the treatment of any condition, a positive outcome is based on working with a competent homoeopath and a willingness to commit to a mutually acceptable treatment plan. If you are unable to do this, it is not the time to do homoeopathy. It must be clear that neither the homoeopath not the homoeopathic remedy is achieving a cure; it is always an achievement of the patient and consequently requires an input of effort on behalf of the patient.


How long does it take for homoeopathy to work?

It all depends on the circumstances and how one defines "work". Homoeopathy targets the patient and not the pathology; hence an improvement in the patient means the remedy works. Generally speaking in emergencies the remedy usually acts within seconds or minutes, in acute diseases the remedy usually acts within minutes or hours, while in chronic complaints the remedy acts within days to weeks. Factors which impact on how quickly the remedy act include the strength of the patient's vitality, the strength of the pathology and the adherence to the homoeopath's recommendations to assisting measures. As a rule of the thumb, the longer a problem has been present the longer it will take to eradicate it. Some complaints which have been present in a family over many generations may take years before they improve or disappear. Overall however, a general improvement of a well chosen remedy will commence the moment the remedy touches the mucosa of the mouth.


What happens during a homoeopathic consultation?

Essentially your homoeopath will listen deeply to you - listening to understand the many different aspects of your personality and your state of health. Facts of disease, descriptions of pains, emotional reactions, dreams and physical sensations are all relevant, as well as how you move your body and how you react to stress. Your homoeopath may ask you to explain yourself in order to understand what you mean. It is important to express yourself honestly. The better your homoeopath understands your nature, the easier it will be to find the best remedy for you. The more a certain symptoms or a certain trait in your personality defines you and distinguishes you from others, the more important it is to tell your homoeopath. Since this therapy is about the treatment of states of suffering you may concentrate on your imperfections and weak spots. Generally speaking the harder it is for you to admit to this or that characteristic and the less you want others to know about it, the more important it is to tell your homoeopath about it.


How frequently is it appropriate to have consultations?

This depends on the nature of your complaint. In emergencies it may be necessary to reassess the case every few minutes. In acute conditions it may be necessary to reassess the case every few hours or every few days. In all other cases your homoeopath should ensure the right direction of the applied remedy after 7-10 days. When everything goes according to expectations it may be sufficient to have contact once a month thereafter. The more you adhere to the recommendations given the less often does the case need to be re-evaluated and the shorter the consultations will be.


What is Constitutional homoeopathy?

Constitutional prescribing is a system of prescribing remedies based on a deep understanding of the individual's disturbed life force. When this basic energy imbalance is corrected, any troublesome symptoms will fall away. Constitutional prescribing is a challenging discipline for which professional homoeopaths train and study many years.


Why not just treat myself with homoeopathic remedies from the health food store?

It is next to impossible to understand and assess one's own deepest energetic imbalance. We seem to be often blind to our own states. Even professional homoeopaths often need to see another practitioner for their own treatment. In addition, professionals use up to 5,000 possible remedies in varying strengths. Health food stores usually carry 20 to 30 basic remedies in lower strength. Treating oneself with constitutional homoeopathic remedies usually is a recipe for frustrations and can often lead to greater difficulties. Any damages caused by wrongful homoeopathic remedy applications can stay for many years or life long and may even be passed on to off spring. If however you embark on a homoeopathic course that teaches you the science of homoeopathic prescribing then there is no concern about you treating yourself. In this instance ensure a good source for your homoeopathic remedies, which usually is a homoeopathic pharmacy trained in the proper storage and handling of these remedies.


Should I change my diet?

Different homoeopaths may advise differently on this issue. Any good practitioner will ensure that your diet is wholesome and will give you proper advice if this is not the case. Homoeopathy can not replace a healthy diet.


Should I change my life style?

This depends on what life style you are living. In case your life style is responsible for your poor state of health then the homoeopath needs to advise you accordingly. Certain activities may contribute to your suffering, like exposure to certain pollutants, heavy lifting, sitting all day or certain habits may decrease your health, like the intake of excessive amounts of alcohol or drugs or the smoking of cigarettes. Also certain mental, emotional or moral behaviours may need to be modified in case they obstruct a state of good health.


What training do homoeopaths receive and how are they licensed?

Professional homoeopaths are mostly trained at various schools and training programs. Because there is an enormous body of existing knowledge to be mastered as well as recently developed methods and remedies to research, learning in homoeopathy is a lifelong process. Each country has its own sets of legislation governing professional homoeopaths. As a general rule of the thumb private health insurances will only accept fully qualified homoeopaths in their practitioner lists.


What are the origins of homoeopathy and where is it practiced today?

Homoeopathy has ancient origins in many different culture and traditions. The Vedas practiced forms of homoeopathy 5,000 years ago in India. The ancient Greeks, most notably Hippocrates, also practiced homoeopathically.

In more recent times, Samuel Hahnemann, a German physician "re-discovered" homoeopathy during the late 18th century. He became quite famous for curing cholera epidemics amongst the returning Napoleonic armies. Today homoeopathy is practiced around the globe. It is used widely in Europe, South America and India. It is said that in the city of Bombay alone there are 10,000 homoeopaths.


How can I learn more about homoeopathy?

A number of homoeopathic courses are offered on this website. Books about homoeopathy are available in many health food stores and book stores. A list of some of the most common ones is given below:

  • George Vithoulkas, Homeopathy: Medicine of the New Man This book is a good introduction to the homoeopathic philosophy.
  • Gerhard Koehler, The Handbook of homoeopathy - It's Principle And Practice This book is for the more serious student; it covers the breadth and depth of homoeopathy with exceptional thoroughness. Not so much a practical guide but a well presented layout of the homoeopathic principles
  • Samuel Hahnemann, The Organon of Medicine, 6th Ed. This is the latest edition of the "bible" of homoeopathy. It contains the principles of homoeopathy as its founder, Samuel Hahnemann, saw them in his time (around 1810). This book is a bit difficult to read, but a must for a serious student.

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