What is homeopathic medicine?
Homeopathy (homeopathic medicine) is a system of medicine founded in the early 19th century by a German physician, Dr. Samuel Christian Hahnemann (1775-1843). Classical homeopathy rests on three principles:
The law of similars states that a disease is cured by a medicine that creates symptoms similar to those the patient is experiencing. Hence, an important part of the prescription of a homeopathic medicine is a lengthy interview to determine all the symptoms. The homeopathic physician then prescribes the medicine that best matches the symptoms.
The principle of the single remedy states that a single medicine should cover all the symptoms the patient is experiencing: mental, emotional and physical.
The principle of the minimum dose has two parts. First, the homeopathic physician prescribes only a small number of doses of the homeopathic medicine and waits to see what effect the medicine has. Second, the medicine is given in an infinitesimal dose.
What conditions should homeopathic medicine be used for?
Homeopathy is used for a wide variety of conditions. Some common conditions said to benefit from homeopathic remedies are pain related to teething, bumps and bruises due to injury, and minor skin irritations. Self-limiting conditions like sprains, coughs, colds and flu can benefit from homeopathy (though critics contend that the body’s natural healing mechanisms are responsible for cures, not homeopathy). Chronic, non-life threatening conditions such as bed-wetting and chronic otitis media are often treated with homeopathic remedies. There are other uses of homeopathy for various illnesses and diseases; however, if the condition is not self-limiting, one should seek medical advice from a physician.
What should one expect on a visit to a practitioner of homeopathic medicine?
A comprehensive interview is needed to determine all the symptoms the client is having, in order to determine the medication that produces those same symptoms. This can take up to an hour or even more. This detailed interview covers the client’s mental, physical and emotional well-being. Expect to be asked about all aspects of life including eating and sleeping habits, fears, sexuality, even patterns of elimination. Then, a homeopathic medication is prescribed, and the client reports the effects in follow up visits. Dosages are then adjusted and if symptoms change, so will the homeopathic prescription.
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