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Homeopathy Print E-mail
by Ron Kennedy, M.D., Santa Rosa, CA

Dr. Kennedy

Homeopathy is probably the most difficult of the mainstream alternative methods of healing for conventional doctors to understand. It was derived empirically by Samuel Hahnemann who discovered that a substance, which causes the symptoms of an illness, when given in a small dose acts as a trigger to intensify the healing processes that the body's immune system has already begun.

Doctors are not scientists. They like to imagine they are scientists, but really they are clinicians. The real mode of action of most medicines prescribed by conventional doctors are not fully understood by those doctors. Nevertheless, doctors have their explanations and they dream that this makes them scientists. The problem conventional medicine has with homeopathy (aside from the fact that it is competition) is that no explanation so far has been satisfying. Homeopaths themselves are less concerned with explanation and more concerned with results.

Homeopaths share with doctors who practice nutritional medicine the point of view that merely suppressing symptoms with drugs in no way goes to the heart of a health problem and that until one deals with the actual imbalance which produced the symptom in the first place, the disease process will continue to press for expression. Health problems may seem to disappear after drug administration, but the imbalance may appear in a new form.

Homeopaths attempt to look at the entire complex presented by a patient by way of the time honored method of taking a thorough history and performing a complete physical exam (this is rapidly becoming a lost art in the age of specialization.) Then a single homeopathic remedy, matching the whole picture, is chosen.

These natural remedies are made from plants, minerals and other natural substances. They are prepared by a process of step by step repeated dilution and shaking, which makes them capable of stimulating the body's own immune system. The remedy is usually given one time only, and then allowed to work for a long time. Homeopaths believe that the patient is best served by the least amount of intervention necessary to achieve health.

Homeopathy is very common and accepted in England, France, Switzerland, Germany, India and many other countries. Like nutritional medicine, homeopathy is not well known in the United States yet, though it is growing fast due to its high success rate in helping people, especially those who cannot be helped by conventional medicine.

Homeopathy is often effective with people who have chronic diseases. This includes long-term physical or emotional problems, as well as illnesses which return over and over. Whether conventional medicine considers the condition curable or not is not a major factor in determining whether homeopathy can help. Homeopathy is also used with people who have problems which bother them, even though no disease has been diagnosed.

Homeopathic remedies are chosen based upon the "Law of Similars." This law states that a medicine which produces a set of symptoms in a healthy person will cure the same set of symptoms in an ill person. Each homeopathic remedy has been tested on large numbers of healthy people to discover which symptoms it produces in these people to determine the symptoms it is capable of treating in people who are ill. (By the Law of Similars, these two lists are identical.) Single symptoms are not matched, but the whole pattern of symptoms.

Homeopathic remedies are all natural medicines. Some are herbs, some minerals or other natural substances. They are prepared by a process of step by step dilution and shaking which makes them potent.

One thing that really bothers conventional doctors is that homeopaths claim their preparations become more potent as they are progressively diluted. In other words, the less of the original ingredient mixed in the water (pure distilled water) the more powerful the preparation. This goes directly against the conventional idea that the higher the concentration of the medicine, the greater the effect in the body.

The most recent explanation of why homeopathy works is the rather charming idea that it is the resultant structure of the water remaining behind after the dilutions which is the therapeutic agent. Molecules of water (H 2 O, or H / O \ H in terms of spacial relationship) are said to relate to each other in dynamic liquid crystal form and this dynamic liquid crystal is more pure when it is freed from the original architect of the crystal (the "medicine").

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