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There has been a lot of talk lately in Western cultures about homeopathy and homeopathic formulas that are on the market, but many people are unsure of what exactly homeopathy means. The follow is a definition of homeopathy, where it originated and how it is used today.
What is homeopathy?
There are two types of medicine – Eastern and Western. Western medicine is what most people in the United States are familiar with. It involves visiting a doctor or physician with a problem and being prescribed pills or drugs or antibiotics to treat symptoms of problems. Homeopathy is considered an Eastern form of healing or holistic medicine. Homeopathy was founded as a science over 200 years ago although healing methods of homeopathy date back to several thousand years ago. Homeopathy in essence is a healing technique that stimulates the body to heal and balance itself.
The origin of homeopathy comes from two Greek words 'homios' and 'pathos.' Homios is defined as similar while pathos is defined as suffering. By using substances that are similar to what the person is suffering from in small doses, the body learns to combat the problem and heal itself. Vaccinations use this principle. When homeopathic substances are given to healthy people they cause the symptoms that the same substance can cure in sick people.
Another key principle of homeopathy is that each person is an individual; a unique being unto themselves, therefore a treatment that may work for one person may not work for another. Western medicine will prescribe the same treatment for an illness for all people regardless of the way that person's body works. Homeopathic treatments work with individual needs to find the best type of healing for the individual taking into account the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual aspects of the person.
Traditional homeopathic treatments look at the greater picture of each human being. Because we are affected by the way we perceive the world as well as how we process the external through the internal, homeopaths focus not only on symptoms but how the person lives such as sleep patterns, preferred foods, likes, dislikes, fears and more (all the things that make us individuals). Only one remedy is used at a time in homeopathy in order to determine its effectiveness instead of the layered treatment that Western medicine may use such as (if this isn't working, let's add this.). Homeopathy believes that less is more an only introduces minimal doses of remedies so the body can work to heal itself and not become dependent on medication for relief.
Homeopathic remedies are derived from herbs, plants, minerals, metals and animal products. By using substances available through nature they do not produce side effects such as man-made chemicals or substances. They generally cost less than Western treatments because there are no patents on them. Natural ingredients cannot be patented and thus offer no profits to drug companies.
By teaching the body to heal itself, homeopathy creates a stronger more capable body. Using natural remedies while working with individual experiences generally result in a less invasive treatment than Western Medicine. Western medicine treats the symptoms of the problem and not the root cause, meaning that a disease could go untreated for a long period of time while symptoms continue to come back time and again. Homeopathy looks for the root of the problem, not the symptoms. What lies under the surface? How do we put the body back in balance?
In the Western world, we are familiar with western healing, however the three most common forms of treatment throughout the world are as follows: Herbal medicine, Oriental medicine and Homeopathic medicine. The science of homeopathy is not a new one, it is one that has been in existence for hundreds of years as an organized science but has been used for thousands of years to treat ailing bodies.