Wise Woman Health
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Homeopathy has its roots in Hippocrates and Paracelsus recognizing that, Like can cure Like. Samuel Hahnemann (nee 1755) was a German Chemist and M.D. who left the M.D. profession in the latter 1700’s, refusing further to participate in the frequent damaging of people by blood-letting; the use of Mercury in crude form; the use of other toxins in crude form; and in treating disease rather than the person who is suffering disease. Instead, he continued his valuable work translating chemistry texts into multiple languages, adding enlightening critiques in the margins. Authors appreciated the strengthening of their medical writings before they went into print.
After extensive experimenting with minimal doses of medicines in the late 1700's to see cure without the side effects common in the modern medicine of his time (as in our present times), he organized and expanded upon the ancient idea of Like Cures Like to create a systematic medicine, Homeopathy, now put to use by 1 in 12 -14 people in the world, depending on sources used as reference. The World Health Organization says over 500 million people depend on Homeopathy.
Here you will find extensive information about Homeopathy because in these times where everyone sees homeopathic remedies on store shelves OTC, at the same time very few actually understand Classical Homeopathy or anything about appropriate dosage or frequency of use. I seek to help those interested in learning more, regardless whether they are my patients. I also wish to give M.D.'s, N.D.'s, OMD's, Surgeons, Psychiatrists, Ayurvedic Doctors, Lay Midwives, Doulas, Lactation Consultants, CNM's Dentists, Orthodontists, Osteopaths, Nutritionists, Registered Dieticians, Acupuncturists, Shiatsu practitioners, CranioSacral Therapists, Chiropractors, Physical Therapists, Massage Therapists, Reiki practitioners, and other healthcare providers a place to come privately when you have a few minutes to sit with a cup of tea and get information about this full medical system, what the World Health Organization has called the second largest medical system in the world.
What's Hippocrates (460-377 B.C.), called the 'Father of Medicine', have to do with Homeopathy? Here is what he had to say:
“By similar things a disease is produced and through the application of the like is cured.”
Similia Similibus Curentur
Samuel Hahnemann, Doctor and Chemist, developed Hippocrates' and Paracelsus' understandings of 'Like Cures Like' into this full system of medicine.
So what is Homeopathy? Ask on the streets and you’ll hear various suggestions such as that Homeopathy is herbs, or Homeopathy is an Organic diet, or that it is just about anything that people consider generally healthy care.
It’s nice that so many people have a positive association with Homeopathy but the truth is that, not too many in the U.S. actually understand Homeopathy. Homeopathy is an old and tried and true medicine, and in fact is Western Medicine, but is far from what most people refer to as Western Medicine.
Most people referring to Western Medicine are referring to Conventional Medicine, which is rife with the very dangers Hahnemann refused to perpetuate. He took old concepts, experimented, and methodically created a new medicine to help people, without harm.
To this day, over 225 years later, not one true homeopathic medicine of the thousands in our Pharmacopoeia has been recalled by the FDA. There have, however, recently been non-homeopathic products showing up on store shelves labeled as homeopathic. This problem is on the radar of the FDA and is being addressed.
It’s not unlike people using the word ‘Organic’ to try to cash in on something which has a particular meaning but without taking the time, expertise, and money to meet particular legal requirements. You can’t easily stop some people’s greed, so it’s important to have a little background in order to make your own informed choices.
BASIC TENETS OF HOMEOPATHY:
Like Cures Like: A substance which in a healthy subject temporarily creates a disease state can be used in a person who actually is in that disease state and will help stimulate the body’s Vital Force - like Chi, or Prana - to cast off the disease state and move toward homeostasis
Minimum Dose: In Conventional Medicine it is common to have large quantities of crude substances given and many unintended, dangerous effects commonly ensue. Homeopathy uses dramatically diluted amounts of crude material, and succussion is used to add a dynamic power to the medicine
Only one Homeopathic remedy taken at a time: While upon occasion we use a compound medicine (example: Natrum Sulphuricum), these substances carefully are brought together and made into the compound medicine in order to bring together the properties of each of the two substances for very specific purposes. This is completely different than mixed products which show up on store shelves, products throwing together 6, 8, or even 10 homeopathic remedies in hopes that one of them might happen to be the one to which you might respond when, say, you have a cold. This is not Classical Homeopathy and is like throwing spaghetti at a wall, hoping a single strand will stick. Ten people with Whooping Cough are likely to require 10 differing remedies because the Classical Homeopath is not treating disease, but the person, and that person’s unique susceptibilities and expression of the disease. We have around 170 remedies associated with Pertussis, for instance. The Classical Homeopath is using symptoms to guide her to the remedy which describes the patient’s state. It will be like a miracle to see one teething baby respond to Chamomilla, but another will not. We have 22 pages in small print in just one homeopathic repertory devoted to teeth problems, many of them describing different qualities of pain. So it is no surprise that cham. does not work for every baby. It is the Homeopath’s job to find the particular remedy most closely matched to the patient's state, and to make a potency and frequency plan particular to the patient's needs
Homeopathy is Dynamic Medicine: Succussion - vigorous thumping of the vial of medicine - adds to the medicine’s ability to affect the patient. The higher the potency in Homeopathy, the farther from the crude material. Most often we are prescribing beyond Avrogado’s number, but sometimes we choose to prescribe at a lower potency and some of the crude material would be able to be seen under a microscope. Your Classical Homeopath will consider many factors when deciding a potency to match your state and needs, and will take those factors into account when planning frequency of use. Some patients will be given dry doses of pills while some will be given watery doses in a bottle and will be instructed to succuss before each use of perhaps one drop per day. Still others will make a watery dose in a glass or jar and stir to "plus" (slightly raise the potency) before taking each of a few times. Posology is some of the great art of Homeopathy, and the Homeopath's choices are based on your circumstances
Unique Medicine: Classical Homeopathy prescribing is to your unique needs. In Conventional Medicine your doctor diagnoses you with a disease and then looks on a chart and says you take this medicine and if it doesn’t work, you take the next one on the list. Posology generally is handled in the same way. A doctor may see 15 people in a day with a same diagnosis and will give each of them the same drug regimen; people are not treated as unique biological beings, but as people with the same disease. The disease is being treated. Conventional Medicine does not see each person’s needs as truly unique. As a result, the side effects and frequent lack of disease resolution is not surprising. Again, the Homeopath is not treating disease, even in Acute prescribing, but is treating your needs. Even in a disease outbreak or epidemic where after seeing many people it will become apparent that there are some statistical heavy-hitter remedies. While most people with the disease will be likely to need one out of a few select remedies, these Genus Epidemicus remedies can be different in different regions of a state, country, or the world for people diagnosed with the same disease. The study of Genus Epidemicus remedies is fascinating, reflecting the environmental and cultural influences in people in different areas. The prescribing still requires an individual look at each suffering person
Holistic Medicine: Homeopathy is treating the whole of you, not parting you out to treat your skin, or your heart. Ailments are recognized as your organism’s expression of disease and when you, your organism, is treated as a whole being, you have the best chance to access your inherent knowledge of cure from the inside, out. The Homeopath is not curing you, or a disease; she is acting as a facilitator to understand your symptoms and stimulate your own Vital Force, giving it a nudge via the remedy to gather its forces to jump into the healing action it is built to put into play
Most Conventional Medicine doctors practice both Allopathy and Antipathy.
Allopathy is a medicine based on a theory that bears no particular relationship with the suffering (from the Greek pathos, meaning suffering). Think of all the swings we see in modern, Conventional Medicine. Take HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy), for instance. First we saw most middle-aged women being prescribed synthetic hormones and after many died from these prescriptions, there was a pendulum swing away from HRT.
We have many such examples of experimenting on masses every decade without many of those who are given the dangerous medications understanding the full risk because not much testing is done; the tests are done through usage on innocent patients, and over a decade stats are collected.
Pharmaceuticals, synthetic and genetically-modified, often prepared with heavy metals as adjuvants and preservants, and bearing the consequences of synergistic potentiation of toxic chemicals and heavy metals come on the market with little understanding of their longterm effects. When stock shares go down after deaths are reported, those drugs are pulled from the market and new mass experiments go on for the next new drugs in line to be prescribed.
This is, in fact, exactly as the pesticide industry operates; as more is exposed about a particular product, a different formulation with a different name is put on the shelves in its place.
Unless you have an awful lot of time on your hands which you will devote to this unending treadmill of information-gathering about chemicals being put out on the market as pharmaceuticals, or as pesticides, it's best to beware and take a precautionary approach
Antipathy is the medical practice of using a medicine to kill off a pathogen, for instance using Antibiotics which kill off the good as well as harmful bacteria, creating a host of serious, and sometimes fatal, problems.
In Allopathy and Antipathy higher potencies contain more crude material, often a source of ill effects. In Homeopathy, the higher our potencies, the farther away from any crude material. We have about 225 years of clinical use and understanding, much different than Allopathy and Antipathy where medicines routinely are released with little understanding of what they will produce in a person.
Just as Hahnemann put his all into his chemistry translations, improving upon what people expected of a Translator, eventually he sought to improve upon Medicine by finding a way to help people without all the drastic extra effects (those to which often we refer as ‘side effects’). Ever an experimenter, he took to diluting substances which held some promise of help and the more he diluted, the more he saw improvements in health, and less negative effects.
Later he realized that to dilution and completely individual prescribing, he could add much more ability for a medicine to work deeply by succussing it, adding to its dynamic ability to affect a person or animal, or even plant, and even people on their deathbeds; all respond to Homeopathy so we know it is not placebo, as is so often an accusation thrown out by people who cannot even tell you the basic tenets of Homeopathy but for some reason (you guess) have something against Homeopathy (as Chiropractors and other complementary or alternative medicine practitioners also have experienced).
You can’t have it both ways; either you want to assert that a parent or other person is creating placebo effect in a baby, or a lovebird, or a horse (which means that you are accepting that energy can affect, just as prayer has been tested and acknowledged to show effects in total strangers, even from across the world), or you have to try to cope with the reality that there is something at work, causing effects.
It is remarkable how many people hear someone online say that Homeopathy is not real, and the next moment say it’s dangerous. It happens all the time. People who have no idea how Classically-trained Homeopaths work and have not had the experience of being treated over time by a Classical Homeopath, have decided it is not real and assert that no one should go to a Homeopath. You can’t say that Homeopathy is dangerous if it does not have real effects.
A frequently cited fear by many who slam Homeopathy is that Homeopaths will stop people from continuing their Conventional treatments for serious diseases but the opposite often is true; people getting this support often are taking more charge of their healthcare and often it is the Homeopath who impresses upon clients the seriousness of the state of health, and encourages seeing their Conventional doctors for diagnosis.
Meanwhile, supportive homeopathic care can help people experience less of the side effects of Allopathic or Antipathic drugs, or other treatments. The outcome frequently is much better for the patient who has Homeopathy help from a professional Homeopath with years of deep training, when she's also having these other treatments. That's good for everyone involved, including family members caring for their loved ones.
Classically-trained Homeopaths do not suggest that people discontinue Conventional care; we are here to support your health and health choices. Many people being treated homeopathically by well-trained Classical Homeopaths find that, if they are on Conventional drugs they may gradually wean off of them, but we remind them of the importance of doing that with a doctor's oversight.
PRUFUNGEN, or PROVINGS
Homeopathy’s clinical understanding is paired with 225 years of what we call Prufungen (German for ‘experiments’), often in English called Provings, where healthy volunteers (most commonly Homeopaths, but not restricted only to Homeopaths), take either some of a crude material as many did in Hahnemann’s time, or in modern times usually take a homeopathically-diluted and prepared remedy made from the material we want to understand as fully as possible. The Provers and the Proving Supervisors and/or Directors carefully note its effects over days-to-weeks, or even months, often with Provers or even Supervisors not knowing the substance until after effects have ceased for the full group. The details are brought together to form a clear picture of a remedy’s profile.
Individual Provers may have effects for days or even months (as in the Teflon® Proving I oversaw), but for those whose effects continue, they can choose intentionally to antidote the remedy’s effects, if needed. The data is included in our massive Materia Medica which worldwide includes close to 4,000 remedies. When we see what a remedy produces in healthy people (the group of Provers giving us a composite look), we understand a ‘remedy state’ which, when we gather the information about you, and how you react and deal with things in your own life, help us to match you with an excellent remedy for your state. As a remedy gains more use, and sometimes further Prufungen are undertaken, we add more detail to our understanding of that remedy state.
In the spirit of Hahnemann, but turning to a substance which did not exist in his time, I oversaw a Prufung, or Proving, of Teflon (Polytetrafluoroethylene, PTFE), the nonstick coating which has become part of our Body Burden over the past 50 years. Some of the Proving data and analysis already has been shared in 2017 in a presentation for the Bay Area Homeopathy Association, and in a national webinar of the North American Society of Homeopaths. Work with the data continues.
SAFETY OF HOMEOPATHIC REMEDIES
Some two hundred and twenty-five years later we have not seen any remedy have to be removed from the FDA-approved Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia. How many times a decade do we see Allopathic and Antipathic drugs removed from the shelves, but not before many people have died, or suffered dramatic problems which frequently lead to premature death?
Homeopathic remedies are exceedingly safe, especially when used as prescribed by a classically-trained Homeopath.
The fact of easy access to OTC homeopathic remedies at healthfood stores or online has its good and bad sides. People become confused as to how homeopathic remedies should be used, and because they are nontoxic assume they can pop them like candy without ill effects. But if you remember the idea of Prufungen, or Provings, you more easily can see that we have to be more careful in how we approach the use of remedies.
If you take a remedy frequently when it has not been carefully prescribed in the dosage and frequency suggested by your Homeopath, you can have a remedy state 'graft on' and this can be problematic. When you stop taking the remedy, the state likely will fade fairly soon, but if a remedy is taken excessively and for a long time, grafted-on effects can take some time to unwind.
The OTC rule of thumb in most cases is that you do not take more than about 3 doses a day for any more than 2 days (so 5 or 6 doses maximum) if you are not under a professional Homeopath's care. But in actuality, again thinking back to Prufungen, or Provings, too many doses and you can adopt a remedy state. To err on the side of caution, f you have not seen any change at all after the first 2 or 3 doses in an acute situation (can be every 15 minutes), there's a good chance this is not the best-matched remedy for your Acute needs. There are emergency times during which we may prescribe a remedy to be used more frequently but, again, without guidance it's best to limit the number of doses given, and stop as soon as any improvement is seen. If symptoms start showing themselves again, that is a time to take another dose or two, but stop once you are seeing improvement again.
Please refer back to your Acute care Homeopathy resource materials, or make an appt., especially if you are facing any serious health problem.
It's always good to have a couple Acute care Homeopathy books around for cross-referencing so that you can reconsider your choice if treating your family members or yourself, and you are seeing no action. I'm happy to suggest some of those resources.
And please be sure you are avoiding any tea tree oil or camphor or menthol products as they pretty reliably antidote homeopathic remedies' actions. In fact, we recommend these to be used if Provers are in a position of needing to antidote the Proving remedy they have taken. And teeth cleanings best are done the old-fashioned way as sonic cleanings often stop a remedy's action. Cortisone and Antibiotics pretty reliably undermine a remedy's action, so be cautious in choices. To treat wounds, coconut oil and raw honey are some of your best friends. In hospitals honey now is being used in wound care, albeit with pharmaceuticals added. Coconut oil and raw honey have anti-viral and anti-bacterial as well as anti-fungal action, and they both are beautiful in nourishing our skin cells with moisture and vitamins which help in skin repair; nature has provided what we need for the deepest healing.
Remember that there is a balance between jumping to treat every little cold, and letting illness progress to a point where it is unnecessarily taxing to the organism. Even Conventional Medicine finally is acknowledging that we should not be suppressing fevers because they do important work in "burning out" illnesses. They are a normal part of a disease cycle.
Often, sleep is the best curative but in our modern society where many people have set up lives dependent on two parents working outside the home, everyone trips along taking cough syrups and nasal sprays to try to be presentable in the workplace or school when what's really needed is a good nap, and then a long night's sleep.
When you are my ongoing patient, I'll encourage you to prioritize following your body's instinct to sleep when you are ill. You will move through common colds or the flu more quickly if you support yourself in this way. If after a couple days of good rest your Vital Force needs a bit of a boost to help you move through the illness, that's a good time to be taking a remedy. And if you keep getting colds or the flu, having them go to the chest, are having ear infections, or asthma attacks, those are some examples of good times to call to set up Homeopathic Chronic Care (often referred to as Constitutional Care).
The other important rule of thumb in any homeopathic care is to take no more doses once you see some significant improvement happening UNLESS there is a slipback, in which case you go back to no more than about 3 doses per day maximum in the case of typical OTC home care. In the case of a bad accident or very extreme shock situation, if you need to call 911, do that first! In an extreme accident situation, you may need to give a few more doses in a day but, again, please do not continue doses when you see clear signs of improvement until/unless there is slipback.
More is not better!
I offer workshops on Acute and emergency Homeopathy care. One option is for you to gather friends to come to your home. I'm happy to arrange a time that will work for a group. I was involved in the women's self-care movement in the '80's, and look forward to helping families and anyone interested in Homeopathy learn a bit more about home Self-care for your families, and to discuss what Chronic Care looks like.
There is so much you can do for yourself and your family and I'd like to help guide you in developing good understanding of some of these principles and give you more specific examples of home care use so that when you are in need and you cannot contact me, or your own Homeopath, you have more ability to treat well to get through an emergency, or Acute situation. To that end, I recommend particular emergency and home kits for my patients so that if you are home sick, or with a sick child, you have remedies immediately available either for Acute care you are overseeing yourself, or available when you contact me for Acute care help.
A nice reminder: Homeopathic remedies are not contraindicated with pharmaceuticals so it is fine to do Acute care support alongside people's pharmaceutical medicines.
Homeopathy: part of daily life throughout Europe, and worldwide
What does health give us when we are truly healthy? When we are in good health, then we don't really think about our bodies and our minds and our emotions; we're just in the flow of life. That is to be in good health. And you could say that, really, it's the freedom to have creativity, to be able to be as free and to be able to express yourself as creatively as you'd like.
-Mani Norland, Principal of the School of Homeopathy, Devon, England