Homeopathy Concepts

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Homeopathy Concepts - The fundamental concepts of Homeopathy, what do they mean and their origins.

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Homeopathy is holistic.
Like may complementary alternative medicines homeopaths believe in treating the whole being. Good health comes from a balance between the mind and body. Homeopathy considers the pathological symptoms but pays equal importance to psychological symptoms, emotional disposition and personality. All these facets of the patient are examined and the medication is altered to suit.


Vital Force.
Homeopaths, like many modalities of alternative health, supports the theory that there is a vital force in each of us that, amongst other things, controls and energizes the body's self healing ability to maintain an equilibrium of optimum health, spiritual strength and happiness.

This vital force needs to stay in balance for the body and mind to function well. Ill-health happens when this equilibrium is disturbed and may manifest as symptoms in all or one of the body, mind and spirit.

But that is not the only "vital force".

Homeopaths believe that there is a vital force in all matter, even inanimate matter like minerals. This vital force can be "potentized" (see Potentizing below) so harnessing the vital force of mineral, plant or animal to apply it in the healing process.

Like cures like:
Another fundamental homeopathic concept is that like cures like. Hahnemann discovered with his initial experiment with quinine that if given to a healthy person it creates the same symptoms in the healthy person as a person suffering from Malaria would have. Quinine is a well known cure for Malaria, so he started exploring all substances that cause symptoms similar to diseases and found that there is a correlation between the the effect of healing substances and the symptoms they cause in healthy people.

By giving a person suffering from a condition or disease a medication based on a substance that would mirror the symptoms the vital force that regulates the body's self healing process is stimulated. In a lot of ways this is similar to conventional medicine's concept of innoculation.

The process of harnessing the vital force of a substance to be used as a remedy.

Homeopaths believe that all matter contains a vital force that can be harnessed and used. This process of harnessing is called "potentizing" and is described in more detail in our page on How Homeopathic Medicines are Made

Symptoms Picture.

A profile of a substance based on the symptoms it generates when an otherwise healthy person ingests the substance. These Symptoms Pictures or profiles are matched against the symptoms of the disease to determine the substance's effectiveness as a medication for the disease.

These Symptoms Pictures are then used to determine which remedy is most appropriate for a particular patient by cross correlation of experienced symptoms of the patient with the symptoms picture of the remedy.

Symptoms better, symptoms worse.
Although of course very important during the treatment of a disease, homeopaths carefully observe factors that either improve or aggravate the symptoms of the patient.

Developed by Dr. James Taylor Kent (1848-1916) in the United States, the factors that improve symptoms or make them worse are used to assess the effectiveness of a remedy as well as determine the ongoing treatment of the patient. As homeopathic practice involves the ongoing observation of the patient after a remedy has been prescribed these factors assist in ongoing diagnoses.

Homeopathy places great importance on the constitution of an individual. They see this as a factor of the individual's vital force as well as the person's propensity to contract one or more diseases.

This tendency to contracting chronic diseases is then treated holistically aimed at preventing recurrences of the disease rather than waiting to treat it when it happens.

A concept created by Hahnemann after observing that some patients do not respond to remedies or they improve for a while before relapsing. This predisposition could be a trait of the individual or may me traced back to a family history.

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