WHAT IS HOMEOPATHY?
Dr. Patrick Healey, N.D.
Homeopathy is a 200 year-old system of medical science pioneered by Samuel Hahnemann (German Physician) that actively and powerfully stimulates the body to heal itself. It utilizes the principles of the fundamental Laws of Nature. Homeopathic remedies are created from plant, animal, or mineral substances (and sometimes other chemical elements) using a method that dilutes (with water or alcohol) and succusses (shakes vigorously) the substance in order to imprint the energetics of the element into the water. This is done to create a signal that will impart information to the body and cause it to react. Homeopathy allows a person’s body to get back to self-regulation. This is different from medications and drugs which react for the individual and force something to happen. Homeopathic remedies are accepted by the FDA and are listed in the Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia, which is the official compendium of standards for preparations of remedies, like the allopathic pharmacopoeia was for drugs.
How Does Homeopathy Work?
Homeopathic remedies work on the energetic level and utilize the Law of Similars and the Law of Dual Effect. You can see these laws play out in everyday life either with you or those around you. The Law of Similars states that “a substance which can produce a spectrum of symptoms in a healthy person will cure that same spectrum of symptoms in a sick person.” The Law of Dual Effect states that “Every agent affecting the human organism has two effects: a first, apparent, temporary one and a second, lasting one. The second effect is directly opposite to the first.”
The Law of Similars can be seen when an individual diagnosed with ADHD (Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) is prescribed the medication Ritalin which is a stimulant. This may seem counterintuitive to give someone who is having a hard time focusing and concentrating and who is hyperactive a stimulant, but it works to calm and focus the mind and body. While this is an example of the Law of Similars, because it is not following the principles of homeopathy, we don’t recommend this approach because this is still not working with the body to help it heal and is forcing action on the body. It is not following the complete preparation and principles of homeopathy.
An example of the Law of Dual Effect can be seen when individuals take some form of caffeine to stay awake. The first effect is more energy and alertness, but the secondary effect is what people refer to as “the crash” after the primary effect wears off. While it might work temporarily to boost energy and alertness, over time you are wearing your body down and the second lasting response will be the lasting one of fatigue. This is because you are not supporting and stimulating your body’s healing process, or in this case your body’s energy and vitality.
Programs We Offer
There are two programs we offer that uniquely utilize the healing principles of homeopathy and healing through Natural Laws. We recommend journaling during these programs in order to facilitate and deepen your understanding in your healing.
- Mind-Body Temperament Balancing Protocol (MBTB) – this protocol is tailored to each individual based on a questionnaire and is designed to stimulate and shift the body into healing across multiple levels – mind, emotions, physical.
- OM Program – this program is designed to re-educate and re-program the development of the mind and body which can often get disrupted during our childhood and adolescent years and set the stage for chronic health issues. It helps to correct and rebalance our body and move us past the life events and experiences that have shaped our current state of health across all levels – mentally, emotionally, and physically.
Classical vs. Pluralistic Homeopathy
There are a number of ways of prescribing homeopathy, but two of the most common ways are to give one remedy at a time (classical prescribing) or multiple remedies at a time either alternating or together at the same time (pluralistic prescribing). Both methods work and which one you are given or decide to do is based on what the practitioner feels is needed for you for your state of health. Sometimes remedies are prescribed for longer-term healing situations and other times they are recommended for short or acute situations such as for ankle injuries, colds, flus, insect bites, etc.
Homeopathic Potencies and Dosages
The potencies of homeopathics are based on the dilution ratio and many times they are diluted. You may see the name of the homeopathic with a number and letter after it such as Arnica 12C or Belladonna 30X. The number refers to the how many times the remedy was diluted and the letter refers to the dilution ratio. “C” means the remedy was diluted 1 part to 99 parts liquid and “X” means the remedy was diluted 1 part remedy to 9 parts liquid (see diagram below for potency scale). The higher the number and the dilution, the stronger and deeper acting the remedy is on the emotional level. In general, Remedies below 30C are dosed more frequently and act more on the physical symptoms, but can also act on mental/emotional symptoms. Those potencies at or above 30C are dosed less frequently and for more serious symptoms. You naturopathic doctor can help you decide which is best for your situation.
What Will You Feel?
Sometimes when you take a homeopathic remedy you may feel and get a dramatic response from the body – mentally, emotionally, and/or physically. Other times the remedy works subtly over days or weeks with gradual shifts in mind and body. We like to recommend that people keep a journal of how and what they are feeling, especially if they are doing our MBTB or OM Programs where emotions and shifts in mental outlook take place.
Safety and Efficacy
Homeopathy and similar therapeutics are extremely safe! There has never been any deaths from the use of properly made and manufactured homeopathic remedies. Because homeopathy is energetic information and works on a separate level than medications, supplements, and herbs, there are no interactions with homeopathic remedies. Additionally, because homeopathics are not medications or drugs that force an action on the body or do something to the body, there are no side-effects. If you take the wrong remedy the worst that can happen is nothing. Even if you take an entire vial of the homeopathic remedy that is properly prescribed you will only be introducing information into the body for your body to heal and if that information is not what your body needs, then nothing will happen.
Here is what may happen…because the remedy you are given is meant to stimulate your body’s healing process, you may experience reactions as your body works to correct and remove toxicity/morbid matter (toxemia) from the body. Common reactions include: headaches, skin eruptions, the reappearance of past symptoms you were experiencing, insomnia. This is a part of the healing process and means that your body is responding, but that you may need to adjust your plan to make your healing more comfortable. Check with your naturopathic doctor to see if this needs to happen or if you need a change in your plan.
Another effect that may happen is that as your body’s physiology is optimized and your health is improving, you may find that your body is over medicated and experiencing side-effects from overmedication. Since your body is becoming healthier you will need to work with your doctor to decrease your dosage or wean yourself off of medications. The effects you are feeling are not from the homeopathic remedies, but the reduced need for the medications you are on. These symptoms may be falsely interpreted as a reaction to homeopathics.
There are some instances where a person may have what is called an aggravation to a remedy where they experience increased symptoms or develop symptoms they never had before. This can be because they are taking too high of a potency (too much too quickly) or taking a remedy for too long when they do not need it. Simply reducing and/or stopping the remedy will correct this response. This is a hard issue to distinguish from a “healing reaction” and should be discussed with your naturopathic doctor to determine if this is the issue.
What is the best way to take the homeopathic remedies?
Pellets vs. Dissolved in Water
There are two main ways individuals can take remedies: either dissolving sugar pellets, that have been sprayed or soaked in the liquid homeopathic preparation, under the tongue or take the liquid straight on/under tongue. The pellets are the most common way to deliver the remedy information into the body. They are merely the delivery mechanism. These pellets (or liquid) can be dissolved in water and shaken up and then the water can be sipped throughout the day to continually and consistently give the body the healing signal.
For more in-depth understanding of homeopathy with case-reports and a deeper dive into the science and research of homeopathy. We highly recommend the book “Homeopathy: Science or Myth?” by Bill Gray, M.D.
When is the best time to take remedies?
Take them away from food and drink by at least 10 minutes. It is probably easiest to take first thing in the morning and in the evening before brushing teeth.
Negating or canceling out homeopathics/remedies
Direct sunlight, high-heat, strong odors and flavors such as camphor, mint, eucalyptus, essential oils, and coffee or any other strong flavors/odors can negate the effects of a remedy. That is why we recommend you take the remedies away from food and drink.
Do Remedies Expire?
Remedies do not expire as long as they are not exposed to direct sunlight, high heat, or stored with strong odors such as essential oils. FDA labeling requires an “expiration date”, but properly made and stored homeopathic remedies do not expire.