Basic Principles of Homeopathy
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Today, even in this day and age , amongst medical experts, there exist many misconceptions relating to homeopathy. What is it and how it should be classified? Perhaps with herbal medicine, or with psychotherapy, or even psychics? Many consider homeopathy to be traditional medicine. But none of these beliefs are closer to the truth in the literal sense.
What is homeopathy really?
Homeopathy is a highly systematic method of stimulating the vital force of the body for self-healing, based on a set of basic principles.
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Basic Principles of Homeopathy
The first principle of homeopathy states:
Similia similibus curentur
In other words, “like is treated with like” . This distinguishes homeopathy from the convetionally recognized therapeutic approach, which is based on a different principle - the opposite is treated by the opposite : "Cotaria contaris curentur"
Samuel . Hahnemann called his new medicine homeopathy - a word formed from the Greek “homeos” - “similar” and “patos” - “suffering”. It means treating with something that causes an action similar to suffering.
The story behind it is well known, also quoted in homeopathy textbook, in which, Hahnemann dared to experiment on himself. After swallowing the cinchona powder, he felt that he was getting a fever, as evidenced by an entry in his diary:
"I took 4 pills of cinchuna 2 times a day, after which the feet, the tips of the fingers started freezing. I became lethargic and drowsy. Then the heartbeat started racing, the pulse became tense and frequent and there was a feeling of fear, trembling, weakness in the arms and legs. This went on for 2-3 hours and was repeated if I resumed taking the medicine. After stopping the experience, I became healthy again. It turns out that the disease can be cured by the same medicinal substance that is able to induce disease in a healthy body artificially ", Hahnemann wrote.
To confirm this hypothesis, he tested on himself, his family members, friends, patients and other volunteers the effect of many medicines, which allowed him to formulate the first fundamental principle of homeopathy - like is treated with like.
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This phenomenon is sometimes observable in our daily lives. For example while shredding or cutting onions, eyes become watery, sneezing and tickling in the throat begins. Similar symptoms are observed during initial stage of any cold. Such symptoms are treated in homeopathy with medicines prepared from the onions.
The second principle of homeopathy is the use of medicines in the smallest dose.
In the course of his research, Hahnemann was faced with a problem: drugs prescribed on the principle of similarity in the usual doses in the first stages of treatment often caused an amplification of painful symptoms, which was difficult to tolerate by patients. Hahnemann tried to reduce the dose of the active substance present in the drug, and surprisingly, instead of the expected weakening of the therapeutic effect, it intensified!
So Hahnemann came to the following conclusion: the smaller the dose, the more sensitive the body reacts to it - the effectiveness of the drug increases. Hahnemann realized that the dose should be reduced until, inexplicably, the poison became its opposite and became a medicine.
On this, homeopathy is based on a different method of doses into large and small than in classical pharmacology. If in classical pharmacology the basis of division is the quantity of the substance, then in homeopathy - the body’s response. A large dose is one that treats similar disorders that have arisen in a different way.
Hahnemann proposed a unique formulation in which the starting material was sequentially diluted in water or an alcohol solution 10, 100, 1000, 10,000 or more (sometimes water/alchol dilutions were replaced by grinding with milk or sugar).
In addition to repeated dilutions and rubbings, Hahnemann included another step in process of homeopathic formulations. To increase the activity of the active substance in the solution, the test tube after each next dilution must be shaken. Yes, stronger! And not just once! Only this process, which Hahnemann called potentiation or dynamization, turns the solution into a homeopathic medicine.
This is the third principle of homeopathy - the principle of potentiation.
Generally speaking, in any traditional therapy the goal is “to treat not the disease, but the patient.” But in modern scientific medicine, medical diagnosis is of paramount importance. Individual characteristics of the patient are ignored. The patient’s sensitivity to the drug is not determined in advance with exception of documented known allergies.
The fourth principle of epidemiology is the accounting of individual sensitivity. Thus Hahnemann divided his patient into types of their different sensitivities to drugs.
To determine individual sensitivity, Hahnemann and other pioneers of homeopathy tested their medicines on healthy people and, above all, on themselves and colleagues.
What was the scheme of these experiments?
Let’s imagine that there is a test of fly agaric. It is known that poisoning with a subtoxic (non-lethal) dose of fly agaric causes intestinal disorders, nausea, vomiting, laughter, hallucinations. If the dose of tincture of fly agaric is consistently reduced and given to a group of 100 people, it turns out that fewer and fewer subjects react to small doses of fly agaric. And, finally, there comes a time when 2-3 people out of 100 react to an extremely small dose. And, surprisingly, these people are similar to each other.
The aggregate description of the appearance, character, habits, food preferences of these people sensitive to fly agaric, their predisposition to certain diseases surprisingly coincide, which is called in homeopathy the constitution (in this case, the constitution of agaricus-fly agaric).
Hahnemann discovered that potentiated (see third principle) substances, of negligible, intangible “doses,” act healingly on sick people. But in order for the healing effect of a particular potentiated drug to manifest itself on a particular patient, it is necessary to match the clinical symptoms of the disease of this patient and the symptoms of poisoning of a healthy person with the same drug in a large (material) dose. If fly agaric causes, for example, hallucinations in a healthy person, then the same fly agaric in potentiated form eliminates these hallucinations.
And, moreover, if hallucinations are caused, for example, by another cause (fever due to influenza), but the doctor knows that according to his constitution, the patient is sensitive to fly agaric, he can be cured with the same - potentiated fly agaric.
The principles of homeopathic treatment have successfully stood the test of time. Standing on the foundations of these principles, Homeopathy aims to achieve "the highest ideal of treatment: a quick, gentle, lasting restoration of health or the complete elimination and extermination of the disease in the shortest, reliable and harmless way on a rational basis."
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