What is this Homeopathy thing all about? As told by one who has personally benefited from homeopathy, happens to live with a professional homeopath and is now a student of homeopathy herself.
Homeopathy views the body as imbibed with what homeopaths call, the vital force, Chinese medicine practitioners call qi (chi), and Ayurveda calls prana. The vital force is that mysterious, animating force that is present within each of us. It is how the body has the innate wisdom to spontaneously heal a cut finger or create a sneezing response to the influx of cedar pollens our fair city, Austin, TX, seems to be plagued with. Can you imagine if we had to consciously be on top of our own healing process and major physiological systems? Talk about true multi-tasking! The amazing wisdom of the vital force manages our breathing, keeps the rhythm of our heart, redirects many pathogens daily, resolves disease should it take place and keeps us going strong mentally, emotionally and collectively.
Symptoms and Disease- The only constant is change and we are always either moving toward health or moving away from it by the beliefs we have about ourselves, the lifestyle choices we make and the environments we are in. Health is not merely the absence of symptoms or disease. Dis-ease is just that, the body not at ease; there is discord, disharmony. Symptoms are a call for us to pay attention to the amazing totality of our being, on the physical level and beyond. Symptoms are outward signs of an inward immunological process; they are signs of the body at work ridding itself of a pathogen or some other imbalance. More than likely everyone has had a sore throat at one time or another. If I have a sore throat, my experience of it and how it typically starts is probably very different then how a colleague might experience a sore throat. The beauty of homeopathy is that it seeks to treat the individual, the whole person rather than just suppress a symptom. In fact, the homeopathic belief is that if symptoms are suppressed the body is often unable to fully resolve an illness. Disease is then driven deeper into our being, layer upon layer, often taking the form of chronic illness later in life.
When a client seeks a homeopath for assistance with symptoms, the job of the homeopath is to determine an individualized remedy that will work to strengthen the vital force so that it can do its work of clearing the disease. We are more than the sum of our parts and homeopathy seeks to address the whole while taking into account our experience of our parts. As our bodies resolve dis-ease on all the layers it can touch, we become more of who we are in accordance with our individual and collective purposes. Homeopathy can be very globally minded in that way.
The Remedy- Remedies are derived from mostly plants, minerals and some animal products like feathers or milk. Here’s where it stretches the mind and imagination: While remedies are made from these items, there is no particle of the crude substance remains in a remedy. Through a process of dilution and succussion, remedies are potenized so what remains is the energetic map or frequency of the substance. In homeopathy, like treats like. In other words, we are a microcosm of this world and so there are substances in nature that act the same way in nature that we do in our own lives. It is the work of the homeopath to listen intently to the client and listen for the cues that will point the direction to just the right remedy for that person at that time. When an aptly chosen remedy is given, that remedy frequency resonates with the state of the vital force and so assists the vital force in clearing whatever ails the client.
Background- Born in 1755 on the tailcoats of the Enlightenment period, German physician and “Father of Homeopathy”, Samuel Hahnemann questioned and was dissatisfied with the conventional medical practices of his time. He argued that mainstream practices, such as blood letting and the like, did more harm to the patient than good. By examining common plant remedies used to treat malaria, he discovered that what was most effective in treating malaria actually created the symptoms of the disease in an otherwise healthy person. And so the notion of like treats like was born. Homeopathy was actually a wide spread form of healthcare in the United States until the turn of the 20th century. Similarly to how the wisdom of the midwives and the arena of birth was commandeered by physicians and surgeons and therefore moved into a hospital setting, so to were homeopathic schools and hospitals closed or swallowed by the growing and now mainstream medical and pharmaceutical business model. Currently, as with the community of parents here, people are asking questions again. They desire more than a pill with a long list of side-effects. They desire more than the ever-growing list of recommended vaccines. Rather than be a “consumer” of healthcare, people are desiring partnership and a voice in theirs and their children’s care.
Homeopathy is a process, one that puts the seeker in the driver’s seat. It is not a quick fix or passive experience, it is a co-committed health partnership.