Properly appreciated for their supportive effects in stimulating the immune system to deal with challenges more aggressively and effectively, homeopathic therapies are gaining new recognition and respect today among health care providers and consumers.
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Homeopathy is the brainchild of Samuel Hahnemann, an 18th century German physician. Originally a branch of medical science, homeopathic medicine is one of the sources from which modern pharmacology developed. Its own growth and development were shaped in a time in European history that celebrated progress on the basis of empirical, scientific achievement. Although the foundation of homeopathy rests squarely on the scientific method that gave birth to the technological marvels of the modern era, medical authorities of the late 19th and 20th centuries viewed this discipline as a contradiction of pharmaceutical science.
How and why the division between these two branches of western medicine came about is a long tale involving theoretical, political and economic conflict—a longer tale than can be recounted here. But our era is heir to this old misunderstanding, and we feel that it is important for health care consumers to understand homeopathy in the light of current scientific perceptions.
In recent years, scientists have been increasingly able to appreciate Hahnemann’s amazing grasp of fundamental physical principals in his creation of the theory and practice of homeopathy. Although Hahnemann was a strict empiricist, his experimental observations led to perceptions so counterintuitive, and so contrary to later thinking within the scientific and medical communities, that many rejected his conclusions simply because they were unable or unwilling to take homeopathic theory seriously. Indeed, the central tenet of homeopathic medicine, “Like cures like,” is as counterintuitive as taking coffee for insomnia. Somehow, Hahnemann got the idea of inverting the biochemical effect of agents that would cause the very symptoms he was trying to cure. This process, which he called potentization, consists of a series of dilutions that progressively remove the active ingredient from the preparation. In homeopathy, the most potent remedies are those that chemists will rightly assure you contain no chemical residue of the original active ingredient.
Hahnemann’s claim of an inverse relationship between dosage and potency, combined with his assertion that, with minimal dosage, an agent that causes the very symptoms the doctor is trying to cure can make an effective medicine, has been viewed with disdain by some scientists who have been so skeptical because these twin pillars of Hahnemann’s theory seem to contradict common sense, which often assumes that medicines should counteract (antibiotic, antihistamine, antidepressant, decongestant) the diseases they are given to cure or control, and that the potency of a medication grows with the concentration of its active ingredients.
Quantum physicists have conditioned scientists of today to suspend disbelief long enough to give consideration to the empirical basis for theories, despite their strangeness. This is the type of scrutiny that gave rise to homeopathy. Modern physics has also revealed that matter can “remember” energetic input by retaining the resonance of exposure to energy frequencies, in some cases indefinitely. The absence of a chemical “curative agent” in homeopathic medicines is countered by the presence in every remedy of the energetic “echo” of the substance with which it was made. And the effect of this energetic resonance works like a wake-up call to the immune system, subtly provoking it to respond in a manner opposite to the pharmacological effect of the original substance, the “mother tincture.”
This potency is measurable with today’s bioenergetic technology, making it possible for properly trained and equipped practitioners to measure the energetic effects of remedies on clients before any remedy is actually taken. In part because of these theoretical and technical breakthroughs, more and more people are discovering for themselves the efficacy of appropriately applied homeopathic remedies. And appropriate remedies are becoming much easier to select because databases of homeopathic preparations making their unique bioenergetic frequencies available for testing help to eliminate trial and error from the selection process.
In our view, homeopathy and allopathic medicine are better understood as complementary approaches than as contradictory ones. Allopathic medicine often focuses on imposing order on the chaotic conditions of disease to counteract pathogenic influences, while homeopathy seeks to stimulate healthy immune function by spurring the body to exercise its innate healing powers.
The apparently irreconcilable difference in their theoretical approaches stems from the fact that homeopathy and modern (allopathic) medicine think about medication differently. Homeopaths view a client as suffering from specific symptoms, and they focus on finding the preparation that will promote healing of the greatest number of these symptoms. The classic allopathic approach, in contrast, is to arrive at a diagnosis of disease that leads to prescription of appropriate drugs, surgery, or other therapy. Homeopathic remedies are intended to stimulate your immune system to heal your body on its own, while allopathic medications are generally intended to combat pathogenic agents or alter metabolic processes. In our view, each of these therapeutic approaches has distinct virtues. As health care evolves and integrative medicine becomes the norm, a new era is approaching in which we can all get appropriate care that draws on the best of both worlds.