Wondering why it would be beneficial to use homeopathic substances to help treat an illness or health problem if the same substance seems to also contribute to illness? The idea is that this practice helps stimulate the immune system and the body’s natural ability to heal. As the School Of Homeopathy states, “that which a substance is capable of causing, it is also capable of curing.”
One of the most important principles of homeopathic medicine is that treatments must be “individualized” and tailored to each person’s specific symptoms, history, body and needs. Even if two people are battling the same illness, they can receive completely different commendations from their homeopathic doctors based on their unique situation and how their body would be expected to respond.
What makes homeopathy very different from conventional medicine is that a patient’s emotions and personality are highly important. It’s common for a homeopathic doctor to talk in depth with a patient about their stress levels, relationships, personal characteristics, family and so on.
Patients respond differently to a range of doses of homeopathic medicines, some needing much higher doses than others based on their current situation. Homeopathic remedies — whether adaptogen herbs, minerals, medicinal mushrooms or animal products, for example — are diluted to a certain potency depending on the patient’s needs, and the goal is to always use the minimum dose possible that will still offer benefits.
In addition to interviewing the patient, lab tests are also commonly carried out to help the homeopathic doctor learn about the patient’s condition. However, lab tests are not the end-all-be-all: they are always viewed in light of the patient’s symptoms and self-reported. Compared to simply taking blood, urine, hormone or other tests and then prescribing standard medications, the homeopathic doctor’s goal is to learn about the patient’s entire experience and expectations in order to help “holistically” in the most effective way possible.
5 Benefits of Homeopathy
All Aspects of an Individual Patient Are Considered
Homeopathy does not view an illness as just a collection of symptoms, but rather a reaction to a unique patient’s situation. Homeopathy treats all symptoms experienced by a patient including those that are “spiritual, emotional, mental and physical.” This means homeopathic treatments take into account things like chronic stress and beliefs about one’s ability to get better, which we now know are hugely important for overall health.
Low Doses of Natural Products Are Used
Homeopathic remedies are not made using man-made drugs or chemicals, but rather made from things found in nature like trace minerals and herbs. They are normally used in very low doses, and are “gentle, subtle and powerful.” Compared to prescription drugs they carry a very low risk for addiction and only very rarely cause any negative side effects.
Helps Treat Allergies & Asthma
Homeopathic treatment are used to treat allergies and asthma in a very similar way to conventional treatments, by giving a patient a small amount of the same substances that causes their allergies to begin with.
In one study conducted by researchers at the University of Glasgow in Scotland, 80 percent of asthma patients who received customized, very small “homeopathic” doses experienced significant relief and improvements in symptoms within the first week of treatment. Patients were given very small doses of substances that they were allergic to in order to stimulate the body’s immune system and help them heal. Compared to the homeopathic group, the control group receiving a placebo only experienced improvements about 38 percent of the time.
Can Help Reduce Anxiety & Depression
Homeopathy is often used along with traditional forms of psychotherapy, such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, to help treat symptoms of mental disorders, including physical ailments. Many people with anxiety and depression experience problems like insomnia or trouble sleeping, fatigue, muscles aches, headaches and digestive upset. A homeopathic doctor addresses all symptoms associated with mental disorders, both physical and emotional, which can help a patient recover faster.
A 2006 meta-analysis done by the School of Integrated Health in London investigated homeopathy’s effectiveness for anxiety and found that “several observational studies reported positive results including high levels of patient satisfaction.” However, these studies are not well-controlled and some lack randomization and a control group, which makes it hard for researchers to draw definitive conclusions.
Overall, surveys suggest that homeopathy is quite frequently used by people suffering from anxiety and offers many patients benefits with very little risk, but more qualitative studies are still needed to confirm this finding.
Helps Control Pain
Certain studies have found that people suffering from chronic pain can benefit from homeopathic treatments, without the need for risky procedures or medications.
One controlled, randomized prospective study involving 43 patients suffering from chronic lower back pain assessed symptoms at the beginning and end of an 18.5 month period. During the trial period, patients received homeopathic therapy based on their unique symptoms. The results were statistically evaluated and showed that at the end of treatment, many patients experienced a significant decrease in pain.
The conclusion of the study was that further research would need to be done to confirm these findings, but that “homeopathy was well accepted by most of the patients…nothing can be said against attempting treatment of chronic low back pain by means of homeopathy.