Homeopathy is a system of medicine that uses highly diluted doses from the plant, mineral and animal kingdoms to stimulate natural defenses in the body. Homeopathic remedies are based on the theory that “like cures like,” and uses remedies that cause symptoms of a certain illness in one who is healthy in order to stimulate the body’s natural defenses to heal those same symptoms in one who is ill. The word homeopathy comes from the Greek word ‘homeos’ meaning similar, and ‘pathos’ meaning suffering.
A homeopath will take a detailed medical history (including physical and emotional symptoms) from a client, then tailor remedies to heal the symptoms. It is particularly effective in treating chronic illnesses that fail to respond to conventional treatment.
The Origins of Homeopathy
It first gained prominence in the 19th century after extensive pioneering work by the German physician and chemist Samuel Hahnemann (1755-1843). Medical treatments had become increasingly violent and invasive, yet disease was rampant, and Hahnemann found clinical medicine totally unacceptable. He wrote extensively on medicine and chemistry and protested against the poor hygiene that was accelerating the spread of disease. He argued against the brutal medical practices and the use of strong medications that caused terrible side-effects.
His disillusionment finally led him to give up medicine to work as a translator. Some time later while translating “A Treatise on Materia Medica” by Scottish physician Dr. William Cullen, Hahnemann made the discovery that was to make him the true founder of homeopathy. Cullen stated that quinine was an effective treatment for malaria because of its astringent properties. Hahnemann knew quinine helped to fight malaria, but doubted that its astringent properties had much to with it. He made investigations.
For days he dosed himself with quinine and noted his reactions. He was amazed to find that, one by one, he developed the symptoms of malaria even though he did not have the disease. Each time he took another dose of quinine the symptoms recurred and when he didn’t take it, they went away. He believed it was quinine’s ability to cause the symptoms of malaria that made it such an effective treatment.
To illustrate his theory he conducted some tests that he called “provings” on several volunteers and noted each individual’s reactions. He conducted the same sort of scientific tests using other popular medicines such as arsenic, which was at that time being prescribed in toxic doses. He noted that the severity of symptoms and healing responses depended on the individual. Some symptoms were common among most testers and these he called keynote or first-line symptoms. Second-line symptoms were those that were less common, and very rare symptoms he named third-line symptoms.
We use Classical Homeopathy
Hahnemann found that particular ‘types’ of people manifested different symptoms to the same disease and so required treatment with different remedies in accordance with their ‘type’. Dr. James Tyler Kent (1849-1916) furthered Hahnemann’s work on the different ‘types’ of people and the matching of a remedy to their emotional and physical characteristics; this became known as constitutional prescribing. Many people come to a Homeopath for ‘constitutional treatment’ to improve their overall health without having a particular health complaint. The value of constitutional treatment is that it boosts the weak constitution and decreases its susceptibility to disease. This type of treatment is called classical homeopathy.
What Homeopathy in Athy consists of
A first consultation would usually take one and a half hours. In this time a detailed case history is taken considering not just any ailments you might have now but any previous problems too. This helps build up a bigger picture. The homeopath treats individuals rather than diagnosed diseases, and it recognises that individual people function on several levels: Mental, Emotional, Physical and Spiritual. A remedy will be dispensed in the days following a treatment. Some health and lifestyle advice can also be given. Your homeopath is always at the end of the phone to talk you through any acute problems. Any follow up consultations usually take thirty minutes.
What you need to do
All you need to do is bring yourself (or your child) and be prepared for lots of questions.
The cost of a Homeopathic consultation is €75, and any follow ups are €50