Principles of Homeopathy
Homeopathy was founded in the late 18th century by Dr. Samuel Hahnemann. He was a significant public health advocate and enraged by the harsh medical practices that he saw. Dr. Hahnemann did not understand why certain substances were effective cures, so he tried them on himself and discovered that the treatments produced the symptoms of the specific disorder in healthy people. Then he tried these methods on other people, noting things like their general health, what made them feel better or worse, the way they lived and their outlook on life. This symptom picture was matched to the “drug” picture. The closer the match, the more successful the remedy.
Homeopathy: Like can cure like. Homeo is from the Greek meaning similar and pathos is from the Greek meaning suffering. This is the basic guiding principle. It means that an illness can be treated or cured by a substance capable of producing similar symptoms to those being endured by the patient. So, if a substance produces similar symptoms to the disorder, that is the substance that, in homeopathic form, will relieve the illness state. It involves careful observation of a patient, the symptoms specific to an individual and their reaction to the disorder.
A drug and a disease that produce similar symptoms cancel themselves out in some way.
Dr. Hahnemann saw that some patients became worse before becoming better, so he devised a method of producing remedies by increasing the dilutions and pounding, introducing the vibrational energy of the substance into the water. He discovered that such remedies worked faster and more effectively than the original substance. Although they were “weaker” they were actually more potent. He postulated that these remedies worked on the “vital force” of the person, the energy responsible for the healthy body. The symptoms of illness are the outward manifestation of the vital force’s attempt to reconcile the imbalance and restore order. Homeopathic remedies help to hasten recovery by stimulation of the vital force.
Dr. Hahnemann’s work was further refined by Dr. Constantine Herring and Dr. James Tyler Kent, two important American homoeopathists. Dr. Herring devised a “Law of Cure” which holds that symptoms move from the top of the body downward; from the inside out; and from the most important organs to the least important. He believed that a cure occurs in reverse order to the onset of symptoms. Dr. Kent observed that some people reacted to certain remedies more than others, and refined this idea into “constitutional types” considering the individual emotional and physical appearance, as well as their symptoms. High potency remedies were prescribed based on the constitutional type and physical symptoms. This method is still used today.
A homeopathic assessment takes into account the patient’s character, stress levels, lifestyle, level of exercise, diet and food preferences, family medical history and the effects of general factors such as weather, to provide a unique symptom pattern. This allows the doctor to decide what remedy and what potency is advised.
Sometimes in homeopathy it is necessary to go even deeper than the constitutional fingerprint and address miasms, even though the indicated remedy may not fit the patient’s symptoms as closely. This is especially indicated if a disease that has cleared up in the past returns later. This shows that there is some underlying pull to the state of illness which is a miasm. Dr. Hahnemann believed that these were in the mind and the organizational structure of the vital force of a person, especially in chronic disease. Although beliefs and assumptions might operate outside our awareness, they play a powerful role in how subtle energy circulates in the body. These underlying roots feed the occurrence of chronic disease.
Miasm 1 is superficial, affecting primarily the skin and identified by itching. Miasm 2 is moderate, affecting the mucous membranes and identified by the presence of warts and discharges, an inclination to over-do. Miasm 3 is severe, including issues with the central nervous system, and presents as ulcers.
This is only a very superficial introduction to the concept of miasms. The more probing that you do, the more you will understand how diseases of the body and the mind relate to alienation from the spirit. As if homeopathy was not unique enough, this concept is unique to homeopathy and very powerful.