What is Homoeopathy?
Homoeopathy is a holistic system of medicine, which aims to stimulate the body to heal itself. It is based on the principle ‘like cures like’. It was founded by a German doctor Samuel Hahnemann (1755-1843) in the late 18th century. The word ‘homoios’ means ‘like’ or ‘similar’ and ‘pathos’ means ‘suffering’ and so Homoeopathy is a ‘Medicine of likes’. It is a method of curing the sufferings in a diseased individual by administration of remedies that have the capacity to produce similar sufferings in a relatively healthy individual. Although Hahnemann discovered the law in the 18th century, the principle in fact dates back to the 4th century B.C., when Hippocrates and Paracelsus concluded by observing nature, that cure could be attained by the “Law of Similars”.
Homoeopathy considers that all symptoms of ill health are expressions of disharmony within the whole person and that it is the individual who needs treatment and not the disease. It creates balance between mind, body and spirit; treating the man as a whole and not as parts… “The organs are not the man, the man is prior to the organs”.
Every science is based on certain principles and the same holds true for the Homoeopathic science too. There are a few solid, fundamental principles, which form the basis of this great science. It has its own unique philosophy and therapeutics that are founded on seven cardinal principles. They are as follows:
In Homoeopathy there is no medicine for any particular disease, but the medicine is for the person suffering from it. Hence two patients suffering from same illness may get different medicines, as they are two individuals with a different constitution (mental and physical make up.) Let us understand this with the help of an example: When two persons are suffering from headaches, the character of the pain, each one of them experiences is quite different. One may have a throbbing or bursting pain while the other may have a stitching pain, and each of them have a different state of mind and temperament. Although both of them have the same complaint the kind of pain and the temperament is very individualistic, characteristic to that individual only, and this forms the basis of choosing the remedy.
In today’s conventional practice, the physician spends very little time with the patient. It is of utmost importance that the doctor, gives a patient hearing to the person ailing, spends some time to discuss about his illness and understands the suffering of the individual seeking treatment.
Homoeopathy is a holistic science, which renders cure and healing, rather than mere alleviation of disease, and takes into consideration the minutest details of the ailing person. In order to do this, a Homoeopathic physician needs to spend a substantial amount of time with the patient and understand several aspects about him and his life.
During the process of Homoeopathic case taking, he not only enquires about the physical ailments in detail but also questions about his general state of health, illnesses in the past and family, his life situation, anxieties and stress, fears, dreams etc. This helps the physician to perceive the diseased person in totality, thereby enabling him to find the right Homoeopathic Similimum for the patient. It also helps the patient to repose trust in his physician and develop a good rapport with him.
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