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Frequently Asked Questions

What is Homeopathy?

Homeopathy is a 200-year-old system of holistic medicine which has proven successful in millions of cured cases.  Unlike orthodox medicine in which the drug works against the disease, and often merely suppresses symptoms, homeopathic remedies gently stimulate the body’s immune system to fight the disease and restore health and balance.


Homeopathy is based on the principle that “like cures like”.  In other words, if a substance produces particular symptoms in a well person, then that same substance will cure similar symptoms in a sick person.  This principle has been known for centuries, but has only been methodically applied since Dr. Samuel Hahnemann first recognized and developed it 200 years ago.


Because of this approach, Homeopathy views symptoms as important.  Symptoms guide the homeopath to select the remedy that will stimulate the immune system.  An example would be a cold.  When you have a cold, you generally exhibit certain basic symptoms, but you might also have great thirst, be irritable, and want to lie perfectly still.  A friend might also have a cold, but have little thirst, desire fresh air and be better from gently moving about.  Each of these colds would require a different homeopathic remedy.


What are Homeopathic remedies?

Homeopathic remedies are distinct from herbs and Chinese medicines in that they are made from biological, mineral as well as botanical substances.  They are prepared in a completely different and unique fashion, by diluting and potentizing, so that they trigger the body’s immune system. There are over 4000 homeopathic remedies available today.


Are Homeopathic remedies safe?

Absolutely!  Because of the way in which they are prepared, Homeopathic remedies  are completely non-toxic and have no side effects.  Rather than raw substance or chemicals which work on the physical level, homeopathic remedies retain the energetic essence of the original substance and consequently work on the energetic level.


Aren’t Homeopathic remedies just a placebo effect?

Not at all!  Homeopathy has been used very successfully on babies, animals and unconscious individuals, none of whom would have any concept of a placebo effect.  Also, if you are taking a remedy for an acute condition and you take the wrong remedy, nothing happens.  No placebo effect.  


How is Homeopathy holistic?

It is necessary to take into account all of a person’s symptoms to determine and select the most appropriate remedy.  That means the individual’s mental, emotional and physical states are equally important in selecting a remedy.  Details pertaining to preferences for food, liquids, weather conditions, influences of time of day and so forth assist the homeopath in matching a remedy to an individual.  


Why haven’t I heard about Homeopathy before?

Although currently Homeopathy is not widely known in the U.S., it has had a distinguished history.  The American Institute of Homeopathy was the first medical association in this country -- founded in 1844, two years before the founding of the AMA.  At the turn of the 20th century 1/4 of all urban doctors were homeopaths.  Homeopathy has also enjoyed a fine history in Germany, France and England.  (The royal family has had homeopathic physicians for generations.)  Homeopathy is widely practiced in other areas of the world, most notably in India, Argentina and Greece.


What types of diseases does Homeopathy treat?

Homeopathy is effective in treating many types of acute and chronic conditions.  There are very few conditions which homeopathy does not treat, because homeopathy treats the person, not the disease.  Homeopathy has proven effective for conditions as diverse as colds and flu, to accidents and injuries, to allergies and asthma and even cancer.  There are self-help books available which suggest remedies for at-home treatment of simple acute illnesses.  For deep, chronic conditions, it is important to consult a homeopath.


My friend tried Homeopathy once and said it didn’t work.

There are a few reasons your friend may not have had success with homeopathy.  First, there are many combination remedies on the market for a variety of conditions.  Although your friend might have taken a remedy for, say a cold, if the specific remedy your friend needed was not included in that combination remedy, there would be no improvement.  Second, it is possible your friend may have been antidoting the action of the remedy. Homeopathic remedies are very sensitive and can be neutralized by use of substances like camphor and coffee, and by certain energy therapies.  Third, your friend may not have given the remedy enough time to work.  Although remedies can work quite rapidly, some conditions require longer treatment.


What should I expect if I visit a Homeopath?

Homeopathic case taking is quite thorough. Instead of a short, quick visit, the initial homeopathic appointment for constitutional treatment is a comprehensive interview which is typically scheduled for two hours (less for children) Follow-up visits to evaluate your progress generally take between 30-60 minutes. For acute cases, allow 20 - 30 minutes.  By listening carefully to your symptoms and asking some specific questions, the homeopath will gather as much information about you as possible to help determine the correct homeopathic remedy.


Healing is a process.  It is important to remember that while homeopathic treatment is highly effective in acute and chronic conditions, complete healing requires time.  If an individual has had a particular condition for many years, such as asthma, it is important to allow sufficient time for healing to occur.  For constitutional or chronic conditions always seek supervised treatment.

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photos by Allen

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