I heard about homeopathy a couple years ago from a friend. At first, the only thing I tried was Arnica, which is typically used for bruising. I’d banged up my knee, and she gave me the remedy and told me to take it, and see what it did. The bruise never did reach the skin surface. From then on, every time I banged up a part of my body (which I do regularly as a nurse), I took Arnica, and haven’t had problems with bruising.
In January, I had a traumatic event in my life, and the same friend began searching her books of homeopathic remedies. She found one matching my symptoms, so we tried it. Within 30 minutes, my symptoms had subsided and I was no longer in a panic attack and flashing back to the event. Since then, I’ve kept Aconite in my bag so that it was on hand for any potential issues.
Then, I decided to take a leap of faith: I made an appointment with a homeopathic doctor for a chronic issue, and saw him six weeks later. As timing would have it, when I went to see him, I was battling a terrible cough, which I was pretty sure was pneumonia. I felt terrible, but I kept the appointment to see him. Turns out, I was right. And the pneumonia wasn’t the only thing I was battling. I spent 3 hours in his office, experienced an unusually high level of individualized patient care, and came away with three different homeopathic remedies.
So what is homeopathy? It is a complementary and alternative treatment focusing on on stimulating the individual’s own ability to heal using treatments from specific symptoms. It is based on the principle that “like cures like,” meaning that the appropriate remedy is selected, and initiates the body’s own healing response. This similar “medicine” acts to stimulate a response, thus giving the body the information it needs to heal itself. Another principle in homeopathic treatment is “minimum dose.” This means that you give only the amount needed to stimulate an initial response, which the body will carry on itself.
The practice of homeopathy has been around for over 200 years, and is extremely popular in Europe, India, and South America. It was developed by Samuel Hahnemann, who was born in Germany 250 years ago. Homeopathy practice is based upon science, but its application is an art, just like any other of the healing arts. It treats the individual, rather than collection of disease labels. More and more people are looking for something more than modern medicine has to offer, and are finding that the traditional disciplines like homeopathy are exactly what they are looking for.
According to a physician and researcher at the Royal London Hospital for Integrative Medicine, Dr. Peter Fisher, homeopathy is safe, and reduces the need for antibiotics. He also said in the British Medical Journal that alternative therapies are often misunderstood, and pointed out studies showing that integrating homeopathy with conventional medicines improve clinical outcomes, without increasing costs. It also reduced the use of potentially hazardous drugs.
I’m willing to test out homeopathy for myself, and see if it is too good to be true. But I’m looking forward to being pleasantly surprised, yet again, by the healing power of the human body. Given that the option is good enough for even the Queen of England and her family, I figure it’s worth a try for myself.
By: Rachel Clark, RN, BSN