What is Homeopathy? Information from Hauser Homeopathy in Waterloo, Ontario.


What is the difference between herbs, homeopathy and naturopathy?

Herbal preparations are made from plants that have often been ground and placed in a capsule for consumption or made into decoctions to be consumed as a tea.  The plants exist in crude/material form and should be prescribed by a qualified herbalist as they can have unwanted side effects and interact with existing medications.

Homeopathic medicines are made from plant, mineral, metals, salts and animal products.  They are usually diluted beyond Avogadro’s number so that there is no chance of toxicity.  They are deep-acting energetic medicines that are prepared systematically to reduce side-effects and treat at the deepest levels.  

Classical homeopathy is a complete system of medicine that was discovered by German physician and chemist Samuel Hahnemann. Homeopathy has its own philosophy, principals and medicines called remedies.  It is a holistic and individualized therapy that can treat a wide variety of conditions in people of all ages.  A homeopathic prescription usually consists of ONE homeopathic remedy (as if you are treating the whole only one remedy is required) and dietary suggestions where needed.  

Naturopathic medicine refers to practitioners (Naturopaths) who use a variety of complementary and alternative modalities from around the world as apposed to one specific system of medicine.  Naturopaths who have not specialized in one area have general knowledge about natural therapies such as Herbalism, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Nutrition, Acupuncture and Homeopathy.  A naturopathic prescription often consists of several supplements and/or herbs and/or homeopathic remedies (single remedies and combination remedies), and potentially acupuncture and dietary suggestions where needed etc.  

Homeopaths only study the art and science of homeopathy for the duration of their education and can be considered specialist or a Master of One!

Can Homeopathic Remedies and Conventional Medicine be taken together?

Yes, they can generally be taken safely together.  When taken under the supervision of a trained professional, homeopathic remedies are considered safe and unlikely to cause severe adverse reactions.  Although some patients may experience a brief period of aggravation of their existing symptoms, homeopaths view this positively, as it signifies the body temporarily stimulating symptoms in efforts to restore health (See FAQ – healing crisis).  

Remedies are not known to interfere with conventional drugs thus they can be used integratively.  On the contrary, it is more likely that conventional medication will interfere with the action of the remedy (i.e. antidote the remedy or shorten the duration and strength of its action).  Therefore, it is always important to discuss your medications with your homeopath and your homeopathic treatment with your physician.  As your remedy begins to restore balance within the body and self-healing begins to take place, the strength of medications often must be adjusted so that patients do not suffer the side effects from medications that may now be too strong with regards to dosage.

Unfortunately, cases where a patient has a long history of medication are more complex as with time it becomes more difficult to decipher what are true symptoms of the individual in his or her disease and what are symptoms of the medication.  Moreover, conditions that were not allowed to be resolved naturally by the body but rather were suppressed with conventional medicine must be addressed and gently expelled from the body for good.  

Only if elimination or reduction of conventional medications is a goal of the patient will it be discussed and addressed by the homeopath.

How long will it take to see results with homeopathy?

This depends entirely on the vitality of the patient, the chronicity of the complaints and the complexity of the medication history.  A condition that has persisted for many years will take longer to heal than a recent complaint especially if the patient is generally weak and exhausted from their condition.  

Homeopathic remedies are given in small quantities and taken over a period of time.   After taking a remedy the homeopath must wait and observe the effects of the medicine before increasing the dosage or perhaps changing the remedy as new symptom pictures arise.  The goal is to treat the patient in a short period of time and with as few remedies as possible to affect a cure.  

Society today expects a quick fix but as we know this does not work for long-term cure.  Homeopathy when applied to a chronic condition is a gentle and subtle medicine and so will be the changes in your health.  Instead of suppressing symptoms and driving disease deeper, homeopathy aims to stimulate your life energy so that your own healing mechanisms act to decrease the severity + duration of your symptoms or eliminate them completely.  In acute and first aid situations the application of the correct remedy will be very quick to act and resolve symptoms.

We do not get ill overnight so it takes time to get things back in order.  Sometimes the homeopath is able find your ‘one’ remedy or similimum (of thousands) that improves all complaints on the first try and only calculated repetition is needed.  However, this is not always the case due to the complex nature of disease today (i.e. identifying and eliminating barriers to cure, open-nature of the patient, compounded drug pictures, antidoting, family medical history etc.) and only part of the case is ameliorated with a ‘close’ remedy choice.  It is important you keep working with your homeopath so that the similimum can be recognized as the layers of your case are revealed and your relationship with the homeopath grows.

How often do I need to see my homeopath?

Once again this depends completely on the individual case.  On average patients will see their homeopath on a monthly basis and less frequently as your condition improves.  The duration of your treatment can be more adequately assessed after a constitutional case taking has taken place.

Remember, homeopathy is considered mainstream medicine and is incorporated into the hospitals and health care systems of many countries worldwide.  Therefore, patients should feel free to visit their homeopath at any point in time for any acute and first aid conditions that arise, such as to help heal colds & flues as well as injuries.

What is a healing crisis and a homeopathic aggravation?

A healing crisis and a homoepathic aggravation is an initial increase in symptoms.  Whereas in a healing crises an increase in current or new symptoms may last approximately 3-4days (similar to a cold and flu), a homeopathic aggravation is an increase in your current symptoms for a brief period of time.  Both are a good signs to a homeopath as the they indicate the initiation of the healing process.  Both can be applied to the analogy of a splinter:  You are able to get along reasonably well with the splinter for quite sometime.  Even if it hurts, you can still function.  Pulling the splinter out will hurt a little more for a short moment but the short-term discomfort is well worth not having the chronic pain.

Healing Crisis:
Over a lifetime of treatment with antibiotics and other medications as well as environmental pollutants, residual toxins can be stored within the body and interfere with the function of particular organ systems.  Cells cannot get the nutrition they need or rid themselves of their own metabolic waste.  The symptoms in a healing crisis  (such as headache, body ache, sluggishness, occasional fever with perspiration) are the result of unlocking the toxic storage places and expelling the accumulated toxins from the body.  This is an effective and permanent cure for chronic illnesses such as rheumatism, bronchial asthma, and allergies (which many times are the result of symptomatic treatments).

Homeopathic Aggravation
A homeopathic remedy is not a requirement but is an indication that a good ‘similimum’ was chosen by the Homeopath and that movement is taking place.  As the remedy boosts the body's own healing mechanisms, these aggravations are only temporary and are followed by a relief in symptoms.  A homeopath will try to select the best potency to minimize and even eliminate the aggravation however, in order for a remedy to stimulate change it must be similar but stronger than the current condition.   

Return of Old Symptoms
A return of old symptoms is another reaction that may occur after taking a homeopathic remedy.  If there have been many illnesses or diseases, the remedy may take the body through a series of regression during which the patient can experience symptoms of each past illness.  Should this occur, the patient ought to feel encouraged, rather than discouraged.  The symptoms are a positive indication that the remedy is helping the body to rid itself of all accumulated toxins from the inside out.

Can Homeopathy treat terminally ill patients?

Unfortunately in some cases a patient’s physical pathology has become too deep for a complete return to health.   However, homeopathic remedies can be used to palliate symptoms and offer the patient a better quality of life compared to conventional medicine.  This is not to say that a reversal of the condition is impossible as there are many documented cases on the effectiveness of homeopathy in treating terminal illness such as cancer.  Therefore, it is always better to try than not as remarkable recovery can happen especially when there is a quantum shift in the approach to health.  Regardless, homeopathic remedies can be used to reduce pain, depression, fears, anxiety, gastero-intestinal upset and side effects of medications.

Are Homeopathic Remedies Placebo?

No!  If the wrong remedy is selected it does not work, if the right remedy is selected it does work. The argument that homeopathy is placebo can be discredited when you see how quickly and effectively the correct prescription works in unaware infants and animals.  The only validity in the placebo argument comes from the case taking process, which is often partially healing to the patient, NOT from the application of the remedy.

Homeopathy is an energetic and individualized medicine, which makes it difficult for many people to comprehend.  Although remedies are often diluted beyond their origins their essence and effectiveness are retained due to the potentization process.  Therefore, we must study its effects and know it by its action as we do with magnetism and electricity.  There is so much beyond the physical with respect to health that the eye cannot see until it is almost too late.  In homeopathy we do not need to see physical pathology to believe disharmony exists therefore, we must treat dynamic conditions with a dynamic medicines.   

Homeopathy cannot be adequately studied with the scientific method because it is too rigid and was created after the development of homeopathic medicine.  The scientific method requires that for example, all individuals with headaches receive systematic treatment in order to validate the effectiveness of the single headache medicine they are testing.  This is impossible in homeopathic treatment because medicines must be individualized with respect to the remedy given, the dosage and frequency of repetition, as each individual will have a unique manifestation in the way they experience their headaches.