Homeopathy and some of the methods used in practice
Homeopathy is a system of medicine that has been in use throughout the world for over 200 years, and is a part of mainstream, medical practice in several developed countries. This system of medicine had its beginnings when Dr. Samuel Hahnemann, a medical doctor from Germany in the late 1700s, had grown very disgruntled with how medicine was practiced in his day. The barbaric treatments that he observed and was trained to practice, often did more harm than good for his patients. As a result, while doing research for a medical text that he was translating, Dr Hahnemann discovered the beginnings of what we now know today as homeopathic medicine.
Massive tomes have been written about homeopathy, both in the philosophy of the art and science of it, as well as in how to practice it. Homeopathy means "similar suffering" and is based upon various principles, however, the central principle is that of utilizing very small doses of a substance that has been shown in tests to cause symptoms that are similar to the symptom- picture of the ill individual. The ultimate goal of homeopathy is to gently and completely transform the organism to a state of health. The practice of homeopathy is extremely complex, requiring a lifetime to truly study it (Hahnemann himself continually revised his medical magnum opus, "The Organon of the Medical Art" right up until the day that he died in 1843 at the age of 88 years old).
Homeopaths around the world have taken the brilliant work started by Dr. Hahnemann and adapted it for various circumstances by creating many methods of practicing this amazing and life-transforming system of medicine. Below are a just a few of the many methods of homeopathy that are in use today.
Method #1- Constitutional Prescribing
This method is also known as "Classical homeopathy", and is how many homeopaths are initially trained during our educational journey. This form of homeopathy is the most holistic method due to it taking the entirety of the person into the analysis of the case. A classical homeopath will want to know everything about the individual patient, from their weather preferences, to their fears and hobbies, to their physical complaints and mental traumas. This form of homeopathic prescribing is quite complex and the consultations can be lengthy as the homeopath attempts to find the deep levels of illness in all spheres of the patient. Results with this form of treatment can be quite miraculous due to the indicated medication touching on all levels of the individual. All successful homeopaths are at least familiar with Constitutional/Classical prescribing, and it is, without a doubt, the most challenging form of Homeopathic treatment to master. I have been gratified to have some very amazing cases resolved very elegantly with this form of prescribing, however those results can take some time to come to fruition since this method is usually a process of working with the patient for some time to determine the layers that have caused the chronic issues. Some clients do not have the patience to work with classical prescribing, which is part of why the some of the other methods eventually were developed.
Method #2- Isopathic prescribing
This method comes from the Greek word that means "equal". Basically, this form of homeopathy utilizes a remedy that is made from the same substance that is causing the health issue (rather than a "similar" substance, which is the classical definition of homeopathy). For example, some homeopaths have used this form of treatment in cases in which a patient had a hypersensitivity to a substance, and in treating them with that same substance in a homeopathic form, have helped the patient to not have the sensitivity anymore (for example allergies or sensitivities to cats or dairy or pollen or other substances). This form of homeopathy would be similar to the concept of "allergy shots" in conventional medicine, however would still be within the homeopathic domain.
"The highest ideal of cure is the rapid, gentle, and permanent restoration of health". Dr. Samuel Hahnemann, The Organon of Medicine
Method # 3- Tautopathy
The word tautopathy is derived from the root "tauto", meaning "the same", and is similar to isopathy in a sense. The main difference between the two is that tautopathy is utilized to "detoxify" or clear the patient from a drug or toxin rather than a substance that the patient is allergic or sensitive to, as with isopathy. An example would be in giving the patient a form of a drug that has been prepared in a homeopathic manner (highly diluted and potentized) in order to help that patient "detox" in a sense from that drug that has caused them to have chronic health issues. It is more complex than this because it is working on a deeper level than merely actual physical detoxification, however for the sake of simplicity, this is basically how it is used. This form of homeopathy has gained more widespread use within the last 10-15 years due to the increase in vaccine- related health concerns, as well as the increase in toxins in general. Ideally, a homeopath would combine methods in these cases, using both deeper, constitutional/classical prescribing, along with the tautopathic or isopathic remedies as intercurrent remedies for these complex cases.
Method #4- Clinical Prescribing
Unlike in Constitutional prescribing, in which the entirety of the individual is taken into account for the homeopathic prescription, in clinical prescribing, the homeopathic medication is chosen based more on the disease state of the patient. This form of homeopathy is often the only method utilized by MDs or other conventional medical practitioners when they have time limitations due to seeing such a large volume of patients. This method may also be used by homeopaths who have very closed patients who give very little information regarding their deeper individual symptoms, but mostly want to focus on their physical symptom picture.
This form of homeopathy is also utilized by "home prescribers" who own acute and first- aid books, and treat their family members with homeopathy in the event of a basic infectious illness (such as a cold or flu), or a simple injury (minor scrapes or bruises). It is very important to differentiate between acute/first-aid prescribing and when one should see a fully-trained and qualified homoeopath for deeper health issues. As a homeopath, I am often asked questions for quick fixes for issues such as ongoing menstrual pain or difficulties, or migraines headaches, or digestive issues, or skin issues, etc. Upon explaining that these issues really need to be dealt with in a deeper fashion with a consultation, the response is sometimes less than optimistic, and the individual decides to try to self-treat. Although one might be able to find temporary symptom relief for chronic issues by self-treatment, often this method can have unintended consequences, causing a suppression of the symptoms of the illness, driving it deeper into the organism, and making it worse in the long-term. An example of this that is even acknowledged in mainstream medical science, is in the treatment and subsequent suppression of topical eczema in a child, often resulting in the child developing asthma eventually. This can be a sign that the skin issue, upon being suppressed was driven deeper into the organism, resulting in an even worse pathological condition than the original chronic ailment. In the case of eczema, a homeopath would want to find a way to alleviate the suffering of the patient without suppressing it into a deeper pathology, which is not easy. In general, self-treatment/acute/first-aid prescribing is something that I encourage in my clients for basic illness etc, but it is wise to know when a condition should be treated by a homeopath or an ND or MD who specializes in homeopathy.
Method #5- Polypharmacy
This method is often used when dealing with cases that are not individualized, but are dealing only with an actual disease- state, and it utilizes multiple remedies simultaneously. Most classical homeopaths would shudder at the thought of using polypharmacy as a method within their practices, however it does have a place in some cases. A homeopathic company that has grown more popular over the last few years uses a form of polypharmacy/clinical homeopathy in helping patients to clear the various pathogens associated with Lyme disease, as well as the Epstein Barr virus. Many testimonies from this method that this company has mastered are very positive in these cases.
The homeopathic methods listed in this post are only a few of the many used by homeopaths around the world, but were chosen due to the increase in prevalence of them being utilized recently. For more information, please contact me via the contact page on my website.
Copyright Holistic Harmony Natural Health Counseling, LLC, Teresa Glick, ND, CHom