Originated from the Greek works “homeo”, meaning similar and “pathos”, meaning suffering, homeopathy is a vitalist approach to medicine. Homepathy developed from the principle of “like with like” that can be dated back to Hippocrates in the 460-377 B.C. It was later experimented by a German doctor by the name of Samuel Hahnemann in the late 1700s as he sought to find an alternative to the harsh conventional medical practices of its days. Homeopathy holds a vitalist philosophy in the sense that homeopathic doctors believe every person has something called “vital energy”. Balance vital energy leads to good health and vice versa, disrupted or imbalanced vital energy can be interpreted as diseases or illnesses. Homeopathic doctors aim to restore one’s vital energy, which will stimulate the body’s natural system of healing. Based on the patient’s symptoms, homeopaths will prescribe the most appropriate medicine.
Homeopathy can be understood in two basic principles. Homeopathic medicine, more commonly known as remedies, are prescribed based on a principle known as the “law of similiars”. The concept is that by using something that causes the same symptoms as the patient’s condition, the body’s immune system will remove whatever is causing the symptoms in the patients. In other words, homeopaths use the same symptom-provoking remedy to oppose the body’s symptoms and thus stimulate the body to ‘cancel’ out the symptoms. For example, if a patient is suffering from insomnia, a possible remedy that may cause the same symptom of insomnia such as caffeine, may be used to treat the patient. Homeopathy also runs on the principle of dilutions, which states the lower the dose of remedy, the greater the effect. Termed as potentization, patients are encouraged to take diluted substances in a progressive manner, which will lead the body to eventually heal itself based on the “essence” of substances taken.
Homeopathy is a holistic form of medicine that analyzes the entire person. Homeopaths may treat people based on their genetics, history, body type and their physical, emotional or mental state. Because this form of treatment is so specific to the individual, visits tend to span over a longer period of time. Some common forms of homeopathic remedies may include natural substances such as herbs, plants and minerals. It is also likely for remedies to highly diluted in the form of a tablet.