LIKE CURES LIKE – SIMILIA SIMILIBUS CURENTUR
Homeopathy is a system of medicine that was developed in Germany by Dr. Samuel Hahnemann in the late eighteenth century. Dr. Hahnemann was a brilliant pharmacist and medical translator who was the founder of homeopathy.
Homeopathy is based on the Greek words meaning similar suffering and the concept that a substance that causes a symptom in a healthy patient will treat that same symptom in a sick patient. A single homeopathic remedy is chosen to treat the whole animal, including their mental, emotional and physical symptoms. This is in contrast to conventional or allopathic medicine where symptoms are suppressed or removed by the use of drugs such as antibiotics or pain killers
Of course there are certain life threatening situations where antibiotics are essential, but homeopathy actually stimulates the body to heal itself, and strengthens the immune system, and consequently leaves the body in a better state of health than before it became sick. It can treat many conditions effectively, and it is said that there are no incurable disease, just incurable patients. What this means is that many diseases can be treated, which Western or conventional medicine cannot cure, but some patients are so sick and suppressed that they will never be truly cured, though they may be helped and given some comfort. People and animals that are treated all their life with homeopathy are overall healthier and live longer, because their immune system is continually being strengthened and challenged rather than suppressed and weakened.
THEORY OF HOMEOPATHY
Homeopathic remedies use minute amounts of substances to act as a trigger to the body and stimulate its natural immune system. We are attempting to make your pet as healthy as he or she can be and gradually build up their body to the best that it can be. We are working with the immune system and not against it and aiming for a cure. This can take time and some animals will never be totally free of symptoms, but should live longer and healthier lives as a result of the treatment they will receive. In practice this means an animal can have a so called fatal illness but have an immune system that with the right homeopathic trigger can overcome the illness. The immune system which is encompassed in the term vital force depends on a variety of factors. These include age of the animal, type of disease, duration of illness as well as the innate vital force or Qi that the animal was born with. Drugs, poor nutrition, constant vaccinations, chemical treatments for fleas and ticks all undermine the immune system and should be avoided as much as possible. All these factors lead to the development of chronic disease which is characterized by specific symptoms.
These groups of recognizable symptoms are known as miasms and in particular in animals a newly discovered miasm is appearing, called the rabies miasm, which manifests the chronic effects of the rabies vaccination. Miasms can be treated with specific individual remedies that gradually heal the body and free it from the effects of the miasm.
Homeopathic remedies work with the body and not against it and when used correctly should leave the body healthier than it was before it was sick. Suppressive drugs such as antibiotics and cortisone leave it weaker than before, although may have to be used in certain life threatening situations. In practice a homeopathic remedy will be prescribed for your individual pet, and over a period of time, which depends upon how serious the condition is, there should be a gradual return to health and well-being. There should be more energy, less disease symptoms, and ultimately none.
Other benefits include a shiny coat, more balanced emotions and better teeth, and freedom from diseases such as chronic ear infections and skin allergies. Obviously this is not an overnight process, and takes some time and commitment for both the veterinarian and the animal caretaker. But the results should be a much healthier animal who lives a long and healthy life as is possible.
Homeopathic remedies are extremely dilute substances, which may be from the plant, mineral or animal kingdoms, that are used to treat many types of disease process. Homeopathic remedies have been detailed by a process known as proving. People have taken the remedies over an extended period of time and made notes of their experiences. The master homeopaths of that time then correlated all the information and determined that what causes these symptoms in a healthy person will treat those same symptoms in a sick person, or animal.
The first homeopathic remedy to be proven in this way was discovered by Hahnemann himself, and was Cinchona or Peruvian bark. Hahnemann realized that the effects of taking this were the same as the effects of the disease which it was used to treat, which was malaria. He then supposed that this might also be the case for other substances as well and started to experiment. He tried to dilute more toxic substances to evaluate the effects, without poisoning his assistants and family. To his surprise the effects of these substances became more potent, without having as many side effects. He began to research this further and developed a system of dilution and shaking, called succussion, that seemed to potentize the remedy, and reduce any unwanted effects. He evolved a number of potencies, where each dilution involved mixing one part of the substance to ninety nine parts of water and alcohol. This results in a 1 C potency. Then one drop of this dilution is taken and diluted in ninety nine parts of water. This results in a 2 C potency (C standing for one hundredth part). The number of times the substance is diluted results in the dilution, thus a 200 C has been diluted to one in a hundred parts 200 times. It is not enough to merely dilute the substance, however, and the other vital part of the process, that Hahnemann discovered was the shaking or succussion, which is done between every dilution. This is often carried out by machine in this age of technology, but was originally done my hand. The higher the dilution the more potent the remedy. Remedies are available as high as 50 M which is 50 million dilutions.
Latest scientific theories suggest that somehow the dilution and vigorous shaking super charges the water molecule and this is what affects the body, and brings about healing. The homeopathic remedy which most closely matches the symptoms of the animal or person will act as a resonant trigger to the body and stimulate better health.
THE HEALING EFFECT
Initially when a homeopathic remedy is taken nothing may appear to happen. The remedy will start to work but nothing may be apparent to begin with. In acute conditions the effect is more rapid, and after a short time some improvement may be noted. One important thing to look out for is an aggravation – this refers to a slight worsening of the symptoms for a short while, followed by improvement. This is the healing reaction to the body, and is a good sign that the correct remedy was chosen. Usually in chronic disease the aggravation may be seen after about three to five days. Then gradual improvement should be noted. In acute disease situations where the onset was more rapid and severe an aggravation might not necessarily occur or be noticed. However, after one or more doses of the appropriate remedy improvement should be noticed. In many cases acute illnesses are really flare ups of underlying chronic disease, so a follow up with more chronic treatment is often advisable and treats the real root of the problem and prevents further episodes of acute disease.
In chronic diseases one dose of a homeopathic remedy is usually given, or a daily dose of a lower potency. The effect is observed over several weeks. The aggravation, if it occurs will usually be after about three to five days. Even though there may be some worsening of symptoms, the overall feeling should be better – so the animal may have more energy, and vitality than before, for example.
Sometimes suppressed symptoms from the past may appear some time after a remedy is administered. This is because a specific symptom that was treated with suppressive drugs, or even suppressive natural remedies will come to the surface of the body to be released.
Healing often occurs in a downwards direction, from the head towards the back of the body or the feet. It may also go backwards through the history of illnesses that the patient had suffered, but in a much milder fashion. The body may also heal from the inside of the body to the outside. So, for example a liver problem may resolve, only for a skin rash to appear. This may be be skin rash from the past, or the body trying to externalize the disease. In many cases the new or suppressed symptom will resolve without further treatment, at other times a new remedy may need to be given, to deal with this new level of disease that is now manifesting. Often there are various layers of disease that need to be peeled away, to get to the whole, healthy animal beneath.
Drugs and vaccinations also contribute to chronic disease in animals, and the effects often need to be removed from the body, before a disease can truly respond. It is also helpful to administer an appropriate remedy to counter the effects of vaccination when one has to be given.
CARE OF REMEDIES
It is is important to try not to touch the remedy before it is given. This is because there may be something on the hands that could deactivate the remedy and prevent it from working. Because homeopathic remedies are energized they are very sensitive to electromagnetic fields so they must be kept away from televisions, microwaves, magnets, stereo speakers or anything else that might emit an energy field.
In addition it is best to keep the remedies away from extremes of heat and cold, as this may affect them. Strong odors, such as menthol, peppermint, coffee, essential oils or other chemicals can also affect the remedies action on the body, so it is best to avoid these substances when you or your pet are being treated by a homeopathic remedy. Strong light may also affect the remedies so it is best to store them in a cool, dry place away from light, such as in a clean closet where no strong smelling substances have been kept recently.
Food or water should not be consumed fifteen to thirty minutes before or after the remedy is administered. This is because this may also stop the remedy working effectively. For liquid remedies it is best not to touch the dropper to the mouth as this also may contaminate the remedy. As far as when to give a homeopathic remedy it is best not to repeat a remedy too soon, so in an acute situation every four hours is average. In general it is best to wait until improvement ceases, then repeat the remedy. Repeating a remedy too soon can counteract the previous beneficial action of the remedy. Giving more than one remedy at a time is also not to be recommended. It is best to give a single, carefully chosen remedy, at the correct potency and dosage.
How long the remedy is effective for depends upon the vital force or Qi of the patient, the potency of the remedy, the specific remedy that was given as well as the severity of the disease. The first rule of homeopathy is wait, wait, wait. It is important to be observant to notice the effects of the remedy and determine what is happening. Most importantly was that remedy curative, or if another remedy going to be more effective. Often the next time a chronic remedy is administered a higher potency must be given the next time as the body has become stronger and a stronger remedy is now needed to get a healing effect.
In summary, homeopathy is an ordered scientific system of medicine based upon firm principles, as described by Hahnemann himself. His famous book The Organon outlines the theory and philosophy of homeopathy. A single remedy is selected after careful consideration of the patient, their overall symptoms, their moods and emotions, their likes and dislikes, what affects them and makes them better or worse as well as the actual disease that is present.
The true homeopath must take a detailed history of all these factors, and the diseases that are present in the body, both presently and past. From this overall picture a remedy emerges and is given.
The symptoms can be looked up in a repertory, which gives the remedies that have been proven for those particular symptoms, and this covers everything from dreams to bowel movements.
The potency is selected based on the disease picture, the age and vitality of the patient and the severity of disease, and is a matter of experience. The effects are then assessed after an appropriate period which may be from twenty four hours in an acute situation, to several weeks in a more chronic long term illness.
The aim is to reach a cure, where no symptoms are present on the emotional, mental and physical levels and the animal or person has excellent vitality and a healthy vital force.
Dr. Anna Maria Gardner is a holistic veterinarian, based in Washington State, and is certified in acupuncture and homeopathy. She lives in Washington with her daughter, two dogs, seven cats, sixteen chickens, two goats, a donkey, a horse, two ducks, a pair of geese and one bossy parrot.