Gill Graham writes… It is a question that I am often asked. How does homeopathy differ from conventional medicine? The answer to this is often very complex as homeopathy is not easily understood and has its roots firmly grounded in a fundamentally different paradigm. For those that wish to understand in greater depth, please see earlier ‘Homeopathy News’ blog posts on the homeopathic principles. However, for ease of understanding, the essence is as follows:
The Homeopathic Approach
- Homeopathy is based on a ‘whole person’ approach. The method of treatment is by way of in-depth consultation to find the correct remedy to satisfy the totality of symptoms, in homeopathy known as the simillimum, which is unique to each patient.
- Etiology (causation.) By identifying a possible cause of the sickness, treatment can be initially focussed on this stage. Often a patient will say “I have never been well since X situation..’
- Modalities, what makes the condition better or worse? What is ‘characteristic’ to the patient.
- The vital energy of the diluted substance, which is encapsulated in the remedy.
- Dynamis, your own personal ‘Vital Force’ or energy.
- You are unique, the condition manifests in a way that is peculiar to just YOU. The approach is therefore highly individualised.
The Conventional Medical Approach
- Conventional (allopathic) medicine generally focuses on treating a patient’s physical symptoms, without also taking into consideration the presenting mental and emotional state.
- Each symptom will generally be treated with a different medication, which can cause side effects, often leading to further treatment and more medication. (Iatrogenic disease.)
- Many conventional drugs try to inhibit and suppress symptoms. Homeopathy does not seek to remove or suppress symptoms. Its goal is to recognise and remove the underlying cause of these symptoms. This is why a homeopath will work toward understanding the whole person, including their body, mind and emotional state before prescribing a remedy. In other words, a homeopath would prescribe on the ‘totality of symptoms’ as opposed to seeing each part of the body as separate to the rest.
In short, the above highlights the main differences between treatment approaches. I am a strong believer in there is a time and a place for both systems of medicine, but where we can minimize potentially dangerous chemical drugs and their side effects, it is surely in our interests to do so. Despite the differences in approach, homeopathic and conventional treatments can work very well in tandem and be complementary after surgery, for example, to support recovery as well as in other medical situations. In an ideal world we would recognize that the integration of the holistic and the conventional has to be for the greater good.
To conclude, a homeopathic acronym which helps to describe the essence of homeopathic treatment and maybe one to help you remember!
Remedy- The totality of symptoms given as the simillimum in the homeopathic remedy.
Modalities -What makes it better or worse, what is characteristic to the patient?
Energy-The vital energy of the diluted substance.
Dynamis –The patient’s’ unique vital force.
YOU- Treatment unique and personalised to you, the patient.
As ever, consult a homeopath should you wish to commence treatment: www.findahomeopath.org.
Gill Graham, BSc (Hons) BA (Hons) RSHom, DHMHS.