The word is derived from homoios meaning ‘like’ and pathos meaning ‘suffering’. Although Homeopathy dates back to Greek times, its potential was not realized until the late 18th century and the pioneering work of the German physician Sanuel Hahnemann. Disillusioned with the conventional approach to medicine, he began his own research which led him to the conclusion that “like could cure like”. If a substance could cause certain symptoms, it could be used to cure similar signs of illness.
This is the basis upon which Homeopathy is founded. He began to dilute his remedies since some were toxic and finding the minimum dosage. The more diluted the remedies, the more effective the were. This meant that some of the most poisonous substances could be used therapeutically without side-effects or toxicity. This meant that almost any substance could be prepared homeopathically, metals, minerals, snake venom, diseased tissue and used to heal in their homeopathic form. Preparation of remedies involves serial dilutions with vigorous shaking in between each individual stage (process known as succussion) vital to the correct preparation of the remedy.
Correctly applied, homeopathy can be effective, safe and without side effects. The key is to match the symptoms to the remedy. The closer the match, the better the response. If the wrong remedy is given, nothing happens, but there is no damage done. Stored properly, remedies will keep for years without losing their efficacy. However, they need special care and must be handled and administered correctly.
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More on Homeopathy
A gentle but powerful means of restoring balance to the body, mind and spirit. It is a comprehensive medical system based on the “Law of Similars” or “curing like with like. It relies on a holistic diagnosis, and treatment that arouses the body’s innate ability to overcome sickness and restore health by using remedies that induce symptoms similar to the disease. Remedies may be prepared from plant, animal, mineral or other sources. Dosages are most powerful when given in the lowest concentration, that is, the highest dilution. The remedies are usually administered via small pellets or tablets, which may be diluted in pure water.
Homeopathic treatment for animals is usually prescribed by a veterinarian who is trained in homeopathy, or a homeopath who is working in consultation with a veterinarian. Homeopathic remedies are readily available, however, and may also be administered by other practitioners or by the animal’s guardian. In dealing with chronic problems, diagnosis and treatment by a medical practitioner is more likely to be successful.
What to expect when using homeopathy for animals:
Homeopathically prepared medicines have beneficial effects only when closely matched to an animal’s perceived cause, circumstances, and symptoms of suffering. The way the animal responds is important in confirming the remedy’s suitability. Thus it greatly assists the practitioner for the animal guardian to closely monitor and record the animal’s symptoms and general condition.
Symptoms can express themselves at different levels in an animal. Healing is taking place when symptoms progress from more vital to less vital organs. For example, a good response to a remedy is when the emotional, mental, or overall energy state is improved, although symptoms in a less important body system such as the skin may temporarily intensify. The ultimate goal of healing is to enable the individual to correct all of their energetic imbalances, although in some advanced conditions of disorder this may not be possible.
Sometimes a single remedy is all that is needed to stimulate healing, but often, especially with chronic conditions, a series of remedies over time will be indicated. Generally, in acute situations (rapid onset of symptoms), a follow-up remedy may be needed within hours to days, and in chronic situations, within weeks to months.
In chronic conditions, when healing is stimulated, some symptoms may intensify or a discharge will occur. When this phase occurs, it usually lasts a relatively short period of time (hours to days), and can even be barely noticeable. However, the animal will generally feel better as shown by an increase in energy level, serenity, and/or amelioration of more serious symptoms. Improvement will continue over a long period (weeks to months). While the animal is moving toward healing, there may be a temporary return of old symptoms or syndromes that were not adequately resolved before.
Therapeutic methods that can affect the healing response from homeopathic therapy include vaccination, prescription drugs, anesthesia, surgery and dentistry, acupuncture, medicinal herbs (especially tinctures and aromatics), and also other homeopathic remedies. Some therapeutic methods that can be routinely used with homeopathy include nutritional supplementation, and massage and other methods of healing touch.
Recommended introductory books:
Homeopathic First Aid (for horses) by Joyce Harman DVM, MRCVS
Homeopathy: Impossible Cure by Amy Lansky
Homeopathy, Healing and You by Vinton McCabe