Homeopathy is a system of medicine which involves treating the individual with highly diluted substances, given mainly in tablet form, with the aim of triggering the body’s natural system of healing.
The alternative medical system of homeopathy was developed in Germany at the end of the 18th century. Supporters of homeopathy point to two unconventional theories: “like cures like”, the notion that a disease can be cured by a substance that produces similar symptoms in healthy people; and “law of minimum dose”, the notion that the lower the dose of the medication, the greater its effectiveness. Many homeopathic remedies are so diluted that no molecules of the original substance remain.
Homeopathic practitioners rely on two types of reference when prescribing remedies: materia medica and repertories. A homeopathic materia medica is a collection of "drug pictures", organised alphabetically by "remedy,". These entries describe the symptom patterns associated with individual remedies. A homeopathic repertory is an index of disease symptoms that lists remedies associated with specific symptoms.
Homeopathic medicine has been practised worldwide for over 200 years and plays a significant role in the healthcare systems of many countries today. This effective and scientific system of medicine assists the natural tendency of the body to heal itself. It recognizes that all symptoms of ill health are expressions of disharmony within the whole person, and that it is the patient who needs treatment, not the disease.
Homeopathic remedies work by stimulating the body's own healing power. This power is very great and many complaints heal themselves unaided; but when the healing process is faulty, blocked or slow, the homeopathic remedy acts as a stimulus to the curative powers of the body. To provide this stimulus your homeopath must prescribe the right remedy and the right dosage for you. As yet, science has not been able to explain the mechanism of action of ultra high dilutions in the body, but laboratory experiments have repeatedly demonstrated that homeopathically prepared substances cause biological effects.
Homeopathic remedies are derived from substances that come from plants, minerals, or animals, such as red onion, arnica, crushed whole bees, white arsenic, poison ivy, belladonna, and stinging nettle. Homeopathic remedies are often formulated as sugar pellets to be placed under the tongue; they may also be in other forms, such as ointments, gels, drops, creams, and tablets. Treatments are “individualized” or tailored to each person, it is not uncommon for different people with the same condition to receive different treatments.
Naturopathic doctors take a minimum of three years pre-medical studies at university, followed by four years at one of four recognized colleges of naturopathic medicine.
The education encompasses basic medical sciences, naturopathic principles and therapeutics, and 1,500 hours of supervised clinical experience.
Laws regulating the practice of homeopathy in the United States vary from state to state. Usually, individuals who are licensed to practice medicine or another health care profession can legally practice homeopathy. In some states, non-licensed professionals may practice homeopathy.
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