Frequently Asked Questions - About Homeopathy

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The term homeopathy comes from the Greek words homeo, meaning similar, and pathos, meaning suffering or disease. Homeopathy is an alternative medical system. Alternative medical systems are built upon complete systems of theory and practice, and often have evolved apart from and earlier than the conventional medical approach used in the United States.a Homeopathy takes a different approach from conventional medicine as practiced by holders of M.D. (medical doctor) or D.O. (doctor of osteopathy) degrees and by their allied health professionals such as physical therapists, psychologists, and registered nurses in diagnosing, classifying, and treating medical problems.

Key concepts of homeopathy include:

 

  • Homeopathy seeks to stimulate the body's defense mechanisms and processes so as to prevent or treat illness.
  • Treatment involves giving very small doses of substances called remedies that, according to homeopathy, would produce the same or similar symptoms of illness in healthy people if they were given in larger doses.
  • Treatment in homeopathy is individualized (tailored to each person). Homeopathic practitioners select remedies according to a total picture of the patient, including not only symptoms but lifestyle, emotional and mental states, and other factors.

    Homeopathy is based on the principle that 'like cures like' - in other words, a substance taken in small amounts will cure the same symptoms it causes if it was taken in large amounts. 

    This idea dates back to Hippocrates (460-377BC), who also thought that symptoms specific to an individual should be taken into account before making a diagnosis. This is also an important principle of homeopathy, where an individual's unique symptoms are important in distinguishing the correct medicine.

     

    The idea of like curing like was not to re-emerge in any great way until a German physician, Samuel Hahnemann (1755-1843) came to devise the system of medicine that we know as homeopathy. 

    In the late 1700s, Samuel Hahnemann, a trained physician, chemist, and linguist in Germany and working as a doctor, was dissatisfied with the conventional medical practices of his day. Blood-letting, purging, blistering and giving patients large doses of toxic materials such as arsenic, sulfur, mercury and lead were commonplace at that time. Hahnemann disagreed with these harsh methods and proposed a new approach to treating illness. At the time, there were few effective medications for treating patients, and knowledge about their effects was limited.

    Hahnemann was interested in developing a less-threatening approach to medicine. The first major step reportedly was when he was translating an herbal text and read about a treatment (cinchona bark) used to cure malaria. He took some cinchona bark and observed that, as a healthy person, he developed symptoms that were very similar to malaria symptoms. This led Hahnemann to consider that a substance may create symptoms that it can also relieve. This concept is called the "similia principle" or "like cures like." The similia principle had a prior history in medicine, from Hippocrates in Ancient Greece--who noted, for example, that recurrent vomiting could be treated with an emetic (such as ipecacuanha) that would be expected to make it worse--to folk medicine.14,15 Another way to view "like cures like" is that symptoms are part of the body's attempt to heal itself--for example, a fever can develop as a result of an immune response to an infection, and a cough may help to eliminate mucus--and medication may be given to support this self-healing response.

    Hahnemann tested single, pure substances on himself and, in more dilute forms, on healthy volunteers. He kept meticulous records of his experiments and participants' responses, and he combined these observations with information from clinical practice, the known uses of herbs and other medicinal substances, and toxicology,d eventually treating the sick and developing homeopathic clinical practice.

    Hahnemann added two additional elements to homeopathy:

    • A concept that became "potentization," which holds that systematically diluting a substance, with vigorous shaking at each step of dilution, makes the remedy more, not less, effective by extracting the vital essence of the substance. If dilution continues to a point where the substance's molecules are gone, homeopathy holds that the "memory" of them--that is, the effects they exerted on the surrounding water molecules--may still be therapeutic.
    • A concept that treatment should be selected based upon a total picture of an individual and his symptoms, not solely upon symptoms of a disease. Homeopaths evaluate not only a person's physical symptoms but her emotions, mental states, lifestyle, nutrition, and other aspects. In homeopathy, different people with the same symptoms may receive different homeopathic remedies.

    Hans Burch Gram, a Boston-born doctor, studied homeopathy in Europe and introduced it into the United States in 1825. European immigrants trained in homeopathy also made the treatment increasingly available in America. In 1835, the first homeopathic medical college was established in Allentown, Pennsylvania. By the turn of the 20th century, 8 percent of all American medical practitioners were homeopaths, and there were 20 homeopathic medical colleges and more than 100 homeopathic hospitals in the United States.

    In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, numerous medical advances were made, such as the recognition of the mechanisms of disease; Pasteur's germ theory; the development of antiseptic techniques; and the discovery of ether anesthesia. In addition, a report (the so-called "Flexner Report") was released that triggered major changes in American medical education. Homeopathy was among the disciplines negatively affected by these developments. Most homeopathic medical schools closed down, and by the 1930s others had converted to conventional medical schools.

    In the 1960s, homeopathy's popularity began to revive in the United States. According to a 1999 survey of Americans and their health, over 6 million Americans had used homeopathy in the preceding 12 months.16 The World Health Organization noted in 1994 that homeopathy had been integrated into the national health care systems of numerous countries, including Germany, the United Kingdom, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Mexico.7 Several schools of practice exist within homeopathy.17

    Persons using homeopathy do so to address a range of health concerns, from wellness and prevention to treatment of injuries, diseases, and conditions. Studies have found that many people who seek homeopathic care seek it for help with a chronic medical condition.18,19,20 Many users of homeopathy treat themselves with homeopathic products and do not consult a professional.13

    b. Items 1-13 in the references served as general sources for this historical discussion.

    c. Bloodletting was a healing practice used for many centuries. In bloodletting, incisions were made in the body to drain a quantity of blood, in the belief that this would help drain out the "bad blood" or sickness.

    d. Toxicology is the science of the effects of chemicals on human health.

    Homeopathy cannot replace all other forms of healthcare, but can be used as the treatment of first choice in a wide range of conditions. It can also be used in a complementary way in other situations, for example, to support good recovery after operations.

    Homeopathy doesn't interfere with conventional medicine and should be seen as a complementary treatment, not as an alternative.

    The best of both worlds

    Despite the differences in approach, homeopathic and conventional treatments can work very well alongside each other. Consulting a medical doctor trained in homeopathy allows you to receive the best of both worlds, with the most effective treatments being tailored just for you.

    Homeopathic medicines are manufactured by repeatedly diluting and succussing (shaking) a preparation of the original substance, mainly plants and minerals, in water and alcohol. After dilution the medicine is added to lactose tablets or pillules.

    The strength of the medicines

    Over-the-counter homeopathic medicines that you can buy in high street shops tend to be in either the 6c or 30c potency. 6c means that the substance has undergone 6 steps in a series of dilutions, where each step involves diluting 1 part medicine to 99 parts alcohol/water.

    The more stages of dilution and succussion the preparation has gone through, the more potent the medicine is - so a 30c medicine is more potent than a 6c medicine.

    Although this seems to be the opposite of the way conventional medicines work, where a greater dose has a greater impact, there are conventional drugs that work on the same principle.

    Homeopathic doctors work in the same way as any other conventional doctors do. History taking, examination and investigation are all important in establishing the diagnosis. However, as well as asking about your symptoms, a homeopathic doctor will be interested in you as an individual and the unique way in which your symptoms affect you.

    Typically, in homeopathy, patients have a lengthy first visit, during which the provider takes an in-depth assessment of the patient. This is used to guide the selection of one or more homeopathic remedies. During followup visits, patients report how they are responding to the remedy or remedies, which helps the practitioner make decisions about further treatment.

    The homeopathic consultation

    Questions about your lifestyle, eating habits and preferences, temperament, personality, sleep patterns and medical history help the doctor to form a complete picture of you. This picture will be matched to the symptoms of your illness in order to prescribe a particular type and strength of homeopathic medicine.

    As a guide your first appointment could take anything up to an hour, with follow-up appointments typically lasting 30 minutes. This does vary depending on the practitioner and the setting in which they work.

    Preparing for your appointment

    To get the most out of a consultation, it is helpful to make some notes beforehand and to think through all the issues that are affecting your health. Some homeopathic practitioners ask new patients to complete a questionnaire before their first appointment. This is a helpful way of saving time and to your advantage to do so if requested.

    The medicine

    At the end of the consultation your homeopathic doctor will give you a prescription and advise you how often to take the medicine. Homeopathy is usually taken in tablet or pillule form, but is also available in liquid and powder form. You may be prescribed a homeopathic gel or cream for topical use as well.

    Long-term problems

    Homeopathic doctors often see patients with long-term, chronic problems, many of which have failed to respond to conventional medicine, such as eczema, chronic fatigue syndrome, asthma, migraine, irritable bowel syndrome, arthritis and depression.

    Whole person medicine

    However, as a system of medicine homeopathy is designed to treat the whole person and can therefore be considered in almost any situation where a person's health is depleted. It can also be very useful in the treatment of minor ailments, from cuts and bruises to coughs and colds. A medical doctor trained in homeopathy will know when it is most effective to use homeopathic medicine, conventional medicine or a combination of both.

    Medical conditions commonly seen homeopathy perform better
    Eczema, depression, anxiety, cough, menopausal symptoms, chronic fatigue syndrome, catarrh, osteoarthritis, irritable bowel syndrome, hay fever, upper respiratory tract infection, rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, multiple sclerosis, allergy, fibromyalgia, migraine, Crohn's disease, premenstrual syndrome, chronic rhinitis, headache, vitiligo

    Safe and effective

    Homeopathy is perfectly safe. This is because homeopathic medicines are made from a very small amount of the active ingredient. Two hundred years of practice, research and trials have proved the safety of this gentle system of medicine for both people and animals.

    Gentle and non-addictive

    Unlike some conventional drugs, homeopathic medicines are non-addictive and have no dangerous side-effects. Homeopathy is safe to use for babies, children and pregnant and breastfeeding women, ideally under the supervision of a homeopathic doctor.

    Regulated practice

    Homeopathy doctors and other statutorily registered healthcare professionals bound to act within the competence of their profession and their level of training and qualification in homeopathy. This means that a homeopathic medicine would not be prescribed when, for example, a conventional treatment is actually the better option for a patient.

     

    Homeopathic treatment is available all over UAE.

    If you are in Dubai, you can consult Dr.Sulaikha Hamza B.H.M.S, Al Jameela Poly Clinic, Near Al Futtaim Mosque, Naif road, Dubai (04 722 7716) to get reliable homeopathic treatment.

    If you are in some other location, please contact us and we will help you find a Homeopath near you.

     

     
     

    Location

    Al Jameela Polyclinic

    New Kuwaity Building
    Near Al-Futtaim Mosque,
    Naif Road,Dubai

    United Arab Emirates

     

    Contact

    For appointments / information

    +971 50 550 4575

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