As appeared in HEART Business Journal for Women, Winter 2008 by Rebecca Liston, H.D., DSHomMed
What do you suppose Queen Elizabeth, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Mahatma Gandhi, Tina Turner, and Louisa May Alcott all have in common? Besides good looks and fame, they share a common approach to their health care. They have all benefited from the 200- year old medical art and science called Homeopathy. Developed by the German physician Samuel Hahnemann, Homeopathy has enjoyed a long and successful stint as one of the most-used medical modalities in the world today.
Proven to treat any illness or condition from acne to cancer, depression to allergies, it is often the first form of medicine used in the treatment of disease by doctors around the world. As one of my clients, who hails from India, once remarked, “In India, homeopathy is the first medicine used when someone is sick. Pharmaceutical drugs are only for the dying!”
Homeopathic medicine has several founding principles upon which its practice is based. Most appealing to clients are the principles of wholism, minimum dose, and treating the root cause. Simply put, the principle of wholism refers to the method of case-taking and approach to cure that is used by a Homeopath. Homeopaths do not treat symptoms or diseases, they treat people. No symptom that a client expresses is seen in isolation. Homeopaths consider each and every symptom from every body system at once when they prescribe the appropriate medicine. For example, a woman who suffers from psoriasis, anxiety, and night sweats would be treated with only one medicine that would address all of her concerns on all levels – mental, emotional, and physical. Because of this approach, a client can be assured that his or her entire health picture is being taken into account and that nothing will remain untreated.
The second principle of most interest to clients is the concept of minimum dose. Homeopaths prescribe the least amount of medicine possible to affect a cure. It has been well-proven that the smallest amount of a substance creates the gentlest, most effective results. Clients never leave the office of a Homeopath with a shopping bag full of medicines and products. Clients receive a small amount of medicine, never more than what they need, to take only as long as they need it. Homeopaths pride themselves on their ability to prescribe in this way and they have proven time and again the efficacy of their approach.
Treating the root cause of any illness or disease is the goal of a Homeopath. For those who are truly interested in achieving health on every level, this is perhaps the most exciting principle of Homeopathy. Homeopaths believe that all illness and disease are simply a reflection of the body’s present state of imbalance. A body in balance does not produce symptoms of disease. Symptoms are seen as an indication of imbalance, and Homeopaths understand that in order to alleviate symptoms, and thus eradicate the disease, balance must be restored. In order to achieve this, Homeopaths seek to uncover the initial cause of the imbalance.
Take, for example, the case of Maria*. Maria had been suffering from asthma since the age of 7. She was now 34 years old and severely asthmatic. Her Homeopath must diligently trace back to the origins of her asthma. It appeared that her asthma had developed after the treatment of her eczema, with which she had suffered from age 2. For her Homeopath, this revelation is imperative to Maria’s treatment plan. Maria’s system was imbalanced at an early age. Her body expressed this imbalance through the development of the skin condition known as eczema. At the time, this bodily expression was suppressed by the application of a topical steroid cream, and yet the fundamental imbalance in Maria’s system was never addressed. Her body now had to produce new symptoms to reflect its imbalance, hence, Maria developed symptoms of asthma. As the years progressed, Maria treated the symptoms of her asthma with inhalers. The symptoms that her body was producing were suppressed by the inhalants, and once again, the underlying imbalance of her system was not addressed. Unless the inner imbalance that Maria experienced as an infant is addressed in its entirety, Maria will never be well. Homeopaths understand that one must address the cause in order to affect a cure, and I am pleased to report that after 8 months of Homeopathic care, Maria is happy, healthy, and asthma-free.
It is also important to note that Homeopathic medicine is a form of complementary medicine, not a form of alternative medicine. This means that Homeopathic treatment works beautifully in conjunction with western medicine, as a complementary form of care. Clients can choose which form of medicine is right for them at what time in their healing process. Take, for example, the case of Sarah*. Sarah was diagnosed with breast cancer in her early 30’s. Sarah had a strong history of depression linked to a previous abortion, and hormone levels that had never been quite right since the birth of her second child. Sarah came to see me early after her initial diagnosis. With Homeopathic support, Sarah underwent mastectomy, along with radiation treatments, and recovered well. When she was feeling strong enough, Sarah came back to see me and we have since been working together to ensure that her body and mind stay balanced for, as she said, she “never want(s) to do that cancer thing again!”
The experience of being treated by a Homeopath is un-paralleled. Homeopaths consult with new clients for up to 2 hours, listen attentively, and assist their clients in uncovering the roots of their illness or disease. Homeopaths research the single best medicine for each client, dismissing the concept of “one-size-fits-all” prescribing. They choose the one medicine that addresses their client’s entire state of health, and they prescribe the least amount possible to achieve the greatest results. Is it any wonder that Dizzy Gillespie once said, “There have been two great revelations in my life. The first was bebop, the second was homeopathy.”
*names have been changed to protect the identity of my clients
© Copyright Rebecca Liston, 2006