Because I like to use homeopathy in my day to day practice I’m frequently asked “what is homeopathy?” and “how does it work?” In fact, I am asked these questions so frequently that I thought they warranted an article.
Homeopathy is a system of medicine that has been around since 1796 and is based on the theory that like cures like and that less can be more. It uses remedies that are made from a wide variety of substances which are diluted and potentized and then selected based on a patients individual symptoms. It is widely popular in America, Europe, and India. For centuries it has been used to cure all kinds of ailments. In my practice, I use it to stimulate the vital force.
What is the vital force you ask? The vital force is that energetic part of the organism that ultimately is in charge of everything in the body. This force is intelligent and ordered and can heal itself if we just remove obstacles and give it a little nudge. This appeals to me in particular as a naturopathic doctor as the Vis Medicatrix Naturae (the healing power of nature) is one of our core philosophical principles.
So, just how does homeopathy work? I sometimes describe homeopathy as working on an energetic level like acupuncture does, but without the needles. It stimulates your body to heal itself by sending your vital force the right message. Just like acupuncture needles access Qi via specific points on the body, homeopathic medicines access the vital force by using a specific remedy. I find that people are more willing to accept that acupuncture has a real effect because you can see the needles and feel them going into your body. However, acupuncture is very similar to homeopathy in that the exact physical mechanism of action isn’t known.
Since I am a naturopathic doctor and not a homeopathic doctor, homeopathy is just one of the many modalities that I use. I use it in conjunction with diet and lifestyle modification, vitamin supplementation, botanical medicine, hormone replacement therapy, and even on occasion pharmaceutical prescription. I have used homeopathy successfully for a variety of ailments, however, where I have seen it really shine is in helping with the mental/emotional part of an illness. I have seen people move past major emotional blockages that they have struggled with previously. Homeopathy has even succeeded where counselors and psychiatrists have not. The other place I have seen this modality shine is in the treatment of chronic, stubborn complaints that haven’t responded to anything else. I guess you could call it my secret weapon. If you’re interested in learning more about homeopathy and wondering if it could help you, give our office a call and set up an appointment.
Dr. Jamie Brinkley, N.D.