The Principles of Homeopathy
With a rise in obesity, an increase in various cardiovascular conditions, and type 2 diabetes developing earlier and earlier, more and more people are turning towards natural healing for innumerable ailments. You may personally know friends or family members who practice holistic health, use essential oils, or swear by the principles of homeopathy.
Homeopathy was first developed at the end of the 18th century by a German physician known as Dr. Samuel Hahnemann. It is a comprehensive system of healing using natural processes rather than the pharmaceutical, engineered medications many use today. It is an alternative medicine movement with a broad following.
Dr. Hahnemann firmly believed that your entire mind, body, and spirit are affected when an illness takes over your body. The objective of homeopathy is to relieve you as a whole (body, mind, and spirit), not by focusing on the ailment, but by focusing on your entire being. Rather than lab made pharmaceutical drugs, the principles of homeopathy dictate that remedies are made with the use of natural plants and minerals. Homeopathic remedies are used widely in England, India, and many other European countries today.
Homeopathy is derived from the Greek words of homeo, which means similar, and pathos, which means suffering. Hahnemann verified through his research that with the use of similars, healing can take place.
The way similars work is that, if a substance can develop an ailment in a person who is healthy, it is then used to provoke healing in someone who is already ill with a similar ailment.
Hahnemann supposed that your whole body, not just the physical body, but your mind and soul, will all show symptoms when you are sick. His medical philosophy held that the symptoms you face when you are sick are just your body’s ordinary response to the struggle to regain its health.
Both historically and today, people have used homeopathic medicine as a gentle healing process for long-term illnesses such as ongoing allergies, rheumatoid arthritis, irritable bowel syndrome, and atopic dermatitis. However, homeopathic medicine is not appropriate for serious health conditions such as cancer, heart conditions, or major infections in your body.
The Principles of Homeopathy
The principles of homeopathy consist of four fundamental principles that create the foundation of the system.
The Cornerstone Principle
The first one is known as the cornerstone principle. It comes from the Greek words similia similibus curentur, which translates as, “let likes be cured by likes”. Dr. Hahnemann believed that your entire body, soul, and spirit are all affected when your body gets sick. Using similar substances to restore health is what he developed his system by.
He additionally states that when you show symptoms of illness when you are sick, some of the symptoms are indeed common to that sickness, but other symptoms are merely characteristics of you in your sickness. These indicators are unique to you as an individual, and they would be matched with a symptom remedy of the homeopathic remedy.
In this sense, the cornerstone principle emphasizes bio-individuality, rather than a one-size-fits-all approach. It’s extremely interesting, as many lab-made pharmaceutical medications are given using the same exact drug for anyone with the condition. The principles of homeopathy, on the other hand, suggest a completely different approach.
Homeopathy does not consist of a list of precise remedies for a given condition. Rather, all of the symptoms you may be experiencing will be taken into consideration, and the remedy will be formed based on what works best for you.
The Single Remedy
The single remedy principle, second of the principles of homeopathy, holds only one remedy should be given at a time to make it easier to see the results. It focuses on using just one homeopathic remedy, since it would be much more difficult to establish what caused healing when multiple homeopathic remedies are used at the same time. This particular principle focuses on controlling the variables of the remedy used. Homeopathy attempts to do this because it does not focus on the actual cause of the ailment or sickness. Rather it’s a system aiming at eradicating the target symptoms that are produced.
However, Hahnemann abandoned this principle as ineffective after much experimentation.
The Minimum Dose
The third principle of homeopathy suggests that the minimum dose is always best. Miniscule doses of a remedy are used, and they are only given when it is necessary. This approach is to avoid too high of a dosage causing more symptoms. Likewise, if a dose is given when it is not needed, it is more likely to cause side effects.
Hahnemann also recommended that you repeat the same dosage for maximum results and minimal side effects. The repetition, nonetheless, will be based on your individual response to the remedy. This principle highlights that less is better when it comes to homeopathic healing.
The Potentized Remedy
Using potentized remedies is the last of the principles of homeopathy. This refers to the process used to prepare homeopathic remedies from substances that otherwise would cause illness. Remedies are diluted over and over again, interspersed with vigorous shaking procedures, to disperse the life-force of the original plant substance, until in most remedies no detectable active ingredient remains.
Potentized means a remedy has been prepared using the homeopathic standards, which includes the process of dilution and succussion. Succussion is a medical term Hahnemann coined to explain the action of vigorously shaking the mixture and knocking it against a hard surface.
Vigorously shaking the remedy using such amount of force was believed to arouse the natural force in the medicine, and in order to successfully affect your vital force (the energy that maintains your life), a similarly energetic homeopathic force must be used as a remedy. This process of producing homeopathic remedies and medicines is used because it prevents adverse effects from developing.
The Principles of Homeopathy and AFS
For those suffering the effects of chronic stress and Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome (AFS), there has been some clinical experience that suggests homeopathy can be applied successfully in selected cases.
AFS is associated with chronic and prolonged stress, eventually damaging the health of your adrenal glands, which are like your stress supervisors. When you experience a stressor, your adrenal glands release anti-stress hormones, such as cortisol. At first, your adrenal glands are alerted and release hormones such as cortisol without any complications.
However, when you remain at a high level of stress, your system becomes overworked, your adrenals begin to feel strained, and it becomes difficult for them to release anti-stress hormones into your bloodstream. With chronic stress, the adrenal glands don’t get a break, and it may eventually damage your NeuroEndoMetabolic (NEM) Stress Response system.
This results in numerous symptoms, including, but not limited to, constantly feeling weak and fatigued, missing sleep, nervousness, indigestion, feeling sluggish and tired all day, insomnia, irritability and mood swings, inability to complete everyday normal tasks, irregular menstrual cycle, lack of sexual drive, and fluctuation in blood pressure levels. Eventually, your body reaches the point of adrenal exhaustion, in which your adrenal glands give up to the chronic pressure. At this point, the body is so desperate for energy that it begins to break down its own muscles.
How can the principles of homeopathy help with reversing and reducing the many symptoms caused by adrenal fatigue?
With AFS, there is an imbalance in the system, a fluctuation of hormones and metabolism, resulting in a state of exhaustion. In advanced cases of AFS, the body can be highly sensitive. Inability to tolerate nutritional supplementation, along with multiple chemical and food sensitivities, is the norm. Paradoxical reactions are common. For example, a calming nutritional supplement may lead to anxiety and panic attacks.
Why these reactions occur is unclear, and more research is needed. However, the use of modified homeopathy has been shown to be beneficial in such cases when properly monitored and titrated.
When Homeopathy Doesn’t Work for AFS
While there are many, like Dr. Samuel Hahnemann, who swear by remarkable healing using the principles of homeopathy, homeopathic remedies may not always be the best for those with AFS.
Some claim that homeopathic remedies created a pattern of feeling better, only to face worsening symptoms of AFS down the line. Others found it to be ineffective or had paradoxical reactions.
Traditional homeopathy, for those with AFS, tends to leave much to be desired. Some argue you should not use any homeopathic remedy for AFS at all, as it is too “powerful”, especially if you are in the advanced stages of AFS and experience a high level of sensitivity.
Since homeopathic medicine can be viewed as is a form of energy medicine, you may also be unable to do what homeopathic remedies ask your body to do. In cases like this, the concept of “less is more” may not help much.
A Modified Approach for Advanced AFS
A modified homeopathy approach may be very useful, however. Key nutrients properly diluted, timed, and administered with the proper delivery system can help the body “kick-start” the internal priming mechanism. Homeopathic support or other adrenal support supplements can help kick start the body on the road to recovery. The result is sometimes that the body is better able to “roll the snowball” once the critical mass has been achieved. This ability to enter the self-healing cycle is very important for long-term healing.
Often, the body is overburdened by massive sympathetic overtone secondary to autonomic nervous system dysregulation seen in advance stages of AFS. When this happens, the body is unable to facilitate the priming mechanism it desperate needs. This failure, in turn, triggers more sympathetic overtone. This is feedback cycle is inherently unstable. Many sufferers go through great lengths trying various nutrients purported to help AFS, only to find worsening results. The harder one tries, the worse it gets. Practitioners likewise are dumbfounded and confused. Sufferers ultimately can collapse if the course is not reversed.
Application of a modified dilution approach of key functional nutrients, a concept that was originally advanced by homeopathy practitioners, can be very helpful in such cases. However, because sufferers are very fragile by the time this approach is considered, very close monitoring by a health professional should be present.
© Copyright 2018 Michael Lam, M.D. All Rights Reserved.
Dr. Lam’s Key Question
How can the principles of homeopathy be used to reverse or reduce adrenal fatigue syndrome symptoms?
There has been evidence that the principles of homeopathy can be used to reverse or reduce symptoms of adrenal fatigue syndrome if remedies are used in a modified way to provide gentle relief.