Holistic (from holos, the Greek word meaning all,entire, total) is the idea that all the properties of a given system (biological, chemical, social, economic, mental, linguistic etc.) cannot be determined or explained by the sum of its component parts alone. Instead, the system as a whole determines in an important way how the parts behave.
Conventional or allopathic medicine views the body as a collection of parts governed largely by biochemical factors and whose integrity is threatened by internal disease-causing processes or external disease causing agents. In order to fight disease, conventional medicine opposes these factors, often using drugs, frequently man made entities or isolated components derived from naturally occurring substances, to affect the bodies internal chemistry, or to try and kill invasive or opportunistic pathogens.
Unfortunately, this type of treatment may result in unwanted side effects and, in the long term may weaken the body’s overall state of health. This reductionist approach may be a acceptable option in some instances , e.g. life or death situations , trauma, accidents etc. But general every day health challenges can be dealt with often without resorting to the sledgehammer option.
Homeopathy works in a different way. It is holistic in its application, which means that physical, mental and emotional symptoms are not treated separately but are considered as parts of an interconnected system within the entire human body and indeed interconnected within the global energy system in many subtle ways. (Note the increased emergency patient traffic on a full moon in a hospital).
Symptoms are viewed as a' whole system pattern' and are understood not as the disease per se but the body’s attempts to fight disease and achieve homeostasis. Remedies are prescribed to help the body in its task using the concept of treatment of 'similars'. Paying very close attention to all symptoms, the perceptive homeopath is led to a remedy capable of stimulating the body in the area in which its imbalance is ocurring.
Homeopathy is a scientific system of medicine in that it is based on a clear set of principles and laws derived from over 200 years of careful clinical observation. This has given rise to a set of clearly defined guidelines for treatment which include:
1) The similar remedy. "That which makes sick shall heal"
Samuel Hahnemann postulated that a homeopathic remedy which gives rise to a distinct pattern of symptoms during proving in healthy persons is capable of relieving the same symptoms in a sick person. Classical homeopaths are trained to select the most appropriate remedy from the thousands available that most closely matches your symptoms and is therefore the most likely treatment to ameliorate your symptoms. The remedy is intended to act as a "catalyst" to begin the healing process.
Hahnemann observed that while drugs could affect specific tissues, organs and processes within the body, the same medicine given in higher dilutions would have similar, but milder, symptom picture. The treatment gave less side effcets.He noted that homeopathic treatment of a person who presented with those same symptoms, stimulated the body to resolve the symptoms using its own healing and regenerative powers. The homeopathic remedy acted as a ‘catalyst.’
In homeopathic provings, remedies are established by testing a single preparation of material in healthy human volunteers. The preparations are taken under controlled conditions. The physical, mental and emotional symptoms developed as a result of the remedy in these healthy humans are painstakingly recorded. Homeopathic remedies are prepared from highly diluted solutions of these preparations. Classical homeopathy teaches that as each proving yields a constellation of symptoms in healthy individuals, so it may be used to treat a similar constellation of symptoms in sick people
2) The single remedy
All the information from provings comes from testing remedies singly, so only one remedy is given at a time. this is classical homeopathy. A homeopath would not give simultaneously one remedy for a headache, one for a a runny nose and one for arthritis, the remedy selected would be for the person with headache, runny nose and arthritis.
3) The minimum dose
Dr Samuel Hahnemann, the founder of Homeopathy, sought the most effective dose with the fewest side effects. He developed the process of potentization.This is a method of preparing a medicine where a sequence of dilution and succussion (vigerous shaking) produces homeopathic remedies which are somehow ‘energised’, powerful yet gentle. The potentized remedy is given in the smallest dose needed to catalyze the body’s healing response.
Paradoxically it appears that when the substance is diluted and succussed in a serial fashion its toxic properties gradually dissapear and its energetic properties are released and enhanced. The energy that was held within the substances physical structure bound up in matter can be released , It seems that physical laws do not seem to operate at this nano level of existence in quite the same way and as a result, homeopathic potencies appear to get more biologically active the more they are diluted and potentized.
This is what has led the established scientific community to challenge homeopathy as the current models of science cannot explain the effects of a substance that is so dilute that often not a single molecule of the original substance remains.
The concept of energy medicine and energetic fields in the human body has been utilised by many ancient forms of healing, such as acupuncture and recently it seems as if modern scientific research is validating these energetic effects in many areas and this may indeed provide the explanation of the observed effects of homeopathic treatment.Holistic (from holos, the Greek word meaning all, entire, total) is the idea that all the properties of a given system (biological, chemical, social, economic, mental, linguistic etc.) cannot be determined or explained by the sum of its component parts alone. Instead, the system as a whole determines in an important way how the parts behave.