I decided to write about homeopathy to have a possibility to express what I have learnt and at the same time I am thinking about a few other burning subjects… So what is homeopathy without using to complicated definitions and words? It is a part of medicine which originated over 200 years ago and it has been around ever since. A part of medicine which encompasses so much and so little at the same time which basically comes to our own internal vital force doing a healing process with just some stimulation from a homeopathic remedies. Here comes the difficult part to understand how homeopathic remedies work, but we will get there. What is important to remember that at the time Hahneman, father of homeopathy was experimenting and changing his views on homeopathy, the technology to prove the mechanism of its action in our body it did not exist! Nowadays we are finally able to understand how homeopathic remedies act which I will explain a bit later.
Just to start this discussion I want to share my journey to homeopathy. I am a pharmacist who always would advise more natural ways of treatments since I can remember. As well as I used to and even more so today I advise against overuse of antibiotics. I never was comfortable just dispensing medicines and with the progression of my role to the hospital, as a clinical pharmacist, I gained some influence in the prescribing process. Seeing a lot of irresponsible antibiotics’ prescribing in the hospitals my not liking to them turned into almost a hate and war! You would probably ask why? What is wrong with antibiotics then that it pushed my away from working in the clinical setting?!
Antibiotics can stop life-threatening infections but they do not come without a price, which is a destruction of good bacterial flora and suppression of infection into deeper levels of our body. In order to rebuild a good flora inside of our gut it takes around 6 months and in most cases support from probiotics or even better from variety of probiotics foods. Good gut flora is essential for our digestive system to work properly and it is essential to produce neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine. I have written more about it in my last blog. The infections being pushed deeper in our body means it can weaker our vital organs and also often we see recurring of the same infection in the short time. Also overuse of antibiotics, especially broad spectrum antibiotics in indications when you can avoid giving them it is in my opinion a big crime against humanity! Yes, I am not joking! Poor compliance to follow guidelines in prescribing of antibiotics which in return can become useless (bacteria is becoming resistant) is irresponsible and dangerous for everyone, not only for the patient itself! Serious side effects after intravenous antibiotics, especially in compromised patients, including Clostridium difficile infection which is a life-threatening condition and it can lead to even more complicated chronic states. All of this it has been a huge problem which is on the rise because more and more resistant bacteria exist. Logically thinking if you try to “kill” bacteria it normally try to change a form, shape or mechanism of action to survive. Therefore, it is important to use antibiotics with narrow spectrum of action to allow unnecessary their changes (mutations).
So yes, antibiotics have a use in life-threatening states and that is how we should think of them! It is not as a quick solution for our common colds, coughs or sore throats! Anyway the origin of those is normally viral so antibiotics are pointless and they can only cause side effects. Sorry for prolonged antibiotic discussion but I feel not many people is aware of that and I am sorry but I have no trust in most of the doctors deeper understanding of it…. In many cases, the use of antibiotics is like using a shortcut. Our body has a natural ability to fight infections if we support them properly and homeopathy stimulates the vital force to regain balance and changes the environment so that the bacteria cannot multiply. In many cases, rest, lots of fluids, vitamin C and homeopathy means that our body stops being a place where infectious bacteria can thrive any longer!
So yes one of the reasons I could not longer bear a clinical pharmacy setting was lack of responsibility for prescribing medicines which have so many side effects. I had started to look for ways and alternative treatments which can do less harm to patients. The same time I wanted something where I can use my previous experience as a pharmacist. And that is how I found homeopathy shortly I have quit my last hospital job.
When I found homeopathy I may have thought similar, so it is not surprising that for some people homeopathy seems to be not very scientific or without following rules or theories. but that is not true. There are theories and methodology behind homeopathy which have a very scientific background. As hard it might be to understand some of them, because they are not the mainstream medicine theories. For example within homeopathy we believe that there is “a soil” which can make us prone to infections and it is not the actual bacteria that cause them. By soil it is understood our body and all what it comes with like imbalances of nutrients or vitamins or not managing stress which can lead to states of diseases. All of this at some points may cause our immunological system to missed intruder or not be able to deal with possible overgrowth of less friendly bacteria or candida. It is very important to keep your “soil” nourished to prevent it from being prone to infections! That is why in the homeopathy we pay great importance to “the soil” and “building blocks” meaning food because homeopathic healing sees those things as a possible obstacle to full cure. In the approach within practical homeopathy we have methods to try to combat those obstacles and support particular organs or areas of the body which need some tuning up.
Other mainstream theory which has a different interpretation within the homeopathic treatment is a chemical theory. In the mainstream approach medicines are used to work against blood readings which means if something is too low they induce it or if the blood marker is too high they try to reduce it. But again logically thinking if you try to push the body in the opposite direction, how is it going to react? In many cases body is going to work by pushing it back. In homeopathy we look why the actual state occurs and what is the root cause of for example low thyroid hormones or iron levels. In more complicated causation like in a case of high blood pressure it is not enough to just lower it down using medicines, neither allopathic or homeopathic. High blood pressure indicates that our body demonstrates some kind of imbalance by elevating blood pressure and when forced by medicines to lower it down it would push back. We can see that when doctors need to increase dose of hypertensive medicines or add another agent where often the root cause of the problem has not been detected or addressed. So the main difference between homeopathy and allopathy (mainstream medicine) is looking for a root cause of the health imbalance and not just to try to fix it artificially which often only helps temporarily. In the case of high blood pressure, from homeopathic perspective I would be interested in the condition of the adrenal glands and liver of the patient, her/his stress levels and their origin as well as the quality of sleep. Also any emotional events like deep shock which could be recent or from some time ago. Of course, also other general physical and mental symptoms as well as unusual things that changed in that person at a similar time. The founder of the homeopathic college, which I completed, she was kept telling us that 10 minutes of meditation a day can be more effective to lower blood pressure than any medications! And also without side effects;)
So the next important element of homeopathic treatment would be a question: What can be a root cause of physical states? I would put them in two main groups, external and internal which is quite obvious. Some of the external factors I have already mentioned before, like food and what is closely related with it any type of toxicity we might be exposed to. Toxicity not only from food but also from other everyday products we may use. Just to mention a few of them, products we use to wash our body, clean our houses or treat our hair, nails and …teeth. You can find more information about toxicity and food in my previous blogs. Within internal factors homeopathy focuses its attention on our emotional state which can be recent or from many years ago, like emotional traumas from the past. Traumas to the body can be physical or emotional and we may not be able to see a direct link with our current states but it does exist and it is a role of a homeopath to recognise those as they present within the patient. Good comparison is that treating homeopathically a person is like to peel an onion from layers and number of those depends on all sorts of trauma that a person had and how deep they got suppressed… Yes, it may sound a bit vague but at the end of the day every individual is different so it is a homeopathic approach to each single case.
One of the emotional states which is definitely hard for everyone is a grief. In many cultures death is not something that might be present in life or something pleasant to talk about. However, life and death are inseparable as much it may sound pathetic which at the same time does not change difficulty to go through grieving process when it comes to our loved once… Like every emotional state is different for each of us, as well as homeopathic remedies to relieve it, because your way of expressing sadness is different from that of the other people. One person closes himself and stops eating, another cries and needs conversation, and another cries in secret, or feels strong anger … So as many variations of the state there are different possible homeopathic remedies that we can use. As any emotional state it is different for each of us, as well as homeopathic remedies to help with it. In the state of grief or other emotional imbalances it is important to “do something” to help our mind to deal with emotions. By “do something” I mean many things, from simple talk through meditation, Bach flower remedies (they work on emotional states, I will write about them later) and homeopathy or some other holistic therapy. Emotions which our mind can not deal with often get suppressed to reappear after some time in our physical body in a form of sickness. Many diseases have origin in the emotional states or is better say most of them emotional factor has its input… During homeopathic consultations we try to recognise those links and choose the most similar homeopathic remedies to stimulate vital force of self healing in the patients.
You may ask what does it mean similar homeopathic remedies? “Law of similium” (Like cures like) is one of the principles of homeopathy which in simple words means taking into consideration emotional and physical symptoms of an individual to select homeopathic remedy or remedies which in a healthy individuals induced those symptoms. Yes, to answer your next question homeopathic remedies are tested on healthy individuals in the process called “homeopathic provings” to know what picture of physical and emotional symptoms they cause, because then they can be used in people presenting these symptoms. Like cures like rule says if something causes the symptoms presented in the patient giving such a remedy in homeopathic form can give a signal to the body to take care of the symptoms.To illustrate that on the simple example cutting onion may cause our tears to flow and our nose to itch or even start running. Similar presentation of symptoms we get in some people who suffer from seasonal hay fever- running, itchy nose and streaming eyes and for that presentation Allium Cepa (onion) in homeopathic form can be a great relief. It brings me to the other important homeopathic observation that something what directly caused our symptoms let’s say a coffee – raise of blood pressure, agitation or in some cases tachycardia and racing thoughts then coffee- Coffea cruda in the homeopathic form can relieve us from these symptoms. I can already hear people saying coffee does nothing to me and I drink it everyday 3 or 4… then try to stop your habit for a day and see what happens- unexplained headache, irritability and tiredness. For those symptoms also homeopathic Coffea cruda can give some relief as well as for sleeplessness from coffee or wine overuse… This matching approach based on direct causation is called a therapeutic method which is just one of many possible methods used in the search of homeopathic remedies.
A number of symptoms presented by the patient may match more than one remedy and most of the time it has more complicated causation then a cup of coffee if you know what I mean. That is why in practical homeopathy we treat the whole picture of a person on different levels using multi-method prescribing. On another hand classical homeopathy still to these days gives one remedy and uses a wait and see approach whereby more progressive practical school moved to seeing 21st century patients as more fragmented and requiring some support on multiple levels.
That brings me to another aspect within homeopathy that throughout 200 years as you can imagine many different ideas emerged as in any filled since experimenting can lead you to new findings. The process of establishing new methodologies has introduced separate schools of homeopathy with slight or very different approaches how to prescribe remedies. However all the centres of homeopathy follow basic principles discovered initially by father of homeopathy Samuel Hahneman. He himself never stopped experimenting what made him to change his understanding of the human body and its healing properties which he then continuously reflected in modifying his methodology of homeopathy. In my opinion, practical approach to homeopathy is what Hahneman did himself, continuous rethinking over the years how to effectively heal people as the food they ate, the water they drank or the air they breathed in changed too. That is why I consider Hahneman as a genius in his invention and open- minded scientist in that matter.
Few more words about Hahneman. He was a great observer and curious person perhaps due to his medical background. When he could not understand something he was looking for an answer until he found it. That was a case of one of his first homeopathic patients- an artist who was complaining of chronic pain which made him cry about it but he was emotionally indifferent when he talked about the well-being of his family. Hahneman decided to spend a day with the artist to understand more about him. When he saw a way the artist was working by tipping a brush in the mouth and then in brown ink he finally had the answer! Patient was getting a side effects of what turned out to be cuttlefish ink. Hahneman prepared homeopathic remedy of it and the patient got cured completely. That is how Sepia was born, one of the very important homeopathic remedies. The story sounds like a bit of a myth but what is great in homeopathy that a homeopathic medicine can be prepared from any substance. Often this something can even be dust in our surroundings or the fur of a beloved animal. The homeopathic medicine obtained in this way gives a gentle signal to our body, which is able to cope with the “intruder”.
Going back to the progress, it is just in recent years technology allowing to “prove” how homeopathy works in scientific terms has been invented. I am saying in scientific terms because clinical case by case homeopathic proofs exist based on individual patient cases which often are done by the homeopathic centres in the form of scientific articles and also Materia Medica is a core place where individual homeopathic remedies are described. Also clinical trials where homeopathy is compared to placebo or other standard treatments do exist however on the much smaller scale compared to allopathic medicines. This is not surprising because standard clinical trials are testing unknown, normally newly synthesized substances in a laboratory which is for the first time introduced to human beings. On the other hand clinical trials on homeopathy are testing to show individual effects of well- known, natural remedies which do not have side effects or interact with other medicines. That is the main argument of scientists that homeopathy does not have a multi-centre clinical trials but I hope you can understand why there is no need for them. Another argument is that the diluted substance in the homeopathic process has no particles or physical element so it has nothing what can work. But this argument was also refuted on the basis of research on nanoparticles as well as memory of water. Homeopathy works on the principle of frequency (energy) because, like any object or creation on this planet, we have a frequency, so their resonance with a homeopathic medicine transmits an impulse to self-healing. It may sound very scientific so I will develop this topic later.
As I mentioned at the beginning of the post I found homeopathy when I felt excluded from the clinical world because I could not stand irresponsibility in prescribing of medicines and I wanted to feel that I am helping patients again. My journey through homeopathic studies started in the college of practical homeopathy and homeopathic pharmacy Ainsworths where I got a job as a pharmacist. But what I really wanted to do was to work with patients on one to one basis. After I have completed college we decided to go on the journey to Asia and I wanted to use that time to think how I can apply my homeopathic experience in the future. While travelling I was given an amazing opportunity to shadow a great homeopath in Bali- Tjok Gde Kerthyasa in his clinic Tirta Usada which was incredible and the whole new experience for me. I saw with my very eyes a power of homeopathy and how you can help in so many different cases! Each patient was a different story and with every story I had a feeling I was receiving some blessing of experience of those people’s lives. It was an unforgettable time and a great impulse for me as a newly graduated homeopath. Observing Tjok in his practise I got inspiration to do training with a kinesiologist- Dr Adolf Brown which was another mind blowing experience. I felt at the time that a combination of homeopathy and kinesiology is inseparable from what I have experienced in Tirta Usada. I had a strong feeling to learn kinesiology which I consider as a golden key in many situations where you struggle to decide which remedy to give first or which remedy is the one patient needs now and which one can be given later… For me personally is a perfect extension beyond homeopathic practitioner’s abilities to decide which remedies resonate with patients. It is a perfect diagnostic tool as well as a way to increase your perception of patients’ energetic state. So eventually I have managed to organise training with Dr Brown who patiently showed me many details of that wonderful practice. I felt greatly thankful for the opportunity I was given by both great masters- Tjok and Dr Brown and I believe both experiences marked me as a practitioner 🙂
Overall experience in Bali made me a stronger homeopathic practitioner as well as my personal experience with homeopathy which is very subjective but it is the only one I can fully explain. That was around the time I came back from Barcelona after spending two months back in 2017. While in Barcelona I had a common cold with terrible cough which did not want to go away. I tried various remedies but I definitely could not have found the right one. So I was trying to find a homeopath which sometimes it is not so easy task. In the meantime, I even went to the GP who gave me a letter to do X-ray of my chest which I was not keen on. But I thought if this cough will not leave me I would need to do something about it… Just because I already had it for more than 6 weeks. So then by chance I found my first homeopath- Zofia. Yes, Polish girl who has appeared on my path from nowhere! 🙂 I have started my homeopathic treatment with Zofia and I had shortly improved not only with my cough and other physical ailments but most importantly mentally. From the perspective of time I can tell that I was experiencing a lot of sadness few months before I started to have the chronic cough which can be easily explained from Chinese perspective on organs. Emotion of sadness is kept in the lungs so some sort of dysfunction of lungs can appear as a chronic manifestation of emotional state. Anyhow homeopathy helped me to go back to balance and it has been just the first of many times I have experienced homeopathic process of curing.
I could talk much more about homeopathy 😉 However I do not feel I want to write much more at this stage so let’s say there will be a part two of this subject in the future. As a homeopathy requires time to be processed and understood because it does not happen immediately, I will take a little pause here… Healing is an art and let me not over do it 😉