More about homeopathy
There is a huge amount of information available about homeopathy online. While some of this is factual, there is also a significant amount of debate about the subject as well. Most of this focuses on the way homeopathic remedies are prepared: they are often diluted to an extreme degree such that little or even none of the original substance remains.
The issue of dilution is very divisive and is perhaps not the most fruitful way of thinking about homeopathy. Perhaps more helpful is to consider the way in which homeopathic remedies are both developed and selected for patients, both of which come under the general cornerstone concept of “like cures like” or the “law of similars”.
Instead of employing drugs to counteract or stop particular symptoms (think of the prefix “anti” common to many regular medicines), a drug is chosen that will mimic all the symptoms the person is experiencing. This can be achieved by finding a drug that, when given to a healthy individual, is known to cause a similar pattern of symptoms to those experienced by the unwell person.
For example, in a healthy individual the drug coffee may produce a general sense of feeling over-stimulated, excitable and sleepless. If we then think of a child on the eve of a birthday, he or she may well be feeling similarly disturbed, although for completely different reasons. If he or she is then given the homeopathic remedy “coffea” (prepared from coffee) this is likely to help them calm down and sleep well. The extent to which it helps depends on the degree of similarity there is between the symptoms coffee produces in the healthy individual and the symptoms the child is experiencing due to the excitement of their pending birthday. Note that the child will never have had actual coffee – the experiences he or she is having are similar only by coincidence.
One can perhaps make sense of this if one thinks in terms of systems. In both cases the system of the healthy individual and the child have been disturbed in similar ways: one by coffee, the other by the anticipation of a birthday. The disturbance in both situations is in part caused by the stimulant/situation and in part the body’s response to it, a response that is essentially trying to restore the harmonious equilibrium that existed prior to the event. Thus the symptoms however uncomfortable can be seen as a positive manifestation of a system trying to correct itself. If we can find a drug which mimics this disturbance, it will support the system to do what it is already trying to do and thus help restore order more quickly and effectively.
About Andy Brachi
I am an experienced homeopath and registered mental health nurse. I first became interested in homeopathy in 1990, and began training at the School of Homeopathy in 1992, qualifying in 1996. I have practiced on a part-time basis since then.
I qualified as a mental health nurse in 2007, and up until June 17 was working part-time as a nurse therapist in the NHS for the Children and Young People’s (mental health) Service (“CYPS” aka CAMHS”). I continue to work in mental health services.
While it has long been my wish to integrate my knowledge of homeopathy with my work as a mental health nurse on the NHS, it has never proved possible. It is my hope that one of the functions of this service will be to demonstrate homeopathy as a viable treatment within the field of mental health so that it can become more widely available.