The principles of homoeopathy were first formulated at the end of the 18th and into the 19th century by German physician, Samuel Hahnemann. He was unhappy with use of toxic medicines and bloodletting practices that were part of orthodox medicine at the time. He perchance discovered the first of his Laws – That Like Cures Like, when he was trying to treat an epidemic of Malaria. His subsequent discovery of his Law of Minimum Dose occurred when he diluted medicines in a sequence using one part of the active medicine to nine parts of an alcohol and water mixture. This was designed to remove any toxicity but was found to increase the healing effect. This was a radical departure from the accepted medical practice of the time. Homoeopathy as it became known, has since proven to be a system of medicine which is both safe and effective.
The original principles have been reinforced and further developed over the past 220 years and consistently found to be effective in treating and preventing disease. It is a system based on firm concepts where healing follows a natural and complete course.
The totality of symptoms.
Homoeopathic medicine treats the whole person, and not the disease that the person has. It is a system of treatment directed to the individual’s total state or constitution as it is known. It does not treat an isolated group of symptoms. In order to assess what medicine(s) a patient needs, that person is seen as a unit. There are two sets of instructions for completing a ‘Life Picture’ on this site for downloading. One is a history for parents to write up for a child patient. The other is for adults and is used for either homoeopathy or acupuncture patients. The information requested on those instructions is strictly confidential and helps Dr Ryan select appropriate Homoeopathic medicines and to decide on the posology. The history will be used to guide the consultation. It will be returned to you at your follow up visit.
Stimulus to the body.
Homoeopathic Medicines work by stimulating the body’s own healing response in order to raise that individual’s resistance and strength. Thus, by treating the cause of illness instead of suppressing the superficial symptoms, homoeopathy uses the underlying susceptibility of the patient. Where the condition involves repeated episodes, such as in children with a susceptibility to catching colds or repeated ear infections, it works to prevent re occurrence as well as relieving the condition.
As little medicine as possible is employed in treating disease. Homoeopathic practice is directed towards health maintenance through treatment of the whole person. By establishing a balance of the body’s health systems prevention of recurrence of the condition occurs.
Preparation through the Potentising of medicines.
Homoeopathic pharmacy employs a process of serial dilution that brings out the medicinal energy that is dormant in its crude substances. As a substance is diluted and shaken in solution, its ‘potency’ is increased, and it can then be used as a medicine. In this way inert crude substances can become powerful medicines.
Care must be taken when handling Homoeopathic medicines. The following precautions should be adequate.
- They are sensitive to electromagnetic radiation so keep them apart from Mobile phones or laptops etc.
- If they are to be stored for a period of time, use a cool dark place, away from strong smelling medicines or lotions particularly containing camphor or eucalyptus.
- Do not have more than one vial of Homoeopathic medicines open at a time to prevent accidental mixing of lids of vials.
This term, used by Homoeopaths, means the combination of the potency of the medicine and the recommended frequency of dosing.
- I dose consists of 1 tablet or pilule. Try not to handle the pills directly. The dose may be conveniently tipped into the lid prior to taking in the mouth.
- Take the medicines into a clean mouth. They may be taken half an hour before or after meals or after rinsing the mouth free of food. Avoid taking them immediately after using toothpaste, herbal teas, tobacco, or mouthwash etc.
- Avoid completely camphor-based products such as nasal sprays, eucalyptus oil such as in chest rubs, liniments, or any other strong-smelling products.
The healing reaction to Homoeopathic medicines is usually gentle and gradual. Sometimes of course quicker reactions can occur, and some reactions will be more dramatic. The healing effects are different in individuals. Aggravations of symptoms rarely occur but such a reaction generally indicates that the medicine posology does not quite match. However, these are not side effects of the remedy but rather an indication that the body is responding to the medicinal stimulus in that way. Generally, the Homoeopath will alter some aspect of the posology that will turn the slight aggravation around. If a reaction occurs and you are concerned about it, don’t hesitate to call. It is important to note changes in symptoms and record their progress following the administration of Homoeopathic medicines. These changes will provide the indication for future treatment. In chronic problems particularly the emphasis is on prevention as well as healing. In order to accomplish this, deep- acting medicines require a longer period of time. Commonly, a medicine may need to be repeated at spaced intervals or several remedies given in succession.
The image of Samuel Hahnemann’s grave in Paris, by courtesy of Peter Lane photographer.