What is it?
Homeopathy is only one of many modalities that come under the larger category of holistic, or alternative medicine. Many people new to alternative medicine are not aware that homeopathy is actually a unique system of medicine developed in Germany in the 18th century. It is very different in concept and in practice from allopathic (conventional, Western medicine), herbal or even nutritional modalities. It shares the basic premise with Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) that disease is the result of underlying energetic imbalances, and that mental, emotional and physical aspects of an individual are inseparable. Homeopathic remedies are not herbs, vitamins or supplements. Rather, they are medicines that are prepared in a very unique process that extracts and magnifies the energetic essence of different natural substances. There are hundreds of remedies in the homeopathic pharmacy, and they usually are administered in small pellets or granules to be taken orally.
The basic premise of homeopathy is the known as the Law of Similars, or “like cures like”. It means that a substance that can cause symptoms when given at a normal dose can stimulate the body to eliminate those same symptoms when given at a homeopathic dose. The study of homeopathy teaches that all the symptoms exhibited by a patient are manifestations of an imbalance in that individual’s Vital Force. In Classical Homeopathy, the practitioner prescribes a single remedy that best matches this pattern of symptoms. There are literally hundreds of remedies to choose from, so choosing the best remedy is not a simple task. After a period of time, the patient’s response to the remedy is evaluated, and then the physician has to decide what, if anything, needs to be done next. If it was a well-chosen remedy and the patient has responded in a curative manner, nothing more is needed at the time. It is possible for the symptoms to resolve, only to re-surface later, in which case the same remedy may be repeated. However, it is not uncommon that the patient does not respond to the prescribed remedy, and no improvement occurs. In some instances, some symptoms may improve, but others remain unchanged. In these cases, the prescriber re-takes the case and chooses a different remedy. As you can see, homeopathy is a rather complex healing modality with concepts that are frequently difficult to grasp. It takes a considerable amount of in-depth study and practical experience to be an effective homeopathic prescriber. Nevertheless, when a patient does respond favorably to a homeopathic prescription, it’s an amazing thing to witness (or experience). We occasionally see healing responses that would be difficult or impossible to replicate with any other medical modality, conventional or alternative.
Homeopathy in Our Clinic
While the treatment of chronic (long-lasting) diseases with homeopathy can be quite complex, its use in acute or emergency cases is more straightforward. Arnica, for example, is a very commonly used and effective remedy for any kind of physical trauma, especially where there is significant bruising. Aconite is a useful remedy in cases where the patient is in shock – usually the result of an accident. Many of our clients keep small homeopathic emergency kits at home just in case of such emergencies. Let us know if you are interested in having such a kit, and we can advise you on getting started. Not all of the veterinarians at our clinic use homeopathy in chronic cases, so be sure to ask us about which doctor will be the best fit for you and your animal friend. Homeopathic consultations are charged based on the time spent on taking your pet’s case as well as time required in researching the best remedy to prescribe. Fees for follow-up consultations are also based on time, and are sometimes done via phone.
If you are interested in learning more about homeopathy, there is a nice homeopathic primer on a website published by a homeopathic veterinarian, Larry Bernstein, VMD. Go to www.naturalholistic.com. There are also scores of other websites and books available for information. Let us know if we can be of help.