Is Homeopathy A “New Age” Practice?
Dear Mr. Mueller, I have been learning about homeopathy for the last three years and attending a study group for two years. In recent months, several Christian friends have spoken to me about my interest in homeopathy. They feel that homeopathy is part of the New Age Movement. I’ve never read anything in my materia medica or my other reference books that would lead me to believe that. I’d be interested in hearing your thoughts on the subject.
Signed, S. S., Norwalk, Ct, USA
We have compiled a list of homeopathic terms and definitions that you might find very helpful.
Homeopathy | The Art and Science
Homeopathy is a term coined by Dr. Samuel Hahnemann (1757-1843), a German medical doctor and chemist. Homeopathy means treatment with a drug known to produce symptoms similar to the disease. Homeopathy is not a separate system of medicine from allopathy (conventional medicine). Instead, it refers to a precise set of universal principles and guidelines for the proper use of pharmaceuticals (medicines) to bring about a cure rather than merely a palliation of symptoms. These guidelines are conclusions drawn from reproducible experiments on the action of drugs (provings). These conclusions apply universally to the action of all drugs, not merely to those popularly and historically referred to as homeopathic remedies.
Law of Similars
The homeopathic rules are in sharp conflict with certain standards of the prevailing allopathic practice of medicine. The main conflict between the two systems is over the methodology required to bring about a cure rather than suppression, and over the use of energy medicines (potentized drugs).
Central to the homeopathic method is the Law of Similars. The principle of similarity had been applied intuitively by traditional healing methods and had been formulated as a universal law of healing by Hippocrates. Homeopathy is the first scientific application of the Law of Similars.
In the late eighteenth century, a time when the science of chemistry was in its infancy and the use of pharmaceuticals was largely based on either tradition or conjecture, most western doctors practiced bloodletting, cauterizing, and administered poisonous doses of arsenic and mercury. Hahnemann was determined to bring enlightened scientific methodology to the healing art. He advanced the hypothesis that a drug cured because it could temporarily induce a similar artificial disease that was stronger than, but similar to, the natural disease. He knew that when a patient who suffered from a mild disease like measles contracted a more serious similar disease, such as smallpox, it cured the milder disease.
Experimenting on himself, Hahnemann showed that there was a similarity of the symptoms caused by the quinine to the disease it was known to cure – malaria. To prove his theory, Hahnemann systematically tested the action of drugs, first on himself and on other healthy subject, carefully recording what symptoms they caused. Then he tried them on the sick who had both similar and dissimilar symptoms. He found the similar substances cured (he called it “homeopathic”), whereas dissimilar substances temporarily suppressed, if their symptoms were opposite the disease (he called this “antipathic”). In 1796, he formulated the Law of Similars: A drug cures diseases or syndromes that have symptoms similar to those the drug can produce.
Curative and Safe
When properly performed, homeopathic treatment can assist the body in restoring its health so completely that over time, medical treatment for most “conditions” can be discontinued. It is not uncommon that clients recover from serious disorders such as high blood pressure, allergies, depression, asthma, diabetes, cancer, and many other chronic disorders as a result of individualized homeopathic treatment. In addition, homeopathy can help the body overcome ailments like sore throats, coughs, flu, acute respiratory and other infections, menstrual problems, ingrown toenails, headaches, insomnia and so many other complaints. Homeopathy can help with about everything!
Homeopathic treatment uses highly diluted remedies that act gently and safely. Rather than inhibiting natural functions (i.e. using “anti-inflammatories” to suppress inflammation) homeopathy works by enhancing the whole body’s innate healing powers to restore you back to health. Homeopathic remedies stimulate curative responses in the body that are measurable in scientific tests. There are no known side effects to homeopathic remedies.