Does Homeopathy Work?

So, years and years ago I had this fantasy at the tender age of seventeen to fly to Scotland, enroll in a Herbal Medicine school learn how to cure others with plants. What ended up happening was an advantageous turn in my career hunt and at eighteen years old, I enrolled to become a Massage Therapist at the Florida College of Natural Health in 1996. Still in the wellness field right?
Me at 17 years old still knee deep in love with holistic medicine

Me at 17 years old still knee deep in love with holistic medicine

As I’ve ventured into the world of massage, plant-based medicine has always been on the back burner of my mind. Apparently, as alternative medicine inclines in the interest of Americans, it seems that homeopathy is slowly making its home in the states as well.
Now, I’m a scientific kind of girl and respect all forms of medicine but I’m the biggest advocate for evidence-based medicine. This post is not put down or promote homeopathy but to bring awareness to you and let you decide if it’s the best course of therapy.

Back In Time

It all started with a German physician by the name of Samuel Hahnemann (1755-1843). At the time, the good doctor sympathized with patients undergoing savage and unnecessarily painful methods of medical intervention such as bloodletting,blistering and purging (sounds like a horror movie).

Dr. Samuel Hahnemann

Dr. Hahnemann went to work creating a new safer and milder medicine called homeopathy. In fact, after years and hundreds of observations, he created a Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia, which is still respected and often reference literature for many practitioners of classical homeopathy today.

Conventional vs. Alternative Theories

What makes homeopathy so unique and frankly a rebel in the eyes of conventional medicine is this; the more diluted a substance is (e.g. plant, mineral, animal….yes, I said animal) the more potent it is.
On the other hand, conventional medicine says, the higher the concentration of a substance the more of an effect it will have the human body. Two polar opposites when it comes to how the human body is healed.

Dilute the Heck out of It!

Ok, this is very new to me but just join me for the ride. The Law of Potentization is a major factor when it comes to homeopathy and how it works. The dilution process may be so extreme that many accustomed to the standard method of conventional medicine in the United States might say…um, this sounds like a hoax but just hang in there. Homeopathic remedies are labeled as “x” or “c”. For example, a 15x potency means that it was diluted 15 times at a ratio of 1 in 10 (one drop of the original solution is mixed with 9 drops of alcohol or water , then one drop of that solution is diluted by 10 , and so on , fifteen times). Make sense? According to homeopathy that’s where the effectiveness of the plant kicks in…the dilution.

The Law of Similars

To understand homeopathic medicine is to accept the law of similars  This principle uses the concept that “like cures like”. Case in point, someone has a condition, a substance causing the sickness is introduced into the body. The body may have had this substance making you slightly sick with little to no symptoms. Insert the homeopathic medicine and voila! Now you’re really sick and your amazingly designed immune system comes in with the body’s natural fighting mechanisms and kills off what you had once and for all making you 100% cured,happy and healthy.

Life Energy Theory

But none of this, and I mean none means anything if you don’t believe that plants have a specific life energy. Say whaaat? According to Dr. Hahnemann, the reason you can go dilution-mania on the substance to help cure you is because of “water memory”.
A story printed in the prestigious journal Nature, by french scientist Jacques Benveniste (1935 – 2004) claims that substances leave some sort of electromagnetic imprint on the water molecules.  However very few scientists have been able to recreate Dr. Beveniste’s experiments so the theory is still up for debate.
Hahnemann used the term “vital energy”” for the same life force that is called also known as chi in traditional Chinese Medicine or prana in Ayurvedic medicine of India. Hahnemann explained the energy’s role in his book written in 1810, Organ of the Art of Healing : “In the state of health the spirit-like vital force (dynamis) animating the material human organism reigns in supreme sovereignty.”  According to this view , the symptoms of an illness are signs that the body’s life energy if fighting against an illness.

Four Different Methods

Today homeopathy is used in at least four different ways
  • Classical homeopathy
  • Clinical Homeopathy
  • Complex Homeopathy
  • Isopathy
Each one has its own uses and practices that make them individual.
To summarize, it’s important to note that any extremism on the part of any practitioner is  dangerous. Any website or person that claims to “cure all” should be avoided. Medicine is continuously evolving and new discoveries are being made each day. It’s important to keep in mind that nature still holds many mysteries in the plant and animal kingdom. Many of our pharmaceuticals today are from chemicals that were isolated from plants such as aspirin which came from willow bark.
Upon writing this, I have never tried homeopathic medicine and cannot say whether it has worked or not. Many have though and swear by it. What comforts me is evidence that is based in trials. However, Europe is much more experience at this form of medicine than we are. After all, the British Royal Family uses it and stands by its effectiveness.
The Royal British Family endorses homeopathy.

The Royal British Family endorses homeopathy.

Whether you’re a fan of homeopathic medicine for your own use or not, perhaps this will expand your knowledge on alternative therapies. Once again I reiterate the importance of approaching a therapy with an open mind and a healthy dose of skepticism.
I enjoyed writing this post and hope you’ve enjoyed reading it. If you have a homeopathic doctor or supply store that you can’t live without please share it with me by either email or in the comments below. Thanks for reading and coming with me on the journey of health and wellness. As always, if you are my massage client, a big kudos to you and thanks for supporting Lumina Massage in our community, you rock:)
Until then, I’ll see you at your next massage.
All the best,
Michelle Orchid Rodriguez,LMT

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