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Homeopathy – sometimes called Homeopathic Medicine – is both an art and a science of healing. Homeopathy honors the inherent law of every living organism – called homeostasis – a striving for physiological balance. This ability to respond to internal and external stimuli is a criteria that we can apply to distinguish health from disease. Homeopathy is based on the law of similars, first recorded by Hippocrates in the fourth century BC, and developed into a system of therapy by the brilliant physician Dr. Samuel Hahnemann (1755-1843).
Hahnemann discovered that if a substance can create certain symptoms in a healthy individual then it will heal those symptoms in an individual who is ill. He made this observation after ingesting cinchona bark – quinine, a popular cure of malaria – and developing the symptoms of malaria. When he discontinued, the symptoms stopped.
Thus he wrote, " ... we must seek medicines that can excite similar symptoms in the healthy body." This natural principle of healing is called like cures like. The medicines of Hahnemann's time were often very toxic. Thus, Hahnemann began to experiment with increasing dilution's to minimize each medicine's toxic side effects. He discovered a process called succussion, in which he vigorously pounded the solutions on a firm surface. The highly diluted medicine became even more effective medicinal substances. Through observing the action of these remedies, Hahnemann concluded that the shaking released the energy of the substance – involving a molecular imprint on the water/alcohol solvent – with none of its toxic effects remaining.
By the time of Hahnemann's death in 1843, Homeopathy was practiced throughout the world. Homeopathy first came to the United States in 1820 and swept the continent. At one time there were 56 homeopathic hospitals in the United States. Homeopathy's popularity began to decline for a number of economic and political reasons, but Homeopathy continued to thrive in other parts of the world. In the United States, Homeopathy has been experiencing a renaissance. Homeopathy once again finds itself on the cutting edge of medicine.
Source: Barbara Seideneck, Chom, Boulder CO; Emily Matuszewicz, DC, Denver CO.
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