Unit 4: Homeopathy
Part A: Philosophy of Homeopathy
Homeopathy is a system of alternative medicine that is based on the Law of Similars. This law was noticed first by ancient physicians, and also mentioned by Paracelsus, whose work we will study briefly in this unit due to its relevance to homeopathy.
The law of Similars states that a substance, when taken in a large amount will cause certain adverse symptoms. If however, a minute amount of the substance is taken, then it will heal the symptoms that it would cause if taken to excess. This concept is more commonly known as ‘like cures like’. It was Samuel Hahnemann (1755-1843) who realised these natural laws of nature and incorporated them into his new medicine which he called homeopathy.
Homeopathy is perhaps the best known of all the alternative medical disciplines. Most people have heard of homeopathy. Sadly, it is also probably the most ridiculed, due to a total misunderstanding of its underlying philosophy and also to modern medicine possibly feeling threatened by it and trying to disprove and discredit it.
Homeopathy is a vast subject and requires a minimum of 4 years intensive training and study to begin to master it. This module will therefore only give you an overview and it is important for you to understand that we are not even ‘scraping the surface’ of this intriguing subject. You will however learn about a few remedies in detail so that you can carry out simple prescribing in your practice. It is hoped that you will learn enough about homeopathy to recognise how much there is to learn and be aware of your capabilities. Handing out incorrect remedies can have serious consequences if you are not trained to be able to correct the sequence of events that results from poor prescribing.
An example of the power of homeopathy happened to the course writer many years ago. A male client had consulted with mild eczema and also mentioned that he was very interested in alternative medicine, in particular, homeopathy. Dietary changes were made and at the second consultation the eczema had cleared up, leaving a couple of small patches on his wrists. At the third consultation his eczema was covering his whole body. When asked what he had done differently, he said that he had taken Sulphur (his own decision) in homeopathic form because he thought it fitted his case perfectly. He had wanted to see if it made any difference to the small amounts of eczema that he had left. It had resulted in a flare up of his eczema, plus more, which no amount of dietary changes or supplements would touch. It may be argued that this was an elimination of previous toxins, however it was alarming that it didn’t clear up. Over the years similar stories about incorrect homeopathic prescribing have been mentioned to me. In one case a person had lost a lot of her hearing. Again, this was because she had taken more of a remedy than her homeopath had suggested, thinking that ‘more was better’. No amount of subsequent prescribing was able to correct her lost hearing. It is interesting that the famous homeopath James Tyler Kent said that he would rather be in a room full of razor slashing murderers than put himself in the hands of a dangerous prescriber of high potencies.1 On a more positive note, home prescribing, when done correctly, can be quite remarkable and I am also aware of many success stories.
In this unit we will be looking at the history of homeopathy, the underlying philosophy, and the homeopathic view of disease. You will then learn some practical homeopathy that you can use in your clinic. Later in the course, in unit 6 we will study Homotoxicology, which is a branch of homeopathy. Homotoxicology combines homeopathy with modern medicine, latest scientific research and Naturopathy and is therefore of interest and also relevant to your study of Naturopathy. Those of you that have completed the level 1 Nutritional Therapy course will be familiar with some of the ideas that underlie Homotoxicology.
Homeopathic philosophy and the natural laws that Hahnemann noticed have also influenced naturopathic philosophy and so are very relevant to our study of Naturopathy. Homeopathy has also influenced other disciplines as well. One example is the Bach flower remedies. Many people are familiar with ‘Rescue Remedy’, a Bach ‘flower’ remedy for shock. Although the Bach flower remedies are not homeopathic, they are based on a similar principle. Dr Bach was a medical doctor who was also a trained homeopath. He believed that disease resulted from a conflict between the purpose of the soul and the personality and outlook of the individual. He developed 38 different remedies from trees and flowers which matched the 38 different emotional states that he identified. The Bach remedies are highly effective for emotional states of being and general stress and we will be studying them in the Naturopathic Psychosocial module. Dr Bach was also famous for his work on the bowel nosodes, the details of which are beyond this course.
Other disciplines that have been influenced by homeopathy are the Schuessler tissue salts produced originally by Dr Wilhelm Heinrich Schuessler and which are usually all in homeopathic 6x potency. Dr Schuessler discovered that the most effective way to assimilate these salts was through a homoeopathically prepared ‘micro-dose’, allowing the salts to pass rapidly into the blood stream and therefore into the cells. We will study these later in the module because they can be extremely useful in practice and relate both to homeopathic and nutritional understanding. They are also covered in the School of Health Anatomy and Physiology course.
Part B: Homeopathy in Practice
You should now have a detailed understanding of the basics of homeopathic philosophy and certainly enough information to be able to explain homeopathy in your practice to your clients if needed and also to be able to converse with them intelligently and knowledgably about homeopathy if this is their preferred method of ‘treatment’ before consulting you. It is important for you to be able to understand the philosophy underlying homeopathy because, together with Eastern medical philosophy, it underpins naturopathic philosophy. When your clients consult you as a naturopath they will expect you to know more than they do about various areas of medicine. Naturopaths are trained in many disciplines and should be able to demonstrate this knowledge when deciding on the best course of action for their clients.
Part B of this unit is more practical in its approach and the information in this section is predominantly given by The School of Homeopathy in their basic homeopathy course. There will therefore be some revision of the basic philosophy that you have just learnt together with information about common basic remedies that you will be able to use for simple prescribing in your practice. It is important, as a naturopath, to have an understanding of the basic remedies that your clients will have easy access to and quite possibly be using. In order for you to gain practical knowledge of some of the most commonly used homeopathic remedies the School of Homeopathy has provided information from their Homeopathic first aid course.
Study Hours: 100
Time: Estimated 2 months (timing up to you)
Enrolment period: 4 months (with option to extend)
Books: Purchased separately
Certification: Certificate in Homeopathy
Study Options: E-learning (online) or Correspondence (paper)
Aims of the course
- To have an understanding of homeopathic philosophy which underpins naturopathic philosophy
- To understand the history of homeopathy and how it fits into the overall development of the history of medicine
- To understand miasms and disease resonance and their effects upon health as an underpinning principle to naturopathic understanding
- To be able to understand the basics of homeopathy and prescribe simple remedies in practice.
Why study Homeopathy
The Homeopathy module builds on the information learnt in the Eastern medicine modules and continues the study of the history of medicine. Knowledge and practice of Homeopathy is required in order to be a registered Naturopath. The natural laws and philosophy that underpin homeopathy lay the foundation for naturopathic study and understanding plus also provide valuable information about health and disease. This module also teaches simple homeopathic prescribing which is a major adjunct to any clinical practice.