The strangest thing I have discovered in life has got to be homeopathy. Strange since it will be the unravelling mystery until the day I die, like life itself when we remain somewhat innocent and remember we will never know that much in the grand scheme of things. I think this is because as an art it is a method to appreciate the whole and to work with the wholeness of … well, everything. Therefore, it demands the sitting in paradox and of being comfortable with not knowing all the edges and curves that are beyond our perception. That and it is the only healing modality I have tried that actually made me feel better at a deep level and shifted my whole state of being to that of feeling healthy again. And I have tried many things over the past twenty years. I could call myself the great experiment and perhaps should have taken things more seriously, rather than treat myself as the wondrous laboratory that I was, but I was determined, I had to have that shift! Those days are over and now I can concentrate on the great work of living in happiness and health.
So what is homeopathy? There are a lot ways you can approach this question. It is a medical art defined and developed around 1810 in Europe by a late Renaissance genius named Samuel Hahnemann. Samuel who? Yes, hardly anyone has heard of this medical practitioner, pharmacist, translator, researcher and chemist who was fluent in seven languages. His great work was to develop an entire system of medicine in his lifetime, quite a feat for any one human being to accomplish. He understood the body-mind connection well before Freud and psychoanalysis and the energetic basis of health and of healing a hundred years previous to Einstein sparking the quantum branch of physics that defined matter as energy which we are still struggling to embrace a hundred years later. Hahnemann during his years of translating hundreds of classic texts on medicine discovered a truth that many had written about before and with intense work and effort, he developed the full potential of it and found a way to cure a disease state. The law of similars was written about by Hippocrates in 400 BC, the father of Western medicine. His own words, “By similar things a disease is produced and through the application of the like it is cured.”
How Hahnemann perfected the law was to discern that disease can be cured by a substance given in micro or nano doses that would produce similar symptoms when given to healthy people. Think of how an onion makes your eyes water and your nose burn when you cut it. An attack of hay fever with watering eyes and a burning nose can be relieved by the remedy made from onion, allium cepa. Poison ivy can cause redness, intense itching, burning, blistering and possibly stiff muscles. The remedy from this plant called rhus toxicodendron can be used in cases of herpes, burns, eczema, allergy and arthritis. The most obvious example is of the remedy Coffea made from coffee. Coffee can keep people awake and alert (and courteous once the addiction takes hold of them), and Coffea is often an excellent remedy for insomnia.
Yet, there is so much more to define his work. Hahnemann was possibly the first psychiatrist because he was promoting the humane treatment of the mentally ill as well as curing them with remedies. Homeopathy has so much potential in mental illness, childhood disorders such as ADD or even autism, and the most chronic disorder of our society, stress, an obvious body-mind phenomenon. Decades before the use of antibiotics and vaccines, Hahnemann successfully treated deadly epidemics which ravaged Europe in the first half of the nineteenth century such as Cholera and Scarlet fever. If a day comes when antibiotics are no longer effective, perhaps homeopathy would be a solution. He considered such things as public health and sanitation as well as natural diet and healthy lifestyle, things we all accept and expect to be part of health today. He was also the first practitioner to use clinical, double-blind testing in his method to discern a remedy’s symptom picture called a proving. A remedy once proved never changes its picture and only has further symptoms added to the picture, so provings can be considered no longer a plausible theory but a universal truth? I am certain scientists in the coming years will be able to tell us the answer to this.
And then there is my favourite part of homeopathy given my concern about the green revolution fuelled by a predicted lack of fuel, so to speak. Homeopathy offers what is the only truly green medicine currently known on the planet today. The WHO (World Health Organization) estimates that Western countries can produce upwards of 6 kg per person, per year of medical waste. In America that would be 1,827,223,752 kg of medical waste each year of disposable things such as single-use gloves, syringes, soiled dressings, tissue samples, medical devices and radioactive materials. Homeopathy does not require a lot of diagnostic testing, equipment or expensive machinery and remedies can be made in a low-tech, manual process. Homeopaths in the 1800’s often made their own remedies in simple laboratories. So the practice of homeopathy would be low impact overall. The remedies used in homeopathy are made from substances that are usually either plant, animal or mineral in origin. The method of preparing remedies involves dilution and succusion and so only tiny amounts of any of these substances are required to produce effective remedies.
One bee used to create a remedy called Apis Mellifica, useful for swelling, edema, burning & stinging pains, can treat hundreds of people. That is the quantum revolution waiting for us to embrace it so we can put the brakes on stripping the earth of resources in future decades, particularly of animals and plants. It would be similar to Noah’s ark, as long as we had one remedy of each of every substance or living thing on the planet we could treat with that floating dispensary for generations. This is exciting no?
My personal short definition of homeopathy this week? That which makes a human being a human being again.
I am currently a student of homeopathy in Montreal and will write more about this fascinating subject in future posts. You can check out my site at Birdsong Homeopathy.