Understanding Homeopathic Medicine
May 29, 2015 07:48PM
● By Dr. Regina Gurevich, MD
Homeopathy or homeopathic medicine is a system of medicine founded in the early 19th century by a German physician, Dr. Samuel Christian Hahnemann (1775-1843). It’s a medical philosophy and practice based on the idea that the body has the ability to heal itself. It embraces a more holistic, natural approach to the treatment of the sick by incorporating specific tenets. (Hippocrates wrote of curing ‘like with like’ more than 2,000 years ago but it was formally systematized by Hahnemann).
When attempting to define health and disease, there are two broad approaches. One is the homeopathic view and the other is the allopathic or traditional Western approach. The allopath views disease as a cluster of symptoms generally arising out of pathology. The homeopath recognizes illness as the end result of a disturbance in vitality. The homeopath, through a comprehensive interview, perceives what has been altered in the patient’s sense of well-being, rather than simply naming the illness and prescribing a generic solution. Homeopathic medicines aim to direct and stimulate the body’s self-regulatory mechanism.
Homeopathy is based on three central tenets,
unchanged since their
invention by Hahnemann.
The Principal of Similarity (or Similia). Like-Cures-Like. This is the guiding principle of Hemeopathy. It states that whatever would cause your symptoms will also cure those same symptoms. To determine the most effective homeopathic remedy a comprehensive interview of the patient is undertaken to reveal the physical, psychological and emotional characteristics and complaints of that individual. Then a homeopathic remedy whose materia medica (drug picture) is similar to that of the patients total picture is given to stimulate his/her healing.
The Principal of Infinitesimals - minimum doses. In his early treatments Dr. Hahnemann used full strength herbs. Although patients got well, he noticed the side effects of such strength. To minimize the effects, Dr. Hahnemann came up with the idea of petentization. By repeatedly diluting and succussing (shaking) a preparation of the original substance, the more potent the homeopathic remedy; providing maximum therapeutic effect with the fewest side effects
The Principal of individualization of treatment. Taking in consideration the “totality of symptoms.” The characteristics of the chosen medicine should be as similar as possible to the characteristics of the illness in the patient. Take for example patients that have a cold or the flu. Although they share similar symptoms such as fever, cough or weakness, each patient manifests these differently. Some may feel better or worse during specific times of the day or night, or even while drinking or eating certain foods. Even the time or specific season of the year has an influence. All these are specifics physical, mental and emotional characteristics of different homeopathic remedies. To find the proper homeopathic medicine, homeopaths use Materia Medical and Repertory two–database–books containing extensive lists of symptoms and remedies along with detailed indications for their application.
“Homeopathy addresses a plethora of health problems,” explains medical homeopath Regina Gurevich, MD. “It can safely treat acute and chronic ailments, mental and emotional conditions. Although more often than none patients seek homeopathy for headaches, neck and back pain, menstrual cramps, cystitis, colitis, and others, homeopathy can also help in more serious conditions such as Multiple Sclerosis and Diabetic neuropathy.” (For a full list of conditions that can be addressed by homeopathy, visit Gurevich’s website listed below). Using a “wholistic” approach, at times incorporating multiple healing modalities, the homeopath supports patients in their efforts to live life fully and experience greater well-being and happiness.
Federal recognition of Homeopathic Medicine. Officially recognized under the 1938 Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, the 1965 Medicare Act, and the 1987 FDA Compliance Policy Guidelines, these safe, gentle but deep-acting medicines can be used to treat persons experiencing many kinds of medical conditions. However, the FDA does not evaluate the remedies for safety or effectiveness. It would be wise, nonetheless, to discuss with the prospective homeopathic practitioner his/her experience with one’s particular complaint or problem.
Dr. Regina Gurevich completed her courses in homeopathic training with Dr.Robin Muphy, ND and Dr.Prafull Vijayakar, MD. She is a member of the American Institute of Homeopathy and National Center of Homeopathy. Dr. Gurevich completed her residency in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at SUNY Hospital in New York City and is medically licensed in NY, Ct, and Fl. She is also certified in Acupuncture.