Homeopathy: Medicine Of The Future

Words: Shefali GAUTAM

This is the edited version of the essay that won the First Prize in ThinkWellness360 Essay Writing Competition 2022 for Homeopathic Medical College Students.

Introduction

Hippocrates [460-370 BC], the father of medicine, postulated two principles of treating diseases: one, Contraria Contrariis Curantur [Latin], which means opposites may be cured by opposites. This principle teaches us to treat disease by using remedies that produce opposite effects. The other principle is Similia Similibus Curentur [Latin], which means ‘let similar things take care of similar things.’ Hippocrates was known to have said, “Through the like, disease is produced, and through the application of the like, it is cured.”  This is now universally known as similia principle.

Homeopathy was introduced as a medical system of therapeutics by Dr Christian Frederick Samuel Hahnemann [1755-1843], a conventional German physician, chemist and polyglot.

The system, following Dr Hahnemann’s pioneering efforts, owes its recognition to the concerted efforts of several eminent allopathic practitioners of the time, who opted for homeopathy and used it with remarkable success. Besides, the establishment of medical organisations began to take credit for the homeopathy revolution. This action was true to the predictions of William James — that there are three stages in which new ideas are accepted into established thought and practice. The first stage is that the idea is worthless, and advocates of the idea are charlatans and quacks; the second stage is that it has been discovered that the idea is true, but of little, or insignificant value; and, the third stage is that the establishment’s research has concluded that idea is true and valuable, more so, because the establishment helped verify its value, and claim to be the original and rightful advocates of the idea.

We could also credit the conventional medicine of the late 20th century for contributing several important drugs to the homeopathic Materia Medica. These drugs, however, were not used for the same indications as those determined by conventional medicine of the time. It was through the diligent and creative work of Dr Ronald W Davey, personal physician to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, that we utilise these drugs today. The conventional pharmacology texts provide invaluable, reliable information of symptoms. The information is analogous to that provided by the homeopathic ‘provings’ of drugs.

The development of modern homeopathic pharmacy was instrumental in homeopathy’s growth. The standardisation of the Homeopathic Pharmacopeia helped to assure homeopaths and their patients that they were getting quality medicines. With the advent of ultrasonic, laser, and crystal potentisers certain important benefits to the manufacturing of homeopathic medicines through consensus emerged. It is another thing that they, as critics point out, do not match the results of the classical means of homeopathic pharmacology.

Homeopathic Practice In The 21st Century

The tradition in homeopathy, from its inception, is founded on a variety of methods to prescribe medicines. The primary schools of homeopathic practice in the 21st Century are:

  • Classical homeopaths who use single medicine
  • Pluralists who use more than one medicine at a time
  • Techno-homeopaths who use electronic and energetic technologies to help find the correct medicine and potency.

Each school of homeopathic practice feels that their method provides the best results, and each points to specific Database Project Research Studies to verifying them. However, a large number of studies point to the fact that classical homeopathy is more effective in the treatment of chronic conditions than other methods of prescribing. The fact also remains that the treatment of acute conditions seems to be far effective with various forms of homeopathic prescribing.

The techno-homeopaths have developed numerous sensors that seek to find one, or more, homeopathic medicines for the patient. The first, called the Voll machine, or the Model V [named after the car] spawned more than a brace of electronic technologies similar to itself. The Model V placed an electrode on an acupuncture point and sought to evaluate how homeopathic medicines might balance that particular point.

Over time, researchers learned that measuring an individual acupuncture point primarily measures the effect of a medicine on that specific meridian, not the whole person. Other machines measure energies coming from the hands — these machines too primarily detect hand energy. Other machines measure the person’s blood, urine, semen, and other fluids, although it was discovered that each fluid primarily represents its own idiosyncratic aspect of the person. In the course of time, new technologies were developed to evaluate the whole body field and how to ‘individualise’ medicines and specific potencies.

Notwithstanding good results that these new technologies offered, many physicians and many patients still prefer the classical approach to homeopathy.

Medical Care In The 21st Century

By circa 2010, a vast majority of physicians and healers worked in group practice. A collaborative model of health services was offered, in which a team of practitioners worked with an activated patient who was an integral part, a member of the healthcare team. Virtually all practitioners use homeopathy, nutrition, breathing techniques, therapeutic yoga, colour therapy and emotive-attitudinal work. While some of them specialise in homeopathy, others specialise in acupuncture, body therapies and energy work.

It took the seminal writings of a meteorologist, who also was a student of homeopathy, to help people understand the concept of energy in a simple manner. Dr Gregory Weinstein used a meteorological metaphor, noting how wind and high and low air pressure are the primary determinants to the planet’s weather and that wind and air pressure are forces in nature that cannot be seen. Dr Weinstein described the obvious: that the more one knows about wind and high and low pressure patterns, the more accurately one can predict weather patterns. Likewise, the energy of the body, or chi, prana, or vital force, is an invisible, yet tangible force. Analysis of the energy flow within the body, he suggested, can provide vital diagnostic and prognostic information to the practitioner, and by harnessing and balancing this bioenergy, the body/mind is able to heal itself.

We know, for a fact today, the important role that homeopathic medicines, or remedies, play in breaking the prejudice against bioenergetic concepts in healing. Even sceptics of bioenergetic medicine admit that the medicines have dramatic effects on people’s health. They also concede that there is a certain basis to bioenergetic healing. It is, indeed, ironic though that an ancient concept, such as energy in healing, would become a modern — also, a futurist concept.

Homeopathy To The Fore

I should remind everyone that, in the 1980s, the costs of medical care rose as high as 12 per cent of America’s Gross National Product [GNP]. The sharp decline in cost was directly connected to the growth of homeopathic medicine, acupuncture, and bioenergetic therapies. As a result of the significant cost savings that homeopathic care was providing, major corporations began to play a role in promoting homeopathy by providing scholarships to medical professionals who wanted to be [re]trained. Health insurance and life insurance companies that encouraged their insurees to seek homeopathic care proved to the corporate world that homeopathy could save money for individuals and companies. Health maintenance organisations and paid provider organisations had certain inherent incentives to use homeopathic medicines, and they began using them substantially before the individual private practitioner.

The paradox was the government was slow in accepting and supporting homeopathic practice, but once they assumed total financial responsibility for every person’s healthcare at the turn of the 21st century, the government developed incentive programmes for [re]training physicians to homeopathic and bioenergetic therapeutics. The government also infused research monies and resources to the scientific investigation of homeopathy.

The increase in homeopathic care led to a sharp decline in doctor care. First of all, there was not as much need for as many physicians since the new medical care that was offered was working. Secondly, many physicians did not want to attend [re]training programmes. Thirdly, the government assumed the role of healthcare provider, thereby making healthcare free for all. Many physicians did not also want to be employed by the government, since this was to result in a significant decrease in wages. Sociologists and economists, who have studied medical care and medical care costs, discovered how much more medical care was previously offered when the physician profited from it. Fourthly, a growing number of citizens were effectively using homeopathy and other self-care treatments to reduce the need for doctor visits. The emergence of homeopathic software programmes, for at-home use, in 1992, played an important role too in this self-care revolution.

Medical care in the 21st century has become as high-touch, as also high-tech. Self-care with homeopathic medicines, herbs, good nutrition and nutritional supplements, body therapies, yogic postures, and breathing exercises, have become a regular part of most people’s lives. This is the way to go — a useful step for self-care and a futuristic big leap, perhaps, for homeopathy, its physicians, and patients.

SHEFALI GAUTAM, a Delhi girl, is a III Year BHMS student @ Solan Homeopathic Medical College & Hospital, Solan, Himachal Pradesh, India.

16 thoughts on “Homeopathy: Medicine Of The Future

  1. Dr Subhash Chandra says:

    Very nice and informative content. The best part is: you’ve described the past, present and future of homeopathy, well. Keep it up!

  2. Dr Anil Kumar says:

    This is a very good, informative article for students of homeopathy, as also its users, among others. Keep up the good work, Shefali!

  3. Dr Mohan L says:

    Very informative article, “a useful step for self-care and a futuristic big leap, perhaps, for homeopathy, its physicians, and patients.” Well said.

  4. Dr Tushit Katoch says:

    Excellent, Shefali. You’ve covered it beautifully: from the history of medicine to our new homeopathic world. This will surely guide young, dynamic homeopaths on how to practice homeopathy today, also tomorrow. God bless.

  5. Dr L R Sahoo says:

    Solan Homeopathic Medical College & Hospital is nurturing excellent doctors, who have a clear vision, also quality, to taking up the lead for homeopathy in the future. All the best, Shefali. Keep it up.

  6. Dr Adesh Kumar says:

    Your essay aptly presents the fact that homeopathy is more effective in the treatment of chronic conditions than other methods of prescribing, and that it is also just as useful in the treatment of acute conditions, whatever the ‘school’ of homeopathic prescribing may be. Good luck, Shefali.

  7. Dr Baldev Kumar says:

    This is useful information on homeopathy, and its future, not just from a student’s perspective, but also from a realistic standpoint.

  8. Dr Anil says:

    I went through Ms Shefali Gautam’s article with great interest. I found it very informative. Her articulation of the past, present and future of homeopathic medicine is just as informative and commendable.

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