Angela Hair, B.Sc (Hons), Dip Hom, Adv Dip Hom, R.C. Hom
As a young university student in the 1980s I was fascinated by how the human mind worked but after 4 years studying pyschology I was left pondering one essential question. How could a person possibly understand the human mind without understanding the physical body which is the chemical soup on which the mind was dependent? Dissatisfied with the spilt between psychology and medicine I decided to do other things with my life. The arrival of our eldest daughter, her adverse reaction to a DTP vaccination in 1988 and subsequent ear infections resurrected my desire to understand more. A chance recommendation to a homeopath resulted in an effective treatment for my daughter’s ear infections and I started on a 20 year journey of learning about homeopathy.
The homeopathic consult
Visiting a homeopath is much like visiting the Doctors of old who knew the value of giving time to listen. Through careful attention to the detail of our symptoms and having an understanding of what has happened in a person’s life to create such a state of unwellness, the homeopath is able to match the person’s symptoms with the homeopathic medicine that is known to treat these symptoms. A person who has just been through an earthquake for instance and feels anxious, fearful of dying, and awakens panic stricken in the dead of the night may require a dose of homeopathic Aconite to help them return to their ‘old self’.
At times finding the optimum homeopathic medicine to support the patient’s healing response can be a challenging process. The patient is quick to tell the homeopath when they have found an effective medicine often reporting a sense of well-being, improved sleep, appetite, mood and a positive change in their symptoms.
How do homeopathic medicines work?
Recently the ‘skeptics’, a group described by scientist and homeopath Lionel Milgrom as ‘a small but highly voluble group of mainly bio-medically–oriented scientists and media communicators’, raised some questions that deserve an answer. The first question is how does homeopathy work? They propose that it can’t possibly work because there is no chemical substance left in the water/alcohol solution in which they are made. Yet highly educated professional homeopaths and millions of intelligent clients who are willing to self-fund their homeopathic treatment out of their hard-earned savings, know that it does work. When the optimal homeopathic medicine is given in the optimal dose many people find they return to wellness.
So how can something so dilute and essentially non-chemical have such a profound healing effect in the body? The answer lies in understanding our dynamic immune system which is constantly in defence mode adapting to the dis-ease through inflammation, fever, and adaptive behaviours.
Most people intuitively understand the concept of life force (also called ch’i or prana) i.e., energy that permeates the body when we are alive and has left the body when we die, despite the chemistry of the body being intact. In our spiritual traditions we recognise the spirit of the person has left the material body.
Science now understands through experiments in the field of quantum physics that the body is comprised of energy fields that permeate atoms demonstrating an interconnectedness between all living and even non-living systems. These spaces (known as ‘Zero Point Fields’) between atoms hold a kind of cellular memory through wave patterning.
The quantum field of light
Lynne McTaggart’s book “The Field” describes the many scientitic breakthroughs over the past 50 years by scientists such as Karl Pribram, Jacques Benveniste, Fritz-Albert Popp and others who against a background of ridicule and disbelief have worked to demonstrate the concepts of Zero Point Fields, light fields in the body, the cellular memory of water and interconnectedness of our energy fields with each other and the world around us.
Homeopathic medicines, having changed from chemical substances through the process of multiple dilution with vigorous shaking, become energetic, safe and non-toxic medicines, which resonate with the body’s energy field and effectively stimulate the immune system to action. It does this through stimulating known physiological changes e.g.endorphin release to reduce pain.
This is supported by the concept of hormesis which is another name for the Arndt-Schultz Law, which says small doses(of a drug/substance) stimulate life activity, medium doses inhibit life activity and large doses can kill life activity. My old professor at university dismissed this phenomenon saying he didn’t understand how this could happen but we now understand this to demonstrate the action of homeopathic medicines.
Long before these scientists did their work Dr Samuel Hahnemann, (b1755) physician, scientist and extraordinary linguist, understood how the ‘life force’ of the person keeps all parts of the organism in harmony. Dr Hahnemann like many other medically-trained homeopaths since the 1700s found homeopathic medicines helped the body’s attempts to bring about homeostasis.
1918 Avian Influenza Epidemic
In the 1918 avian influenza epidemic US doctors in army camps and on troop carriers reported great success when treating their men with homeopathic medicines. In Philadelpia a Dr W. Pearson collated the results from 88 homeopathic doctors who treated 26,795 influenza patients, with 273 deaths or a 1.056% mortality rate, while the old school mortality was 30%. Dr Edmundson tells how one physician in a Pittsburgh hospital asked a nurse if she knew anything better than what he was doing, because he was losing so many cases. “Yes, Doctor, stop Aspirin and go down to a homeopathic pharmacy, and get homeopathic remedies.” The Doctor replied: “But that is homeopathy.” “I know it, but the homeopathic doctors for whom I nursed have not lost a single case” she replied.
Today homeopaths are as likely to be seeing patients with ADHD, anxiety states or depression as they are acute illnesses like influenza. Recent randomised controlled trials (RCTs) published in Europe looking at the use of homeopathic treatment vs placebo for children with AHDH found beneficial effects continued long after homeopathic treatment had been completed. A variety of published peer-reviewed research also demonstrates the effectiveness of homeopathic treatment over placebo for people with conditions such as fibromyaglia, asthma, diarrhea, ear complaints, musculo-skeletal problems, hayfever, and women’s hormonal problems. A summary of RCTs research can be found on the New Zealand Council of Homeopaths website www.homeopathy.co.nz
We are at an exciting time in our understanding of how the human body heals itself. Over the past 20 years many more homeopathic medicines have been researched and can now be found through powerful search engines. Through individualised consultations, our patients may develop a greater understanding about how our internal world of rational and irrational thoughts and feelings are initimately connected to our physical symptoms and story of our lives.
Frei H., Everts R., von Ammon K., Kaufmann F., Walther D., Hsu-Schmitz S.F., Collenberg M., Fuhrer K., Hassink R., Steinlin M., Thurneysen A. (2005) Homeopathic treatment of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: a randomised, double blind, placebo controlled crossover trial. Eur J Pediatr, 164:758-767.
Hahnemann S. Dr “ Organon of the medical Art” Edited by W. Brewster O’Reilly (1996)
Jacobs J., Williams A.L., Girard C., Njike V.Y., Katz D. (2005) Homeopathy for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: a pilot randomized-controlled trial. J Altern Complement Med, Oct, 11(5):799-806.
Lamont J. (1997) Homeopathic treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: a controlled study. Br Homeopathic J, 86:196-200.
McTaggart L., “The Field” (2003) Harper Collins, UK
Milgrom L., “Beware scientism’s onward march’”. www.anhcampaign.org/news/anh-feature-beware-scientism’s-onward-march
NZCH website www.homeopathy.co.nz /1918 Flu Stories
Summary of articles published in the Journal for the American Institute of Homeopathy 1918-1919
NZCH website www.homeopathy.co.nz /Research/
Ullman Dana., Recent Research in Homeopathy, lecture given at 4th Heel US Symposium Los Angelos, 1989 Website www.homeopathic.com
“Symptoms are not just something wrong with the organism but are adaptive responses of the body/mind to deal with stress or infection.” Dana Ullman, homeopath