Sonam Kushner, CCH, HMC, professional homeopath

UNDERSTANDING HOMEOPATHY AND HOW IT WORKS

Stress is implicated in so many health problems nowadays, from migraines and insomnia, to arthritis, lupus, chronic fatigue syndrome, eczema, high blood pressure, heart attacks, ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome and mental and emotional disorders such as anxiety, panic attacks, depression and post traumatic stress disorder. The list could go on and on, living with chronic stress, on a physical or psychological level, has the effect of wearing down and weakening our immune systems, which then results in symptoms of dis-ease. These symptoms are our body’s way of expressing how it is dealing with stress. An everyday example of our body’s coping mechanism is shivering when cold, or perspiring when we are hot.

In homeopathy we call this immune system the “vital force”, in Chinese medicine it is called “chi”, in Ayurvedic medicine — “prana”. Whatever name it goes by, this powerful life force lies at the heart of all of our physical and spiritual well-being and is the balancing mechanism which keeps us functioning at optimum level.

Homeopathy, taken from the Greek “homoios”, meaning similar, and “pathos”, meaning suffering, works on the body/mind system as a whole, aiming to promote physical and mental well-being. Looking beyond labels that are traditionally given to disorders, homeopathy seeks to strengthen the underlying imbalance or disorder that lies within the person.

Homeopathic remedies act as a catalyst, whereby the energy of the remedy stimulates the body’s own “vital force” to strengthen itself, enabling the dis-ease state to resolve naturally. This process is set in motion by taking potentised minute doses of a natural substance, which if taken by a healthy person in larger material doses, would produce the very same symptoms that the sick person is experiencing. This is an illustration of one of the basic laws of homeopathy — “the Law of Similars”, or “like cures like”, i.e; matching the person’s symptoms with symptoms that a specific substance can cause. The remedy Apis, made from the honey bee, helps to reduce any hot swellings occurring with burning, stinging pains. Anyone who has been stung by a bee can identify with these sensations!

Homeopathy is both an art and a science. By using intellectual understanding and perception, together with sound homeopathic principles and material medica knowledge, the homeopath’s intention is to find a remedy that resonates with whole health picture of the person who has come to them for help. The matching of remedy to person is a lengthy process that starts with the initial consultation, which may take up to two hours, or more, depending on the individual practitioner. With open communication and careful listening, the homeopath will attempt to understand the inner world of the person who comes to them and the root cause of any mental or physical concerns.

The dictionary defines the word “health” as the general condition of something in terms of soundness, vitality, and proper functioning. Being healthy is walking in balance with personal strength and freedom. Homeopathy “tunes” the vital force that is our inner strength. After all, one cannot play a musical instrument harmoniously when it is out of tune.

In his wonderful novel, the Piano Tuner, Daniel Mason weaves a tale of how a British piano tuner is summoned deep into the jungles of Burma in the nineteenth century, to tune a rare grand piano. Playing music was an integral part of the governing and peace keeping abilities of the army major who owned it. His piano being out of tune had severe repercussions on many levels. Just as the piano tuner in the book embarked upon a unique journey that was to change his life, homeopathy has the potential to produce far more than just improvement on a physical and emotional level. Some have found it to lead not only to the discovery of the joy of living, but as the vehicle for a transformative journey in their lives.