Homeopathy is a system for treating disease based on the administration of minute doses of a drug that in massive amounts produces symptoms in healthy individuals similar to those of the disease itself.
In layman’s terms, it means if you’re allergic to something, say pollen, and you’re treating that allergy with homeopathic remedies, you’re going to ingest tiny amounts of pollen until your body builds up a resistance to pollen, has no adverse reaction, and you’re no longer allergic to it. This basic principal is used in modern vaccinations, with an overwhelming success rate.
Homeopathic remedies are derived from plant, animal and mineral sources. The name “homeopathy” comes from two Greek words meaning “like disease”. The practice has been around for thousands of years, and is part of one of the first known disciplines of medicine and healing arts. Ayurveda is a form of holistic alternative medicine that is the traditional system of healing of India, and includes the classes we call “complimentary” or “alternative” medicine in the United States.
The trend during the past 20 years in Western medicine has been toward complimentary medical arts. Health care that combines therapies and philosophies of conventional medicine with those of alternative medicines — such as acupuncture, herbal medicine, and chiropractic techniques — are becoming more mainstream, and more health insurance companies are paying for the services. It’s not unusual for a physician to recommend a specific diet, or nutritional supplements, both of which are solid alternative practices, used since early Egyptian times to improve health and overall well-being.
Achieving a balance between the two is a personal journey, and must be undertaken with the help of your medical professional. Often, people fail to recognize herbal remedies as actual medicine, and don’t realize the very real danger of side effects caused by interactions between professionally prescribed drugs and self-treatment. It’s always important to discuss any supplements you add to your regimen with your doctor, especially if you take prescribed medications on a regular basis.
As the body of evidence for integrative medicine grows, mainstream medical centers, such as the Cleveland Clinic, see more than 5,000 patients per year for a variety of services once considered unsupportable by health insurance. At their Center for Integrative Medicine, practices and techniques currently offered include: Integrative Medicine Consultations, Acupuncture, Holistic Psychotherapy, Spiritual Counseling, and Reiki.
Cancer Treatment Center also offers a twofold treatment system, using conventional approach to curing the cancer, while supporting it with a complimentary care system, which includes treatments such as herbal and botanical preparations, homeopathic remedies, physical therapy and exercise, hydrotherapy and lifestyle counseling.
As these treatments are more widely prescribed and used, more data is being collected on the effectiveness of combining both conventional and complimentary medicines. Whether facing a health crisis, or simply trying to improve your overall balance, the inclusion of these treatments give an alternative when conventional medicine might not be giving you the maximum benefit of treatment.