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The practice of homeopathic medicine is based upon a particular set of principals’. Outlined below are some of the most important.

1. Treating like with like, treating illness through the application of “similars”:

A person who is unwell will have a range of symptoms that are unique and individual to them, homeopaths call this the “image” of the person’s sickness. In order to treat this person the homeopath will use a medicine that best matches this image. To discover the image or range of symptoms that a medicine can treat homeopaths use a process called “proving”. This process is where a group of healthy people are systematically administered a medicine, they are then observed and the symptoms this group of “provers” experience are written down as if one person had experienced them. This then creates what is called an image of that medicine. When the image of this medicine is matched to the image of the sick person and administered it is then called a “homeopathic remedy”. A medicine is any substance that can change or alter the way a person feels, thinks, or experiences physical sensations. A remedy is only homeopathic when it has been applied to match the image or symptoms of sick person.  

Homeo – Similar.  Pathy – Suffering.

All of the provings of medicines are written down in what is called a “material medica” this is a book that currently has around 1500 well proven medicines that are available to homeopaths to prescribe.

2. The single remedy:

Medicines are proven one medicine at a time. This means that each medicine image is based upon only one medicine, never a mixture. It is therefore not possible to know what symptom image a mixture of medicines will produce. Therefore a homeopath should only use one well proven medicine at a time that matches the unique image of the person at the time it is prescribed.

3. The potentised dose.

The founder of homeopathy started to “prove” medicines firstly on himself, then on his family and then on his students. He started the process using large doses but to avoid the toxic effects of these doses he started to go through a process whereby he reduced the amount of the original substance. He discovered that if he went through a particular process which he called potentisation that reducing the material element released an inner essence of the original material. This process makes the medicines absolutely safe whilst still retaining their inner medicinal effects.

4. The Vital Force:

Through the process of potentisation homeopaths came to the realisation that there is within everyone a vital force that operates to ensure that everything within us operates in a state of harmony. When we are in a state of dis-ease the symptoms that we experience are a sign of the vital force is endeavouring to restore harmony and return us to health. Therefore the medicines that we prescribe act at the level of the vital force and act in a way that  enables the vital force to overcome this dis-ease and restore harmony.

One of the key things to understand is that our symptoms, although unpleasant, uncomfortable, painful and many other things that may mean we want to get rid of them are in fact our best response to our dis-ease. It is our organisms best way to keep us in life.

5. Avoidance of suppression:

As stated above the symptoms we are displaying are our organisms best response to the situation it finds itself in. This concept is really well explained in Trevor Gunn’s book “The Science of Health”. In it he outlines how the human body is highly intelligent and is designed to continually maintain optimum health. Therefore the process of healing should support this process and support the bodies best efforts. If a symptom is suppressed, by for example putting cream on a skin rash, this then is fighting against the organisms efforts. Homeopaths see that when suppression takes place the organism takes this dis-ease expression to a more internal level. It is well known in both homeopathic and orthodox medicine that treating eczema on the skin with creams and steroids is associated with people developing asthma.

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