You may have never heard of homeopathy. Don’t worry, you’re not alone. I hadn’t either until I was in Naturopathic Medical School. It wouldn’t be fair if I didn’t give the disclaimer that my scientifically-based mind had a difficult time explaining it and wrapping my head around this medical modality. However, I can assure you, it is powerful medicine that truly works! It certainly worked for me.
Homeopathy is a philosophy of medicine over 200 years old. It is based on the concept: like cures like. Basically, substances can both cause and cure the same symptoms depending on their doses. Homeopathy is the use of extremely dilute substances to promote wellness and treat disease. It brings the body back to homeostasis (balance).
For those that live in the scientific world, stick with me when I tell you this…
Homeopathic remedies are formulated by taking small amount of a substance and diluting it in alcohol or glycerin and then succuss it (like pounding on a hard surface) hundreds of times. A single drop of this solution is then diluted in another container of alcohol or glycerin and again succussed. This happens hundreds of times depending on the dose of homeopathic. The more dilute the substance is, the more powerful or potent the dose.
The succussions actually cause a complicated process that science has difficulty explaining. Most closely, homeopathy has begun to be explained via quantum physics. We all exhibit a vibration that changes based on our experiences.
Think about those times when you walk into a room where a couple just had an argument and you feel the “tension in the air”, that’s what I’m talking about! Similarly, these substances have vibrations and the succussions exert the vibration on the surrounding molecules of the solution, influencing the solution. The a portion of that solution (A) is then put into another container of solution (B) and A’s vibrations influence B’s vibrations. And so it continues.
Unfortunately, these scientific explanations are a little beyond my reach and I encourage you to translate them for me! But, for now, I can’t try to give a breakdown for you and I apologize for that.
For the woo crowd, then energetics of the original substance are transferred to and affect the solution the substance is in. Thus, altering it’s makeup and no longer requiring molecules of the substance to be present in order to extract the healing powers.
As I mentioned earlier, I had my doubts. But when you’re sick, and you are willing to try anything, you try it. For me, it was terrible eczema that didn’t allow me to sleep, rotate my neck or open my mouth to eat food without excruciating pain or itching. It lasted about 3 months before I finally decided to give homeopathy a true chance. There were many other underlying factors, but the treatment definitely jump-started my healing process.
I am, in fact, an evidence-based doctor. However, I don’t believe that “evidence-based” only applies to double-blind, placebo-controlled, multi-arm, studies that normalize a treatment for hundreds of people whom are in fact individuals and react very differently when examined one-on-one.
I do believe that ages and ages of historic case studies with an n=1 (in research talk, that means a report on a single person’s response) are valuable and should not be ignored. I also think it is naive to think modern science can catch up to centuries of human life and prove everything without a doubt. It seems presumptuous to expect that we can explain 100% of how the world works. Sometimes, you just have to trust.