Homeopathy: A Whole Systems Approach to Health and Healing

Our Featured Topic: Envisioning the Future of Health Care
Our Featured Topic: Envisioning the Future of Health Care

The concept of whole systems health and healing is emerging strongly in modern medical practice and schools of today. The most common system is what is known today as CAM, or complementary and alternative medicine. More attention and validity is being given to CAM therapies in recent years.

One of the most well-established CAM approaches toward health is homeopathy. Today, homeopathy is recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO) as “the second most common form of alternative medicine in the world,” and continues to grow rapidly.

Homeopathy is a natural, holistic and scientific approach to health care. Its formal practice was codified by Samuel Hahnemann, M.D., more than 200 years ago, although its principles date to Hippocrates. Homeopathic care does not suppress symptoms, but stimulates the body’s natural healing capacity. It also helps prevent illness. It is highly effective for acute and chronic mental and physical conditions. Homeopathy is unique in that it seeks to understand the person on a physical, mental and emotional level, not just a single symptom or condition. Homeopathic remedies are safe, FDA-approved, have no side effects, and do not interfere with allopathic medicines.

The beauty and strength of homeopathy is it embraces the concept of holistic health. “The word holistic is derived from the Greek holos, which means completeness and perfection in all components and parts of an entity, as well as within the whole that is more than the sum total of all its parts,” writes Swami Veda, Ph.D. in Positive Living magazine. “Thus, holistic health is the pursuit and accomplishment of health in the complete personality, with a perfect co-ordination and harmony among all its parts.” Homeopathic treatment allows for the re-coordination between the mental, emotional and physical aspects of a person to eradicate dis-ease and re-establish functioning to maximum capacity.

Homeopathy is often recognized in modern science as an applied approach of complex systems. Similar to the concept of holistic, a complex system is like a network where individual parts interact and influence the system as a whole. The system is seen as dynamic, not static. Within homeopathy, for example, a person’s illness in a given location is an emergent property of the person as a whole, indivisible system, not something separate that is to be isolated out and treated.

This type of complex systems approach within homeopathy has far-reaching benefits to a person’s health.

Homeopathic Principles
In homeopathy, the deep examination of any symptom, to reveal the larger disturbance, is done by gathering the totality of symptoms. On a physical level each symptom is explored fully, regarding its location, local sensation, sidedness, what makes the problem worse or better, discharge, and changes since onset. The homeopath also explores the specific mental state and emotional nature of the client, as well as general information, such as life history, dreams, interests, work, relationships, lifestyle, diet and sleeping patterns. The whole person is understood and treated, not just a single part or condition. A single homeopathic remedy is then used to bring balance on a mental, emotional and physical level.

Homeopathy is individualized in its approach. Each person is seen as unique. Just as the same exercise program or the same diet is not beneficial to everyone, the same homeopathic remedy will not necessarily help everyone with the same health problem. The person must be understood in relationship to what it is they are suffering.

A Homeopathic case
A 45-year old woman came to see me for knife-like stomach pains, insomnia and fear of evil spirits in the form of centipedes. Ever since her marriage and leaving her country and family to come to the United States, she had slowly developed these symptoms. She missed her family terribly, and was often left alone during the day while her husband worked. She was frightened to be alone and would often manifest this through hallucinations about centipedes coming after her in the apartment. She would react violently to the centipedes and want to kill them. The hallucinations and stomach pain often kept her from sleeping and made her condition worse. She was superstitious and felt there was a witch or psychic bothering her. She would also dream of dead people, witches, water and as if something were chasing her. She would often pray to God to keep the evil spirits away.

What was important to understand in her case was that since her move to the United States, she was in a state of fright, feeling helpless, fearful and with no support. She manifested this fright through many fears, particularly of evil spirits in the form of centipedes. Each symptom was understood and analyzed in relationship to her as a person. The homeopathic remedy Datura stramonium was given for her as an individual based on her totality of symptoms. Within a few weeks of the remedy her stomach pains, insomnia and hallucinations resolved completely. She also began to feel stronger within and let go of her fear of being alone while her husband was away.

Homeopathy offers an excellent whole systems approach to health and healing. The treatment of the individual and their totality of symptoms often ensures greater healing success than treatment of just single symptoms or specific disease conditions. Each part must be explored deeply enough to reveal the larger disturbance in the person as a whole. The person themselves must be understood on a mental, emotional and physical level, along with what they are suffering. Whether it is a disturbance on a digestive level, or mental level, each represents a disturbance on a more global level.

Healing must begin from this global level of understanding. Only then can there be true holistic healing, with perfect coordination and harmony between mind and body.

I wish you health and happiness.

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