Homeopaths prescribe remedies for the “whole” person, and the practice of homeopathy is still based on the three principles established by Dr. Hahnemann. This is the “law of similars,” the principle of the minimum dose and prescribing for the individual.
The law of similars states that a substance that can produce symptoms of illness in a well person can, in minute doses, cure similar symptoms of disease. The minimum dose states that by diluting a substance, its curative properties are enhanced and any side effects are eliminated.
Whole-person prescribing is probably the most important part of homeopathy, for the fundamental philosophy behind the practice is that each person is an individual and must be treated as such. A homeopath studies a person’s temperament, personality, emotional and physical responses, even the food they like and dislike before prescribing.
Homeopaths believe that treatment works according to a set of rules known as the “Laws of Cure,” and these state that:
a remedy begins to work from the top of the body downward
it works from the inside out and from major to minor organs
symptoms clear in reverse order of their appearance.
Homeopaths also believe that a person’s constitution is made up of inherited and acquired physical, mental, and emotional characteristics and that these can be matched to a particular remedy that will improve their health, no matter what their illness.
Furthermore, people with similar characteristics and constitutions can be grouped under one of the constitutional remedy types, if they all share specific physical and emotional characteristics. Your constitutional type can change as your physique, health, and attitudes change, and some people can be a combination of constitutional types.
It is not clear exactly how homeopathy works, but studies have proved that it does. Hahnemann believed that remedies worked to balance the body so it was able to heal itself.
The first consultation will take upward of an hour. Your homeopath will ask you numerous questions about yourself in order to build up a complete picture of you and your mental, physical, and emotional health. You will be asked about your family health, past illnesses, lifestyle, and diet, and then more specific and unusual questions such as how you react to cold, or what sorts of food you like, and how you sleep, feel about darkness, and face responsibility. It is these last, seemingly trivial details, that help your homeopath to pinpoint the remedy most suitable for you.
Remedies are usually prescribed one at a time and may change as your symptoms clear. The remedy will come in the form of small pills, tablets, granules, powder, or liquid, which should be taken a half-hour before or after eating and drinking.
Diet and lifestyle changes may be suggested, and you can expect to have a followup visit in order to check how the remedies are working. Treatment may only take one or two visits, but long-term conditions may take much longer. You should see some change in your condition within a few days.
A number of substances have the ability to counteract the homeopathic remedies, and these include coffee, alcohol, tobacco, minty