Homeopathy falls into the category of alternative healthcare, which are any healing practices that do not fit neatly into the definition of modern medicine.
There are many varieties of alternative healing therapies and some may include:
- Herbal Medicine – This is the practice of using herbs to heal or to maintain wellness. Herbs are ingested by cooking with herbs, supplements, teas, or making a topical ointment
- Naturopathic Medicine – This involves the theory that health is a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being; meaning that health is not just the abstinence of disease or illness
- Massage Therapy – The power of touch comes into play with massaging away stress then the body is able to heal. Reiki is a form of massage therapy
- Holistic Medicine – This theory comes from Aristotle when he stated that “The whole is more than the sum of its parts”. This means that the body and all its parts work together so should be accessed together and healed together
- Meditation – Is a discipline in which one attempts to get beyond the conditioned thinking mind into a deeper state of relaxation. Different forms focus on different goals which may be a greater focus, creativity, or self-awareness
- Chiropractic medicine – This focuses on the musculoskeletal system of the body. The believers of this form of alternative medicine believe that when physically adjusted, the body will be aligned and the positive energy will be released to promote healing
- Yoga – A form of alternative therapy that involves the exercise of the body and mind through breathing and stretching techniques
Where Does Homeopathy Fit In?
To understand what all homeopathy encompasses it is always best to have a definition. Homeopathy is derived from two Greek words, homoios and pathos; which means similar and suffering. This practice is not new. It was first defined by Samuel Hahnemann in the 18th century.
What Does It Involve?
Practitioners of homeopathy contend that an ill person can be treated using a substance that can produce, in a healthy person, symptoms similar to those of the illness. This is achieved by serial dilution and the shaking between each dilution removes the toxic effects of the remedy while the qualities of the substance are retained by the water, sugar, or alcohol that it is mixed with. Treatments are selected after consultation with the patient and all aspects are investigated, such as mental and physical.
As with many forms of alternative medicine, there are believers and nonbelievers so the claims are laid as such. Some people claim supreme success while others claim that the placebo effect is what is causing the success rate; meaning the person truly believes in this cure so therefore it does not make a difference what is given. In 2005, over 100,000 physicians used homeopathic treatments which made it the most popular form of alternative medicine.
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