When most people think of the word “homeopathy”, they have a fixed idea of what “homeopathy” is because it’s been defined by some questionable media source. The reality is, the only people who seem to know what homeopathy actually is are those who go out, learn about it, and either opt for treatment with a classical homeopath or choose to become one. The word homeopathy is thrown around everywhere in our world–if you’re watching TV, you’ll easily hear it bandied about on commercials or television dramas or talk shows. If you read the news, there are always front page articles denouncing it loudly (and, if you manage to look more closely) back page articles praising its viability. It’s the world’s second most used medical system–that’s after Traditional Chinese Medicine which has, in all fairness, been in use for a longer time in a larger population. Homeopaths treat billions of people in the world too–but here in the West, most people have no idea what it is. So I’m going to take this opportunity to clarify that by illustrating exactly what it is not.
Homeopathy is not an “umbrella” term.
Homeopathy DOES NOT mean “medical treatment” via the use of:
- nutritional supplements (that’s Nutrition)
- dietary modification (also Nutrition)
- herbs (that’s Herbalism)
- mechanical devices and computer diagnosis tools based on “energy waves” (that’s tech business and opportunistic marketing)
- pendulums (that’s Dousing)
- tarot cards (that’s Tarot Divination)
- “muscle testing” (that’s Applied Kineseology)
- chelation (that’s conventional allopathic medicine)
- ozone or oxygen “therapy” (that’s conventional allopathic medicine)
- vaccination (that’s conventional allopathic medicine)
- essential oils (that’s Aromatherapy)
- ear candling (that’s just ear candling)
- oil “pulling” (that’s just an expensive idea about hygiene)
- the use of “natural” antibiotics such as colloidal silver (that’s conventional allopathic medicine)
- anything “new age” (that’s just “New Age“)
- medical marijuana (herbalism applied in a conventional allopathic medical way)
- bloodletting (that’s 100% conventional medicine, and Hahnemann protested against it all through his very long life)
- naturopathic medicine (that’s an approach that mimics conventional medicine but utilizes drugs that are not pharmaceuticals)
- polypharmacy “combo” remedies that are potentized medicines combined for use for “specific” ailments (that’s just conventional allopathic medicine using potentized substances as if those medicines were the same as allopathic ones. They’re not.)
- any combination of the above treatment methods, as well as any unlisted “methods” which end up on the heap under the “homeopathy” umbrella.
What it is…
…is clearly defined by Samuel Hahnemann’s Organon of the Medical Art. That’s the definition and the manual of the whole idea, start to finish, put to use. That work by Hahnemann defines the scientific method, how the method is applied to achieve consistent results, and how the variables (the remedies) are tested (proved) so they can be used in the scientific method in accordance with the Natural Law of Similars. The goal is to help each patient achieve his/her own healing and cure.
So when you’re watching an episode of, say, House, and you hear yet another dialogue on the danger of homeopathy (which then shows the characters actually talking about mineral supplements) you know that the writers didn’t bother to do their research.
When you read a newspaper account of how a “homeopath” (who has a conventional medical degree, but no evidence of training as a homeopath) negligently caused the death of a patient by treating him or her with “oxygen therapy”, you can be certain that the journalist is equally ignorant on the topics of homeopathy and conventional allopathic medicine.
When someone tells you they “had a friend with cancer” who “went to see ‘homeopaths'” and “tried a macrobiotic diet, chelation therapy, dousing, all that stuff”, you can conclude that your friend is talking about someone who visited therapists of all kinds, including a certified nutritionist, a medical doctor, a douser, and others we don’t know anything about. But that “friend” did not go and see a homeopath in all his/her explorations of “alternative” medicines.
When you happen to see something defined as “homeopathy” in Wikipedia, but the wiki article is describing something like any of the above practices, know that the author or authors of the article in question is/are wholly uninformed–both about homeopathy, and about the alternative medicine the wiki piece claims to define.
Be aware that there is a great deal of misinformation out there, and that it exists for a variety of reasons I don’t need to list here. But the facts are available. Better to be educated about them in order to make informed decisions which can improve your life, rather than allow misinformation to cloud your knowledge and keep you in the dark.