Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Homeopathy 101: Know more about this branch of Alternative Medicine

Homeopathy has its origins in Germany and has today spread all over the world after its evolution as a leading branch of alternative medicine. However, a lot of its aspects remain unknown to the masses. Here's EaseMyHealth's attempt to simplify and educate our readers about Homeopathy

1. What kinds of conditions can homeopathy treat?
Homeopathy is effective in a wide range of complaints. Hormonal, digestive, skin, respiratory, urinary, menstrual, musculoskeletal, reproductive, circulatory, emotional and immune problems - including infections and allergies – are all within its scope.

2. Does homeopathy have side effects?
No. Because of the way homeopathic medicines are prepared they do not carry with them the kinds of adverse effects that conventional medicines have.

3. Are homeopathic medicines safe for newborns and in pregnancy?
Yes, in fact babies and young children respond particularly rapidly to homeopathic medicines and treatment in pregnancy will benefit both mother and unborn child. Because homeopathic medicines are so safe they can be used at all stages of life.

4. How does homeopathy work?
There is no straightforward answer to this question. Simply put it is likely that homeopathic medicines modulate our response to disease agents such as viruses, bacteria, stress and injury.

5. What is the difference between conventional medicine and homeopathy?
Mainstream medicine has specific treatments for specific diseases and the emphasis is on the illness rather than on the patient. In contrast homeopathy places the emphasis on the patient rather than the disease and treats accordingly. It is the difference for instance, between targeting bacteria or boosting the immune system.

6. What is the difference between herbal medicine and homeopathy?
Whilst homeopathy uses many plants that herbalists also use, medicines in homeopathy are, in addition, also derived from other sources and all are prepared and prescribed in a way that is unique to homeopathy.

7. What are homeopathic medicines made from and how are they prepared?
Homeopathic medicines are made from plants, minerals and in some cases members of the animal kingdom. About 3000 different homeopathic medicines are currently in use and they are all made according to a process known as potentisation. This involves a process of sequential dilution and vigorous shaking of solutions. It is this procedure which has attracted most critical attention from the medical and scientific communities, since homeopathic preparations contain no molecules of the original substance from which they are made. Whilst millions of patients worldwide will testify to the efficacy of homeopathic medicines this paradox needs to be explained and is the subject of current research.

8. How long is a course of treatment?
This depends on the illness. Acute complaints respond rapidly to treatment, chronic complaints more slowly. A very rough rule of thumb tends to be that for every year of illness a month of treatment is likely, but even then many chronic illnesses respond more quickly than expected. In contrast the more severe an illness, the more treatment is probably going to be required.

9. What happens during a homeopathic consultation?
You will be asked for a complete medical history and all the issues physical, emotional and social which you and your practitioner feel are relevant to your state of health. A full consultation will last around one hour. The purpose of such a comprehensive approach is in order to find the medicine which benefits you as a whole person as well as your particular illness or illnesses.

10. Are there any dietary restrictions which one should observe whilst on homeopathic treatment?
Homeopathic treatment itself requires no dietary restrictions. However, any restrictions connected with your illness should of course be observed until such time as sufficient improvement has occurred to review the situation.

11. Do conventional medicines have to be stopped before homeopathic treatment can begin?
No. However, as homeopathic treatment progresses it clearly makes sense to review your drug regimen in conjunction with your conventional medical practitioner. Some drugs can be safely stopped relatively easily, and it is the aim of homeopathic treatment to ultimately reduce dependence as much as possible on all medication.

12. What are the limitations of homeopathy?
Situations of medical emergency requiring surgery e.g. severe injury and other life threatening events such as heart attacks and strokes are usually beyond the immediate scope of homeopathy. Nevertheless, homeopathy can still be of great benefit once the situation has stabilised.

Source: http://www.oxford-homeopathy.org.uk
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Homeopathy@EaseMyHealth: You can consult EaseMyHealth's Homeopathy specialist Dr. Lajja Vaidya at EaseMyDocAdvice (click to read profile or start consultation). Dr. Vaidya has trained and practised Homeopathy in India & Germany and offers excellent consultation for all diseases/conditions.

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