HOMEOPATHY

Samuel Hahnemann, the founder of Homeopathy, was born in Meissen, Germany in 1755.  A successful doctor, he chose to end his medical practice because of the terrible side effects of the medicines used in those times, such as mercury, silver nitrate, arsenic, and the indiscriminate use of leeches. This eventually led him to study the effects of such substances and many others, in minute and dynamized doses, in a healthy person. He discovered the Law of Similars which implies that a substance that produces symptoms in a healthy person will cure him/her when similar symptoms are present in that patient. This gave name to the word Homeopathy, from homeois = similar and pathos = suffering.

Upon experimenting with the remedies on healthy individuals he found that each substance had its own “medicinal individuality” that included not only physical but also emotional, mental and general symptoms that had to be matched to the “morbid individuality” of the sick person.  This marked the birth of holistic medicine in the West.

A homeopath will take on a case by taking into account the totality of the symptoms and their modalities. If we take the example of acute tonsilitis, what will be common to all cases is that the tonsils will be red, inflamed and painful, and possibly accompanied by fever, especially in the case of children. But to the homeopath the remedy will be different depending on whether the pain is more intense on the left side or on the right side, or both; whether the fever is dry or accompanied by perspiration; whether the patient becomes talkative and cheerful during the fever or has terrifying hallucinations; whether the pain subsides when the neck is covered or the person cannot stand having anything around the neck; whether the pain is further aggravated with cold or hot drinks.

In the case of a chronic disease such as irritable bowel syndrome, the mental symptoms will be of great importance in determining the right remedy. Depression, sadness, anger, irritability, fear, and their modalities will be explored along with the person’s manner of being, such as meticulous, tidy, untidy, dwelling in grief, preferring solitude or needing company, arrogant or insecure, etc., etc. All this will be taken into account in a wider context that includes the possible triggering factors that contributed to the loss of homeostasis; for example, whether the disease was caused by catching a cold, from lack of sleep, from the loss of a loved one, or from a frightening incident.  In short, the homeopathic clinical history is the bio-psyco-pathography of the patient.

This indispensable search for “who” the patient is versus just “what” he/she “is ailing from”, drives patients to often ask their homeopaths if they are also psychologists or psychotherapists. Awareness of this drove Dr. Beléndez to explore and deepen her knowledge of the human psyche through the Hakomi Method of Assisted Self-Study.