I was asked recently what is the difference between holistic medicine and homeopathy. I can’t say what exactly holistic medicine is, since that is not what I am trained and educated in. I would presume it is looking a the whole person. A doctor who is practicing holistic medicine may not be practicing homeopathy. Being a homeopathic practitioner or homeopath I can say what homeopathy is.
Homeopathy is a form of holistic medicine. Homeopathy is a system of medicine developed by the German physician Samuel Hahnemann in the late 1700’s. It has its own set of principles. The main principle is the Law of Similars or LIKE CURES LIKE. In fact, the word homeopathy means “similar suffering”. Through the observation and understanding of the totality of what the person is experiencing (it is more than just symptoms), the homeopath selects the homeopathic medicine that is most similar to what the person is experiencing. It is like matching the ill state of the person with a homeopathic medicine that is similar to that state. This homeopathic medicine stimulates the person’s own healing process. This is LIKE CURE LIKE. Western medicine operates from the Law of Opposites. Both the Law of Similar and the Law of Opposites have been around since the time of the Greeks.
Not only is homeopathy holistic, but it is also addresses the individual. Each of us experience what bothers us uniquely to ourselves. The fact that homeopathy really looks at the individual person is both wonderful and challenging to me. Wonderful, because the homeopath really takes the time to observe and to understand what bothers the person; and challenging, because sometimes it does take time to understand what the “suffering” is like for this individual person.
And by taking the time to see the person in their totality and in their individuation, a deep healing can take place.