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Homeopathy in Lebanon

What is homeopathy?
Homeopathy is a system of medicine which involves treating the individual with highly diluted substances, given mainly in tablet form, with the aim of triggering the body’s natural system of healing. Based on their specific symptoms, a homeopath will match the most appropriate medicine to each patient.

Like with like
Homeopathy is based on the principle that you can treat ‘like with like’, that is, a substance which causes symptoms when taken in large doses, can be used in small amounts to treat those same symptoms. For example, drinking too much coffee can cause sleeplessness and agitation, so according to this principle, when made into a homeopathic medicine, it could be used to treat people with these symptoms. This concept is sometimes used in conventional medicine, for example, the stimulant Ritalin is used to treat patients with ADHD, or small doses of allergens such as pollen are sometimes used to de-sensitise allergic patients. However, one major difference with homeopathic medicines is that substances are used in ultra high dilutions, which makes them non-toxic.

The science
Homeopathic medicines (which homeopaths call remedies) are prepared by specialist pharmacies using a careful process of dilution and succussion (a specific form of vigorous shaking).

Its origins
The principle of treating “like with like” dates back to Hippocrates (460-377BC) but in its current form, homeopathy has been widely used worldwide for more than 200 years.

It was discovered by a German doctor, Samuel Hahnemann, who, shocked with the harsh medical practises of the day (which included blood-letting, purging and the use of poisons such as arsenic), looked for a way to reduce the damaging side-effects associated with medical treatment.

He began experimenting on himself and a group of healthy volunteers, giving smaller and smaller medicinal doses, and found that as well as reducing toxicity, the medicines actually appeared to be more effective the lower the dose. He also observed that symptoms caused by toxic ‘medicines’ such as mercury, were similar to those of the diseases they were being used to treat e.g. syphilis, which lead to the principle he described as ‘like cures like’.

Hahnemann went on to document his work, and his texts formed the foundations of homeopathic medicine as it is practised today. A BBC Radio 4 documentary aired in December 2010 described Hahnemann as a medical pioneer who worked tirelessly to improve medical practice, insisting that medicines were tested before use.

For Consultation
A homeopathic consultation involves a long and deep interview where the homeopath investigates in great detail the symptoms experienced by an individual at physical, mental and emotional levels.

The enquiry elucidates factors, which influence the symptoms for better or worse. Past/present life stresses, grieves, idiosyncrasies and hereditary factors are also investigated. Sleep patterns, dreams, response to weather, food preferences and hobbies offer important clues to the required medicine.

The idea is to discover the unique way a complaint is experienced by the patient at all levels. This individualized picture is the homeopath's most important guide to the homeopathic medicine. Attention is given to alternating or unusual symptoms and information is sought on the impact of modalities (conditions providing relief or aggravation of symptoms, e.g., weather or activity).

After this vital information the homeopath usually selects a homeopathic medicine. This medicine is then administered in the most suitable dose and potency to the individual. After a homeopathic medicine is prescribed a follow up appointment is scheduled to monitor the response of the patient to the medication.

The process of healing depends on how chronic the complaint is, the level of vitality of the patient, and on the accuracy of the homeopathic prescription itself. With acute problems the improvements are quite rapid. With chronic problems improvements are usually gradual.

If you have more questions about homeopathic consultations or treatment, please Contact  Dr. May Zalaquett Harb

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