It often seems humans think bigger is better and more trumps less.
This approach does not apply in the world of homeopathy, an alternative health care system practiced by more than 500 million people around the globe. In homeopathy, those seeking relief from physical or emotional issues are given the smallest amount of a dose for the shortest amount of time.
The practice is based on the law of similars, or like cures like.
“Medicine in a large crude dose could be toxic,” says certified homeopath Susie Overmyer, owner of Pikes Peak Homeopathy. You can find her online at pikespeakhomeopathy.com.
“But when given as a homeopathic remedy in a diluted and much smaller amount, it can be very therapeutic. Remedies are so safe that a child could swallow a whole bottle and it’s safe. They’re not toxic.”
Homeopathy is no new trend or passing fad. More than 200 years ago, Samuel Hahnemann, a German doctor, felt the techniques of his day were too harsh and damaging. After delving into his own studies, he determined small amounts of medicine were more therapeutic than large doses. Modern medicine has now moved in that direction, says Overmyer.
Take aspirin, for example.
“One or two will cure a headache, but an entire bottle could be fatal to somebody,” she says. “(Homeopathic) remedies are all natural substances. There are no additives, no toxicity, no addiction. They’re purely therapeutic.”
In the late 1800s and early 1900s, there were more homeopaths than medical doctors in the U.S., she says. Homeopathic nurses served in WWI and there were a number of homeopathic hospitals, more than 1,000 homeopathic pharmacies and a couple hundred homeopathic schools in the country.
But then conflict arose between homeopaths and medical doctors and homeopathy temporarily fell from favor. Medicine became the primary source of care.
A resurgence of the alternative health care system came in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s and is now mainstream, says Overmyer, who regularly teaches classes to mothers and other groups.
“Homeopathy is wonderful, safe, gentle and effective,” she says. “The basics are easy to learn, easy to implement and it empowers people, especially young mothers who take care of their families.”
During the first session, which typically lasts 60-90 minutes, Overmyer and her client would discuss the current issue, family and personal histories and how the person is being impacted by the condition. Homeopathy also takes the personality of the person into consideration.
“The body might be expressing something the mind doesn’t want to experience or express,” she says. “Not all the time. Sometimes you just go over the handlebars of your bicycle. But often chronic issues are things we don’t want to deal with. Our subconscious doesn’t let us get away from them.”
Overmyer will see her client about four to six weeks later for an update. Remedies can work immediately, if it’s something like a burn, for example. If something has been a long-term problem, chances are it will take longer to work through the issue.
She’s careful to say she’s not a doctor and not medically licensed.
“As a nonlicensed medical practitioner, I do not diagnose, prescribe for, treat or cure any condition, which is not to say people don’t get better.”
Any number of issues can bring a person to a homeopath, including injuries, surgery, illness, emotional issues, post-traumatic stress disorder, acute and chronic conditions, autism and those who have never been well since an accident, illness or emotional event.
“Ten people with cough and fever might see a medical practitioner and get the same cough medicine,” she says. “Those same 10 people see a homeopath, who would take into consideration their physical state, emotions, how they’re being impacted and any other contributing factors. Each person will be addressed differently and likely given different homeopathic therapy. It’s all individualized.”
Why do small doses work? Overmyer believes the body becomes overwhelmed and reacts to the medicine itself and has to recover from the medicine. For example, antibiotics. As necessary as they are, they’re known to kill good bacteria in the body along with the bad.
“They may take care of the issue you have, but have created a new issue,” she says. “Homeopathy stimulates the immune system to help the body recover more quickly. That’s what we’re trying to do. When you do that, the body responds pretty quickly.”
As with many alternative healing systems, there come claims of pseudoscience, or a theory, methodology or practice considered to be without scientific foundation. Overmyer acknowledges those claims, but cites volumes of research proving the efficacy of homeopathy.
“It’s been around for centuries,” she says. “Remedies are overseen by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) and the Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia of the United States.”
And as a Christian, she believes homeopathy is a God-given medicine.
“God has given us everything we need and if we are alert and willing, then he will provide,” she says. “This is an excellent example of that. Remedies are all-natural substances, readily available and over the counter mostly. You use a tiny amount and it’s inexpensive, effective and safe. What else would you want in a medicine?”
Contact the writer: 636-0270