CAM for Migraine and Cluster Headaches (cont.)
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Alternative Therapies: Homeopathy
The practice of homeopathy was developed and founded by German physician Samuel Hahnemann in 1790. The term homeopathy was derived from the Greek homoios, meaning similar, and pathos, meaning suffering. Hahnemann's fundamental principle, the Law of Similars, noted that if a remedy could mimic the symptoms of a particular disease, it would strengthen the healing response. In simple terms, this concept has been referred to as "like cures like." Hahnemann developed homeopathic remedies based upon medicinal herbs, vitamins, minerals, and even bee venom. Current practitioners have even made formulations from drugs such as antibiotics.
In addition to "like cures like," Hahnemann developed two other principles by which his system of healing was guided. The first was called the Law of the Infinitesimal Dose, which stated that the more diluted a remedy, the more powerful its effect on treating an illness. The other principle noted that, in order for an accurate assessment to be made, the patient and the illness must be observed on an individual basis because no two individuals respond to the same remedy in the same way.
Remedies are formulated based on differing potencies. A remedy's potency is based upon the concept that a particular substance, an herb for example, is diluted numerous times to achieve a desired effect. The potencies of a particular remedy are expressed in centesimal (c) and decimal (x) scales. Based upon homeopathic theory, lower potencies are used for physical illness, whereas highest potencies are used for mental or emotional problems.
Robert A Hauser, MD
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