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Homeopathy describes medical treatments where a substance that produces a certain symptom in a healthy person could cure a sick person with the same symptom. Generally, homeopathic therapies focus on remedies for people rather than on treatment for diseases. There are two primary types of homeopathic therapies: classical and complex. Classical homeopathic therapy works with a single remedy, while complex homeopathic therapy works with a number of remedies. A key point in homeopathy is that less is more — a measured dilution is obtained by a precise and controlled process regardless of the method of therapy.
The cures sought with homeopathic therapies lend from the Greek origins of the word homeopathy, which translates as "like the disease." In contrast, some medications are prescribed by allopathic, or traditional, physicians where allopathy means "other than the disease." Unlike the medications prescribed by traditional physicians — which can appear in foil wrappers, vials, or are injected with needles — remedies assigned in homeopathic therapies are natural substances derived from mineral, animal, or botanical sources, and come in the form of tablets, powders, or tinctures that are typically prepared with a dilution.
Classical homeopathic therapies treats illnesses with a single remedy that is selected based on a closest possible match to the constitutional type and symptom picture of a patient. More common is the use of complex homeopathic therapies where several remedies are employed concurrently to treat serious ailments and symptoms. In assigning the proper therapy, a patient’s constitutional type is determined by taking a whole view of the patient as a person. Typical new patient intake interviews will last in excess of one hour. The view of a person as a whole is complemented with a summary of past and present symptoms to include the order in which the symptoms appeared.
As symptoms are considered the language of a disease, they reflect the body's attempt to create balance and as such, the symptom picture is crucial in assigning the type of homeopathic treatment appropriate for the individual. For instance, independent of the specific type or location of pain, traditional medicine administers a pain killer. In homeopathy, the remedy requires determining which of the 5,000 types of headaches the patient is experiencing.
When the proper type of therapy is applied, healing is said to start from the inside of the body and progress to the extremities. For instance, healing would begin with emotional and mental correction followed by the physical. Also, it follows in the chronologically reverse order of the onset of the ailment.
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