Homeopathy is a very specific and effective system of medicine which has been used by millions of people over more than 200 years. Homeopathy is widely accepted in other parts of the world. In many countries, a large percentage of conventional medical doctors use homeopathy in their practices, and the medicines are widely available in drugstores. In the United States, homeopathy used to be part of conventional medical training, and is regaining favor in conventional and alternative medical training. There have been some scientific studies which have found homeopathic treatment to be effective, and have been published in respected traditional medical journals.
Conventional doctors look for common symptoms to diagnose a disease (fever + nausea + achiness = flu) and then treat everyone with that disease with the same medicines. Homeopaths look for the symptoms that are unique to that patient and view those symptoms as an expression of the disturbance in the the patient's vitality. Specific and unique ways of responding to this disturbance creates the individual illness "picture" of the patient. This helps the homeopath to choose the best medicine for the patient, rather than for the disease. The challenge is to match the totality of the symptom picture of the patient to the medicine that best covers those symptoms.
In essence, homeopathy is a complex matching game. There are many books (and now computer programs) to help identify the symptoms produced by the substances from which homeopathic medicines are prepared, and to describe the state of the patient when needing that particular medicine. When the correct homeopathic medicine is given, there is a subtle change that happens, a kind of "nudging" of the patient toward balance. This improves the vitality of the person (which may improve their future health too) in addition to alleviating the symptoms.
Remedies are chosen based on the basic homeopathic principle of "like cures like". In a similar mechanism as with immunizations or allergy shots, a substance which can cause a symptom can cure that symptom in a smaller amount. Dr. Samuel Hahnemann discovered this principle in Germany in the late 1700‚Äôs; noting that cinchona bark, a common treatment of the day for malaria, could cause malaria-like symptoms in a healthy person.
Homeopathic medicines can ease acute trauma, help kids with ear infections, cure long standing chronic illness, ease aches and pains, help with anxiety and insomnia, help with behavior disorders, skin diseases, hormone problems and many more urgent and chronic disease problems.
Dr. Susan Allen is very experienced and well trained in homeopathy, completing the naturopathic certificate for homeopathy and a national competency exam. She studied for over ten years with Henny Heudens-Mast, a famous Belgian homeopath with many decades of experience. She is passionate about this form of medicine because she has seen it work really well for the several decades that she has been studying and using homeopathic remedies for herself, her family and friends. Including homeopathic medicine along with other forms of treatments has really helped speed healing in many of Dr. Allen's patients, encouraging her to continue her commitment to continuing to learn about this form of medicine.
Homeopathy has often been able to treat very serious epidemics in the past, even when other medicines have failed. Scientific evidence is difficult to gather because of the individualized treatment (everyone with avian flu does not get the same medicine!) and because of the subtle and "energetic" nature of the healing. In the future, we will probably possess more tools to effectively prove it, but for now, Dr. Allen accepts centuries of tradition and her own experience as proof enough.