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Latest Article
"What is Homeopathy"

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What is Homeopathy

Homeopathy is a system of medicine based on the principle of like cures like. That is, if a substance can cause symptoms in a healthy person or animal, then it can stimulate self-healing of similar symptoms in a sick person or animal. In contrast, the term allopathic means, to treat with other than the disease and is used to denote the standard medical approach of today, which attempts to counteract symptoms. For example, a patient with diarrhea may be given a drug to slow intestinal motility; an itching dog may get an antihistamine; or a seizuring animal may be treated with an anti-convulsant.

The principle of similars (like cures like) dates back to the time of Hippo-crates who was the first to discover it in the 1700s. Homeopathy was developed about 200 years ago by Dr. Samuel Hahnemann of Germany; it continues to grow in popularity to this day. Dr. Hahnemann translated a book on treatments of the day. The author, a Dr. Cullen, stated that Cinchona bark was an effective treatment for malaria because it was bitter. Hahnemann knew of many other substances that were bitter which were not effective for malaria. He had the idea of taking Cinchona bark himself and produced symptoms in himself that were identical to malaria. Hence, the theory of like curing like truly began to evolve.

The exact mechanism by which homeopathy works is unknown, but 200 years of clinical experiencealong with research published in such medical journals as The Lancet, Pediatrics, and British Medical Journalhave confirmed homeopathys effectiveness.

Q Why does it seem that when one dog owner shares information about a remedy that was successful for their dog, another persons dog either does not respond at all or sometimes gets worse?

A This is because it is not appropriate to use homeopathic remedies in the same manner as you would use a drug . . . that is, to suppress individual symptoms. Dr. Hahnemann proposed that disease is a process that affects the patient as a whole and that medicines applied in small, nontoxic doses treat the patient directly instead of just treating the disease. You must treat the whole animal, not just individual parts or symptoms. In other words, you could not just give a homeopathic remedy for a skin problem. You must consider the whole animal.

Homeopathy takes into consideration the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual characteristics of each individual person and animal. For example, a homeopathic doctor treating a skin problem does not assume that all allergies are alike. Instead, he asks about unique symptoms: Is the animal chilly or hot? What makes the skin problem better or worse (i.e., bathing)? What are the patients eating habits? What are the animals food preferences? How does the behavior of the animal differ under unusual circumstances (i.e., with strangers or strange surroundings)? Each animal with a skin problem might get completely different homeopathic remedies because each manifests its symptoms in unique ways.

Conversely, conventional medicine approaches health problems from the perspective of the disease instead of the patient. The name of the disease directs the treatment, not the patient. The concept of treating the patient directlyas opposed to the diseasedoes not exist in conventional medicine! The basic premise is that the homeopathic medicine stimulates the natural recuperative processes of the patient toward health. The disease resolves naturally as the patient recovers. For a given named disease, there might be hundreds of homeopathic medicines, which might be indicated. So, no we are not just treating individual symptoms. We are using the peculiarities of the symptoms to decide which homeopathic medicine to give.

Q I know that I give my dog small doses of her remedy and it is difficult to understand how this tiny amount can be so effective. Can you explain?

A Above all, do no harm is a basic premise of naturopathic medicine and should be the premise of all types of medicine. Dr. Hahnemann was faced with the same dilemma in his time as we are todaythat is, finding medicines that would not cause harm. He found that if a medicine was well indicated by its similar symptoms, it could be given in very small doses with excellent results.
Hahnemann developed a system called potentiation. Medicines are diluted in a series of dilutions with successionsa type of shaking processin between each dilution. Homeopathic remedies are dispensed in different strengths called potencies. The number and letter indicate the potency, which follow the name of the medicine. The larger the number, the more times it has been diluted and shaken.

In the practice of homeopathy, the actual amount of the remedy to be taken is insignificant. The potency and frequency of repetition are more important. Sometimes to explain this point, I use the analogy of touching a charged electrical wire with your hand: You can touch it with your whole hand or your little fingeryou will get the same shock either way.

Q Consequently, what kind of time frame should a patients owner expect to see when a remedy is correctly prescribed?

A The time frame for a response is variable. Generally, the more acute the situation, the faster the response. For example, a sprain, strain or severe bruise that has just occurred should respond immediatelywithin seconds. More chronic problems such as skin, ear, thyroid, or digestive problems should see some improvement within a couple of weeks but may take many years of treatment to completely resolve. The reasons for this are many. The tendency to have these chronic maladies is passed on generation-to-generation and made worse by vaccines, drug suppression and poor-quality food. So, in a sense, we are not only treating that particular individual, but also his predecessors from previous generations. This could take the rest of its life if treatment is started in an elderly animal. It would be similar to beginning treatment in a 70-year-old person. This 70-year-old person is usually just as treatable as anyone else is, but he may have many more layers of drugs, treatments, and symptoms to be treated. He could potentially be under treatment the rest of his life.

A common disheartening situation I commonly see is the discontinuance of treatment by the animal guardian too soon. The animal feels and looks better after a month for example, but it is not deeply cured yet. When the owner stops treatment, the symptoms slowly creep back. In a sense, we are trying to melt a huge iceberg that is sticking up above the water. The iceberg (symptoms) may not be seen anymore, but it is still there under the water only to stick up above the water level again if we dont keep melting it.

Q I have heard you use the terms Vital Force and balancing the system when talking about Homeopathy. I have seen dramatic results in treating everything from behavior outbursts to immune diseases. Can you talk about this and also what adjunctive therapies do you usually suggest using along with Homeopathy?

A The Vital Force is a level at which homeopathic remedies work. An imbalance or susceptibility of the Vital Force is what allows chronic disease to develop. Chronic disease consists of anything other than trauma. For example: skin problems, seizures, cancer, anxieties, fearfulness, aggression, autoimmune disorders, or anything else that is not trauma (such as being hit by a car). Sometimes an acute trauma will bring out chronic disease symptoms. Such would be the situation where an owner might say; My dog has never been the same since he was in that dog fight. The wounds are completely healed, but ever since then he is timid, doesnt eat well and vomits more frequently.

The Vital Force is that energetic force which maintains the normal functioning, balance, or homeostasis of the body. It really does nothing more. It is not strong enough to overcome chronic unrelenting diseases that we are more commonly seeing in animals and people. If the Vital Force were strong enough, we would not have these chronic situations to begin with.

Depending upon how they are used, adjunctive therapies may or may not work well with homeopathy. Nutritional supplements, called neutraceuticals are helpful; but strong herbs used in a drug-like manner against individual symptoms are counterproductive. For example, using slippery elm to soothe the intestines during a bout of diarrhea is helpful, but an herb used to slow down intestinal motility in diarrhea would be the same as using a drug. So, it makes no difference whether you use a drug or an herb to suppress individual symptoms . . . it is still suppression. Acu-puncture, for example, works on the same level as homeopathic remedies and therefore could potentially interfere. Chiropractic-tic, swim therapy, glandular extracts, and physical therapy will all work well with Homeopathy.

Q I want to address vaccines and vaccinosis. What do you say to the conscientious owner who is just following their vets protocol when it comes to vaccinating?

A I have given seminars on vaccines and this issue is a long topic in and of itself. We might want to address it in a separate article sometime. Nevertheless, it is the opinion of most homeopaths that vaccines play a major role in bringing out symptoms of these chronic diseases. The susceptibility of the patient comes into play here also. There may be some dogs that receive vaccinations and seem to have no long-term effectsthey are few and far between. It seems that vaccines tend to bring out symptoms within the person or animal in a faster and more intense way. Have you ever noticed that about one to twelve weeks after a vaccination, you see worsening of skin problems or new problems appearing? Conventional medicine does not consider a symptom as vaccine related unless it occurs immediately or within a few hours of the vaccine. We know that vaccines affect both the immune system and the Vital Force on a very deep level and do tend to bring out chronic disease more intensely. Autism in children is now thought to be caused by vaccination. [Look for Dr. Judys article on Vaccinations in a future issue!]

Q When working with your canine patients, how important is diet? Do you insist that the owners switch to a raw food diet or a more natural dog food?

A Again, a complete subject unto itself. Diet is extremely important. Unfortunately, I cannot insist that every animal I treat be on a strictly homemade diet. When some people hear the words homemade diet, they tend to think of it as being more expensive and time consuming. It really is not. Animals on a homemade organic diet seem to respond to natural therapies including homeopathy much more quickly than animals on a commercial diet. Can you imagine trying to treat someone with severe allergies who was eating McDonalds and TV dinners every day? That is exactly what we are doing when we are treating an allergy patient on commercial dog food.

Q While we are on this topic, there is always a lot of discussion on supplementing diet with oils. What do you suggest?

A There are many different oils that can be supplemented in the diet. It depends on the goal you are attempting to accomplish. One of my favorite supplements is fish oil, which is a good source of essential fatty acids (EFAs). Salmon, mackerel and herring are three fish from which these particular EFAs are derived. These fish oils strengthen the immune system, are helpful in neurological disorders such as degenerative myelopathya weakness beginning in the back legs of dogsand they help with skin inflammation which occurs with allergies and skin problems. Also, I prefer fish oil because it tends to be more completely absorbed in carnivores than flax seed oil which is plant derived. A study was done on rats showing that EFAs were helpful with estrogen-deficiency related osteoporosiswhich is why I recommend it for women to help prevent osteoporosis.

Q You talk about chronic disease. If someone has a new puppy that seems to be perfectly healthy, would they want to consider a consultation to begin Homeopathy? Another question: Orthodox medicine often considers a puppy with waxy ears or one that eats gravel, stools or dirt as normal. Would classic Homeopathy view these as symptoms?

A Yes, after a person has acquired a new puppy that seems to be perfectly healthy, it would be a good idea to have the puppy examined by a homeopathic veterinarian to check for signs that other practitioners might consider normal such as waxy ears, slight ear discharge, eating stools, timidity, or having diarrhea after a slight change in food. Common is not the same as normal. Many times we can use these early symptoms as an indication of what is to come later and begin treatment early.

Homeopathic veterinarians and physicians receive extensive training. In addition to being a traditional allopathic doctor, a homeopath must spend many yearsand much expensestudying homeopathy to become competent. Many veterinary and human courses are offered. The study of homeopathy is much vaster even than regular medicine. Although it requires intensive studythe student must really enjoy studying and readingonce learned, the information is permanent and seems to build upon itself.

Judy Stolz has been a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine since 1985 and has been a Naturopathic Physician since 1996. She has attended the most extensive training program for professional practitionersHahnemann College of Homeopathy in Berkeley, California; the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society course for veterinarians in 1991; Dr. Pitcairns beginning and advanced homeopathy courses from 1993 to Present; The Dynamis School of Homeopathy in Toronto, Canada.

She received her NMD degree from Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine in Scottsdale, Arizona in 1996.

Dr. Judy is physical as well as Cerebral. She is the current National Champion in Womens Freestyle Skydiving and resides in the Casa Grande Area of Arizona. Phone: (520) 494-9571. Website: www.drstolz.com.

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