Alternative medicine can be an overwhelming world to understand and to navigate. Although I am considered an expert in the process of holistic healing, I am certainly not an expert in every one of the more than 40-different modalities from which we can choose for treatment or a method. This blog further hopefully will clarify two often misused words.
Over the years I’ve referred to my success in healing outside of conventional medicine, without pharmaceuticals and using only natural methods. In response, some people say, “Oh, you use homeopathic medicine.” When it’s clear they mean, holistic medicine. But people rarely know the difference - unless they’re well versed in all the options. I have to confess I even mixed up the terms for the first 5-years of my journey. That was before I actually began using homeopathy – then the difference stuck.
So, I’m here to rescue everyone who is confused. I will try to explain both holistic medicine, which requires a much shorter explanation – and homeopathic medicine which is much more complex to describe.
HOLISTIC MEDICINE refers to mind-body-spirit medicine and is a philosophy of care; it’s a process. Holistic medicine treats whole person: wholistic – holistic, get it? Holistic medicine includes providers who consider the mental/emotional, spiritual and physical aspects of each patient in developing the treatment protocols. Homeopathy, however, is a modality, or distinct form or care, in itself; it is not an overarching philosophy. Homeopathy is very different and a very specific form of treatment.
But, when dealing with an overarching philosophy or scope of care, which holistic healing is, this process does not have to reside with particular type of provider. Holistic practitioners can be almost any type of provider: naturopaths, who focus on natural methods; osteopaths, who have additional skeletal training - besides the typical M.D. education; and a few M.D’s who use the holistic process within their integrative practices, just to name a few. By the way – integrative means, they blend alternative and conventional medical protocols.
HOMEOPATHY OR HOMEOPATHIC MEDICINE, however, is a modality completely separate and rarely includes other disciplines in their treatment mix. Homeopathic remedies do affect the mental, emotional, spiritual and physical aspects of one’s body but those elements are not separately treated – they are treated all at once with a single, comprehensive remedy. Homeopathy is quite credible since the Royal Family in Great Britain has used this form of care almost exclusively for generations. Who can question their longevity and track record of good health? Even in the US, 200 years ago, there were homeopathic hospitals that existed which used only homeopathic treatment protocols. These facilities eventually gave way to conventional medical hospitals that almost exclusively utilize pharmacological and surgical methods. Science took over in the U.S., for better or worse.
Another fact of which you should be aware – in Europe and Britain today, you’ll find pharmacies as well as medicinaries (homeopathic dispensaries) throughout the city or town. People may use both or one or the other. In the United States you don’t find storefront medicinaries, at all, because of the influence of the AMA, FDA and pharmaceutical companies. Medicinaries exist only on the premises of naturopathic schools or homeopathic practice groups. If you want to buy specific homeopathic remedies yourself, they’re available at Sprouts, Whole Foods or other health food stores. Constitutional remedies, blended especially for you, are available only from a homeopathic provider. I love homeopathy. It’s clearly one of my go-to modalities.
One more thing to explain about homeopathy is how it works. Homeopathy treatment consists of administering a minute dose of a drug, that in massive amounts would produce symptoms in a healthy individual similar to those of the disease itself. It causes the body to react and build immediate immunity to the condition. In essence, their philosophy is “like cures like.”
The form it takes is generally tiny, white pellets (generally 5 of them) that are dropped under your tongue and left to dissolve. The remedy works almost immediately. I used such a remedy to recover from the profound grief and loss of losing my only child, my son, in 2018. That remedy made it possible for me to attend Jon’s funeral and function the entire day with complete composure. Without it, I never would have left the house - since I was unable to control my depression or sorrow. I use these remedies for many other minor ailments such as allergic runny nose, post-nasal drip, minor bone breaks (toes), leg cramps, nausea and indigestion and the list goes on. Someone in a health food store can instruct you on how to use Boiron remedies, which is the brand I recommend.
Homeopathy is quite distinct much like: nutritional therapy; acupuncture; hydrotherapy, affirmations, acupressure, aromatherapy and essential oils, Ayurvedic medicine, chelation therapy, colon therapy (colonics), herbal medicine, homeopathy, hypnotherapy, imagery and visualization, massage, meditation and relaxation, that are isolated and do not cross over into conventional care, reflexology, regression therapy, religious healing, rolfing, sound therapy, TCM – Traditional Chinese Medicine, vitamin and mineral therapy and Yoga.
TO SUMMARIZE: With this tutorial, which I hope was helpful, you are way ahead of where I was during my first five-years of feeling my way around this vast universe of alternative medicine.
Today, I have a multitude of providers at my disposal and the one wonderful thing about alternative medicine is that the providers don’t seem to care if you use others – a chiropractor, a naturopath, a colon therapist, a masseuse, and even a homeopath or whatever can be in your routine of care. These providers have little ego, are not protective of their own turf or controlling of their patients. They allow the patient to make decisions and generally aren’t money motivated, either. You won’t find any of them on a 15-minute timeclock per visit. Anyway, in case you can’t tell – I have a bias. Holistic healing saved my life and I hope I’ve helped you understand it all better.
Final point. If you are able to identify what the photo represents - at the start of this blog – you’ve passed this course!