Friday, August 30, 2013

Alternative Medicine and Homeopathy

For many years modern medicine looked down on Alternative medicine. There are some good and bad reasons why this was the case. Most doctors have not studied alternative medicine and therefore do not understand it. Therefore it is easy to look down on these practitioners as quacks. However due to a mounting pile of evidence showing that the results many alternative medicine providers have achieved has many doctors working in accord with alternative medicine.

There are some good reasons that the medical community mostly does not condone the use of alternative medicine. Some AM practitioners claim an ability to heal any disease, and some insist on the first visit to cease all medications prescribed by a doctor. Just as there are doctors that are quacks and are horrible at their craft, there are certainly many AM practitioners that are not doing their contemporary professionals any favors by practicing the way they do.

I would like to discuss one branch of AM known as homeopathy. Homeopathy has been around for over 200 years. Some form of homeopathy is practiced in modern medicine in several different instances. For instance what is the treatment for a child suffering from ADHD? to give this child with hyper activity disorder Ritalin, a stimulant. It doesn't seem to make much sense but that is the treatment. As well one treatment for many patients suffering from severe allergies is to administer low doses of pollen into their system. Then over time increase the dosage until a tolerance is built up in the system and the patient is either allergy free or the symptoms are greatly lessened. These treatments are founded on homeopathic principles.

So what is homeopathy anyway? The key principle is treating a "like with a like" So let's take an example of homeopathy in action. If a patient complains of symptoms of sleeplessness and agitation, a homeopathic practitioner may administer a low dose of caffeinated coffee as a treatment. Why is this? Because in high doses coffee can cause these symptoms. So a homeopath seeks the symptoms and then ties them to something in nature that may in high doses cause these symptoms and then administers the low dosage treatment.

What is the science behind homeopathy? While modern science is unsure what makes the treatments so effective numerous laboratory tests have shown the efficacy of homeopathy. In one such study a homeopathy practitioner created a remedy out of thyroxine, (a hormone produced by the thyroid that is responsible for regulating normal growth) and then administered these to tadpoles. The result was a dramatic slowing in the metamorphosis process in which the tadpoles become adult frogs.
Homeopathy Succession

The typical preparation of these remedies involves a process of vigorously shaking the original ingredient with water and alcohol and by using dilution and succession the remedies are created. It is believed that during the succession process nanostructures are created and these are the active ingredients in homeopathy.

Whether or not science can explain it homeopathy has sound roots in medicinal practices, while not all treatments may be successful the data indicates that there is a great deal of merit in homeopathy as it is practiced today.

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