How Homeopathy is like a Dog

Caught your attention, did I?

Yes, Homeopathy is very similar to dogs (or cats, for that matter). There are many different kinds of dogs: dogs that bark, dogs that bite, 3-legged dogs, and lap-dogs. There are dogs that fit into purses, and there are dogs who eat dogs that fit into purses. In fact, when you think about it, the word “dog” doesn’t mean very much at all.

The same goes for Homeopathy. There are many different methods of homeopathy and they often have very little to do with each other. The only thing they all have in common in the use of homeopathic remedies.

In this article, I will outline the major difference between the most popular Schools of homeopathy. I will not include all those practitioners who have made up their own method (and there are a lot of those out there). If you want to know which method a practitioner follows, simply ask. Most homeopaths are thrilled to talk about what they do and in which School they are trained.

First, some standard terminology:

Classical Homeopathy
This sounds much more impressive than it actually is. All it means is that one remedy is prescribed for one disease at a time. Combination remedies (e.g. Unda, Reckweg) are not permitted in Classical Homeopathy because they contain multiple remedies.

According to Hahnemann, symptoms are any deviations from health which 1) are felt by the patient, 2) are noticed by those around him, and 3) are observed by the physician.

Law of Similars/Like cures like
The greater the degree of similarity between 1) the symptoms produced by the remedy on a healthy person, and 2) the symptoms of the person who is sick, the greater the recovery.

Hahnemannian (Hahn-uh-main-ee-an)/ Pure Homeopath
A person who practices Homeopathy according to Samuel Hahnemann.

Materia Medica
Materia Medica is the Latin term for a collection of knowledge which contains the therapeutic properties of any substance.

Pure Homeopathy/Hahnemannianism (that’s me!)
Hahnemann’s method requires direct comparison between 1) the subjective and objective symptoms of the patient, and 2) confirmed symptoms in the Hahnemannian Materia Medica. The most similar medicine is chosen. All theory, speculation, or bias is strictly forbidden. According to Samuel Hahnemann:

Poetic fancy, fantastic wit and speculation, must for the time be suspended, and all over-strained reasoning, forced interpretation and tendency to explain away things must be suppressed. The duty of the observer is only to take notice of the phenomena and their course; his attention should be on the watch, not only that nothing actually present escape his observation, but that also what he observes be understood exactly as it is.

Many homeopaths claim that Hahnemannianism and Classical Homeopathy are the same thing.  This is not true.  Classical Homeopathy simply means you administer a single remedy at one time.  Hahnemannianism is a specific technique which falls under the category of Classical Homeopathy.  Very, very few homeopaths in the world practice Pure Homeopathy – aren’t you lucky there’s one right here in Edmonton!


Other Schools of Homeopathy

I have quoted information on the following schools directly from their respective websites or from books these teachers have published with minimal editing. I have listed them in no particular order. The websites are very easy to find, so please check them out for yourselves. You will see that the other methods are based on theories as to the cause and treatment of disease. They tend focus on the subconscious and the mind. Because these symptoms are largely absent in Hahnemannianism, these teachers have laboured for many years at creating their own Materia Medicæ to fit their individual methods. They are, of course, free to use Hahnemann’s Materia Medica if they so choose.

This does not mean that other ways of applying the Law of Similars are ineffectual, but, as you’ll see, they bear no resemblance to Pure Homeopathy.

This is a superficial summary of a very complex topic. An in-depth exploration is simply beyond the scope of this little musing.

Sensation Method
Dr. Rajan Sankaran has developed a very different style of homeopathy from that which is currently practiced. It is called it the Sensation Method. It is based upon the understanding that behaviour and feelings stem from something much deeper. This Vital Sensation, or experience, connects the mind and body and runs like a thread through all of the patient’s symptoms. Through an in-depth focus on the chief complaint of the individual, and by focusing on the specific experience, the Vital Sensation reveals itself. Disease is a blockage of spirit (Central Disturbance) and awareness is its cure.

Periodic Table
Jan Scholten has applied the Periodic Table to homeopathy. This theory states that every (horizontal) row and every (vertical) column has a specific theme. Each of the seven rows is called a series. Each series shows a development: the theme of the series is developed in eighteen stages. These stages, the columns, describe a development: starting a theme, rising, coming to a top, then declining again and in the end comes the loss.

Every element can be described by the concepts of the series and the stage the element is in. A total picture is given of the periodic system as a spiral. Every wind of the spiral is a series or row. And every radiant is a stage or column. The spiral pictures the expanding consciousness: from the consciousness of the Ego in the beginning to that of a neighbourhood, a village, a city, and a country and in the end the whole universe.

Heilkunst uses homeopathy as a component of a larger system of healing. Rudi Verspoor has taken selected teachings of Samuel Hahnemann and combined them with the medical teachings of Dr. Rudolf Steiner, the founder of anthroposophical medicine, and Dr. Wilhelm Reich, founder of orgonomic medicine. Heilkunst recognises the Law of Similars and the Law of Opposites. The Law of Opposites involves the restoration of balance, and is applied to diet, nutrition, supplements, various energy healing modalities, and psychotherapy.

This is George Vithoulkas’ system. Symptoms are organised according to a set of essential central themes (“Essences”). The Essence of the patient is matched to the Essence of the Remedy. For example: The Essence of Phosphorus is “Diffusion”. On the physical level, almost any injury or stress results in hæmorrhage. On the emotional plane, the Phosphorus patient’s emotions freely go out toward others, with little ability of the patient to contain them and protect the self from emotional vulnerability. Mentally, the patient easily forgets himself, even to the degree that awareness can become too diffuse; the patient becomes easily “spaced out”.


So, do you see “How Homeopathy is like a Dog?”  It makes you want to scratch your head.

I’ve chosen to practice Pure Homeopathy because of the extraordinary results it has achieved in over 200 years of clinical experience, despite the best and worst humanity has been able to throw at it. The rigor and precision the system demands also appeal to me – it forces me to remain objective at all times, and that objectivity makes me a better practitioner and a better, wiser person.