What’s Holding Us Back From Fully Embracing Homeopathy?
It’s no great secret- homeopathy has had a difficult time fully catching on to the consciousness of the West.
In the majority of North America and Europe, Westerners have come to value a self-ordained sense of “rationality”, cultivating over the years a general understanding that traditional medicine offers a superior benefit to what they consider the “old wives tale” methodology of homeopathy.
To be frank, it is understandable how this skepticism has arisen across the many centuries that constitute Western civilization. Doubting anything other than traditional Western medicine has become almost sacrosanct in our culture. Even Charles Darwin himself, a titan of Western science, cast his own personal aspersions and wrath against the concept of homeopathy.
“You speak about homeopathy; a subject which makes me more wrath, even than does clairvoyance; clairvoyance so transcends belief that one’s ordinary faculties are put out of question, but in homeopathy common sense and common observation come into play, and both these must go to dogs”.
But the truth is, despite the protestations of Darwin; homeopathy has much to offer a Western society that is plagued by obesity, heart diseases, and chronic stress. There are many solutions to our current ills hiding in plain sight inside the intricate and powerful world of homeopathy. However, for a myriad of reasons our society has had difficulty fully embracing the methodology.
To understand how we have gotten to this place in our culture, it is vital to first understand the history and the origins of homeopathy.
The Origins of Homeopathy
Though often mistaken for other forms of energy-based, Eastern-based medicinal methodologies such as holistic medicine or acupuncture, homeopathy was actually created in Germany during the late 18th century by the respected doctor and pioneer Samuel Hahnemann.
Through his work, Hahnehann came across a groundbreaking new lens for looking at the health of the human body, one that he and his followers would soon begin to term as “homeopathy”. At its core, homeopathy believes that like cures like, and that small concentrations of a toxin could work to cure the same symptoms that would be created by larger doses of the same compound.
This discovery worked hand in hand with the science of the day as new breakthroughs on inoculation and vaccination practices occurred. Further, Hahenham’s work proved to be far safer than common practices of the time such as bloodletting.
From the time of Hahenham’s work to today, homeopathy has seen a steady rise in relevance. In 1903, after a sustained period of antagonism, the American Medical Associations invited homeopathy into their group, and the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act of 1939 allowed for the selling of homeopathic medicines to be sold on the open market in the USA.
Fast forward to the 1960s and the 1970s when homeopathy saw a remarkable revival in both the United States and England. By 2002, it was estimated that the number of patients using homeopathic remedies had risen by over 500% from the previous seven years. Today, though treated with skepticism on a wider scale, homeopathy is still used as a relatively common treatment for asthma, depression, allergic rhinitis (hay fever), headaches and migraines, neurotic disorders, allergies, dermatitis, and arthritis/hypertension.
What’s Holding Homeopathy Back
Homeopathy has had a difficult time proving itself as a mainstream vehicle for health and wellness. Today, the practice is regarded with considerable skepticism and is attacked as lacking sufficient clinical evidence to prove its effectiveness.
In the same moment though, Americans across the board are reporting a growing sense of skepticism concerning traditional forms of medicine and there is now considerable evidence pointing to the dangers of antibiotics and other formally accepted forms of medicine. This leaves a vacuum in the industry for other forms of healing to fill and it is only our cultural predispositions and long-standing accepted beliefs that are stopping us from exploring alternative (and perhaps, safer) forms of healing.
At its core, homeopathy’s goal is to boost the body’s unique ability to heal itself and rather than shoe-horning in a one size fits all solution for each patient, it looks at each individual's needs and picks the best treatment with those characteristics in mind.
And while certainly there is a need for clinical examination and testing as to the efficacy of homeopathy, there is no doubt that the West requires help in addressing our current health crisis. Perhaps homeopathy, or some form of it in combination with other techniques, could fill the missing link that is holding us back from reaching our truest, healthiest potential as a society.
The question is- what is it that’s stopping us from learning more? What is it in our culture that blocks our imagination and consciousness and instead incentivizes us to continue old methods that have by now proved vastly ineffective? Why are prescriptions so tempting?
Homeopathy may not be the answer, but it is certainly worth our attention. With so much at stake, what do we have to lose by investing a little more time and a little more energy into an investigation that could lead to a healthier, happier world?