The concept of whole systems health and healing is emerging strongly in modern medical practice and schools of today. The most common system is what is known today as CAM, or complimentary and alternative medicine. More and more attention and validity is being given to CAM therapies in recent years. One of the most well established CAM approaches toward health is homeopathy. Today, homeopathy is recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO) as “the second most common form of alternative medicine in the world,” and continues to grow rapidly.

What is Homeopathy?
Homeopathy is a natural, holistic and scientific approach to healthcare. Its formal practice was codified by Samuel Hahnemann MD over 200 years ago, although its principles date to Hippocrates. Homeopathic care does not suppress symptoms, but stimulates the body’s natural healing capacity. It also helps prevent illness. It is highly effective for acute and chronic mental and physical conditions. Homeopathy is unique in that it seeks to understand the person on a physical, mental and emotional level, not just a single symptom or condition. Homeopathic remedies are safe, FDA approved, have no side effects, and do not interfere with allopathic medicines.

Holistic Health and Homeopathy
The beauty and strength of homeopathy is it embraces the concept of holistic health. “The word holistic is derived from the Greek holos, which means completeness and perfection in all components and parts of an entity, as well as within the whole that is more than the sum total of all its parts. Thus holistic health is the pursuit and accomplishment of health in the complete personality, with a perfect co-ordination and harmony among all its parts” (Veda, 2000). Homeopathic treatment allows for the re-coordination between the mental, emotional and physical aspects of a person to eradicate dis-ease and re-establish functioning to maximum capacity.

Complex Systems and Homeopathy
Homeopathy is often recognized in modern science as an applied approach of complex systems. Similar to the concept of holistic, a complex system is like a network, where individual parts interact and influence one another. Interactions then “between the parts generate properties of the larger organizational level of scale that are not predicted by understanding the properties of the separate parts. A person’s behavior is an emergent property of the person as a whole, indivisible system. Properties of the global system can have self-similarity at every level of scale, down to the local parts. This self-similarity concept is parallel to the clinical notion in homeopathy that deep examination of any symptom will reveal the larger disturbance in the person as a whole, for which a single remedy is indicated” (Bell, 2005).

Totality of Symptoms
In homeopathy, the deep examination of any symptom to reveal the larger disturbance, is done by gathering the totality of symptoms. On a physical level each symptom is explored fully, regarding its location, local sensation, sidedness, concomitants, what makes the problem worse or better, discharge, and changes since onset. The homeopath also explores the specific mental state and emotional nature of the client, as well as general information, such as life history, dreams, interests, work, relationships, lifestyle, diet and sleeping patterns. The whole person is understood and treated, not just a single part or condition. A single homeopathic remedy is then used to bring balance on a mental, emotional and physical level.

Individualized
Homeopathy is individualized in its approach. Each person is seen as unique. Just as the same exercise program, or the same diet is not beneficial to everyone, the same homeopathic remedy will not necessarily help everyone with the same health problem. The person must be understood in relationship to what it is they are suffering.

A Homeopathic Case Example
A woman in her 50’s with vitiligo (loss of skin pigmentation) on her hands and legs came for a homeopathic consult. She also suffered from depression, low back pain, digestive issues and obesity. She described her depression as feeling isolated, not being able to connect with others, and feeling like a stranger in a strange land. She would make plans for the weekend, but often just sit at home, eat and drink, and not emerge until Monday before going to work. She had deep feelings of worthlessness and being estranged from herself and her family. Each symptom was understood and analyzed in relationship to her as a person. The homeopathic remedy Natrum carbonicum was then given for her as an individual based on her totality of symptoms. Within a few months she regained her skin color, her depression lifted, and her back pain and digestive issues cleared up.

An Excellent Whole Systems Approach
Homeopathy offers an excellent whole systems approach to health and healing. The treatment of the individual and their totality of symptoms often ensures greater healing success than treatment of just single symptoms or specific disease conditions. Each part must be explored deeply enough to reveal the larger disturbance in the person as a whole. The person themselves must be understood on a mental, emotional and physical level, along with what they are suffering. Whether it is a disturbance on a digestive level, or mental level, each represents a disturbance on a more global level. Healing must begin from this global level of understanding. Only then can there be true holistic healing, with perfect coordination and harmony between mind and body.

Wishing you health and happiness!

References
Bell, Iris MD, PhD (2005). “Complex Systems and Network Science: A Bridge toward Translating Classical Homeopathy into Appropriate Research Designs.”
Veda, Swami PhD (2000). “What is Holistic Health.” Positive Living. 20- 24.
World Health Report (2005). “WHO Global Atlas of Traditional Complementary and Alternative Medicine” (Map Volume).

Author's Bio: 

Aaron Means MA, is a homeopathic practitioner with a private practice at 1516 W Lake St in Minneapolis, MN. He welcomes adults and children of all ages. He is a graduate of the American Medical College of Homeopathy in Phoenix, AZ. Since 1994 he has studied and used homeopathy. To schedule a complimentary Q & A session and learn more about how homeopathy can help you, you may contact him at 651-328-4048, homeopathichealthservices.com, or homeopathichealth@gmail.com