What is homeopathy?

by Christopher Hammond

You have probably heard the first bit before - if so, it gets more interesting further on! Skip to the Problem with language bit.

Homoeopathy is a complete system of alternative medicine that is safe, simple and effective. It treats the whole person with non toxic remedies to help build up their health such that they are able to heal naturally from whatever disease process they are suffering.

The body has its own healing / life sustaining energy and homoeopathic treatment helps the body to use this energy to heal itself. This way of healing can benefit anyone. Usually one of the first things people notice when treated is an increased feeling of well-being, health and happiness.

If you are interested but don’t know much about homoeopathy yet, I would recommend getting one of the many introductory books that are now available. Browse through a few and find one that is written in a style that suits you.

Ancient History

Most people today have heard of homoeopathy. It was founded by a man called Samuel Hahnemann in the 1700s but the principles upon which homoeopathy rests go back beyond the ancient Greek physician Paracelsus to the Vedic writings of over 2,500 years ago. (If you want to know more about the history of homeopathy up to the present, look at our History of Homeopathy page.)

In a world with the bodies of people poisoned by chemicals, radiation, drugs, heavy metals and vaccinations, with modern life styles and poor nutrition, it is far from being a natural world with only simple health problems. Many different methods of applying homoeopathic principles, focused on the value of what works rather than adherence to any particular theory of how Homoeopathy should be done, have been developed in the last 20 years in order to simplify and make effective the treatment of 21st century diseases.

The Problem with Language

We are subject to the effect of our language. For the vast majority of us the language creates our reality by limiting the options on how we interpret what we believe we have just seen or experienced. Reality has but a tenuous connection to our description of our impressions.

Lets look at the structure subjectverbobject. Consider the following sentence – ‘I have measles’. We are fooled by the language conventions into believing that measles is something separate from ourselves that we can possess, that it is an object, that it has a real existence separate from us.

This leads us into the creation of non existent entities. i.e. I have a disease is translated by our sloppy minds into the belief that the disease is something apart from ourselves and has its own existence. It follows that it should not belong to us, that someone something else gave it us. We have 'got' it against our own will and we pretend we are separate from it. Can you cure 'It', Doctor???

For instance if arthritis was something separate from the individual who 'has' it then we should be able to solve the problem of long waits at the G.P.'s by sending our arthritis to the doctor by parcel post, special delivery of course.

This interpretation is unquestioned because it is a powerful validation of our belief in disease as an external separate entity; our enemy - because we do not want it there and because it is trying to kill us against our will. This means that we have to fight 'It', which further separates and empowers 'it'

Looked at another way it is impossible for us to be justified in fighting with our own internal survival process, which is what symptoms indicate.

  • Symptoms are not the problem; disease is not the problem –
  • Our attitude and beliefs about our symptoms and what their purpose is, that is our problem.

Do not pass over this lightly.

Our self created and falsely perceived enemy is empowered by fear, validated by our helplessness, and recreated constantly by our mis use of language. 'I measle' is the structure of a truer perception. It is the structure out of which a healing may arise. All disease labels we now insist on believing are nouns are simply verbs disguised as nouns, pretending to be objects; and our problems arise out of self misperception. Change this perception and the possibilities are vast and increase our trust in our own body and even better include the possibility of our own healing being complete and within and of ourselves, as indeed is our 'dis ease'.

Instead of working against our ‘dis-ease’, homoeopathy works with the process of disease to help to stimulate / support / remind our natural, innate healing potential at all levels.

‘Being’ a Homoeopath

The most effective practitioners see disease and healing processes as an integral part of the sick individual, not something separate that needs to be cured. Being a Homoeopath is not something you ‘learn’, it is not so much about what you know, it is about who you ‘are’ and the way you see the world.

If you wish to see some of the scientific stuff on homeopathy, having a look at this site will give you a good start as well as a bit of history.


History of Homeopathy

Not Quite Ancient History

How far back do you want to go? There is an older history and a history of homeopathy in the UK which you can download here or from the Free Downloads page. One about Thomas Maughan and one going further back to the Cooper Club.

For now, let us go back to the time before all the colleges started. Homeopathy was in decline.

In the 1960's and early 1970's there was very little homeopathy in the country. Most was within the medical profession plus a few lay homeopaths. Foremost among them was Thomas Maughan who was getting on in years. He was also the chief druid. He ran two homeopathy groups in London - North and South, which consisted of a few people interested in homeopathy meeting of an evening. Foremost amongst them was Robert Davidson.

In the mid 70's there was a tragedy - a plane crashed on take off from Heathrow. On board were all the top medical homeopaths bar one and many from America who were going to a homeopathic conference in Belgium. Dr Marjorie Blackie did not go and she continued as Dean of the Faculty of Homeopathy for a short time. She was also homeopathic physician to the Queen but she was in her 80's. When she died, there were no medical homeopaths with her depth of knowledge and understanding of homeopathy to replace her.

Thomas Maughan was also in his 80's, so when he died ..... you get the picture? Was the deeper understanding of homeopathy going to die with them? Robert's passion for homeopathy would not let this happen so he set up the original college - the College of Homoeopathy in London. He also set up the first professional organisation in the UK - the Society of Homeopaths.

Most of the people now running colleges were either trained by him or by someone he trained. Robert was an innovator and entrepreneur. He constantly sought to understand, develop, improve and synthesize the knowledge of what is working out there in the real world, bring it back into homeopathy and teach it to the rest of us. He was usually about 10 years ahead of the field. This postition opens him up to much criticism and misunderstanding. He likes to joke that you can always recognise the pioneers - they are the ones with the arrows in their backs! He was always pushing the boundaries out.

In the early College of Homeopathy days there was one main method of doing homeopathy - the Classical method. As Robert's work advanced he needed a vehicle through which to convey his new understanding of different methods in homeopathy. He found it too difficult to change the culture of the first college he started. This led to the birth of The College of Practical Homoeopathy - now called The Homeopathy College.

Arnica Calendula, the great healer in first aid and much more

We have changed our name partly because of the feedback we have been getting which goes along the lines that some people, mentioning no names of course, are implying that Practical does not include Classical. So we have seen the birth of courses describing themselves as 'the first to integrate different methods of homeopathy' and words like that. What a nonsense - Practical always included Classical.

The other recent play we have seen is to somehow imply that Practical is of a lower standard than Classical. Another nonsense. Marketing is a dirty business.

We call it as we see it and do expect this of others in the profession. We can certainly be accused of naivety in this area!