By Jane Schantz, FNP
It is common to hear the word “homeopathic” as a general term meaning “natural” or “herbal,” but this is incorrect. “Homeopathy” refers to a specific practice of holistic health care with its own philosophy and methodology. The word comes from the Greek roots “homoios” and “pathos,” meaning “similar suffering.” This is a reference to the most basic tenet of homeopathy: like cures like. The symptoms caused by a substance will be cured by a homeopathic preparation of that substance. For example, homeopathically-prepared coffee is used to treat some kinds of insomnia. Homeopathic ipecac (formerly used in first aid kits to induce vomiting in cases of accidental poisoning) is used to stop vomiting.
Homeopathic medicines, commonly referred to as remedies, are made in homeopathic pharmacies according to precise methods. The result is an extremely dilute but potentized preparation of the original substance. (In fact, it is so dilute there may be no molecules of the original substance left, yet the essence of the substance is transmitted — but that’s a whole topic in itself!) There are thousands of remedies available, most made from plant, animal and mineral sources.
By Jane Schantz, FNP
Integrative Medicine (IM) is a term that is becoming more familiar in American culture, but what does it mean? Simply put, it is the combination of mainstream (aka Western or allopathic) medicine with so-called “alternative therapies,” but the IM movement has a deeper, more comprehensive commitment than that. It seeks to provide holistic, individualized health care using the most appropriate of a wide variety of healing modalities, in collaboration with the patient. IM considers not only the physical and mental health, but also the emotional, spiritual, social and environmental health of the patient.
The IM movement is in its infancy. It has grown out of both consumer demand for more holistic therapies, and medical practitioners’ desire to move away from the 15-minute visit and an over-reliance on pharmaceutical therapies, to restore the healing in health care. The now-outdated term “Alternative Medicine” implicitly suggests treatments that are outside of the realm of Western Medicine (WM), a rejection of medical treatment, as well as WM’s rejection of alternative approaches to health care. This was appropriate at one time, as that was largely what was happening – patients hid their alternative practices from their medical providers for fear of being scolded or otherwise disrespected. This term was followed by “Complementary Medicine,” which reflected the effort to redefine the use of natural and other therapies as being compatible with WM, rather than exclusive of it. The current feeling in the IM movement is that we want a seamless integration of WM with practices such as acupuncture/Traditional Chinese Medicine, aromatherapy, flower essences, herbalism, homeopathy, massage therapy, naturopathy, nutritional medicine, reiki, etc.
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By Joe Romano,
You know, if I listened to Michael Dukakis long enough, I would be convinced we're in an economic downturn and people are homeless and going without food and medical attention and that we've got to do something about the unemployed.
— Ronald Reagan
Recently, we have seen regimes ta...