There’s a big difference between homeopathy and holistic medicine.
Homeopathy is a sophisticated form of medicine. It uses highly diluted amounts of a particular toxin. It operates on the principle of “like cures like.”
Full strength, the toxin would make you sick. But an infinitesimal amount can make you well. At least according to the theory of homeopathy.
Holistic medicine, on the other hand, encompasses a wide range of healing methods. Homeopathy would fall under this bigger umbrella.
I often hear people use “homeopathy” and “holistic” interchangeably. But these terms are not the same. Someone may practice holistic medicine, without doing homeopathy. A homeopath practices holistic medicine. And uses tiny doses of toxins to heal.
What’s The Difference Between Homeopathy and Holistic Medicine?
It’s good to know the difference between homeopathy and holistic medicine. Homeopathy is an amazingly effective (at least that’s what I’ve found) form of healing. I haven’t seen anything else like it.
Done properly, homeopathy can laser focus on certain areas of the body, and the healing process begins.
Homeopathy Is Not Herbal Medicine
Herbal remedies are great. But herbs are not the same as homeopathy. By taking an herb, you’re not getting the same benefits as homeopathy, a sophisticated medical system.
But I can see how people can confuse homeopathy with the broader category of holistic medicine. It’s also easy to confuse homeopathy with herbalism, or botanical medicine.
Lately, things have gotten even more confusing. Because there’s now some crossover between homeopathy and herbalism.
Holistic And Homeopathic Medicine
Nowadays, you can find homeopathic remedies are packaged with herbs and marketed for specific conditions. These formulas might be good. If used once or twice. But the directions often say to take them daily, or even several times a day. This is a huge problem, since it can cause “aggravations.”
Homeopathic aggravations are when your symptoms temporarily get worse. You should try to avoid aggravations. That’s why it’s a good idea to use homeopathic remedies judiciously, regardless of the dosing instructions on the bottle.
Also, everyone is different. Homeopathic medicine is highly individualized. It would be impossible to come up with a dosing schedule that’s right for everyone. I believe the best way to proceed is carefully, while listening to your body.
Homeopathy vs Holistic
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People who use some form of holistic medicine may assume they’re doing homeopathy. But they aren’t, unless they’re taking a well-selected homeopathic remedy. (Homeopathic remedies are highly diluted toxins.)
Holistic Medicine vs Homeopathy
In my experience, homeopathy can be much more effective than herbal medicine. Especially if you work with a good practitioner.
But this may only be because I haven’t found a good local herbalist.
Homeopathic Practitioners In The United States
The one downside of homeopathy is that it’s not user friendly. There are thousands of homeopathic remedies. Choosing the right one takes considerable skill. It also requires someone with good intuition. Homeopathic prescribing is as much art as it it science.
Unfortunately, good homeopaths are hard to find. I hope this will change in the next decade or two, as more practitioners are trained. But, for now, it’s not easy to find skilled homeopaths.
If you are interested in homeopathy, you can read an earlier blog post on Where To Find a Homeopathic Practitioner.
Homeopathy vs Natural Medicine
I can’t tell you how many times homeopathy has helped our family. We’ve been blessed to work with wonderful homeopaths. They’ve generously shared their wealth of knowledge.
In fact, homeopathy has even helped our dog. He’s now 16. Throughout his life, he’s been given various homeopathic remedies, as needed. Right now, we’re using homeopathy to treat a growth on his eye. The good news is that it’s responding to treatment. (The vet thinks it’s malignant. We elected not to do a biopsy because of his age, and because it wouldn’t change his course of treatment.)
Please understand I’m not a doctor or a professional homeopath. I’m suggesting homeopathy should be used as a standalone treatment for cancer. It’s just part of our dog’s natural cancer treatment protocol. Cancer is very serious and no one should rely upon homeopathy alone to treat it.
Conventional Medicine vs Homeopathy
Homeopathy was once extremely popular in the United States. In the late 1800’s and early 1900’s it was a dominant form of medicine. About one-third of the hospitals were homeopathic. Patients would be treated by homeopathic physicians.
However, homeopathy fell out of favor, People began using pharmaceuticals instead.
Now, though, there’s growing awareness that drugs have drawbacks. There are side effects. There is antibiotic resistance. Also, drugs typically don’t help the root cause of an illness. They often don’t lead to greater wellness. They only address the symptoms.
Homeopathy and Western Medicine
Homeopathy on the other hand, can be deeply healing. Used properly, it’s very safe. There’s no risk of dependence. And it can relieve emotional, as well as physical pain.
Also, homeopathic remedies costs just pennies. Treatments are a fraction of the cost of conventional medicine, especially the high-tech approach. However, unfortunately, insurance generally doesn’t cover homeopathic care. Patients usually pay of pocket. Initial consultations are about $200, and follow up sessions are typically needed.
Homeopathic Medicine vs Regular Medicine
Homeopathy often brings you away from the large medical centers. You won’t find the big buildings and the big infrastructure. Instead, you may meet your homeopath in a small office. Or even in a home.
Some people aren’t comfortable going outside the system. They trust organized medicine and the pharmaceutical approach more. Also, they will probably have to pay out of pocket to see a homeopath.
How Homeopathy Works In The Body
It does take a leap of faith to believe that a infinitesimal dose of something (that probably can’t even be measured) has the potential to heal. It’s believed our bodies respond to the “imprint” of the original toxin. This is part of why homeopathy remains controversial among regular doctors. It’s radically different, and it doesn’t lend itself to controlled scientific studies.
Homeopathy is difficult to study. It’s outside the bounds of conventional medical research.
Homeopathy Fake Or Fact?
Prescribing remedies is highly individualized. Three people could have a similar-looking skin rash. They may each need a different homeopathic remedy. Many factors are taken into account. These may include the emotional state of the patient or whether the rash itches. It may also matter what time of day the rash is most itchy.
Designing a study using a single remedy is doomed to failure. Giving a single remedy to a large group of people won’t have the desired effect. That’s why many doctors conclude that homeopathy “doesn’t work.”
Naturopathy vs Homeopathy vs Holistic
Then, there’s another term that’s often used interchangeably with “homeopathy and holistic.” That is “naturopathy.”
Naturopathy is much closer to the holistic umbrella than it is to homeopathy. Naturopathic practitioners may or may not practice homeopathy. But many of them do.
Naturopathic doctors use herbal remedies instead of drugs. They may also recommend a wide range of other modalities, such as acupuncture, cupping or essential oils.
Some homeopaths may also recommend herbal remedies. But these herbs are not to be confused with highly diluted homeopathic remedies.
Are Naturopathic Physicians Real Doctors?
In its strictest sense, naturopathy means herbal remedies instead of drugs. A clean diet and exercise are recommended as well. Many practitioners use and/or recommend other types of healing methods. Naturopathic physicians (or ND’s as opposed to MD’s receive extensive training in naturopathic medicine.)
Naturopathic physicians are real doctors. Training involves four years of post-graduate work. Some states require naturopathic doctors to be licensed, which requires passing a licensing exam.
There are also practitioners called “traditional naturopaths.” They cannot be licensed, and may or may not have good training. It’s always important to choose a good alternative medical practitioner. I’m a big fan of word-of-mouth referrals.
Homeopathy vs Chinese Medicine
Then, there’s Traditional Chinese Medicine. It’s been used for thousands of years. It includes a variety of disciplines, such as herbalism and acupuncture.
Traditional Chinese Medicine typically doesn’t include homeopathy. Homeopathy was developed in Europe during the late 1700’s by a doctor named Samuel Hahnemann, MD.
Some naturopaths may use a variety of healing methods, including acupuncture and homeopathy. All would fall under the classification of holistic medicine.
Some homeopaths may also have studied acupuncture, or traditional Chinese herbs.
The Difference Between Acupuncture and Homeopathy
Acupuncture and homeopathy are somewhat similar. At least according to my late homeopath. She said acupuncture is sometimes referred to as “homeopathy with needles.”
Both acupuncture and homeopathy are energy medicine. They try to stimulate the body’s own healing response. I personally believe the results you see with either method are largely dependent upon the skill level of the practitioner.
Acupuncturists are more available than homeopaths. In my own area there are several acupuncturists. I don’t know of any local homeopaths.
Again, with any discipline, I’d choose carefully. Word-of-mouth recommendations are good. Often, someone who works at a health food store can steer you in the right direction.
Can You Do Homeopathy And Acupuncture At The Same Time?
Generally, it’s good to combine healing modalities. But I wouldn’t recommend doing more than one strong energy healing method at the same time.
For instance, I may take an herbal remedy and a homeopathic remedy on the same day. I may use an essential oil too. But I wouldn’t take a homeopathic remedy and then go for an acupuncture treatment.
That’s partly because homeopathy involves waiting and watching. Whether you take a second dose of a remedy depends upon your symptoms. Adding acupuncture to the mix will cloud the picture.
Are Homeopathy and Acupuncture Compatible?
Instead, I would choose just one – homeopathy or acupuncture. I wouldn’t do the other unless I was taking a break between treatments.
I don’t see an acupuncturist. But I do own an Acupressure Mat that’s a form of DIY acupuncture. It’s covered with spikes that are supposed to stimulate your system to heal. It does seem to reduce my pain. But I don’t use it within a few days (at least) of taking a homeopathic remedy.
Can You Do Homeopathy and Acupuncture Together?
However, other people may disagree. There are also homeopathic acupuncturists who (apparently) successfully combine the two healing methods.
One thing I’ve learned about natural medicine is that there are many ways to heal. The body is always moving toward healing. Fortunately. Because so many people have chronic conditions.
The Difference Between Homeopathy and Essential Oils
I learned about homeopathy long before I heard about essential oils. The latter are sometimes referred to as “homeopathy” too.
It is true that many homeopathic remedies are derived from plants. Essential oils are too. But that’s where the similarity ends.
Essential oils are highly concentrated plant extracts. They have measurable compounds. A homeopathic remedy is made from a substances. But, then, it’s so highly diluted that virtually none of the original substance is left.
Aromatherapy And Homeopathy
Essential oils are also much easier to use than homeopathic remedies. You can find single oils, such as lavender essential oil. You can also find blends designed to alleviate certain conditions, such as pain or insomnia.
Although essential oils work, they don’t seem to bring about the deep level of healing seen with homeopathy.
For instance, I have chronic nerve pain. I manage it well, so I can live a normal life. Homeopathy has led to what is probably permanent improvement.
But I still have a little bit of pain. Sometimes it flares. When it does I use a special formula called Cooling Waters Anti-Inflammatory Blend. It really does dull the pain. But it does wear off. It doesn’t seem to bring about corrective healing that fixes all or part of the problem. (Still, I never want to be without it.)
Aromatherapy And Homeopathy
However, essential oils are really easy to use. This point was driven home a few years ago. My son came down with a nasty flu bug. But you could argue his manager was even nastier. At the time he was working in a fast food restaurant. His manager threatened to fire him on the spot, if he didn’t show up for his shift.
I was really worried about him. With little time to find the right homeopathic remedy, I turned to a special germ-fighting essential oil blend. It seemed to help. He went to work and finished his shift without collapsing.
Do Essential Oils Interfere With Homeopathy?
It’s often said that peppermint and camphor can counteract homeopathic remedies. I don’t know if this is true. i’m not sure if anyone does.
That’s probably why some recommend avoiding peppermint when you’re taking a homeopathic remedy. Some people may wonder if you can use essential oils at all.
Do Essential Oils Antidote Homeopathic Remedies?
Do essential oils counteract homeopathy? I don’t have the definitive answer. However, if it were me, I wouldn’t use essential oils at the exact same time I took a homeopathic remedy. I could even play it safer and stay away from the oils for a day or so.
However, in general, it seems as if homeopathy and essential oils mix well. I use essential oils every day, in one form or another. They help me sleep. They work great in homemade cleaning solutions. I can even use them on my dog for natural flea and tick control.
Homeopathic remedies are taken just when needed. When used properly, they can be very powerful and deep acting.
Homeopathy vs Holistic Healing
All of the above healing methods rely upon natural remedies, instead of drugs. They all try to work by using the body’s own innate healing powers.
However, it’s important to recognize the difference between “homeopathy” and “holistic healing.” Because if you assume everything holistic is “homeopathy,” you’re potentially missing out on the most amazing healing method ever discovered.
These statements have not been approved by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Women who are pregnant or nursing should not use essential oils or herbal or homeopathic remedies unless directed to do so by a healthcare professional.