A Paradigm Shift



By: Alyssa Cohen

We need a paradigm shift to embrace medicine that does not oppose our bodies’ symptoms. We have been conditioned to use medicine to counter our symptoms. Laxatives are as common for constipation as sleeping pills are for insomnia. Anti-inflammatory drugs like Asprin are second nature to us. Mothers use analgesics like Tylenol to treat fevers. While there may be no deep harm in giving a cranky child some pain relief for an acute condition, suppressing chronic symptoms is more precarious.

When you oppose chronic symptoms like constipation or insomnia, more often than not, the symptoms get stronger. Regular use of laxatives can worsen constipation and sleeping pills may lead to more entrenched insomnia. Both create dependence and weaken the body. Let’s use the example of insomnia to consider why.

If you can’t sleep your body’s regulatory mechanism knows there’s a problem but can’t overcome it. Given the stressors you face, your current sleep situation is your body’s best attempt. Assuming you have tried reducing your caffeine intake, taking a warm bath before bed or generally unwinding and you still can’t sleep, you have a problem. Obviously it isn’t good to be sleep deprived so something has to be done.

Homeopathy treats insomnia by giving, in effect more insomnia, which of course sounds absurd. Consider the following analogy to understand how it works. Taking a homeopathic remedy is akin to having a personal trainer by your side motivating you. When your trainer is coaching you, you generally run faster and work harder.

Similarly, a homeopathic remedy is an energetic message that coaches your body. In our insomnia example, the remedy would be saying, “Hey, we have some sleep deprivation here, engage the parasympathetic nervous system and help this person sleep!” The strength of the message is adjusted by changing the potency and frequency of the remedy.

The insomnia example is overly simplistic. In truth, homeopaths look at all aspects of your physical, mental and emotional health and functioning. We sift through your history and extract the most relevant symptoms. Using the principles of like-treats-like, you will be given a personalized remedy that fits you best. Just like personal training, your response to a well-chosen remedy will make you stronger. The like-treats-like method stimulates your body to find its best balance, leaving you better adapted to your life circumstances.

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