Great health is a goal for us all. The question is, how do we get there and how do we maintain that state?
My view as a physician is that we should do all we can as humans to enable our bodies to achieve a state of optimal health. And when illness strikes – we should do all we can do to enable it to heal.
What does that mean in practical terms?
Well - the solution is not with homeopathy alone.
Let me break it down for you.
We know from decades of research that humans are healthiest when they eat wholesome foods, get plenty of exercise, reduce stress levels and get adequate sleep. Our grandmothers called it “taking care of ourselves”.
Is one factor more important than another?
Yes and… no. But if I had to pick – I would recommend focusing on diet and exercise.
There has been much written about optimal diets. What appears to be clear - plant based diets (diets consisting of fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, beans, etc) are unique in their ability to reduce the incidence of cardiovascular disease dramatically while also measurably lowering cancer risks. No other diet can make that claim. Does this mean one needs to be a dedicated vegan to enjoy great health? No. But the research does suggest that those whose diets contain the highest percentage of fruits and vegetables live longer with considerably less disease.
What about exercise?
It’s a well-established fact that Americans are far too sedentary and, as a result, suffer from a wide range of illnesses and a lower quality of life. While there are many opinions as to what level of exercise/activity is most beneficial – it’s clear that we should all sit less (much less) and move more. I recommend some form of exercise daily for 30 minutes or more and I encourage my patients to mix resistance training with aerobic activities. Yoga is excellent, especially as we start to age and become less flexible.
“Ok”, you say – “what about during times of illness? What should I do then?”
In my view – this is where homeopathy can be a real difference maker. In medicine – you can use homeopathy to enhance the innate healing mechanisms of your own immune system and recover more quickly and without side effects.
How does homeopathy enhance those mechanisms?
Homeopathic remedies are known to contain nanoparticles (very, very tiny particles) of the original medicinal substance from which they are made. We know from 21st Century nanomedicine that these tiny particles can initiate a process in nature called hormesis. Hormesis is a term from pharmacology, toxicology and physiology that refers to the way the body adapts over time to low levels of stressors or toxins. The effects of hormesis have been demonstrated in over 8,000 scientific studies.
Disease actually occurs as a result of this same adaptive capacity of the body. When faced with an infectious agent or cumulative stress, the body will often change from a healthy state to a diseased state – a compensatory state. The symptoms we express when we’re ill are a result of and evidence of that adaptive state.
Homeopathic remedies seem to work by hormetically signaling the body to reverse the many adaptations it has made to manage infection or chronic stressors. In short – the remedies trigger your body’s innate ability to heal, and the result (provided you have chosen the correct remedy) is a rapid and gentle recovery.
So why would anyone choose to use homeopathy when illness strikes? I can’t tell you how often it happens that in a family I’ve been treating for many years, the mom reports to me that her kids are consistently among the few at school that do not get the latest bugs going around the classroom every winter. Or that, in a family with a number of children, the one I’m treating for a chronic condition is the only one who does not get sick when a flu or stomach virus runs through the house.
Homeopathic medicines do not have adverse side effects and do no environmental harm.
It is often said we value health most only after we’ve lost it. So remember your grandmother’s advice and “take care of yourself,” and live your life with the knowledge that you are, to a very large degree, the master of your own health.
About Dr. Lisa Samet:
Dr. Lisa Samet N.D. provides Washington Homeopathic Products with a weekly column on using homeopathy for the family. She's a naturopathic physician who specializes in homeopathic medicine and she's a partner with Dr. Andre Saine N.D. Dr. Samet graduated from the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine in 1998 and has been practicing in Montreal since then. She was born and raised in New York.
Dr. Samet has chosen to focus on homeopathy because in her experience it is the deepest healing modality available in that it does not just soothe or palliate symptoms but can actually stimulate the body to start to heal itself. Dr. Samet sees patients in her Montreal office as well as remotely using Skype.
**Ultra molecular preparations or UMPs are solids or solutions that went through the process of serial trituration/succussion and dilutions particular to homeopathy, and which usually exceed in theory Avogadro’s limit.
**C. Buzea, I. I. Pacheco and K. Robbie: Nanomaterials and nanoparticles: sources and toxicity. Biointerphases 2(4), MR17-71 (2007);
**A. L. Armstead and B. Li: Nanomedicine as an emerging approach against intracellular pathogens. Int J Nanomedicine 6, 3281-93 (2011); G. Bhakta, A. Shrivastava and A. Maitra: Magnesium phosphate nanoparticles can be efficiently used in vitro and in vivo as non-viral vectors for targeted gene delivery. J Biomed Nanotechnol, 5(1), 106-14 (2009)
**E. J. Calabrese and M. P. Mattson: Hormesis provides a generalized quantitative estimate of biological plasticity. J Cell Commun Signal 5(1), 25-38 (2011); E. J. Calabrese: Stress biology and hormesis: the Yerkes-Dodson law in psychology--a special case of the hormesis dose response. Crit Rev Toxicol 38(5), 453-62(2008)