A frequent question I’m asked is how is homeopathy different from naturopathy? Good question, as they are in fact very different medical systems in their philosophy and treatment protocol.
Homeopathic philosophy sees life as energy-based; out of our individual energy systems come the body, mind and emotions. If there is a disturbance or inherent susceptibility in the energy system, symptoms will emerge and be experienced on one or more of these levels. Often the energy system easily overcomes the disturbance and returns us to a state of balance (think of recovering from a flu or healing a broken bone) however in other cases the system isn’t able to resolve the distress and becomes compromised, creating a status quo of diminished energy and chronic symptoms.
If we are to truly heal and evolve, the underlying disturbance and susceptibility must be resolved. Therefore homeopathic treatment acts on the energy level itself; by matching the unique energy pattern of the individual to a similar homeopathic remedy, the system’s powers of healing will become “super-charged” and stimulated to find a new place of balance and health. To find the correct stimulus, the homeopath must understand the totality of what needs to be cured and then match it with a resonating remedy; when the match is right, a curative process begins which will include whatever in the body, mind, or spirit is currently out of whack.
Naturopathic medicine also believes our bodies have inherent healing abilities, but their education emphasizes supporting the physical body through natural substances and lifestyle changes. Like conventional medical doctors, naturopathic doctors are trained to evaluate and treat systems and organs in the body. Unlike conventional doctors, their treatments are centered on diet, vitamins, minerals, herbs and non-invasive procedures rather than pharmaceutical drugs. While naturopaths are usually taught a course in homeopathy and many use homeopathic remedies, unless they have received further extensive training, their understanding and use of homeopathic remedies is superficial and best applied in acute or self-limiting conditions.
As long as the situation is a purely physical one and limited in its scope (acute illness, injury recovery, etc.) naturopaths (as well as many home users) can usually prescribe a homeopathic remedy with success – provided they find the specific remedy which corresponds to the person’s specific energetic state. However when a person is experiencing symptoms on a chronic, constitutional or mental/emotional level, the picture becomes much finer and requires perceptive understanding of both the person on an energetic level and the curative remedy that is needed. Supporting the physical body with supplements, herbs and lifestyle changes can assist the body in recovery and improvement but unless the the underlying susceptibility within the energy system is addressed energetically, the tendency towards certain symptoms will remain.