S. Hahnemann's discoveries
Homeopathy was founded by Samuel Hahnemann (1755 - 1843), a German physician.
Hahnemann was an educated man; except for medicines he had also studied Greek, Latin, five other languages and philosophy. He was familiar with the ancient Greek healing-arts, and he considered philosophy to be the base of all science. His great example was Hippocrates, the Greek healer-philosopher who is both the Father of clinical and (Western) alternative medicine.
Hahnemann was a practitioner of Mesmerism, nowadays we call this magnetizing (restoring energy flows in the body by laying on hands, and studying the magnetism of all phenomena) .
Dr. Hahnemann started his career as a regular physician, but he became unsatisfied with the medical practices of his time. By these days patients were given large doses of poisonous substances in pure form like arsenic, sulfur, lead or mercury, often a combination of these 'medicines' were prescribed, leeches were applied to suck off the 'ill' blood and all this was done without a decent theoretical background.
So he turned away from orthodox medicine and started to treat his patients with naturopathy; this means that he healed them by giving advice on a healthy life-style, a good diet and physical exercises and by psychological insights.
He incorporated the insights of the ancient Greek healers in his new practice. The healing philosophy of the old Greeks was based on the central idea of the dynamis, the unseen life force that enlivens people, preserves and restores their health and which is the source of their vitality. The Greeks regarded disease as expression of a life force that was out of tune, disturbed by poorly food, unhealthy life conditions, heavy emotional occurrences, inherited weaknesses and suppression or overindulgence of parts of life (food, sex, etc.). So the Greek solution to restoration of health was reinforcing the life force by a healthy and balanced way of living, a positive attitude and the use of preservative medicines to keep the person strong. To that aim the Greeks healed both with opposites (like the use of cold applications on a hot body) and with similars (for instance treating a soft and fine personality with herbs with fine flowers).
To ensure himself a living Hahnemann also started to translate scientific books. In 1789 he translated a book of the physician W. Cullen; somewhere in this book Cullen described that Peruvian Bark, China, was a good medicine against malaria because it was bitter and good for the liver. "That must be nonsense" Hahnemann thought and, curious and exploring as he was, he decided to test China on himself in large doses. To his surprise he noticed that he developed the typical malaria symptoms of intermittent fever. He came to the conclusion that China could cure malaria because - taken in large, toxic doses - it caused the symptoms of malaria in healthy people. He had now proven the law of similarities to be true.
This was the start of a very large series of experiments with many remedies that continued his life long. Samuel Hahnemann was a hard working man with an original mind, not afraid to live and tell his truth, no matter all the criticism he got from the orthodox physicians.
From experience he knew that large doses of a remedy produced unwanted side effects, so he worked towards a minimum dose. From Hippocrates he had learned to use only one remedy at a time. Somehow he invented the system of potentizing; as far as I know it is unknown what lead him to this brilliant idea.
He called his new therapy homeopathy, being a combination of the Greek words homoio (similar) and pathos (suffering).
His first remedies were to cure acute diseases. Later he found that chronic disease predisposed for acute diseases. This means that acute diseases can only develop themselves in persons who's health is already delicate because of an under-laying long lasting (chronic) inherited or acquired weakness. Hahnemann called these under-laying weaknesses miasms, to the Greek word for pollution. This means that a serious disease your ancestors had, or a severe disease you had yourself, has left his traces in your system and therefore prevents your life force from working 'full force' for you, enabling acute diseases to enter your system and enabling chronic diseases to grow worse. So this theory states that a complete healthy person can be surrounded by people with an infectious disease and still remain healthy. Now this is important news, because it means that the viability for a disease is an already existing inner weakness instead of an invasion of viruses or bacteria from outside!
Hahnemann spent his life by passionately searching for a therapy that assured a quick, safe and long lasting healing. He indefatigable performed large series of experiments testing remedies in many different potencies and in several ways of administering.
His inheritance to mankind consists of a complete system of healing, with a clear philosophy behind it, laws and rules for applying this healing-art as well as advice on healthy living, many well tested and documented remedies, and a number of books as basic guides for all homeopaths.
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