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Dental Homeopathy

homeopathyConventional medicine emphasizes treating illness with prescription medicines.  While pharmaceutical medications are useful in many situations, they can have harmful, even fatal, side effect.  In many situations, other treatment options may prove just as effective, without the harmful side effects.

Until modern medicine, homeopathy was widely practiced in the US, and still is in much of Europe.  Homeopathy sees the body as being affected by various elements, both internal and external, all of which contribute to the balance or imbalance of mind, body, and spirit.  Homeopathy holds that all parts of a person are closely tied, and what affects one part affects the rest, and seeks to aid the body in healing itself with safe, nontoxic methods that have no side effects.

The term comes from the Greek homoios, similar, and pathos, sickness.  The idea is that a substance that causes mild symptoms in a healthy person can cure an illness that causes the same symptoms.  Hippocrates wrote about the concept in 400 B.C., and was developed into a therapeutic practice in the 1800s by the German physician Samuel Christian Friedrich Hahnemann and ultimately published in the Materia Medica in 1927.

Traditionally, practitioners tried one remedy at a time until symptoms subsided.  For modern homeopathy, the substances used as remedies have been tested under controlled conditions to determine what symptoms they produce in healthy individuals.  The practitioner observe the patient’s symptoms and prescribes the appropriate remedy.  Using the wrong remedy produces no ill effects, but will not produce any change in symptoms.

Sometimes a successful round of homeopathy can produce a whole new set of symptoms.  Symptoms are the body’s way of communicating that something is out of whack and an attempt to restore balance.  There are many factors that influence balance that restoring balance in one area can reveal another imbalance relating to the root cause of the original symptoms.  You may go through several rounds of symptoms that go progressively deeper until all of the root causes of disease are addressed.  The end goal is to strengthen the immune system so that the body can maintain balance in spite of any external influence.

Homeopathic therapies can be found at any health food store.  Some are sold under the name of the illness they are intended to treat, such as Flu, Asthma, Allergies, Appetite Control, Kidney Stone, etc.  These products are a blend of multiple remedies.  Other products contain a single remedy, which is a good way to start out using homeopathy.  Once you determine how you respond to a specific therapy, then you can read the labels on other products to see which one has the combination that will best suit you.

You may find it helpful to obtain a copy of the Materia Medica.  You may be able to find it at your health food store.  If not, you should be able to find the same information online.  Before using homeopathic remedies, take some time to familiarize yourself with the remedies and the symptoms they are intended to treat.  Be aware that certain strong flavors, such as mint or coffee, or certain strong perfumes or other smells can interfere with the effectiveness of some remedies.

Though homeopathic remedies are safe to use, it is always wise to consult with a physician, especially if you are considering giving a homeopathic remedy to a child or using it while pregnant or nursing.  Many modern doctors are not generally trained in homeopathy, to find one who is, ask at your health food store or look in the yellow pages.

Homeopathic preparation are made through a process called potentization.  Each substances is alternately diluted and vigorously shaken until none of the original substance remains.  Potencies are designated with a number and an X, which represents 10.  The higher the number, the more diluted the remedy, and the stronger it is said to be.  So a 6x is more diluted, and stronger than, a 3x.  You may also see the letter C for 100 in place of the X.

Homeopathic products are available in multiple forms, depending on how it should be used.  Liquid remedies are made as an alcohol extract that is placed under the tongue with a dropper.  Because they are made with alcohol, they should not be given to children.  Pellets and tablets are made with lactose to be dissolved in the mouth and are a better choice for children.  Creams, salves, and ointments are used externally for sore muscles, for disorders of the jaw, or for dental treatments.

Homeopathic remedies should be taken at least 15 minutes before or after eating.  Length of treatment varies from person to person.

To learn how Homeopathy can aide your dental health, call (619) 640-5100.

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