Healing with homeopathy: How does it work

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Updated 21 April 2015
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Healing with homeopathy: How does it work

During the last forty years, the interest in homeopathy has grown as an increasing number of people realize that conventional medicine cannot cure all diseases and the treatments also cause serious side effects.
However, there are many misunderstandings regarding homeopathy and ‘Complete Guide to Homeopathy: The Principles and Practice of Treatment’ explains in a clear and easy language what homeopathy is and how it can be used safely and effectively to treat common complaints.
The principles and practice of homeopathy have remained largely unchanged since their introduction about two centuries ago. This complete guide to homeopathy begins with a section which looks at the history of homeopathy and describes the key concepts of homeopathy which are essential to understand how it works.
Homeopathy is based on the principle “like can cure like” which means that an illness can be treated with a substance capable of producing symptoms similar to those experienced by the patient. This principle originated in the 5th Century with the Greek physician Hippocrates. Ten centuries later, the Swiss doctor Paracelsus (1493-1541) stated that a poisonous substance which causes a disease could act as a remedy if given in very small doses. This “like can cure like” principle was then ignored for another 300 years, until homeopathy was founded by Samuel Christian Hahnemann.
In 1796, Hahnemann published his first work, “A new Principle for Ascertaining the Curative Powers of Drugs and Some Examination of Previous Principles.” In this book, he explained that to cure a chronic disease one should use the remedy which is able to stimulate another artificially produced disease as similar as possible and the former will then be healed. He called this medical practice, “homeopathy” from the Greek, “homeo” meaning “similar”, and “pathos”, meaning “suffering.”
In the course of his experimentations, Hanhemann discovered that diluted medicines ceased to cause side-effects and they also seemed to act faster and more effectively than more concentrated solutions. Although the remedies no longer contained a single molecule of the original substance used to prepare them, they were actually more potent.
During his life, Hahnemann proved the efficacy of about 100 homeopathic remedies. He strongly believed that “only a single remedy dose should be given, for the shortest period of time necessary, to stimulate the body’s healing power or “vital force.” Hahnemann believed that this “force” or “energy” is responsible for the healthy running of body.
“If this force is disturbed by stress, a poor diet, lack of exercise, hereditary problems, or environmental changes, illness results.”
A homeopath believes that we possess the natural ability to heal ourselves. What we describe as symptoms are in fact our body’s efforts to protect itself against disease. Therefore, to get better, we should not get rid of the symptoms but try and stimulate the body’s healing processes instead of suppressing symptoms with large doses of drugs which is the case in Western medicine. Some drugs can cause serious side-effects and deprive the body of its natural immunity.
Homeopathic remedies are among the safest preparations available in the market. About 80 percent of them are derived from plants. Obviously, no system of healing can cure all diseases. It is wise to follow homeopathy as a general rule and conventional medicine as the last resort.
It is important to know that in homeopathy, it is not the illness but the patient which is the focal point. A conventional physician is mainly concerned with the physical aspects of the illness. A homeopath, on the contrary, must find the remedy that “matches as accurately as possible the symptoms picture. This is why a homeopathic assessment takes into account a person’s character, stress level, lifestyle, level of exercise, diet, food preferences, family medical history, and the effects of general factors, such as the weather, to provide a unique symptom’s picture.”
This practical family reference book also features a useful photographic index of 150 homeopathic remedies with the plant, animal, and mineral ingredients from which they are made.
There are also easy-to consult charts which indicate the name of the remedies to take for a wide range of common ailments. These remedies can be administered safely to babies and children. In fact, an increasing number of homeopathic remedies are now given to babies and children in Europe because they are not only safe but they also have no side-effects.
As the cost of conventional medicine is continuously increasing, alternative medicine such as homeopathy offers a sick person a holistic approach which not only takes into account the physical symptoms of the disease but also focuses essentially on the prevention and the involvement of the patient in his own cure.
“This holistic approach” according to the authors, “is best expressed by the words of the doctor and philosopher Albert Schweitzer, who said: “Within every patient there resides a doctor and we as physicians are our best when we put our patients in touch with the doctor inside themselves.”

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Virtual reality to improve patient experience in health care

Eng. Faisal Ayman Ashour helps introduce virtual reality (VR) to Saudi hospitals in 2018. (Photo/Supplied)
Updated 16 February 2019
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Virtual reality to improve patient experience in health care

  • Saudi engineer’s innovation will help people with anxiety, addictions
  • Experiments must be completed before an idea can be distributed, that sometimes takes more than 10 years,” said Ashour

JEDDAH: Virtual reality (VR) is a computer-based three-dimensional imaging sequence that creates a world within a computer system, allowing users to interact with it via a display screen, usually mounted to the face.
Previously, VR had only really impacted the public through video games, but Eng. Faisal Ayman Ashour looked at it differently.
He saw it as a potential non-pharmacologic form of pain relief, by delivering enough sensory information to reduce patient anxiety, eliminating the need for sedatives.
Many hospitals around the world have started experimenting with it. A Calgary hospital recorded 75 percent reductions in discomfort monitoring patients using it, while another at Stanford in the US had similar results when using VR to distract children from receiving previously distressing procedures.
Ashour helped introduce VR to Saudi hospitals last year.
“I always believed every human has a purpose and a mission in this life, we all have talent within us, the challenge is how we develop such a talent. Not to reinvent the wheel and share someone else’s work, but to develop it. VR was invented for entertainment mostly, but such technology can enhance the patient’s quality of life at a low cost,” he said.
The target patients are children and those in palliative care, receiving procedures as simple as a vaccination, or as painful as resetting bones and applying casts.
“I’ve developed and gained more knowledge by merging engineering with medicine. I got my fellowship in medicine to speak the same language as physicians, to develop a solid medical simulation-training program in the Kingdom. Since 2016 I’ve developed several applications involving VR and alternative reality to help patients,” Ashour added.
VR technology in medicine has also been implemented in radiotherapy, CT scans, MRIs, physiotherapy and psychology. This progress hasn’t been without problems, however.
“Introducing such a new technology or concept to be used to replace a previous technique is challenging, especially in the medical field. Experiments must be completed before an idea can be distributed, that sometimes takes more than 10 years,” said Ashour.
“The idea was to engage engineers and physicians to introduce such a modern technology to enhance patient quality of life, and maximize cost efficiency. We have developed more than 10 virtual environments for both medical training purposes, and to improve medical outcomes.”