How is progress measured with homeopathy?

One of the things I love about Homeopathy is that it does not manipulate your body into doing one thing, rather it stimulates the body to do what it is supposed to do. Because of this, the experience of healing is very gentle, the way it should be if our bodies are doing what they are supposed to.

Think of it this way, we don’t typically get a headache from one moment to the next, usually its a gradual discomfort, that slowly builds up, and can get to a level of excruciating pain, but it rarely goes from 0-60 in 5 minutes. Same is true for homeopathy, while there are instances in which we can notice a shift within minutes (I certainly have), it more often is a gradual shift.

So here is what we look for when assessing our progress.

First of all we have to differentiate between two different types of conditions:

Acute Conditions

These are conditions that if you were to leave alone and do nothing about, would eventually go away. An occasional headache, a cold, fevers, mild indigestion, falling and getting a bruise. While we of course want to do anything we can to make those better and relieve the suffering in the moment, they aren’t issues that are sticking around for a long time.

In these kind of conditions, we expect to see a shift pretty quickly. We would usually administer the remedies more often and would want to see some sign of improvement within 2-4 doses. If any improvement is felt, even if slight and short lived, that would be an indication that we have the correct remedy, and it’s time to give it again. If no improvement whatsoever is seen, then it’s time to try a different remedy.

So for example: I have a headache and I take a dose of Arnica, then 15min later take a second dose, and notice the headache is still there but it’s less intense, I would take another dose in 15 more minutes, this time it’s even better and I can go 30min before I start to feel it again, then take another dose then and continue to find relief. At this point I would take it only when I felt the headache come back. Often that space gets larger and I need to keep taking the remedy, other times after a few doses, I find I no longer need it and then I stop and only use it when needed. Much like you would if you were taking an over the counter medication, take it while you need it and stop when you don’t. Now if I had taken arnica every 15min for 3-4 doses and noticed absolutely no change, then I would consider Sepia, or any other remedy that might fit my symptoms best.

Chronic Conditions

These are the conditions that aren’t going away unless we do something about them, and often conventional medicine doesn’t even offer a cure, but rather a way to “live with” said condition. Thankfully, homeopathy is always looking to bring the body into complete healing and not just put a bandaid on the situation. While not all conditions will always be cured, there is certainly a lot we can do to hault the progression of some diseases, and for many completely eliminate them, but it does take time. But I digress, these chronic conditions are things like arthritis, continual migraines, allergies, dysmenorrhea, food intolerances, ADD, ADHD, high blood pressure, etc.

In these kind of conditions, the shifts will be more subtle, or we may see a big shift initially, and then see the rest of the progress come at a slower pace. I like to think of it in the same way as when one is trying to loose weight, sometimes the pounds come off quickly at the beginning and then the pace slows a little, for others, it’s a gradual process from day one, which is why we do progress photos right? Because we don’t always recognize the difference from one day to the next, when we can look back at a photo from 3 weeks before we can see obvious improvement. Well it’s the same with homeopathy, except that instead of photos, we have 3 thing we are going to take note of and revisit every 6-8 weeks when treating chronic conditions.

  1. Less intensity – we are going to take note of how intense the condition is. So for example if we are dealing with seasonal allergies, and the intensity is at a 9 out of ten when we first start treating homeopathically, then at our 8 week follow-up, we want to see that the intensity has gone down to a 6 or 7. Then 8 weeks later, we may see it go down to a 4 or 5, etc… Until we are at a point where it’s just a mild 1 maybe 2 on a bad day, but not even noticeable if there at all.
  2. Shorter episodes – just like we took note of the intensity, we also want to take note of the length of the episodes. So, going back to the allergies, if when we started, the episodes would last a week and a half before you’d get a break, then after 8 weeks on the remedies, we would want to see that maybe the episodes are only lasting a week max. Then, they are down to 3-5 days, then a day or so, then just a few minutes if at all.
  3. More time between episodes – Again, just like 1 & 2, we want to measure how often these episodes are occurring. Is it none stop? Is there a break for a few days only? So if there is only relief for a few days between episodes, we want to see that time begin to grow. So that after each follow up, there is more time, maybe it’s just a few days at first, then a few weeks, then a few months, etc.

These 3 things are what we are looking to as our snapshot.

Of course, we always love to see a little progress in each area, and that certainly happens, but we also have to keep in mind that healing is not always linear, and at times we may notice more improvement in one area while the others move a little slower. The important thing to keep in mind is that progress, big or small, is always something to be celebrated and be grateful for, and while the process may take time, it certainly is better than the alternative of “living with” any chronic disease. Not to mention the plethora of side effects associated with most conventional medications.

Homeopathy is gentle, effective, and always offers hope!