I remember my first 6-12 months using homeopathic medicine. I knew I was on the right path because I was seeing results for both of my children, however the ups and downs and twists and turns had my head spinning at times! I finally learned to decipher what was happening which allowed me to make better decisions about how and when to continue dosing the remedies. From homeopathic aggravations, to out-and-out “blocks”, this guide covers just about every reaction you will ever see from a homeopathic medicine, demystifying the experience for you!
1. A Homeopathic Aggravation
A homeopathic aggravation is characterized by a temporary worsening of the chronic symptoms the patient has been experiencing. An aggravation is considered a good sign by a homeopath because it means that the constitutional remedy is a well-chosen remedy and suites the case (but with careful dosing, aggravations may not occur). An aggravation can be minutes, hours, or even days long. An aggravation is typically followed by a marked improvement in at least some of the symptoms that the patient presented to the homeopath with. If you experience an aggravation that is intense and long-lasting, you have the option to do what is called the aggravation zapper to bring down the aggravation more quickly.
2. An Improvement of Symptoms
Well, there is not a whole lot to say about this topic! After all, this is what you consulted with your homeopath to do – improve, or cure, your symptoms! However, let me say a few more words about this.
An improvement can include some or all symptoms. An improvement of any particular symptom can be partial or total. When reporting improvements to your homeopath, include improvements you are seeing on the physical as well as the mental and emotional levels. This helps the homeopath to ascertain just how appropriate this remedy is for your case.
3. Detoxification Symptoms
Detoxification symptoms can occur after a well-chosen homeopathic remedy is administered. This is where things can get difficult for both the patient and the homeopath. But stick with the process the best you can and the benefit of a good detox can be great. In fact, it may lead to just the relief you have been looking for. What does a detox reaction look like? Usually this can be a release of pent up emotions or a physical reaction such as a fever, a runny nose, flu-like symptoms, diarrhea, vomiting, and more. While not pleasant, the best thing to do is to get a lot of rest, drink lots of fluids, and contact your homeopath who may be able to adjust your remedy dosing in order to make the detox phase more tolerable (sometimes taking a lower potency can help). If the illness does not resolve on its own within a reasonable amount of time, you may need to contact your homeopath for a recommendation about an acute remedy.
4. “Proving” Symptoms
As part of the research process of homeopathic remedies, professionals perform what is called a “proving”. This is where a homeopathic remedy is administered to a healthy individual, and the symptoms caused by the remedy are recorded and used in the “materia medica” for that remedy (which is a description of the symptoms that the remedy treats). So the symptoms that the remedy causes in healthy individual, will treat in an individual with an illness.
So if you experience a symptom you have never experienced before upon starting a new remedy, this could be a proving symptom. If the proving is very mild and the remedy is benefitting the patient quite a bit, the homeopath may recommend the patient stick with the treatment, but may change the dosing. So again, stay in close contact with your homeopath.
5. Nothing. Zip. Zilch. Nada!
Yes, from time to time a remedy could be so far off (or there is a block right from the outset) that you take the remedy and you see nothing! Before giving up, however, consider that the effects may not “kick in” until maybe the second or third dose, if not later. Also, the potency just may not have been prescribed high enough. Consider asking your homeopath if you should try a higher potency or more frequent dosing, or address a block right from the outset. For more information about why homeopathy may not be working for you, click here!
6. The Constitutional Remedy Stopped Working!
When a remedy had been alleviating symptoms and then it stops working, there are several things you or your homeopath can do to resolve the situation:
- Frequency of dosing needs to be increased: Lets say that you were taking the remedy once per week, it may now become necessary to take the remedy twice per week.
- The potency of the remedy needs to be increased: It may be time to go up in potency. So, if you were taking a 30c potency, it may be time to move up to the next potency, usually a 200c potency (unless you are using the LM potencies, then you would go up from LM1 to LM2 and so on). Ask your homeopath for guidance regarding a potency increase (conversely, at times it may be necessary to go down in potency, but that is not usually the case).
- The remedy may have been antidoted: If you drank coffee, chewed on mentholated gum, or maybe used a eucalyptus essential oil, your remedy may have been “antidoted” (which means the action of the remedy has been stopped). If this seems like a possibility, take another dose of your remedy.
- A pharmaceutical drug was used: Sometimes a patient may find it necessary to use a conventional medication. Pharmaceuticals tend to counteract the action of a remedy (like a tug of war between the two). If you feel that your remedy action was stopped or slowed down due to a drug, consider taking another dose of your remedy, but it would be best to check with your homeopath first. Use of a pharmaceutical can also put the patient into a new remedy state.
- A new “remedy state” has developed: When the remedy action of a specific remedy has been used up by the patient (meaning the patient has gotten all the healing it can by that remedy), a new remedy state, or symptom picture, will emerge. If the old remedy continues to be administered past “its time”, the new remedy state will become more and more obvious (symptoms will be heightened). If you feel this is happening, stop your old remedy and schedule a follow-up consultation with your homeopath so that she can prescribe a new constitutional remedy. While we tend to change remedy states throughout our lives, over time the change from one remedy state to the next can be lengthened (or your remedy states can be managed with other healthy practices such as meditation, yoga, acupuncture, and clean living).
- A “block” has developed in your case: In the case of a block, the patients vital force is bringing to the surface something that needs attention. This could be a past infection, an old “insult” from a vaccine, medication, medical procedure, trauma, toxin exposure, or a miasm (a specific inherited predisposition to disease that can be cleared with specific remedies). Your homeopath should be able to identify which miasm, or other block, you are expressing and help to clear it.
I hope this article helps to shed some light on the sometimes confusing journey of healing with homeopathy. While the journey can have its ups and downs and confusing moments, especially for a complex case, the rewards of true healing from within is worth the time and sacrifice!