This is the 4th blog post in my Frequently Asked Questions series. To go to the other posts in this series, click here:
- Post 1 – Why are homeopaths and their clients so secretive in Facebook Groups about homeopathic remedies for chronic conditions?
- Post 2 – Homeopathic remedies you can use for chronic conditions! (Does this contradict post 1? Maybe just a little 🙂check it out!)
- Post 3 – Can homeopathy be used alongside other healing modalities?
I’ve covered several Frequently Asked Questions this week in depth. In this post I’ve combined several questions in one post with brief answers. Hope this helps!
Can you please explain potency and dosing?
In homeopathy, there are 3 potency scales (and there are some off-shoot scales, but these are the main potencies you will come across). These potency scales have to do with how the remedies are formulated, how many times they are diluted and succussed (shaken), and how powerful they are. Here are the 3 potency scales and a brief explanation:
X potencies (3x, 10x, 100x, etc): you will find these in many combination remedies that are sold over the counter (combinations for allergies, stress, teething, etc). These tend to be lower potencies and act on more of a physical level (but that’s a generalization).
LM potencies (LM1, LM2, LM3, LM4): these potencies are almost always only given by a homeopath to their clients. These tend to be gentler acting than the c potencies (therefore less aggravation and detox), but sometimes not powerful enough.
C potencies (6C, 12C, 30C, 200C, 1M, 10M, 50M, etc): some of the lower c potencies can be found in combo remedies and also sold in single remedy preparations over the counter. For example oscillococcinum, which is a flu remedy, is a 200c potency and is sold over the counter. Homeopaths often use “C” potencies with clients, starting often in the 6c-200c range, sometimes going higher than this.
In general, the higher the number in the potency, the stronger it will act on the vital force (or the deeper it will stimulate healing). In homeopathy school we are taught to consider 200c and below for more physical ailments, and 200c or higher for more emotional or mental ailments. However, I have seen a 30c stop an emotional crisis in its tracks, and I have seen a 1M (also known as 1,000C) potency stop a flu in its tracks. So the “rules” about potency, in my experience, are a generalization to keep in mind but not be rigid about. I think there is a lot more we don’t understand about potencies and we, as practitioners and clients, are learning through experience over time.
For example, the CEASE protocol (a protocol used to “clear” damage from past interventions or infections with the use of homeopathic remedies) includes the use of 30c, 200c, 1M, and 10M. However I have found value in using much lower and much higher potencies in some “clears”.
How is potency determined and how do you know when to go up in potency?
Potency is determined by the homeopath based on many factors including age, complexity of symptoms, level of vital force currently, and which level most symptoms reside (mental, emotional, physical). Potency can also be determined based on muscle testing.
For protocols such as CEASE and Banerji protocols, potencies are predetermined and taken on schedule.
When a homeopath is giving a constitutional remedy as needed, potency is changed (usually goes up) when the current potency no longer seems to have an effect. So if a person was responding well to a 30c potency but a dose of this potency doesn’t seem to be “doing the trick” anymore, you can try giving the remedy closer together. If that doesn’t improve things then you may benefit from going up to 200c. However, it is best for a homeopath to decide upon potency changes until the client is quite familiar with how homeopathy works and has experienced the “trends and patterns” of dosing for at least a few months. Because sometimes going up in potency is not what is needed if the symptom picture has morphed into a new constitutional state. In this situation, changing the constitutional remedy would be necessary (and continuing to give the old remedy at this point could aggravate symptoms…I’ve been there myself…and it’s not pretty lol).
What sort of things will antidote remedies or block them from working?
Not every person is easily susceptible to having their remedy antidoted (remedy action stopped) and not every remedy is as susceptible to antidoting. But the main substances that are considered antidoting are: menthol, camphor, coffee, mint, and perhaps eucalyptus.
Some people notice that they are antidoted if they take a prescription or over the counter drug. Others notice being antidoted after using essential oils. And others have reported being antidoted after any form of magnetism or energy medicine (to include acupuncture, magnetic mats or devices, ionic foot baths, and more).
None of this is black and white and the best thing to do is observe your own experience and make decisions accordingly. Some people will say it’s ok to use these substances if they are used a few hours away from remedies, others say they get antidoted days or weeks after a remedy is given. Some will say that it has to do with the strength of the vital force (vitality) of the person at the time.
In general, it is best to try to avoid the “common” antidotes during the first few months of treatment, and then you can start experimenting with these things to see how you react.
As I’ve mentioned before…it goes back to intuition!
What is the difference between giving remedies only as needed as opposed to giving them daily.
Some people will do better with a lower potency daily or a few times per week, others will do better only taking the remedy when symptoms seem to be returning. Some of this decision is based on the homeopath’s education and their own personal philosophy about dosing. Some of this will be based on muscle testing for some practitioners or clients. And some of it will be based on factors such as the client’s coffee consumption, over-the-counter or prescription drug use, exposure to chronic stress, etc. In this case, more frequent dosing may be helpful (but not always).
How do we determine what needs to be cleared first and in which order do we clear things from the health history (bacteria, viruses, damage from interventions, parasites, etc)?
In a type of homeopathy called sequential homeopathy, these things are cleared from the most recent to the most distant in the past (even in the womb or beyond, for example something from the mother’s or father’s health history may need to be addressed).
In isopathy in general (the term used to describe giving a remedy to clear specific things from the health history), it is decided what to clear first based on what symptoms seem to be at the surface and calling for attention the loudest.
For example, when I first started homeopathy (as a client), my homeopath said that I needed to clear strep with a strep nosode, because I had had a sore throat for 6 months at that time and my sons had been diagnosed with strep over the past 6 months. So I was given the strep nosode and indeed my sore throat went away and I also noticed some nice improvements on an emotional level.
A homeopath listens out for clues during each follow up to see what is speaking the loudest. For example, I met with a client recently and all of his language pointed toward the need for addressing parasites (“something is taking over me and making me do things”, “something is wiggling it’s way in”, and “periodicity of symptoms” around the moon phases were reported), so that is the layer we are working on now. For another client I may hear language that indicates the need for a viral clear (on the go-go-go, yet run down, or the immune system just always seems to be in a weakened state). For bacteria, some of the more common bacteria can put people into a unique psychological state, and this can clue us into the need to perhaps clear antibiotic use or use a homeopathic nosode that addresses the suspected bacteria.
If you are new to homeopathy and the “language” in this post seems like it is way over your head, consider reading a book called “Impossible Cure”, by Amy Lansky. She does a good job explaining much of this from the start.
If you are familiar with homeopathy already, I hope this post gave you some further insight into how it all works! It can be quite confusing at first, but the patterns become easier to decipher as you go along.
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