Homeopathy for Horse and Human
COMPLEMENTARY THERAPIES for HORSE and human by Susan McBane
OF all the complementary therapies, homeopathy for horse and human must be one of the most controversial. It is also sometimes confused with herbalism which was the subject of last month’s article. The two are quite different although they have in common with each other and with other complementary therapies the principle of working to correct the flow of the body’s inner energy or life force.
This issue of energy, which has different names in different cultures such as qi, chi, prana and others, is a major stumbling block for conventional, western therapists and doctors because not only can energy not be seen but also it has never been proved by western science to even exist. Nevertheless, millions more people around the world are treated and helped by eastern, energy-based medicine than by western medicine, which is largely based, these days, on synthetic drugs.
Having said that, some conventional doctors do believe that homeopathy can have healing effects and might refer patients to a homeopath. Visit www.britishhomeopathic.org for details of registered practitioners. There are also numerous veterinary surgeons who are also qualified homeopaths: you can find one through the British Association of Homeopathic Veterinary Surgeons (www.bahvs.com). As with any complementary therapy, if you want to visit a homeopath yourself you can do so without a referral from your doctor. If you want your animal to be treated by a homeopath, whether he or she is also a vet or not, by law you need a referral from your vet. And remember that only a vet is allowed by law in the UK to diagnose.
East is east and west is west …
Probably another major difference between eastern and western medicine is that the former treats the patient, as an individual, whereas the latter mainly treats the condition or disease, and this is certainly the case with homeopathy. The homeopath will use an initial, and very searching consultation lasting roughly an hour to find out as much as possible about the patient’s personality and temperament, lifestyle and environment, relationships and how he or she reacts to the circumstances encountered in life. All these are believed to affect the life force in a very individual way, and can unbalance it: therefore, the remedy or remedies chosen for one patient may be different from those chosen for another affected by the same disease or condition.
A ‘hair of the dog’ principle
The ruling tenet of homeopathy is ‘like cures like’. This means that symptoms caused by an overdose of a substance in a healthy being are the symptoms that can be cured by a small dose of that substance in a being who is sick. This is an ancient principle that was widely followed until the discovery in the first half of the 20th century of synthetic drugs, painkillers and antibiotics when, along with herbalism and other therapies, it declined. Modern homeopaths aim to use the remedies to gently stimulate the body’s immune system to itself cure the patient while also working to restore harmony, balance and energy flow.
The remedies come from vegetable and mineral sources. They are prepared by an accepted pharmaceutical process called potentisation that produces highly diluted versions of the substance in different ‘strengths’ or potencies. The substances are provided as powders, pills or tiny ‘pilules’, or as liquid tinctures. The remedies are very sensitive and delicate, and must not be touched by anyone but the patient, otherwise they can be depotentised or weakened. They must also be stored away from bright lights and strong-smelling substances.
The practitioner will give strict instructions as to administration: humans can normally just tip pills into the bottle cap and then into the mouth, usually under the tongue for more effective absorption. Horses take their remedies best not in their feeds, where they may be lost, but on a piece of apple or carrot, lightly pressed in with the bottom of the bottle. The remedies may also be put in a little sterile water and squirted under the tongue.
Despite the individuality of homeopathic practice and remedies, there are some remedies which can be used on a self-help or first aid basis, and may be available as pills or powders to take internally or as creams or ointments for topical use. Your practitioner can advise you on a concise range of remedies for general use, and you can buy them at many chemists, on line or by mail order. Just Google ‘homeopathic supplies remedies’.
A big advantage of this therapy is that you cannot overdose and risk harm: if the body does not need the remedy it is simply excreted. On the other hand, if used correctly and appropriately, it is gentle and effective, some scientific studies backing this up, I understand.
To learn more about Susan and her principles visit her website www.susanmcbane.com/index.php