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HOMEOSTASIS

As a practitioner I like to know all about a disease from the medical point of view so that I am aware as a practitioner what the disease is considered to be about, route to diagnosis, treatment and expected outcome; what this means in terms of symptoms and how this has an impact on an individual's life.  I feel that I am then more able to understand my patients beliefs of the disease and use this to help me explain how homeopathy can help.  

Homeostasis is the balance of the body described in orthodox medicine as the condition in which the internal environment of the body remains within physiological limits.  Within complemetary therapies we would go further to say that this includes the balance of both the body, mind and emotions. The aim in orthodox medicine is to keep the body's internal environment within certain physiological limits.  The aim of the homeopath is to allow the body to heal itself using it's own vital force(energy and innate knowledge) to rebalance itself back to health.

We go about this differently - orthodox medicine uses drugs that often suppress the bodies reactions to stimuli whereas homeopaths work with and encourage the natural reactions of the body.  

Homeostasis is maintained by all the systems in the body and the nervous system and endocrine system play a big part.  The nervous system detects body changes and sends impulses to adjust the processes of the body as a direct result of the stimuli with the intention of counteracting the stress, whereas the endocrine system takes time to gather its army of hormones and relases them, it is slower to respond but equally as effective.  

Stress comes in many forms and can create an imbalance in the body.  The stress may be from physical stimuli such as heat, cold, loud noises or lack of oxygen; from changes within the body such as low blood glucose level or increased acidity of the extracellular fluid; from psychological stimul such as demands of work and school; or a result of all of these.  Most stresses are quickly rebalanced by the body but sometimes the stress may be too large or too prolonged for the body to adequately manage to deal with and therefore maintain homeostasis.  This leads to symptoms - physical, emotional or psychological.

So homeostasis is a cycle of events taking place within the body. Each system communicates to the others, ultimately feeding back to the brain through the nerves. New messages are then sent back through the nerves with the aim of relaying the status of a condition.  This incurs a response in order to effect the next change required to promote the bodies return to homeostasis.  In homeopathy, the symptoms of an illness are viewed as a direct manifestation of the body's attempt to heal itself.  A homeopathic substance is given that is capable of producing similar symptoms if given to a well person.  In so doing, homeopathy attempts to stimulate the body's own healing capabilities.  If the body is to rebalance itself when something has changed then it makes sense that we perceive these changes as symptoms.  As homeopaths we see these symptoms as a good healthy response made by the body to rebalance itself and to inform us that something is out of balance rather than a malfunction that needs to be suppressed.