How Often To Take Homeopathic Medicine? | Homeopathic Health (1 of 7)

Part 1 in a 7-part series on Homeopathic Treatment Guidelines

 
I was inspired to this series of blog posts by a recent extended email dialog I had with a patient.
 
This patient not only asked me to answer several detailed questions around the specifics of homeopathic dosing / posology, but also indicated specifically that they wished me to answer by email, rather than by phone or in person, such that they could save my responses for future reference.
 
As I typed on and evening faded into morning, I ended up asking a few questions of my own: 
  1. What if all my patients have similar questions that go unasked? 
  2. Why not present all of this in a public forum for everyone's future reference!
Keep the following principle in mind throughout the following discussion - you're an individual, so you naturally need individualized treatment, and that extends to dosage frequency, timing, and effects.
 
Thus, the simple fact is that neither of us can know when - or even if - you need to redose the remedy until you've taken it and experienced any changes (or lack thereof).
 
Consequently, none of the following generic guidelines are universally applicable, and the need for an individualized dosing schedule cannot be overemphasized.
 
Please do not take these guidelines as gospel.
 
With that cavet in mind:  
 

How often should I be taking my remedy?

 
Again, this is individualized. However, I'll spell out as many of the possible scenarios as I can think of to hopefully make it as clear as possible.
 
In general, if you're improving with the remedy, no more doses are needed. 
 
In general, the only times when you'd need to redose are:
 

1. If you felt you were getting better since taking the remedy, but now feel that either no more changes are occurring, or that you are actually slipping back toward the same state of dis-ease.

For example, if your chief complaint begins to improve gradually but continually for several weeks after you take the first dose, but then begins to get worse again, you'd need to take another dose. If it at this point again starts to improve, then wait.

 

2. If you've not felt any change (positive or negative) in any area of your life

"Change" can really be anything, some examples of common reactions being increased sleep quality, emotional catharsis (outburst or upheaval, followed by increased sense of peace), skin eruptions, increased urine or stool volume resurfacing of old concerns or interests, and naturally any shift in your chief complaints!
 
If you don't notice any of these, your subconscious may simply need another reminder of the message that the remedy provides, so we might want to give it a gentle nudge with another dose! 
 
I'd wait for at least a week after the first dose before doing this, however, as the changes can occur quite gradually. Again, don't take another dose if you feel things are "changing".  
 
Also, make sure to consider the opinions of people around you, as well as weird synchronicities that seem to occur in your life, when evaluating "changes". 
 
It's like when you see a casual acquaintance that you don't often bump into, and they say something like, "wow, you've lost weight", or "I like your new look" ... when you hadn't even noticed your gradual - but, over time, significant - weight loss or changing fashion sense!
 

3. You're having an acute attack of your chief complaint, and you haven't yet taken it. 

I do not advise you to discontinue drugs you were prescribed without the consent of the prescribing physician.
 
However, with that caveat in mind, please try to take your homeopathic remedy without the interference of Tylenol, Asprin, or another acute suppressive drug you might normally use in this type of scenario.
 
An suppressive drug can generally be identified by the prefix anti (antiinflammatory) or an (analgesic = no pain).
 
In that it stops a natural body process from occurring.    
 
Such suppressive drugs work to suppress the body's natural reaction, while the remedy works to make your body more aware of this reaction.
 
Once your subconscious is aware of the problem, it is able to direct energy towards solving the problem. 
 
The only reason the problem is even there is because the conscious can experience it.
 
The subconscious cannot.
 
So the pain is consciously experienced.
 
But without the reason for the pain being subconsciously addressed and solved. 
 
Again, please note that I am not advising anyone to discontinue any prescribed medication without the express consent of their prescribing physician. 
 
I am merely pointing out that any drugs (or natural products, for that matter!) which oppose the natural bodily processes are likewise going to be opposing the action of the homeopathic remedy. 
 
However, I also believe (a belief supported by the vast majority of my case experience) that a truly good homeopathic prescription is one which can act through almost any degree of suppression. 
 
That is, even strongly suppressive drugs will not antidote or otherwise prevent the remedy from acting.
 
However, I have noticed that the healing response can be slowed even under a very good prescription when, for instance, high doses of opioids are used concurrently.
 
However, I typically use some advanced potency tricks to overcome this difficulty that are beyond the scope of this article.
 
Note that, during this period of addressing and solving the problem, you might (although it only happens in less than 10% of my cases) experience what's referred to as an aggravation. 
 
This is where, for example, your chief complaint briefly gets worse as the body is becoming more aware of it and dealing with it, before then getting continuously better.
 
You can think of the aggravation using the metaphor of a diving board.
 
The brief dip in height (the aggravation) you experience when first jumping on the board is necessary in order to be propelled upward (the subsequent healing) by the board.
 
However, I again want to reiterate that the aggravation is pretty rare among my patients (although the subsequent healing is not), and any aggravations tend to be very short lived and mild.
 
I, for instance, on taking my own remedy, typically just become quite tired, then sleep more deeply and dream more vividly for a couple nights.
 
In these situations, I can see (often, only in retrospect) that my subconscious is becoming aware of, and then then helping to address or balance, my tendency to lose sleep over work - thereby essentially forcing me to acknowledge a real need I had previously been ignoring.
 

4. You're having an acute attack of your chief complaint, and you've taken the remedy one or more times, but feel it has produced only very minor changes, or none at all.

Please wait at least a few minutes between doses to give your body a chance to experience a change! 

In my experience, typically the more acute something comes on, the faster it should respond to a remedy and leave.

If you've had a chronic condition of gradual onset since childhood, therefore, I wouldn't be expecting sudden rapid changes, but instead equally gradual, long-term healing.

Basically, the only danger with redosing too often is that you'll push the healing to occur too quickly, which is one of the reasons someone might have a slight aggravation. 

It's like when you bump your arm and get a bruise, with the associated inflammation and swelling. 

On one hand, it's extremely important for that inflammation and swelling to occur.

Since the inflammatory process is really the same thing as the healing process!On the other hand, if you were to take the homeopathic remedy and eliminate any of these suppressive agents, you would likely start to see the problem resolve as rapidly as it potentially could.

Of course, under the stimulation of the homeopathic remedy, and without the suppressive agents there to mask the problem, this healing process might create a bit of an 'inflammation' because it is simply healing so fast!

If you were then to push this healing process even further by taking repeated doses (even though your systems were already reacting as fast as they could), you could essentially 'force' the body to heal faster than is humanly possible, thereby creating more inflammation / aggravation.

Nonetheless, I often find that a truly well-prescribed homeopathic can completely eliminate the pain alongside speeding up the healing process, and that the ideal remedy can be repeated as often as is desired without any ill effect.  

The bottom line is that - in general, for homeopathy like everything else in life - some level of moderation is important. 

If your healing's already been stimulated and is moving along smoothly, there's probably no need to take another dose.

I think that pretty much covers it! Other than the scenarios described above, I cannot think of a situation at present in which one would want to redose.

However, this is not to say that one does not exist - if in doubt, by all means contact me, and we can figure it out together.

As you can see, this is a highly individualized process, and something that I typically evaluate on a case-by-case basis with patients.

Therefore, although I understand and am attempting to meet a desire among several of my patients to have hard-and-fast written 'instructions', the specifics of dosing are actually something best decided over the phone, via Skype, or in person, where I can provide an answer that is custom-tailored to each patient's particular needs and situation.  

If you're ever in doubt, please contact me at 778-805-6655 with your specific concerns and situation, and I can give you a much more concise and targeted answer!

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