Homeopathic Philosophy

Modern science recognizes that an organism's response to stress occurs in a highly organized and interrelated manner. In Homoeopathy the concept of homeostatic balance on physical levels is expanded to include the mental and emotional realms as well. In other words, one's body, mind and emotions are viewed as always working to maintain a relative degree of homeostasis or balance. Because the body, mind and emotions respond in unity to stress, the Homoeopathic approach to understanding disease is holistic. This means an attempt is made to evaluate any problem in the context of the whole person--physically, mentally and emotionally--and to understand how the person is limited.
The Homoeopathic approach does not combat disease symptoms in the same manner as one would in conventional practice. Instead, Homoeopathic philosophy states that if the organism is brought back into balance, the symptoms of disease (imbalance) will resolve accordingly. The Homoeopathic means to this end is unique to each person; therefore, whereas a conventional diagnosis is based on a defined set of common symptoms, and will be treated conventionally with common treatments, a Homoeopath looks for a broad and unique picture of imbalance specific to each person.
An example of this difference between conventional and Homoeopathic practice can be made by looking at how each would approach an inflammatory condition. Conventional practitioners might view a chronic inflammatory disease as the result of an overly-aggressive immune system, and could make a diagnosis based upon a pattern of common symptoms. They could then choose from any number of anti-inflammatory or immune-modulating agents, hoping to suppress the problem.
For a Homoeopath, the signs and symptoms of inflammation are just the starting point for understanding the full breadth of disease. The common signs of inflammation--'rubor, calor, dolor and tumor'--are simply the tip of the iceberg. A conventional diagnosis would not be specific enough for selection of a remedy, and one would need to consider other broader or unique expressions of disease.
The effort to target inflammation alone is also be viewed by Homoeopaths as 'suppressive', meaning that although the most obvious symptoms of imbalance (eg., inflammation) may be quelled, the underlying stress and imbalance from which this problem arose have not changed. Therefore, a person with a chronic inflammatory condition is treated but not cured. Homoeopaths also view the effort to suppress symptoms as one which occurs at the expense of the rest of the organism. That is, if the organism works as an integrated whole, one cannot single out and combat individual symptoms without the battle spilling over in effects on the whole.
Therefore, to rid a person of their chief complaint is not enough in Homoeopathy. The improvement must also be in line with a general 'direction of cure'--if a person's chief complaint is resolved, one should not see a subsequent problem develop at a deeper or more vital level of function.