Acupuncture and homeopathy share an important healing principle: bioenergetics. "Bio" means "life," so bioenergetics is literally "life energy." Both modalities, acupuncture and homeopathy, operate via the body's energy field or nervous system network, which can transmit information at speeds up to 200 miles per hour.When utilized by skilled practitioners, bioenergetic relief may seem instantaneous to patients.
Another similarity the two modalities share is the concept of clearing the obstructions in the energy flow patterns. Homeopathy has a 200-year track record of accomplishing this on all levels: physical, mental and emotional.
Homeopathy: Nontoxic Energy Medicine
Homeopathy is a healthcare system based on the pharmacological principle known since ancient times: "likes are cured by likes," also known as the Law of Similars.
Even though this principle was known by Hippocrates 2,000 years ago, Samuel Hahnemann, a German physician and chemist, developed and codified the science of homeopathic medicine.
Hahnemann announced his remarkable medical discovery in 1789: a natural substance that produces symptoms in a healthy person, when homeopathically prepared, can alleviate those same symptoms in someone who is ill. He called his new medical system "homeopathy," which translates to "similar suffering."
For example, Allium cepa is Latin for red onion. Symptoms commonly experienced in a healthy person chopping onions are red and watering eyes, sneezing and a runny nose. These are also symptoms of hay fever or a cold. After being prepared as homeopathic medicine, Allium cepa is helpful for alleviating the symptoms of hay fever or a cold.
This principle is used even in pharmacology today, which is evidenced by the use of viruses in vaccines and allergens in allergy desensitization shots. The key factor, however, is that when using relatively large amounts of these substances (as is done in allopathic medicine), negative side effects can occur.
Homeopathic medicine is created by serial ultradilution and succussion (vigorous shaking) of natural substances. The combination of these two processes, which can be quite labor intensive, creates the energetics of the medicine. During this process, the bioenergetic information is transferred from the substance into the diluted medicine. In the final remedy, the original substance used is below the molecular level.
Homeopathic medicine contains enough information from the original substance to stimulate the body to overcome the symptomology, but not enough to cause negative side effects. The result is often fast and dramatic relief, especially in acute situations.
Homeopathy in Acupuncture Practices
Despite the energetic commonalities between the two modalities, many acupuncturists have yet to understand and incorporate homeopathy into their practice.
Barry Thorne, founder of the Asheville, N.C.–based business, Golden Needle, recognizes that many acupuncturists, depending on their school, do not have much training in homeopathy. "Although homeopathy, as energy medicine, is readily understood in principle by acupuncturists," Thorne said, "they usually have advanced training in Chinese herbs instead."
However, Thorne has seen a growing trend of modality cross-over among practitioners. "In the past several years, I've seen much more acceptance and complementarism among specialists. For example, I now see medical doctors and chiropractors who also practice acupuncture and homeopathy," he says.
Classical vs. Contemporary Homeopathy
Many people regard homeopathy as a complex science that is a life study in itself. There are different schools of thought on homeopathic practice. Many practitioners follow what we call a "classical" approach to homeopathy. They do an extensive case evaluation for each patient and prescribe a single homeopathic remedy in a single potency, according to the patient's constitution.
Contemporary homeopathy, which I prefer, is a different approach. One of the breakthroughs in contemporary homeopathy my colleagues and I made in our integrative clinic in the late 1970s, is that multiple remedies in multiple high potencies, including the LM1 (1:50,000) series, worked exceptionally well and reduced the incidence of unpleasant healing reactions.
In his later work, Hahnemann felt the LM potency was the gentlest and worked the most powerfully and deeply, even at the emotional level. Remarkably, Hahnemann documented the effects of his new medicine at all levels, physical, mental and emotional. "Classical homeopathy and contemporary homeopathy are different approaches," Thorne said, "and I believe a similar analogy exists between using traditional Chinese formulas versus modern herbal formulations for complex cases. In classical TCM, the traditional formula may be designed to treat a simple symptomology. However, modern herbal formulas may offer a broader reach for the 'knotty' cases, displaying more complex symptomology that we often see today. The contemporary homeopathic approach makes it much easier for a practitioner to choose a formula that will very likely help."
Integrating Homeopathy with Acupuncture
Here are several ways homeopathy can enhance the practice of clinical acupuncture.
First, it bypasses digestion. Herbs, food and nutritional supplements work biochemically, and must first be digested and broken down by the body to be used. People in a weakened, ill state have low digestive power and energy. Homeopathy, by working bioenergetically, offers faster results. When the formula is in a non-allergenic, taste-free, pure water based, it is easily accepted by even young children and the elderly.
The second way it enhances is through topical use. Another advantage to water-based, contemporary homeopathy is that the oral formulas may also be used directly on acupuncture points, with or without needles. In addition, the patient can use homeopathic formulas in topical cream bases at home, which can be very effective at reducing pain and swelling.
The third way is through olfactory use. Water-based homeopathic formulas may also be misted in front of the face (with eyes closed) and breathed in through the nose. This delivers the energetic medicine directly to the frontal lobes of the brain and limbic system.
And the fourth way is through care between visits. Taken orally, the medicine offers your patients treatment and relief between visits. Likewise for the topical cream formulas.
Homeopathy treats the whole person. It addresses symptoms at the root cause, mentally, emotionally and physically.
Considering a case from the whole person perspective, treating with nutrition and herbs (biochemical) and homeopathy (bioenergetic) is like playing a complex song on the piano using all the keys, black and white. You might be able to convey the essence of the song in only the major or only the minor key, but the song will be much more well-rounded and interesting if all the appropriate harmonics are sounded.
Contemporary homeopathy is easy to implement, often works quickly and offers an effective bioenergetic therapy to enhance all practices.
Frank King, a doctor of naturopathy and chiropractic, is a nationally recognized researcher, lecturer and the author of The Healing Revolution: Eight Essentials to Awaken Abundant Life, Naturally. As the founder and president of King Bio, an FDA-registered homeopathic manufacturing company, Dr. King is dedicated to enhancing natural health practices with contemporary, pure water-based homeopathy.