The word homeopathy is derived from a combination of two Greek words ‘homoios’, meaning similar, and ‘pathy’, meaning suffering, and it is based on the principle of ‘treating like with like’. This principle had been applied to the practice of medicine by a number of early civilisations, but it was Hippocrates who developed this into a system of medicine which was used widely in ancient Greece. Much of this early understanding of the healing potential of a homeopathic approach was lost over the centuries, as other ways to practice medicine were developed. It was not until the end of the 18th Century, that homeopathy as we recognise it today was introduced as a system of medicine by the German doctor, Samuel Hahnemann.
As another ‘creation’ inspired by the ancient Greeks takes centre stage in London this summer, Homeopathy Healthy Medicine has decided to take a look at how homeopathy can help the athletes in the sporting arena. With over 10,000 competitors participating in the Olympic Games, it is inevitable that sporting injuries and health issues will be in the forefront of trainers and athletes minds during the event in July and August. If a competitor’s fitness is compromised or misjudged, not only can it be the end of their Olympic dream for another four years, but it can also result in the demise of their career.
It is really important to try to prevent any detrimental physical conditions from developing in the first place, and although conventional medicine is often prescribed for sport-induced ailments, homeopathy brings a number of positive advantages by comparison. These include:
Homeopathic medicines do not produce harmful side effects Homeopathic medicines are highly diluted substances so they are free from ingredients which might contravene any drug bans
Homeopathic medicines cost less than conventional medicine
Homeopathic medicines can be safely stored for many years. Often only a few tablets from a bottle are needed for each episode of treatment
Homeopathic medicines are not tested on animals. They are tested through systematic trials with healthy human volunteers
Homeopathic medicines work with, rather than against, the body’s own repair mechanism
Homeopathic medicines appear to speed up the healing process and get you back to training and performing more quickly
In practical terms, these points seem to hold great weight when assessing the best method of looking after professional sportsmen and women. When Dr Jean Marcel Ferret, the doctor to the French football team from 1993-2004 was asked why he had chosen homeopathy, he said ‘I am open to all techniques. As a sports doctor I quickly discovered that, except for anti-inflammatories and muscle relaxants, I was very limited in the care of athletes’.
The doctor, who was in charge of the French soccer team during their World Cup win in 1998, continued ‘The greatest value in sports? It’s speed of action. I can use it directly on the soccer field, within seconds of the trauma, and note the results almost immediately. The players are highly trained, a population at risk, with slightly defective immune systems. We have to protect their health. This involves an emphasis on prevention, taking into account the personality of each player.
I now know that this approach is that of homeopathy’.