HOMEOPATHY RELATED TO CHAOS THEORY1
In homeopathy substances are most powerful when they are diluted and succussed (shaken in a particular way) until we infer that only an information imprint and no molecules of the substance remain. In chaos theory, although everything seems irregular, actually we have many beautiful patterns-fractals-that are repeated in each system at smaller and smaller levels-infinitely. "Living organisms are composed of multiple systems, displaying complex oscillations that interact with one another and the external environment."1 In disease, this complex oscillation and variability is reduced and we get unhealthy periodicity-for example, in the heart beat of someone about to have a heart attack. (See NOHA NEWS, Fall 1999, "Chaos is Healthy.") In chaos theory there are many possible patterns, often called "strange attractors." When a pattern is exactly matched, a small change can make a huge difference-the "butterfly effect."
"Like fractals, which are self similar at many magnitudes of size, the homeopathic remedy is similar to the illness pattern at a different magnitude, and can make the whole system resonate until the limiting pattern is extinguished."
On Tuesday, October 24 in Oak Park, Joel Shepperd, MD, gave a most interesting NOHA lecture on "Homeopathy Explained." He described classical homeopathy, where one single substance is tested for a particular health problem. At an ordinary dosage in a healthy person, the particular substance will produce the symptoms that the homeopath wishes to treat. Amazingly, when the substance is diluted and shaken ("succussed"), many times over, treatment of a sick person, who has the completely matching symptoms, can result in a cure. When shown that it can be used successfully, the substance is said to be "proven."
Fractals - from Julia Set
An illness can be thought of as a "strange attractor," where the patient is stuck in particular patterns and needs to break out to healthy variability:
The loss of variability results in repeated patterns that are the symptoms, which lead to the similar homeopathic remedy. Like fractals, which are self similar at many magnitudes of size, the homeopathic remedy is similar to the illness pattern at a different magnitude, and can make the whole system resonate until the limiting pattern is extinguished.2
1Shepperd, Joel, MD, "Chaos Theory: Implications for Homeopathy," Journal of the American Institute of Homeopathy, 87: 22-9, 1994.
2Letter to Marjorie Fisher from Dr. Joel Shepperd, October 29, 2000.
Article from NOHA NEWS, Vol. XXVI, No. 1, Winter 2001, page 2.