The homeopathic understanding of health is intrinsically linked to its understanding of the mind in general. Homeopaths generally assume that body and mind are dynamically interconnected and that both directly influence each other. They base virtually every homeopathic prescription on the physical and psychological symptoms of the sick person. Psychological symptoms often play a primary role in the selection of the correct medicine.
Trying to ascertain whether a person's mental state caused his physical disease or vice versa is rarely helpful in discovering the correct homeopathic medicine. Most of the time, this determination is debatable. Instead, the homeopath seeks to find a medicine that matches the totality of the person's physical and psychological symptoms, irrespective of "which came first."
Even the “what came first" issue is much more complex and deceptive than one might initially presume. Most of us believe that we got a headache or some other symptom after getting angry, being depressed, or becoming fearful and that this emotion caused the headache. The emotional stress and collapse may have resulted because we were experiencing various physical, environmental, and other stresses in tandem.
Many a times, we assume that something that happens close to the time we develop symptoms is "the cause" of our problem. It is however always easier to look for the effects of causes than for the causes of effects.
The homeopathic alternative to treating psychological and physical diseases is to assume that mind and body are cohesively inter-linked and that a micro dose must be prescribed individually based on the totality of the sick person's symptoms.
From a homeopathic point of view, the prevalence of mental illness in our society is not simply the result of living in a fast-paced, stressful society, but also because our medical care system has effectively suppressed various physical illnesses. Homeopaths assert that by treating symptoms as "causes" rather than as "effects," conventional medicine masks the symptoms without curing the underlying disease process. Homeopaths theorize that, worse still, the treatment and suppression of symptoms forces the disease process deeper into the organism so that it then manifests in more severe physical pathology and more serious psychological disorders.
Homeopaths and biologists alike acknowledge that living organisms respond to stresses in ways that primarily allow for survival. Organisms will protect their most vital processes first. Homeopaths therefore assume that the person's mental state is vital for survival insofar as it governs the state of awareness that makes decisions on how to respond to stressful or life-threatening situations. The organism will protect the most deep psychological level most strongly and will first externalize various superficial emotions. Likewise on a physical level, certain vital organs, especially the brain and the heart, will be protected before other organs.
Homeopaths operate on the assumption that their patient/s create the best possible response, based on present abilities, to whatever stress they experience. Because homeopaths view symptoms as adaptive efforts of the organism to respond to stress or infection, they assume that efforts to control or suppress these defensive reactions can lead only to more serious symptoms. The supporting evidence in any pharmacology text which lists the side effects of drugs. It becomes apparent that the side effects of drugs are often of a more serious nature than the condition they are treating. And predictably, these side effects include various acute and chronic mental symptoms.
Psychological symptoms, are ways in which a person is trying to adjust to biological and psychosocial stresses. Such symptoms should not be suppressed, unless medically essential. Instead, a homeopathic medicine should be individually prescribed based on the totality of the person's symptoms. The correct homeopathic medicine will catalyze a healing process that will raise the person's overall level of health. To complement the prescription, good homeopaths will provide some psychotherapeutic support based on homeopathic principles (See "Psychotherapy--Homeopathic Style"). And of course, homeopaths will, when appropriate, refer clients to various other health practitioners