For both classical and clinical homeopathy, the symptom(s) for which a remedy is applicable is usually known through provings, material medica and repertory searches. Both the classical and clinical approaches are known to work and the approach used depends on practitioner’s training, competence and preference.
Classical homeopathy matches the totality of the individual’s symptoms and personality with the most similar homeopathic remedy so as to stimulate the body’s own natural healing response. It involves the use of a single remedy at a time and treatment is strictly individualized. The classical homeopathic consultation is usually an extended length of time (may be hours) in which the homeopath asks in-depth questions, thoughtfully listens and observes the patient in order to decipher the most appropriate single remedy. Classical homeopathy is based on the practice of Samuel Hahnemann who is credited with discovering homeopathy over two hundred years ago.
Like the classical approach, clinical homeopathy is also based on using laws of similar to stimulate the body’s natural healing. However, clinical homeopathy matches specific remedies that target particular disease(s), organ(s), or tissue(s) with the symptoms or complaints of the individual. It can be formulated for the general population suffering from a specific malady or formulated for a specific person. Because most provings were done in Hahnemann’s time, clinical homeopathy recognizes that the human condition has changed over the last 200 years, partially due to exposure to environmental toxins, steroids, antibiotics, vaccinations, etc. and requires a different approach. Diseases during Hahnemann’s time were usually acute and today they are chronic.
In the clinical approach, it is possible to compile the pathogenesis (i.e. description of symptoms that have been discovered through provings) of different remedies to determine the most effective treatment for different diseases. In clinical homeopathy, combination remedies are welcome while lengthy consultations are not usually necessary unless a complex is being formulated for a specific person.