Translating a nonlinear systems theory model for homeopathy into empirical tests

Iris R. Bell, Carol M. Baldwin, Gary E. Schwartz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Various investigators have proposed that nonlinear systems theory, notably chaos and complexity theory, provides a heuristically useful model for conceptualizing the way in which complementary and alternative medicine therapies, which purport to modify subtle energies, effect change throughout the individual as a whole. In this paper we apply this theory to classical homeopathy and outline an empirical approach for testing the resultant hypotheses. Such research may advance understanding of the mechanisms of homeopathic remedy effects and provide a direction for homeopathic research that expands the previous emphasis on clinical trials and the remedies themselves. In refocusing attention on the dynamics of the patient as a nonlinear complex system, the proposed research program is consistent with the homeopathic emphasis on the individual rather than the disease. This approach may have additional applications that can elucidate similar effects of other energy medicine modalities (eg, acupuncture) on the healing process of the person as a unified whole.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)58-66
Number of pages9
JournalAlternative therapies in health and medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Complementary and alternative medicine


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