Frequently Asked Questions About Homeopathy and Osteopathy

There is no known "mechanism of action" for homeopathic remedies. We simply do not yet have the technology to answer this question. We do have over 200 years of clinical experience with this method and we know that it works!

Actually, the remedies do not treat or remove symptoms or diseases. Symptoms are elicited in minute detail by the homeopathic physician in an attempt to select the best possible remedy. The remedy somehow stimulates your body's vital force and it is this living, intelligent energy called the Dynamis, that creates healing. In Chinese medicine this force is called Chi, in Ayurvedic medicine it is called Prana, and in Osteopathy is called The Breath of Life.

This is a very popular question! People want to know if they can be helped by homeopathy. The best answer is that theoretically any condition can be cured by homeopathy. HOWEVER, it depends on many factors such as the patient's family history, how long the condition has been present and the nature of other treatments the patient has had for this and other conditions. It also depends on the willingness of the patient to describe him/herself in intimate terms, telling more than just a list of symptoms (see "reporting Your Symptoms" in the Patient section). This answer doesn't seem to satisfy potential patients so here is a partial list of the conditions Dr. Masiello has treated : abscesses, acne, acute COVID, ADHD, allergies, anxiety, arthritis, asthma, autoimmune diseases, back pain, bronchitis, cervical dysplasia, COVID vaccine reactions, chronic fatigue, chronic Lyme disease, conjunctivitis, dandruff, developmental delay, depression, diarrhea, diverticulitis, eczema, folliculitis, gallstones, genital herpes, GERD, Grave's Disease, headaches (migraine and tension), head trauma, hemorrhoids, hiccough, hypothyroidism, influenza, injuries of many kinds, insomnia, kidney stones, long COVID, mastitis, mononucleosis, myocarditis, neck pain, otitis externa, otitis media, PID, PMS, PTSD, pancreatitis, myasthenia gravis, pharyngitis, pneumonia, psoriasis, seizure disorder, sinusitis, thrombophebitis, trauma, UTI, varicose veins, warts.......

Historically, homeopathy has been used in the treatment of neurological conditions such as these. However, the best results are achieved at the very beginning of the illness. The more time that has passed after the initial diagnosis, the less likely homeopathy will help.

Homeopathy is not recommended as the first line treatment for cancer as we don't have good statistics available about its success rate in this area. However, homeopathy can be used to treat the physical, mental and emotional effects of conventional treatments such as chemotherapy, radiation and surgery. After conventional treatment has been completed then homeopathy can definitely be used to recover from the conventional treatment and to promote health and longevity. There are some exceptions however. In many cases of prostate cancer when the urologist has recommended "watchful waiting", homeopathic treatment can be used while the patient is continuously monitored. New onset bladder cancer is another disease in which homeopathy can be used. Typically, low grade bladder tumors are treated with instillation of chemotherapeutic agents into the bladder. This amounts to a local treatment as these agents don't enter the bloodstream. In this situation homeopathy can be added as an adjunctive treatment. Some early skin cancers can also be treated this way.

This is by far the post popular question. In homeopathy there isn't a specific remedy for any condition because the remedy doesn't treat the condition but acts holistically on your vital force. I find that when a patient is responding well to homeopathic treatment and has achieved a good level of health, then they are better able to make the mental, emotional and physical changes necessary to lose weight.

Some herbs and aromatic substances can directly decrease the effectiveness of homeopathic remedies ( see "Taking Remedies" in the Patient Section). More importantly, however, other treatments that relieve or remove symptoms make it difficult for the homeopathic physician to fully appreciate the totality of your symptoms and thus find the proper homeopathic remedy. The goal in homeopathy is always cure, not just temporary removal of symptoms. One should also understand that not all medications can be stopped. Some patients cannot safely stop their current conventional medications and thus the goal would be to gradually reduce but not eliminate their medications.

Historically, classical homeopaths have not recommended yearly flu shots simply because we have many remedies for the treatment of flu.


Each season, after treating a number of flu cases successfully, a homeopathic physician should be able to see the pattern of symptoms emerge that will indicate a remedy for that year's flu. Once that remedy is determined, subsequent cases can be easily treated and that same remedy can be use to prevent the flu in the yet uninfected. It is important to understand several facts about influenza and flu vaccines.


First, influenza kills about 30,000 people a year in the Unites States. However, these deaths are rarely caused by the influenza virus itself. Most often, patients who die from influenza have pre-existing conditions that make them more vulnerable to viral pneumonia and possible bacterial pneumonia that typically can follow the flu. Cardio-pulmonary disease, autoimmune disease, and neurological disease can complicate influenza. Many patients are taking conventional medications that suppress natural immunity. For these patients a flu vaccine may be appropriate.


The second fact about the flu vaccine that needs to be understood is that it is NOT 100% effective. Flu vaccine efficacy is usually around 75% and this assumes that the correct strains are selected to make the vaccine. If the wrong strains are selected, the vaccine is 0% effective. Every year in the spring a committee meets and reviews influenza patterns worldwide. Usually three strains are selected and the manufacturing process begins in early summer so that the vaccine will be available by October. Unfortunately, between the spring selection and the October release date, the viruses can change. Protein markers on the outer surface of the virus will morph over time. This shape shifting behavior of the viruses renders the vaccine less than 100% effective. It is a little like first meeting someone on a beach dressed in a bikini in summer and the next time you see her, she is wearing a heavy, hooded coat during a snow storm in January. You (your immune system) may not recognize her so easily. This phenomenon is called antigenic drift.


For an appreciation of how homeopathy and osteopathy fared during the flu pandemic of 1918, read Dr. Masiello's article, Back to the Future: Bird Flu on History of Homeopathy and Other Alternative Viewpoints.

Low Back pain (LBP) is a very common condition. It accounts for 4% of all emergency room visits and is one of the ten most presenting complaints at a doctor’s office. Most LBP resolves by itself with some rest and an anti-inflammatory medication. However, many people will have long periods of pain or many repeat episodes over time. The possible causes of chronic LBP are many and varied. Mechanical causes include scoliosis, inflammation of the vertebrae (spondylosis), slippage of one vertebra on another, (spondylolisthesis), a bulging or herniated disc, mechanical strains or sprains from over-lifting or sports injuries and various chronic postural patterns.  Systemic causes include osteoarthritis, psoriatic arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, infectious causes or even a hidden malignancy. Back pain can also be referred from an internal organ such as the pancreas, kidneys or stomach. Shingles can also present as back pain on one side of the body.


After a detailed history and physical exam blood tests or an imaging study such as an X-ray or an MRI may be needed. Osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT) is the mainstay in my practice. Osteopaths perform a detailed structural exam and often discover the cause is far removed from the location of the pain, involving strain patterns in the cranium, sacrum, and pelvis or from a leg length discrepancy. I also use a homeopathic remedy prescribed on a detailed patient description of the pain pattern to work synergistically with OMT. This combination approach speeds recovery and reduces the number of manipulation treatments needed. Homeopathy and osteopathy can be used with conventional anti-inflammatory in severe cases. As improvement begins, the conventional medication is withdrawn to avoid the typical conventional side-effects.

Homeopathy and Cranial Osteopathy offer treatment of ADD and ADHD without drugs.


A parent's first encounter with ADHD is usually through the school system. Behavior concerns are  brought to a parent's attention  by a teacher, usually by the third grade. Generally issues involve distractibility and restlessness during classroom activities.


Learn more about ADD and ADHD on the Homeopathy and Osteopathy For Children page.

The homeopathic treatment of food allergies likewise begins with a very detailed history and a physical examination. Allergy tests are sometimes needed to clarify which foods may be involved but all of the patient’s symptoms are taken into consideration; this is the constitutional homeopathic approach. The goal is to cure the patient’s tendency to have this immune oversensitivity and this is possible over a period of 1-3 years. Avoidance of the offending foods is a key part of the treatment but as the condition improves, some foods can be gradually reintroduced into the diet.

Almost 20% of adults report food allergies but when tested, only about half that number are positive by blood testing (RAST) or by skin prick test. Likewise, 11% of children are reported by their parents to have food allergies but only about 8% test positive. Most people believe that their immune systems are not strong enough and so take various supplements for “immune support” when in fact the opposite is true. Their immune systems are hypersensitive and overactive. There are two major immune mechanisms involved in allergies; one is immediate and the other takes several days for a reaction. Allergy symptoms are cause by a series of inflammatory compounds released by some immune cells. Some patients suffer from food sensitivities or intolerance such as lactose intolerance which is not a true allergy. Typical allergic symptoms are hoarseness, wheezing, hives, itching and vomiting. Severe and sudden reactions that cause tongue swelling and difficulty breathing are treated in an emergency room. For chronic allergy symptoms, the diagnosis is made by physical exam and a very detailed history of the foods consumed and the timing of the reaction. Food diaries are important as are blood tests, skin prick tests and food challenges when indicated. Some patients will test positive and not show any allergy symptoms and some patients will have allergy symptoms but not test positive. Allergy testing is only a guide to possible allergens; the patient’s history is the most important aspect of the diagnosis. The most common food allergies are cow’s milk, eggs, fish, peanuts, tree nuts, shellfish, soy and wheat. Conventional treatment involves avoidance of the offending food, and when indicated epinephrine (EpiPen®), antihistamines, inhalers and sometimes steroids. There is no conventional cure for food allergies and allergy shots are typically not used by conventional allergists.

The treatment of seasonal (pollen) allergies and environmental (dust, mold) allergies is similar to that of food allergies. Major symptoms include nasal congestion, a runny and itchy nose, itchy eyes or palate. A detailed history and examination are important and in addition to the above treatment measures steroid nasal sprays and anti-histamine eyes drops can be added. Unlike the treatment of food allergies, allergy shots (immunotherapy) are a mainstay of conventional treatment. These are given on a regular basis over the course of several years.

Like the homeopathic treatment of food allergies, the homeopathic treatment of seasonal and environmental allergies involves constitutional treatment. Homeopathic remedies are used during the allergy season and I also use deeper acting remedies during the winter months to begin to change the patient’s allergic tendency. This can take a few years, usually less time than a course of allergy shots. The goal is to eventually be free of the allergies and not need any treatment during future allergy seasons.

It's painful for your child and you've tried everything for their chronic ear infection. Homeopathy and osteopathy provide a solution.

Learn more about Chronic Ear Infections in infants and children.

Headache is a common complaint representing 4% of all emergency room visits. It is estimated that 90% of men and 95% of women will have at least one headache per year. Physical signs tend to be non-specific and the diagnosis is usually derived from the patient’s history. There are several types of chronic headaches and all are amenable to homeopathic and osteopathic treatment.


Homeopathic treatment of chronic headaches

Homeopathic treatment of chronic headaches begins with an examination and a detailed case taking of not only the headache symptoms but also of the patient’s constitutional symptoms. In my practice, I do not treat the acute headache episodes with homeopathy. Rather, I advise the patient to use whatever medication they were given by their conventional physician for their headache. I prescribe for the patient’s tendency to have headaches. Over a period of several weeks or months, the headaches lessen in intensity and frequency. As the homeopathic remedy stimulates healing, the patient will need less conventional medication and eventually can stop it completely. 


Osteopathic treatment for headaches

An osteopathic structural exam including a cranial osteopathic assessment is extremely important. When cranial strain patterns are treated osteopathically, symptoms begin to lessen. Osteopathic evaluation and treatment of the neck and back are also part of the program. In addition, the face, mouth and TMJ are examined and treated for any restrictions.

The goal of my work with chronic headache patients is always to cure and not simply replace their life-long conventional treatment with alternative life-long treatment. I use a combination of classical homeopathy and cranial osteopathy to achieve that goal.


Types of Headaches

Migraine headache is a neurological condition that is genetically determined, episodic and usually presents in early to mid-life. The head pain is accompanied by visual disturbances, nausea, vomiting and sensitivity to light or sound. These accompanying symptoms are called the migraine aura and they usually start about an hour before the head pain appears. Some women will have a migraine that is associated with their menstrual period. The pain usually begins 2 days before their period and continues for an additional 3 days during their period. Migraine and other chronic headaches do occur in children and special attention may be required to rule out a brain tumor.


Cluster headache is a severe attack of pain that is one-sided in or above the eye or around the ear. The attacks can last 15 minutes to 3 hours in duration. The pain can occur once a day or up to 8 times per day. These attacks happen at the same time period for several weeks. A few weeks later, that pattern repeats. Triggers can include alcohol, becoming over-heated or by certain smells.


Tension headache can be episodic or chronic. The pain occurs on both sides of the head and is usually dull or constricting and the head may be sensitive to touch. Common triggers are tension or mental stress. When they occur occasionally, most people will simply take an over the counter medication. When they are chronic most people will see their doctor for treatment.


People who experience a sudden, acute onset of head pain usually described as the worst headache they have ever had (the so-called thunderclap headache) should immediately go to the nearest emergency room. This type of headache could represent bleeding within the cranium and is a medical emergency.

Chronic sinusitis is an inflammation of the sinuses that lasts more than 12 weeks. Typical symptoms are tiredness, face or upper teeth pain, headache, nasal congestion, discharge and post nasal drip. Some patients may have bad breath or loss of the sense of smell. Occasionally some patients might also have ear pain or pressure. Fever is usually not a presenting symptom. The inflammation is most likely caused by a seasonal or environmental allergy, viral infections or air pollution. The inflammation blocks the free flow of mucus out of the sinuses. As the mucus thickens it can become a breeding ground for viruses and bacteria.


Most patients that I see with chronic sinusitis have already been scoped and diagnosed by an ENT. They have had several courses of nasal steroid sprays, and decongestants and oral antibiotics. Some patients have nasal polyps and have had them surgically removed.


The homeopathic treatment of chronic sinusitis involves a detailed symptom history and examination. Homeopathic constitutional prescribing is required to eventually cure this condition. I sometimes order allergy tests to screen for pollen allergies or allergies to dust, dust mites and mold. I recommend nasal irrigation, and HEPA air filters in the bedroom when indicated. As symptoms improve most patients can be gradually withdrawn from their steroid sprays and decongestants. If the main cause of the sinusitis is pollen allergies, then I prescribe deep acting homeopathic remedies during the winter months and reserve acute prescribing during the pollen season. Seasonal allergies can be cured in 2-3 years using this method.


Cranial osteopathy plays a big role in the treatment of sinusitis. Osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT) helps restore the normal motion of the bones of the cranium and the face (particularly the cheek bones) and will help decrease sinus inflammation and increase mucus flow. Oftentimes a cranial osteopath will work inside the mouth to decompress the bones of the palate and mobilize proper motion of the cheek bones. Treatment of the TMJ may also be indicated. Treating the neck, upper back and upper ribs is also important as it helps with circulation of lymphatic fluid.  Some patients will feel a change in their nasal airflow while still on the treatment table!

Concussion or mild traumatic brain injury is a closed head injury caused by a direct blow to the head. The injury is typically caused by car accidents, sports and falls. The other component of concussion is what happens inside the skull. There is a rapid deceleration of the brain as it strikes the inner surface of the cranium. Sometimes there is brief loss of consciousness and some amnesia of the event. At the emergency room a CT or MRI of the brain is performed which is usually normal. Major symptoms include headache, nausea, mental fogginess, unsteadiness, irritability and sleep disturbances. For many, these symptoms resolve slowly over days or weeks but for some people, the symptoms can lasts many months. Little is known about what happens to the injured brain on a cellular level so treatment options are limited.


The conventional treatment is usually Tylenol® or Advil® for pain and physical and mental rest.  School work and computer use is restricted at first and then gradually increased to tolerance. Some physicians try the off-label use of various anti-depressants but there is really no basis for such treatment beyond some possible effects on mood.


Homeopathy and osteopathy have much to offer to the patient with concussion syndrome. There are dozens of homeopathic medicines for head trauma that have been used successfully for over 200 years. Treatment selection is based on a careful and detailed analysis of the patient’s symptoms.


Cranial osteopathy is exceptionally useful in cases of concussion. The cranial injury pattern can be diagnosed and treated by a cranial osteopath. In addition, patterns of injury in the neck, back, sacrum and pelvis which contribute to the overall syndrome can also be addressed. This combination of therapies usually leads to a faster resolution of chronic concussion symptoms. I frequently refer concussion patients to a behavioral optometrist for an evaluation and possible treatment with eye exercises and colored light therapy (Syntonics).

Eczema (atopic dermatitis) is fairly common. It affects 10%-20% of children and is most often diagnoses before the age of five. The skin is inflamed, itchy and dry; although in some cases the skin can be weepy, discharging a clear fluid. Eczema can become chronic with frequent relapses over time. Eczema does affect adults as well, usually starting during puberty and becoming chronic into adulthood.  Patients will usually have a family or personal history of allergies, asthma or a chronic runny nose. The most common areas affected are the face, the bends of the elbows, knees and wrists. Over time the skin can become thickened, particularly when it affects the palms and soles of the feet.


Depending on the degree and severity, conventional treatments include moisturizing the skin, application of topical steroid creams, and antihistamines especially if the itching disturbs sleep. Oral or topical antibiotics are sometimes used when the skin becomes infected. Severe cases that do not respond to topical steroids are then treated with ultra-violet light and coal tar preparations. The most severe cases are often treated with immunosuppressive drugs such as methotrexate or a biological agent like Dupixent® which is given by injection every 2-4 weeks. All of the conventional approaches are treatments, not cures.


The homeopathic treatment of eczema begins with a detailed symptom history and physical exam. Homeopathic constitutional assessment is needed and the symptom pattern of the entire person is taken into account. Family history is important as is the patient’s allergy and food sensitivity history. Careful observation by a parent is usually enough to establish which allergies are present but sometimes I will order a blood test (RAST) to determine which food or environmental allergens are contributing to the eczema. The homeopathic treatment of childhood eczema is slow, gentle and progressive and takes place over several months to a year without the side-effects of conventional drugs. Some adult patients seeking treatment for chronic issues such as headache, asthma or even depression, may find that in the course of their homeopathic treatment, their eczema may return. This is actually a good homeopathic sign that their treatment is working. Their eczema which was previous treated with suppressive conventional drugs can now be finally cured, leaving them with a much higher level of health. The goal of homeopathic treatment of eczema in children and adults is always to cure and not to continue life-long treatment.

Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint condition that becomes more common as we age, affecting 50% of individuals over the age of 60. This is primarily a disease process which involves the cartilage covering our joints but other structures such as the joint capsule, the bone beneath the cartilage, the bone marrow, and the ligaments and muscles around the joint are also involved. The most common joints affected are the hips, knees, hands, low back and neck. The main symptoms are joint pain and stiffness which typically gets worse with continued activity.


This type of arthritis is sometimes called, “wear and tear” arthritis because long term micro-trauma to the joints was believed to be the only cause. However, recent research now also points to genetic factors and some inflammatory components of our immune systems as also involved in the development of this condition. Previous injury to a joint including previous orthopedic surgery does increase the risk of developing osteoarthritis later in life. Many baby boomers who got into jogging and running (on concrete and asphalt) for health reasons, are now signing up for hip and knee replacements. Sometimes patients without a personal or occupational history of joint trauma develop osteoarthritis, possibly because of the genetic and immune system factors. The conventional treatment consists of drugs like Tylenol® or Advil®, steroid injections or Synvisc® injections into the joint space. Advanced cases are treated with surgical joint replacement. 


Homeopathic treatment of osteoarthritis begins with a detailed history and examination. Symptoms relating to the patient’s entire life (constitutional symptoms) are studied and a homeopathic medication can then be prescribed. No medication, homeopathic or otherwise, can transform an arthritic joint overnight. The goal is to reduce pain and stiffness, increase the ability to perform activities of daily life and to slow progression of the disease.


Osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT) can address not only the strain patterns of joints that contributed to the arthritis in the first place but also joint and postural issues that hinder improvement. The osteopathic goal is also to reduce pain, increase function and slow progression. I also use a protocol of dietary supplements for osteoarthritis. The protocol is used for about one year and if pain and stiffness are diminished, the protocol can be stopped and the supplements restarted only on an as-needed basis if symptoms return. My goal is always to try conservative measures first and to delay the time when joint replacement surgery is needed. In the interim, advances in stem cell treatments and new surgical techniques may be discovered that can benefit my patients who need surgery in the future.  I also recommend a switch to low impact forms of exercise such as swimming, walking (including speed walking) and cycling (regular, stationary or recumbent).  

Neck pain is a fairly common condition. It is estimated that between 40%-70% of people will have at least one episode of neck pain in their lives. The incidence of neck pain increases with age. Sometimes the cause is obvious such as a car accident, a diving accident or a fall. In these cases people should be evaluated in an emergency room.  Fever with severe neck stiffness may indicate a case of meningitis which should also be evaluated in an emergency room. Most of the time people may not really know the reason for acute neck sprain or strain. They frequently will say that they slept in the wrong position. However, any sudden and severe neck pain without an obvious cause should be evaluated in an emergency room.


Chronic neck pain may be related to osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, a bulging or herniated disk or a pinched nerve in the neck (cervical radiculopathy). A pinched cervical nerve may cause numbness or tingling in the hands or fingers and in severe cases may affect muscular strength of the fingers and hands. If muscle wasting is present a consultation with a neurosurgeon or orthopedic surgeon is needed.


A history and physical exam is performed and depending on the individual symptoms, sometimes an X-ray of MRI is needed. Conventional treatment for simple neck injuries is usually some pain medication, maybe a muscle relaxer drug and a soft neck collar. Conventional treatment for chronic neck pain will depend on the cause of the chronic pain. It typically consists of pain medication and maybe a referral to a physical therapist.


Homeopathy and osteopathy have much more to offer in cases of both acute and chronic neck pain. There are many good homeopathic medications that can be used in acute and chronic neck pain. For acute pain, a detailed symptom history is used to select the indicated homeopathic remedy. In chronic cases, the history and symptom analysis is more extensive, taking into account the entire person. This is called constitutional prescribing.


The osteopathic treatment of neck pain begins with a detailed structural exam of not only the neck but the cranium, the upper and lower back as well as the sacrum and the pelvis. Sometimes the cause of the neck pain is not in the neck at all. For instance, a frequent cause of neck pain is an elevated 1st rib on the side of the pain. This finding is very frequently missed by other types of practitioners but is unlikely to escape the attention of an osteopathic physician. There are many techniques an osteopath can use for acute and chronic neck pain depending on the age of the patient and the nature and cause of the pain. Cranial osteopaths can treat strain patterns within the cranium that may be the cause of chronic neck pain and can prescribe exercises to help maintain the improvement from osteopathic manipulation.

Whiplash is actually not a medical condition but is a description of how one type of neck injury can happen. Whiplash occurs when there is a sudden and rapid acceleration and over extension of the neck. The typical scenario is being rear-ended in a car accident. The pain is most likely related to injury to the ligaments of the neck and the severe muscle spasm may be related to the body’s attempt to prevent a neck fracture via a spinal reflex mechanism.


Most of the time an emergency room visit is needed after the car accident; neck x-rays are taken to rule out any fracture or dislocation. If the x-rays are negative, the patient is discharged with a soft neck collar, some pain medication and maybe a muscle relaxer drug. In most cases the pain is worse 2-3 days after the accident and then gradually resolves.


However, for some patients the pain continues and this is where both homeopathy and osteopathy can help. Homeopaths view a whiplash injury not as just a neck injury but as a shock to the entire spine. In the 19th century, before the invention of the automobile, this type of injury was called, “railway spine” and was caused by trains crashing into one another or from passengers being thrown about by sudden stops.  For this type of injury, the homeopathic medication Hypericum is usually prescribed by classical homeopaths and is still the remedy of choice for a whiplash injury these days.


Likewise, cranial osteopaths also look beyond the neck in a whiplash injury. I treat these types of injuries with homeopathy, of course, but I also examine and treat the cranium and the sacrum with osteopathic manipulation. I don’t actually treat the neck on the first visit; I treat the cranium and the sacrum because they are the two ends of the cranial-sacral system. The cranium and the sacrum are connected by the lining of the spinal cord which extends from inside the cranium all the way to the sacrum at the base of the spine. The lining, called the dura, is what becomes “shocked” by the force of the accident. It can be restricted and its subtle motion can be blocked at various spinal segments. This treatment can only be performed by a cranial osteopath and once the dura has been treated, then any remaining neck pain can be addressed on the next visit. Freeing up the dura and using Hypericum, shortens the course of treatment, removes the pattern of injury from the whiplash and reduces the likelihood that the patient will develop chronic neck pain later in life.

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