Without an understanding of the innate principals of healing that every living organism uses to heal, adapt and survive, theories and practices on health are flawed. The Principles of Healing that Hahnemann promotes throughout the Organon (the homeopathic bible on healing) simply boils down to this:
find the cause of why the body is producing the symptoms,
remove any obstacles to cure in order to support it to do what it does best heal itself.
(CAUSE ~> Effects ~> AND obstacles to cure.)
I use this to evaluate all that I do as a homeopath to assess what techniques and tools I need to use in order to support the healing process of my patients. Hahnemann was one of the first medical practitioners to understand that the power of healing lies within and not outside the patient. He called this the ‘vital force’ of the patient. Sadly few people wanted to listen and Allopathy followed its own path away from health into sickness.
Today, we have all been indoctrinated to believe in the germ theory of disease. This ‘theory’ is that disease is the direct consequence of germs or viruses that pass from one host to another and that ‘Healing’ requires some powerful external intervention by experts. It also implies that illness is not our responsibility but something that happens to us.
As a result we no longer have to take responsibility for our own health and can ignore the underlying cause of much of our dis-ease state – Mental/Emotional, diet, nutrition, pollution both inner and outer. Instead, we blame germs and this effectively shifts our personal responsibility for health and well-being onto the shoulders of the medical profession – the experts – who supposedly know how to kill off the offending germs. (Xxx kills 99% of all known Germs!).
The practice of killing germs with drugs has resulted in a huge increase in iatrogenic (medically-induced) disease and a further degeneration of health. Various programmes instituted to confer 'immunity' against specific germs by way of vaccines, immunisations and serums have had severe long term effects on the health of the general population.
The Germ Theory has had a major impact on developments in both medicine and on public health. However there are major scientific flaws in the basic theory. It is important for alternative practitioners to be able to question assumptions and so called ‘scientific’ medicine as very little of it is genuinely scientific.
In 1861 the French chemist Louis Pasteur linked germs and disease and used this to develop theories to explain diseases such as Cholera and Syphilis that always plagued humanity. He fathered "The Science of Bacteriology" and "The Germ Theory of Disease Causation" by demonstrating the existence of various micro-organisms—and concluding that these germs cause pathogenic changes in living cultures within the laboratory setting.
Pasteur was a chemist and physicist and knew very little about biological processes or health and healing. A respected, influential and charismatic man, whose phobic fear of infection and belief in the "malignancy and belligerence" of germs had popular far-reaching consequences in the scientific community which was convinced of the threat of the microbe to man. Thus was born the fear of germs which still exists today (bacteriophobia).
Pasteur’s original Germ Theory of Disease Causation states that:
‘diseases are due solely to invasion by specific aggressive micro-organisms. A specific germ is responsible for each disease, and micro-organisms are capable of reproduction and transportation outside of the body’.
Pasteur’s discovery of Germ Theory was significant in medical history because:
The public health crises of the 19th century were partly caused by ignorance of the real causes of the epidemics that swept acrossEurope. Even though campaigners were able to show the link between poverty, dirty drinking water and cholera outbreaks, they lacked the scientific proof to back up their theories.
Public Health measures were taken in Britain after 1871 (partly as a result of the discovery of Germ Theory. This forced councils to provide clean drinking water supplies and to remove sewage and rubbish from streets. This and subsequent acts revolutionised the health of Britons living in cities.
It led to a new era of ‘scientific’ based exploration of disease that continues today. The germs believed to cause Leprosy, Diphtheria, Cholera and the Bubonic Plague were all discovered in this period. This led to the creation of vaccines to prevent people from contracting the disease. These discoveries allowed doctors to treat patients for illnesses that had been fatal for thousands of years.
This ‘scientific’ approach has had a major impact on developments in surgery and in drugs. The development of vaccinations and the concept of the ‘magic’ bullet such as penicillin and sulphonamides that could kill disease causing bacteria inside of the body was developed for human use and this concept still drive most medical research today.
Many ideas on disease and illness before Germ Theory were actually little more than common sense or guesswork. However the ‘science of medicine has become the new ‘religion’, and this is has led to a very twisted version of ‘medicine’ with any detractors from the religion of ‘science’ being seen as the new ‘heretics or quacks’.
Once Pasteur had made his discovery approaches to health was changed forever, but with only some of those changes being beneficial in the long run (sanitation and water engineers were more effective than Doctors – prevention better than cure!).
By the 1870s, the medical profession had fully adopted the germ theory and the repercussions of this on our approaches to health and sickness continues today. The advent of the microscope made it possible to see, differentiate and categorise the organisms. Invading microbes were now seen as the cause of disease.
A whole new era of modern ‘health’ practice has been developed including sterilisation, pasteurisation, avoidance of eating raw food and medical practices such as compulsory vaccinations of mass populations. (With the deprivation of raw foods, an inevitable deterioration of health ensued).
Objections to the validity of the Germ Theory
The germ theory was founded on a number of scientifically unproved assumptions (e.g. disease germs are specific, unchangeable entities in their biological structure and chemical characteristics). Many eminent people reject the validity of the germ theory and maintain that the general condition of the body is the principal factor in disease.
‘Bacteria do not cause disease; they are present because of it’.
Around 1880, Pasteur changed his theory. He had concluded that germs were "ordinarily kept within bounds by natural laws, but when conditions change, when its virulence is exalted, when its host is enfeebled, the germ is able to invade the territory which was previously barred to it." This is the premise that a healthy body is resistant and not susceptible to disease. Pasteur discovered that microbial species can undergo many transformations. These facts were not consistent with his germ theory and destroyed its very basis. However, for various reasons medical ‘science’ has succeeded in keeping the public ignorant of the true nature of disease.
Claude Bernard (1813-1878) disputed the validity of the germ theory and maintained that the general condition of the body is the principal factor in disease, but this idea was largely ignored by the medical profession and the general public. The germ theory was founded on the assumption that disease germs are specific, unchangeable entities in their biological structure and chemical characteristics.
We now know that any bacteria can modify and adapt its structure and metabolic function in accordance with its changing environment. The virulence of germs can likewise be altered in the laboratory at will by the technician.
Modern medical science is struggling with the ability of bacteria and viruses to mutate rapidly and override any intervention which suggests that the continued pursuit of stronger and stronger drug intervention merely leads to stronger and stronger germs. (They can adapt much quicker than we can and this increasingly leads to the potential for a doomsday scenario).
The emphasis on the destruction of bacteria etc by drugs and vaccines puts the emphasis on sickness rather than health. This leads not only to the proliferation of diseases but also appears to add to both the toxicity of the hosts and their environment in a way that causes longer term damage. Our own personal health has slipped from our control.
The Concepts of ‘Susceptibility’ and ‘Resistance’
Everyone has literally trillions of fungi, bacteria and viruses in their body even when healthy. When physicians are confronted with this, they say that disease is not caused by these agencies because "you are not susceptible' or because "your resistance is high'. The supposed contagious agents—bacteria, viruses and fungi—do not cause disease. The actual cause is whatever causes susceptibility or low resistance!
If we can maintain our body in a clean, healthy state then germs are irrelevant, for susceptibility does not exist. This leads us to the fact that that an unclean environment is really the cause of disease—for if germs were the cause of disease, everyone exposed to the harmful germ would become sick with the same illness
Susceptible individuals are those with a high degree of body toxicity and sufficient vitality to conduct the disease/purification process. When such sufficient vitality is waning, organic tissue damage occurs from the extraordinarily polluted internal state of the body which creates the foundation for chronic disease So long as our body is relatively pure, however, waste materials do not accumulate and the scavenging assistance of bacterial germs is not called upon.
The Medical Pharmaceutical Industry
The growth of a very powerful medical-pharmaceutical industry began with the search for the perfect drug to combat each disease-causing microbe. This has adversely affected all national health systems as it is skewed towards long term sickness and huge profits for the drug companies.
The practice of killing germs with drugs was also initiated, resulting in iatrogenic (medically-induced) disease and further degeneration of health. Various programmes were instituted to confer 'immunity' against specific germs by way of vaccines and serums, with horrendous long term effects.
The Homeopathic Perspective
Homeopaths and other CAM professionals accept the fact that germs, bacteria and virus exist but reject the idea that they are the primary causes of disease. They see them primarily as part of the symptoms of an unhealthy body state, lifestyle and environment.
These organisms exist everywhere and are essential to the maintenance of life on earth. However the emphasis on the destruction of bacteria etc by drugs and vaccines puts the emphasis on the wrong side and leads not only to the proliferation of diseases but also appears to add to both the toxicity of the hosts and their environment in a way that causes longer term damage.
CAM professionals should combine to lobby for moving away from the current ‘sickness’ based focus looking for the magic pills of drugs and surgery to a ‘health’ perspective with a focus on providing:
a) a healthy physically external environment
unpolluted water and food
proper sanitation and waste facilities
b) a healthy internal body environment
sufficient diet and nutrition
mental and emotional wellbeing
spiritual, mental and physical cleanliness
c) health practices that support the bodies innate abilities to protect itself. The focus should be on prevention as above and by stimulating the body’s own vitality/immune system to overcome the deficiencies in the environments as described above.
Given that a) and b) above are under increasing threat it is clear that the CAM will have a growing market of sick people to deal with and a battle to fight to link health with life styles, environment in a way that is not currently happening at any major level. There is leading to a revival of more natural approaches to health and this is reflected by the growth of the CAM sector.
If you are interested in exploring or studying homeopathy or attending our student clinics then contact Ellen Kramer MCPH, ARH, Course Director of The College of Practical Homeopathy • www.collegeofpracticalhomeopathy.com. • Tel: 0208 445 6123 or • email Tessa for help, queries or questions.
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