Understanding Disease and Homeopathy
Must know basic principles about disease and homeopathy.
For years discerning people have discovered homeopathy as an excellent system of medicine – it is safe, gentle, non invasive, holistic and a comprehensive system of medicine. It can treat disease on all levels, not just the symptoms by stimulating your own healing mechanisms.
Homeopathy uses natural remedies which are safe, non-toxic, non–addictive, free from side effects and does not interfere with other medical treatments. Remedies are easy to administer and can bought from health food shops, homeopathic pharmacy’s or through local homeopaths.
What is homeopathy?
For those of you who know nothing about it as a system of medicine one of its basic principles is ‘Like Cures Like’. i.e. that a substance that can cause symptoms of illness in a healthy person can also be used in the treatment of any condition similar symptoms in a sick person.
Hahnemann, the founding father of homeopathy believed that approaches to disease must be studied from the viewpoint of 'Vitality', (the life and health of an individual ) and not from the study of disease and the suppression of symptoms.
He perceived disease to be on an energetic plane so the remedy for cure must be on this plane too. The art of a homeopathy is to understand what caused the vital energy to produce the symptoms the client is presenting with, then to find the remedy which produces similar disturbances in the vital energy of a health individual so that the vital energy can be stimulated to heal itself. The remedies act as a catalyst to stimulate this process of self healing and as such can only work when the indicated remedy is properly matched to what is going on with your client and the symptoms it is producing. (It is safe in the sense that if you don’t get a proper match nothing happens).
Homeopathy is both an art and science. Its basic philosophy is to analyze disturbances in the human/animal experience from a vitalistic point of view. Any therapeutic substance may be homeopathic if it is given on the understanding that it may it may initiate a cure because in other circumstances it may cause the same symptoms. The Symptom pictures are listed in different Materia Medicas and there are many different ones available on the market. A Repertory is where individual symptoms can be looked up, individually cross referenced with other symptoms to find the most similar remedy to the symptoms your client is presenting with. It is used in the same way you look up words in the dictionary. Homeopaths see health as a natural state – a sense of well being, a strong life force, and feeling of vital energy, inner peace, and feelings of control. However there are a number of factors that work against this state of health.
The key ones are:
• your state of mind – past/present
• not doing what you want
• lack of love/joy
• poor diet
• poor environment
• traumas or shocks (mental/emotional or physical)
Disease is expressed through the body, mind and soul, either as physical illnesses, or emotional and mental disturbances. Under standing symptoms are fundamental to the practical homeopath as it is by understanding how disease develops that practical homeopaths can evaluate what needs to be cured.
Allopathy (standard western medical treatment) tends to use drugs or surgery based approaches to suppress symptoms but this often leads to further problems. The allopathic approach treats suppression as a cure e.g. if treating eczema with topical cortisone leads to the symptoms reducing or disappearing then it is a success and the patient is discharged. (To the dermatologist this proves the effectiveness of cortisone in treating eczema, but a deeper analysis of the clinical history of the patient may show that asthma developed soon after. The patient has not been cured, but their vitality has been generally lowered).
Allopathic treatment has become based on the masking of symptoms. For example if you take pancreatic enzymes or hydrochloric acid to suppress digestive problems they often appear to be effective in the short run. So long as you take treatment i.e., the digestion is improved (although often the treatment has to be continuously increased to maintain effectiveness!). If they stop the treatment the problem comes back. The patient is neither better nor worse.
You see this a lot with special diets for allergies. So long as the patient is not eating sugar or wheat they don’t have symptoms of bloating. These special diets can be effective if they are part of a wider program.
From a homeopathic viewpoint the suppression of something external or superficial leads to the disease being driven deeper and so the patient develops a more chronic disease. Suppression can occur through drug treatment, surgery and sometimes through 'natural treatment' such as herbal remedies. How symptoms are suppressed by drug therapy is often a very important aspect of case analysis. The subject of suppression is fundamental to homeopathic healing, and it is something that continually comes up in treatment, especially in dealing with chronic disease states.
Black's medical dictionary defines suppression as:
• The stopping of any physiological activity
• A psychological defence mechanism by which an individual intentionally refuses to acknowledge an idea or memory that s/he find distasteful or unpleasant
• A treatment that stops the visible signs of an illness, or holds back its usual progress.
There are various types of suppression:
• Emotional suppression i.e. grief, anger, jealousy. The suppression of strong emotions
• Physical suppression i.e. menstrual flow is stopped by physical shocks
• The suppression by one disease by another e.g. – a patient with digestive symptoms found these went with the onset the M.E.
• The most frequent form of suppression is through drug medication, either locally or internally
• Disease is often suppressed by surgery i.e. the removal of growths, benign or malignant tumours, polyps, tonsils etc. Surgery is often the removal of pathology rather than dealing with the cause
• Vaccinations e.g. suppression of acute diseases such as measles can lead to the development of Crohn's
• Disease in adulthood.
We need to keep in mind the goal of cure – as Hahnemann in the first paragraph of the Organon says:
• “Our highest and only mission is a gentle rapid, permanent cure”.
If a client comes with digestive problems (hyperacidity on the stomach, heart burn, gas, bloating) and the practical homeopath believe that it is psychologically related to stress, or suppressed anger, they may treat them as follows:
• First you may be put on some enzymes, limit your junk food and caffeine.
• Next visit you are a lot better you may be encourage to do counselling
• Then they give a Homeopathic remedy e.g. nux-vom or lycpodium related to the psychological underlying cause of their problem
• Then if you stop the diet and the symptoms don’t return then you have a cure
Palliation happens when you give a treatment, the clinical symptoms go, and the patient generally feels much better. (Remember if symptoms are being masked the patient does not feel better in themselves although the symptoms may have disappeared or changed). If the patient feels better, but when you withdraw the treatment the symptoms return, then you are only palliating. The underlying problem has not been addressed. From a homeopathic viewpoint, treatment can mask or palliate the symptoms, and not treat the cause.
Maintenance treatment – This is an approach that treats the whole person e.g. changing diets, avoidance of certain foods, exercise regime, yoga, psychotherapy, a holiday. They can support the client in their journey to health, but they may not necessarily be dealing with root causes.
Curative homeopathic treatment deals with the cause of the problem. The end result is an increase in the patient's general health and disappearance of all the signs and symptoms of the disease. It deals with the susceptibility to certain illnesses (miasms) and the causes that lead to the disease. The patient has a higher state of health than they had before they came to see the practical homeopath minus, their disease.
Herring’s Law – a useful tool for homeopaths!
Herring proposed a useful set of guideline for homeopaths.
They are that:
• proceed from above downward
• From within outward
• From the most important organ to the least important organ
• In reverse order to the appearance of the symptoms
Other health practitioners e.g. naturopaths, nutritionists and cranial-sacral therapists are adopting these 'laws' because they are based on observation and experience.