HEALTH, DISEASE AND HOMŒOPATHY
In this you will come across certain words, certain terms which are peculiar to Homœopathy as opposed to all other systems of Medicine: Vital Force, Philosophy or homœopathic Philosophy, Healing, Individual and Individualization as opposed to Reductionism, Potentisation or Dynamisation, Provings, Miasms, etc. These will be explained as and when we come across them.
Homœopathy radically differs from the mainstream medicine, the dominant school i.e. Allopathy, with regard to the concept of Health, Disease, Pharmacology, Therapeutics.
The mainstream medicine recognizes disease only from the pathological changes, tissue changes that have come after the disease has taken hold. There must be tissue changes, pathology perceptible by laboratory investigations; otherwise there is no disease; one is healthy.
Homœopathy differs in this. In the mainstream medicine the therapeutic powers of the medicines are known on the basis of laboratory-controlled conditions on animals and these are then administered to humans.
Homœopathy differs here too. In the mainstream medicine a number of drugs are given at one time and in material doses at a time for a single disease, to cover different symptoms.
Homœopathy differs here again. It chooses one remedy to cure all the suffering of a patient.
The purpose of my pointing out these is not to deride the mainstream medicine; not at all. But only so, that you must be prepared to listen to ideas that have been and continue to be, verified daily and which are totally different from most of what you have been accustomed to hear or understand.
In health, life is in perfect harmony, sensations and activities are in perfect harmony. Health is a state of well-being. It is a sensation, a feeling of well-being, a joy of living, freedom, freedom from passion and a dynamic state of serenity and calmness and freedom from selfishness as a result of oneness with the universal.
Disharmony is disease. Healthy is to adapt to environment. Nature, environment is always changing and Man who forms part of Nature also. If somewhere in this evolution one gets stuck, sickness arises to adapt to this change. Healthy man is always able to balance, to find harmony. Healthy man is unobtrusive, quiet. He just comes, does his work well and goes; one is not even aware of the healthy man; he goes about so smoothly. No stresses; no compulsions; no drives. Healthy means positive qualities. Love, Joy, Calmness, Peace, Trust, Courage, etc. The more healthy, the more positive qualities.
The opposite of what have been stated as ‘healthy’ is ‘sickness’ viz., Hatred, Greed, ego-centredness, divisiveness, fragmentation, competition instead of cheerfulness, indolence against activity, cruelty against compassion, many baseless fears of phobias as against courage etc. etc. are ‘disease’.
We cannot remain the same throughout our lifetime. Just as our physical substances – our molecules and atoms – are in constant process of change, so also does our emotional, mental and Vital substance constantly form anew. New impulses, attitudes and out-looks want to be “born” and integrated and old stuff must be cast off in the process of our individualizing growth. Our on-going life exposes us to ever-new conflicts.
One who is healthy does not grow pathologies. Pathologies are not produced by germs or viruses but by the Individual as his/her response to the bacteriae, viruses. That it is possible to shield oneself from the ‘invading’ effect of disease organisms like bacteriae by appropriate emotional, mental and biological attitudes was proved by the experiment of PETTENKOFER, a German Scientist who intended to disprove Robert Koch’s claims that bacteriae cause illness. After neutralizing his stomach juices with alkali, PETTENKOFER swallowed a live culture of Cholera bacilli – and remained totally unaffected and well. This does not, however, invalidate the well-established ‘role’ of Cholera bacillus.
Healthy man is not self-centered. One who is self-centered must necessarily establish a division – between himself and others, the whole. By contrast the truly healthy individual understands that he is an outgrowth of the whole at every moment. He has perception of the connections i.e. the unitary features, mark of affinities in the manifold.
One’s susceptibility to illness is determined by the ways in which one’s emotions, thoughts and growth crisis affect our biological field. Homœopathy gives high value to the ‘mental’ state of a patient, whatever be the disorder, or however trivial the ailment because in every illness the mental state is altered. Hence we speak so much about the ‘mental’, the ‘will’, ‘intellect’, the ‘emotional’ states. Indeed, no change in the body occurs and no activity without a change of mind. The Mother says “Even a sub-conscious thought, sometimes even an unconscious one, has an effect and provokes incredible results. Tiny little mental or vital reactions that seems to be totallyunimportant to our ordinary consciousness, have an effect on the cells and can create physical disorders. …I went down somewhere in the consciousness in a part of the consciousness that lives in a state of apprehension, alarm, fear, anxiety… it’s really and truly terrifying. And we carry all that inside us! We don’t notice it, but it’s there; it is cowardly and that’s what can make you fall ill in a minute”.
Indeed mood changes are precursors of such diseases as Cancer and Heart diseases.
Healthy man’s food will be balanced. He has no craving for sweet, salt or sour or spicy; hot or cold; all in balance.
Healthy man’s responses to thermic changes also are balanced; he does not feel too chilly for least fall in the temperature or too warm in early summer.
Healthy man’s sleep is sound and peaceful. He does not have catnaps or nightmares. Disease is Hatred, Sadness, Quarrelsomeness, Faithlessness, Cowardice etc. – the negative qualities are diseases. Disease is over-reaction to thermic changes; strong cravings and aversions to food, drinks etc. Disease is bondage, slavery since it restricts freedom. Health is complete freedom, freedom of functions and there is no negative awareness of the body.
Homœopathy includes all these in its examination of the patient and gives high values for diagnosis. It will now be evident that disease is disharmony, disequilibrium. Contrary to a sensation of well-being which is ‘health’ disease is dis-ease, a sensation of ill-being.
Homœopathy is firmly placed on the concept of a Vital Force which animates the living person. The Vital Force may be similar to or analogous to the electromagnet field. Well, HAHNEMANN the founder of Homœopathy says “In the state of health the spirit-like Vital Force (dynamis) animating the material human organism reigns with unbounded sway i.e. supreme sovereignty. It maintains the sensations and activities in a wonderful harmony. The reasoning spirit who inhabits the organism can thus freely use this healthy living instrument to reach the lofty goal of human existence. Without the Vital Force the material organism is unable to feel, or act or maintain its vital function.”
“Without the Vital Force the body dies; and then delivered exclusively to the forces of the outer material word, it decomposes, reverting to its chemical constituents”. When this Vital Force is disturbed by environment, disharmony i.e. disease, results.
It would appear rather strange to the materialistic schools of medicine when I say that Homœopathy has a ‘philosophy’. In fact the textbook laying down the principles of Homœopathy is called ‘Homœopathic Philosophy’. Homœopathy believes – and this belief that there is a Vital Force which when disturbed throws up ‘symptoms’ so as to adapt, to find balance and which symptoms indicate what disease is therefore recognized by these symptoms and a Homœopathic medicine selected on the totality of these symptoms would cure the disease – has been proved every day in clinical practice.
Take for example two persons totally unrelated to each other who come to a homœopath one day; both suffering from what is diagnosed as Influenza. One is lying moaning, without moving, covering himself head to foot, without any thirst, etc. The other person also with Influenza is restless, throwing covers off, thirsty for boiling hot water frequently, irritable and angry. The homœopath selects different medicines for each one on the individual; responses to one allegedly causative organism – the Flu virus. And cures rapidly. No convalescent period necessary! These are daily experience.
Diseases are of two kinds: Acute and Chronic, Acute diseases are self-limiting ones. There is a latent period, a period of exacerbation and a period of decline of symptoms which may end either in cure or in death. Depending on nutrition, proper amount of sleep and rest, emotional stress, environmental stimuli, etc. the minor illnesses or acute illnesses are self-limiting.
Chronic diseases are those that remain with the person for years, decades and even generations, like Diabetes, Asthma, etc. virtually everyone has some degree of chronic disease in its latent state. Serious illnesses like long drawn Influenza, Pneumonia or severe injury (physical injury or mental) can trigger a slumbering chronic disease. Chronic diseases are due to chronic ‘miasm’ i.e. predisposition. Three chronic miasms are described in Homœopathy: Psora, Syphilis and Sycosis. We cannot go into details of these here. Volumes have been written on the chronic miasms. Many chronic diseases are acquired due to suppression of the natural immunity.
Homœopathy aids the natural immunity already available in the man to get over the disease, leaving no adverse effects – making him healthy again.
As said earlier, Homœopathy administers a remedy which has simulated symptoms most similar to the disease to be treated. This is the main difference between Homœopathy and other Schools of Medicine. The medicine is ‘potentised’, or ‘dynamised’. This again is peculiar to homœopathic Pharmacology. There are no medicines or mixtures of medicines in Homœopathy. Only one remedy, is given at a time, and if necessary in infrequent doses. In chronic disease a single dose is allowed to act for days, weeks and more as long as the person is improving.
There is another peculiar action of a correct homœopathic remedy. It heals from within without, removes disease from the most essential organs to the lesser ones, the last being the skin. That is the reason why a chronic eczema, for example, lying somewhat dormant is aroused when homœopathic remedy is given. We have seen it, we are seeing it everyday in actual clinical practice, this phenomenon of cleansing from within to without health being restored in the organs in the order of their Vital importance. For example, ‘X’ comes with a chronic eczema of many years, (In our practice we have rarely had a patient whose eczema was of recent origin) may be even 20 to 30 years. X says that it began in his teens and had been treated with external applications, and or internal tablets, injections etc. and the eczema kept under check. Of late it has again become troublesome, itching, oozing etc. We note that ‘X’ was quite never well since the eczema treatment (with external applications, etc.) and he has passed through many ailments and now at 50 years age has hypertension for which he is swallowing tablets. X tells that whenever his eczema was worse his hypertension was better. He is now an irritable angry and restless man with discontentment although he is materially well-off. We go through his biopathography, his psychological changes. We take into reckoning his anxiety, restlessness, irritable nature, etc. which are the culmination of his illness and prescribe a homœopathic medicine and the first reaction we get is an aggravation of his eczema but an improvement of his mental state. In due course his eczema too will go away. It is not uncommon for us to hear patients say voluntarily that they feel calmness and are able to face daily life without much stress, etc.
The term ‘Psychosomatic’ is much used now and appears to be the ‘in’ thing now. Homœopathy, from its very beginning has recognized all diseases as psychosomatic. Psychosomatics as a clinical entity sui genesispresupposes that there could be somatic or psychic functions that are separate and noninclusive expressions of a disembodied soul or of a soulless body. Indeed Psyche and Soma “constitute a single unity although we separate this unity into two distinct conceptions for the sake of easy comprehension.” More or less at the same time as PINEL in France had unchained the mentally insane persons and released them from the dungeons, HAHNEMANN in Germany said that insanity was an illness and not caused by evil spirits and should be treated like any other disease. Indeed one of HAHNEMANN’s early treatment was of a mentally insane person of rank. This was around the same time that PINEL had the insane unchained. Yet the World of Medicine, Psychiatry in particular, never mention HAHNEMANN. They are ignorant and/or arrogant to accept the role of HAHNEMANN.
Now a brief sketch of the life of the founder of Homœopathy, Samuel HAHNEMANN (1755 - 1843). Samuel HAHNEMANN was born in Meissen in the Saxony (Germany) on 10th April 1755. His father was Porcelain painter. HAHNEMANN went to school and was a brilliant pupil. He also learnt other languages like Greek, French, Hebrew etc. He studied later in the Medical College at Vienna and got his M.D. degree. In 1779 began practice. He became very much disappointment with the medicine of his days and felt from……… that it was all mere conjectural and pointed out openly the short-comings as Parcelsus two and half centuries before him did. He turned to medical writings including translations from different languages. In the course of this while translating William CULLEN’s work he came upon a statement on Cinchona bark as medicine for malarial fever because of certain qualities of the bark. HAHNEMANN who knew chemistry well – he had already produced a book on the detection of Arsenic poisoning which was very well received and it was perhaps the first book on Forensic medicine – doubted this statement of CULLEN and he therefore decided to find out first and took some tincture of Cinchona bark and experienced symptoms of the malarial fever which he had suffered once. When he stopped taking the tincture he became well. When he repeated it, the symptoms recurred. After repeatedly testing it he was convinced that Cinchona produced the symptoms which were similar to Malaria which he had suffered before once. This was in 1790.
HAHNEMANN went on investigating some other well known medicines of his days and recorded the symptoms they produced. Most of these were experiments done on himself and his family members and few students. He had convinced himself that
1) The curative properties of every medicine can be known only by pure experiment which he called ‘proving’ – on healthy humans.
2) That diseases are revealed in the symptoms they manifest; and
3) That medicines which produce certain set of symptoms or syndromes will cure diseases with symptoms which are similar to that: thus the ‘Law of Similars’ was laid down.
HAHNEMANN had begun treating such serious diseases as Scarlet Fever with this medicinal systems. He had, in the meanwhile, discovered something which is singularly peculiar to Homœopathy and which till today is being ridiculed i.e. Potentisation or Dynamisation. HAHNEMANN found that the medicine required for cure was least and he found that by “intimately” mixing the remedy with a medium, by rubbing or triturating or succussing it becomes immensely powerful, dynamic and had no adverse effects. Example: A part of the medicine is mixed with ninety nine parts of alcohol and succussed with certain strokes of the arm which was called the No.1 potency. Again one part is taken from this No.1 and added to ninety-nine parts of alcohol and succussed vigorously and the resultant solution is No.2 potency. The process goes on and we have 30, 200, 1000, 10000 and upward such potencies. At the end of about 50 years of his experience as physician he laid down a potentisation of 1: 50,000. The last eight years of his life HAHNEMANN spent in Paris in great fame. He died in 1843 at the height of his fame as a Homœopathic physician.
HAHNEMANN’s discoveries aroused the bitterest controversies and he suffered much persecution to prove him wrong in practice. Follow the steps laid down and if you do not get the same results then announce it to the world, he said but to this day no has disproved HAHNEMANN in this way. They rather use their own methods or call in magicians and the might of the drug industry and prick tiny holes. Such is the scientific temper today that anyone who differed is pilloried. The prejudices and bigotry are the same as it was during the days of Galileo. But such is the nature of man over the millennia and life moves on.
Homœopathy and HAHNEMANN were bitterly attacked by the pharmacists whose profits were in danger of being drastically cut. The situation remains so today. Homœopathy spread rapidly in the USA, UK, India etc. After the advent of the antibiotic era and the World Wars Homœopathy declined in the West. However, now there is great renaissance of Homœopathy all over the world since over a decade. The adverse side effects of the antibiotics and other strong drugs have made to turn to harmless and effective Homœopathy.
Homœopathy by its very nature cannot promote medical Industry, capital accumulation, bio-reductionism or deal with health as a commodity available across the counter; it cannot make health a five star corporate section for business. Homœopathy has no tonics or anything as anti-fever, anti-colds, etc.; nothing ‘anti’. Homœopathy helps the individual to realize that he/she alone is responsible for his/her ailments and it is his/her sickness. Homœopathy helps the person to overcome the illness. It builds up the natural immunity and restores total well being. Biological medicine considers as mere malfunctioning or misplacement of parts and therapeutics as replacement or substituting the bad parts. Homœopathy does not transfer veterinary experiments on humans. It does not give injections. There are no adverse effects. It is effective in acute and life-threatening diseases like Pneumonia, severe viral fevers; in various infectious and contagious diseases like Measles, Chicken pox, Cholera etc. and in chronic diseases like joint Rheumatism, Hypertension, Asthma, etc. Homœopathy treats considering the disease symptoms and not just by the pathological diagnostic terms. Homœopathy is rapid in action. There is a misconception amongst the people that it is slow-acting. Contrary is the fact. There is no hi-tech Homœopathy. While certain equipments are necessary, most of them are unnecessary. Low cost.
How does such ultra molecular dose work? We don’t know for certain yet. But it does work without fail, it rightly chosen and given. Then the mechanistic viewpoint must be wrong. Life is not just biology alone. But it is difficult to abandon a change a firmly established viewpoint. While facts cannot be argued with, one can still refuse to look at them when one does not like the conclusions they imply. When recently biologist Rupert SHELDRAKE postulated memory as an aspect of morphogenesis inherent in all form-patterns of substance manifestation his book was declared “worthy of being burned” by the very same editor of Nature Magazine recall the treatment meted out to BENVENISTE by the same Journal. Thank God he didn’t issue a Fatwa to burn SCHELDRAKE! The present opinion is that Illness and Healing rest on field dynamics and the Homœopathic principles and the action of its ultra molecular potencies lead us to such conclusions.