Posts tagged ‘individual’

In this article, I would like to talk about what a Homoeopath needs to know to be able to help the patient in the best manner possible.

Many patients come to a Homoeopath with a ready diagnosis of the disease obtained from an earlier doctor and expect that once they have given the diagnosis to the Homoeopath, the Homoeopathic doctor should be able to prescribe the required medicine. For Homoeopaths, a diagnosis is important only from the point of view of differentiating peculiar symptoms characteristic to the individual patient, from general symptoms, which belong to the disease diagnosis.

It is important for patients to realize that the Homoeopathic prescription which really helps the patient the most, is one based on the peculiar symptoms of the individual patient, which as a rule, have no direct connection with the diagnosed disease. Hence anything peculiar, queer, rare and strange that the patient has observed (which we call P, Q, R, S symptoms in Homoeopathy) needs to be told to the Homoeopath. Many people refrain from talking about these symptoms, either from embarrassment or from the idea that these symptoms have nothing to do with their main complaint and they want the doctor to focus only on the main complaint. This results in the Homoeopath knowing only part of the problem and makes medicine selection more difficult and usually inaccurate as well. Patients must remember that the Homoeopathic doctor, unlike a conventional doctor, is treating the WHOLE PATIENT, and not just the PART that is ill; hence anything which the patient perceives as ‘not alright’ is important from the point of view of the Homoeopath, even though it may have no logical connection to the main problem which the patient seeks treatment for. It is these very ‘weird’ symptoms that can lead the Homoeopath to a highly successful prescription and rapid cure of the illness.

Patients also need to be very observant about their symptoms and what they suffer from. Homoeopaths need a lot of detail about everything that troubles a patient. For example, if the patient is complaining of backache, the Homoeopath needs to know the exact location of the pain, the type of pain, whether the pain radiates to another location, the factors that increase the pains and the factors that give relief, and also any other symptoms that accompany the pain.

The reason why Homoeopaths need so much detail lies in the fact that the effects of Homoeopathic medicines are tested on healthy human beings, what we call ‘Homoeopathic Proving’. Due to the energy stimulation of the Homoeopathic medicine during a proving, provers develop symptoms (which later when the same symptoms are seen in a patient, the same medicine is capable of curing on the basis of the Homoeopathic law), and because human beings have the advantage of expression (in contrast to animal testing where only gross changes in health can be noted), these symptoms are recorded in great detail, mentioning exactly what the prover is going through. Hence it is clear, that the more completely the complaints are described, the more accurate the ultimate prescription will be and the quicker is the restoration of good health.

One of the biggest misconceptions about Homoeopathy in the minds of people is that it is a slow form of medicine for acute diseases and is only good for chronic diseases. THIS STATEMENT IS ONLY PARTLY CORRECT. Homoeopathy is certainly one of the best forms of medicine for all chronic diseases, however, even in acute diseases, Homoeopathy can act SWIFTLY and GENTLY leading to a rapid cure.

Let us first understand what acute and chronic diseases are. Acute diseases are a deviation from the original state of health with a rapid onset, rapid progress, and a definite duration. If not treated, they can end in either death or recovery. Eg., most infections like malaria, typhoid, the common cold, pneumonia, gastroenteritis etc., are acute diseases. Chronic diseases, on the other hand, are deviations from the original state of health with a usually slow, imperceptible onset, slow but sure progress, and indefinite, long duration which end only with death, if not treated. All the degenerative diseases of the modern day like cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, etc., are chronic diseases.

It is generally proclaimed by the medical profession that most chronic diseases cannot be cured but can only be controlled by medication, or if cure is to be attempted, it is to be done with surgery by the removal of unwanted tissue or the replacement of malfunctioning parts. Will this be a real cure? Why has the unwanted tissue arisen in the first place? Why has the normal functioning of the body parts gone astray? The unwanted tissue like the growths of cancer and the malfunctioning organs or parts are not ‘the disease’ but they are the outcome of the disease process, an unseen process which has gone on for a long time in the body, much before the visible signs/outcome of the disease could manifest.

Hence, it becomes clear, that to really cure such a chronic disease, we need to deal with and treat the underlying disease process and not just the outcome of the disease process. If the underlying disease process is not treated, after a brief respite, the disease will rear its nasty head up again, resulting in new growths and new manifestations. Targeting the diseased cells and thereby trying to achieve cure is NOT the solution to a chronic disease.

No one can deny that there is a Life Force within each living cell and it is this Life Force that makes us a unity, and keeps our body functioning harmoniously with its millions of cells. This Life Force is dynamic and invisible and can be affected not only by physical factors of the environment, but also by other dynamic, invisible forces like stress, grief and anxiety. These inimical forces of our day-to-day living, after a period of time, bring about a derangement in the normal functioning of our Life Force. Once this happens, it is but a matter of time until visible malfunctioning in the state of health develops. In other words, the derangement of the normal Life Force leads to the underlying disease process which in turn, leads to the visible manifestations of disease, be they just functional signs and symptoms or more serious and dangerous structural changes in the health of the individual.

No two individuals are the same; it hence follows that no two individuals will have the same derangements in health from the same identical causative factors. Each individual has his or her own immune status, own tolerance levels to environmental and other dynamic influences, own in-born weaknesses and strengths. A highly complex interaction of all these factors takes place before an individual gets sick and hence the manifestations of the sickness are also highly individual in character.

Homoeopathy respects the uniqueness of the individual and the Homoeopathic treatment of a person’s chronic disease is begun after a detailed case history which takes into account not only the person’s past and present medical history but also the life history, emotional and intellectual characteristics of the individual to be treated. The focus of treatment is not on the diseased organs and tissues, but on the underlying disease process which has resulted in the creation of the diseased organs and tissues. Homoeopathic medicines never suppress the immunity but attempt to get the immune system functioning at the optimal level so that the Life Force which has been deranged in its functioning, can get back its normal functioning again. Once the Life Force is functioning normally, the diseased organs and tissues can gradually get back their own normal functioning.

It can thus be understood from the above paragraphs that setting an individual on the path of health in a chronic disease is not an easy short-term matter. Setting right underlying disease processes can take time, depending on how long the process has gone on before the patient has sought treatment. There is no standardized treatment for any of the chronic diseases, but in each case, the treatment has to be individualized to suit that particular patient who is an individual in his own right. Only if treatment is undertaken at depth, only if the underlying causes are dealt with, can real cure be achieved. Everything else is only temporary palliation.

June 2005.