Samuel Hahnemann

He created the basic principles of homeopathy. The word homeopathy comes from the Greek hómoios- ὅμοιος- "like-" + páthos πάθος "suffering".

Hippocrates of Kos

Hippocrates (Kos 460 BC - Larissa 377 BC) was an ancient Greek physician and is referred to as the father of Western medicine in recognition of his lasting contributions to the field as the founder of the Hippocratic School of Medicine. Hippocrates is credited with being the first person to believe that diseases were caused naturally, not because of superstition and gods. He separated the discipline of medicine from religion, believing and arguing that disease was not a punishment inflicted by the gods but rather the product of environmental factors, diet, and living habits.

 
 

 

Hippocrates of Kos

Hippocrates is not only the father of Western medicine, but also a philosopher and a humanist.

Samuel Hahnemann

Christian Friedrich Samuel Hahnemann (10 April 1755 – 2 July 1843) was a German physician, best known for creating the system of alternative medicine called homeopathy.
His research led him to the principle of homeopathy, similia similibus curentur ("like cures like"), according to which a substance that causes the symptoms of a disease in healthy people will cure that disease in sick people.
He first published an article about the homeopathic approach in a German-language medical journal in 1796.

 
 

Addressing eating disorders with Homeopathic Medicine

Psychogenic bulimia and anorexia are hard-to-treat disorders that may prove extremely detrimental to the health of the patient and possibly even fatal. (1) (2) (3) They are complex psychogenic disorders, deep-rooted in the psychological and family history of the patient, and they have serious social consequences.

As we know, homeopathic case-taking places particular emphasis on any deviations from the “accepted as normal” psycho-neuro-immunological profile of the patient, that may have displaced him away from his/her personal homeostatic set point. The high incidence of such disorders in young age groups does not appear to be coincidental, as these diseases target ages when the search for a stable psychological and mental identity is at a peak.

In patients with psychogenic nutritional disorders, it is common to observe that persistent emotions signifying, in a sense, a low “emotional intelligence” accompany or precede the disease onset. Lack of trust and self-esteem, doubt in one’s abilities and constant comparing oneself against impossible role models (4) (5); although it is normal for such emotions to appear transiently around the time of adolescence, if they persist in high intensity then they may indeed form the basis for serious future pathology. (6) (7)

It is necessary to stress that such emotions on the part of young persons who suffer from nutritional disorders will frequently, though not always, reveal neuroses of their parental environment or mistakes perpretrated during their upbringing. In these cases, a detailed “psychographic study” of the family background may be necessary, in order to trace any possible factors in the family environment that may have led the person to become fixated on these negative emotions.

There are two main questions that the homeopathic doctor will have to answer, based on a detailed taking of the case, in order to find the specific required homeopathic remedy for the patient: the first is, what is the baseline idiosyncrasy profile of the patient and what sensitive spots in that profile were vulnerable from the start, even before the onset of the nutritional disorder, to the development of emotions of low self-esteem and guilt? An example might be a child who would, even at a very young age and with no solid reason, confess that he/she felt unworthy. The second question is, which specific stimulus within the family or in the child’s environment further potentiated such tendencies? In the above example, were the parents constantly comparing the child to some “perfect classmate”? Worth particular mention are the feelings of low self-esteem that are so common among pubescent girls, at a time when their femininity is developing and strong emphasis is being placed on looks. Over-appreciating and over-investing in a girl’s looks, or conversely, under-appreciating her and comparing her against role models; either of these can give birth to emotions that, unless overcome without delay, may lead to the appearance of psyhogenic nutritional disorders. (7) (8)

For all these reasons, every patient case is complex and requires a personalised analysis and treatment plan. Homeopathy can be an additional tool for addressing such disorders, especially in their beginning stages.

 

 

 

References

 

(1) Palmer R. Bulimia nervosa: 25 years on. Br J Psychiatry. 2004 Dec;185:447-8.

 

(2) Russell G. Bulimia nervosa: an ominous variant of anorexia nervosa. Psychol Med. 1979 Aug;9(3):429-48.

 

(3) Attia E. Anorexia nervosa: current status and future directions. Annu Rev Med. 2010;61:425-35.

 

(4) Rosen JC, Reiter J, Orosan P. Assessment of body image in eating disorders with the body dysmorphic disorder examination. Behav Res Ther. 1995 Jan;33(1):77-84.

 

(5) Brooks S, Prince A, Stahl D, Campell IC, Treasure J. A systematic review & meta-analysis of cognitive bias to food stimuli in people with disordered eating behaviour. Clinical Psychology 2010 31 (1): 37.

 

(6) Carlson N R, Heth C. Psychology - the science of behaviour, fourth Canadian edition by Neil R. Carlson, C. Donald Heth. Toronto: Pearson 2010.

 

(7) Steinberg L. Adolescence (9th edition, pp. 230-239). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill 2008.

 

(8) Van der Berg P, Neumark-Sztainer D., Hannan PJ, Haines J. Is dieting advice from magazines helpful or harmful? Five year associations with weight-control behaviors and psychological outcomes in adolescents. Pediatrics 2007 119: 111–143.

 

 

 

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