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.

 
 

Fibromyalgia and Homeopathic Medicine

Fibromyalgia is a rheumatic disorder that, though highly prevalent in the population in recent years, is still being intensely researched by the medical community. It is a type of rheumatic disease that affects the muscles and the ligaments but not the joints. (1) The patient suffers from widespread musculoskeletal pain, with painful muscles, tendons and fibrous tissues, accompanied by chronic fatigue and sleeping problems. (2) (3) As this “ghost disease” (4) presents no visible symptoms, for many years patients with fibromyalgia not only could not get an accurate diagnosis but were treated with much disbelief. Nonetheless, the chronic musculoskeletal pain, along with the fatigue and the sleeping problems, can bring about a significant and very real decrease in the quality of life of the patient.

The most severe symptom of this syndrome is fatigue, which is caused by the chronic pain. (5) There is a significant and prolonged lack of energy, vitality and endurance, to an extent that is disproportionate to the age of the patient. Often there is numbness, tingling, headaches, neck pain, irritability, melancholia, difficulty concentrating, memory loss, non-refreshing sleep, irritable bowel symptoms, and gradual personality changes. (5) Because of the non-specific signs in the clinical examination of many patients, before the correct diagnosis is finally given, symptoms are initially attributed to either an exaggerated psychological response or to some other rheumatic disorder. The diagnosis of fibromyalgia is often given last, after other rheumatic diseases have been excluded.

For a diagnosis of fibromyalgia to be made, the patient must have chronic musculoskeletal pain (lasting more than three months) in all four body quadrants and in the axial skeleton; there must be at least 11 tender points, that is, points where a pressure of 4 kg (8.8 lbs) causes the patient intense pain. Recently, the international rheumatology community formulated more specific diagnostic scores that take into account the severity of accompanying symptoms (fatigue, non-refreshing sleep, cognitive symptoms) (3) along with the intensity of the pain, so that even the general practitioner can more easily make an accurate diagnosis.

From a scientific point of view, fibromyalgia is associated with neurotransmitter dysfunction, particularly with low levels of serotonin (6) and noradrenaline; (7) these are related to the sensation of pain, the regulation of sleep and to elevated levels of Substance P, which is responsible for maximising the sensation of pain. (8) (9) Fibromyalgia has also been associated with mitochondrial dysfunction (10). Studies have also shown that fibromyalgia patients lose the Central Nervous System ability to enter into deep sleep. (11) (12) In many cases, before the appearance of chronic musculoskeletal pain, there has been a loss of refreshing sleep either because of physical causes (for example, pre-existing painful rheumatic disorders, such as rheumatoid arthritis) or more often because of prolonged emotional pain. Frequently in the recent medical history of fibromyalgia patients there are emotionally painful events that were experienced as so intensely unbearable, that they left the organism with no other choice than to somatise them in order to relieve the patient of his/her suffering. In that case, the vicious circle of emotional pain leading to loss of refreshing sleep, leading in turn to physical pain and chronic fatigue, becomes a continuous neurobiochemical equation with no solution.

In Homeopathic Medicine it is a given fact that the patient is approached and diagnosed as a unified neuroendocrine-immunological “whole”. In every case of fibromyalgia, in addition to the conventional diagnosis, particular emphasis is given to the kind of painful emotional stimulus that preceded or accompanies the syndrome. If the disease is due to a chronic lack of sleep, the approach and treatment will be different than if it is due to chronic psychological pain. The disease is investigated at a deep level and attention is given to the moment in the patient’s personal history when he/she began to manifest symptoms, so that the correct correlation is made between symptoms and feelings. In every case, the homeopathic doctor prior to prescribing the individualised remedy will have to identify those aberrations in the idiosyncrasy of the patient that forced him/her into the vicious circle that we just mentioned; that is, the doctor will have to trace the distance between the “true nature” of the patient’s idiosyncrasy as opposed to its “acquired nature”, and at what point the patient’s idiosyncrasy became so blatantly violated that the patient spiralled into the biochemical vicious circle of fibromyalgia. Statistics have shown a significantly elevated occurrence of -physically, psychologically or sexually- traumatic events during the childhood of fibromyalgia patients. (13) In recent years more and more fibromyalgia patients are turning to Homeopathy, primarily because of the absence of any significant improvement with the solutions offered by conventional Medicine, and homeopathic doctors are accumulating significant experience on this syndrome.

A first, atypical, statistical approach at the level of our homeopathic practice, informs us that fibromyalgia patients tend to be individuals who for a long time have put themselves into strenuous pressure to keep their painful feelings under wraps. A characteristic example is that of emotionally sensitive patients who have not cried or expressed their anger to the degree that corresponded to their idiosyncrasy; this has led to a “stiffening” of their muscles in order to withhold their tears or their anger; this muscular spasm gradually grows permanent and starts to affect the person’s quality of sleep, leads to chronic musculoskeletal pain and fatigue and places the patient in the aforementioned vicious cycle of fibromyalgia. (14) In this case, the correct homeopathic treatment will help to provide an outlet for the expression of the patient’s idiosyncrasy and the areas where suppression has taken place. Indeed in such cases the correct remedy leads to the patient expressing his/her anger and crying again, perhaps for the first time, and gradually there is an overall relief and lessening of the musculoskeletal pain. This reaction may startle or even upset the patient’s circle of family and friends, who may not be used to seeing the patient react in any other way than by physically aching. We should remember, however, that “the cell knows not of civilisation”. Primeval reactions that enable the emotional and spiritual survival of the organism, such as anger and crying, must be allowed expression so that the organism will not be made to project distorted, somatised reactions in order to relieve the tension. Homeopathic Medicine contributes to this return of the organism to the closest possible “likeness” to its own true nature.

 

 

References

 

(1) Atkinson MH. Nonarticular rheumatism. Can Fam Physician. 1981 Feb;27(2):254-8.

 

(2) Smith HS, Harris R, Clauw D. Fibromyalgia: an afferent processing disorder leading to a complex pain generalized syndrome. Pain Physician. 2011 Mar-Apr;14(2):E217-45.

 

(3) Wolfe F, Clauw DJ, Fitzcharles MA, Goldenberg DL, Katz RS, Mease P, Russell AS, Russell IJ, Winfield JB, Yunus MB. The American College of Rheumatology preliminary diagnostic criteria for fibromyalgia and measurement of symptom severity. Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken). 2010 May;62(5):600-10.

 

(4) Zadorozny OG. Fibromyalgia: Does it Exist? Can Fam Physician 1990 Sep;36:1603-6.

 

(5) Nihalani ND, Schwartz T, Chlebowski S. Fibromyalgia: a review for the psychiatrist. Psychiatry (Edgmont) 2006 Apr;3(4):44-60.

 

(6) Cohen H, Buskila D, Neumann L, Ebstein RP. Confirmation of an association between fibromyalgia and serotonin transporter promoter region (5- HTTLPR) polymorphism, and relationship to anxiety-related personality traits. Arthritis Rheum. 2002 Mar;46(3):845-7.

 

(7) Martinez-Lavin M, Vidal M, Barbosa RE, Pineda C, Casanova JM, Nava A. Norepinephrine-evoked pain in fibromyalgia. A randomized pilot study [ISRCTN70707830]. BMC Musculoskelet Disord. 2002;3:2

 

(8) Vaerøy H, Helle R, Førre O, Kåss E, Terenius L. Elevated CSF levels of substance P and high incidence of Raynaud phenomenon in patients with fibromyalgia: new features for diagnosis. Pain 1988 Jan;32(1):21-6.

 

(9) Russell IJ, Orr MD, Littman B, Vipraio GA, Alboukrek D, Michalek JE, Lopez Y, MacKillip F. Elevated cerebrospinal fluid levels of substance P in patients with the fibromyalgia syndrome. Arthritis Rheum. 1994 Nov;37(11):1593-601.

 

(10) Abdullah M, Vishwanath S, Elbalkhi A, Ambrus JL Jr. Mitochondrial myopathy presenting as fibromyalgia: a case report. J Med Case Rep. 2012 Feb 10;6(1):55.

 

(11) Chervin RD, Teodorescu M, Kushwaha R, Deline AM, Brucksch CB, Ribbens-Grimm C, Ruzicka DL, Stein PK, Clauw DJ, Crofford LJ. Objective measures of disordered sleep in fibromyalgia. J Rheumatol. 2009 Sep;36(9):2009-16.

 

(12) Haack M, Lee E, Cohen DA, Mullington JM. Activation of the prostaglandin system in response to sleep loss in healthy humans: potential mediator of increased spontaneous pain. Pain. 2009 Sep;145(1-2):136-41.

 

(13) Katz RS. Adverse childhood environment in fibromyalgia patients: http://www.drrobertkatz.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/Fib_adverse_childhood.pdf

 

(14) Netter P, Hennig J. The fibromyalgia syndrome as a manifestation of neuroticism? Z Rheumatol. 1998;57 Suppl 2:105-8.

 

 

 

 

 

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