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.

 
 

Treating the irritable bowel with Homeopathic Medicine

This condition used to be known as “spastic colitis”; an inaccurate term as, in Medicine, the suffix “-itis” is used to describe conditions that involve inflammation, and that is not the case here. Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is one of the most common disorders of the gastrointestinal system, with an increasing prevalence among the population. (1) The biggest prevalence is seen among middle-aged women as approximately 20% of them will manifest mild to strong symptoms of the syndrome. (2) However, in recent years there is a clear tendency for younger people to manifest this disease.

IBS is a functional, not an organic disease, and this is why the diagnosis is based on the clinical picture and by excluding other diseases, particularly inflammatory intestinal disease. The main symptoms presented by IBS sufferers are abdominal pain, evacuation irregularities, flatulence and urgent defecation. (3)

Even though these symptoms often appear to be related to the patient’s dietary habits, the truth is that stress and personality play a bigger role in the severity and the prognosis of the disease. It is now scientifically acknowledged that the functional network of intestinal nerve cells (the Intestinal Nervous System) in effect functions like a second brain. (4) More than thirty neurotransmitters (including the “happiness” neurotransmitter, serotonin) are made in the intestine and participate in the neural communication between different parts of the intestine, and between the intestine and the brain. (5) (6) (7) (8) So it appears that the symptomatology of IBS is related to the over-functioning of this network of nerve cells, and to its susceptibility to stressful external and internal stimuli.

Even in everyday speech, there are many expressions that associate feelings and behaviours with intestinal functions; for example, in Greek we say that someone is “constipated” (meaning “he is ill-tempered and tight with his emotions”), “I cannot digest him” (meaning “I dislike him”), “he is [unpleasant like] a twisted bowel” etc.

While from a traditional medical viewpoint the suggested treatment always targets the symptoms, and the doctor merely generally recommends that the patient find ways to deal with stress, Homeopathy offers hope for permanent and total healing of the syndrome.

The basis of Homeopathic Medicine is the prescribing of ultradilute, natural remedies that stimulate the immune system and modify the immune defense. Homeopathic Medicine does not attempt to suppress symptoms, on the contrary, it views symptoms as efforts on the part of the organism to achieve homeostasis; for this reason, Homeopathic Medicine aims to heal the patient instead of simply suppressing the symptoms of the disease. Homeopathy always suggests an individualised treatment based on the particular neuroendocrine-immunological profile of the patient, and his/her personality.

This type of approach is applied in the treatment of IBS patients. As the abdominal symptoms of IBS are few and alternating, it is the patient’s psychological abnormalities, his/her peculiar responses to stressful stimuli and his/her predispositions that will determine the selection of the appropriate remedy.

Let us examine a few simple examples of individualised approaches to patient personalities that frequently present with IBS: 1) Anxiety, perfectionism, impatience, irritability, argumentativeness, criticism, touchiness, 2) Fear, phobia, avoidance of confrontations (with the exception of confronting his/her close ones), shame, 3) Impatience, impulsivity, tendency to panic, obsessive-compulsive behaviour, overwhelm with negative thoughts and scenarios, 4) Suppression of emotions interspersed with occasional violent outbursts, feelings of scorn and indignation, 5) Sadness with an inability to cry, suppressed idealism and sensitiveness, romantic feelings, sighing, hysterical reactions.

All these and many other combinations of personality traits may exist in patients who share the same IBS symptoms, but no treatment is going to be really effective unless these personality traits are taken into account. In fact each of the “personalities” just described corresponds to a different homeopathic remedy; it is only with careful investigation of these traits that the IBS sufferer can be permanently healed, not only from the physical manifestations of the syndrome but, more importantly, from the psychological dysfunctions that accompany and fire the physical symptoms.

This is why patients who are healed through Homeopathic Medicine transfer their healing experience with such enthusiasm. They become vehicles of a healthy homeostasis, having healed the “whole” by healing the “part”.

 

 

References

 

(1) Baumgart DC, Carding SR. Inflammatory bowel disease: cause and immunobiology. Lancet 2007 May 12;369(9573):1627-40.

 

(2) Payne S. Sex, gender, and irritable bowel syndrome: making the connections.

Gend Med. 2004 Aug;1(1):18-28.

 

(3) Schmulson MW, Chang L. Diagnostic approach to the patient with irritable bowel syndrome. Am J Med. 1999 Nov 8;107(5A):20S-26S.

 

(4) Gershon MD. The enteric nervous system: a second brain. Hosp Pract (Minneap). 1999 Jul 15;34(7):31-2, 35-8, 41-2 passim.

 

(5) Xavier RJ, Podolsky DK. Unravelling the pathogenesis of inflammatory bowel disease. Nature 2007 Jul 26;448(7152):427-34.

 

(6) Crowell MD, Wessinger SB. 5-HT and the brain-gut axis: opportunities for pharmacologic intervention. Expert Opin Investig Drugs. 2007 Jun;16(6):761-5.

 

(7) Sikander A, Rana SV, Prasad KK.Role of serotonin in gastrointestinal motility and irritable bowel syndrome. Clin Chim Acta. 2009 May;403(1-2):47-55.

 

(8) Berger M, Gray JA, Roth BL. The expanded biology of serotonin. Annu Rev Med. 2009;60:355-66.

 

 

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