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.

 
 

Homeopathic Medicine and its therapeutic approach to psychosomatic disorders

Ever since the great pharmacological discoveries of the first part of the 20th century, and especially since the discovery of antimicrobial compounds, medical science has made amazing progress both in terms of diagnosing and of treating disease. The discovery of bacteria as the root cause of infections has led medical thinking and research to look for the specific causes of disorders. Bacteria, allergens, oncogenic substances and genes have been and continue to be targets for suppression by mass-produced pharmaceuticals.

In the meantime, however, there is something that is being suppressed by this therapeutic targeting: disease symptoms. Even though symptoms and signs presented by the human organism during the course of a disease signify and represent the fight for survival, they are consistently suppressed by modern conventional Medicine. Thus, in the latter part of the 20th century, the pharmaceutical weaponry of Medicine has seen the addition of substances prefixed by "anti": "antidiarrheal", "antiemetic", "anticough", "antipyretics", "antihistamines" and of course "anti-inflammatory" and "anti-depressant" drugs, are being prescribed to patients in order to relieve or suppress their symptoms. What is being ignored, though, is a basic fact of the human organism: that the organism, at any given moment, is fighting for survival with all its might and all its means. For example, an organism that - whether by nature or because of antipyretics - is incapable of raising a high fever, cannot mobilise its immune mechanism to such an extent so as to conquer the cause.

In the context of its Cartesian approach to disease, conventional modern Medicine separates the human body into subparts, by rendering medical diagnoses that are excessively specialised and focused on organs and systems. It operates as if these systems were isolated, disconnected parts of an engine that is not working properly. In the meantime, the psycho-mental field too is examined in isolation but, even there, what dominates is the chemical suppression of symptoms. Organ-specific diseases where the causal participation of the mental sphere has statistically been shown to be significant, have been termed "psychosomatic", but still no biochemical interpretation of the causal correlations is usually made. Indeed, in the daily clinical practice it is often the case that diseases of unspecified origin are classified under the broad term "psychosomatic disease", thus relieving our diagnostic insufficiency and insecurity by locating the cause of the disease somewhere in the abyss of the patient's soul.

But the human body is composed of the mental, the emotional and the physical realm and operates holistically in every single case. No matter what the disease or disorder, all three realms are involved, all three levels participate in the fight for survival. Given this assumption, one can easily understand that the classification of diseases into "psychosomatic" and "not psychosomatic" is by definition flawed. The involvement of all three levels in all instances of health and disease, cannot be disputed; what differs every time is the degree of involvement of each level. A simple example is that of an accident: at first reading, an accident is the most purely "physical" illness that can befall the human body. But if we carefully analyse the root causes of the accident, more often than not we discover significant psycho-intellectual causes ranging from a simple lack of concentration all the way to depressive suicidal tendencies.

The disruption of the brain's neurotransmitters, following a psychological stress, always disrupts the total endocrine and immune balance of the organism, resulting in the expression of disease predispositions that had lied dormant up until that time. From infantile infections when individuals other than the biological parents are required to become the primary caretakers, to severe autoimmune diseases in adults following the repression of some intense emotion, the participation of the psycho-mental factor and the patient's idiosyncrasy is observable in every aspect of a disease. This comes as no surprise to anyone who understands that the human organism operates as a neuroendocrine-immunological entity.

Homeopathic Medicine is a scientifically established medical system governed by laws that are in accord with the true nature of human existence. It is the only medical system whose laws not only do not change with time, but, on the contrary, become more solidly established thanks to the ongoing discoveries of modern medical discoveries. For example, the deciphering of the human genome is leading to the development of individualised treatments in conventional Medicine; meanwhile, treating patients on an individualised basis has been a central law of Homeopathy ever since its inception.

Classical Homeopathic Medicine is based on the prescription of the similimum; the one remedy that bears the most resemblance to the patient's own symptoms (physical, mental, emotional) at any given time. This is the reason behind the very analytical case-taking during the patient's first visit. If we play back the progression of our physical or psychological symptomatology – or our idiosyncrasy – we observe many changes over time. In patients who have been under chronic pharmacological treatment, such changes are almost certain. As a result there is a displacement of the organism from its original, more natural response to pathogens towards a more artificial response. The chronic use of suppressive chemical drugs, which we as homeopaths define as drugs that suppress the symptom and not the root cause of the ailment, forces the pathological predisposition deeper into body systems that are more essential for survival.

 

Figure 1 - Schematic representation of the Hierarchy of Body Systems and the Law of the Direction of Healing (Hering’s Law) in Homeopathic Medicine. From the centre towards the periphery: Mental level; Emotional level; Central Nervous System (CNS); Immune system; Cardiovascular system; Endocrine system; Respiratory system; Genitourinary system; Gastrointestinal system; Musculoskeletal system; skin and accessories (nails, eyelashes, etc.). Homeopathic healing moves from the centre towards the periphery; pharmaceutical suppression moves from the periphery towards the centre.

 

 

A deeper understanding and explanation of health and disease

When we realise what Figure 1 represents, we begin to view the concepts of "health" and "disease" under a brand new light and to be able to answer medical questions that have gone unanswered by conventional Medicine. Why do two children belonging to the same family respond differently to infections, one of them being prone to upper respiratory infections and the other not, when they are both living under the same roof and come in contact with the same infectious agents? Why do the symptoms of a patient suffering from allergic rhinitis get better when he develops eczema – and vice versa? Why does a young girl develop hormonal abnormalities following an intensive chemical treatment for her acne? Why does the psychology of patients change after the repeated use of antibiotics? Why do men present with sperm dysfunctions after using chemical drugs to combat urethritis? Why is the past medical history of most multiple sclerosis patients, free of infections? Why is the same thing true for the seriously mentally ill? Why do psoriatic patients develop rheumatic autoimmune disorders closely following the use of immunosuppressive drugs for psoriasis? Why do patients suffering from phobic neuroses who are prescribed anti-depressants, eventually develop depression?

If we take a good look at Figure 1, we understand that if a patient's CNS symptoms are suppressed by the use of a chemical treatment, then the level that will "absorb" this suppression is the one most vital to the human species, the one that differentiates us from the rest of the animal kingdom: the mental level. It is beyond the scope of this article to delve deeper into this subject but I am obliged to mention, as a sad example, the loss of memory, concentration, perception, self-knowledge, deeper understanding and spiritual creativity that is seen in our everyday clinical practice in a growing number of young people; these symptoms become dramatically worse after the use of chemical treatments aimed at the CNS. Without any doubt, the contribution of different treatment modalities to the spiritual uplifting of man and to his upkeeping as a complete mental and emotional entity, will have to be examined. In my opinion, based on years of everyday clinical observation, Homeopathic Medicine strongly encourages this process of upkeeping. Based on all of the above, the coarse classification of ailments into "physical" and "psychosomatic" is both flawed and anti-scientific, as it ignores the complexity of human existence.

It is imperative to finally answer this question: which is the right kind of treatment, one that covers up the symptoms or one that promotes the body's effort of to overcome the real causes that created the symptoms? Can we, as doctors, contribute to the production of physically, emotionally and mentally healthy people, who will in turn become mentally and emotionally active citizens? By suppressing our patients' symptoms with chemical drugs, do we not contribute to the creation of "perpetual patients" who are chronically chemically dependent, and who become socially vulnerable and easily controllable citizens? If this is the case, then we are – whether unknowingly or not - serving causes that have nothing to do with the Oath of Hippocrates. No conscientious doctor can possibly avoid asking himself such questions and anxiously look for the answers.

Of course, no rigorously scientific physician should hold any specific therapeutic method to be "panacea". What he should do, though, is be honest in pinpointing the methods that most closely respect the truths of human nature, the ones that most consistently promote a holistic wellbeing on all three levels (body – mind – soul) and encourage the healthy expression of all three. Our purpose as physicians should be the permanent healing of our patients, not their dependence on chronic chemical treatments. We should be practicing a kind of Medicine that promotes the emotional and mental cognizance of citizens and not their pharmaceutical (and general) dependence. Homeopathic Medicine, a scientifically comprehensive therapeutic system, has much to offer in these areas.

 

 

 

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