You may have heard this expression bandied about quite a bit by homeopaths! But do we homeopaths or our existing and potential clients even really understand what this actually means? We are so used to thinking of disease as an entity separate to us - external bacteria, or a virus or something that has caused disturbance to our bodies. We think that disease has a presence within our bodies that can be easily identified by symptoms and once we identify these then we can oppose them to eliminate or eradicate them. Because we tend to think short-term and in the here and now, once a symptom disappears, we assume the disease is gone.
With orthodox medicine there tends to be one guiding principle governing the treatment of illness: get rid of the symptom and you will also get rid of the illness. Although recently in the last hundred years due to the progress of science we are very interested in the cause of illness believing that once we know the cause we can find the cure. So many treatments now are entirely dependent upon the diagnosis. Without a proper diagnosis, many diseases become impossible to treat. There is merit evidently in this approach, but here are some pointers to the extra subtleties of how homeopaths think:
- Symptoms are physiological responses to disease, not the disease itself. Assuming disease has gone once a symptom has gone, is wrong which can either aggravate the illness temporarily causing greater risk to the body or cause a cascade of changes to take place gradually over time inside the body, thus weakening the immune system.
- Symptoms are usually a healthy defence against illness, and once you oppose these defences, you cause harm to the person. This is the equivalent of stripping someone of their armour and weaponry and yet leaving them standing in the middle of a battlefield.
- Symptoms change and shift with time and the progress or the abatement of illness. They must be seen in context with each other and an overall pattern. To eradicate some symptoms without actually curing the illness, is downright dangerous.Symptoms are sign-posts, take them down and we get lost.
The world of illness and disease is vast. It is one thing after another. New types of symptoms that lead to a new disease name and diagnosis. Increasing scope for many different illnesses to develop, multiply, and spread causing much distress to all. Each person who goes to see their doctor may list off all their symptoms, and nowadays things have become so complicated, that many tests are needed to acquire information about the possible cause of illness before people can even expect to get any relief. Many 'specialities' have developed because of the impossibility of grasping the complications of the many different pathologies that exist for each organ and body system. Cardiologists for the heart, orthopaedics for the bones, pediatrics for the children, psychiatry for the mind..the list goes on and on. This concept is the idea that a human being's body and health is based on a mechanical collection of functioning parts. Repair the part that malfunctions but try and treat each malfunction separately. If something else happens in a different part, then treat that.
Homeopathy is holistic because the concept of a human being's health is that each part is connected with the whole and cannot be treated in isolation. This means that disease itself also does not exist in isolation from the body instead it becomes one with it. To treat disease harshly, in a toxic manner is to cause harm to the body of the one afflicted as disease has already united with that person's system. The only way to help the person throw off the illness and recover is to watch carefully how that person responds. Each one of us is different. Just like we have all our likes and dislikes, aversions to certain things, cravings for certain other things. Just as one person likes to be in colder temperatures, another to feel warm. so our bodies react and respond differently to disease. And in this individual choice according to our own personalised body and constitution and psychological make-up lies the cure.
Each dis-ease is as different as each individual. And to search for a cure for an illness rather than look for a cure for a person is like looking for a needle in a haystack. In our human nature there is shared universal human experience. We are all different and yet the same. And many people have gone before who have experienced the same things. Many people have grieved and lost, and their experience is chronicled. Many people have faced death and dying. Many women have given birth. Many children have cried when their teeth came down. Many men have clutched their hearts in pain. Many people have vomited up poison. Many people have been addicted to all sorts of substances. Many people have suffered intense emotional pain. Many people have been traumatised.
The information homeopaths use to find a remedy is based on personal experience kept in chronicles of the deepest and most detailed kind. and on a large scale of human experience in sickness. These chronicles are books of lists of symptoms and recorded experiences of illness. So when a homeopath meets a person and discovers a person's individual patterns of responding to life and to sickness, and discovers how a person is feeling, all over their bodies and in themselves, homeopaths go to these chronicled records and search within them for the people that went before, who also had the exact same experience. They find out what it was which caused that exact experience because that old adage: 'what can kill you, can also cure you' is true.
Homeopathy looks at the human experience, and the human being's immune system and each individual person's way of dealing with threats to its existence. It is not like looking for a needle in a haystack at all, because someone, somewhere is bound to have been through what you are going through now. Our past saves our future. And the truth is for all the world has its dark shadows, it also contains all the miracles we need. We should respect our amazing bodies, our amazing wisdom. We should respect nature as being our solution instead of fearing it. We should respect the fact that we are learning all the time. Building progress on the failures of the past, the sins of the old. We should prepare to conquer our ignorance.
And there is no meaning in the suffering of one, if somewhere down the line, their experience does not bless and save another.