Homeopathy: Medicine for the 21st Century
Defending Choice in Medicine
Health and illness
Homeopathy regards health and illness as processes rather than states. As a result the information taken about a patient in a consultation is oriented on understanding how the whole of the patient’s health has changed. At first this involves learning how the symptoms have developed and are developing, but subsequently it involves identifying whether treatment is changing the direction of this process to a curative one.
Dr. Samuel Hahnemann (1755-1843), the discoverer of the principles of homeopathy, recognised the main features of these processes, though it was Dr. Constantine Hering (1800-1880) who went on to formulate the 'law of cure', which can be stated as follows:
In recovery symptoms move from the more vital organs to the less vital, from the interior of the body to the exterior, from the higher parts to the lower, and reappear in the reverse order from that in which they appeared.
This is still the guiding framework used by homeopaths in order to understand the process of illness and recovery. Orthodox medicine does not appear to have such a framework for relating changes in symptoms to a general view of health and illness.
Why it works