2011 January

Jan's column: What does it mean: homeopathy treats the patient but not the disease?

by Jan Scholten

I just read an article on a website, titled: "What does it mean:homeopathy treats the patient but not the disease? It is a foolish concept. How do you treat a patient without treating the disease?"
It is an old statement, I think, originating from Margery Blacky, but it indeed sounds a bit foolish. Of course, homeopathy treats the disease. That is what the patient is coming for; he wants to get rid of his complaints.
The confusion arises from the word disease. In conventional medicine, eczema is a disease, asthma is a disease, and so on. Seen from the homeopathic point of view, however, those are symptoms or syndromes but not diseases as such. It is like fever; in medieval times, fever was considered a disease, a diagnosis. In our times, it is clear that fever is a symptom and not a disease as such.
Broadly speaking, one can say that diagnoses in conventional medicine are not real diagnoses, just descriptions of symptoms. The real diagnosis is the homeopathic remedy. I have discussed this in my article "Diagnosis Yellow flower" (Diagnosis Yellow-flower). The regular diagnosis can be compared to the plant identification "yellow flower", where all plants with yellow flowers are identified as such. There are however, many different plants with yellow flowers, like sunflower, dandelion, buttercup, and so on; these can be compared with the homeopathic diagnosis.
So, why did the statement "homeopathy treats the patient not the disease" arise? I think it is from the realization that regular diagnoses are not the diseases, and consequently, that is not what we are treating in homeopathy. This statement, nevertheless, is confusing because we are definitely not treating the patient, the person; we are only treating his/her problem, not him/herself.
These considerations have led me not to use the above statement. It is confusing and even wrong, leading to unnecessary criticism. It is much clearer to state that in homeopathy disease is seen as something different than in conventional medicine, and I have noticed that the comparison with plant identification is often very clarifying.

Categories: Columns
Keywords: homeopathy, patient, disease
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patient but not the disease?
Reply #4 on : Sat January 01, 2011, 12:36:28
I beg to differ with Jan. We should not fear to say so and to face criticism (aude saprere). Criticism is opportunity to show our strength. Even though we treat disease let us say only that we treat patient. We have valid reasons to substantiate. There is no confusion.
It is true that we treat a diseased person. But, when both allopath and Homeopath take-up the patient simultaneously then former will treat by giving disease-specific remedy whereas the latter treat by giving patient-specific individualisation)remedy. Our case analysis is based on uncommon symptoms(§153)and theirs is on common symptoms of disease. Our prognosis is based on patient(§253) and theirs is based on disease/pathology. They are germ-ics and we are vitalists. For them medicine and disease are materialistic & for us they are dynamic (like VF and disease). We are more inductive, they are deductive... So, it is better to say that we treat patient.
Last Edit: January 01, 2011, 19:52:07 by mache  

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the patient , not the disease
Reply #3 on : Sat January 01, 2011, 11:44:00
In my eyes it is the patient who gets treated. Everyone is more or less distorted, needing treatment, healing. The disease is not existing without the patient. Like an instrument that gets tuned, the patient (human, animal or plant) gets tuned by the homeopathic remedy.In this way he will get rid of the symptoms that had shown his way of being sick.
Last Edit: January 01, 2011, 19:47:44 by mache  

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Reply #2 on : Sat January 01, 2011, 02:54:06
This is what put us apart from allopaths. Modern medicine (allopathy) has a one size pill fits all approach to "diseases". Not focused on the Individual patient. To add to this confusion are the diseases caused by side effects of the prescription drugs (iatrogenic). Many patients are a walking history book of ailments all caused by the meds their on. Homeopaths focus on removal of these various layers-exposing the original imbalance (onset) causing the patient to be in illhealth.
The depth that a homeopathic practicioner goes to,is far deeper than Allopathic Medicine ever will.To unfold the patients history via Lenthy casetaking is to unfold the "disease" manifestations.

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the patient not the disease
Reply #1 on : Fri December 31, 2010, 23:13:31
I think both are true, homeopathy treats the patient AND their disease. To know the patient is essential. To know the name of the disease helps with prognosis even if it contributes little or nothing to the identification of the remedy/ Some disease names are of little value like 'fibromyalgia' or 'myalgic encephalomyelitis'. But measles or rabies are useful to know as is pneumonia or psoriasis. Of course we treat 'internal' disease and use the heuristic concept of miasms. But knowing the disease as long as we also use " " can be useful. And it helps convince the skeptics if we can do both. FT
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