what is a cure? Much modern medical treatment does not cure and,
moreover, does not claim to cure. The goal of treatment is to control
the symptoms of a disease. In this context, the term "treatment"
to prescription drugs. A patient may need to take medications for the
rest of his life. Many drugs have significant side-effects that are
harmful and sometimes fatal. Subsequent medications are then taken to
counteract the ill effects of the first drug prescription, and so on,
until treatment can evolve into what can only be described as a royal
mess. Is it any wonder that both patients and doctors are looking for
What is a Cure?
One could define cure as the disappearance of the symptoms
of a disease.
aims much higher than this, however, and medical practitioners who
learn to treat their patients with homeopathy see the difference right
away. Far from giving side effects, homeopathic remedies improve the
patient's life on all levels. How many times have I heard a patient
say, 'I have never felt better in my life!' In fact, often the first
sign that a remedy is working, even before relief of the Chief
Complaint, is a change on a much deeper level: the patient falls asleep
right away and has a deep and restful sleep; she feels more energy; she
no longer catches every cold and flu that comes around..." (Dr. Luc De
The healing response
homeopathic remedy manifests on all levels, not just the physical. The
patient feels better mentally, emotionally, and physically.
Homeopathy treats the whole person,
not just a disease. The premise is that if the person as a whole were
healthy, then that person would not be susceptible to much disease in
the first place. This is why I ask my clients questions about
their general constitutions that sometimes seem to be unrelated to
their main complaint.
For instance, ten different patients with sciatica would probably get
ten different homeopathic remedies. Why? Because each of the ten would
have a unique mental-emotional outlook, life history, physical
characteristics, etc. So when asked "Do you have a remedy for
sciatica?", my answer is "Sure, I have hundreds... but only one will
Homeopathy treats the whole
person and the individual
A patient suffering from fibromyalgia since a profound loss with grief,
another since taking contraceptives, another since an automobile
accident, etc. All of these patients have the same disease and all
would receive a different remedy under homeopathic treatment.
When I ask a client questions, I am essentially looking for a source of
leakage in his Vital Force. What kind of trauma has weakened this
person? How is his body expressing this leakage in the form of disease?
Which remedy is the best match for the totality of this
person, rather than just a match for some symptoms of his chief
When prescribed for acute conditions such as traumas, ear infections,
fevers, etc., homeopathic remedies work very quickly.
many times have I given a remedy to a patient and as soon as it touches
the tongue they are saying, 'Is it possible that it already worked?' I
have seen a patient who was up all night two nights in a row with a
suffocating cough until he was cyanotic, who stopped coughing the
moment he received the right remedy (Cuprum). In acute conditions, a
remedy given in water... works almost instantaneously, faster than any
pharmaceutical I have ever worked with, even those given by IV push."
(De Schepper, p. 8)
A long-term chronic
another story. A disease that has become entrenched over a period of
decades will not be cured in a day, or a month. True healing that
lasts, that does not regress, is a smooth gradual process, not a jerky
one. There is a tremendous advantage in homeopathic cures. It is that
when you are cured, you're cured. This is unlike a patient who must
take prescription drugs for the rest of her life.
A child has an ear infection, is treated with antibiotics; a month
later he has another ear infection and is treated with a another
antibiotic because he has become resistant to the first antibiotic, and
so on. A woman has recurrent yeast infections and her treatment follows
a similar scenario. Prescription drugs are good at suppressing
symptoms, but not very good at preventing recurrence.
Homeopathy, the standard of cure includes the prevention of recurrence.
I have treated many children with recurrent otitis, asthma attacks, or
URIs who were on antibiotics for years. To the amazement of parents and
doctors alike, simply strengthening the child's constitution with the
proper remedy made antibiotics totally unnecessary for years
afterwards." (De Schepper, p. 11)
the healthy human state, the spirit-like life force... that enlivens
the material organism... governs without restriction and keeps all
parts of the organism in admirable, harmonious, vital operation, as
regards both feelings and functions, so that our indwelling, rational
spirit can freely avail itself of this living, healthy instrument for
the higher purposes of our existence".
life throws us a curve ball,
whether that insult is a heartbreak, a virus, or a physical trauma, it
is the Vital Force that strives to restore health. If a person's Vital
Force is strong and/or the negative influence on our health is not too
strong, the body will heal itself. Children typically have an
unweakened Vital Force. When ill they can bounce back in a short time.
A sign of the vitality of young children is in their ability to quickly
spike a high fever. This is the healing response of a dynamic Vital
Force that if fighting an illness-causing agent. It is no accident
that, as we get older, we have a reduced capacity to fight disease in
so dynamic a manner. People who are elderly, who have been beaten down
caring for the sick, who are grieving, who have a history of chronic
illness, etc., have a weakened Vital Force.
"The material organism, thought of without life force, is capable of no
sensibility, no activity, no self-preservation. It derives all
sensibility and produces its life functions solely by means of the
[the Life Force], that enlivens the material organism in health and in
disease." (Samuel Hahnemann, Organon
of the Medical Art)
An unhealthy lifestyle gradually and inexorably chips away at our
vitality. We become susceptible to insults that our body used to brush
off almost effortlessly.
On the other hand, some traumas, epidemic diseases, devastating
emotional experiences, etc., are so strong that even a strong person
succumbs. An analogy would be to view the Vital Force as a hot air
balloon that a disease-causing agent has poked a hole in. The job of
the homeopath is to find the leak and patch it. Once the leakage stops,
the body's own healing mechanisms can kick in much more effectively.
One View of Homeopathic Healing
and the Vital Force:
In his book Hahnemann
Revisited Dr. Luc De Schepper gives his take on the
interplay between homeopathic remedies and a patient's Vital Force (p.
"If natural healing occurs
when the Vital Force is roused against the disease, how does a
homeopathic remedy work? To understand this,
it helps to consider the graceful Japanese martial art of aikido... The
more powerfully an opponent rushes at an aikido master, the faster he
will soon be rushing away from him. The aikido master does not push
against or resist the opponent, which would create a crash of opposing
negative energies. Instead he works with the opponent's energy and just
redirects or deflects it slightly. Allopathic medicine works more like
two knights on horseback charging at each other and creating a
tremendous crash: by attacking symptoms (the Vital Force's attempts to
throw a dangerous internal disorder to the surface) a drug crashes
headlong into the Vital Force and undoes its attempts at healing. A
great example is the body's use of fever: each degree of fever greatly
increases the number of immunomodulators and white blood cells at the
site of infection. Hippocrates knew the value of a fever more than two
thousand years ago: 'Give me a fever,' he said, 'and I shall cure all
disease.' By suppressing a fever with antipyretics we actually prolong
the course of illness... yet acetaminophen continues to be the
'gold-standard' recommendation for children with fever from acute
The Mind-Body Unity:
"A homeopathic remedy, on the other hand, strengthens the Vital Force
in its efforts to throw the disease out of the body. It does this by
creating a sort of shadow of the disease... to further stimulate the
healing action of the Vital Force. This artificial disease picture does
not harm the body because it does not exist in the physical level. The
remedies are so dilute that they only exist as energy and do not
contain a single molecule of the original remedy substance. Instead the
energy of the remedy goes directly to the energetic level of the being,
the Vital Force, and rouses it more powerfully to push out the disease."
In homeopathy, a physical problem is often seen as a manifestation of a
pre-existing disharmony. For example, allopathic medicine would
typically treat a skin problem like eczema by suppressing it with a
cortisone cream. The eczema goes away; the patient seems to be healed.
Healed, that is until the Vital Force finds another
for the causal disharmony, often at a deeper level. A good
homeopath, on the other hand, would not try to treat a skin eruption in
isolation. Any remedy must encompass the interconnectedness of the
mind, emotions, and body.
oncologist may ignore her patient's belief that his
was triggered by the death of his wife of 50 years, not only because it
does not fit her paradigm, but also because this information is not
useful for her prescription. The homeopath finds it supremely useful
and in fact orients her whole prescription around this all-important
leakage of the Vital Force, choosing among our many remedies for
'ailments from grief.'" (De Schepper, p. 17)
Aerobics for Your Vital Force:
A healthy Vital Force both sustains and depends upon a harmony between
mind and body.
Also integral to health are factors such as proper sanitation,
exercise, good nutrition, protection from toxic substances, etc. One
cannot ignore the most basic common-sense aspects of a healthy
lifestyle and hope to avoid disease, homeopathy or no homeopathy.
I am reminded of two personal cases. In one, a woman in her late
forties had an ongoing history of daily drug use. She subsisted
primarily on junk food, lived a sedentary lifestyle, and was under
constant emotional stress from work and family issues. Her chief
complaint was sciatica and she was very critical, in spite of some
early hopeful changes, that there had not been a dramatic turn-around
in her life one week after taking her first remedy.
Another case was a young man who suffered from a variety of symptoms
from daily exposure to toxic chemical fumes at work. Any time that he
had a holiday from work, his symptoms mostly resolved only to return
when he went back to work. Again, the remedy could only make limited
headway in the face of the sheer toxicity of his work environment. He
came to homeopathy because he liked his job, it paid well, and
understandably he was reluctant to leave it. In this case, homeopathy
could not do much for him as long as he was exposed to the chemicals on
a regular basis.
Almost 200 years ago, Samuel Hahnemann made the distinction between
true chronic diseases and "those diseases inappropriately named chronic
that are suffered by people who:
If a person is
suffering from a
variety of lower extremity swellings, joint pains, etc., and is 80
pounds overweight from lack of exercise and poor eating habits, then it
would be unrealistic to expect a homeopathic remedy to cure. A remedy
can palliate her condition but lifestyle changes are indicated to
reduce pressure on her weight-bearing joints (typically the knees).
expose themselves to avoidable malignities,
partake of harmful food and drink,
themselves to intemperances of all kinds, which undermine health,
prolonged deprivation of things that are necessary for life,
- live in
only in cellars, damp workplaces or other confined quarters,
lack of exercise or open air,
themselves of health by excessive mental or bodily deprivations,
- live in
constant vexation, etc."
Drugs and the Vital Force:
Many people in this society take a lot of drugs, prescription and
otherwise. This is not a healthy situation. "Among chronic diseases, we
must unfortunately still include those widespread diseases that are
artificially induced by allopathic treatments and by prolonged use of
violent, heroic medicines in large and increasing doses." (Hahnemann,
A study in the Journal
of the American Medical Association
in April 1997 reported that 100,000 people die in the US each year from
bad reactions to prescription drugs. Another 2.2 million are
permanently disabled or require long hospital stays from drug
side-effects. These numbers are only from reported cases. The actual
numbers are significantly higher because many adverse reactions to
drugs are not reported. "Adverse drug reactions are the fourth leading
cause of death in the US, killing more people than car accidents, plane
crashes, and all other accidents combined." (Tomas J. Moore. The
weakness in dispensing drugs. Boston
Globe, June 28, 1998, cited in De Schepper)
Now I am not suggesting here that all prescription drugs are bad or
that sick people do not derive much relief from their suffering from
these treatments. What I am saying is that drugs are powerful material
doses of very potent substances and must be prescribed and used with a
great deal of care. Their effects are often not in cooperative harmony
with the attempts of the Vital Force to heal. I am also saying that
drugs do not cure; they suppress symptoms, sometimes with harmful
consequences. I never suggest that a client discontinue a medication
prescribed by a doctor. In my opinion, it is not a questions of
choosing either homeopathic or
allopathic treatment. Rather it is sometimes a question of finding a
healthy balance between the two, all to the benefit of the patient.
4. Basic Principles
medicinal substances, whether a homeopathic remedy or a
prescription drug, have a primary and secondary action. A primary
action is simply the initial effect that a substance has on the body. A
secondary action is the response of our Vital Force to any primary
influence, as it strives to maintain equilibrium.
The primary and secondary actions of homeopathic remedies and
allopathic drugs, however, are very different. For instance, a person
suffering from constipation takes a laxative. The primary action of a
laxative is to excite the bowels, leading to diarrhea. The secondary
action of the Vital Force will oppose this imbalance, resulting in a
more severe constipation in a day or so. One can then enter into a
vicious cycle where one needs larger and larger doses of laxative to
achieve the same result.
on the other hand, works in precisely the opposite manner. Taking the
above example, the primary action of the remedy would be to introduce
artificial constipation at the energetic level, which would stimulate
the Vital Force to quickly counteract with the secondary action of
increased motility of this person's bowels.
In this context, there are two essential differences between
homeopathic remedies and pharmaceutical drugs. Drugs are crude material
doses, whereas remedies have no material medicinal substance, operating
instead at the energetic level. Secondly, drugs oppose/suppress
symptoms. Homeopathic remedies work by enhancing the efforts of the
Vital Force to throw off disease.
Homeopathy is unique in that it researches the effects of remedies only
on healthy people. Groups of dedicated homeopaths (provers)
been gathering information on remedies by taking the remedies
themselves and then meticulously recording the results (a proving). The
first remedies were proven in 1789 by Samuel Hahnemann and the process
continues to this day. "A vast amount of information is available from
the provings about each of the major remedies and its effects, not only
on all the tissues, organs and functions of the body, but even on the
mind, the emotions and the energy level. Since the same remedies have
been used for two centuries, information about the curative effects of
the remedies has been confirmed from clinical experience." (De
Schepper, p. 33)
The Infinitesimal Dose:
The brilliant men and women who discovered homeopathic principles did
not deal in theory or speculation. They restricted themselves to
meticulous observation and the recording of those observations.
requires quite an effort to believe that so little a thing, so small
dose of medicine, could effect the least thing in the human body. I do
not demand that anyone should comprehend it. Neither do I comprehend
it. It is enough that it is a fact and nothing else. Experience alone
declares it and I believe more in experience than in my own
It is quite a
conundrum. How is it
that remedies that have been so diluted, that do not contain a single
molecule of the original medicinal substance can be so much more
efficacious than the same substance in a crude material form. Not that
long ago, mercury in large doses was the standard treatment for
syphilis. Prolonged treatment killed the syphilis and the patient.
Hahnemann routinely cured syphilis with diluted/potentized mercury with
no adverse side-effects.
men have risked if they had at once followed my directions in the
beginning, and had made use of just these small doses from the first?
Could anything worse have happened then that these doses might have
proven inefficient? They surely could do no harm!" (Samuel Hahnemann, Chronic Diseases)
The Laws of Healing:
Ongoing observations of cured cases revealed three consistent patterns
in the appearance, disappearance and movement of symptoms during the
healing process. They are:
In short, these laws
true healing occurs. These same laws have been independently
acknowledged by Traditional Chinese Medicine for five thousand years.
- From above
- From the
interior to the exterior
- In reverse
order of their arrival
From the interior to the
The Vital Force will always strive to push a disease state from more
vital organs to less vital parts of the body. The appropriate
homeopathic remedy aids and abets this process so that an ailment, say,
of the heart or liver will be driven out toward the surface of the
body. This process may or may not manifest as temporary joint pain,
discharges, skin rashes or itching. We know that this is a healing
response because the patient will report that he feels better at a
very deep level.
Symptoms return in reverse order
This scenario applies to chronic disease that has been troubling a
person in one form or another for quite some time. It can, however, be
no less disconcerting to a patient than the above scenario. The most
current and recent symptoms are the first ones to disappear, and old symptoms from the past
may return in reverse chronological order.
"If a patient declares, 'Doctor, the symptom I originally complained to
you about has improved, but now I have a symptom that I have not had
for two years,' then praise the Lord, you are on your way to curing
her." (De Schepper, p. 41)