Creating Waves of Awareness
Curable versus Treatable by Dr. M. A. Usmani
Copyright 2011-13/All rights reserved © Dr Usmani
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Since times immemorial mankind had been treating diseases until Homeopathy descended on the scene. It started curing diseases instead of merely treating them. That is, it whetted and redefined the concept of treatment and delimited and determined the connotation of the concept of cure.
In the world of therapeutics it is only Homeopathy that came with a definitive law of cure, based on the principle of Similia similibus curenter. It is said that before the inception and introduction of this law by Hahnemann, the world already had a law on the basis of contraria. But the concept and philosophy of things having like or contrary properties was infested and riddled with drastic confusion and mistakes as to the real humour and the temperaments of things. A herb or a medicine, or an article of food that was considered as having warm (or Hot) humour by one person or authority was considered the other way, by some other, that is, of cold (or Cool) temperament. These differences of opinion or controversies are present till today—much more so, as regards complex temperaments as Warm-Dry, Warm-Wet; Cold-Dry or Cold-Wet; or Warm or Cold in certain degree, i.e. First, Second or Third degree.
In this utter confusion, Hahnemann kindled a flame that guided mankind to a principled way of treating diseases, as distinguished from the wonted therapeutic, based on episodic, tentative, folk-loral, magic and faith-healing conundrums. He announced: “The physician's high and only mission is to restore the sick to health, to cure, as it is termed. The highest ideal of cure is rapid, gentle and permanent restoration of the health, or removal and annihilation of the disease in its whole extent, in the shortest, most reliable, and most harmless way, on easily comprehensible principles.”
~ (The first and the second Aphorism of the Organon)
But his foresight compelled him to warn the profession from constructing hypothetical “systems, by interweaving empty speculations and hypotheses concerning the internal essential nature of the vital processes and the mode in which diseases originate
in the interior of the organism,…nor is it to attempt to give countless explanations regarding the phenomena in diseases.’
~ (Notes to the first Aphorism)
Laws of cure of Kent and that of Hering may be pertinent observations but they are verily the impedimenta in the progress and acceptance of homeopathy. It gave an esoteric coloring to homeopathic therapeutic. Therapeutic books of masters never bother about these observations. Read Dr. Jahr’s 40 Years Practice; all the works Dr. Burnett and Clark’s. They never bother about these ideals of cure, postulated by these luminaries. And because of their non-acceptance of this they had been able to help every body who came to them for treatment. And also because of this ‘therapeutic liberalism’ they could do much authentic research work and discover many new remedies, especially Dr. Burnett. Almost all the books of Dr. Burnett are about diseases with their therapeutic names.
One thinks that provings should be pushed as far as they could produce pathology; even if one had to resort to animal experimentation. Title of fully proven remedies be given to those remedies alone that give you the pathologic status and scope also. I’ve amply discussed the importance of pathology in the homeo-therapeutic in most of my articles. Visit: my page
When Kent says that Aconite is not indicated in typhoid, as it cannot go that far and produce typhoid. It means that he knew that Aconite cannot go that far as to create typhoid in its proving; which means that he and his other contemporaries knew which remedies would fall short of creating what definite pathologies. This knowledge is vital to determine the full therapeutic scope of a certain remedy that will immensely improve their knack of determining the right remedy for the pathology at hand. So Kent’s knowledge of inappropriateness of Aconite for typhoid cases is a good indication that he knew that pathology is an important factor for reckoning with the real power of a medicine or a therapeutic agent. If the drift of symptoms, in a proving, reveals that that agent cannot go that far as to create a particular pathology, that remedy cannot cure that pathology, in spite of the superficial similarity to the symptom complex. This point is beautifully termed ‘Stop Point’ by Burnett. But to say that such a medicine, if administered for such a case will hamper the progress of cure, as Kent says about Aconite for typhoid, is rather over prudish warning. Had it been given in such a case erroneously, on superficial symptoms, it won’t harm but may take away the relevant symptoms of anxiety of the patient and his fear of death.
The problem to be discussed here is a semantic or terminological one. Should we homeopaths go on adhering ourselves to the term or concept of CURE, as it is laid down in classical homeopathy, or loosely use it for having treated a case of disease and having fixed it or redressed it. This use of the word ‘cure’ is common or popular use meaning ‘having been treated’ or ‘fixed’ it. Now if a person has a dyspeptic attack, from over-indulgence the previous night, and comes down with symptoms of nausea and vomiting wit intestinal griping and Pulsatilla settles the case. We will loosely say that Pulsatilla cured the case. Cured only an acute episode of a very large and complicated case, may be of an old diabetic or arthritic case. By relieving the few symptoms of an acute emergency you haven’t even touched the case. You haven’t removed and annihilated of the disease in its whole extent, as Hahnemann have stipulated. Similarly there are many articles or blogs on the homeopathic sites on the web, where the writers have conveyed their success in ‘curing’ such and such diseases with this or that remedy, and have given a detailed account of their exploit. This does not mean that they have found some specifics for those diseases, and that these will be the most indicated remedies for the next case s of the same diseases. We can at best say that these remedies have worked well in the symptom complex with so and so diseases. The medicines which acted to wipe away the mentioned pathologies, they in fact were the indicated remedies for the individuals themselves. In the next episode of such a disease, especially with quite contrary modalities these remedies will certainly not come out as the indicated remedies.
The strict and classical concept of cure is not viable in the scientific parlance of modern medicine. The retrogression of the case in the reverse order, during treatment, can seldom be realized practically. Take, e.g., a case that began from the inception of diabetes some 20 years ago, going through arthritis, CHF, hydrothorax, finally to renal insufficiency, but all these troubles are existing in full force, at one and the present point of time, i.e. all the troubles are extant. Now this patient comes to you for one factor, of her own choice, viz. arthritis, especially of the knees. But she is ingesting medicines separately for all of her troubles. The detailed computerized analysis of the whole case would take you nowhere; nor can you witness the regression of the symptoms in any sort of reverse order. You should feel relaxed as having done your duty—if you happen to give relief to her arthritic troubles, after discontinuing her painkillers and muscles relaxants. Never try to destabilize her by changing or forbidding her wonted medication.
Now this graphic and typical case, of our modern world, should suffice to convince us that the ideal of cure of homeopathy that Hahnemann has enjoined in 2nd Aphorism, that is: “The highest ideal of cure is rapid, gentle and permanent restoration of the health, or removal and annihilation of the disease in its whole extent, in the shortest, most reliable, and most harmless way, on easily comprehensible principles” is no more realizable now. This patient can relinquish our treatment after his satisfaction, and can come to us again, after months or years, to undergo the same treatment again for sometimes. Homeopathic treatment of arthritis is thousand times better than allopathic medication. But still it is not cure according to the textual standard of cure. But who bothers? The least the patient.
If a patient comes to you for an insignificant part of his entire case, you won’t throw him into quandary by a cataclysmic procedure of treatment. You will, instead, proceed cautiously, sagaciously, selectively and politely. He might be a masterpiece of palliation achieved by the masters and specialists of the dominant school. Destabilizing such a patient is a crime. And one has witnessed legions of such cases, during one’s practice, that are living very comfortably under the specialists’ regimen of medicines. There is no reason for us to impose our concept of cure upon them. If they are actively and usefully alive with decades’ long ‘massive’ medication, work and take active interest in daily affairs, what occasion is for us to feel pity for them?