I was once asked if homeopaths make a diagnosis. A good question and I fear my answer was not as concise as it might have been.
The simple answer is that by law only your doctor or specialist can make a formal diagnosis. This is with good reason, because he / she can arrange blood tests, X-rays or refer you for further investigation. This is outside the capability of the professional lay homeopath.
There are medically qualified (doctor) homeopaths who needless to say have a foot in both camps.
In fact, it is fairly rare for someone to seek a homeopathic consultation before they have seen their GP or specialist. For one thing the NHS is a free service, so your doctor is the obvious first port of call. That said, complementary therapists learn about “Red Flags”. These are warning signs indicating that further investigation by your GP is needed to rule out any risk of a serious underlying condition.
Here is a picture of the cover of an excellent little book that I have on my shelf:
In the UK medical records are by and large held centrally, but this is not the case elsewhere. When I sat in on homeopathic consultations in Calcutta, it was normal for patients to carry with them the documentation from whatever investigations they had undergone. This is quite common in many countries. All this was very useful to the homeopathic doctor (in India there are two equivalent paths in medicine – orthodox western and homeopathic). Needless to say your diagnoses from the NHS are equally of value to the professional lay homeopath here.
Diagnostic tests indicate what is going on: what is as it should be, and what is not. They are not always fullproof. Results can range from the possible to the definite. Referral for further investigation may be necessary.
Accuracy and speed in diagnosis is a big topic in academic circles should you care to look into the matter. Artificial intelligence is the new frontier it seems as this article describes!
An important outcome from diagnosis is the likely trajectory of the condition. Will it get worse, stay the same or get better with or without treatment? Hopefully it is not “how long have I got doc?” as the sit-coms or “soaps” sometimes have it, but fair to say none of us live for ever!
The above would all seem positive and in many ways it is, but there is a hazard in diagnosing a condition, which usually means giving it a name. Thus people will say I have X or I am Y. The problem here is that once you have been put in a box with a classifcation X or Y it is easy to be resigned to the label. It becomes part of you.
In homeopathy disease symptoms have a wider meaning. No two persons with the same diagnosed condition will be treated in the same way. Dr James Tyler Kent one of the most notable American Homeopaths the early part of the twentieth century wrote this:
Most of the conditions of the human economy that are called diseases in the books are not diseases, but the results of disease. To call a group of symptoms a disease of one part, and another group of symptoms a disease of another part, is a great heresy….. Organic disease is the result of diseaseLectures in Homeopathic Philosophy, Lecture IX Dr James Tyler Kent
Ok, the language is old fashioned, but what he is saying is that your true dis-ease is something that is prior to the symptoms that cause you make an appointment with your doctor. I touched on this subject before.
So the question is what underlies the child diagnosed as ADHD or a skin condition, or an adult with rheumatic pains or digestive problems or whatever?
Sometime that cause is apparent from orthodox investigation, but often not. The long term management of the symptoms is the best that can be done. In contrast, homeopathy looks at patterns in health, mental physical and emotional. It is sideways look that can find a solution to an intransigent problem. It is not boxed-in by labels.
Last month I introduced the topic of homeopathy as first aid in the home, and the value of having a small kit. This time I wish to share with you two interesting remedies that are particularly helpful in children with fevers – a common state of affairs
Fever is not a bad thing. Every symptom has a purpose; illness has a purpose. And the purpose of a fever is to fight infection – it is a natural response of the immune system. So try and not suppress fever with paracetamol containing over-the-counter medicines.
The latest NHS guidance is here. And yes, the use of paracetamol is permitted if the child is in distress but you might try some homeopathic first aid as an alternative first.
The two remedies are Aconite and Belladonna. Both have their origin in poisonous plants, but remember the potentised homeopathic remedy is an ultra-dilution and non toxic. Explanation here.
The challenge in homeopathy is to recognise the different characteristics in your child and to match them with the correspondingly remedy picture. There are fevers and there are fevers!
Here are some basic pointers for these two homeopathic medicines with two nice cartoon images from the book Homeopathic Remedy Pictures by Vicki Matheson and Frans Kusse.
The aconite child is fearful and anxious and doesn’t want to be touched. The fever is dry and comes on quickly within a few hours and is worse between 9 and 11pm. Coldness and heat alternate. The child is chilly and wants to be covered. He or she is thirsty. It is a good remedy for shock also.
It is a short acting remedy – if the fever persists much beyond a day then another remedy should be chosen.
The belladonna child also comes down with a sudden fever but there is a slightly slower onset than with the aconite patient. This child is burning hot and hypersensitive. There is violence and agresssion rather than fear. The pupils may be dilated – in contrast to aconite (constricted). The fever can be worse at 3pm or 3am. The patient may be delirious. Despite the heat, the child may not be thirsty. It is a useful remedy for sunstroke – the pounding head and red face gives you the picture. Dr RAF Jack also had this remedy as No1 for earache.
Belladonna is a somewhat longer acting remedy – about 72 hours.
Just a small introduction, but it might get you some sleep…!