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Hering’s Law: Law, Rule or Dogma?

I repost this article from time to time.

Hering’s Law: Law, Rule or Dogma?
by Dr. André Saine, D.C., N.D., F.C.A.H.

Presented at the Second Annual Session of the Homeopathic Academy of Naturopathic Physicians in Seattle, Washington, April 16-17, 1988.

Introduction
In homeopathy today, Hering’s law is widely recognized as the second law of cure, the first law of cure being similia similibus curantur, or like cures like. Hering’s law pertains to the direction in which the symptoms of the patient will disappear during a cure under homeopathic treatment.

In his second lecture on homeopathic philosophy given in 1900 to the Post-Graduate School of Homœopathics, Kent said:

  • “The cure must proceed from centre to circumference. From centre to circumference is from above downward, from within outwards, from more important to less important organs, from the head to the hands and feet.”
  • “Every homœopathic practitioner who understands the art of healing, knows that the symptoms which go off in these directions remain away permanently. Moreover, he knows that symptoms which disappear in the reverse order of their coming are removed permanently. It is thus he knows that the patient did not merely get well in spite of the treatment, but that he was cured by the action of the remedy. If a homœopathic physician goes to the bedside of a patient and, upon observing the onset of the symptoms and the course of the disease, sees that the symptoms do not follow this order after his remedy, he knows that he has had but little to do with the course of things.” (1)

Here Kent does not differentiate between acute and chronic disease in the application of the law. It is reasonable to assume, because of the lack of precision, that he meant all diseases, acute and chronic of venereal and non-venereal origin, would disappear in the direction described above.

When first studying homeopathy, I listened to the teachers and read the “classic” modern works, and assumed, like my fellow colleagues, that Hering’s law had been an irrefutable fact recognized by Hering and the many succeeding generations of homeopaths, and that all patients, (All italics used throughout this paper indicate my own emphasis of pertinent points.) acute and chronic, without an exception, would, at all times, be cured in the afore-mentioned direction under careful homeopathic treatment.

Later as a practitioner, I carefully applied myself to put the general homeopathic training I had received to the test. Since then, I have been able to substantiate most but not all of the rules, principles and laws contained in the homeopathic doctrine promulgated by several generations of homeopaths.

So far, however, I have been unable to substantiate Hering’s law. Indeed, very rarely do I see, for instance, in a patient with chronic polyarthritis, the symptoms disappearing from the head first and then to the hands and feet. More often, the pain and other joint symptoms disappear in the reverse order of their appearance, even if it is from below upwards. In other words, if the arthritis manifested itself, as it happens at times, first in the knees and then in the ankles, the ankles would get better before the knees.

Or in a patient affected by a complex of essentially functional complaints such as fatigue, anxiety, irritability, difficult digestion, joint pain and acne, rarely would I see the disappearance of the emotional disturbance first, then the poor digestion followed by the joint pain and lastly the acne. With the simillimum most symptoms begin to improve simultaneously and disappear in the reverse order of their appearance, and not necessarily from above downwards and from inside outwards. In fact it is not uncommon that in such cases the acne, the last to have appeared, would disappear readily and the emotional state (the oldest symptom) would be the last to completely disappear.

While treating a patient with an acute febrile disease that had progressed in the first stage from chills to fever, then to perspiration and lastly to weakness, I would observe a rapid and gentle recovery but without the patient re-experiencing the perspiration, then the fever and lastly the chills. While recovering from acute diseases under homeopathic treatment, the patient does not re-experience the original symptoms one by one in the reverse order of their appearance. Many more troublesome exceptions similar to the above could be cited.

What was wrong with Hering’s law as quoted above from Kent’s Lectures on Homeopathic Philosophy? Had I misunderstood the law?
According to Webster’s dictionary, a law is defined as a sequence of events that occurs with unvarying uniformity whereas a rule permits exceptions, and a dogma rests on opinion. Was this lack of confirmation of the said law due to “suppressive” homeopathic treatment as suggested by a number of theoretical and perhaps dogmatic homeopaths? If so, why have these so called “purists” not stood up and proven that all their cured cases followed the said law? To my knowledge this proof has not been forthcoming.

Was I the only practitioner in this position?
I questioned teachers and colleagues, some with many years of experience. Few could answer my questions and none has been able to substantiate from their own experience without the shadow of a doubt that Hering’s law was a true law of nature. It seems that most were in the same situation as me, even the supposed authorities would discuss the matter but in private with the author. It seems that we all had classic cases of cure from above downwards, from within outwards, from more to less important organs and in the reverse order of appearance of symptoms. But these absolutely “perfect” cases were only occasional. The majority of cured cases did not fulfill all the four citedcriteria.

So I decided to go back to the sources.
On one hand, neither Kent, in his Lectures on Homœopathic Philosophy of 1900, nor Stuart Close, in The Genius of Homœopathy of 1924, nor Herbert Roberts, in The Principles and Art of Cure by Homœopathy of 1936 while discussing the above law, refer to it as Hering’s law. (1-3) None of these three authors makes any reference to Hering in their lectures on the law of direction of cure. On the other hand, Garth Boericke, in A Compendium of the Principles of Homœopathy of 1929, refers to it as Hering’s rule but not as a law. (4) Confusing, isn’t it? Did Hering ever formulate a law on the direction of cure? If he did, why was his name not clearly associated with the law and was it as a law or a rule? Why was the literature so ambiguous?

At this point, I realized that the sources had to be explored further. The answers would all have to be within the literature of the nineteenth century. After a thorough examination of this literature I have so far been unable to find any of Hering’s famous contemporaries and close colleagues discussing or making any reference to a law of direction of cure. Writings of Boenninghausen, Jahr, Joslin, P.P. Wells, Lippe, H.N.Guernsey, Dunham, E.A. Farrington, H.C. Allen, Nash, etc, were all silent.

When Hering died in 1880, colleagues all over the world assembled to pay tribute to the great homeopath. His many accomplishments were recalled. Strangely, none made any mention of a law of direction of cure promulgated by Hering. (5) Arthur Eastman, a student who was close to Hering during the last three years of the venerable homeopath, published in 1917 Life and Reminiscences of Dr. Constantine Hering also without mentioning a law pertaining to direction of cure. (6) Calvin Knerr, Hering’s son-in-law, published in 1940, 60 years after Hering’s death, the Life of Hering, a compilation of biographical notes. (7) Again no mention is made of the famous law. Not only confusing, but also puzzling.

Obviously, the sources had to be further explored. Here are the fruits of this exploration.

THE HISTORY RELATED TO THE FORMULATION OF HERING’S LAW

  1. Hahnemann – 1811
    With the first publication of his Materia Medica Pura in 1811, Hahnemann inaugurated a new arrangement of the symptoms: from above downwards, from inside outwards, but also from the parts to the generals.
  2. Hahnemann – 1828
    In 1828, Hahnemann published his first observations and theories on chronic diseases. (8) I summarize here the points most pertinent to the present discussion:

    • “All diseases, acute and chronic of non-venereal origin, come from the original malady, called psora. (page 7)
    • “A skin eruption is the first manifestation of psora. (page 38)
    • “The skin eruption acts as a substitute for the internal psora (page 11) and prevents the breaking out of the internal disease. (page 13)
    • “The more the skin eruption spreads the more it keeps the internal manifestations of psora latent. (page 40)
    • “But when the skin eruption is suppressed with an external application or other influences the latent psora goes unnoticed and its internal manifestation increases. Then “it originates a legion of chronic diseases.” (page 12) Incidently, for Hahnemann, a suppressed skin eruption is not driven into the body as it was popularly thought in his time, and even today by most homeopaths, but rather the vital force is compelled “to effect a transference of a worse form of morbid action to other and more important parts.” (Introduction of the Organon of Medicine page 62) (9)
    • “Latent psora, an abnormal susceptibility to disease, will manifest itself as severe diseases after exposure to stress (or as he calls it, unfavorable conditions of life) acute infections, trauma and injuries, exhaustion from overworking, lack of fresh air or exercise, frustration, grief, poor nutrition, etc, and by “incorrect and weakening allopathic treatment”. (page 48)
    • “During the treatment of chronic diseases of non-venereal origin with antipsoric remedies, the last symptoms are always the first to disappear, “but the oldest ailments and those which have been most constant and unchanged, among which are the local ailments, are the last to give way.” (page 135)
    • If old symptoms return during an antipsoric treatment, it means that the remedy is affecting psora at its roots and will do much for its thorough cure (page 135). If a skin eruption appears during the treatment while all other symptoms have so far improved the end of the treatment is close.”
  3. Hahnemann – 1833-43
    In paragraphs 161 and 248 of the fifth and sixth edition of the Organon of Medicine of 1833 and 1843 respectively, Hahnemann says that in the treatment of old and very old chronic disease, aggravation of the original disease does not appear if the remedy is accurately chosen and given in the appropriate small doses, which are only gradually increased. “When this is done, these exacerbations of the original symptoms of the chronic disease can appear only at the end of the treatment, when the cure is complete or nearly complete.” The original symptoms of a chronic disease should be the last to aggravate or become more prominent before disappearing. (10)
    In paragraph 253 of the same work, the author states that in all diseases, especially in quickly arising (acute) ones, of all the signs that indicate a small beginning of improvement (or aggravation) that is not visible to everybody, the psychic condition of the patient and his general demeanor are the most certain and revealing.

    In paragraph 225, Hahnemann states that some psychic diseases are not the extension of physical disease but, “instead, with only slight physical illness, they arise and proceed from the psyche, from persistent grief, resentment, anger, humiliation and repeated exposure to fear and fright. In time such psychic diseases often greatly harm the physical health.” In other words, Hahnemann had recognized the existence of psychosomatic diseases, those diseases which progress from within outwards and from above downwards.

    This is the background that now leads us to Hering, who, among all Hahnemann’s students, was most similar to him. Like Hahnemann, Hering was a true scientist who totally adopted the inductive method in his scientific pursuits.

  4. Hering – 1845
    In 1845, Hering published in the preface of the first American edition of Hahnemann’s Chronic Diseases an extract of an essay which was never published elsewhere, called “Guide to the Progressive Development of Homœopathy”.
    In this essay, Hering writes:

    • “Every homœopathic physician must have observed that the improvement in pain takes place from above downward; and in diseases, from within outward. This is the reason why chronic diseases, if they are thoroughly cured, always terminate in some cutaneous eruption, which differs according to the different constitutions of the patients.
    • “The thorough cure of a widely ramified chronic disease in the organism is indicated by the most important organs being first relieved; the affection passes off in the order in which the organs had been affected, the more important being relieved first, the less important next, and the skin last. (page 7)
    • “Even the superficial observer will not fail in recognising this law of order.
    • “This law of order which we have pointed out above, accounts for numerous cutaneous eruptions consequent upon homœopathic treatment, even where they never had been seen before; it accounts for the obstinacy with which many kinds of herpes and ulcers remain upon the skin, whereas others are dissipated like snow. Those which remain, do remain because the internal disease is yet existing… It lastly accounts for one cutaneous affection being substituted for another.” (11) (page 8)

    Here Hering assumes that all chronic diseases (it is likely that he is referring here to diseases of psoric origin, i.e., non-venereal) progress from less to more important organs and disappear in the reverse order. This is compatible with Hahnemann’s theory that all chronic diseases of non-venereal origin manifest themselves first on the skin then internally. (Concerning the theories of Hahnemann, Hering wrote in 1836 in the first American edition of the Organon of Medicine: Whether the theories of Hahnemann are destined to endure a longer or a shorter space, whether they be the best or not, time only can determine; be it as it may however, it is a matter of minor importance. For myself, I am generally considered as a disciple and adherent of Hahnemann, and I do indeed declare, that I am one among the most enthusiastic in doing homage to his greatness; but nevertheless I declare also, that since my first acquaintance with homeopathy, (in the year 1821), down to the present day, I hve never yet accepted a single theory in the Organon as it is promulgated. I feel no aversion to acknowledge this even to the venerable sage himself. It is the genuine Hahnemannean spirit totally to disregard all theories, even those of one’s own fabrication, when they are in opposition to the results of pure experience. All thoeries and hypotheses have no positive weight whatever, only so far as they lead to new experiments, and afford a better survey of the results of those already made. (page 17) (12)

  5. Hering – 1865
    It seems that Hering did not further elaborate on this subject, at least in the American literature, until 20 years later. In 1865, he published an article in the first volume of The Hahnemannian Monthly called “Hahnemann’s three rules concerning the rank of symptoms”. Hering states in this article that:

    • “The quintessence of Hahnemann’s doctrine is, to give in all chronic diseases, i.e., such as progress from without inwardly, from the less essential parts of our body to the more essential, from the periphery to the central organs, generally from below upwards – to give in all such cases, by preference, such drugs as are opposite in their direction, or way of action, such as act from within outward, from up downward, from the most essential organs to the less essential, from the brain and the nerves outward and down to the most outward and the lowest of all organs, to the skin… All the antipsoric drugs of Hahnemann have this peculiarity as the most characteristic; the evolution of their effects from within towards without. (page 6-7)
    • “Hahnemann states, in his treatise on Chronic Diseases, American translation p.171: Symptoms recently developed are the first to yield. Older symptoms disappear last. Here we have one of Hahnemann’s general observations, which like all of them, is of endless value, a plain, practical rule and of immense importance.
    • “The above rule might also be expressed in the following words: In diseases of long standing, where the symptoms or groups of symptoms have befallen the sick in a certain order, succeeding each other, more and more being added from time to time to those already existing, in such cases this order should be reversed during the cure; the last ought to disappear first and the first last.” (page 7-8) (13)

    It is very clear here that Hering makes no mention of a law but rather of a rule, that the symptoms ought to disappear in the reverse order of their appearance during the homeopathic treatment of patients with chronic disease of psoric origin, the ones that progress from without inwardly, from less important to more important organs and generally from below upwards.

  6. Hering – 1875
    In 1875, Hering published the first volume of Analytical Therapeutics of the Mind in which he stated that “only such patients remain well and are really cured, who have been rid of their symptoms in the reverse order of their development”. (page 24) (14) Here Hering makes no mention of the three other propositions regarding the direction of cure: from above downwards, from within outwards and from the more important to the less important organs. Why? Were they not considered as important to evaluate the direction of cure as stated in previous years?
    In the same work, Hering also explains that he adopted Hahnemann’s arrangement of the materia medica: “First inner symptoms, then outer ones. This order we have now uniformly preserved throughout the whole work.” (page 21) In explaining why he adopted this arrangement he says: “The arrangement as well as the style of printing, has the one object especially in view, viz.: to make it as easy as possible for the eye, and through the eye, for the mind to find what is looked for.” He makes no mention of this arrangement corresponding to a direction of cure, as it has been suggested by some well wishing homeopaths.

    The origin of the term “Hering’s law”
    Where does the term “Hering’s law” come from as it seems never to have been mentioned in the literature during Hering’s time? The earliest mention I have been able to find in the homeopathic literature dates from 1911, in an article published by Kent in the first volume of the Transactions of the Society of Homœopathicians called “Correspondence of Organs, and the Direction of Cure”. Kent writes:

    • “Hering first introduced the law of direction of symptoms: from within out, from above downward, in reverse order of their appearance. It does not occur in Hahnemann’s writings. It is spoken of as Hering’s law. There is scarcely anything of this law in the literature of homœopathy, except the observation of symptoms going from above to the extremities, eruptions appearing on the skin and discharges from the mucous membranes or ulcers appearing upon the legs as internal symptoms disappear.
    • “There is non-specific assertion in the literature except as given in the lectures on philosophy at the Post- Graduate School.” (15)

    It is reasonable to assume that Kent was the one that officialized the term “Hering’s law” and so inadvertently popularized the concept of the existence of a clear and precise law of direction of cure. (At least up till 1899, at Kent’s Post-Graduate School of Homeopathics, the directions of cure were still called “the Three Directions of cure [given by Hahnemann].) (16) By using the name of Hering it is reasonable to say that Kent thus created false and misleading historical assumptions. Since H.C. Allen had died two years previously (1909), the profession, at least in North America, had no other leaders capable to refute Kent and defend the classic Hahnemannian tradition. (It is to be remembered that in 1908 H.C. Allen had severely criticized the materia medica of the new synthetic remedies that Kent had been publishing since 1904 in The Critique. Kent was at the time the associate editor of this journal in which, almost monthly, he had been publishing the materia medica of a new synthetic remedy, each of very questionable value. During an open session at the annual meeting of the International Hahnemannian Association, Allen and G.P. Waring accused Kent of publishing materia medica that was “without proving or any clinical experience”, which would have been completely contrary to the strict inductive method intrinsic to homeopathy. (17)

    Kent then stopped permanently the publication of these synthetic remedies, even the ones that he had previously promised for upcoming publication in The Critique(18) Although Kent continued to publish regularly in The Critique until 1911 he restricted his articles to reporting clinical cases rather than materia medica. Never was a synthetic remedy ever published by Kent after the initial criticism of Allen even in his own journal, The Homœopathician, that he founded in 1912. Furthermore, when Kent published the second edition of his Lectures on Homœopathic Materia Medica in 1912 [the first edition was in 1904], all the synthetic remedies published between 1904 and 1908 were omitted.)

    In this same article, Kent says that in the course of treatment of a patient suffering with a psychic disease of the will (problems of affections, grief, anger, jealousy, etc), the heart or liver will be affected as the treatment progresses.

    While in a patient suffering from a mental disease (problems of the intellect), the stomach or the kidney will be affected during appropriate homeopathic treatment. Were these comments on the direction of cure and correspondence of organs based on Kent’s impeccable and meticulous observations or was he rather formulating hypotheses? He does not explain further but he does mention later in the same paper that “through familiarity with Swedenborg, I have found the correspondences wrought out from the Word of God harmonious with all I have learned in the past thirty years. Familiarity with them aids in determining the effect of prescriptions.” (15)

    Nowhere was I able to find in the writings of Kent, including in a collection of not yet republished lesser writings, any other mention of Hering’s law as to the direction of cure.

    Discussion and Conclusion
    First let us briefly review the highlights of what has been so far demonstrated:

    • Between 1828 and 1843, Hahnemann enunciated his theories of chronic diseases and described his observations and rules about the progression and resolution of these chronic diseases. One key point of his theory is that a skin eruption is the first manifestation of psora, which is the source of all chronic diseases of non-venereal origin. In chronic disease the presenting symptoms of the patient (“those ailments which have been most constant and unchanged”) may aggravate and will disappear in the reverse order of their appearance with the correct antipsoric remedies in the correct posology. Possibly, old symptoms may return during an antipsoric treatment. In all diseases, if after a homeopathic remedy the psychic symptoms are the first to improve or aggravate it is a most certain sign of curative change. For Hahnemann this inside outward improvement was not a law but rather a most certain sign of curative change. Finally not all diseases progress from outside inwards but certain diseases (psychosomatic diseases) can progress from within outwards.
    • In 1845, Hering enunciated the original observations of Hahnemann as a law of order in a work never to be published. In this law he mentions essentially four points, that “the improvement in pain takes place from above downward; and in diseases, from within outward… Chronic diseases if thoroughly cured, always terminate in some cutaneous eruption” and lastly “the thorough cure of a widely ramified chronic disease in the organism is indicated by the most important organs being first relieved; the affection passes off in the order in which the organs had been affected, the most important being relieved first, the less important next, and the skin last”. As a reader I do not clearly sense that Hering is officially proclaiming the original observations of Hahnemann as an absolute law but rather that there is a “law of order” during a curative process. Also I was unable to find Hering or any of his contemporaries referring further to this unpublished work or to a law of direction of cure.
    • In 1865, Hering described these observations not as a law but as Hahnemann’s general observations or as plain practical rules. Essentially he emphasizes the proposition that the symptoms should disappear in the reverse order of their appearance during the treatment of patients with chronic psoric diseases.
    • In 1875, Hering now discussed only one proposition, that the symptoms will disappear in the reverse order of their appearance. The three other propositions are now not mentioned at all.
    • All the illustrious contemporaries of Hering seems to remain silent on this point, at least from my review of the literature.
    • In 1911, Kent, almost arbitrarily, calls the original observations of Hahnemann “Hering’s law”.

    Now, with Kent’s powerful influence, most modern works and presentations on homeopathy began to declare Hering’s law as an established fact and seemingly assumed that it has been thoroughly verified since the beginning of homeopathy, although no author, to my knowledge, has so far been able to substantiate what each is repeating from the other. Here is one clear sign which indicates how profoundly the homeopathic profession of today has been cut off from its original and most essential sources. During the years of its decline in the U.S. the profession experienced a gradual discontinuity from its original foundation and started to rely more and more on a neo-foundation dating back to the turn of the present century. Each new generation of homeopaths has readily accepted Hering’s law as a perfect law of cure and so unintentionally perpetuated a misleading assumption. For students it is an attractive concept but we clinicians must stand up and report our observations even if they are contrary to the teaching we have received.

    From reviewing the literature, it seems unlikely that the law formulated by Kent in 1911 is a fair represention of Hering’s overall understanding of a direction of cure and that neither Kent nor anyone else has been able thus far to clinically demonstrate that the original observations of Hahnemann constituted in fact a perfect law of nature. But if we assume, for a moment, that the law formulated by Kent is true, would all symptoms then have to disappear, not only in the reverse order of their appearance, but also from above downwards, from within outwards and from more important to less important organs?

    To comply with this law it would mean that all diseases to be curable must proceed from outside inwards, from below upwards and from less important to more important organs. Many acute diseases and a whole list of chronic diseases such as psychosomatic diseases and others that develop from within outwards (for example cases of arthritis followed by psoriasis), or diseases that develop from above downwards, as in certain cases of polyarthritis, would then be theoritically incurable. Or (since we know this not to be the case) they are curable, but represent notable exceptions to Kent’s formulation of a law of direction of cure.

    In many cases of chronic disease the direction of disappearance of symptoms will contradict at least one of the four propositions. I assume that we all agree that the enunciation of a law must be based on impeccable observations. A law, if it is to be called a law, must explain all observable phenomena of direction of cure. It is unacceptable to use limited or even selected clinical phenomena to confirm a supposed law.

    This situation appears to exist when certain homeopaths in their attempts to defend “pure” homeopathy subscribe to the position that what is observed as contrary to Hering’s law, as formulated by Kent, is only due to poor prescribing, suppressive at times, palliative at best but surely not curative. For them what is wrong, is not the law but the prescription: “the simillimum was not given.”

    Personally I use and can daily confirm the original observations of Hahnemann concerning the direction of cure and have found them extremely helpful to evaluate the evolution of diseases or of cure but I have not been able to substantiate these observations as a law and have not yet found a colleague with such substantiation. I use them as plain practical rules.

    Probably by the end of my career, homeopathy will have become widely accepted. I would then resent it if a group of objective scientists clinically investigate the principles of homeopathy, and find numerous exceptions not abiding to our idealistic or dogmatic conception of Hering’s law; thus renderiing it only “a plain, practical rule“. I would similarly resent having a group of scientists saying that for the last hundred or more years the homeopathic profession has been blindly erring in assuming that Hering’s law was an irrefutable fact.

    Five of the many plagues that have hindered the growth of homeopathy are ignorance, egotism, dogmatism, idolatry and the diversion from the inductive method. In his last address to the profession in an article published in the August 1880 (Hering died on July 23, 1880.) issue of the North American Journal of Homœopathy, Hering warned us that “if our school ever gives up the strict inductive method of Hahnemann we are lost, and deserve to be mentioned only as a caricature in the history of medicine.” (19) Indeed, since its early beginning the tendency to rationalize the practice of medicine has also constantly threatened homeopathy. Hahnemann, who had a thorough understanding of the history of medicine, knew that the only sure way was based on the experimental method. Hering demonstrated the same rigor. Unfortunatively, we can not say the same of Kent. Let us now start carefully observing and reporting any facts that would help to perfect Hahnemann’s original observations. If a direction of cure can be expressed within the context of a law, then so be it. But until demonstrated otherwise, it should remain “a plain, practical rule”. The law that we suspect still needs to be rightly formulated.

    At present it seems appropriate to refer to these observations as the rules of the direction of cure. To refer to these as Hahnemann’s or Hering’s rules may further prolong the confusion. From my personal experience, it appears that the four rules are not applicable to all cases and that there is a hierarchy among them, i.e., they do not have equal value. The first indication that a disease is being cured under homeopathic treatment is that the presenting and reversible (Many symptoms related to irreversible lesions can not be expected to totally disappear; consequently the more a symptom is related to organic changes, the less likely, or more slowly it will disappear. The greater the irreversibility of the pathology the greater the symptoms will linger. The practitioner can easily be confused by these important exceptions, which are often not well perceived. Therefore this rule [of symptoms disappearing in the reverse order of appearance] is generally less applicable to symptoms deriving from organic lesions.) symptoms of the disease will disappear in the reverse order of their appearance.

    This confirms the observations as pointed out originally and plainly by Hahnemann in The Chronic Diseases and later by Hering in 1865 and 1875. This means that during the treatment of patients suffering with chronic diseases of non-venereal origin and also at times with acute diseases, the presenting symptoms of the patient’s chronic dynamic disease (as opposed to the symptoms resulting essentially from gross error of living) will disappear in the reverse order of their appearance. So the presenting symptoms that have developed in the order of A B C D E seem to consistently disappear in the order of E D C B A. This rule seems to have supremacy over the other three rules: from more important to the less important organs, from within outwards and from above downwards.

    The word “presenting” is here emphasized in order to state perfectly clearly that the symptoms that will disappear in the reverse order of the their appearance are only the presenting symptoms, and that it is not at all expected that every ailment experienced by the patient in his past will again be re-experienced under homeopathic treatment. In fact only a few of these old symptoms and conditions will reappear during a homeopathic treatment, usually the ones that have unmistakably been suppressed by whatever influences. Beside antipathic treatment that will suppress symptoms and normal functions of the organism (perspiration or menses) there are other measures which will cause suppression of symptoms, first, dissimilar diseases, natural or artificial; second, external influences such as exposure to cold temperature, (i.e., suppressed menses from getting the feet wet); and lastly, internal influences that cause the person to suppress emotions such as anger or grief. This rule concerning cure in the reverse order of appearance of the presenting and reversible symptoms of the disease is the most important of the four as it is observable in almost all cases. The importance of this rule is well emphasized by Hering in 1865 when he mentioned:

    • “This rule enables the Hahnemannian artist not only to cure the most obstinate chronic diseases, but also to make a certain prognosis when discharging a cases, whether the patient will remain cured or whether the disease will return, like a half-paid creditor, at the first opportunity.” (12)

    The second most important (applicable) rule in the hierarchy is that cure will proceed from more important to less important organs. Third in importance is the rule that cure will proceed from within outwards. Fourth, least important and least often observable, the cure will proceed from above downwards. Hahnemann’s observation thatof all the signs that indicate a small beginning of improvement, the psychic condition of the patient and his general demeanor are the most certain and revealing is seen as the source of the last three rules. “The very beginning of improvement is indicated by a sense of greater ease, composure, mental freedom, higher spirits, and returning naturalness.” (paragraph 253) 10 This original observation of Hahnemann, which is verified daily, does not contradict the first rule in any case because the first sign of improvement can be and is often different than the symptom that would first disappear.

    Consequent to Hahnemann’s theory, (that all diseases, acute and chronic of non-venereal origin, come from the original malady called psora and its first manifestation is a skin eruption) all cases of chronic disease of dynamic origin must develop a skin eruption to be totally cured. As it seems unfeasible to demonstrate, it should at best be used as a working hypothesis and not as a law. For a law to exist it must be demonstrable without exception. Hahnemann had a clear opinion about the role of the physician as theorist when he wrote in the preface to the fourth volume of The Chronic Diseases:

    • “I furnished, indeed, a conjecture about it [on how the cure of diseases is effected], but I did not desire tocall it an explanation, i.e., a definite explanation of the modus operandi. Nor was this at all necessary, for it is only incumbent upon us to cure similar symptoms correctly and successfully, according to a law of nature [similia similibus curantur] which is being constantly confirmed; but not to boast with abstract explanations, while we leave the patients uncured; for that is all which so-called physicians have hitherto accomplished.” (8)

    To end this thesis, I would like to leave you with the spirit of some pertinent thoughts of Constantine Hering. In 1879, in the last two paragraphs to the preface of his last work, The Guiding Symptoms of our Materia Medica, he writes:

    • “It has been my rule through life never to accept anything as true, unless it came as near mathematical proof as possible in its domain of science; and, in the other hand, never to reject anything as false, unless there was stronger proof of its falsity.
    • “Some will say, “but so many things – a majority of all observations – will thus remain between the two undecided.” So they will; and can it be helped? It can, but only by accumulating most careful observations and contributing them to the general fund of knowledge.” (20)

    And finally he wrote in 1845 in the preface of Hahnemann’s Chronic Diseases:

    • “It is the duty of all of us to go farther in the theory and practice of Homœopathy than Hahnemann has done. We ought to seek the truth which is before us and forsake the errors of the past.” (page 9) (11)

    References

    1. Kent JT. Lectures on Homœopathic Philosophy. 2nd Ed. Chicago: Ehrhart & Karl, 1929.
    2. Close S. The Genius of Homœopathy. Philadelphia: Boericke & Tafel, 1924.
    3. Roberts HA. The Principles and Art of Cure by Homœopathy. 2nd Revised Edition. Rustington: Health Science Press, 1942.
    4. Boericke G. A compend of the Principles of Homœopathy for Students in Medicine. Philadelphia: Boericke & Tafel, 1929.
    5. Raue CG, Knerr CB, Mohr C, eds. A Memorial of Constantine Hering. Philadelphia: Press of Globe Printing House, 1884.
    6. Eastman AM. Life and Reminiscences of Dr. Constantine Hering. Philadelphia: Published by the family for private circulation, 1917.
    7. Knerr CB. Life of Hering. Philadelphia: The Magee Press, 1940.
    8. Hahnemann SC. The Chronic Diseases. Trans. by LF Tafel. Philadelphia: Boericke & Tafel, 1896.
    9. Hahnemann SC. Organon of Medicine. Trans. by W Boericke. Philadelphia: Boericke & Tafel, 1920
    10. Hahnemann SC. Organon of Medicine. Trans. by J Kunzli. Los Angeles: J.P. Tarcher, 1982.
    11. Hering C. Preface. In Hahnemann SC. The Chronic Diseases. Trans. by CJ Hempel. New-York: William Radde, 1845.
    12. Hering C. Preface to the first American edition. In the Organon of Homœopathic Medicine. New-York: William Radde, 1836.
    13. Hering C. Hahnemann’s Three Rules Concerning the Rank of Symptoms. Hahnemannian Monthly 1865;1:5-12.
    14. Hering C. Analytical Therapeutics of the Mind. Vol 1. Philadelphia: Boericke & Tafel, 1875.
    15. Kent JT. Correspondence of Organs, and Direction of Cure. Trans Soc. Homœopathicians 1911;1:31-33.
    16. Loos JC. Homœopathic Catechism. Journal of Homœopathics 1898-1899;2:480-488.
    17. Mastin JM. Editorial. Critique 1908;15:277-278.
    18. Mastin JM. Editorial. Critique 1907;14:228-229.
    19. Hering C. Apis. North American Journal of Homœopathy 1880;29:29-35.
    20. Hering C. The Guiding Symptoms of our Materia Medica. Vol 1. Philadelphia: The American Publishing Society, 1879.

Vaccines and Pertussis

Joyce Bowen.

Questions About Vaccine-Strain Pertussis

A premise
I am just recovering from my third bout of pertussis in as many years.  I’m 67 and I never remember having pertussis in earlier years.  It is quite a distinctive illness, so I have no doubts.
I recall recently hearing about the pertussis outbreak amongst students where only the vaccinated experienced the illness.  Their unvaccinated peers did not suffer the illness.  I think there is a reason for that.
In 2016, I asked for a tetanus booster.  I had to kick and fight to get it.  I wish I hadn’t.  A friend of mine came over to visit one day in 2017—don’t remember exactly when, but I could look it up if I had to.  He had had his tetanus booster.  He sat in a chair about four feet away from my bed.  I had been getting sicker and sicker so I lay in my bed.
He left after about a half-hour—within a week, I was hacking my brains out with something I had never experienced before.  I went to the doctor and no tests were done, but my oxygen was low—about 92%.  I made it clear I did not want to go into the hospital and I didn’t.
My friend, Bert, was as stymied as I was—I was sure he was the source of my illness.  I barely went out; my kidneys were close to failing and my body was often wracked with spasms.  He told me he was just as confused as I was because both I and his wife had gotten this mysterious illness yet he had not.
Fast-forward through my next bout of this illness  (which was last October) to now.  With a few caveats.
  1. I did not receive a tetanus booster: I received the Tdap.  I have confirmed this through records.
  2. As to my first experience with this illness, I suspected Bert received the Tdap rather than a tetanus booster and that this was probably now protocol.  I and his wife experienced pertussis because of his transmission of vaccine-strain pertussis.  He, of course, felt nothing.
This case of pertussis I am just finishing up was the result of occupying the same space as my mechanic.  After paying my bill, he informed me he had received his tetanus booster a week earlier.  I groaned and told him he more than likely had received the Tdap, and that he would now be susceptible to pertussis for the rest of his life.  What didn’t hit me until the drive home was that I was going to get sick, and I did.  I kept hoping I wouldn’t, but with the onset of glandular pain, I knew I was probably in for it.
I’ve now experienced three events.  All three events occurred as the result of contact with someone having a shot laced with an acellular pertussis component.
Questions:
  1. Are those pertussis breakouts among the vaccinated being specifically infected by vaccine-strain pertussis?
  2. Is this only experienced only by those vaccinated with a shot containing ap?
  3. Are the unvaccinated not affected because this strain is only virulent to the vaccinated?
  4. How long can these bacteria live outside the body?
  5. Are these known quantities by the vaccine/pharmaceutical industry?

What has changed, or constitution? Aphorisms 5 and 6 revisited

By Vera Resnick

James Tyler Kent

So what should it be – Aphorism 5 or Aphorism 6? Let’s look at them… (text taken from 6th edition)

Aphorism 5:

Useful to the physician in assisting him to cure are the particulars of the most probable exciting cause of the acute disease, as also the most significant points in the whole history of the chronic disease, to enable him to discover its fundamental cause, which is generally due to a chronic miasm. In these investigations, the ascertainable physical constitution of the patient (especially when the disease is chronic), his moral and intellectual character, his occupation, mode of living and habits, his social and domestic relations, his age, sexual function, etc., are to be taken into consideration.

Aphorism 6:

The unprejudiced observer – well aware of the futility of transcendental speculations which can receive no confirmation from experience – be his powers of penetration ever so great, takes note of nothing in every individual disease, except the changes in the health of the body and of the mind (morbid phenomena, accidents, symptoms) which can be perceived externally by means of the senses; that is to say, he notices only the deviations from the former healthy state of the now diseased individual, which are felt by the patient himself, remarked by those around him and observed by the physician. All these perceptible signs represent the disease in its whole extent, that is, together they form the true and only conceivable portrait of the disease.

So – which one is it? If the information described in Aphorism 5 is what is needed to make an accurate homoeopathic prescription, we can understand the Kentian-style intake, lasting hours and sometimes even days. We can also understand how Kent – with a little push from Swedenborg, ok, a hefty shove – came to the concept of the constitutional remedy. A remedy which encompasses the patient’s entire soul and psyche, in this life and – depending on your beliefs – in all those that came before and will come after…

Since Kent’s time, homeopaths have worshipped at the altar of the Constitutional Remedy, the simple substance – a Swedenborgian, not Hahnemannian concept – and this is what most non-homoeopaths and homoeopaths alike believe Classical Homoeopathy to be.

But then what do we do about Aphorism 6? This Aphorism and its instructions have been swept under the constitutional carpets of so-called Classical Homoeopathy for so long that the simple clarity of focus and objective has been lost to many.

Hahnemann’s language in Aphorism 6 is very clear. “Take note of nothing but the changes in the health of the body and the mind”. How on earth is it possible to ignore that? But it is ignored.

The thing is – this is not an “either/or” situation. Both Aphorisms are essential, but they serve different purposes. We cannot take what has changed (Aphorism 6), if we don’t know what was before (Aphorism 5). We cannot assess those changes and prioritize them if we don’t know whether there is an exciting cause, a maintaining cause, a miasmatic origin (or something that is harming the patient’s health and can be removed – see Aphorism 4) – if we don’t do the work set out in Aphorism 5.

But the central focus, the torch that has to guide us through the often labyrinthine nature of a complex case has to be Aphorism 6. So many patients today are subjected to never-ending sessions where they are asked to disclose their most intimate thoughts, dreams and fantasies, their sexual urges, their emotional relationships past present and future, their failed expectations and unexpected successes. The process is usually emotionally draining, hugely time-consuming, potentially harmful in terms of the patient-practitioner relationship, and without the context set out in Aphorism 6, of no use whatsoever and potentially hinders us from finding the best homoeopathic prescription for the patient.

Nash: thought of the day

Nash states: “The old saying used to be (and was sanctioned by Hahnemann) that acute diseases generally tend to recovery ; chronic never.

There is much truth in it. None but the true homoeopathic physician realizes the importance of thoroughly taking and working out such cases. It is worth $25 to $100 to make the first study of a very difficult case, and mark out the line of treatment. Rarely will a case come out so clearly that the cure can be per- formed with one remedy; but a succession of remedies will be necessary, and here is where the so- called complementary relations of remedies come in for recognition and skillful application.

Some will object that they cannot afford to pay such a price for a single study of a case. Well, it is probable that such will pay more than that for work done over and over again, because not well done at the start ; and worse still, will stand little if any chance of ever getting a cure. It is a clear case of ” penny wise and pound foolish.’ ‘

Many persons go through life invalids, patching symptoms, or temporary manifestations of disease, which, if understood and dealt with in their entirety, as they should have been at the start, they might have been well and happy. To be sure it is for the pecuniary advantage of the physician to do that kind of patching a few dollars at a time, without curing it. It makes him, or some brother physician, a ” job” for life. If the patient gets tired, or disgusted, and goes to Dr. A., one of Dr. A.’s patients does the same thing, and comes to him, and so the good work goes on. Physicians are about the only profession that are expected to do a good job for the same pay as a poor one. They are not expected to charge any more for prescribing for phthisis pulmonalis or any other chronic case that takes a week of careful study to do good work than they do for a simple case of indigestion from over-eating, which would get well of itself if let alone. The physician cannot therefore in justice to himself and the family dependant upon him spend the necessary time upon it. The pay is the same. So the doctor gets discouraged because he is not paid for good work, and the patient because he, or she, gets no benefit.

The biggest humbugs on earth get more wealth out of patent nostrums, out of the “grand elleptical Asiatical panticurial nervous cordials” that are warranted to cure all the ills to which flesh is heir than the most educated, able and conscientious physician in the world. Hence there is small encouragetnent for the educated physician, and less hope for the victims. Clairvoyants, ignorant Indians, charlatans and quacks of all shades and varieties ” boom their wares,” and the true physician looks on disgusted, but helpless.

The people as ignorant of medicine as those who impose upon them “want to be humbugged” and are. If we object we will be met with the bluff that “you are mad be- cause you want the money there is in it.” What do the quacks and pretenders want ? But there is after all a bright side to this picture. There are persons, and quite a good “many of them, who believe in the educated physician as well as educated men in the other professions. They know how to appreciate the study, time, patience and pains-taking of the honest physician who works for them, and are willing to pay him. Only for this the practice of medicine, scientific medicine, would become a lost art. “

Naturopathic doctors gaining new powers

Naturopathic doctors in Ontario and British Columbia are celebrating legislative gains that will allow them to prescribe drugs as well as natural products, and naturopaths in Manitoba and Alberta may soon be joining the party.

In Ontario, the provincial Standing Committee on Social Policy voted in October to approve Bill 179, which will amend the Naturopathy Act to allow qualified naturopaths to dispense, compound or sell drugs listed in accompanying regulations. Although the bill requires third reading and passage by the legislature, the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care supports it and, given the Liberal majority, it is expected to pass.

The regulations that will determine which drugs naturopaths will be allowed to prescribe must still be hammered out — a process that could take up to three years. Although naturopathic doctors in Ontario believe they will eventually be able to prescribe basic primary care drugs and crash-cart medications, as in British Columbia, they also expect some lobbying against that power from organizations representing medical doctors.

“We feel very positive about the changes, the new regulations in British Columbia and what’s being proposed in Ontario,” says Shawn O’Reilly, executive director and director of government relations for the Canadian Association of Naturopathic Doctors. “What we’re seeing is that shared scope of practice legislation is being tabled and approved across the country, and naturopathic doctors are being included in that legislation.”

The changes are in the best interests of patients and will foster comanagement with medical doctors and others, she adds.

Not everyone appears warm to the notion of expanding naturopath prescribing rights beyond natural health products, though.

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Will that be an herb? Or a drug? That prescriptive option will soon be available to many naturopathic doctors in Canada.

“The intent is just to allow them to do what they are already doing with the natural health products,” says David Jensen, a spokesman for the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. Whether pharmaceuticals are added to the list of products naturopaths will be permitted to prescribe, compound and dispense “will need to be seen as it is spelled out in the regulations,” he says.

In a statement, Dr. Suzanne Strasberg, president of the Ontario Medical Association, raised concerns about the proposed expansion of the scope of practice for naturopaths. “We believe that the use of pharmaceuticals or synthetic drugs is completely outside naturopathy’s educational framework and scope of practice,” she stated.

In British Columbia, the government last April passed legislation allowing naturopathic practitioners to prescribe Schedule I medications, which include basic primary care drugs such as antibiotics. In addition, qualified naturopaths will be able to prescribe hormones, botanicals, high-dose vitamins, amino acids and other natural substances they have traditionally used in their practices, but which are increasingly coming under federal control and scheduling limitations. In many provinces such as BC, only medical doctors, dentists and veterinarians could previously prescribe substances such as digitalis and other botanicals and hormones that naturopaths normally used.

Under BC’s legislation and accompanying regulations, naturopaths will not prescribe certain restricted classes of medications, such as antipsychotics and chemotherapy drugs. The regulatory board that governs naturopathic doctors is now finalizing the standards and list of substances that naturopaths will be allowed to prescribe.

But they will first have to meet educational requirements and pass a qualifying examination, says Christoff Kind, president of the British Columbia Naturopathic Association. “The whole thing really is just based on providing for a shared scope of practice model here in BC, which I think is coming across the country,” he says. “Professions that have the training should be allowed to practise to their level of education and expertise.”

The changes will mean that if a naturopath has a patient with acute pneumonia, for example, he will be able to prescribe an appropriate antibiotic instead of sending the patient to their family doctor, Kind says. “It will allow for more streamlined health care.”

Meanwhile, Manitoba has just approved umbrella legislation regulating health care professions that is similar to that of BC. Naturopaths are expected to be included “as part of the second wave moved under that legislation,” O’Reilly says. Alberta has done the same and regulations have been drafted there but not yet finalized.

In the United States, 11 of 16 jurisdictions that regulate naturopathic medicine have awarded naturopathic doctors prescribing authority. Although the pharmaceutical formulary varies in different states, it is extremely broad in Hawaii, California and Washington. In Arizona and Oregon, naturopaths are allowed to prescribe most pharmaceuticals except some therapeutics and narcotics. In Utah, they may prescribe and dispense all non-controlled drugs, while in Maine, they must first complete a one-year collaborative relationship with a medical doctor.

Kent, the Constitutional Remedy, Aphorisms 5 and 6

Here is another viewpoint as to why Aphorism 5 is misunderstood.

Authored by Vera Resnick on https://pandwisrael.wordpress.com/2014/06/16/kent-the-constitutional-remedy-aphorisms-5-and-6/

Kent. James Tyler


So what should it be – Aphorism 5 or Aphorism 6? Let’s look at them… (text taken from 6th edition)

Aphorism 5:

Useful to the physician in assisting him to cure are the particulars of the most probable exciting cause of the acute disease, as also the most significant points in the whole history of the chronic disease, to enable him to discover its fundamental cause, which is generally due to a chronic miasm. In these investigations, the ascertainable physical constitution of the patient (especially when the disease is chronic), his moral and intellectual character, his occupation, mode of living and habits, his social and domestic relations, his age, sexual function, etc., are to be taken into consideration.

Aphorism 6:

The unprejudiced observer – well aware of the futility of transcendental speculations which can receive no confirmation from experience – be his powers of penetration ever so great, takes note of nothing in every individual disease, except the changes in the health of the body and of the mind (morbid phenomena, accidents, symptoms) which can be perceived externally by means of the senses; that is to say, he notices only the deviations from the former healthy state of the now diseased individual, which are felt by the patient himself, remarked by those around him and observed by the physician. All these perceptible signs represent the disease in its whole extent, that is, together they form the true and only conceivable portrait of the disease.

So – which one is it? If the information described in Aphorism 5 is what is needed to make an accurate homoeopathic prescription, we can understand the Kentian-style intake, lasting hours and sometimes even days. We can also understand how Kent – with a little push from Swedenborg, ok, a hefty shove – came to the concept of the constitutional remedy. A remedy which encompasses the patient’s entire soul and psyche, in this life and – depending on your beliefs – in all those that came before and will come after…

Since Kent’s time, homeopaths have worshipped at the altar of the Constitutional Remedy, the simple substance – a Swedenborgian, not Hahnemannian concept – and this is what most non-homoeopaths and homoeopaths alike believe Classical Homoeopathy to be.

But then what do we do about Aphorism 6? This Aphorism and its instructions have been swept under the constitutional carpets of so-called Classical Homoeopathy for so long that the simple clarity of focus and objective has been lost to many.

Hahnemann’s language in Aphorism 6 is very clear. “Take note of nothing but the changes in the health of the body and the mind”. How on earth is it possible to ignore that? But it is ignored.

The thing is – this is not an “either/or” situation. Both Aphorisms are essential, but they serve different purposes. We cannot take what has changed (Aphorism 6), if we don’t know what was before (Aphorism 5). We cannot assess those changes and prioritize them if we don’t know whether there is an exciting cause, a maintaining cause, a miasmatic origin (or something that is harming the patient’s health and can be removed – see Aphorism 4) – if we don’t do the work set out in Aphorism 5.

But the central focus, the torch that has to guide us through the often labyrinthine nature of a complex case has to be Aphorism 6. So many patients today are subjected to never-ending sessions where they are asked to disclose their most intimate thoughts, dreams and fantasies, their sexual urges, their emotional relationships past present and future, their failed expectations and unexpected successes. The process is usually emotionally draining, hugely time-consuming, potentially harmful in terms of the patient-practitioner relationship, and without the context set out in Aphorism 6, of no use whatsoever and potentially hinders us from finding the best homoeopathic prescription for the patient.

The Homoeopathy of Emotion – Enlightened Case-Taking

First published in May 30, 2011. A tongue in cheek look at modern homoeopathy.

By Priscilla Rowbottom, FHom, DHom, XHom, PQRS (Dip) (Lic), HomQuack

I am so excited, I felt I had to share this with my readers world-wide. I took my first case yesterday using a sensational new method – The Homoeopathy of Emotion. I invented it myself. The name is so catchy, don’t you think? I just felt that all this dry, symptom-based case-taking and repertorisation was so… so limited. Unenlightened. Vibrationally low. After all – what can be expected from a method where they ask you about your…(if you’ll excuse me)…shhh…stools…

Anyway, an asthmatic patient came to my clinic the other day. I do so love having a clinic, I have my name on the door, a secretary outside who runs my appointment book, and I’m very fortunate to have a large clientele. Patients usually only come once or twice – after that they are clearly cured as I never see them again. But there are always more where those came from…

I digress. This asthmatic patient stumbled into my room yesterday. It was urgent – he had been taken ill while arguing with the secretary about the cost of his vitamins.

He sat in the chair, wheezing and blue. It seemed to ease as he sat down, and he croaked “can you get me some ice-cold water, please?” As he sipped the water slowly, the colour returned to his face. He shivered and pulled his sweater on, even though it was quite a warm day. He burped, and grinned, saying “that’s much better… now can you help me with my asthma, doctor?”

I rubbed my hands in glee. What a perfect opportunity to test out my new method! There was clearly not much else to go on…

“Tell me,” I asked, “do you love your wife?”. I do so believe in getting straight to the point.

He looked bemused. I could see I had to press him.

“Do you feel any love in your life?” I asked, putting on my glasses and gazing at him sternly for greater effect.

“Er…yes…um…” he stumbled, “but what’s that got…”

Ah, I noted to myself, there’s a rubric for this, Answering, Aversion to, Refusing to Answer…was it possible that I had arrived at the core of the case within 5 minutes? Of course it was, after all, I always do…

“You must know,” I lectured, “we treat the whole human being! We must know all facets of your case before we can prescribe! Now tell me, do you, or do you not love your wife?”

“I’m not married,” he responded, somewhat sheepishly.

“Well, why not?” I pressed on regardless, one does have to be relentless in this inspiring work. “Are you sexually impaired?”

“What?” he asked, looking dazed. “Why-?”

I had clearly hit the center now. Male Genitalia, Sexual Desire, Wanting.

I quickly wrote out a prescription for Phosphoric Acid 10M and sent him on his way. He appeared to be wheezing as he left, and as he was settling his bill I heard some shouting, a thump and then frenzied cries for an ambulance.

I’m sure he’s doing much better as a result of my prescription as I haven’t seen him since…

In conclusion – as you can see, it’s only through enlightened case-taking that you can really see through to the core of the case. The patient’s asthma reflects his refusal to respond to the questions life places on him by making him dependent on respiration for life. In addition, his clear lack of sexual desire, obvious from the hangdog look in his eyes, is reflected in his asthmatic state, as his low vibration prevents him from participating fully in the joys life has to offer.

It’s so wonderful to be a homoeopath! I do thank Hahnemann daily for the generous gift of homoeopathy! Especially since my seminar on my new method, scheduled for tomorrow, already has 50 participants, prepaid!

Relearning true homoeopathy

By Dr Guillermo Zamora.

This is a translation from the Spanish. It has not been cleaned up from my poor attempts and google from the Spanish. as I was afraid to lose too much of the meaning.

The full Spanish translation can be found at: https://pandwespanol.wordpress.com/2015/01/10/reaprendiendo-verdadera-homeopatia/

 

When you start your studies in homeopathy, either as graduate or undergraduate, you have no idea what is homeopathy; and when you have, you think that any school or college that offers courses “Hahnemannian” do so on the basis of its creator, Dr. Hahnemann.

It begins to study and as time passes, who had the desire to have studied something medically worthwhile, we engage in a kind of disappointment, noting that we had gotten into something quasi psychological and spiritualist. Using overlays that make teachers in relation to the claims of Samuel Hahnemann inherited from misinformation and lack of research, draw us to Hahnemann always sitting in an armchair by speculations on the principles of homeopathy. This, for those who enjoy speculation and believe themselves discoverers of something beyond human understanding, love to think of a Hahnemann that way. The truth is that, regardless of Hahnemann was also a polymath, he preferred grounded through observation and experience to obtain knowledge; so he said: “I believe more in the experience in my own intelligence.”

Far from the speculative, devious, philosophical, and lazy Hahnemann we paint at school, found through their writings rather a completely observer, recorder, active, experimental, scrupulous critic himself, trying to distort their own hypotheses. He, along with his best pupil, Dr. Boenninghausen, leave us a legacy that few are interested in studying; and in contrast, we find an educational system completely distorted what Hahnemann wanted to establish as a methodology into believing that Kent (and its derivatives) is in complete agreement with him.

After a while of graduates and after tinkering with estereotipándolos remedies with certain personalities of patients, peers, teachers and even parents, we begin to realize that our cup is full lowered effectiveness, if not very poor (at best, 30%, and that thanks to shots of luck). The best we can say is that our patients feel mentally better; like the work of a doctor was merely be a spiritual counselor or psychologist (that is with all due respect to professionals in psychology who I mean everything that has to do with personality disorders).

He had the privilege of meeting Dr. Gary Weaver, who with a distinguished career of over 30 years and having traveled the world visiting museums, libraries, and persons possessing original materials, has researched the true Hahnemanniana methodology. With great generosity, and aware of my interest in knowing the truth, he has shared with me his teachings and after a number of years of practice I am clear that what is taught as homeopathy Hahnemanniana in schools, ironically has nothing to do with Hahnemann simply because Kent did not follow its guidelines and therefore its methodology crowded with religious beliefs and moral prejudice is unsuccessful in most cases where it is applied. All I had to do to relearn and make a turn in my profession, was to accept the facts and teaching without prejudice, at the most consistent and appropriate tools.

Once one entrains on the rationale for Hahnemann, start noticing results. One begins to look more closely at the signs and most notable case and particular symptoms and begin to understand the correlation of their method to the structure, classification and organization of the rubrics in the repertory of Boenninghausen. The TPB is not only a repertoire, but a SYNOPSIS what the Hahnemannian method involves. Both teachers were in harmony and coordination to establish a guide for the homeopath to synthesize all that Hahnemann claimed and desired to convey.

In this sense, teachers accredited seminaries of the Institute for Homoeopathic Medicine, Dr. Gary Weaver, Vera Resnick and Dr. Guillermo Zamora, we use almost exclusively the Therapeutic Pocket Book 1846 (Version 2015 Polony & Weaver) in our daily homeopathic medical practice. And although occasionally one finds that the remedies may not seem the most suitable for the analysis, we find practical tools within the program to view Materia Medica and so do our homeopathic diagnosis.

On the other hand, the Institute for Homoeopathic Medicine has made public its disagreement with the deplorable situation which has led to homeopathy as a medical therapy but has also published for free key points of the truth of Hahnemann, doing translations and sharing material of great value to the homeopath who has a concern relearn and practice their profession from a medical angle efficient, safe, and accurate.

As a final thought, I express my deepest regret to conflict of interest we have closed the doors to impart methodology as defined according to Hahnemann. Some schools and laboratories in Mexico City in Guadalajara Jalisco and Oaxaca. They do not give back to IHM, they give to Hahnemann, and everything seems to indicate that his main interest is to continue autoerigiéndose as “Modern Gurus” and make policy through a medical system that only calls us to a target as indicates the aphorism 1 Organon of Medicine (6th edition.):

“The unique and important mission of the physician is to restore health to the sick, which is what is called cure”

The dubious benefits of Statins. Malcolm Kendrick.

What is T?

Some questions puzzle me, and I search for the answer. For a number of years I am trying to establish. ‘What is T?’ My wife helpfully remarked that it is a drink with jam and bread. Ho, ho.

Moving swiftly on. My question relates to the concept of Number Needed to Treat (NNT). The NNT is a figure widely used in medicine as an outcome measure. It means how many people do you need to treat ‘T’ to achieve a benefit of some kind. The benefit can be many different things, for example: pain relief, curing a chest infection, improving pain and mobility following a hip replacement.

In these cases the ‘T’ is pretty clear cut. You have a medical problem and you intervene in some way to make it better, or cure it. But what is the ‘T’ when you are in the world of preventative medicine? If you are trying to stop something happening e.g. a heart attack, stroke, pulmonary embolism, or death, can you call preventing such things a form of ‘treatment?’

In reality, in preventative medicine, the ‘T’ turns into something else. It has become ‘P’, as in prevent. But treating and preventing are not the same thing, and you can’t use them interchangeably.

If you have a chest infection and I give you antibiotics then I have, in most cases, treated the infection. On the other hand, if you have a high blood pressure and I ‘treat’ it, all I have done is the lower the blood pressure. I have not immediately done anything else. A high blood pressure causes no symptoms, and there is nothing to be treated – other than future risk.

In fact, if lowering the blood pressure were a form of treatment, the NNT would be very nearly one, in that I will lower the blood pressure in almost every case where I prescribe a drug. But the NNT does not refer to the effect on blood pressure lowering; it refers to the number of people you need to treat to prevent, say, a stroke, by lowering the blood pressure.

As I hope is clear, in preventative medicine, the NNT should really be the NNP.

So what, you may think. Everyone working in this area knows that the NNT is really an NNP. You just need to know that when we use the term NNT, we are really talking about the number needed to treat to ‘prevent’ an event. Yes, this is true. However, the underlying problem with nomenclature does not disappear if we change NNT to NNP. The focus simply shifts to the word prevent itself. To prevent something means to stop it happening – forever.

Now, let us imagine death.

Can we prevent death? No, clearly we cannot. We do not make people immortal by lowering their blood pressure. All we can do, the very best we can possibly do, is to increase life expectancy – by some amount. Which means that prevention does not actually mean prevention. When we look at death as an outcome, prevention can only mean life extension. Or, turning this the other way round, the amount of time by which we delay something from happening.

At this point, I hope it has become clear that ‘T’ in preventative medicine has almost nothing to do with ‘treating.’ We treat nothing, we prevent nothing, we simply delay. At least that is all we can do with death. It is possible that we may prevent things such as non-fatal strokes, although we don’t really know, because we do not usually follow people up for long enough to be certain.

Why is this important? It is important for the following reason. When many clinical trials finish, and there is a difference in the number of deaths between the treatment and placebo arm, it is claimed that the difference represents lives that have ‘been saved.’ Which is another way of saying that death has been prevented which is, in turn, a different way of saying that death has been treated. NNT.

To give an example of how this work in real life I shall switch to statins and the Heart Protection Study (HPS)

Heart Protection Study
HPS1

This graph shows the ‘mortality’ curves for the statin and placebo arms. At the start of the trial everyone is alive, 100% in both groups. Five years later, the end of the study, 92.6% of those in the statin arm were still alive, and 90.8% of those in the placebo arm were still alive. A difference of 1.8%.

This was presented, in the HPS press-release, as follows:

‘In this trial, 10 thousand people were on a statin. If now, an extra 10 million high-risk people worldwide go onto statin treatment, this would save about 50,000 lives each year – that’s a thousand a week.’ http://www.ctsu.ox.ac.uk/~hps/pr.shtml
This is a very clear statement. Treat ten million people, and you will save 50,000 lives per week. But are these lives actually saved. No, of course not. Below, I have re-drawn the graph and extended both ‘survival’ lines by a year. We now have a year six.

HPS2

As I hope is clear, by year six, if we assume the lines continue along their previous trajectory, every single extra person who was alive in the statin arm, compared to the placebo arm, is now dead. Thus 1.8% of people did not have their lives ‘saved’. In fact, the average increase in survival time for these 1.8% was approximately six months. [Half of the 1.8% would have died after six months, which give you the mean/average].

So what is ‘T’ in this case. It is certainly not treatment, prevention, or number needed to treat to prevent death. Nor is it 1.8% of lives saved. It is a life extension of six months, for 1.8%.

Or, to put this another way. If you treat one hundred people at very high risk of heart disease (secondary prevention) with statins, what you are achieving is the following:

• 1.8 will live, on average, an extra 6 months.
• 98.2 will gain no benefit

What is ‘T?’ What indeed. Not perhaps what you first thought. T, at present, is taken to mean treatment. With preventative medicine treatment is taken to mean prevention, and prevention is taken to mean lives saved. But you cannot save a life, all you can do is extend life.

So, when someone says….

‘In this trial, 10 thousand people were on a statin. If now, an extra 10 million high-risk people worldwide go onto statin treatment, this would save about 50,000 lives each year – that’s a thousand a week.’

…they are talking nonsense.

In very short summary. NNT is a widely used treatment outcome, and it guides both clinical and economic decisions on what drugs should be used, or not used. It is a pity that in preventative medicine, NNT is meaningless, because ‘T’ has no value attached to it. Indeed, it might as well be a drink with jam and bread.

A Stubborn Case of Doctor Failure-Boenninghausen to the rescue

from Dr Joseph Kellerstein. Canada.

Monday, December 8th, 2008

Marie is a 55 year old lady who walks down the hall using a cane. Her measured steps punctuated by physical effort and lots of obvious pain. She has a charming smile and soft manner that has been strengthened by determination over the years to counter the reflex grimace that suffering demands.

Chief Complaint. Patient presenting November 3/04 – Arthritis. Knees.

Beginning in 1990 she woke up one morning and the left knee ‘went out’. Since then it kept getting worse. She has had 4 surgeries on the knee. 2 arthroscopic,1 osteotomy,and finally a knee replacement. The patient relates that recoveries from the procedures have always been long. In general although the replacement has helped there is a feeling that the pain has been much worse since the first arthroscopic procedure.

For years there has been this incredible pulling down in my knee. Like a weight pulling me to the ground so severe it stops my legs from moving.

The right knee has a sharp pain that will make me cry out.

Stiffness is worse in the morning.

Knees are worse before rain or snow(latter is more obvious)

Better summer

Worse spring and fall

Worse hot humid

Worse warm applications.

Fibromyalgia.

I ache terribly in muscles. It all acts up at the same time (joints and muscles).

Hot flushes.

I am always hot. Profuse perspiration. It is worse any exertion. Since a recent D and C flashes are worse.

Emotional stressors.

Working as an assistant to an executive I felt like a servant, as if I was being targeted. I was ordered around and got all of the worst jobs. I have always had a problem taking things personally. I am a pleaser.

Chronic Case and Medical History.

Sleep.

I am tired at 10pm and go to sleep. Wake after 1.5 hours due to knee pain and become restless. Best sleep is 6 to 8am. Dream of snakes occasionally.

Grief.

In 1979 patient gave birth. Very shortly after all 4 parents died. This was followed by Hypertension. Soon after there were a series of 3 gout attacks.

Assessment

What struck me initially was the idea of great heaviness in the affected part,worse before the snow, slow healing and grief in a menopausal lady. Sepia sure looked good. Sep 30c

b.i.d.

November 17/04 – 25% less fatigue. Thinking is sharper. More dreams. No other changes Assessment; for this early on looks promising. Plan; continue.

Dec 8/04 – As of one week the knee pain has gotten worse and continued bad steadily. Fatigue has returned. Patient has been weepy. Very reliant on cool applications which offer lots of relief. Assessment and Plan; Sepia had some degree of similitude but not enough to move the pathologies. No new symptoms but latest most intense symptoms indicate Puls.

Puls 30 b.i.d.

Jan 5/05 – Some improvement in stiffness, energy and muscle pain but it relapsed within 2 weeks. Now feel much worse. That incredible sense of weight pulling me down; worse before storm, worse weather change warm to cool. Assessment and Plan; A closer simile but no bull’s-eye. We relapsed to a more intense version of the initial case. The body is trying to tell us these are the leading indicators. I just can’t find the remedy.

I will spare myself the humiliation of the next 8 followups and a similar tale.The symptoms simply talking back to me saying nice try but no cigar.That is no movement in that small cluster of symptoms more than a week and if I went up in potency – no result.

Finally after these wrong prescriptions I sat myself down again and took stock of what was clear.The intense heaviness. The worse before a snow. The various other atmospheric modalities.I was unclear so I called the patient and went through it again carefully. As it turned out she was aggravated with any change of weather especially warm to cold. A computer search led me to a lovely little Boenninghausen rubric in the CompleteRepertory-Heaviness internal, as from a load. I lead with this rubric and followed with worse snow air and worse change of temperature; warm to cold. Suddenly Mercurius became obvious. It still is not a cure. Its too soon but there has been a steady improvement in all symptoms for the last 6 weeks.

And so it goes. Successive approximations until even I can see it.