The Simplicity of Homoeopathy
Today's world of modern medicine and allopaths (medical doctors and veterinarians) requires that a diagnosis of disease be made before drugs can be prescribed for treatment. However, even in these times of advanced technology, cases still present with undiagnosable conditions. Having no clear-cut diagnosis places the allopath in the predicament of being without a prescribed therapy plan which, at times, can lead to questionable measures after a blind guess is made. Treatment given at this point is generally palliative, meaning it is aimed at relieving the presenting symptoms. The symptoms may appear to improve but are really only temporarily relieved or 'masked'. Prolonged palliative treatment of certain drugs is not curative and in fact becomes suppressive, pushing the very symptoms we are trying to remove to a deeper level where they will eventually reappear manifesting as a more deleterious condition than the original disease!
The beauty and simplicity of homoeopathy is that there is not cause for concern when being presented with an undiagnosable 'dis-ease'. Disease has a different meaning to the homoeopath. Symptoms that the allopath calls the disease are seen by the homoeopath as an expression of how the 'dis-ease' has manifested in that particular patient. The symptoms do not belong to the disease, they belong to the patient. Each patient will manifest a different totality of symptoms to indicate his 'dis-ease'. Some patients will display more symptoms than others depending on their level of susceptibility.
Homoeopaths are interested in the patient's response to disease rather than the diagnosis we simply 'look at the patient, not the disease'! This is not to say that diagnoses are not helpful but by only looking at the disease label we consider but one aspect of the patient's dis-ease. The allopathically labelled disease is only one part of a greater whole; the totality of symptoms that manifest is a much greater representation of the underlying cause or body system imbalance. By simply observing the patient as that whole we can encompass a number of other symptoms, some quite unrelated to the disease label. Good observation and understanding of the way in which the patient is displaying his/her 'dis-ease' will lead us to the correct homoeopathic remedy choice, that of the 'simillimum', without necessitating a diagnosis!
Let us look at an example of three horses who all shared a similar complaint. They had not been their usual selves and performance had been up and down; they had some lumps under or near their jawbone, occasionally they had watery eyes and a clear nasal discharge, and on some days some of the lumps spread into larger swellings but otherwise there seemed little other symptoms; all vital signs were within the normal range. After examination and blood tests to rule out labelled diseases such as strangles, guttural pouch inflammations, tooth/bone abscesses, etc., there were no definitive diagnoses able to be procured. The veterinarian was left to guess that this might be some type of allergic reaction and the lumps were lymphatic swellings. The medications that were prescribed bore no results.
However, by simply looking at the patient the following observations were made:
Horse #1 - had a swelling on the right side of his larynx and three smaller lumps in the region of his salivary glands that were sensitive to touch and he resented having them bathed or hosed, the nasal discharge became crusty about the nostrils making this area sore, his eyes had a crustiness about them in the mornings, he was finding it difficult to eat his hay and would gag on swallowing (tonsillitis was suspected but not confirmed), he was liable to catching colds easily and seemed to really appreciate his rug, he had been rubbing at a small rash behind his ears, and appeared to have less troubles when turned out in fresh air. He bumbled his way around in his work and needed to be constantly reminded of what he was supposed to be doing. Even though an aged gelding, he was also very afraid of new situations and strangers, which led to him being antisocial. He enjoyed his food though seemed to need little of it, but still managed to get overweight and was a heavy drinker. He appeared small for his breed and he looked old because of the dry, wrinkled, withered-looking face. He also had a most unusual symptom in that he did not perspire under the right armpit, only the left.
Horse #2 - had two quite hard lumps on the left side of her cheek and jaw bone near the parotid gland, they were painless and not moveable, it was believed they developed after a kick to this area by another horse (a biopsy was suggested) and were first noticed in the springtime, her eyes were very sensitive to the fluorescent stable lights which increased her eye tearing and was more comfortable when they were turned off, she was seen to stand about a lot with her eyes closed and she sweated when she slept, her nostrils twitched and itched frequently. She was sluggish in her work and seemed to have gotten slower as the years had gone by with a corresponding mental decline, she seemed weak and heavy in bringing her hind feet through and often stumbled, the farrier had also noticed an increased stiffness behind. She had always been difficult to mate as she was not receptive to the stallion, the udder seemed to become swollen when the mare was nearing her cycle, urination appeared difficult with straining and the flow was intermittent. Appetite was not high but she did lick her salt block a lot, didn't like bread for treats. She appeared depressed and disinterested and was growing less and less fond of company.
Horse #3 - had several medium sized painful lumps between his jawbone, he rubbed them as they were itchy and after rubbing they tended to break open and suppurate a greenish discharge, the nasal discharge had an offensive odour, a mouth ulcer was discovered after thinking that there seemed an excess of salivation and a particularly high thirst, the eyes were very sensitive to sunlight. He had been rushing in the schooling arena and behaving poorly, he had never been very happy at a change of weather, he occasionally had bouts of diarrhoea and urinated quite regularly but only of small amounts. He was seen to be very restless and agitated at night in his stall and became quite sweaty but was kept indoors because he got chilled easily on cool nights. For all his pacing at night he would get puffy fetlock joints, by the morning they would be slowly improving. He was an energetic horse with a large appetite... always looking for more and tended to be a bit of a string bean. He was not always the easiest horse to deal with and could get irritable at times and even strike out.
We can now see how the totality of symptoms from each individual was expressing their 'dis-ease'! Accordingly, each case had displayed a good representation of the remedy that was to become the 'simillimum'. Horse #1 was administered Baryta carbonica, #2 received Conium maculatum, and #3 had Mercurius solubilis. Even if a diagnosis had been confirmed, the original set of symptoms would still have been applied, including acknowledgement of the diagnosis, thus giving us the picture of the patient as a whole to lead us to the same remedy choice or 'simillimum'. However, had a remedy been chosen solely on a given disease label, chances of successful homoeopathic treatment would have been severely compromised as each case would not have been individualised on its totality. In homoeopathy, 'like cures like'. Each horse may have been given the same remedy, for example Baryta carb, which has a reputation for glandular affections, and obviously only the one horse would have achieved significant curative results.
Each part of the body depends upon every other part, and all act together as one, in health and disease. No organ can become diseased without a preceding disturbance of the body systems. This is why it would be a mistake to treat a part as if it stood alone. It is the individual patient as a whole who should be the object of treatment. So in closing, remember to look at the patient... the symptoms belong to the patient, not the disease... it can be that simple!
Please bear in mind that this script in no way replaces veterinary advice or treatment! Always call your veterinarian when serious events arise and use the above for educational purposes ONLY. Should a veterinarian have made a diagnosis and you, the client, desire to follow a wholistic path but feel that a situation is beyond your understanding, I would suggest you seek the professional services of a qualified classical homoeopath or a certified wholistic health care practitioner!
About the author:
Tanya Nolte, Classical EquiHomoeopath.
Whispering Horse Therapies
PO Box 22, Nimbin
NSW 2480, Australia
Phone (02) 66 897296