philosophy of homeopathy and vital force

Homeopathy and its ‘vital force’

Despite curing numerous individuals, homeopathy hasn't yet been recognised by medical science. Read on as Soulveda explores this much-talked about alternative form of medicine.

Parth is a one-year-old boy born with a rare brain defect. Diagnosed with a condition called polymicrogyria, he suffered from recurrent seizures, paralysis of the muscles and an underdeveloped intellect. He could not swallow food, let alone talk or learn. Since this medical condition has no cure in allopathy, the worried parents resorted to homeopathy. After almost a year of homeopathic treatment, little Parth started doing better. According to his Jaipur-based homeopath Dr. T P Yadav, his reports now seem normal with no trace of muscular paralysis.

In yet another scenario, octogenarian T S Radhakrishnan was hale and healthy until one day when he suffered from acute kidney failure. He collapsed suddenly, losing appetite, gasping for breath, with his entire body bloating up like a balloon. To make things worse, he did not respond well to western medicine. With nothing left to lose, his family members decided to give the old man one last fighting chance through homeopathy. Two years later, Radhakrishnan who was on the brink of death is now well and alive, says his homeopath Dr. Vijay Shanthini.

The above stories belong to the world around us. And we hear many such stories where homeopathy has given a new lease of life to countless people suffering from difficult diseases. But ironically, there remains scepticism around this 18th-century modality of alternative medicine. Despite curing numerous individuals, this system of medicine hasn’t yet been recognised by medical science. But whether homeopathy is backed by science or not, it has breathed hope into the lives of millions. Soulveda decided to explore this much-talked-about alternative system of medicine.

Let’s begin with the philosophy of homeopathy: German physician Samuel Hahnemann, the father of homeopathy, believed that the nature of life is not limited to cells, tissues and organs of the body alone. He instead believed in an intelligence (which he called the Dynamic Principle or Vital Force) that enlivens and animates the body. When this vital force is in a state of balance, our mind and body are in harmony and we experience good health. On the other hand, when this vital force is deranged, the mind-body harmony too is upset, and diseases manifest. According to him, a disease is not something that resides in the physical plane of the body. It manifests because of a disturbed vital force. And so, Hahnemann came up with a treatment plan called homeopathy which treats not the disease, but the whole individual—his body, mind and spirit (energy). He analysed his patient’s susceptibility, temperament, constitution (alongside the patient’s medical history, age, gender) before prescribing medication.

This philosophy introduced by Hahnemann further paved the way for a few other emerging principles of homeopathy. For instance, the Law of Simplex states that no matter how many symptoms a patient may suffer from, only one remedy is to be given. According to Dr. Vijay Shanthini, only one remedy is given to the patient because homeopathy strives to address all symptoms in one by getting to the root cause of the problem—an imbalanced vital force. To discover the cause of this imbalance, several questions are posed to assess not only the physical symptoms but also the mental state of the patient.

Perhaps potentised medicines do interact with our vital force. Perhaps, they do bridge our physical, mental and energy realms of our existence.

If the Law of Simplex guides a homeopath to dig deeper and find the underlying cause of multiple symptoms, the Law of Similimum is all about zeroing in on the right remedy which can tackle all manifested symptoms. Simply put, this law can be understood as ‘likes cure likes’. So, if a patient suffers from, fatigue, body pain, loss of appetite and fever, the remedy prescribed for this patient is the same as one that aggravates fatigue, body pain, loss of appetite and fever. As Dr. Shanthini explains, homeopathy views symptoms as signs that the vital force sends when it is trying to ward off an infection or heal itself from stress. And so, by administering a medication in mild dosages, which further aggravates the symptoms, the vital force is encouraged to complete its healing process.

Once the right remedy is decided, the dosage plays an equally important role. This is governed by the Law of Minimum which is similar to the Arndt-Schultz law, which talks about the effects of drugs or poison in various concentrations. The law states: “Weak stimuli accelerate vital activity, medium stimuli raise it slightly, strong ones suppress it and very strong ones halt it.” Therefore, to minimise the dosage and maximise the effect of the remedy on the vital force, the prescribed remedy undergoes a process called ‘potentisation’ wherein the remedy is first diluted in alcohol or distilled water in specific ratios (dilution) and is then vigorously shaken (succession). One cycle of dilution and succession makes for one round of potentisation.

Here’s what’s remarkable about the process of potentisation: the more number of times a remedy is potentised, the more powerful it becomes. That is, the more a remedy is diluted and agitated, the stronger it gets. Writes homeopathy practitioner Ann Jerome Croce in her article The Thought Behind the Action – Potency: What it is and what it means, “Generally, a remedy above the 12C potency contains no molecules of the substance from which it was made, and yet it has properties which stimulate healing, and which are unique to that remedy alone… The more highly potentised the remedy, the more clearly these other qualities come through, both in provings and in healing.”

Since the modality of homeopathy is based on the concept of vital force and potentisation which go against the logic of science, it is classified as pseudo-science. Even so, homeopathic remedies seem to work, bringing about miraculous healing experiences. Millions who opt for these little white pills vouch for homeopathy’s effectiveness. Who knows? Perhaps potentised medicines do interact with our vital force. Perhaps, they do bridge our physical, mental and energy realms of our existence. With time, science might be able to show us how. Until then, we can understand it as Croce writes, “Behind the fact that potentised remedies can stimulate such profound healing, behind the fact that they address the whole person, is the even more significant suggestion they make: that matter and energy, body and spirit, are not so far apart from one another after all.”

Comments (2)
  • Venkataratnam Garikapati
    Venkataratnam Garikapati
    on December 24, 2018 at 7:28 pm

    Quiet good article about homoeopathy.

  • Soulveda
    on December 24, 2018 at 7:31 pm

    Thank you so much, Venkataratnam.





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