Can’t the Body Just Heal Itself?

The commonly asked question of the need or purpose of intervention from any medical modality (ie “Can’t the body just heal itself?”) has a simple answer : yes and no.

The slightly longer answer goes something like this: in a natural state, and in the case of simple imbalances or indispositions, the human organism is absolutely designed to restore itself to a glorious state of balance (called ‘homeostasis’). Think of the simple experience of watching your skin repair itself from a cut over the course of a few days. Even common infections can generally be overcome by a healthy body’s immune system, which sweats, coughs, or sneezes the pathogen out.

The modern view of this concept often boils down to the idea that being healthy simply requires a reasonably good diet, possibly with some supplementation, effective strategies for dealing with stress, and sporting a good attitude to round out the mix. Any chronic illness, it is supposed, which emerges beyond this common sense approach probably couldn’t have been prevented anyways, as it was either due to genetics, or environmental factors beyond the individual’s control. “Health nuts”, are thus defined as those who go to excessive lengths with their diets and lifestyle to try to prevent the inevitable.

Our key question remains, though, regarding the ability of the body to heal itself, and why this isn’t necessarily always in operation. At what point does the body lose its ability to heal itself? It is certainly the case for virtually every chronic illness that without intervention, the body will either die, or deteriorate in form and function over time.

There are many factors behind this, but I will focus on a couple here. One primary reason is that there is a qualitative difference between simple acute illnesses (eg. the common cold), compared with chronic illness. Dr. Hahnemann made this very clear distinction between ‘self-limiting diseases’ (which always have a short shelf-life in the face of a healthy immune system) and ‘chronic diseases’, which have more of a “till death do us part” attitude – that is, once a chronic disease is contracted, it continues to degenerate all aspects of health until the point of death is attained. An external medicinal agent (ie a homeopathic remedy), correctly chosen and administered, is the only way to stop this death march in its tracks. It is certainly preferable to see the death of a disease rather than of a human being any day.

This situation of a chronic illness, to look at a second issue, goes beyond the natural mandate of the body’s innate healing power, which is designed to self-heal and self-repair — the ‘homeostasis’ which I mentioned above. The nature of these ‘chronic diseases’, however, does not directly create an imbalance to be corrected, but a disease, which is an entirely different type of problem. Rather than restoring balance, when the body tries to overcome a chronic illness (which it is not designed to do), it actually exacerbates the problem. Our innate healing power is our “best friend” in a state of relative health, but turns out to be our worst enemy in the face of a chronic disease! This is precisely the point where medical Heilkunst begins its work at removing chronic diseases, so that the innate healing power can be left to its own devices and do what it does best – maintain health, where there is no disease to destroy.

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