While the scientific foundations of Heilkunst have been developing for over 200 years, it has not emerged in its full-blown form until the last 15 years, or so. Being a relatively new form of healthcare, it is not widely understood what it is, or how it is different from other modalities. I often begin to explain heilkunst to someone by relating it to other forms of healthcare which they are more likely to be familiar with. As a brief sampling, here are some of the ways Heilkunst is similar, yet different to other healthcare practices:
- Naturopathy – This is the one most apparently similar, and yet most completely different from Heilkunst. I’ve written more extensively about this in a previous blog post, but I’ll mention a few of the key points here. Naturopathy and Heilkunst appear to be very close neighbours, when you observe that they both recommend diet and lifestyle modifications, and they both use homeopathic medicines. They will both also include any number of adjunct modalities, such as body work, or basic counselling. The critical difference is in the overarching orientation of each system, and therefore in the results. The Naturopathic approach may boast a variety of modalities it can apply, but is very weak in terms of a comprehensive philosophy of the human being in health and disease, and is therefore no different from Allopathic medicine in being constrained to measure its activity and success in terms of simply making symptoms disappear. Heilkunst is unique in orienting its approach to symptoms at a deeper level of the human being, where disease or its susceptibility originates, and where it needs to be addressed for a permanent improvement to health.
- Psychology – While Heilkünstlers are not usually trained in depth psychology, it is inevitable that they will need to apply at least some common sense counselling skills for all kinds of emotions and life issues that come up in the course of a patient’s treatment. Unlike a Psychologist, who, at best, just uses “talk therapy” without prescribing any meds, or, at worst, does write prescriptions for non-curative, toxic medications, the Heilkünstler has full access to prescribe the specific homeopathic or homotonic remedy to give true relief to the emotional and/or physical issues that the patient is suffering, without any side effects. All the old Woody Allen jokes about “being with the same therapist for 30 years”, yet still obviously neurotic, represents a world very foreign to the practical and concrete results achieved by the Heilkünstler with their specific remedies.
- New Age, or “Energy” Medicine – This is one of the stickiest categories to try to make sense of, and it is especially difficult to keep the clear scientific principles of Heilkunst from getting caught in this mystical web. While Heilkunst agrees with the premise that the human being is not solely material (atoms and molecules), it takes a different approach from any number of these mystical modalities, which have simply turned the tables on materialism, by asserting the equally dead-ended philosophical stance of mysticism. Rather than techniques and technologies which “just work” because a certain guru “said so”, every application of diagnosis, therapy or medicine within Heilkunst is understood on the basis of clear, scientific, and reproducible principles. This may not make any difference to some patients who don’t really care to know how something works, but it makes all the difference in terms of the results.