I used the word cloud generator at the Wordle website this morning with playful curiosity, and discovered an opportunity to blog about a few of the key words about the scientific framework and thought forms behind Heilkunst. The word cloud above was generated from some of my most recent blog posts, and, in no particular order, here are some thumb-nail definitions of the words which most grab my attention:
- Remedy : We spend much of our lives actively seeking “remedies” for all of the problems we encounter in our life, and our thinking about health is no different. “Do you have a remedy for <fill in the blank>?” is certainly one of the top 3 questions I’m asked about my practice. The critical difference about the “remedies” of Heilkunst, is that while they do generally “solve” all kinds of problems, the key is in exactly how these remedies do what they do — rather than just being happy with having made a symptom “disappear”, the whole method is designed around making symptoms disappear in a way which is permanent, and which improves the general state of health of the patient in the process. This is in contrast to the vast array of drugs and modalities which can make a symptom disappear, but often at the cost of the underlying state of health.
- State : To expand on the previous word, it is not just a symptom coming or going that commands the primary focus in Heilkunst, but rather on the underlying state of mind and which direction it is evolving or devolving. The working of our entire mind and body is governed by a particular state of mind, and whether it is one of health or one of disease. Dr. Hahnemann contrasted the concept of state with that of condition, which is where we usually tend to unproductively focus our attention — arthritis, bronchitis, migraines, and so on, are examples of conditions, but none of which will be linked back to the exact same state or states from one suffer of these conditions to the next.
- The Feeling : I’ve certainly discussed various aspects of our treatment in terms of treating the time line of the patient, including emotional shocks and traumas. The term the feeling, however, is not limited to the emotions that the patient experienced in the past or present, but has a much deeper, aesthetic meaning, and we use it in terms of understanding the unique signature of each disease. The feeling refers to the unique, objective feeling which is identifiable with each state of disease, and not to any of the subjective feelings which may be felt in the patient or the practitioner in discussing an issue.
- Life : Another unique aspect in Heilkunst as a medical science is its approach to healthcare which is fundamentally based on life, and living processes — contrast this, for example, with the teachings of physiology and pathology in the Allopathic system, which are based, respectively, on studying corpses, and on studying pathological disease states, and extrapolating them into the realm of life. The baseline, for example, of Dr. hahnemann’s methodology of provings, is health, as they are conducted on healthy individuals, who are observed as they illustrate deviations away from this healthy baseline when testing the effects of a medicinal substance. The system of testing drugs, by contrast, is conducted on groups of unhealthy people, and so the baseline of health is confounded. The definition of “success”, therefore, in Heilkunst is relative to a pure baseline of life and health, rather than a murky, relativistic, and statistical deviation from “disease”.