HOMEOPATHY AS THE COMMON MAN SEES IT
Homeopathy as a science of therapeutics is very poorly understood by the general public. The common man generally relies on what he comes across in the newspapers to update his knowledge. Opinions expressed by journalists and luminaries in various fields find their way into these articles. The more vociferous and biased opinions about Homeopathy expressed by so called researchers find their way into scientific journals and later are quoted in newspapers or journals of general interest. In all this information bombardment, the layman is incapable of discerning truth from propaganda, hence succumbing to the misinformation thrown at him. It is heartening to note however that more the anti-propaganda unleashed at it, the use of Homoeopathy is gathering momentum and millions of patients all over the globe have taken to this holistic, safe and inexpensive form of medicine. So what explains the popularity of Homeopathy? To understand this, it is necessary to understand what patients look for when they need medical assistance. Here-in lies the forte of Homeopathy.
The homeopath is interested in the patient as a person NOT as a disease entity. Here the patient receives the unwavering attention of the physician as he guides the patient through his sufferings which he notes down, in an attempt to trace the disease process to its roots. The patient wants to be listened to first, rather than be told to do this or that. The patient's anxieties are laid to rest as the physician traces his sufferings to the primary cause. When this method is followed and the disease removed from its root, the patient not only recovers from the disease but also develops a sense of well-being. This is what the patient seeks and which modern medicine and the followers of Rene DesCartes cannot provide. This concept of removing the disease process from its roots could be best explained by this case.
Case no1: A lady aged 62yrs consulted me for chronic joint pains of 3 years duration. As we meandered through her various associated complaints and investigation reports, the indicated drug became quite clear to me. I gave her medicines and called her for a follow-up after two months. The lady came back after almost a year with a new patient in tow. I was pleasantly surprised when she thanked me profusely for having relieved her of a prolapsed uterus which had been bothering her for 15 years or more. She had never mentioned this in her case history despite my questioning her about her Gynaec history!! She told me she was embarrassed and afraid since two consultations with specialists had resulted in only one opinion - get it removed and she was petrified of going under the knife! Now she had no complaints what-so-ever.
The common man does not understand scientific lingo, but he does know what is best for him; especially after a battery of `specialists' having indulged in hi-tech diagnostics fail to give him relief.
THE LIMITATIONS OF SCIENCE
Science has its limitations. The laws of Physics do not apply to Biology; not even to Nano-physics!! Biology includes the study of the effects of evolution and adaptation to the environment. Can the myriad transitions our genes have undergone over millions of years of such adaptation be explained away by a few observations or laws? Consider this mystery - the basic genetic structure of the most complex of evolutionary adaptation (the human being) shares the very same genetic material as the simplest uni-cellular organism. How more complex and confusing can things get? Yet researchers constantly claim to be just one step away from unraveling the secrets of genetics, offering genetic cures for disease and disease prevention. That step is never complete for obvious reasons. What relevance to Homeopathy?
Homeopathy defines disease as an abnormal condition in our body (susceptibility), which results in the invasion by bacteria/virus or any disease causing entity, causing signs and symptoms which are expressed by the body. This explains why different people suffer different diseases at the same time, why in an epidemic certain persons do not suffer from the disease and why different species of animals suffer from different diseases despite sharing similar organs. Homeopaths believe that susceptibility precedes disease and can thus be deemed to be the real cause of disease.
Today this term of susceptibility used by Dr.Hahnemann is compared to modern medicine's description of immunity. As it may be inferred, modern medicine is slowly veering to the Homeopathic concept of disease.
RELEVANCE OF HOMEOPATHY TODAY
Homeopathy is as relevant today as it was 200 years ago. Homeopathy was born out of the confusion and chaos created by medical practitioners of that era. In their pursuit of naming diseases (often after themselves), they invented fanciful disease entities along with treatment regimens by which they claimed phenomenal cures; despite the patient often succumbing to the treatment itself! Is this not quite similar to today's milieu? With rising resistance to antibiotic therapy, the shaky edifice of bacteria as the cause of almost all diseases is about to turn unprofitable because the MNC's are yet to provide an alternative. Diagnostics will remain a poor stop-gap until everybody realizes it is only a distraction in the absence of credible treatment. So now it is onto Genetics and gene therapy, God forbid. It is a shame that some crafty Homeopaths have taken this route, preying on the gullibility of the common man and the desperate yet pathetic necessity of a few ill-informed students of Homeopathy to sound scientifically modernized.
Today when many diseases are either linked to lifestyle, stress and pollution, Homeopathy today is capable of providing cost-effective treatment for most of the diseases that plague humanity. It has no harmful side-effects, is easy to administer even to unconscious patients and can be stored and transported without maintaining a cold chain. Once a proper homeopathic cure is established, the patient can enjoy long periods of perfect health.
CAN HOMEOPATHY TREAT ALL TYPES OF CASES
Contrary to belief, like all other systems of medicine, Homeopathy too has its limitations. However it may be said that some of the more spectacular cures that Dr.Kowshik has achieved through Homeopathy, certainly stretches this belief. Dr.Kowshik specializes in treating post-operative complications and multi-drug resistant infections that plague surgeons and also in acute infective disorders such as Pneumonia.
SCIENCE AS IT IS UNDERSTOOD
The word science comes from the Latin "scientia," meaning knowledge.
According to Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary, the definition of science is "knowledge attained through study or practice," or "knowledge covering general truths of the operation of general laws, esp. as obtained and tested through scientific method [and] concerned with the physical world."
What does that really mean? Science refers to a system of acquiring knowledge through experimentation, observation, collection of data and analysis of that data to arrive at a conclusion to describe and explain natural phenomena.
Dr.Samuel Hahnemann the father of Homeopathy added just one word to this definition which, by its absence in research today, has resulted in the telling misuse of this methodology. He insisted that the Scientist (physician) be an UNPREJUDICED OBSERVER. Homeopathic research conducted by Dr.Hahnemann was entirely on healthy human volunteers. This method was duplicated by hundreds of his followers all over the world to build up the `HOMEOPATHIC MATERIA MEDICA' - a compilation of nearly 3000 drugs. How far reaching was his vision of this necessity, and how deep his insight, is demonstrated by today's exposition of scientific research funded by multi-national companies in the pharmaceutical industry. When almost all research in the medical field is funded by these giant corporations, how sincere can the research be? When research is directed to provide justification for a product already determined for a particular disease, can disaster be far away?
Homeopathy uses data collected by experiments conducted on healthy human volunteers to study the effects of their drugs and then adapts them for use in sick individuals. Modern medical protagonists use animal experiments which are deemed safe, before conducting clinical trials. Can experiments conducted on animals be a safe and honest evaluation of drug effects on the human body? While in animal experimentation, the animal is sacrificed to conduct microscopic study of the drugs effect on every tissue of its body, these MNCs deem it sufficient to superficially test or ask the volunteer in a drug trial whether he suffers from any ill-effects. If the answer is none; the drug is considered safe for human consumption!! The shortcomings of this method has been repeatedly made known to the world and is amply demonstrated by the news of the government of India recently indicting several agencies conducting drug trials in India which led to scores of deaths amongst illiterate volunteers in the hinterlands.
INFORMATION OVERLOAD (misinformation)
Today with the lay person's exposure to the internet, the Web apparently can provide all the answers; even to the most intricate medical problems. Nothing can be farther from the truth. I often have patients coming to me with their own assessment of what ails them, investigations including C-T scan and blood tests and which homeopathic medicine is indicated. Information on the web can be notoriously erroneous and devoid of responsibility. In matters of health, the Web cannot be a substitute for a doctor. There is so much of irrelevant matter floating around, with no one taking any responsibility for it.
Gradually, several thinking scientists and doctors have begun to question the medical fraternity's approach to disease. Dr.B.M.Hegde, (retd.) Dean of Manipal University in his book `WHAT DOCTORS ARE NOT TAUGHT IN MEDICAL SCHOOL', rightly says: `If you listen carefully to the patient describe his ailments, sooner or later he will tell you the diagnosis'. This is exactly what Dr.Samuel Hahnemann the founder of the Homeopathic system has been crying hoarse for 200 years! Hi-tech diagnostic equipment may throw up a lot of irrelevant information and may well create the illusion of a disease where there is none. Often a diagnosis made with the help of very expensive diagnostic procedures, fails to change the line of treatment thus does not benefit the patient. Every abnormality let alone being a disease does not necessarily need to be treated.
HOW TO COMBAT STRESS & LIFE STYLE DISEASES
It is well known that the incidence of diseases (especially water borne) and epidemics has drastically come down due to increased awareness of hygiene, sanitation and water purification. This has resulted in decrease in communicable diseases, epidemics and increased life expectancy. However a flip side to this progress has evolved. There is a slow emergence of whole new categories of diseases. Life style diseases, diseases due to pollution and diseases of old age.
Lifestyle diseases are especially precipitated by sedentary life style, bad food habits and stress. The increased ingestion of carbohydrates, fats and the decrease in the fiber content in our diet has precipitated obesity and obesity related problems. These require a change in diet and lifestyle but the patient can benefit from taking the assistance of Homeopathy to quell stress and treat conditions like bulimia. It is remarkable to see the effects of stress and material desires due to peer pressure on children, even as young as 4-5 years. Dr.Kowshik specializes in de-stressing children from the effects of such conditions especially pre-exam tension.
Old age problems are more complex and require a multi-focal approach. However patients do benefit from homeopathy where memory loss, senility and conditions like osteoporosis/osteoarthritis is concerned. Especially constipation of old age and senile pruritus can be easily treated with Homeopathy.