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Chronic and acute disease in Homeopathy

Chronic and acute disease in Homeopathy

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Published by Mark O'Sullivan
Second year essay outlining the difference between acute and chronic disease in Homeopathy
Second year essay outlining the difference between acute and chronic disease in Homeopathy

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Published by: Mark O'Sullivan on Feb 09, 2008
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05/19/2013

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Mark O'Sullivan, 2
nd
Year Irish School of HomeopathyEssay: Chronic and Acute Disease21. Oct. 2005
Chronic and Acute Disease
Mark O'Sullivan, 2
nd
Year, Irish School of Homeopathy
“Hahnemann felt that acute diseases were relatively easy to deal with. The prescriber had simply to find the substance which produced similar symptoms to the diseased state in thehealthy individual and after administering the potentised similar remedy, cure would occur rapidly and completely.However, treating chronic diseases was often a different matter” 
. - Misha Norland
Discuss
When Homeopathy and Allopathy are compared, there are a great number of distinctions to bemade between them as systems of medicine. Not only is Homeopathy based upon the law of similars, it also employs the potentising of remedies and the principle of the minimum dose. Yeteven counting these distinctive traits, treatment cannot be said to be truly classically homeopathicwithout holism. Treating the patient rather than the disease is an essential component of thehomeopathic system, without which its scope is no broader than that of Allopathy, albeit whileremaining a safer and more effective approach.Acute prescribing involves the observation of a temporary crisis inhealth that a patient is undergoing. The presenting sypmptoms aretreated with a similar remedy in order to bring about cure. The acutedisease state is temporary, ending with the patient's immunityovercoming the condition or the death of the patient. It is also bound intime, having a percievable beginning, middle and an end. Thepractitioner is bound in scope in that he will only take the symptoms inand around this temporary condition and its specific effects on thepatient into consideration when choosing the remedy. In this way it islike allopathy. It is focused only on the temporary condition and its cure and is not concerned withdeeper conditions or the nature of the patient, only the disease. It is not Holistic.
The disease to which man is liable are either rapid morbid processes of the abnormally deranged vital force, which have a tendency to finish their course more or less quickly, but always in a moderate time - these are termed acute diseases . §72 
Holism was one of Hahnemann's greatest comtributions to western medicine, echoing more themedical traditions of the east than the west and it was the journey from acute prescribing to
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Mark O'Sullivan, 2
nd
Year Irish School of HomeopathyEssay: Chronic and Acute Disease21. Oct. 2005
constitutional treatment that brought it from him.During Hahnemann's early days as a homeopath, he practiced acute prescribing with the growingnumber of remedies available to him. Despite successes in his practice and with treatingepidemics, in around 1816 he became incresingly concened with patients whose complaints wouldcure in the short term but who kept returning with one ailment and another. These patients werenot finding a complete cure and Hahnemann set his mind to finding out why. He says, in
Chronic Diseases
... the Homoeopathic physician with such a chronic (non-venereal) case, yea in all cases of (non-venereal) chronic disease, has not only to combat the disease presented before his eyes,and must not view and treat it as if it were a well-defined disease, to be speedily and  permanently destroyed and healed by ordinary homoeopathic remedies but that he has alwaysto encounter only some separate fragment of a more deep-seated original disease.
(CD p5)
Thus, a chronic disease is the deeper condition underlying all of the acuteailments that the patient continually develops, which are but “separatefragments” of the chronic syndrome the patient has. These chronicdiseases for hahnemann were not as time-bound as the acute conditions,nor did he see the patient's immunity as being capable of overcoming thechronic condition on their own but only with the help of well-chosenconstitutional remedies.Having named the demon, Hahnemann then proceeded to outline how best to approach treatingthe patient's chronic disease. He discovered that it was not the remedies or the law of similars thatwas at fault but merely a question of approach in case taking.
the Homoeopathic physician must ... first find out as far as possible the whole extent of all theaccidents and symptoms belonging, to the unknown Primitive malady before he can hope todiscover one or more
medicines
which may homoeopathically cover the whole of the original disease by means of its peculiar symptoms. (CD p6)
In order to apprehend the underlying condition and prescribe a remedy for it, Hahnemann is sayinghere that the patient's history of disease needs to be thoroughly taken as part of the case.The third aspect to bring into constitutional case taking is the nature of the individual treated. Their traits and temperaments. Their striking or unusual foibles, appearance and preferences. Hencetreating chronic disease with a constitutional remedy is broad in its scope, not limited in time and
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