CLASSICAL HOMEOPATHY and PROTOCOLS
I have written this blog to try and explain what classical homeopathy is, and the place of protocols. It is by no means a black and white issue, and most homeopaths are on a spectrum of classical homeopathy and the use of protocols. So I hope this blog will shed some light on the main features of both.
Classical homeopathy is defined by the principles laid down by the founder, Samuel Hahnemann.
1. The vital force, that gives us life.
2. Like cures like – that which causes disease can also cure it.
3. The single remedy
4. The minimum dose.
5. The law of cure.
THE VITAL FORCE: This is called differently by different disciplines of health: chi, prana, spinal fluid are the ones that come to mind just now. It is an invisible energy coursing through all living beings which gives us life and holds the organism together as a harmonious whole. If there is no vital force, there is no life. This is the energy that our remedies must try and reach.
LIKE CURES LIKE: This is fundamental. Allopathy (conventional medicine) works on treating symptoms by using opposites such as antibiotics, anti-depressants etc. In homeopathy, any substance that can cause symptoms in a healthy person, can be used to help/treat similar symptoms in a sick person. Remedies go through a process of ‘proving’, ie healthy individuals take a remedy and a list of symptoms is compiled based on their reactions – physical, mental and emotional. This information is then used to match the symptoms of a sick person, and the closest match is found to the sick person. The remedy is then given medicinally.
THE SINGLE REMEDY: Based on provings, a remedy is chosen. In classical homeopathy, a single remedy is chosen by matching symptoms of a sick person to the proving symptoms of a remedy. Remedies are proved singly. We do not know the effect of a combined remedy on a healthy person because remedies are not proved in combination. This is a little like pharmaceutical drugs having trials. As far as I know, all drug trials are of single drugs, not a combination of drugs, so no-one actually knows how combining prescription drugs affects the user.
THE MINIMUM DOSE: This is the minimum required to bring about change to the organism. This gives a stimulus to the vital force, just enough to kickstart the healing process. Sometimes the strength or potency of the remedy needs to be adjusted.
THE LAW OF CURE: Often, one will see symptoms change over time after homeopathic treatment. The ideal direction of cure is:
From within outwards i.e. internal organs to skin, or discharges such as diarrhoea or phlegm.
From above downwards eg. Skin problem moving from the face to the trunk and then the limbs.
From vital to less vital organs.
In reverse order of appearance.
No homeopath works in an identical fashion to another homeopath. We all share fundamental principles and work in our own way. But, the one thing we have in common as classical homeopaths is that we do not use protocols.
The essence of the homeopathic process is that we treat the individual. This is essential when we are taking a full consultation in order to find a constitutional remedy. Every individual is unique, thus the remedy prescription will reflect their uniqueness. A protocol does not allow for that.
A protocol also tends to prescribe remedies in a particular potency and sequence over a period of time. This suggests that the potency choice is not determined by the individual being treated, but by a formula. A classical homeopath would assess the energy and vitality of the patient and choose a potency to match their vitality.
Constant repetition of remedies can be suppressive. What is suppression? When you try and eliminate a symptom the body is expressing thereby stopping it’s action by, say, using a steroid cream for a rash, with no attempt to understand and address why the body is having to do it. Allopathic medicine tends to suppress symptoms with drugs. The same thing can happen with homeopathic remedies if we repeat them over a long period of time without vigilance. Too much remedy can lead to proving the very substance that was given to heal.
As mentioned above, our remedy provings are done for a single remedy, not a combination. So we do not know how combined remedies will work.