There are many misperceptions and myths about Homeopathy that I believe can contribute to putting some people off trying it as a healthcare option. It is for this reason that I think there is a need to examine these beliefs and hopefully dispel them, so that they cease to be ‘a block’ for some. Some of these beliefs are easily addressed and some take more time to fully explain so I have decided to write a series to address them in ‘bite-size’ chunks!
Part 1 “You have to get worse before you get better”.
I have lost track of how many times I have heard people say when asked about their understanding of Homeopathy, ‘…oh you have to get worse before you get better, don’t you?’ Imagine if you are already in extreme pain or discomfort or have just experienced a life-threatening illness, what would this belief make you think? It would be a very difficult decision to choose to feel extreme pain or discomfort again even if there was a chance of recovery?
When wereally examine this belief it is necessary to quantify what ‘getting worse’ actually means and it is vital to understand how we deal with illness – what processes do our bodies employ in order to repair us and make us well again.
So let’s consider a simple case of food poisoning ie something potentially toxic has entered our digestive tract and if not dealt with, could potentially permeate further into our bodies and cause damage. Our first response is to get this toxic substance out as fast as possible, hence we vomit or produce diarrhea or both, depending on where in the digestive tract the substance is. We may also produce a raised body temperature or fever since many pathogens cannot survive high temperatures. We may sweat which also helps to get toxins out of the body. None of these responses are comfortable or pleasant but they are usually very efficient and if supported, do the job quickly and effectively. If we take an anti-emetic to stop the vomiting or a drug to stop diarrhea – we may temporarily feel more comfortable but what hashappened to the toxic substance inside us? In the case of a Homeopathic remedy being prescribed, it will support the person’s ability to get rid of the substance and enables a faster and more efficient process. So if someone has ingested something and is feeling really ill but hasn’t started the ‘ejection’ process, the right remedy will ‘produce’ vomiting or diarrhea or a fever – what ever is appropriate to resolve this potential threat. These actions could be considered as ‘getting worse’ but are they really? Without the ability to eject toxins, we would be very much worse very quickly, so understanding what your body is doing can be viewed as cause for relief rather than worry.The body has 5 ‘exit routes’ for eliminating toxins – stools, vomit, sweat, urine, mucus. If the digestive tract or bowels are compromised then it becomes much harder to ‘contain’ toxins, the next exit route will nearly always be the skin since it is a non life-threatening option. If this route also becomes congested or blocked with creams/steroids etc, toxins have to be ‘dumped’ in other areas of the body eg, sinus’s or joints, (which can lead to inflammation). If these options are exhausted then the next exit route must be employed ie mucus production and the richest mucus producing areas are the lungs and respiratory tract! So we can quickly understand the importance of allowing a few hours of vomiting or diarrhea!!
Many people with asthma or respiratory problems stem back to eczema or skin symptoms as a child which was suppressed or pushed inwards. The medical profession also acknowledge this link. So if I am treating someone with lung problems and their symptoms are relieved but their original eczema returns, this is actually hugely encouraging since it means that the original toxin that caused the eczema is no longer in the potentially life threatening respiratory area but has ‘retreated’ back to the skin – uncomfortable yes, but seldom life-threatening. This is a positive direction of cure, the other direction is negative since it is potentially more damaging. Again, having an understanding of what is actually happening within someone and why, is vital to a successful outcome.
The other scenario that partially explains the aforementioned belief iswhen a remedy has been prescribed and stimulates a healing response ie it encourages the body to move toxins with a view to eliminating them. But the normal exit routes are not functioning properly – the bowels are constipated, the joints and sinuses are full and the skin is already inflamed. All that this person can do is circulate the toxins within the system without actually being able to get rid of them and the chances are they will feel pretty awful and existing symptoms may well worsen. This is why it is essential to support vital organs such as bowels, liver and kidneys before asking someone to try and eliminate rubbish. This comes down to the skills of a well trained Practitioner and a really good understanding of the general health of each individual. If Homeopathy is used appropriately, there does not have to be a worsening of symptoms before any cure.