In treating acute disorders, the homeopathic method frequently works rapidly with good success. To the unknowing patient it seems to work much in the same fashion as do allopathic medications. Thus, the patient will present himself to the physician with a certain set of symptoms. He is given the indicated homeopathic remedy, and although there may be slight temporary symptom intensification, this is followed by a rapid cure of the condition and the patient is returned once again to his normal activities.
Many remedies, by their very nature, are short-working and therefore best adapted to acute conditions. Aconite is a good example. This drug is used by the homeopath in the first stage of infective and feverish conditions, but its usefulness wanes as the fever lowers.
On the other hand, certain other remedies, such as, calcarea carb and silica, are usually used as constitutional remedies, for they are very deep-working drugs that can be used for months and even years with continued good effect and will root out many well-seated chronic diseases. Some remedies, like sulphur, have both extensive acute and chronic applications and the potency or dilution determines whether it will act quickly (acutely) or slowly (chronic).
The outer differences between the allopathic and homeopathic schools are very distinct in the treatment of chronic diseases. To the homeopath, these chronic diseases can best be eliminated by stimulating the repair mechanism of the body, which he likes to call the Vital Force, with the properly chosen homeopathic medication. It may take several different remedies to correct most chronic conditions because these diseases are usually due to multiple causes and a different drug or group of drugs is needed for each cause.
As often as possible, the homeopath attempts to treat a persons chronic condition with a deep acting constitutional remedy that best matches the constellation of symptoms while also addressing intercurrent acute problems with separate "acute" remedies. Furthermore, since most of our patients have more than one constitutional layer that must be treated in succession with the appropriately indicated remedies, this process of overcoming chronic problems may take several years to complete. It is the art of the master homeopath to effectively address both the acute and chronic needs of the patient while he slowly and methodically strips away layer after layer of constitutional disease.
The homeopathic and natural healing physician look on chronic disease as the consequence of inheritance factors, improper nutrition, emotional tension, improper treatment with allopathic medication and an over abundance of stress from which the body is not able to recover. The symptoms or the final manifestations that occur are merely an end result of these accumulated body assaults. While allopathy attempts to battle these manifestations when they become objectionable, the true natural healing physician directs his efforts to overcoming the underlying causes, thereby resulting in a patient who is disease-free, not one who is just symptom free.
Symptoms of a chronic disease disappear in a definite order when the patient is properly treated in accordance with homeopathic recommendations. The symptoms usually disappear in the reverse order of their appearance; the most recent symptom disappears first; then an earlier symptom re-manifests only to abate when the proper remedy is given. This process continues until all the unresolved disease conditions are eliminated, even though some may go back to early childhood.
Herring's second law states that the symptoms tend to move from the more vital organs to the less vital organs and from the interior of the body toward the periphery or skin. This law functions because of the body's attempt to preserve itself. If a disease that produces morbid matter can't be eliminated, the body tries to deposit the residues of this condition in as harmless an area as possible.
Only when the disease process is overpowering does the body allow it to invade the vital organs, and even then the body makes every possible attempt to keep the disease processes out of the heart and brain. When a patient comes to us with disorders of the vital organs, we know the vital force is weak or these areas wouldn't be affected and therefore the cure will be prolonged. Under treatment, the symptoms will subside and recede from the more vital areas to the less vital areas, and the symptoms may even end with a healing reaction on the best eliminator of all the skin.
Herring's third rule states that the symptoms move from the top of the body downward, disappearing first from the head, then from the thigh to the knee, ankle, and foot. We frequently encounter this last pattern, wherein the pain will go from the abdomen into the hip, then thigh, then knee and then in and out the foot. These patients often comment: "You know, Doctor, I'm sure when it gets down to the foot, it will just go out the toes and be gone." They usually are correct.
The functioning of the third law is based on a principle similar to the second. Because the more vital areas are found in the head and upper portion of the body and those of less importance are encountered toward the extremities, the third law is a symptomatic extension of the second law. Its nature is important to the physician but not particularly to the patient.
From these laws, a patient may realize that under proper homeopathic treatment he could re-manifest symptom patterns from an earlier stage of his life, only if these conditions weren't fully corrected originally. If he had so lived that the body didn't have residual disease material, it wouldn't be necessary to go through this retracing regimen.
We have always found this concept for the cure of chronic diseases one of the most fascinating aspects of natural therapy. Such a concept is completely rejected by all but a few allopaths. This rejection is to be expected, of course, for if they accept it, they would also have to accept the fact that most of their methods of therapy are injurious to the patient in the long run. Although there are many fine men in the medical field who have for years been harboring grave doubts about basic allopathic practice, we fear it will be many more years before they are able to accept the homeopathic and naturalistic view of chronic ailments.