Homeopaths often refer to constitutional and acute homeopathic treatment of symptoms, which can seem confusing.
Homeopathic constitutional treatment is the way most often used to treat chronic symptoms. However, the homeopathic view of chronic symptoms is very different from the conventional medicine view.
Conventional medicine would generally reserve the term chronic for conditions where symptoms are present most of the time to a greater or lesser degree e.g. high blood pressure, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia etc.
Chronic treatment would not be considered for conditions where symptoms are sporadic e.g. diarrhoea, migraine, urinary tract infections etc. With every occurrence of symptoms, the conditions are treated in their own right as if they were once-off.
The homeopathic perspective is very different. Symptoms that occur with any regularity -whether daily, weekly, monthly or yearly – are never treated in isolation. All symptoms – be they of a physical, mental or emotional nature – are seen as part of the whole person and treated in their totality. Homeopathy is a holistic treatment because it treats the whole person.
Holistic treatment of the whole person requires constitutional homeopathic treatment. During constitutional homeopathic treatment the homeopath conducts an in-depth investigation of all symptoms and the dynamic between them in order to establish the underlying cause. The remedy (name for homeopathic medicine) is prescribed based on all symptoms and triggers a healing response in the immune system.
For example: A client may complain of bouts of uncontrollable diarrhoea. The homeopath explores the symptoms and establishes that the client also suffers from migraines from time to time. Both occur during periods of stress associated with work pressure, which is the underlying cause.
The homeopath will then further explore how the client experiences work pressure in terms of felt sensations, mental symptoms e.g. indecisiveness, emotional symptoms e.g. feelings of inadequacy, related fears e.g. fear of failure etc. The remedy that is prescribed should cover the specifics of the diarrhoea and migraines as well as any sensations, mental and emotional symptoms, fears etc.
The purpose of constitutional homeopathic treatment is to relieve all symptoms and help the person become less susceptible to the causes of the symptoms. In the above example one would expect the person to over time become less affected by work pressure and no longer be troubled by diarrhoea and migraines.
If the prescription was only based on the specifics of the diarrhoea and headaches without addressing the underlying cause, there would have been limited longer term improvement and potentially the diarrhoea and migraines may have become worse.
Each person’s immune system is unique and whereas one person may respond with say diarrhoea to a specific stress factor, another may develop an allergy to gluten and yet another may develop an auto-immune Inflammatory Bowel disease such as Crohn’s.
Constitutional homeopathic treatment that explores and treats the underlying causes of physical symptoms is effective in the treatment of all types of immune responses.
Homeopathic acute treatment is appropriate when symptoms are of a genuine once-off nature e.g. bee stings (without an allergic response), sunstroke, food poisoning, fevers caused by an external agent e.g. malaria, skin reactions due to contact with an external agent e.g. poison ivy etc. Under these circumstances the prescription will generally be based on the specifics of the presenting symptoms only.
During epidemics homeopathic acute treatment is also relevant. Due to virus mutations each epidemic tends to produce the same characteristic symptoms in most people. Homeopaths are able to identify these characteristic symptoms and the remedy or group of remedies that best fit the symptoms.
The most effective immune response, which is generally seen only in young children nowadays, is a high fever followed by a quick recovery. Unless dangerously high and of long duration, fevers in children do not require treatment. The fever enables the immune system to quickly and effectively fight off any infections, resulting in a healthy child in no time!