Integrative Homeopathy and Chinese medicine approach to ailments
How This Helps
Homeopathic Medicine (HM) and Classical Chinese Medicine (CCM) come from different times and places and though they seem superficially to be somewhat different they share a fundamental philosophical underpinning and have much in common. The essentials of HM fit nicely into the framework of CCM. Both kinds of medication are based on a conception of unity as a basic component of human nature. The Law of Similars, crucial to understanding the activities of homeopathic treatments, can be present in CCM, even though at first glance this legislation seems incompatible with the principles of herbal medicine. Homeopathic remedies may also be the equivalent of modern day alchemical medicines, according to similarities between ancient and remedies Daoist alchemical elixirs. HM can be shown to concentrate more on the insignificant aspects of the human being compared to herbal formulations that focus more on the substance and physiologic aspects. This increases the possibility of using treatments to help alter the shen whilst giving herbal formulas to deal with imbalances in the physiology. So as to further understand the similarities and differences between remedies and herbs the Yi Jing is consulted and the consequent hexagrams interpreted. These readings allow for a more nuanced understanding of when various preparations are suitable to use. Additional research and clinical experience is required to fully elaborate the selection of possibilities for using homeopathic remedies and herbal formulas together in a clinical setting.
Chinese Medicine is a profound and vast field that spans hundreds of lineages and tens of thousands of years. Nevertheless, the field is continually growing, changing, and integrating new information. There are great benefits to the physician in coming in contact with and learning of different systems of medicine; concepts can be tasteful, philosophies known more profoundly, and clinical efficacy improved. One such system that holds promise of integration to Classical Chinese Medicine (CCM) is homeopathy.
I am blessed to have studied both of those venerable systems, and more fortunate that I have been able to experience their effectiveness in my journey towards better health.
Though I've taken homeopathic remedies and herbal formulas equally, never were both integrated in one treatment protocol. Remedies were prescribed based on the principles of homeopathy and herbal formulas prescribed based on the understanding of Chinese Medicine. I started to wonder, how much more could be known about medication and the human body if the insights of homeopathy were combined with the wisdom and history of Chinese Medicine?
Regardless of the differences between CCM and Homeopathic Medicine (HM) they're both based on similar principles. Both adopt holistic philosophies and are grounded in theories of human life that recognize the significance of the human soul as a greater power as compared with the forces of the physical universe. HM adheres to the Law of Similars, called"like treats like," and though this legislation is usually not recognized in CCM it's there if one looks carefully. Additionally, homeopathic remedies might be the modern day equivalent of the early Daoist Alchemical Elixirs, famous for their ability to transform and transmute the human soul.
HM has a lot to offer even in the practical level: the treatments used are very reasonably priced and palatable which increases accessibility and patient compliance. Understanding how treatments work within the frame of CCM may allow herbal formulas to be created as remedies, thus gaining these benefits while keeping the comprehension of herbal activities from the classics. Also, the development of treatment protocols using homeopathic remedies and bulk herbal formulas together may increase clinical efficacy by allowing the practitioner to deal with several levels of their human being concurrently.
Since the introduction of CCM and HM at this level has very little precedent that I have never been able to rely on past scholars or clinical expertise to learn how to combine remedies and herbal formulas into one coherent treatment. Since many homeopathic remedies are made from herbs there's a continuum between majority form herbal medicines and homeopathic remedies; assessing the responses of the Yi Jing gives greater clarity about the similarities and differences between treatments and herbs.
Like Cures Like in Chinese Herbal Medicine
Superficially it appears that herbs aren't prescribed in accordance with the Law of Similars. The conventional treatment protocols focus on understanding the syndrome and healing with herbs which have opposite actions: cure heat with cold, cold with heat, moist with warm, dry with moist; supplement if there's vacuity, drain if there's excess. Initially, this appears to be a law of opposites. However, this isn't necessarily true on closer inspection.
One facet of this apparent gap between the Law of Similars as it's known in HM and the way CCM is practiced concerns using symptoms. Specifically, in HM it's the totality of symptoms which is of concern and there's absolutely not any effort (at least from Hahnemann) to attempt to understand an underlying syndrome picture or pattern of physiology. In CCM symptoms are utilised to elucidate an underlying syndrome that's then targeted with an herbal formulation, an extra layer of comprehension compared to HM. Though one can argue that the totality of symptoms is basically synonymous with an underlying syndrome film, there are several herbal formulations that address the identical underlying syndrome -- such as blood stasis -- in which differentiation between these formulas happens based on severity, location, and individualizing symptoms in the individual. Thus the treatment of syndromes with herbs which act oppositely shouldn't be directly correlated with the treatment of symptoms with treatments that behave similarly.
Indications and Contraindications
One interesting pattern that emerges in the analysis performed in Appendix A is that homeopathic treatments typically cover both the herbal indications in addition to the contraindications or toxicity symptoms. Regardless of the fact that lots of herbs themselves cover symptoms recorded as toxicity impacts, the homeopathic remedies have a tendency to cover the whole image of that particular substance. This may be due to lack of completeness in the herbal materia medicas but probably there's something else happening. As homeopathic remedies are said to cover the totality of symptoms, and as they are known to treat in the level of the vital force (i.e. the shen), the materia medica analysis suggests that remedies are treating at a'higher' level when compared to
Bulk herbs, which are behaving more in a physiologic level. On account of the manner in which treatments are made they have the ability to take care of a larger slice of the individual, a pattern which encompasses more of the being, a condition that is closer to the ultimate unity of truth. Herbs appear to be treating a'lower' level, a smaller percentage of the individual, a pattern which manifests at more of a physical, bodily, or organ level, which is a condition that is more distinguished compared with a cure's sphere of influence. The classics encourage this view of herbal activities too; herbs are characterized by taste that's known to affect the manhood and their individual physiology. This is apparent from the Shen Nong Ben Cao Jing and the Nei Jing. The question should therefore be asked, how can the groundwork of a homeopathic remedy bring its sphere of influence to the domain of the shen, and is there any such procedure which exists in CCM?
Homeopathic Treatments, Daoist Elixirs
The Nanoparticle Theory of Homeopathy
As was mentioned in the preceding section, there's more to the process of potentization than just employing the principle of hormesis to invigorate the body using a lower dose of a medicinal compound. A significant objection by the modern scientific community to the use of homeopathic remedies has traditionally been that high potency remedies don't contain even one molecule of the original source material, as according to fundamental laws of chemistry dilution over Avogadro's number would get rid of all supply molecules from the treatment. If that is true it would be tricky to invoke hormesis to describe their consequences, although CCM recognizes the importance of treating the shen, herbal preparations are always quite physical in character, because they're usually given in g quantities. The explanation of homeopathic remedies as lively medicines that focus on treating the vital force is legitimate, but There's new evidence that allows for
A more complete picture of what treatments are physically and how they may act physiologically. As it happens, higher potency treatments do contain source material in the end.
An intriguing concept on the nature and mechanism of action for homeopathic treatments has come from a study group led by Iris Bell. Bell cautioned that homeopathic remedies are heterogeneous colloidal solutions of origin and silica nanoparticles which have their medicinal effects by regulating the inherent stress response system of the human body.17 A variety of studies have found that high potency (highly diluted) remedies contain nanoparticles of the original source material, together with particles of silica that most likely come from the glass vials which are typically utilized to produce these remedies. The repeated succussion seems to break down the original source material to smaller and smaller particles which then persist in the solution regardless of the high dilution ratios, because these nanoparticles are conserved with each dilution.
Nanoparticles of silica can also be produced because of the shear forces on the surfaces of the glass vials through the succussion procedure. These silica nanoparticles may adsorb nanoparticles of source material and so stabilize the structures that allow lactose pellets impregnated with the liquid treatment to succeed after dehydration. Various studies have measured differences between correctly prepared remedies and controls: a few of the findings include the release of heat when treatments are exposed to extreme changes in pH, discharge of light when treatments are vulnerable to x-rays in low temperatures and then rewarmed, and differences between controls and remedies when compared with Raman spectroscopy.17 Though more research will need to be performed the nanoparticle concept is well-supported by current research.
The second element of Bell's position requires the reaction of the body to those nanoparticle remedies. Her paper suggests that rather than acting on the body through recognized physiological mechanics -- how majority drugs do -- these treatments act on the body's allosteric stress response system. Bell defines this as how an organism reacts to environmental stimuli to be able to maintain homeostasis. This system contains many if not the majority of the body's regulatory systems, including the immune system, the nervous system, and the endocrine system. The maintenance of homeostasis is also the domain of the crucial force, and this way the stress response system could be regarded as a manifestation of the force.
Homeopathic treatments are posited to change the way this allosteric reaction system functions. Cumulative stress can eventually overload this system and result from the motion of set points of internal homeostasis, creating a state of imbalance, dysregulation, and disorder. The homeopathic remedy is hypothesized to change those set points back to a healthy condition by stimulating the body's physiological responses. In nature, botanical remedies offer a minimal level -- but very particular -- pressure to the body that seems to stimulate the body to change its general pattern of reaction to life. This is a much more complicated procedure than altering the physiology of a specific organ using a bulk herb or medication. The organism is always trying to maintain homeostasis and the implication is that homeopathic remedies have the ability to stimulate a shift from the internal homeostatic condition, instead of just assisting the body in maintaining its present state. Another way of saying this change is to state that homeopathic remedies may aid the body in changing itself.
It's important to remember that in Hahnemann's writings only taking the remedy isn't regarded as sufficient to heal a person of disorder: it's also important to analyze and correct deficiencies in diet and lifestyle. Hahnemann says that all obstacles to heal must be eliminated for the treatment to have the appropriate effect, as anything in the diet or routine that has medicinal activity could interfere with the treatment. In aphorism 260 he lists many such challenges, including a variety of foods, liquors, spices, perfumes, in addition to practices such as a sedentary lifestyle, uncleanliness, debauchery, studying obscene books, over-exertion of body or mind, and much more.8
This is like the precepts which adepts must take before consuming and preparing the elixirs, described in the next part under.
One conclusion that I attained from this procedure is that the disease is not completely eliminated from the individual. That is in keeping with the core principles of the Yi Jing, which the essence of change and time is cyclical and that there's never really an end to anything, only a shift in the next phase. Regardless of this, the hexagrams do indicate unique outcomes. As an example, a range of hexagrams indicate that as the medication acts on the disorder the situation continues to improve.
This is evident for powders and tinctures especially.
The Influence of Medicine on Head and Body
The idea of the body-mind as different from the disease condition encompasses a number of dimensions, chief of which is the idea of consciousness and consciousness. The hexagrams also point towards an understanding of what constitutes a state of wellbeing. With this set of readings there's more of a distinction between the single medicinals and the formulas, even though there are also differences between the non-potentized along with the potentized medicinals.
With single medicinals a clear pattern emerges that divides low and non potentized medicines from high strength ones. Except for decoctions all the non and low intensity readings indicate they are acceptable for producing movement and relieving some type of obstruction.
Homeopathic Medicine and Classical Chinese Medicine are made on very similar philosophical foundations. Both are based on holistic principles and the idea of unity, represented in HM from the crucial force and CCM from the shen. Although the Law of Similars initially appears to be contrary to the principles of Chinese Medicine, this legislation, a basic tenet of homeopathic philosophy, can be found at work in the herbal materia medica for Chinese Herbalism also. Homeopathic remedies also bear resemblance to the Daoist alchemical elixirs of early times and can influence the individual in a similarly transformative way, or even to the degree promised from the Daoist texts. Preliminary study done through Yi Jing consultations provides additional support to the possibility of using treatments and herbal formulas together in a complementary and clinically effective manner.
This framework could be used to research how medications and preparation methods of homeopathy could be incorporated into Chinese Herbal Medicine so as to create increased efficacy, potency, and flexibility in prescribing ability. Though some evaluation of the manner in which this integration may occur was conducted in this paper considerably more study and clinical expertise will be necessary prior to a truly coherent and cohesive version can be placed together. Many more questions will need to be placed to the Yi Jing so as to fill in the conceptual holes, and a great deal more clinical experience will have to be assembled in order to genuinely validate these theoretical assertions. Hopefully this first step will inspire better integration and analysis in the future.