Aroga clinic
The value of symptoms

The symptoms that your body produces during an illness are treated very differently in conventional medicine and Homeopathy.

Conventional medicine views symptoms as something to be removed. They are seen in isolation from the rest of the body, and medicines are taken or applied to make the symptom disappear. The symptom is seen as a local manifestation, which has no connection with the rest of the body. For example, eczema on the foot is treated as a localised condition, which is suppressed with cortisone creams or steroids, until it disappears.

The view that Homeopathy takes of symptoms is entirely different. Homeopathy views symptoms as indications of a general illness - the whole body is ill, and the local symptoms are simply one manifestation of this. From such an understanding it is clear that there is no benefit in removing the local symptom - the inner illness is still present, and it will simply express itself in another way.

This view is based on sound principles. Homeopathy takes a holistic view of health. It is the whole body that is ill, and therefore symptoms cannot be considered in isolation. The body tries its best to cope with disturbances that affect it, but there are times when it is not able to fully recover. For example, most people can usually get over most events in their lives, but occasionally there is a shock, a grief, or some other life event that the body cannot quite get over. The body attempts to cope with this disturbance, but cannot operate as optimally as it would like, and as a consequence, certain functions of the body are adversely affected - and symptoms are produced. The body attempts to limit the damage as much as possible, and the symptoms are produced in the least harmful area that the body can get away with. This is why skin conditions are a very common first sign of illness, because they are rarely life-threatening, and the skin is not as vital an organ as other internal organs.

From such a perspective, symptoms can be seen to be very important - they provide a vital vent for the illness that the body cannot recover from. What also follows from this is that to treat symptoms without seeing the bigger picture can be likened to blocking up the escape valve on a pressure cooker.

The consequence of the removal of symptoms, from a Homeopathic perspective, is that the body has to produce symptoms in another area of the body. After all, the body is still ill, but now the least harmful vent for this illness has been removed, and so a more important area of the body now shows symptoms.

This is not idle speculation - most people could think of an example where a patient has an illness treated, only to suffer a more serious illness soon after. A classic case amongst children is seen with eczema. Lots of steroid treatment can quite rapidly make the skin symptoms disappear, but the child may then very soon develop another condition, such as asthma, or serious ear infections. The illness moves to more serious organs, and homeopaths believe that suppression of the skin symptoms was responsible for the appearance of the more serious condition. Conventional medicine would disagree, and argue that there is no link between skin symptoms and, for example, respiratory symptoms that may follow steroid treatments.
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