HOMOEOPATHIC CONSTITUTION THERAPY
Before we start upon the real subject of this book, the doctrine of the mineral medicinal agents, it is proper to discuss the meaning of the constitutional method of consideration and constitutional therapy in homoeopathy. Likewise in this field the new orientation of homoeopathy and the inclusion of the therapeutic aim is decisive for obtaining a fixed point in the actual relations to be studied.
UNION OF DRUG ACTIONS AND CONSTITUTIONAL TYPES.
One must not forget that the point of departure for homoeopathy is a practical therapeutic one, and theory plays a secondary role. The method of treatment of disease according to the simile rule is oriented on the uttermost individualization. One proceeds from the proving on the healthy individuals whereby single individuals succumb to definite substances earlier than others and one recovers easier and earlier from effects than the other. These persons indicate that they have a lowered threshold to a stimulus in a definite direction; it may be that an organ shows itself as especially sensitive perhaps by the appearance of frequent micturition and burning from small doses of cantharis or a hypersensitivity of the entire person perhaps against phosphorus by the occurrence of a great number of disturbances of general well-being in a proving. Likewise drug proving on the healthy determines the differences of men in degree and direction of adaptability to the influences of materials of the environment. Now the homoeopathic method at the same time contains the task of again discovering these symptomatically demonstrated sensitivities in sick patients and indeed from the symptoms of their natural disease. These, too, are signs of failure against some type of damaging influence, signs of reversion, of insufficient adaptability of man or single-organ systems in certain directions. The finer the symptoms are, the earlier they appear, the more usable they are for the differentiations necessary here. The gross symptoms which forcibly appear in all men after sufficiently large doses are much less characteristic. So the physician familiar with the homoeopathic drug pictures recognizes in the rare, peculiar, many times often nonsensical sounding symptoms, the characteristics of the patient concerned, and with their help is able to determine the adaptability of the drug to a differential- therapeutic point (whereby he must always remain conscious of the danger of overpointing!). Thereby a special significance is gained exactly by the psychic symptoms and the so-called modalities, that is, the dependence of the symptoms, the improvement or aggravation by accompanying circumstances (weather, temperature, position of the body, time of day). According to the recognition of characteristic traits of a patient in an image of drug actions, one speaks in homoeopathy of a lachesis case, of a sulphur man or a phosphorus type. The originally practical therapeutic consideration becomes a fruitful discovery and division principle for constitutions.
This pivotal point of all homoeopathic constitutional considerations will be appreciated exactly if one will compare it with the modern doctrine of constitutions. The conception of a patient in terms of healing agents is found even in Paracelsus. Even at the beginning of the volume Paramirum it states: stress in our drugs the cure and not the causes because the healing shows us the cause. His successor of the last century, Rade-macher, has taken over the founding and the nomenclature of diseases ex juvantibus from him. But homoeopathy has though experiment, the proving on the healthy, first subjected the union of state of disease with drugs to systematic observation. Thereby an entirely new promising way is opened for the investigation of constitution.
Naturally, one does not interpret constitution by a rigid and sterile meaning which conceives only the totality of inherited individual characteristics nor does one proceed form the establishment of a general law of inheritance rather than from the conception of personality. To establish inborn and inherited factors signifies practically a determination of boundaries for the physician. He can utilize positively only a dynamic clinical constitutional conception in that the tendencies to deviation, the disturbances of bodily configuration in definite directions come into expression. In this the conception of diathesis and disposition is included. The constitutional method of consideration of the physician must be subordinated to the general biologic principle of adaptation. We will discover in the constitution of a man, degree and direction of adaptability. The individual lines which interest the clinician are those from susceptibility up to the breakdown of functions. Increased demand in a given direction, in general, conditions greater deterioration in this direction.