The object in writing this paper is not to bring you into new pastures, or present you with treatments entirely our of the ordinary. My intention is to outline some of the little helps that not only make the patient feel better, but bring an ultimate cure more quickly and permanently. There are times when we do not have at hand all the drugs that are needed for the particular case we are treating, and often a very difficult situation can be bridged over until we have the proper helps by using some of the accessories I have in mind.
Very few times we do not have not water, and have you thought of the uses that can be made of this one common article? Let me enumerate some of them – hot water bag, applied locally, or hot cloths and packs, drinking hot water, hyperdermoclysis, enema and douches, baths (tub, sponge, vapor, sitz, bed, feet, sheet, shower), in making hot nourishments, and in fevers all applications. Not often do nay of these uses of hot water interfere with the action of the homoeopathic remedy, and many times they do hasten the action and results are much better.
The care of the sick now requires many precautions that were formerly deemed unnecessary, but now are required for the proper care of the sick as well as health precautions for others. All the discharges from patients sick with contagious and infectious diseases are carefully disinfected and so the prevention of other cases. With cleanliness in the foreground our remedies are more active and results are much better. When we stop to consider the number of micro – organisms that are constantly using the outside of man as an abiding place, and the inside as a harem, and the wonderful freedom they use in working for a living on his anatomy, we see the necessity of assisting nature along with our homoeopathic remedies in removing the cause of some of mans troubles.
Has it ever occurred to you that the uses of heat in disease are legion – everything from gout to a toothache can be relieved by heat. Some of the more common was uses may be mentioned, and it astonishes us at the number. Female diseases of all kinds, orchitis, lumbago, backache, colic, gout, rheumatism, neuritis, heart diseases, congested liver, pneumonia, pleurisy, headaches, and so on. Yet the use of hot applications, be they by hot water, bag, soapstone, electric pad, hop sack, salt sack, boiled corn, packs, plates, stove lids, irons, or woolen blankets will often hasten the cure as well as give a great amount of relief to the suffering patient. They do not cure the trouble but they do make it easier for the drug to do the work.
When medicine has rounded out the sum total of its objectives we find the ultimate end to be the cure of the patient. We know the best and surest way to accomplish cure is by the homoeopathic route. But there are times, and we all know it to be true, that the route can be made much smoother and easier travel if the road – bed is improved with a little help from other sources than just throwing in a little medicine. Surgery is often required if a big snag is in the middle of the path of cure, and the knife removes the obstacle.
Overeating and injudicious eating that so derange the stomach that it is hard to distinguish that very useful organ from a garbage pail can be straightened out by listening to the sweet story of the dietitian.
Man that is of few days and his days full of troubles can be taken care of in the most intelligent way or can be so sadly neglected and experimented with by pills, powders and plasters that the angles will not recognize their likeness. And so we use accessories to this apothecarys shop in order to hasten our relief and aid to the sick.
In the case of insomnia and difficulty in going to sleep some of the adjuncts can be used and avoid the use of opiates, chloral and dopes of all kinds. A glass of hot milk, a hot bath followed alcohol or vinegar rub, or even gentle massage will often produce sleep, and we do not have to contend with any of the after – effects of dopes. The use of mental suggestion of different kinds. Whey does the child like to hear his bed – times story? Use the same psychological reasoning to your adult and have have relaxed his nervous tension so that sleep will soon come.
Nausea and vomiting can be treated similarly. The application of heat to the stomach often relieves the troubles for a while, and then our remedies will do the rest. Even mustard plaster not too strong are useful, or applications of musterole, drinking sips of hot water or tea, or in severe vomiting where life depends on the quick relief of the vomiting lavage may be used. Small pieces of ice in the mouth have been a Godsend to some suffering patients. Not a one of us will say these are cures, but what a help relieved the agonies of the sufferings!
No hard and fast rules can be used in selecting certain outside measures for cases, individual idiosyncrasies as well as means at hand must be taken into account when a choice of adjuncts is to be made. Acute cases are different from chronic lesions, temperaments vary, dispositions and people with their loves and hates, desires, passions, sensitiveness, jealousies, all make outward manifestations as different as the personal appearance of each individual. Some need sympathy and others the opposite. The discriminating physician knows what adjuncts to use with this remedies.
There are modes of stimulation that are useful and the patients stomach is not upset with various and sundry drinks and his skin planted full of hypos. Plain baths are sometimes useful for other than cleansing purposes. Hot foot baths or sitz baths have often been of the utmost value in female troubles. Alcohol rubs have saved the day for more than on tired body. Olive oil, cocoa butter, and plain lard have helped infants through many a hard place in their lives. Local washes have relieved tired eyes.
Enemas of hot water have stimulated sluggish bowels to more efficient service, and douches have caused female organs to take a new least on lice. Chewing gum has stimulated gastric glands that have been as dry as if eating crackshells. Massage and vibrators have shaken up tired nerves and sluggish circulation till the body feels like new. A cold morning bath has helped to open more than one boys eyes in the morning.
Protective applications have soothed and cooled many a burning surface. Collodion and paraffin dressings have come to their own in relieving pain, and what a palliative they are. Sometimes the creates will relieve the intense itching found in certain skin troubles until permanent relief is found in the internal treatment possessed in our homoeopathic remedies.
I am passing the many adjuncts that the surgeon uses, for you will say they are mechanical treatments and should not be classed with drugs. So they are, most of them, but so often a remedy administered by the surgeon will help to cure the patient speedily, gently and permanently that I feel they are a part of our own treatment either surgical or medicinal. For a strapped back will help Belladonna, Arnica, Bryonia, or Rhus tox. cure a lumbago, a proper bed for a rheumatism patient, elastic bandages for varicose veins – all have their places and we are glad to accept them as helpers.
I have purposely left mental suggestion till the last of my paper, for I feel that it plays a much more important part in the practice of medicine then many of us think it does. The personality of the physician means more to the patient than we realize. His presence in the sick room and the stimulation from his call are often wonderful in results. Patients will say: “Well, I feel better since my doctor was here.” What do they mean by such remarks, if there is not a mental something that goes along with the physicians presence.
Often the mere suggestiveness of questions such as “Are you nauseated?” will bring on a sick stomach, or “Are you thirsty?” and the patient will want a drink, or “Have you a pain?” and one is found, or “Are you hungry?” and he wants something to eat. You have all told patients they are better, and made them feel they are improved. The sober face, look and action of the physician will not bring much good cheer to a suffering child. Encouragement sprinkled with happy thoughts will make a patient glad to see his physician, and the effects form his homoeopathic remedies will nearly always manifest themselves in a greater degree.