Read before the Southern Homoeopathic Medical Association, Cleveland, Ohio, November 18, 1925.
Great as is the value of prevention, few will contend that the race is greatly advanced by perpetuating the unfit. Nature never either forgives or forgets, and demands that her plans be not interfered with. If she he thwarted in one direction, she exacts full compensation in another. Sanitation seems to have almost wiped out certain zymotic diseases and reduced infant morality to a minimum, yet others less easily prevented have shown an almost identical decrease, while the more deeply rooted constitutional affections are advancing by leaps and bounds. Typhoid epidemics have about vanished, but cancer is getting quite out of hand. Let us not deceive ourselves, nature is in deadly earnest and gives no quarter. It can hardly be a source of satisfaction to find ourselves helping in the exchange of relatively manageable diseases for a scourge.
If left to itself natures house cleaning is most relentless, but when guided in her readjustments by the gentle hand of similia it can be made one of the very greatest blessings.
The terms sickness and illness tacitly admit the existence of an adaptive and reacting life power, our vitality. It is this governing force which we attempt to regulate when we treat disease, by first removing all mechanical hindrances, then appealing to the available inherent reactive power present. If it be carefully estimated, it need not often be said that our prescription was a success, but the patient nevertheless died. To accomplish this we administer the most similar remedy so that a new adjustment of the expenditure of vital energy may take place, and life again move forward more harmoniously.
To do this well requires great delicacy of appreciation must always remain a poor doctor and a still poorer homoeopath. Our vitality is our higher life unit. Coming into the world in a state of great activity, it increasingly activates the matter which it contacts up to a certain point, then gradually declines, finally ceasing as old age comes on. A disturbance of this process is oftenest called disease. The normal rhythm of life has been interrupted and certain signs in a tongue, which is not the spoken word, appear. This oldest of languages is a universal sign language speaking objectively to those able to read. The way the patient acts and looks is then of vastly more importance than what he says. Diseases of infants illustrate this very well, indeed.
The oncoming of a change of function may prompt us to call the doctor who removes such mechanical obstacles as he can and then tries to excite a restorative reaction. The idea of bringing about a general response that will sweep all before it does not usually occur to him, although the picture actually shows but one generalized reaction taking place; inferentially but one remedy can actually be indicated. The apparition of cancer completely illustrates this, for all medical history recites scattered cures, generally each one made by a different remedy. Nothing can be clearer than that every sick person responds in the fullest measure to but one certain drug, which must be found and properly given to insure decisive results.
The selection of the most appropriate remedy depends upon our ability to pick out the distinctive features from the whole life history of the invalid. These placed together like beads on a string make up the red strand of his individuality and point unerringly toward the indicated constitutional remedy.
In one case they stress periodicity, in another right-sided effects,some particular system of organs or kind of sensations or process and so on. This is the basic element and is fundamental, therefore must be reckoned with first of all, when we start out in our investigation. Once found it serves as a sure guide in tracing out disease and its ramifications.