There is as tragic tendency in us Indians to become votaries of cults. This make us sectarians. It is had enough that we are often Sanatana Dharmists in religion. It becomes infinitely worse when we become medical or political Sanatanists. Orthodoxy becomes a shield behind which we hibernate, hide all our flaws and weakness and staunchly defend untenable causes. British Medical thinking is proverbially reactionary and conservative. It is decades behind American and continental medicine in progressive ideas. Sir George Newmans proposals for medical and health reform, presented to the British Health Ministry in 1910, was practically adopted by the British Government in its post-war Medical Reforms of 1944.
British Medical test books are still more old-fashioned and out of date from modern medical standards; the British Medical Association, the “Citadel” of conservatism; and the General Medical Council of Great Britain, a Trade Union of vested interests. George Bernard Shaw 1 can tell you much about that. Slaves and neo-converts often outdo their masters in zeal of orthodoxy. Here we have the Indian Medical Council, composed mainly of Indian Allopaths, with its extraordinarily exaggerated orthodox and narrow views of propriety.
I have to deal with several such august medical bodies and I know what struggles I endure to make them listen to the patent and glaring fact that the Medical and Economic problems are peculiarly difficult in India and need a broad and courageous ideology and programme and a radical departure from the official mechanised views of fossilised Surgeon Generals with the Government of India.
THE TRAGEDY OF THE 100 p.c. HAHNEMANNIANS:
But the Homoeopaths in India are no less guilty. There are the various groups of “Cent per Cent” Hahnemannians, whose groups often outweighs their knowledge; who think reading the Organon and Kents Philosophy a hundred times is all one needs to know, the be-all and end-all of the art of Homoeopathy. In one of the journals I read of one of our colleagues raising our teacher, Hahnemann, to divinity calling him “Lord Hahnemann” like Lord Sri Krishna and Homoeopathy to a religion, a thing the founder never desired either for himself or his teachings.
Not is it true, as the Sanatanist Hahnemannians would like to believe, that a mere matching of symptoms is all that is necessary to find the similimum. In spite of brilliant results often achieved, the mere mechanical comparison of symptoms not only often fails in large percentage of cases but can actually be dangerous so far that it may be utilised in cases where the similie is not applicable, though apparently well indicated, and better procedures are available. Several drugs are indicated in decreasing vision.
But decreasing vision may equally well need correct refraction and prescription of glasses for astigmatism; there may be a cerebral glioma, retinitis albuminurica, or due to diabetes, leukaemia, retinal detachment or central cataract. Highly essential information may often be lacking, but when available, there is no reason why we should not use it if we understand how to use it. And I certainly believe that if we homoeopaths were to restrict our observations to the primitive level of the record of symptoms, the similie would be the graveyard of science and all further progress.That is one aspect of the position.
FROM THE FRYING PAN INTO THE FIRE.
But when we, as scientific homoeopathic physicians, turn to investigate the newest in our official school of Medicine, Allopathy, we are appalled at the volume of progress which still leads to nowhere, still has reached no conclusions and still has discovered no law of cure or positive therapy. I am each time dismayed at the tragically low standard of medical thinking among Indian allopaths. The medical teachers at our Universities have advanced not one step further in their views on the problems of medicine.
It is disheartening to head that soulless catalogue of medicine known as “Prices Text Book of Medicine” or Cushnys Text book of Pharmacology, the Bhagvad Gitas of Indian medical teachers. A little more encouraging to go through is recent American medicine. And one is surprised to learn that at long last it is being openly admitted and proclaimed that thee is no purely organic disease but that psychic factors play important roles. This of course, is a slap in the face of the “Organic Tradition In Medicine” which 99.9 p.c. of allopathic physician in India adhere to : for, as Weiss and English2 point out:
“As a consequence of the structural and physiologic tradition in medicine, a large number of physician pride themselves upon their unwillingness to concede the absence of physical disease when dealing with an obscure case. In discussing such a patient they are apt to say but there must be something the matter, meaning that there must be a physical basis. And they furthermore believe that further researches along lines of physical medicine will eventually uncover the hidden causes infection, allergies, endocrine or metabolic, responsible for such obscure illness.”And a brand new name has been given to this medical speciality:
And in spite of the awe- inspiring, Nobel Prize winning discoveries of Sulfa drugs and Pennicillin, Streptomycin and Vitamins A to Z, we are told by Dublin3 that “the total volume of illness ill increase in the next decades” and that “the illness with which the physician is least prepared to cope are the illness he will meet with the greatest frequency in his practice” and a prominent British medical officer, Halliday,4 in the British Medical Journal gives us the more consoling news that “there will be a marked increase in chronic and recurring neurotic illness, as well as in many examples of organic sickness labelled by such as anaemia, rheumatism, gastritis, peptic ulcers, bronchitis”, none of them amenable to the present “cure-alls”-the Sulfas and Pennicilin, while Boas speaks of the “Unseen Plague-Chronic Diseases, increasing by leaps and bounds”.
Now, what the average allopath is to make out of all this he who knows practically nothing of the nature of chronic diseases. whose whole dramatic success lay till today in the combating of acute exacerbations and outbreaks with suppressive measures. Nowhere in allopathy is there any explanation offered for the nature of chronic diseases. Only Hahnemann and the Ayurveda have offered a theory which theoretically may be questioned, but in practice has proved its with.
And it is deemed that “while Psycho-Somatic Medicine, though in practice is as old as the art of Medicine, it is a new discipline” (Dunbar6). And things known for a hundred and fifty years to every average homoeopathic become a brand new discovery. Thus it seems that in World War I. the leading cause of disability was an entity known as Soldiers Heart”. Later it was called “Effort Syndrome” and was promoted to grander position as “The Klein-Levi Syndrome” and finally it needed World War II. to get its final and correct name “Cardio-vascular Asthenia.”
The disease entity has not changed, but the fancy names have. Five sixths of them were wrongly diagnosed in the first war as genuine heart disease; thousands were discharged from the army and pensioned off and became chronic heart cases. They further admit that the general practitioner knows more of psychosomatic medicine empirically unconsciously than the University medical professors and the usual specialised internist. The old traditional family physician, unfortunately rapidly dying our, was an unconscious psycho-somatist.
PSYCHIATRISTS, PSYCHO-ANALYSTS AND, PSYCHOS-SOMATISTS.
We are edified to find further specialisation among specialisation among specialists in allopathic sciences, each man trying to know more and of less and less. Where this craze for water-tight compart mentalism is going to lead to, Lord only knows. It seems that while psychiatrists and psycho-analysts knew that emotions and sub-conscious conflicts could lead to fatal physical illness and that the “death due to a broken heart” is not a myth, the ordinary run of clinicians and medical men know practically nothing of it.
It is complained that even the pathologist takes a wider view of etiology than the clinician by admitting the possibility of an unknown intrinsic factor X. How different the Homoeopath who was taught by Hahnemann that of all the symptoms the Mentals came first in importance. It seems it is now discovered that among with civilians and military ranks 40-50 p.c. of all illnesses are psycho-somatic in origin and that during this war these diseases have sky-rocketed, e.g., peptic ulcers. They have suddenly discovered that many cases of bronchial asthma, hay-fever, arthritis, cardio-vascular diseases, rheumatoid arthritis, cardio-vascular diseases, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, coryza and various allergies are psychosomatic in origin.
Advanced practitioners desire to include Tuberculosis, obesity, alcoholism and even the so-called “Railway-spine”. Further, tendency to accidents is attributed to the desire to fall ill” as an escape mechanism, that peculiar factor is called X. What that precise mechanism is whereby emotions lead to illness (except to a certain extent in peptic ulcers) is not known and amount to 15 p.c. of all civil and military illness, and 80-90 p.c. are psycho-somatic; and yet Dunlop7 as late as 1944, admits that the usual Sippy Diet and alkalis, though they are totally wrong and worthless, are all they have because they relieved distressing symptoms.
They even admit of an “Ulcer diathesis” and “Ulcer constitution”, and if you read Hursts book on peptic ulcers you will find a legion of theories from Konjetznys thrombus block and Muellers and Bergmanns vaso-neurosis as causes, none of them offering a road to cure. We have the Sigauds classification of typhus Sthenicus, Atheleticus and Abdominalis; Sheldon changes it to Ectodermal (Sthenicus), Endodermal (Atheleticus) and Mesodermal (Abdominalis). For our purpose Grauvogls Hydrogenoid, Oxygenoid and Carbo-Nitrogenoid types, practically identical with the modern ones, are far more guiding for therapy. For instance Sheldons description of the peptic type as robust and reserved, is almost equal to our Ignatia type and we know ignatia works in peptic ulcers, given the type.
HUMAN CONSTITUTION IN CLINICAL MEDICINE8.
A further bombshell for our allopathic brethren who practice 99.9 p.c. on the “Organic tradition in Medicine” is the admission that the human constitution plays an important role in clinical medicine, that no two human beings are like, and still less equal to cats and mice on which our learned pharmacologists experiment for drugs suitable for human ailments. Which Homoeopath worth his name did not know of it? Which ancient Ayurveda vaid or Unani hakim did not work on it? And here in the 20th century Draper quotes the Charaka Samhita, Chapter XX, that:
“One who does not enter, with lamp of know ledge, the very innermost parts of the patients in order to arrive at a proper diagnosis, can never treat the disease properly.”
And THE HUMAN CONSTITUTION in Clinical Medicine is put up as a brand new discovery!
The tale of woe is not yet complete. It was discovered that cardio-vascular comprise a major group and that the age little is dangerously falling for them. Formerly, a heart case at 35 was a rarity; today Flanders Dunbar9 says heart cases between 15-30 years of age are the major problem. Fahrenkamp10 Wants physicians to study the personality of the patient, especially in chronic cases, the change in the personality and individuality of the patient in heart disease. But which allopath has been taught what the personality of the patient is? No doubt, Krauss has written two difficult volumes on the “Clinic of Personality11, which no average allopath is in a position to understand and much less apply.
As a trained allopath, I must confess that the present position is disastrously confusing, and embarassing. Till now the heart meant digitalis, Coramin, Cardiazol; Rheumatism, salicylates; Malaria, quinine, atabrine, Plasmochin; Peptic ulcers, Sippy and Alkalis and Aluminium silicate; Syphilis, Arsenic and Bismuth; and for everything else we did not know, Sulfdiazine and Pennicilin, with a generous dose of Vit. B., Liver extract, and perhaps, Calcium; and if nothing else occurs to us, Glucose injections intra-venous.
Everything was so delightfully simple, and deep rays and Radium so impressive. If, as Rowntree admits. “despite all progress that medicine has made in principles and practice, sickness prevails and trumpets its challenge anew to each and every generation of physician”-with progress has come complexity. Modern Medicine is exceedingly complex as are human beings with whom it deals”…I cannot help feeling that there is something wrong with a science that builds a mountain of isolated facts and cannot synthesise them; on account of the tree it cannot see the forest. Where is the average allopath ready to see anew and how?
Still more misery is in store for us. There is a brand new speciality still to be served up to a stomach already surfeited: GERIATRICS, the science of old age, From it it appears that the treatment of the aged by the allopaths has been wrong all along till now; for, Thewlis12 says “a large proportion of the medical profession is still ignorant of the peculiarities of the senescent organism”, and then goes on to floor 99.9 p.c. of our allopathic breatheren with the statement:
“The goal of pre-clinical medicine is the study and inter- pretation of pre-clinical states, disease “soils”, pre-disease, tendencies. Through a study of pre-clinical states, a synthetic diagnosis is obtained, and analysis of disease tendencies and probabilities weighed. Pre-clinical therapy attacks disease “soil” long before the symptom stage is reached. Unfortunately, when Roentgenographic studies and blood test show up disease, it is often too late for successful intervention.”
Still more disaster. Thewlis writers further: “In the pre- disease period, there are no specific symptoms except a feeling of ill-health, weariness and inexplicable fatigue, and sometimes not even that. This consciousness of ill-health is the only pre- clinical sign given by the patient. Each alone achieves its significance only in relation to the whole. The data obtained after a thorough study provide a synthetic pattern which is enlightening. It is the organism as a whole that must be studied.” (P.14)
Shades of Paracelsus and Hahnemann!. Have the allopaths arrived at the stages that both our masters taught for 200 years?-” the totality of the disease picture,” “The patient and not the disease,” “Disease Soil”!. Which average allopath understands myself and I can frankly state that to the majority it is Greek.
Enlightening to whom?. To the allopath trained in the “organic tradition of medicine”, with his palpation of the liver and spleen his auscultation of the damaged and irreparable lung and heart?. Can he understand how to evaluate no specific symptoms and sometimes not even that”?. Exactly those every indeterminate symptoms that are a veritable feast to the discerning Homoeopath who knows the value of the peculiar and the general and the mental states that individualise the patient and his constitution.
AND THE TREATMENT, LITTLE BROTHER?.
When all is said and done what of that? The pscho-somatists have needed as much as 29 months to “talk” a patient out of his disease. They have arrived at a knowledge of facts long since known to homoeopaths. I admit we were not so learned in explaining (?) things, but we knew them all the same. Their treatment lags behind as compared to ours. As a rather innocent young man, Oh! so many years ago, I took enthusiastically to psychoanalysis and tried to explain its principles to an American lady student who sat next to me during Bergmanns lectures.
“Hey” exclaimed this young lady, “are you trying to deduce me?” As in Parliament “No answer was given.” Psycho-analysis is wearisome, time-robbing and expensive; dieting and hygiene a question of economics; and today, in Homoeopathy, Kent and Knerr have hundreds of pages full of drugs dealing with the disordered psyche, Narcolepsy with Sodium Pentothal, Amital, or shock therapy with Cardiazol are too drastic and dangerous and unnecessary when we have safer, surer and gentler means with our dynamic drugs and the similie.
THE CONCLUSIONS WE CAN DRAW from a study of modern allopathic medicine is this: Nothing justifies more and more the teachings of Hahnemann than the results of modern medical research. And while their present knowledge has been the common workable basis of the homoeopathic for a century and more, we have one additional advantage-a positive and effective therapy for psycho-somatic diseases and effective therapy for psycho- somatic diseases and Geriatrics based on a proven law of cure-the similie and the constitution of the patient, which the allopathic do not possess; and if they do, too cumbersome and expensive as compared to ours. One single glance into our repertories should convince anyone of that.
Further, our daily experience and success show that given the proper analysis and synthesis the disease and drug picture, a cure is inevitable. Here is a Psycho-somatic case out of my practice, a most common type of case in every homoeopaths practice. Young woman of 23, married 6 years, complete amenorrhoea for 6 years since marriage. Progynon, Ovocyclin and Stilboestrol, total failure. Physically normal, no infantile uterus. Said to be happily married. What then was the cause?. It turned out that the boys parents objected to the match because she was a poor girl. Both very attached to each other. Yes, boys parents wanted the boy to marry again because the girl! was barren and childless. I argued that there must be some deeper emotional factor, failing all traces of organic deficiency.
A girl happily married does not suffer from menstrual troubles unless organically deficient. Here, there was none. Looking into her palm I saw a circle on her head and life line at about twelve. Bluntly I asked her whether at the age of twelve any man tried to rape her. No, it was not at twelve but at fourteen; and how could I have known it? I looked omniscient and learned. That psychic trauma was the base of her psychosomatic disease-amenorrhoea.
Each time she submitted to the sex act, even with the man she loved, the psychic trauma acted as a shock. Pulsatilla, M, i dose cured her. She has a strapping baby and is a confident young woman now. The diagnosis may have been unorthodox and even unhomoeopathic. But the etiology was correctly found inside of half an hour where psycho-analysis would have needed six months to break known “resistance”; the treatment was homoeopathically correct, constitutionally correct, and the result was fortunately correct.
Our choice is not very difficult. We stick to homoeopathic therapy as the best; our views of etiology are broader, more concrete and yet more subtle and clearer than all allopathic analysis can give us. Modern allopathy is justifying our empirical practice. What a grand combination modern allopathy and homoeopathic therapy would be.