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As physician, we are confronted daily with the fragility of our existence. Health is and remains the highest good. People who have to sacrifice their health see their future prospects disappear. Fortunately, for most people health is a given, and our first task as doctors is to keep them healthy (salutogenesis). In addition to the generally known lifestyle advice, this is done by prescribing a homeopathic remedy appropriate to the patient's overall symptoms.
This book is a review of my forty-year career. The proofreaders of the manuscript, all of whom have been homeopathic patients for many years, tell me that by reading the book they have for the first time understood the way homeopathic medicine thinks and works. They are also very fascinated by the sketch of homeopathic medicine within society (dominant consensus, Big Pharma, legal regulation, press).
Health is a fragile factor, as people who have had to cope with health problems can testify. Without good health, many future prospects are lost. It often comes down to good or bad luck. Being a carrier of a genetic disorder certainly falls under bad luck. For most people, health is something we fortunately take for granted. Our primary task as physicians is to keep these people healthy. In addition to generally known advice on lifestyle, we do this where possible by treatment to stimulate the body's own immune system. In this way, the physician is a true guardian of his or her patient's health and becomes the bodyguard of salutogenesis, and, where necessary, of pathogenesis.
”Bodyguard” is a call for integrated medicine and represents the voice of every homeopath worldwide. In that sense, it expresses a political, universal message. Written primarily for the patient, it is very readable for the student of homeopathy and even for you as a homeopath.
Léon Scheepers is a general practitioner (Catholic University of Leuven, 1980), who works in a multidisciplinary group practice that comprises nine paramedics alongside four GPs. This book is a reflection of his 40-year career as a therapist and advocate to the authorities for the integration of homeopathy in health care.
The book is divided into the following chapters:
Developments in modern medicine
Interest in individualized medicine has grown within traditional medicine in recent years. This is a development away from the one-size-fits-all principle, where all patients with the same condition are administered the same medicine. Interest in the microbiome is also growing. These changing views influence the way patients and medicines are looked at and open the door to new insights. This trend is remarkable and to be welcomed, especially since homeopathic medicine has from the outset worked with medicines that are prescribed on the basis of the patient's individual symptoms. It has also been acting on disturbances in the microbiome for over 80 years.
The paradigm of reductionism became increasingly the norm medicine in the course of the 19th century, emerging as the dominant consensus. Empiricism was abandoned, leading to a schism between conventional and homeopathic medicine.
A Randomized Controlled Trial (RCT) is the most appropriate way to prove the effect of a medicine in the reductionist paradigm. The results obtained by RCT are regarded as evidence-based medicine (EBM). Several reservations can be raised about this research method, but criticism is not accepted.
Empiricism should be given more of a foothold alongside reductionism. The two are not mutually exclusive. The discoveries in epigenetics could build a bridge in that respect.
The three basic principles on which everyday homeopathic practice is based are broached: matching the patient's symptoms with those obtained from drug tests on healthy persons (provings); dynamization as a specific process of preparation of homeopathic medicines; and individualization, in which the individual patient and not the disease takes centre stage.
In the second part, I explain how to take a medicine and what effect it can have. I will then go over who our patients are and why they choose homeopathic medicine. Finally, I answer the question as to why the search for a homeopathic medicine can be so complex.
In the wake of my 40-year career as a physician, in this chapter I will cite 40 anecdotes from daily practice. An anecdote is nothing more than a short revealing story about a remarkable incident. The idea is to give the reader an insight into the way we work. Each case focuses on the complaint, a brief description of the patient's personality, the prescription and an explanation of the homeopathic remedy prescribed.
This chapter provides a brief overview of the various epidemics and pandemics that mankind faced in the course of the 20th century and shows the role of homeopathic medicine in combating diseases involved. The main focus of is of course on the current coronavirus crisis and my personal experience up to 19 September 2020. I use a number of case studies to illustrate the contribution that homeopathic medicines may have made. This approach continues to meet with resistance, however, the encouraging results notwithstanding.
Named after the then Minister of Health Marcel Colla (1), the Colla Law is a legal regulation that maps and regulates the homeopathic field in Belgium. The 1970s and 1980s witnessed a large increase in the number of practitioners of complementary medicine, including homeopathic medicine. Establishing a framework within which these practitioners could operate was no easy task, however. This chapter provides an overview of this difficult political process. The legal regime in some other countries worldwide is discussed also.
History of homeopathy
Homeopathy was founded by the German physician Samuel Hahnemann. His medical method is based on the Law of Similars as stated by Hippocrates: "Similia Similibus Curentur" or the "likes are cured by likes." This chapter highlights the development of homeopathic medicine worldwide. You will read that disbelief about the effect of homeopathic medicines is nothing new under the sun.
Why not one medicine?
I elaborate on why I believe there is no single medicine and share my own experiences with conventional medicine. In my practice, I work primarily with homeopathic medicines. I use conventional medicine only if a desired result is not achieved. I am therefore not a "homeopath", a name that often has a negative connotation, but a "physician with additional qualification in homeopathic medicine." The safety of the patient prevails always takes precedence over whether one approach or another is correct.
Homeopathic medicine is regularly painted in a negative light in the press. Journalists often have no idea of this way of working and ask questions that immediately put the interlocutor on the defensive and create no room for an in-depth interview. I discuss a number of newspaper articles and point out the often prejudiced and sometimes downright denigrating tone that is used.
This chapter is dedicated to the patients’ associations that continue to fight for their right to therapeutic freedom, to wit treatment with homeopathic medicines. The benefits of homeopathic medicine for the internal and external environment are showcased.