HISTORICALLY, Homoeopathy has been successful for almost 200 years in the clinical relief of the syndromes of sickness and in the regressions of disease. Similia similibus curentur, the curing of like with like, has been on the masthead for almost as long as Homoeopathy’s existence. The second principle, that of the minimum dose, preferably single, has amazed, baffled, and often angered those not using it. It is still not altogether understood. However, much effort is being made to solve the mystery. Witness the research of men like Boyd, Barnard, Boericke, Smith, Stephenson, etc. on the effects of the high potency. Yet the fact remains—it works.
Homoeopathy is not merely a set of sophisticated clichés, such as similia similibus curentur, minimum dose, single dose, etc. all true in themselves, but also it involves a methodology, a technology, a pattern of thinking which when rightly understood can be applied in other allied health fields. The modality of physiotherapy, little used and less understood at this time by physicians, was selected to illustrate Homoeopathy’s place in the research field by the application of the principle of the minimum dose, the minima, to an apparently unrelated, unsophisticated field in the art and practice of medicine.
Physiotherapy has long been a Cinderellastepchild of medicine, buffeted, abused, and neglected by the glittering sister-panoply of modern wonder drugs. As well-stated by Troup:
“Men have died in all eras, either naturally or otherwise, but on the shoulders of medicine, in this day and age, lie the effects of the enormous over-drugging, the incidence of iatrogenic diseases, and the terrific increase in malignant and degenerative diseases…..”
“Fifteen hundred drugs with new names enter the market each year. Cillins, mycins, tranquilizers, exhilarators, depressors, etc., are the constant production and prescriptions of the day. Those appearing this year will reappear next year, but in a new dress to meet the mode.”
Admittedly, all these drugs are well intentioned in their purposeful, planned actions against disease, but wherein is any help for the patient? Homoeopathy, as a principle, helps the body help itself, and classically has accomplished this through the use of microminute dosages properly selected, almost on an antigen-antibody basis. Historically, its inception was at a time of maxiand multimedication, much as it is today in its timely revivication.
Mock points out in his report the extreme minuteness of the dilution (if dilution it is): “The first study examined the effect of ‘micro-doses’ of mercuric chloride upon the rate of starch hydrolysis by malt diastase. Because the dilutions of mercuric chloride in distilled water used were in the order of 10-61 to 10-71, the term ‘micro-doses’ seems almost gross, for in terms of contemporary physical thought, not a single molecule of the mercuric chloride should be present in the test solutions. Nonetheless, the introduction of these extraordinarily high dilutions induced a paradoxical acceleration of the starch hydrolysis by the diastase rather than invoking the expected inhibition which regularly occurs with lower concentrations (10-6 and below).”
Smith and Boericke, also Wanamaker, in their studies indicated that dynamized high dilutions (as mercuric chloride above) apparently exert their influence through the structure of their solute, whereas the solvent molecules aggregate into molecule polymers, each polymer specific response to a specific stimulating solute.
This principle and all its related problems are also seen in non-dynamized solutes as stated by Goodman and Gilman:
“….The actions of drugs are intimately related to their chemical structure….Indeed, the structural requirements for biological activity may be so exacting that a drug may be a competitive antagonist of its optical isomer…..At the present time, it is impossible to choose between the various theories of drug action…unfortunately, the primary actions of drugs have been elucidated in only a very few cases.”
As Barnard and Stephenson state regarding the purely physical aspect of solute-solvent, “…one can consider an interaction of the steriospecific isotactic polymer with the matching ion complexes of disease, rather in the manner of an antibody combining with a virus to render it non-infective.”
Apparently antigens may be so immensely diluted in the blood stream that structure (such as amino acid linkage and atomic-molecular spatial arrangements) and threshold exposure may be of basic importance. Human immunoglobulin type molecules are apparently multiple rather than single type polypeptic molecular chains, either ‘light’ or ‘heavy,’ and may be held together by disulfide bonds, hyprophoid bonds, and electrostatic force. The area of variability within the molecule apparently allows for a vast number of ‘specific reactions.’ “Apparently not only do separated halves spontaneously recombine at neutral pH to form complete molecules, but removal of blocking agents allows the reformation of disulfide bonds native to the molecule. This indicates within the H chain architecture the presence of an inherent ability, an organizer so to speak, for precise combinations. This could be accomplished by spatial pattern preferentiality as may be illustrated by the fact that (apparently) the amino acid sequence determines the ‘folded character’ of a protein chain of 400 or more amino acids.”
Nisonoff ’s studies support the importance of studying structure as an indication of function. His work indicated that somehow the genetic DNA-RNA mechanisms are stimulated to form protein antibodies complementarily configurative to antigenic determiners.
The Pythagorean principle that form determines function is also supported by Selye’s observation that “glass objects regularly produce cancer when implanted under the skin of a rat. They fail to do so unless they have certain shape.” He has no explanation for this at this time.
Water, the chief constituent of man, in vitro also apparently is subject to the principle that form affects function. Robinson pictures that in solution the water molecules’ electronegative inner oxygen atoms face inward, and the positive hydrogen atoms face outward, thus forming hydration shells around any ions in solution, where the potential gradient is greatest, thus acting as a biological ionic moderator.
Water’s ionic solvent action is due to its high dielectric constant which enables it to reduce electrostatic attraction of opposite charges by eighty times. Electrostatic forces of attraction and repulsion are inversely proportional to the dielectric constant of the intervening medium. In vivo, intracellular water’s chief ion is potassium, as contrasted to extra cellular water’s sodium, and both are in constant dynamic balance (along with all other ions), a transmembranous cell surface energy phenomena. Due to the fact that water itself is structural (spectroscopic techniques indicate that water is structured, with molecules ranging in size from 10 Å to 20 Å, which allows for molecular movement through cell membranous pores which are about 10 Å in size10) and that minute compartmentalization exists within the cell phase, boundaries can never be far apart. These intracellular delineations, the ultimate extension of extracellular fascicles, the structured and polymer character of water itself, lead to a situation where the statistical laws of bulk phases may not always operate.
Laws of chemistry in bulk phases are essentially statistical laws, predicting definite consequences in macroscopic systems. In microscopic systems, with few molecules, individual molecules count so that the improbable in bulk may occur often enough to be important. Cells are so minutely and strategically compartmentalized that they can transform or amplify reactions of individual molecules at specified intracellular sites into appreciable activity of whole cells and organisms through cellular or bound water. The transformation of matter and energy maintaining life is a surface phenomenon within the cell. Extracellular water (‘free water’) cushions the cells and maintains a stable environment.
Man as a fluidic being (estimated as being over 85% water) is encased in a limiting membranous protective covering, the skin.
This dermic capsulation contains all body fluids, and in the ultimate connects with all his organs and tissues by means of its tendonous, ligamentous, and fascicular ‘wrap and woof,’ physiologically relating cell to cell to fascicle to fascicle to fiber to fiber to organ to organ to system to system. Thus every cell in the body breathes, expands, contracts, and rests in the circulatory-respiratory rhythm of the body; and each organ has its own function in relation to the body as a whole as well as its own in timate unit relationship to its surrounding organic tissue connections, all of which enables the composite being to inherently react to universal forces without conscious awareness and effort.
This wholeness of body physiology, this Gestalt-ness of reaction, is important homoeopathically in that it is axiomatic that well chosen remedies properly work from head down and from within out. (In fact, any other way may be impossible.) this is anatomically supported in that the first organ embryologically developing is the brain, as an invagination of the ectodermal-neurological cells which subsequently give rise to the endocrine system.
In the study of immunology and its mechanisms, the importance of this embryological sequence of development is that “One factor, certainly, is the threshold dosage which depends on the ‘all or none’ law, probably involving the nervous system….[and that]….antigens may affect dendritic cells, or cells which can act like dendrites……”
The brain as a gland secretes the subarachnoid fluid (“an aggregation of similarly specialized cells united in the performance of a particular function.” Which in fluid function acts like a tissue. The brain as an organ is covered by the pia mater, created and nourished by fibers and secretions of the cineratus cell substance. This subtly laminates into a moddle or arachelastic, limiting, tendonous structure arising from the arachnoid to an outer ligamenting layer laminating into the osseous cranium. The pial tissues laminate and extend to form the fascia, binding, connecting, and covering the brain; to form reticular processes in the body where fluids from lymph and blood; and to form nerves, and venous and lymph channels.
The arachnoid follows arteries covering, limiting, and binding them, the final fascial formation of the body. This forms connective tissue, the transparent and fine fascia of the body and the stronger aponeurosis. The fascial cells contain mostly collagen fibers, hyluronic acid, and the ground substances. Cartilage is similar, but with fewer cells and less intercellular substance. Fascia thus connects everything in the body, following all nerve fibers into the muscles; and only fascia changes into tendon, tendon, subtly becomes cartilage, and cartilage merges into bone merely by the arrangement of all fibers and ground substance with no sharp delineations, only gradations. Thus the finest of stimuli will have the ultimate impingement on the densest of tissues.
As stated before, “Man lives not on an island alone but must be in constant contact with his environment or perish.” Life and living in its entire cycle is a stimulus-response reaction and very often the dermic container indicated the disorder of its contents. Hong opines that “skin disorders seen by pediatricians may indicate an underlying deficiency of cellular immunity.” Assuming two basic immune systems, the humoral and the cellular, he feels that “a major defect in the cellular system represents a greater threat to life than an isolated fault* “of the humoral system.” With the pial, arachnoid, fascicular ‘warp and woof’ of body intimacy, “A patient with inadequate cellular immunity may remain free of disease for months or even years. The initial (and often final) event is an unusual reaction to a mild challenge with an attenuated or ordinarily ‘benign’ virus….The therapies available for the treatment of cellular immunity defect diseases are very limited.”
An ‘unusual reaction’ indicated overdemands with resultant stress and strain, which ‘dis-ease’ in time may lead to adaptation and compensation, that “let’s make it do” reaction of the body, as may be illustrated by immunity processes imbued within the body. These ‘diseases of adaptation’ vary both in manifestation and in time of manifestation.
“Disease can produce stress, and stress can produce disease…..Very few diseases are monocausal in the sense that their development is the inevitable consequence of one particular pathogen (e.g. paralysis after spinal cord transaction, sterility following ovariectomhy). Many other maladies are predominantly pluricausal in that the ‘soil factor’ (individual variation in disease proneness) plays an important role. Thus, influenza does not befall all persons exposed to influenza virus but only the susceptible ones.”
This “seed in soil” importance is well illustrated by Gray’s story:
“The Canadian Dr. Madge Thurlow Macklin tells a family A with five children which lived next door to a family B, also with five. Three members of family B died of tuberculosis, one died of diphtheria, several had typhoid fever; they all had the infectious diseases of childhood. The children of family A played in the house of family B as much as in their own; but they never developed any symptoms of tuberculosis, nor did they have typhoid, although drinking the same water and having the same milk supply as the other family did. Family A had practically nothing but mild cases of measles all around, and one case of mild scarlet fever…. Scarlet fever, measles, typhoid, diphtheria, and tuberculosis are germ diseases, of specific origin, resulting in
to be continue in the next issue…..