There are two main philosophical explanations of healing that guide both naturopathic medicine and Dr. Erin’s day-to-day work with her patients: Hering’s Law of Cure and Reckeweg’s Homotoxicology. Hering’s law defines the practical events that occur as a patient moves from a more diseased state to health, whereas the other two explanations are more complete descriptions of the degeneration into disease and the mirrored reversal that is necessary to heal. Understanding these conceptual realities help patients realize what is happening in their bodies as they both become sick as well as find true cures. For natural therapists, these teachings serve as guides to confirm whether an aggravation in symptoms is a corrective change or a sign of disease progression in the patient.
Hering’s Law of Cure is based on the observations of 19th century homeopath Constantine Hering. He explained that when healing processes move in the right direction a patient is cured from the top-down, the inside-out and in reverse time. What he meant by this is that a patient’s mental symptoms will improve before his or her physical complaints. Their deepest, vital internal organs (liver, kidney) will heal before surface organs (skin, intestines) and that a patient may experience an old symptom from many years prior as they move to wellness. This last piece explains the reverse chronology of a long-term chronically ill patient who experiences a resurgence of an old, acute bladder infection as they recover from interstitial cystitis. As the patient recovers and regains strength, they may pass though previous stages of illness, almost like watching the scenery of your own life like a train moving in reverse direction.
Reckeweg’s description of Homotoxicology, or literally, the ‘study of toxins in man’, is another useful result of clinical observation. If a person continues to encounter toxins, but does not
eliminate the ingested or absorbed toxins, he will eventually clog up, become inflamed and literally become impregnated with toxins. This impregnation of toxins is a stage along Reckeweg’s description of homotoxicology and it is so that when it occurs, degeneration take place, and eventually, de-differentiation, which is the hallmark of cancer. The order of Reckweg’s intoxification process goes as such:
Like Hering’s Law of Cure, if this process is reversed, the previous stages may be seen as an individual detoxifies himself. Here, we can substitute fevers for inflammation, since a fever is really a type of generalized inflammation.
Using these guiding principles, the progression from health to sickness and back to health again is a much clearer picture to follow.