There are two main philosophical explanations of healing that guide both naturopathic medicine and our day-to-day work with 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.
According to these principles, the process of a progressing illness occurs as follows:
In actuality, this presents as an acute illness that was historically suppressed through chemical medicines (antibiotics, steroids, etc.), re-presents the same acute process in an attempt to correct the chronic process. We’ve seen (& corrected) countless examples of this over the past two decades.
Here are some examples:
- Bleeding with urinary tract infection 30 years after the original treatment with antibiotics
- Massive swelling from a bug bite or bee sting
- Strep throat, sinus or ear infections recurring decades later
When it presents, we address the issue with natural therapies (namely, herbs, homeopathics and hydrotherapy) and resolve the issue permanently. In those cases where there have been countless allopathic treatments, opposing the body’s natural healing process, it takes longer, or more acute processes of discharge to completely heal.
We wish we had a choice about this, but we do not. This is nature in action. No one can control this phenomenon and this process of healing. The beauty is, there is nothing to fear, and the natural remedies are in fact “furthering remedies”, completing the natural process of normal immune function, alleviating pain, discomfort and chronic illness.