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Scope & Limitations of Homoeopathy
Homoeopathy is a system of medicine, which is both misunderstood, as well as overestimated as a panacea for all conditions. It is, therefore, important to understand its role, as well as the limitations, or to what extent it is compatible, or can be integrated with the other branches of medicine. In Homoeopathy the treatment is based on individualization i.e. with the same diagnostic conditions, the medicines administered can vary in different individuals. In other words, the management programme of each person in individualized. Another branch of medicine, which may be considered nearest to it is the Rehabilitation Medicine, which includes Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy, Vocational Guidance, Surgery, etc. This is because in the conditions being dealt under Rehabilitation Medicine; the programme for each patient is individualized, depending upon the disability. Broadly speaking, Homoeopathy is most useful, when the diseased condition is functional in nature, but in cases of congenital deformities, or in conditions where obstructions have taken place it has a limited role, depending upon individual patient. There are many conditions, where the allopathic medicines have no role, and homoeopathy comes into play towards the qualitative improvement. The Advantages of Homoeopathy System of Medicine are : Homoeopathic Medicines cure the disease, rather than suppressing some symptoms. As a result, these provide long term relief, or the permanent eradication of the disease. These medicines are proven on healthy human beings, and not on animals, and because of this they cover the sensations being felt in the diseased person, which help in individualizing the patient. Homoeopathy uses natural substances in minute doses, and they are taken orally, rather than uses of injections. It avoids unnecessary surgery, and treats the patient as a whole, i.e. Body, Mind, & Soul. It treats the root cause of the disease in the sick individual, and thus the treatment is gentle, and at the same time it is not required to be taken life- long. The Homoeopathic Medicines do not disturb the digestive system, are free from any side effects, and do not lower the immune system. In the present Life Style, these can be taken with the other regular allopathic medicines, and gradually improve body resistance, and are helpful in reducing the need for such regular medication. While on Homoeopathic Treatment, the patient generally does not require strong sedatives, or tranquilizers, and therefore, the patient does not feel dullness, and remains active, and his/her productivity is not affected. Even in the incurable conditions, these medicines act as good palliatives, and are thus very useful in end-of-life care. These medicines act as good vaccines, and the Homoeopathic Treatment is cost-effective. The Homoeopathic Treatment is not entirely dependent on the Laboratory Reports, although these are helpful to certain extent in the management of the sickness. As per World Health Organization (W.H.O.), Homoeopathy is the second most popular system of medicines accepted worldwide. Homoeopathic medicines have been found to be equally effective in Animals, Plants, and Birds too. Limitations of Homoeopathic Medicines : The powerful lobby of the Drug Cartels has been successful in preventing the Homoeopathic System of Medicine to flourish. The government spending on Homoeopathy and other Traditional Systems of Medicine is hardly 10% of the total budget of the Health Care delivery system, of which Homoeopathy is only a part. There is lack of good Homoeopathic Hospitals, and as a result in emergencies, the patients are forced to rush to the dominant system of medicine. Due to individualization, as the basis of treatment, the treatment in a particular ailment cannot be generalized. Therefore, the outcome of the treatment depends on the good history taking of the patient. The physician has to be familiar with the social, environmental, and cultural ethos of the patient, to understand the patient profile. Thus, a physician who is not a good learner cannot be successful in providing cure. This unfortunately also becomes a negative point, by the anti-homoeopathy lobby, that there is no standardization in this system of medicine. THIS PROBLEM SHALL ALWAYS REMAIN BECAUSE OF THE FUNDAMENTAL DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE CONCEPTS OF HEALTH & DISEASE. In the illiterate person, it is difficult to reach to the real cause of the illness, and in such cases, the physician has to take the course of polypharmacy, i.e. use of the combinations, which should be avoided as far as possible. The Homoeopathic combinations available in the market may be able to provide a short term relief, but a long term use of these may complicate the case, and become an hindrance in the cure. – Dr. R.N. Wahi