What's in a Symptom?
Before I move on to symptoms, I’d first like to mention ‘Homeostasis’
Avoiding medical jargon, homeostasis is a process that the body uses to maintain balance. To keep this balance, the body will ‘beg Peter to pay Paul’
Let’s look at how this is tied into symptoms that are useful for a Homeopath by using an example:
Someone might come to see me for an appointment noting that they are experiencing hair loss. They have tried various hair, skin and nail supplements, various herbal medicines and they have had their thyroid tested, which has come back as normal. So, the SYMPTOM they came with is hair loss.
After some questioning in the appointment, I find that the other SYMPTOMS are fatigue, depression, grief, apathy and she was surviving on coffee and sugar. What she also disclosed was that these symptoms came on after her dad died. This was also useful information as I could link the SYMPTOMS to being a MANIFESTATION of the CORE issue, which was ailments from grief.
The body expresses symptoms as a way of communicating that something isn’t right and that help is needed to return it to a place of balance, of homeostasis. Mostly we ignore symptoms, or look for a quick fix to suppress them, rather than look at the core issue. However, when the body expresses a symptom and we ignore it, it does not stop there, the body continues to seek homeostasis and will produce more symptoms, until such time that we are forced to address them.
So, if we go back to the example, the initial symptom of grief was ‘treated’ with alcohol, caffeine and sugar. This didn’t address the grief, but drove it deeper, so the body then began to express lethargy, apathy, physical and emotional weakness. The body is still asking you to listen to it. The patient continues to ‘numb out’ the emotions with stimulants. Still, the body continues to speak, getting a little louder each time. The increase in communication from the body brings the hair loss that the patient is coming for support to improve. It had been ‘talking’ to the patient for some time, but the patient didn’t listen until the body provided her with symptoms that she couldn’t ignore.
Symptoms are just a form of communication and Homeopathy can help with improving all and any symptoms, but more importantly, a Homeopath will always look to find the core imbalance in the body and what sits behind the symptoms your body is using to communicate with you.