Dr. Edward Whitmont sheds light on this phenomena by describing a humorous pantomime called "the hair in the soup." It depicts the reactions of four different people to finding a hair in their soup. The first flies into a rage and throws the soup at the waiter. The second expresses disgust, shrugs it off, and leaves the restaurant whistling a tune. The third begins crying because bad things always happen to him. The fourth looks at the hair, leaves it right there, goes on eating, and after finishing, he orders another bowl.
Dr. Whitmont notes that these four reactions represent four classic temperaments. Each reaction is a reflex behavior which, like a simple cough, is automatic and which each person develops as a defense response. One might submit to various therapies to become more conscious of his or her own behavioral patterns, but the attempt to change one's nature is usually ineffective and tends to generates its own set of symptoms. The angry person who throws his soup at the waiter will, after a homeopathic medicine, still feel angry, though he might direct the fire of this emotion in a more constructive way. If, on the other hand, the person sought to ignore or suppress the passion he feels, his body and mind would pay another price for it.
Thus, the homeopathic medicines may eliminate various physical and psychological symptoms, and yet, they cannot alter innate tendencies of the person.
Treating one's overall constitutional state is both ancient and futuristic in concept. It has been a part of medicine at least since the times of Hippocrates, and it has often been a preferred approach to which simply treat a specific symptom or disease. Today, constitutional therapies are the ones that aid the immune and defense system and have special value in preventing and treating various acute and chronic conditions. The homeopathic method of individualizing a medicine based on the totality of the person's symptoms is a sophisticated 21st century science.
Copyright 1991 by Dana Ullman, M.P.H. used by permission of the author from
the book Discovering Homeopathy: Medicine for the 21st Century published
by Jeremy P. Tarcher/Putnam.
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