If the brain was so simple that we could understand it, we would be so simple that we wouldn’t understand it. As the modern medical world inches towards understanding the complexities of this 10 trillion-celled mass called brain, in the last century it inched a bit further in realizing (pardon me for not using the word understanding!) the connection of the mind with the physical body. This has also led to the discovery a totally new set of problems called psychosomatic disorders.
The term psychosomatic disorder has no precise definition. Most often the term is applied to physical disorders thought to be caused by psychological factors. For example, after a particularly stressful event, like the loss of a loved one, an individual might develop high blood pressure shortly afterward or even have a heart attack. In another person, the same situation might lead to peptic ulcer or a series of asthma attacks. A third individual equally as grief-stricken might not get sick at all. Social and psychological stress can trigger or aggravate a wide variety of diseases, such as diabetes mellitus, systemic lupus erythematosus (lupus), leukemia, and multiple sclerosis. Depression can suppress the immune system, making a depressed person more susceptible to certain infections, such as those by the viruses that cause the common old.
So can the mind (brain) alter the activity of white blood cells (blood cells responsible for body defense) and thus an immune response. If so, how does the brain communicate with the blood cells? After all, white blood cells travel through the body in blood or lymph vessels and aren?t attached to nerves. Research has shown that such relationships to exist. For example, hives (urticaria) can be brought on by a physical allergy or a psychological reaction. Stress, therefore, can cause physical symptoms even though no physical disease may be present. The body responds physiologically to emotional stress. For example, stress can cause anxiety, which then triggers the autonomic nervous system and hormones such as adrenaline to speed up the heart rate and to increase the blood pressure and amount of sweating. Stress can also cause muscle tension, leading to pain in the neck, back, head or elsewhere.
A skilled homeopath knows this relationship between the mind and the body. His great masters like Hahnemann and Kent have taught it to him. For many times he sees chronic cases like that of migraine and peptic ulcer, which had their origin after a mental trauma or prolonged stress, disappear with a few doses of correctly prescribed homoeopathic medicine.
The homoeopathic understanding of health is intimately connected to its understanding of the mind in general. Homoeopaths don?t separate the mind and body in the usual way; they generally assume that the body and mind are dynamically interconnected and the both directly influence each other. This acknowledgement of interconnectedness is not simply a vague, impractical concept. Homeopaths base virtually every homeopathic prescription on the physical and psychological symptoms of a sick person.
Psychological symptoms often play a primary role in the selection of correct medicine. Several schools of psychologists categories people in certain psychological or characterological types. Others in medicine, genetics, and sports categories various ?body types.? Homeopaths, in contrast, acknowledge certain ‘body-mind’ types. They determine their medicines based on the constellation of physical and psychological symptoms. The homeopathic treatment is highly scientific and artful, thus making it by far the best treatment for psychosomatic disorders.
This feature (authored by Dr. Vikas Sharma) was published earlier In The Tribune.