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A Homeopath's Perspective On Topical Therapy

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It is very common for practitioners of modern medicine to prescribe topical therapies, e.g. some kind of cream or lotion for a variety of ailments ranging from dermatitis to wounds. How does this sort of local therapy fit into a homeopathic approach to healing? As I have spent an increasing number of years in homeopathy, I find myself using a decreasing amount of topical treatments. The reason for this is that I now recognize that symptoms appearing on the surface of the body are being caused by a disturbance within the interior of the organism. If this is so, treating topically to eliminate the symptom is missing the entire disease process. The results from this sort of symptom suppression can be quite serious.

The reason is that if one merely treats a superficial symptom of any disease process, the disease itself is allowed to progress until a more serious symptom appears usually indicating a further breakdown in the body's function. Another way of thinking of this is that the organism produces symptoms in an attempt to survive whatever is happening internally. If that symptom is removed pharmacologically or surgically, the organism will need to find another usually more serious symptom to survive.

Topical therapy with drugs like cortisone and all of it's derivatives (almost any medicine ending with sone) are great at removing symptoms. This is why they are of such grave danger to the whole being. Antibiotics and other drugs as well as many natural remedies have the potential to suppress symptoms without dealing with the true disease. The skin has a low electrical potential relative to more vital organs. Toxins, therefore, flow downstream to the skin via this electrical gradient. Effective topical treatments raise the electrical potential of the skin forcing the toxins to flow upstream to more important tissues. True healing e.g. the correct homeopathic remedy removes the imbalance that is producing the problem in the first place.

So when, where and what do I currently do in terms of topical therapy? I avoid it as much as possible in any condition that I believe is stemming from an internal disturbance. This is almost all skin rashes, ear problems and most eye problems. I do use topical therapy in wounds, burns or if an animal's suffering is great. Even in these situations, I use nothing more than cleanliness with water and natural soap and the application of coconut butter or sesame oil for lubrication and softening of the skin. The application of warm, moist compresses on ripening abscesses applied several times daily until drainage occurs is also acceptable. It is important that all of the above be combined with appropriate homeopathic therapy to cure any internal disturbance that may be present.

  • Russell Swift, DVM, Classical Homeopath

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