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Prescribing Complexes The Highest Ideal of Cure Post 2

by Daniel on July 4th, 2011

Doctor, opposing the motion, argued that there was a place for singles and a place for complexes too: “horses for courses.” The use of complexes was common in continental Europe. Modern practitioners faced different problems from those faced by their predecessors: “physiologically and biochemically our problems are different from those which confronted us 200 years ago”.

Here it becomes evident that proponents of complexes are focused on the particular form of pathology from which their patients are suffering. A particular pathology, they feel, must require a particular remedy. This is in opposition to one of the central insights of the homeopathic tradition, which is that the nature of the pathology is less important than the nature of the patient.

This divergence from homeopathic thinking becomes even clearer as Doctor goes on to discuss “functional medicine”:

In many ways functional medicine, and that is how I see complex homoeopathy being used, has a great deal in common with conventional medicine. It learns from pathology and microbiology, it learns from organ function. For instance, let us take a case of rheumatoid arthritis in a person who has had a series of recurrent tonsillitis infections in their youth. You will look at this patient and you will say to yourself, `Well, this patient has a malar flush and they’ve got chronically enlarged tonsils. Somebody forgot to take the tonsils out . . . and I actually think they’ve probably got a streptococcal toxicity. That is probably what is wrong.’ Now a conventional doctor may well be able to make that link, make that diagnosis, but complexes actually give you a treatment handle.

Complexes: Curative, Palliative, or even Ineffectual?

One can only agree with Doctor that functional medicine and the use of complexes has a great deal in common with conventional medicine! The poor patient may well have been suffering from a streptococcal toxicity, but by focusing solely on that infection we entirely miss the wider picture. Is it not significant that this particular patient is prone to recurring problems of this kind? What is it about the internal environment of this particular patient that allows these infections to take root, and that prevents the normal immunological processes from dealing with them? (It is somewhat disconcerting to find someone in a homeopathic journal regarding amputation of part of the immune system as a normal treatment for recurring infection.)

All of these questions, which are fundamental to understanding the case, are begged by the conventional approach. When homeopathy has opened out to us a wider perspective, why close down again to a narrower one? The living, breathing patient is nowhere to be found in this sort of analysis – he or she is merely the site for an interesting case of streptococcal toxicity.

There are other methodological deficiencies of treatment by complexes. While the medicines chosen by a particular company may be correlated to a certain extent with a particular clinical condition, the correlation will usually be a loose one. Perhaps 30% or 40% of patients may respond to one of the ingredients. But what then of the other 60% or 70%? They may end up by getting little or nothing out of the treatment. This is the problem with the shotgun approach. And will the response be curative or palliative? Even if 60% to 70% of patients respond in some way to the complex, then 30% to 40% are still left out, whereas 100% of patients will respond to their indicated single remedy, and furthermore they will be cured.

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