Jonas Edward Salk, one of the most eminent American virologist, a medical researcher who is credited to have developed one of the first successful polio vaccines, once stated that there are two approaches of treatment—the therapeutic interventions that treat specific symptoms and the methods that stimulate body’s own defense and immune mechanisms. Nothing has highlighted the need to focus on increasing immunity more than the current COVID-19 pandemic crisis.
Immunity as per the standard definition from Merriam-Webster is the “ability to resist a particular disease”. This ability to resist a particular disease depends on individual constitution. While genetic factors partly explain why some individuals more successfully resist infections than others, other contributory factors such as previous health, acquired immunity, individual response to the pathogen variabilities can certainly not be ignored. In fact, there are evidence to indicate that towards the fag end of his life, Louis Pasteur himself realized that “germs” are not the cause of disease but really the “results” of the disease. So, while the disease-producing agents are present, it is only when the individual’s own immunity and defense mechanisms are compromised that they become more susceptible to infections rather than others exposed to similar environments.
So, it will not be inaccurate to state that it is the unique constitution of each individual, his physical, social, mental, emotional, and other aspects of the “total” person that determine his immunity and susceptibility to infections and disease. Hence, the need for the hour is to see the individual as a whole and not just a compilation of a clinical set of signs and symptoms i.e., take a more holistic approach to health and patient care.
This is where Homoeopathy, which considers the totality of patient constitution, can play a much bigger role. Aimed towards the integrated individual, Homoeopathy looks beyond the clinical labels of local physical disturbances to rectify the overall off-balance which is causing the dis-ease (disease) and improve the overall health of the individual i.e., not just remove the disease but also enable the human system to adaptively respond to environmental challenges.
Homeopathy looks at the totality of symptoms based on a holistic assessment of the individuals—patient constitution, physical, mental, emotional predispositions, genetic susceptibilities, family histories, etc. to improve the overall health of the patient by stimulating their self-regulatory mechanisms and thereby improve their overall immunity to resist infections and diseases.