The Meaning of Symptoms: An Intro to the Dynamic System
Talking about symptoms, conditions, diseases and illnesses with loads of people over the years, I’ve noticed that there’s a lot of confusion about what symptoms mean.
Even the medical field labels something a disease, which is really just a group of symptoms. And symptoms are effects, outer appearances, not causes. Without clear distinctions to help us understand the real nature of what we’re dealing with, we can’t intelligently address what’s going on according to real causes.
I’ll start by addressing the issue of the wisdom of the body and the idea we have in the natural health field of working with the body, not against it. It’s an idea that’s been greatly misunderstood, and the misunderstanding centers around the debate between the “vitalist” school (which wants to support the life force), and the allopathic school which mistrusts it and wants to control it and suppress symptoms.
In the natural health field, it’s assumed that the vitalist tradition is the wiser, and efforts are aimed at supporting the life force in various ways. But this is a simplistic assumption which doesn’t take into account the dual nature of this life force. In order to understand the meaning of symptoms, we have to understand the nature of the life force that produces them.
To put this in perspective, let me outline the two major schools of medicine in the west (with the eastern schools being closely aligned with the vitalist tradition).
1. The Hippocratic school observed nature and sought to support the the natural healing power of the organism. This stream is the basis for much of modern “natural medicine” with its focus on the vital force, and has come to be known as the vitalist tradition. So natural medicine is oriented toward balancing and facilitating this natural healing power.
2. The school of Asklepiades, on the other hand, mistrusted the organism’s innate healing power, and sought to oppose its seemingly misguided efforts by using heroic measures according to the law of opposites to remove the disease effects. This is much like modern day allopathic medicine giving drugs to counteract the effects of disease without basing the prescription on any principle of nature.
So we have a kind of duality here, between trusting the natural healing power, vs. mistrusting it.
There’s a third way, though, that has been developed in recent years, although it emerged out of the Romantic period of history with Dr. Hahnemann being the primary medical researcher. The Dynamic system transcends this duality, and doesn’t simply support the natural healing power, nor does it suppress it.
The Dynamic System
The Dynamic system sees the effects of the natural healing power as simply symptoms, and seeks to know exactly the real underlying cause of those symptoms. Dr. Hahnemann was the first in the medical field to begin to understand the dual nature of this natural healing power. The vitalists were treating it as one abstract thing, whereas it really had a dual function.
1. It would sustain, maintain, balance, promote homeostasis, on the one hand. This came to be called the “sustentive power” or sustentive aspect of the life force.
When the sustentive power is disturbed, the person is indisposed or imbalanced. There, the sustentive side of the natural healing power simply needs to be supported with nutrition and various regimenal techniques, sometimes energy balancing, but the therapeutic measures here are quantitative. You’re just shoring up the life force or removing excesses.
2. On the other hand, the life force also has a creative capacity to generate new thought and new life - the “generative power.” These two functions are distinctly different, and lead to the understanding that there is a qualitatively different way in which a person can be ill.
When the generative power is disturbed, this is an actual qualitative change in the organism, an impingement on the generative side of the life force, which no amount of “trusting” the wisdom of the body, supporting it, boosting it, is going to remedy. It’s like a pregnancy - no amount of nutrition or energy balancing is going to change it.
The symptoms are the body’s wise response to the disturbance, but in this case, it’s like those toy wind-up cars that hit a wall and just keep spinning their wheels. If we fuel that car more by boosting the sustentive power, we just make the wheels spin faster and actually can exacerbate symptoms in a way that doesn’t get us anywhere.
So the key is in a deeper understanding of this duality of the life force, which shows us when the situation calls for simply supporting the sustentive life force, and when we also need to intervene on the generative side, in a way that helps remove the blockage so that the healing can proceed.
In the Dynamic system, we have dynamized remedies (commonly known as homeopathic), which target the blockage and annihilate it according to the law of similars, in a systematic way.
But the vitalist philosophy has a sentimental notion that we shouldn’t fight against this wisdom of the body. And we’re actaully not — we’re removing the blockage that doesn’t belong, based on real principles of nature, not just blindly getting rid of symptoms as the allopaths do.
This is done with a deep understanding of the curative principle of nature - the law of similars, and knowledge of how to apply it safely, in the right dose, and at the right time.
After this is done, then the natural healing power of the body can proceed with the healing - all the adjustments and repairs that need to be made, like a house renovation, and we can support its efforts with various regimenal methods.
The reason the rules keep changing in allopathic medicine is because it’s an abstract philosophy that has no grounding in principles of natural law. It just seeks to suppress symptoms–the outer appearances–and not venturing to look at the real causes, no matter how powerful their microscropes or nanotechnology becomes.
In the vitalist natural healing tradition, there is a consistent sort of loyalty to the wisdom of the body, but we see that there isn’t a high success rate with complex, chronic conditions. Much of the allopathic mindset has been coopted, and there isn’t a tremendous difference - getting rid of symptoms becomes the measure of success in both.
Whereas the dynamic system seeks to remove the underlying disturbance, and then the wisdom of the body mounts a healing reaction to that, and symptoms can actually increase during that time.
A New Understanding of Symptoms
If we look at all symptoms as unwanted, we suppress the healing reaction and can never make real progress. If on the other hand, we see all symptoms as healing reactions to be supported, we also can’t make real progress! - except in very simple cases of imbalance.
The key to understanding why lies in the duality of the life force - when we’re addressing only one side of the polarity, we’re ignoring the whole realm where the disease impingements lie. The vitalist tradition and most of the natural health field has missed this whole dimension of medicine. When you start to discover it, it’s like discovering a whole wing of your house that you never knew was there before, and which puts everything in perspective.
For further reading that explains the dual nature of the life force and the dual nature of disease and treatment, see the article: Healing vs. Curing