How many times have we complimented someone on how “well” they’re looking? You know, that “prosperous’, full-in-the-face, filled-out appearance that usually suggests good food, the comforts of life and pots of money.
Now I have nothing against living the good life but what I am trying to say, to use a cliché, is that looks can indeed be deceptive. To the lay reader, this may sound farfetched but acquiring that “prosperous look” may not be reason to bring out the champagne.
It could be indicative of an individual burdened with the stress of “making it big” or an individual whose body has accumulated so much stress over time that it has had to add ballast or “harden” itself lest the scales tip into a dangerous state of cellular chaos and disease.
Our “prosperous” friend’s rounded and filled-out appearance betrays the face of what classical homeopathy calls the Sycotic Miasm. (Click here to read about the 3 Miasms and understand what each one means).
To recap, for first-time readers, Miasm is a state of defence whose purpose is to protect the individual against threat, both perceived and real. It is an energetic and biochemical stance or reaction adopted by mind and body whose sole and ultimate aim is self-preservation, no matter how twisted, self-defeating or debilitating it might be.
All life on earth including ourselves is powered by an innate intelligence that governs all growth and development. It’s what keeps us alive and kicking. It is this innate intelligence – or vital force – that prompts thebody to sacrifice a part to save the integrity of the whole. This is the reason why we fall sick.
Having said that, let’s talk about defences. Now, defences are not a bad thing in and of themselves. Think of defence or Miasm as a default setting of the human race, something we possess by virtue of being alive and human.
The human infant is much too vulnerable at birth. Merely adjusting to life, with or without traumatic experiences, calls upon the infant and adult alike to adopt various types of defensive reactions to the onus of living, as it were. The defences one uses necessarily belong to one’s Miasmatic repertoire and are determined by it.
Again, to recap a little, each of us belongs to one of 3 Miasms and the one that typifies you is determined by your genetic make-up, constitution and temperament. This is your basic nature, which forms the matrix that assimilates all your life experiences. It is the tendency of your body and therefore your mind and your personality to react to everyday living in a specific way as determined by your genes.
Thus, your defence system, and the diseases you develop are also determined by your Miasm.
So, what is the connection between Miasms and Disease? Disease manifests itself when your vital force or life force is overwhelmed, burdened beyond its capacity and unable to absorb stress or fend off infectious agents.
All disease – and this may be of special interest to those who suffer from chronic complaints – are defences the body uses to contain, accommodate and localise a life force under continued assault. This assault could arise from a variety of sources, more often than not, mental, psychological and emotional factors like deep-seated feelings of insecurity, inferiority, guilt, fear of rejection, loss and abandonment.
It is important to note that the diseases we get are chosen by our Miasmatic state (not by pathogens and other infectious agents!). And when they surface, it indicates just one thing – that the body’s defences cannot cope and defend against stress or pathogens any more. The body then throws up a symptom or sign to signal that something is amiss.
Since I wrote my last two posts, I have been receiving a stream of emails with questions about Miasms, how and why we “switch gears” from one Miasm to another and whether one Miasm is “better or worse” than the others.
Before I answer these questions, I’d like to introduce the case of Richa Gosar, one of my patients who suffered from rheumatoid arthritis and whose cure was as dramatic as it was quick. This, again, raises another question: Why do some people recover more quickly than others?
Richa’s arthritis was so severe it had deformed her wrists and hands and had affected her knees as well. The pain was so debilitating, it had completely confined her to bed for about a month before I consulted with her.
She said the pain sometimes drove her so crazy that she would throw things about the house and deliberately hurt her husband because she “blamed him for her predicament”. There is another angle to Richa’s situation – she had been treated by another homeopath for a decade before I met her but since she had only grown worse (watch the video), she threatened to “call the cops on him”!
Rather than take that as a warning, I found Richa’s story heart-rending. Not only did her rheumatoid arthritis indicate that she was in the Syphillitic Miasm but her behaviour too clearly reflected this. The Syphillitic Miasm, which is characterised by a tendency towards violence, destruction and being out of control, was mirrored in Richa's violent outbursts and her need to cause pain. It was clearly mirrored in the disease she chose – an autoimmune disease, where the body attacks itself.
I thought it would be simpler to negotiate the complex labyrinth of Miasms through a Q&A. So here goes. The general reader will thus be able to understand, not only how homeopathy works, but a Q&A will also provide a framework for individuals to corroborate their own experiences.
There are essentially 3 Miasms – Psora, Sycotic and Syphillitic as explained briefly in my last post. Briefly, Psora is typified by extreme cellular and emotional sensitivity and diseases characterised by inflammation and pain. This is primarily how the cells, tissues, organs, body and mind react to stress (I use ‘stress’ as a generic term to denote physical, mental and emotional factors that burden or injure the mind and body).
The second Miasm, Sycosis, denotes a tendency towards accumulation and excess. Hence, under stress, the body produces fluids and tissues in excess of what is normal, to harden and protect the body from assault and injury. Sycotic defences and personality traits thus reflect ‘accumulation’ and ‘excess’.
The third Miasm, or the Syphillitic Miasm, is characterised by a destructive tendency – either inward or outward directed. This Miasm may also be characterised by extreme dullness, listlessness and a loss of interest in life. Diseases of the Syphilitic Miasm are clinical depression, uncontrollable anger, autoimmune diseases and the like etc.
The Miasm you belong to depends on your genetic endowment, biochemistry and inherited predispositions. Let us not forget another significant influencer of our personalities – the foetal environment and the forces that impinge on the mother during pregnancy and the birth process.
Yes, the mother’s moods, emotions, stresses, energy and intake of harmful substances all shape the developing foetus much more than we would like to imagine and they all shape the Miasm the infant is born into the world with. After all, what we elevate as ‘higher functions’ (of the pregnant mother) – thoughts, feelings, moods, etc – are nothing but complex chemical reactions within the body and these are easily passed on to the growing foetus.
All these inhertnt and inherited factors are collectively called your ‘constitution’. Thus, a homeopath prescribes a ‘constitutional remedy’.
Every individual has a dominant Miasm. Although some individuals experience and exhibit a specific Miasm in its classic entirety, many of us are a combination of Miasmatic elements, despite our dominant Miasm.
Not necessarily. One may be born into any one of the 3 Miasms. Let us take the example of a child born with the Syphillitic Miasm. An infant born with a pathological illness or disorder such as hydrocephaly, HIV or autism is typical of the third Miasm. This is evident in the physical destruction that is already present in the infant.
It all depends. One may remain in the same Miasm throughout one’s life or may switch Miasms. Switching gears or Miasms is very common. What is crucial is the direction of change. Psora to Sycosis to Syphilis is not healthy but the reverse is a good sign as the individual reverses from a state of mental and physical destructiveness through the ‘hardening’ stage and then into the Psoric or sensitive stage.
One’s state of health is always reflected in one’s appearance. In the following video, notice how my patients ‘look different’ on the road to recovery.
This brings us to the all-important question of ‘switching’ or changing Miasmatic states. The short answer is: Of course, most of us change Miasms as we go through life, depending on life circumstances.
For instance, a cyst or benign tumour develop in individuals who are in the Sycotic Miasm. The development of the growth itself indicates a heightened disease process. But should the tumour turn destructive and cancerous, it indicates that the individual has ‘switched gears’ from the Sycotic Miasm to the Syphillitic Miasm.
Under sustained stress, a Psoric individual may develop simple arthritis with no structural damage to their joints. But when the immune system and the body are exhausted, the individual could turn Sycotic, exhibiting the development of osteophytes. If they were to switch to the Syphillitic Miasm, they would progress to osteoporosis.
This, of course, is a simplified explanation meant to illustrate a point. Many individuals develop different types of diseases through the course of their lives – but always according to the law of Miasms.
So what exactly makes us switch gears? Life is a complex and colourful thing full of hope, anticipation, pain, disappointments, excitement and happiness and a whole lot more. As we experience this marvellous miracle, most of us encounter experiences whose impact is sudden and powerful. It is these life experiences that often cause us to switch to a more healthy state or one ridden with disease.
Sometimes all it takes is the death of a loved one, a financial crisis or the break-up of a cherished relationship to push us into the Syphilitic Miasm. This doesn’t mean that everyone who experiences these crises switch gears. Like I said, the mind and body are a complex interplay of numerous factors and although there are definite rules, they always interface with the nuances of the individual’s constitutional make-up.
Also, it does not necessarily require a dramatic or sudden event to turn our Miasmatic gears. Often, disease results from the accumulation of stress over time. For instance, being in an abusive relationship, or a state of severe but sustained anxiety can also throw the switch. The process is subtle and is apparent only when signs and symptoms of disease show up.
And why focus only on the negative? On the flipside, positive life experiences that cleanse the self can play a crucial part in healing. Choosing homeopathy is just one such experience. Meditation, which calms the mind and body; an epiphany or a sudden awakening of the kind experienced by Eckhart Tolle as outlined in his book Power of Now; a sudden unburdening of guilt; and a change in life circumstances can all spontaneously reverse destructive processes in our minds and bodies without us making a conscious or deliberate attempt to do so. Have you ever wondered why some people ‘spontaneously recover’ from cancer and others are cured of addictions? Well, now you have the answer. This is self-healing at its best!
How often have you heard of someone who has “died of grief” or perished soon after a debilitating health diagnosis? Alternatively, there are others who live long after these events take place.
The answer lies, not in any dark or sorrowful emotion but in one’s constitutional make-up. Sometimes, it takes years, even decades, for disease to develop. These individuals have a ‘slow constitution’, one which is slow to react to change of any kind. On the flipside, their road to good health is longer than those who have a 'fast constitution'.
‘Dying of grief’ or the shock of a grave diagnosis merely reflects a mind and body that has switched to Syphillitic mode very quickly because in homeopathic terms, death is the ultimate ‘destruction of life’.
Bear in mind that your constitutional make-up is decided by your genes and foetal environment and it is the basic matrix of your existence, a filter through which all experience passes and are assimilated.
There are many tools a homeopath uses to determine Miasms. The first and most obvious one is your appearance. Whenever a patient walks through my clinic door, I almost instinctively observe their facial features and body language.
In fact, Homeopathic Facial Analysis has been used as a very effective medium to assess Miasmatic states, and researchers at the Victorian College of Classical Homeopathy in Australia are conducting fascinating research into this area.
There are other ways to determine your Miasm, and often a combination of tools provides a complete and holistic picture. Arriving at the ‘right constitutional remedy’ is a nuanced process and it requires a considerable amount of information.
The Case Taking provides a wealth of information about your mental make-up, sensitivities, life circumstances, motives, attitudes and sensibilities. So, even if your Miasm is apparent from your appearance and body language, a full consultation compliments it by providing the whys and wherefores.
Thus, it is not without reason that classical homeopaths have been called ‘detectives’, divining clues to an individual’s mental and physical make-up. We have also been accused of ‘asking too many questions’ during consultation. “You have to tell them everything,” is an oft-used phrase used to describe the initial interview.
Allow me to clarify that a homeopath does not engage in counselling and although the list of questions in the initial consultation is indeed long, the reason is precisely to procure clues to your Miasmatic state.
It’s incredible how much we give away without realising it, how much we say through our expressions and how much we slip between the lines. A skilled homeopath assimilates all the information, sews it together and then draws up a picture of your Miasmatic state.
So even if the initial consultation lasts around 60 minutes, that’s just 60 minutes to being handed a ticket to the superhighway of god health!
This is the second and concluding part of our previous discussion on Miasms.
Join me on a journey of healing as I demonstrate how this magical system of medicine can transform lives, maybe yours too. By digging deep into my case files, I will show you how homeopathy relates to the human condition, delivers patients from physical and emotional pain, and helps them become the best version of themselves. Here's where it all began for me.View my complete profile
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