The word “Suppression” is derived from the Latin word “supprimere”, which means “to press down forcibly”. Suppression is the process of forcibly removing the present disease manifestations by any means other than fixed principles at the cost of a new disease. Suppression diverts the disease manifestation from the least essential organs to the most essential organs. It is in the reverse order of Hering’s law of cure, hence it is harmful.
Examples of suppression:
- Skin eruptions when suppressed may develop into asthma in later years.
- Foul foot sweat when suppressed may develop into a neuralgic headache.
- Otitis replacing facial neuralgia etc.
Importance of Suppression
As a result of suppression, the disease is diverted into another part of the body. This is totally against the Hering’s law of cure. Suppression is not a good condition. Homeopathy believes in psychosomatic causes of disease. Suppression of emotions is responsible for all sorts of ailments like psychotic, psychoneurotic, and psychosomatic problems of today. By identifying the emotional side of totality and the nurture of suppression, the homeopathic physician can select a similimum remedy.
H.A.Roberts says, “the one thing we should always bear in mind and should hold as our aim is to allow the vital force to express itself in its own chosen way when it is deranged”. “The administration of physiological medicine at such times changes the whole picture, suppressing one symptom after another until there is no expression of the true condition of the patient. The immediate effect of this method of treatment is suppression”.
Types of Suppression
Suppression can be of two types:
1. Natural suppression
2. Artificial suppression
1. Natural suppression
It is a type of suppression caused by natural external factors that suppress the normal functions of vital force and the body. Example: Menstruation checked by extreme cold bathing, lochia stopped after catching cold etc. H.A.Roberts says “conditions like shell shock, fright, fear excessive joy, intense unsatisfied longing intercourse or offspring, unrequited love, grief from the loss of family and friends, business apprehension and worries, disappointed ambitions, extreme fatigue or exhaustion, etc., we often see cases where the suppressing emotions not only affect profoundly the single individual, but extend their influence to the next generation through the effect on a nursing mother”. In the “Chronic diseases” Hahnemann says that the primary manifestations of Psora, i.e., skin eruptions can sometimes be suppressed by natural environmental causes.
So, the primary manifestations of Psora can change either into latent Psora or into secondary manifestations even by environmental changes like exposure to extreme cold or extreme heat etc. Emotional factors of the patient can also play a major role in such suppression. When a homeopathic doctor is dealing with such naturally suppressed cases, the similimum must cover both the cause of suppression and the totality.
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This is the type of suppression that is caused by artificial means.
It might be of various types:
- Artificial suppression by external application.
- Artificial suppression by harmful internal treatments.
- Artificial suppression of natural secretions of the body.
- Artificial suppression by surgical removal of disturbing organs.
1. Artificial suppression by external application:
This type of suppression is frequently seen in our day-to-day practice. The skin manifestations of eczema are suppressed by external applications like ointments, liniments etc by allopathic physicians. When the miasm is robbed of its external manifestations, it is forced to take the inward direction. By such treatments, cure is not possible as the miasm is not eradicated from the body.
The prolonged suppression proves dangerous to the patient. The symptoms take inward direction and nervous and psychoneurotic manifestations may result. Such treatment, if continued for a long period, it becomes impossible to cure the patient. Example: i. When the primary manifestations of the Psora, Syphilis, and Sycosis are removed by external treatments of allopathy, nature develops secondary manifestations of each miasm under different nosological names. ii. Suppression of eczema by powerful local ointments for a prolonged time may develop into asthmatic manifestations.
2. Artificial suppression by harmful internal treatments
The prolonged and continued usage of the harmful allopathic medicines drives the symptoms to the deepest and the vital organs of the body. The natural development of the disease process gets diverted to the other parts of the body. This happens because the powerful chemicals that are used as medicines weaken the vital force. Hahnemann in § 75 comments, “these inroads on human health effected by allopathic non-healing art are of all chronic diseases the most deplorable, the most incurable”. Dr. H. A. Roberts also says “The present indiscriminate use of salicylates and coal tar derivatives in rheumatic and allied states invariably sends the trouble to the central organs, especially to the heart”.
3. Artificial suppression of natural secretions of the body
Another type of suppression is artificial suppression of the natural secretions of the body. Example: i. Suppression of perspiration by the medicinal powders. ii. Suppression of menstruation by hormonal derivatives. The metabolic end products are secreted through proper channels in the body like the elimination of perspiration through the skin. But in the name of civilization when we try to suppress them by the artificial methods, this process suppresses the elimination of metabolic end products through the natural channels. The body tries to eliminate these products through other possible channels. This change disturbs the harmony of the organism, leading to constitutional defects.
4. Artificial suppression by surgical removal of disturbing organs
In conditions like tonsillitis and sinusitis etc, the vital force is expressing its suffering through its selected organs. As we know, these symptoms of inflammation are the outwardly reflected picture of the internally deranged vital force. By the surgical section of tonsils and draining of the sinuses, we are only dealing with the end products of the diseases and not with the cause. This form of suppression is most common in the modern days. Removing the disturbed organs by surgical means suppresses the expressions of vital force. Removing the pathological end product is not the rational treatment. Only the homeopathic physician is equipped to deal with the condition of suppression. The harmony of the health can be restored only by the process of curing and never by palliation or suppression.
Treatment of Suppressed Cases
- Case taking is the source to identify any form of suppression in the patient’s life. The inquiry into the past and the treatment history will aid the physician to identify any sort of suppression in the case.
- The physician with his knowledge of pathology, surgery, and allied subjects can easily judge whether the present condition of the patient is curable or not.
- The curable cases can be treated with the curative similimum remedy. In doing so both, the present symptoms and the symptoms that were present at the time of suppression have to be considered.
- Appearance of the old suppressed symptoms is a good sign in the follow-up. It indicates that the administered remedy is correct.
- No medicine should be administered during the period of homeopathic aggravation. Kent’s “wait and watch” approach might prove curative in the future.
- After the end of aggravation, even if symptoms persist: i. Either the same remedy can be repeated in different potency if symptoms still indicate the same remedy. ii. Or a fresh case taking can be done and the most appropriate remedy to the existing symptoms can be administered This procedure has to be repeated till the improvement of the patient occurs.
Hence, suppression is a crime against the human economy where instead of curing the patient, more harm is done by diverting the curative process of the disease symptom. Here, the simple curable disease present in the least important organ is forced to develop into a dangerous disease, affecting the vital organs of the body. “Suppression and palliation of disease, is the removal of external symptoms of the disease by external, mechanical, chemical or topical treatment; or by means of powerful drugs, given internally in massive doses which have a direct physiological or toxic effect but no true therapeutic or curative effect”- says Stuart Close
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