What Is Heilkunst?
“HEIL” means TO HEAL, TO RESTORE, and “KUNST” means THE ART or METHOD of doing so.
Heilkunst was founded by a German doctor, Dr. Samuel Hahnemann, over 200 years ago. Dissatisfied with the basis of the medicine of his day, which is still the basis of allopathic medicine in our time, Dr. Hahnemann set out to observe nature and to discover the natural laws that govern health and disease. Heilkunst, or the art of making people healthy in all aspects, is the name given by Dr. Hahnemann to the complete system of medicine and health found in his writings, most notably the Organon der Heilkunst, his central work. Homeopathy is only one part of this remarkable system.
Health and wholeness for Dr. Hahnemann means a full, complete state of health that allows each person to live life to the fullest. The ability to use natural laws to achieve this state demands deep and careful powers of observation and discernment, which presupposes a balanced state of health on the part of the physician. Medicine must be grounded in natural law and operate according to scientific principles. The ability to practice natural health care on this basis demands skills that go beyond the purely mechanical or technical. Thus, Heilkunst is ultimately an art form, as well as being the highest scientific form of expression of human knowledge. To be a true physician is to be as Dr. Hahnemann termed it, a Heilklinstler, or one who practices Heilkunst – the art of helping people to make themselves once again whole, complete, and balanced (at all levels).
Heilkunst encompasses an extensive variety of health-promoting methods developed by courageous and independently minded medical scientists, ranging from nutrition, detoxification, homeopathy, naturopathy, exercise and lifestyle choices, through various therapies to support one’s innate natural healing power (massage, manipulation, energy work), to medicine (first aid, acute and chronic diseases). Each of these methods is interconnected through a dynamic system of timeless principles that allows the practitioner of heilkunst to use them scientifically, that is on clear principles, as and when required, according to the form given by nature for the attainment of true health.
The principles of Heilkunst are applicable to all walks of life. Research involves all areas of arts and science, providing a sound foundation for the study of the liberal arts and the sciences from a new perspective -physics, biology, chemistry, history, anthropology, philosophy, geometry, cosmology, astronomy, psychology, etc.
Health and wholeness for Dr. Hahnemann means a profound state of health that allows each person to live life to the fullest. The ability to use natural laws to achieve this state demands deep and careful powers of observation and discernment, which includes a balanced state of health on the part of the practitioner. Natural medicine must be grounded in natural law and operate according to scientific principles. The ability to practice natural medicine on this basis demands skills that go beyond the purely mechanical or technical. To be a true physician is to be as Dr. Hahnemann termed it, a Heilklinstler, or one who practices Heilkunst – the art of helping people to make themselves making once again whole (at all levels).
My studies began at the premiere university medical college, the Freie Universitat, Berlin, Germany. Heilkunst was discovered by German physician Samuel Hahnemann over 200 years ago, and because it is natural and has no side effects, it is the preferred medical system in a majority of the nations of the world. There is much to understand in heilkunst and homeopathy, but a basic introduction is found below. This text comes from my American parent organization, the National Center for Homeopathy: “Homeopathy is a system of medicine that is based on the Law of Similars. The truth of this law has been verified experimentally and clinically for the last 200 years. Let’s look at an example: If your child accidentally ingests certain poisons, you may be advised to administer Syrup of Ipecac to induce vomiting. Ipecac is derived from the root of a South American plant called Ipecacuanha. The name, in the native language, means “the plant by the road which makes you throw up.” Eating the plant causes vomiting.
When a group of healthy volunteers took this substance to determine the effects of this drug, they found that the drug induced other symptoms as well. The mouth retained much saliva. The tongue was very clean. There was a cough so severe that it led to gagging and vomiting. There was incessant nausea. While it is expected that vomiting would usually relive the nausea, this was not the case. Such an experiment, using healthy volunteers, is called proving and it is the homeopath’s source of information about the action of a drug.
Of what use could this plan be? If a person were suffering from a gagging cough after a cold, or a woman were experiencing morning sickness with incessant nausea that it is no relieved by vomiting, then Ipecacuanha, administered in a minute dose, especially prepared by a homeopathic pharmacy in accordance with FDA approved guidelines, can allay the “similar” suffering.
Samuel Hahnemann described this principle by using a Latin phrase: Similia Similibus Curentur, which translates: “Let likes cure likes”. It is a principle that has been known for centuries. Hahnemann developed the principle into a system of medicine called homeopathy, and it has been used successfully for the last 200 years.
How does Heilkunst differ from common medicine?
How does the concept of homeopathy differ from that of conventional medicine? Very simply, homeopathy and heilkunst attempt to stimulate the body to recover itself. Let’s look at an example: the common cough. First, all symptoms represent the body’s attempt to restore itself to health. Instead of looking upon the symptoms as something wrong which must be set right, we see them as signs of the way the body is attempting to help itself. Instead of trying to stop the cough with suppressants, as conventional medicine does, a homeopath will give a remedy that will cause a cough in a healthy person, and thus stimulate the ill body to restore itself.
Second, we must look at the totality of the symptoms presented. We each experience a cough in our unique way. Yet conventional medicine acts as if all coughs were alike. It therefore offers a series of suppressive drugs something to suppress the cough, something to dry the mucus, something to lower the histamine level, something to ease falling asleep.
Heilkunst and homeopathy, on the other hand, look for the natural remedies which will cause similar symptoms in a healthy person. The person with a cough characterized by being worse when breathing cold air, and sounding like a deep bark, will need a quite different remedy than the person whose cough is loose in the morning, dry in the evening, and better when sitting up in bed. We characterize both as “coughs” but they are different illnesses in the individuals, and therefore require different homeopathic treatment.
In conventional medical thought, health is seen simply as the absence of disease. You assume that you are healthy if you have few or minimal symptoms. To a person versed in heilkunst homeopathy, health is much more than that. A healthy person is a person who is free on all levels: physical, emotional, and mental. Obviously, a person with a broken leg is not free, on the physical level, to move around. But on a more subtle level, a person who cannot eat certain foods or is allergic to certain materials is also experiencing a lack of freedom. It is a good emotional release to cry at a “tear jerker” movie, but someone who continues to cry for several weeks afterwards is experiencing a lack of freedom on the emotional level. Likewise, a person who cannot absorb what be bas read or cannot remember day to day appointments is experiencing a restriction on the mental level. The practitioner of heilkunst and the homeopath recognize such limitations and attempts, through the use of the properly selected remedies, to restore the person to health and freedom.