NB: This is part of a series on Romantic Healthcare, setting out the foundational ideas of a system of healthcare based on vital nature and vital science. Each can be read independently, though it is recommended to read the introductory article, 'What If You Gave a Revolution and No One Came', first. Some articles refer to previous ones, so this can guide you to go and read these as well, either before or after the article you are on.
A Note on Terminology
Words matter. Agreement on anything involves ‘coming to terms’. If a word means one thing to one person, and something else to another, clear communication is impossible. Science requires as clear a terminology as possible.
There are several key terms that are used indiscriminately in healthcare, which promiscuous use only serves to obscure any rational presentation and consideration of the matter at hand. Science is based on ‘de-synonymization’ as Coleridge stated and advocated for. One word is not a synonym for another, once both are properly comprehended.
Before delving too far into the matter of a true Western healthcare system, it is important to be aware of the following basic distinctions critical to a proper understanding of what is being argued. You should use this as a reference throughout the series of articles, as these articles will ‘’flesh out the bare bones of the definitions given here.
Health – The optimal state of operation of the organism in terms both of homeostasis and palingenesis, which relate to the two sides of the vital power of an organism – the sustentive power and the generative power.
Homeostasis – “The maintenance of a dynamically stable state within a system by means of internal regulatory processes that tend to counteract any disturbance of the stability by external forces or influences; the state of stability so maintained; spec. in Physiol., the maintenance of relatively constant conditions in the body (e.g. as regards blood temperature) by physiological processes that act to counter any departure from normal [optimal].” - OED.
Palingenesis – From two Greek words meaning ‘re-birth’. This involves the optimal functioning of the generative power, such as regards cellular reproduction (including the generation of a new organism from male and female reproductive organs) and the capacity for creative thinking (genius).
Healthcare – An approach to establishing or restoring health that includes preventative measures as well as treatment of both aspects of illness – disorder and disease.
Illness – A faulty state (ill-health) involving divergences from optimal vitality (health) that can affect the sustaining or sustentive side of the vital power of the organism, that is, that disturbs homeostasis, in which case it is a disorder, or the generative side of the vital power (palingenesis), involving a disease.
Disorder – A faulty state of the sustentive side of the vital power, impeding optimal vital energy production (hypersthenia or hyposthenia), which gives rise to various indications (symptoms, signs, behavior, occurents), requiring the application of remedial agents based on an assessment (diagnosis) of the cause(s) involved, and in accordance with the law of opposites, e.g., a weakness caused by a lack of Vitamin C requires more Vitamin C; a schizophrenia caused by a lack of certain B-vitamins requires those vitamins; inflammation caused by the ingestion of trans-fatty acids requires the cessation of ingestion of these damaged and damaging fatty-acids.
Disease – A faulty state of the generative side of the vital power, being degenerative in nature as it impinges upon the regenerative capacity of the organism. This faulty state must be removed by the use of remedial agents specific to the cause(s) of the disease and in accordance with the law of similars.
Physis – OED: “Nature (as denoted by the Greek word φυσις), in various philosophical contexts; esp. Nature personified or the inherent quality of a being or object.” It is that inherent power that seeks to maintain a state of health. From whence we derive the term for one who seeks to support this natural power in the case of illness, a physician.
Physician – A physician is one who seeks to restore and maintain health in a person by removing obstacles to optimal biological functions and processes, as well as supporting and strengthening the inherent natural healing power of the human organism, the physis, using various remedial agents. The study of this natural healing power is physiology.
Regimen – the realm of diagnosis and remediation of disorders of the physis in accordance with the law of opposites.
Medicine – the realm of diagnosis and remediation of disease.
Medician – One who seeks to lift disease using specific remedial agents (medicines)based on the law of similars.
Medical Doctor – One who has gained an academic degree in the inertial sciences, mainly morbid anatomy and chemistry, as well as in the classification of general signs and symptoms into conditions and their descriptive labelling (such as painful inflammation of the joints = rheumatoid arthritis) to guide prescribing of a particular drug specifically designed to kill a microbe or suppress a metabolic pathway involved in the symptomology.