Dr Shashikant Kammar
HOD, Forensic Medicine
Yenepoya Homoeopathic Medical College & Hospital, Naringana,
Dakshina Kannada District, Karnataka.
Susceptibility is the inherent quality as well as the capacity of the organism to receive stimuli and respond to it, it is the basic quality of a living organism by which it survives and adapts in its environment.
Dr H.A. Roberts defines it is the expression of vacuum in the individual. The vacuum attracts and pulls for things most needed that are in the same plan of vibration as the want of the body.
DEVELOPMENT OF SUSCEPTIBILITY
The source of susceptibility is hereditary factors and miasms in the person, which runs from generation to generation. Early environment and events of childhood as well as various exposure from time to time affect susceptibility. The susceptibility gets modified depending on these factors.
The factors which modify the susceptibility are – age, constitution habits, environment, pathological conditions and medicines.
Natural susceptibility: Power of organism to react defensively.
Artificial susceptibility: Power of organism to react under the influence of a medicinal substance as seen in drug proving.
Morbid susceptibility: state of negative or minus condition, a state of lowered resistance.
Abnormal/altered susceptibility: state of the organism to react to stimuli in an exaggerated or diminished way.
Jahr’s Law- Greater the susceptibility clearer the picture in sickness.
IMPORTANCE IN HOMEOPATHIC PRACTICE:
Helps in case taking- Understanding of susceptibility helps to understand the symptoms of the patient and thus, to take the case properly.
It helps in forming the totality.
It helps in finalizing the prescription while analyzing the reportorial result by matching the intensity and the quality of symptoms.
Helps in the selection of potency – higher the susceptibility, higher the potency.
APHORISMS RELATED TO SUSCEPTIBILITY
Susceptibility is explained in the aphorisms 30,31,32,33 & 34.
“The human body appears to admit at being much more powerfully affected in its health by medicines (partly because we have e the regulation of the close in our own of power) than by natural morbid stimuli- for natural diseases are curved and overcome by suitable medicines”.
Analysis: Since we have in our hands the power to regulate s the doses, the human body is more early influenced by medicines than by natural disease. The natural diseases are cured by suitable medicines.
“The inimical forces, partly physical to which our terrestrial existence is exposed, which are termed morbific noxious agents do not possess the power of morbidly deranging the health of man unconditionally, by we are made ill by them only when our organism is sufficiently disposal and susceptible to the attack of the morbific cause that may be present and to be altered in its health, deranged and made to undergo abnormal sensations & functions hence they do not produce disease in everyone nor at all times.”
The inimical forces, termed as morbific noxious agents can derange the health of humans only under certain conditions, i.e. They cannot act unconditionally.
These can cause sickness only when the human organism is sufficiently disposed & susceptible to the attack.
“But it is quite otherwise with the morbific agents which we term medicines. Every real medicine namely, act at all times, under all circumstances, on every living human being and produces in him its peculiar symptoms (distinctly perceptible, if the dose be large enough), so that evidently every living human organism is liable to be affected, and as it were inoculated with the medicinal disease at all times and absolutely (unconditionally), which as a before said is by no means the case with the natural disease.
We term artificial morbific agents as medicines.
Whenever we brand medicine as a real one, it will work at all times under all circumstances, on every living human being.
It produces its peculiar systems which are distinguishable when the dose is charge enough.
It works unconditionally. This is not the case with the natural disease as said in the previous paragraph.
Medicinal power is much more disposed towards deranging the human organism, that the natural morbific agents and infectious measures. The medicinal agents are greatly superior to the natural morbific agents.
What was said in the previous paragraph is separated here.
“The greater strength at the artificial disease producible by medicines is, however, the sole cause of their power to cure the natural disease. In order that they may effect a cure, it is before all things requisites that they should be capable of producing in the human body an artificial disease as similar as possible to the disease to be cured which with somewhat increased power trans to very similar morbid state the instinctive principle which in itself is capable of any reflection or act of memory it not only obscures, but extinguishes and thereby annihilates the derangement caused by the natural disease. This is so true, that no previously existing disease can be cured even by nature itself, by the occasion strong and just as little it can be cured by medical treatment with drugs. Which are incapable of producing a similar morbid condition in the healthy body.”
The greater strength of the artificial disease produced by medicines is alone not the sole cause of their power to cure.
The medicines must be capable of producing in the living human body an artificial disease as similar as possible to the disease to be cured.
The greater strength in addition to the above quality it can cure.
The accession at a new dissimilar disease cannot cure an existing one however strong it might be.
SUSCEPTIBILITY IN RELATION TO DISEASE
We have noted that an organism is constantly required to adapt itself to its environmental conditions so that harmony is maintained. This process of adaptation can take place on account of the susceptibility within. Thus, an organism is enabled to lead a relatively normal life even in the face of adverse conditions. But there are limits to everything and when the limit of tolerance is reached, the process of adaptation also reaches a breaking point. This is made known to the person by a feeling of uneasiness which though vague is sufficient enough to warn him that all is not well.
When this warning is not needed and more load continues to be thrown on the system, its failure at adaptation starts revealing itself through a train of signs and symptoms.
These processes of adaptations are governed by the neuroendocrine system which acts as a Homeostat. Development of immunity is an example of an adaptation that takes place when a person is exposed to an infectious disease from which he does not suffer any consequence.
Normal susceptibility leads to a state of good health characterized by good nutrition and a healthy outlook on life. Abnormal susceptibility, on the other hand, affects them in the first instance and interferes with the process of adaptation and thereby leads to the development of the disease.
Thus, signs and symptoms furnish the only indication of abnormal susceptibility that exists within and of the disease that good use of them by treating them as signposts pointing to the remedy.
SUSCEPTIBILITY IN RELATION TO DRUG
Drugs are capable of influencing the organism because of its susceptibility. Examples of total lack of susceptibility in animals to certain poisons are well known. The acquired lessening of susceptibility seen in drug tolerance as well as the remarkable instances in which the previous contact with the drug has promoted extreme susceptibility manifested through idiosyncrasy are also well known. What is not widely known is the fact that certain substances, inert in the crude state, acquired remarkable powers to influence susceptibility when they are prepared as per director in the homeopathic pharmacopeia and administrated according to a definite plan as has been done in well-conducted proving. The claim that homeopathic drugs can influence the mental process was laughed at till very recently when the psychotropic drugs were announced with a beat of drugs.
The specific capacity of the drug to affect health acts on the susceptibility in a prover to give rise to the final picture in a drug proving. As susceptibility is reflected in the constitutional type of prover, a properly conducted drug proving has to ensure that the provers are drawn from the various constitutional types.
In a proving a drug is administrated till it meets the susceptibility and evokes the response further stimulated is then suspended otherwise the clarity of response tense to get blurred.
Not all provers manifest susceptibility to lower potencies. Some of the finer indications have been obtained by proving conducted with 30th potency and beyond. Experience indicates that with the increasing potency, the capacity of a drug to affect susceptibility progressively widens to operate more and more in the mental sphere.
General experiences indicate that a sensitive and gracile subject is extremely susceptibility, whereas, the coarse type requires repeated stimulations through the lower potencies. Inert substances require the considerable release of energy through 30th potency and beyond before they affect susceptibility.
The variable aggravation that precedes the amelioration when Hahnemann started employing remedies selected on the law of similarities, but in the crude dose, then prevailing led him to postulate the maximum susceptibility is exhibited by a host to the similimum.
Its correct interpretation led him to the great discovery of potentiating – the release of drug energy.
The acute and explosive onset of disease indicates a robust constitution with high susceptibility and, therefore, responds best to the remedy administrated in the higher potencies.
On the other hand an insidious onset indicates poor susceptibility so often seen in individuals in poor condition. They may call for deep-acting remedies and Nosodes.
A well – defined characteristic picture of a remedy especially in the mental sphere, indicates a high level of susceptibility and therefore, calls for the similimum in high potencies.
In the advance stage of the disease, when pathological states have taken over, the characteristics features show a tendency to recede and all that one cease are the signs and symptoms diagnostic of these. This non – descript picture indicates poor susceptibility and calls for lower potencies or even material doses with frequent repetition to the point of reaction.
Historical type, indicate extreme susceptibility and call for caution in the use of both high and low potencies, only the medium range of 30 and 200 suits them, if at all. These unfortunate individuals are so difficult to cure make good provers.
A patient with poor symptomatology or acute exanthemata where eruptions do not come out and the nervous system get involved indicates poor susceptibility and calls for a prompt exhibition of the appropriate strong remedies like sulphur, Psorinum, Zincum, Lachesis, opium, etc.
Similarly, a patient who cannot move further and has got stuck indicates poor susceptibility consequent upon detrimental miasmatic influences calling for an appropriate remedy usually a Nosodes.
A patient exhibiting bizarre symptomatology which does not fit any single remedy from the Homeopathic Materia Media indicates the morbid type of susceptibility a result of abuse after abuse heaped on this on him by indiscriminate prescribers – Homeopathic as well as non-homeopathic, experience indicates Nux vomica as a good helper in satisfying this morbid susceptibility and thereby creating a semblance of order out of this chaos.
Every individual is susceptible to certain things is susceptible to sickness & equally susceptible to cure. Cure tests in the degree at susceptibility.
Susceptibility is only a name for a state that underlies all possible sickness and all possible cures. When a person becomes sick, he becomes susceptible to a certain remedy which will affect him in its highest potency, while upon a healthy person it will not affect. Susceptibility exists in the vital force and not in the tissues. There are degrees of susceptibility. The old school calls a certain kind of susceptibility “Idiosyncracy” though they have failed to find out what it is. An individual may be susceptible to nothing else gross, course, vigorous in constitutions yet there is one thing he is susceptible to and that is what he needs. Under homeopathic treatment progress at chronic disease the highest degree at susceptibility must be present, until a cure sometimes becomes possible. Man is more susceptible to drugs than to disease because their action may be forced upon the economy. In disease, the highest degree at susceptibility must be present. Man is susceptible to all things, capable of producing similar symptoms to those which he already has. If a man were in perfect health he would not be susceptible. The same susceptibility is necessary to prove a drug as to take a disease that is homeopathic relation. Hence we see what contagion is. If we were to undertake the study with the microscope what susceptibility is or what affinity is we would not succeed