The convergence of homoeopathy and the biopsychosocial model

Dr N Kathyayini Reddy

The convergence of homoeopathy and the biopsychosocial model: a comprehensive approach to health
“To provide a basis for understanding the determinants of disease and arriving at a rational treatments and patterns of health care, a medical model must also take into account the patient, the social context in which he lives and the complementary system devised by society to deal with the disruptive effects of illness, that is, the physician role and the health care system. This requires a Biopsychosocial model.”- George L. Engel.

Biopsychosocial model was developed by Dr. George L. Engel. This approach systematically considers biological, psychological and social factors and their complex interactions in understanding health and illness. Dr. George L. Engel believed that to better understand and help patients, clinicians must attend simultaneously to the biological, psychological and social dimensions of illness

To apply the biopsychosocial approach to clinical practice, the clinician should:

  • Recognize that relationships are central to providing health care
  • Use self-awareness as a diagnostic and therapeutic tool
  • Elicit the patient’s history in the context of life circumstances
  • Decide which aspects of biological, psychological and social domains are most in understanding and promoting the patient’s health
  • Provide multidimensional treatment


  1. BIOPSYCHOSOCIAL MODEL states that the whole person should be treated not just their physical illness but for other aspects such as behavioral change, change in beliefs and coping strategies and compliance with medical recommendations.

HOMOEOPATHIC PERSPECTIVE: According to aphorism 5 in 6th edition of Organon of Medicine, “…….in these investigations, the ascertainable physical constitution of patient (especially when the disease is chronic), his moral and intellectual character, his occupation, mode of living and habits, his social and domestic relations, his age, sexual function etc are to be taken into consideration”. In this aphorism, Hahnemann clearly states the importance of causation and also emphasizes the need to elicit not only the disease symptoms but other aspects of individual, such as habits, mode of living, domestic relations.

  1. BIOPSYCHOSOCIAL MODEL states that health and illness exist on a continuum. Individual progress along this continuum from health to illness and back again

HOMOEOPATHIC PERSPECTIVE : According to aphorism 11 in 6th edition of Organon of Medicine, “when a person falls ill it is only this spiritual, self-acting (automatic) vital force, everywhere present in his organism, that is primarily deranged by the dynamic influence upon, it of a morbific agent inimical to life; it is only the vital force, deranged to such an abnormal state, that can furnish the organism with its disagreeable sensations and incline it to irregular processes which we call disease;………”

According to aphorism 16 in 6th edition of Organon of Medicine, “ Our vital force, as a spirit-like dynamis, cannot be attacked and affected by injurious influences on the healthy organism caused by the external inimical forces that disturb the harmonious play of life, otherwise than in a spirit-like (dynamic) way, and in like manner, all such morbid derangements (diseases) cannot be removed from it by the physician in any other way than by spirit-like (dynamic, virtual) alternative powers of the serviceable medicines acting upon spirit-like vital force……….”

From the above aphorisms, it is clear that the continuum illustrate the dynamic state of health, as a person adapts to change in the internal and external environment to maintain a state of well-being and in order to maintain health and disease vital force plays a major role

  1.  BIOPSYCHOSOCIAL MODEL focuses on an interaction between the mind and the body in both health and disease.

HOMOEOPATHIC OUTLOOK: Hahnemann had clearly recognized the central importance of mental and emotional state of the patient. He clearly stated in Aphorism 213, “ ………one achieves cure homoeopathically when one attends to the symptom of the mental and emotional alterations, together with the symptoms of the body, in every case of disease, even acute ones, and select the most similar remedy that is of itself capable of engendering a mental or emotional state similar to that of disease.” According to Homoeopathic principles, mind and body are dynamically interconnected and that is the reason consideration of mind plays a major role in the Homoeopathic case taking and Drug Proving

  1. BIOPSYCHOSOCIAL MODEL states that the role of psychological factors play a role not only as possible consequences of illness but also as contributors to it at all stages along with continuum from healthy to illness

According to aphorism 210, in 6th edition of Organon of Medicine, in context of Mental Diseases “……..they do not, however, constitute a class of disease sharply separated from all others, since in all other so called corporeal diseases the condition of the disposition and mind is always altered……”

In the aphorism stated above, Hahnemann clearly stated that the alteration of mind and disposition is seen in all corporeal diseases. As Kent also mentioned that, “The tissues could not become sick unless something prior to them had been deranged and made them sick. The real sick man is prior to the sick body ” this statement also justifies that Homoeopathic physician considers the psychological role in contributing the disease

Humans are a complex web of interrelating systems that display non linear responses between things acting on the system and the responses it makes. When Engel first proposed the Biopsychosocial model it was for the purpose of better understanding of health and illness. This model aids physicians in understanding the different dimensions of the patient like psychological, social factors which were emphasized by Master Hahnemann much earlier, in treating the individual as a whole. Just as how the Master of Homoeopathy guides about different aspects included in Health and Disease, The Biopsychosocial model also concentrates and points out the inseparable factors which are included in both Health and Disease.


  1. Samuel Hahnemann; Organon of Medicine, 6th edition, reprint edition, New Delhi, B Jain publishers, 2003
  2. J.T.Kent, Lectures on Homoeopathic Philosophy, 7th edition, New Delhi, B Jain Publishers, 2007

Dr.N.Kathyayini Reddy, MD (Hom)
Assistant Professor
Department Of Repertory

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