Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Concept of Susceptibility and Vital Reactions


-The state of being very likely to be influenced harmed or affected by anything.
e.g. susceptibility to disease or infections.
-Persons feeling which are likely to be easily hurt. i.e. susceptibility.


-It is a very relative term, means wants to be magnetized by some impulse consciously or unconsciously by both mentally and physically, it is the fundamental attribute of life.
-At birth we acquire the hereditary dyspraxia and particular environmental adaptability. The combination of these two constitutes Susceptibility. It indicates the measures of defense in the body.
-Susceptibility is fundamental quality upon which all action and reaction in the physiological and pathological sense takes places in the living organism.
-Upon it depends all functioning of vital processes.
-Disease processes arising from infection or contagion are to the power of Susceptibility.

According to Dr. Hahnemann

Aphorism 30 – The human body appears to admit of being much more powerfully affected in its health by medicines (partly because we have the regulation of the dose in our own power) than by natural morbid stimuli for natural diseases are cured and overcome by suitable medicines.

Aphorism 31 – The inimical forces, partly physical, partly psychical, to which our territorial existence is exposed, which are termed morbific noxious agents, do not posses the power of morbidity deranging the health of man unconditionally but we are made ill by them only when our organism is sufficiently disposed 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 and function hence they do not produce disease in every one not at all times

Aphorism 32 – But it is the quite otherwise with the artificial morbific agents which term medicines. Every real medicines, namely acts at all times. Under all circumstance on every 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 able to be affected and as it were inoculated with the medicinal disease at all times, and absolutely (unconditionally) which as before said is by no means the case with the natural disease.

APHORISM 33 - In accordance with this fact it is undeniably shown by all experience that the living human organism is much more disposed and has a greater liability to be acted on and to have its health derange by medicinal power than by morbific noxious agents and infectious miasms or in other words that the morbific noxious agents posses a power of morbidly deranging man’s health that is subordinate and conditional often very conditional while medical agents have an absolute unconditionanal power greatly superior to the former.

ACCORDING to Dr. Stuart Close
Susceptibility means the general quality or capability of the living organism of receiving impression, the power to react to stimuli.

ACCORDING to Dr. H.A. Robert
We may define susceptibility primarily as the reaction of organism to the external and internal influences.

According to Dr. Kent

“Susceptibility is the influence or the flow of the cause into body causes from in the direction or least resistance. If resistance appears the cause no longer flow in the influx is the flow of causes without resistance, susceptibility ceases when changes occur in the economy that bar out any more influx.


-It varies in degree in different persons and at different times in same persons.
-It diminishes both in acute and chronic diseases whose gross pathological changes have occurred
-It depends upon the nature or the disease i.e. in acute disease it stands higher.
-It also diminishes in the diseases of heart, lung, liver, kidney etc.

Susceptibility is responsible for three things

-To provides a suitable soil for the morbific agent to act and flourish with in the organism to cause disease.
-To determine the nature, seat, intensity and course of symptoms exhibited by the organism as a whole in response
-To give a highly individualized and specific response peculiar to the organism


Depending upon the types or reaction exhibited by the organism, susceptibility is called as either normal or abnormal (morbid). Normal susceptibility is generally seen as a range above or below which it is said to be abnormal high as well as low susceptibility are expression of abnormal susceptibility.

The concept or susceptibility could be understood as shown in the graphs.

It is seen that different peoples reacts differently to same stimulus of touch, pains, temperature, light, food etc. these different reactions reacts the range of susceptibility in normality. It is only when there is a deviation from this range that be experience morbid susceptibility.

The change from normal to abnormal susceptibility become manifest to the physician only through sign & symptoms. Disease is responsible for modifying normal susceptibility to abnormal susceptibility where as medicine strives to modify susceptibility from to normal.


According to Stuart close susceptibility varies in different individuals according to age, temperament, constitution, habit, character or disease and environment.

-Susceptibility modified by age:

-Susceptibility is modified by constitution & temperament

-Susceptibility is modified by habit and environment

-Susceptibility modified by pathological conditions

-Relationship between susceptibility and immunity.

Important of susceptibility

This is generally and highly regarded as the most important guide in selection of potency. Susceptibility important in judging the amount or stimulus requires restoring health. Judgment or susceptibility is important for selection or the potency or medicines.

Modality of symptoms and susceptibility

The degree or susceptibility that is existing towards several different medicines will depends upon the degree of symptoms similar but the highest degree of susceptibility will exit towards most similar remedy similimum

The more similar and remedy the more remedy the more clearly and positively or the patient take on the peculiar and characteristics form of the remedy the greatest the susceptibly to that remedy and the higher the potency required.


Everything that has life is more or less influenced by circumstances and environment

We may define susceptibility primarily as the reaction of the organism to external and internal influences

We see very frequently the susceptibility to climatic conditions, as well as all other phases of environment. One person will thrive in a rigorous climate where another will become seriously ill; one will thrive in dampness to which another would succumb. Altitude affects some individuals kindly and some adversely. The seashore improves one man's condition while it makes another man ill.

The power of assimilation and nutrition is one of the phases of susceptibility. One easily assimilates a certain kind of food while another finds the same food indigestible. “One man's meat is another man's poison

In analysing susceptibility, we find it is very largely an expression of a vacuum in the individual

In analysing susceptibility, we find it is very largely an expression of a vacuum in the individual

The vacuum attracts and pulls for .the things most needed, that are on the same plane of vibration as the want in the body.

Contagious diseases thrive in childhood because of the extremely susceptibility of the miasmatic influence; this susceptibility has an attractive force which draws to itself the disease which is on the same plane of vibration and which tends to correct this miasmatic deficiency.

Susceptibility varies in degree, in different patients, and at different times in the same patient.

Homoeopathic application of a remedy is an illustration of meeting the susceptibility and filling the vacuum that is present in the sick individual.
Susceptibility can be increased, diminished or destroyed. It therefore becomes a state of lowered resistance or attraction

Normal susceptibility and physician’s duty : It is incumbent upon us to recognize, conserve and utilize normal susceptibility, to physical environments, to foods, to remedies and to toxic agencies. It should be our aim never to use any agent or anything of any nature, or to adopt y procedure that would in the least diminish or destroy this power of susceptibility and the reaction of the organism in its normal manner. Upon this normal susceptibility and reaction depends the status of health. To do anything to diminish or destroy the normal reaction is not the province of a physician ; rather it is the province of the physician to conserve natural susceptibility, for without a recognition of this power all our efforts as physicians would be worthless. It is just as much the province of the physician to exercise conservation of susceptibility in the organism that it may act defensively against a toxin, contagion or infection, as it is to have this susceptibility react constructively to food and drink or to the curative remedy. Again, it is just as natural and important for the organism to react pathogenetically to the size and power of a dose of poison as it is for it to react to the demand for food.

On sick for physician : We must lay particular stress on demanding the con¬servation of normal susceptibility in the care of the sick, for in sickness susceptibility is exaggerated and we must be very careful to do nothing to impair it, for it is through this exaggerated reaction that we find our clue to the similar remedy In sickness it is essential to remember that it is only in the administration of the similar remedy that susceptibility is satisfied

Professor James Ewing, of Cornell University Medical College, is quoted by Dr. Stuart Close as making the following statements in 1909 in a lecture upon Immunity

Nature steps in with the Jaws of susceptibility and an influence is attracted which blooms forth as an infectious or contagious disease.


Thus we see that susceptibility and reaction are basic „ principles, and are very closely allied to the problems of s immunization. A proper concept of these principles is something that the homoeopathic physician must seriously consider; the interplay of these principles must become as second nature to him, if he wishes to use well the forces of nature in healing the sick. The similar remedy, or the SIMILAR DISEASE, SATISFIES SUSCEPTIBILITY AND ESTABLISHES IMMUNITY.

By Dr. Stuart Close

Susceptibility is one of the fundamental attributes of life. It depend all functioning, all vital processes, physiological and pathological. Digestion, assimilation, nutrition, repair, secretion, excretion, metabolism and catabolism, as well as all dis¬ease processes arising from infection or contagion depend upon the power of the organism to react to specific stimuli.

The cure and alleviation of diseases depend upon the same power of the organism to react to the impression of the curative remedy.

We shall see that the kind and degree of reaction to medicines depends upon the degree of susceptibility of the patient, and that the kind and degree of susceptibility, in any particular case or patient, depends largely .upon how the case is handled by the physician; for it is in his power to modify susceptibility. Indeed, this power to modify susceptibility is the basis of the art of the physician.

If the physician knows how to modify susceptibility in such a way as to satisfy the requirements of the sick organism and bring about a true cure, then is he a physician indeed; since cure con¬sists simply in satisfying the morbid susceptibility of the organism and putting an end to the influx of disease-producing causes.

To accomplish this he must know that susceptibility implies and includes affinity, attraction, desire, hunger, need; that these all exist and express themselves normally as states and conditions in every living being; but that they may become morbid and per¬verted and so cause disease, suffering and death.
So it is in satisfying the morbid susceptibility which constitutes disease. As hunger demands food, so disease demands medicine. But the demand is always consistent with the universal law. It is for the symptomatically similar medicine, because that is the only thing that really satisfies the susceptibility

Susceptibility as a state may be increased, diminished or destroyed.

Morbid susceptibility may be regarded as a negative or minus con-dition—a state of lowered resistance.

In health we live, act and resist without knowing it. In disease live but suffer; and know our self in conscious or uncon¬scious exaggeration.

In the case of total destruction of the susceptibility death fol¬lowed

It is a condition which reminds us of the scathing words of Jesus; "Woe unto you, Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like whited sepulchers, which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but within arc full of dead men's bones and all uncleanness.

The homoeopathic remedy, correctly chosen upon indications afforded by the anamnesis and symptoms of the disease as mani¬fested in the individual and the community, and administered in infinitesimal doses, per orain, satisfies the morbid susceptibility, supplies the need of the organism and confers a true immunity by promoting health, which is the true object to be gained.

Dr. S. P. Dey

Susceptibility is the capacity or quality of the living orga¬nism to react against any stimulus. We feel delighted when a thing joyous happens, feel morose when anything sad happens, feel chilly on cold exposure, feel uncomfortable with perspiration on exposure to heat, feel pain on being pinched ; the Vital Principle reacts against entry of any disease producing agent in our body and tries to prevent it—all these are examples of susceptibility.

By birth we possess a hereditary dyspraxia and a general adoptability

This susceptibility is modified to a great extent tinder various circumstances after birth e.g., environment, sickness, rules of hygiene, mode of living, occupation etc

In the absence of requisite susceptibility, we cannot possibly effect cure with poetized homoeopathic drugs.

Dr. Ashish Datta

The fundamental requirement of homoeopathic practice is selection of remedy accordingly to the law of similar. It is obvious that at a given point of observation out of that at a given point of observation out of a number of similar remedies only one remedy can be exactly similar to the case.

A remedy can neither be good or bad for any particular disease condition if it is homoeopathic to the case concerned it will be curative for that case i.e. proper selection of medicines with appropriate required potency.

How to assess the susceptibility
More the closer of the symptoms to the medicine indicates high the susceptible i.e. higher the potency

Selection of potency depends on:

1) Nature of the disease
2) Duration of diseases
3) Seat of disease
4) Susceptibility of the patient.

Dr. Shraddha Pathak

Every individual is born with a characteristically unique and highly specific set of innate or inherent tendency which after birth are further modified into complex patterns by environment.

The sum total or aggregate of unherited and acquired peculiarities is termed as susceptibility i.e. capacity to receive an impression.

Now a disease process (morbid alternation in general state of vital economy which expresses itself as totality of symptoms) depends on the interplay of two factors.

The offending morbific stimulus which possesses the dynamic potentiality to adverse affect our existence through any of the three planes of life namely.

Physical (Representing the outermost tangible or material aspect of our existence i.e. body.)

Mental (Comprising of Intellect, national thought, under standing and memory)

Emotional (The innermost arena of will, emotions feeling and sentiments)

The individual susceptibility or impressionability of the person exposed to the stimulus.


1. Susceptilibty and life

Susceptibility is the fundamentals attributes of life all the physiological and pathological functions depends on this basic quality of life

” e.g. digestions, assimilations, nutrition, repair, secretion, excretion, metabolism, catabolism as well as all disease process arising from infection or contagion depends upon the power of the organism to react to specific stimuli.

2. Susceptibility and health:

An organism in perfect balance represents health.

It is always exposed to various adverse internal and external influences.

But in state of health the bodies maintain the different vital operation normally.

The Fine regulation is feasible only as long of a normal response follows a given stimulus.

This is possible only when the organism exhibits what we call normal susceptibility.

Any change or this normal susceptibility will interfere the normal response will denote a loss of balance as evidence by the abnormal sensation and functions which we call disease.

As normal susceptibility is essential for the maintenance of health, disease result from abdominal susceptibility so all reaction aim at the restoration of normal susceptibility in order to cure the disease.

3. Susceptibility and disease

Human beings one susceptible to infection and contagion in varying degree.

One man will become infected in contact with diseased individual while another person will experience no ill effects what so every one person is made ill by noxious plants. While another man can handle them with impurity.
Certain people one capable of making wonderful proving of a drug whereas other will shows no reaction what so ever. All reactions have to do with susceptibility as state may be increased or diminished.

Neither is or there is morbid state which must be considered therapeutically from the stand point the individual’s patient.

Morbid susceptibility may be regarded as negative or minus conditions a state or lowered resistance.


A physician will have to be thoroughly conversant with the important role susceptibility plays in the following

1. Maintenance of health.
2. Evolution of the constitution.
3. Development of diathesis.
4. Development of disease.
5. Manifestations of disease.
6. Processes of recovery and cure
7. Evolution to the drug-picture.
8. Manifestation of the remedy (Remedy Reaction).
9. Determination of the dose and repetition.


We have undertaken a detailed presentation of the topic of susceptibility in relation to the various problems in the field of medical science. We have indicated that the preservation of normal susceptibility is essential to the maintenance of continued health and that any deviation from the normal range leads to the development of disease. We have shown that the restoration of normal susceptibility is the basis of cure and we have examined the therapeutic procedures in the light of this concept. We have also considered the importance of susceptibility in Pharmacology, in the evolution of the drug-pictures in homoeopathic materia medica and in determining the remedy reaction and posology. We have pointed out the dangers that are inherent in all the suppressive therapeutic procedures and have considered the scope of local applications. Finally, we have considered the problem of palliation in a patient in the grips of an incurable illness.
We could readily conclude that a sound grasp of susceptibility in general and of its correct evaluation in a particular patient is quite essential for a physician who aspires to cure in a “rapid, gentle ...... permanent..... And most harmless way”.

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