The word ‘terrain’ has been used a lot lately and for good reason. It differentiates between the bodily system and the pathogens it encounters. I suffered from chronic gut problems for years and it was only when I used this approach was I finally free of them.
When I think about a patient’s terrain with regard to chronic health problems — and gut in particular — I’m thinking about three things:
Miasm: this refers to how your body detoxifies. There are four miasms and each person has a major miasm. When our miasm is balanced, we detoxify well and it’s much easier to eliminate pathogens and for the gut, our major elimination pathway, to function. When it’s out of balance, gut healing is harder and slower. Miasm dictates the response to a toxin and is more important than the disease itself.
Temperament: Hippocrates developed the temperament theory of medicine over 2400 years ago. Everyone has a dominant humor—Phlegmatic, Sanguine, Choleric and Melancholic. You can think of this in terms of how you react emotionally to a stressor—and gut issues are major stressors. When your emotional body is imbalanced, it plays out in the gut (gut-brain connection) and is going to be a block to healing.
Constitution: Think of this as your genetics. It’s the physical makeup of the body, how it performs its functions and metabolic processes and its ability to deal when exposed to pathogens. Super important when it comes to the gut’s ability to heal!
So, it’s not as simple as ‘eat this’ and ‘take those pills’. The good news is that we can improve the terrain so that your gut heals faster and more permanently. I think this is why my docs and I are successful at treating patients who have all but given up. Yes it’s possible: no relapsing back into symptoms every few months — isn’t this what we all want?
(This isn’t a system I made up! It has its grounding in the French medical tradition and was authored by Dr. Gerard Gueniot, a revered French MD and homeopath.)