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One could say that solving a homeopathic case is easy in theory. One has only to choose the correct symptoms, underline them correctly, and the computer will find the simillimum. Or better still, memorize all the remedies and then give the simillimum based on your knowledge of materia medica without even opening up a repertory. Some cases will lend themselves to these methods. Unfortunately, many cases have such complexity to them that in order to find the simillimum a variety of skills need to be mastered. One's skills would include:
- The ability to know all variations of the human condition as much as possible, so that any symptom or distortion from "health" is easily recognized by you. This is the wisdom of SEEING THINGS AS THEY ARE and knowing the possibilities of pathology in human nature.
- To know the objectives, goals and limits of cure in each case. The prognosis.
- The ability to have a keen sense of intuition and powerful skills of observation all working in harmony to extract the relevant and factual information from the patient.
- The ability to experience this information without prejudice or distortion and record it objectively.
- The ability to perceive in every case what needs to be cured at the time the patient presents his symptoms to you.
- The knowledge and insight to choose only those symptoms that are relevant to what needs to be cured at the time you see them.
- To have a repertory program that is complete, accurate and combines principles of homeopathy in the analysis process to the degree it takes to make intelligent suggestions.
- To have the knowledge of materia medica, reference to it and experience of previous cases so that these suggestions can be confirmed or rejected according to sound judgment.
- To have the ability to make a synthesis of the case into a living image and then compare this living image with the living image of the remedy so that one experiences "knowing" that the simillimum has been found.
- To know case management such as when to repeat a medicine, when to wait, when to change the medicine and when to refer to another appropriate therapy.
As one can see, the process of repertorization and case analysis is inextricably bound to, and interdependent with various crucial elements. This course has emphasized the learning of all these skills.
All cases are unique and therefore cannot be approached exactly the same. Keep your mind open and flexible to various ways of looking at the information. In the interview, look for ways to combine symptoms that give you suggestions about possible prescriptions. Compare all the possibilities as best you can. Your prescription could be based on one or a combination of the following criteria:
- Whole history
- Parent's history
- Current symptoms
- Mother during pregnancy
- Birth till beginning of the disease
- Etiology, causation, never well since
- Symptoms until the beginning of the disease
- Present state today
- Totality of the symptoms
- Recurrent symptoms
- Permanent symptoms
- Mental, general, keynote and local symptoms combined
- Mental only
- Mental and general
- Mental and local
- General and keynote
- General and local
- Local and keynote
- Local only
- Hahnemann classification of symptoms
- One-sided case (Hahnemann)
- Keynotes, peculiar and characteristic symptoms
- Minimum syndrome of maximum value, a few symptoms that describe the patient
- Relationship of remedies
- Patient dynamic, as he/she presents as an essence (Vithoulkas)
- Basic delusion, situational materia medica
- From lesional to fundamental (Eizayaga)
Many homeopathic practitioners would agree with the following method:
Repertorize the strong "homeopathic" symptoms first. The strongest symptom would be the recurrent, intense, peculiar mental symptoms expressed clearly and spontaneously. The next most valuable type of symptom would be a peculiar general or peculiar local symptom. These are all "keynote" symptoms.
Next add the modalities. Look for rubrics that best describe the essence or essential features of the case.
Now make the repertorization and first try to find a remedy that covers all of the above criteria. Do this for each possible remedy and then compare each remedy in terms of finding the best possibility. The local pathological symptoms will hopefully be covered by the remedy chosen from the criteria above. Follow all the leads to see how far they go and then compare the image of the case with the images of the remedies.
Always define the case clearly, without prejudice, and then find a remedy that fits this image like an old boot fits its longtime owner. They should fall into each other without too much effort. If this is not possible you may be forced to give a remedy based on the local symptoms only, as for example a case presented at the 1992 IFH Case Conference. The patient had "an extremely enlarged spleen." This case was prescribed Ceanothus because the main feature of Ceanothus is also an extremely enlarged spleen. (Eric Sommermann).
I also had a case last year in which the eruptions were only on the palm. I could find no way to confirm any polycrest remedy so I gave Anagalis based on the peculiarity of the location of the pathology. The eruption was greatly ameliorated.
In another case recently, the person could not get more than one or two hours sleep at night. Her mind was the only expression of restlessness, she was fastidious and had an aggravation from heat. The remedy was Arsenicum iodatum. This is an example of how the typical essence of physical restlessness was missing. The case was solved because the remedy fit the totality of the symptoms.
Generally speaking, one can eliminate the remedies that have strong modalities that go against them. For example, if your patient is very warm blooded and has a strong aversion to heat then even if Nux vomica is suggested for various reasons one can rule it out because we know that Nux vomica is typically a very chilly person. If the patient were a neutral temperature then one could give Nux vomica if it were the remedy with the strongest indications.
A remedy can also be eliminated if the modalities go in the opposite direction. For example, your patient has joint pain that is better from motion. We know Bryonia is always worse from motion so it can be ruled out.
It is not a good idea to rule out a remedy just because the mental or emotional symptoms do not fit the exact profile of the remedy. This is because many remedies have a variety of essences and you may not be aware of them all. For example, Graphites can be very dull and coarse or very sensitive and anxious about everything. Medorrhinum can be extremely sensitive or very insensitive and "macho". To learn the various essences of remedies is invaluable but it is best to not have any fixed ideas about these essences as one can hardly ever learn all the essences for a single remedy.
If your patient does not have any keynotes to support the prescription you want to give then consider the following: If it is a common polycrest you want to give then most likely you will have to look for a better remedy or that remedy combined with something else that does fit with the peculiar keynote symptoms of the case. For example, I once had a case of a suicidally depressed woman.
In many ways she fit Aurum metallicum but there were no strong confirming keynotes. I gave it to her anyway as it fit the essence so well. A month later she was no better and then I found she had a strong craving for salt and an aggravation to the sun. Now I was more certain of the prescription and gave her Aurum muriaticum, which had a very deep and long lasting positive effect on her.
If you do not have a strong "homeopathic symptom" as opposed to the common symptoms of the illness then do not let go of this symptom easily as it is the raft you can hold onto in a stormy sea. Recently, I had a very difficult case of a child with a constant bladder infection, severe stomach aches and very irritable/angry temperament. The most striking homeopathic symptom that led to giving her the correct medicine was her extreme jealousy. This leading fact was the most important symptom of the case and because I never let go of it I was able to finally get to the idea of giving her Calcarea sulphurica which produced a strong relief of her symptoms.
In the end one's strong compassion for the patient, keen intellect, ability to be insightful, the moments of intuition, one's emotional response to the patient, will all work together to give you the ideas, questions, and answers to "solve the case". In this way one learns to be an expert detective. Even the smallest and insignificant clue can become important, so that to see the part will explain the whole and to hear only the tone of voice or see the eyes will be enough to read the patient's mind and know their past.
After adding two symptoms into the repertorization then look and see what result is obtained.
If you doubt a symptom then take it out, only have in the important symptoms.
Separate the local symptoms and see if a small local remedy covers the case. It may also cover the constitutional case.
Study the small remedies in the materia medica as they come up.
Study the symptoms of an acute illness carefully, you may find the acute remedy that is also the deeper constitutional remedy.