recently I have encountered a case which is a perfect illustration of the homeopathic method, so I am glad I can share it with you.
Man, in his thirties, after a prolonged period of overworking, lack of sleep, lots of mental, emotional and physical stress, suffers the following (mostly mental) symptoms:
- does not want to be around people, shuns them, people distaste him
- openly criticizes others (not heeding the social impact)
- sensitive to being criticized
- muddy state of mind, difficulty of absorbing the meaning of text, feels stupid
- feels down and depressed
- irritated mood
- tense nerves
- desires stimulants such as wine or tobacco (his usual way of dealing with stress, but in this case it does not alleviate the symptoms)
- trembling of the right thumb, which comes in attacks
Before I got the last symptom, the only physical one he mentioned, I was thinking something in the line of Nux vomica, but having a peculiar physical symptom present, I wanted to get a remedy which has both the mental / emotional states AND the physical symptom in its picture – if such a remedy can be found.
Searched for "thumb trembling" in the repertory and found rubric "Extremities, trembling, thumb" with just 3 low-grade remedies – Complete Repertory 2013, Synthesis 9.x, Boger-Boennighausen rep. - Ambr., Oleand., Plat.; Kent's rep. just Plat. Having suspicion of missing remedies in the rubric (as mentioned in one of the previous newsletters) I searched materia medicae for the same, and of course came up with many more remedies and some nice details to differentiate them.
There was no rubric "Extremities, trembling, thumb, right" in any of the repertories I checked, but some materia medica records mentioned the right thumb specifically (Plat: Trembling of right thumb in morning, with numbness as if bruised.; Sulph: Slight trembling of the hands and great trembling of the right thumb.; Nat. carb.: Formication in the right thumb, as if it was going to sleep, at times with quivering), but I have checked all trembling, quivering, twitching, shuddering and shivering thumbs, whether left, right or unspecified (Ambr: Trembling in the thumb, in the evening, in repeated short paroxysms.; Oleand: In the distal phalanx of the thumb pain as if had got a hard blow, on it, whereby the thumb becomes trembling; Alumina: Constant visible twitching or quivering on the right forearm and on the posterior joint of the left thumb; Amm. carb.: Visible twitching and quivering in the left thumb.; Lepidium: Pain in the bone of the left thumb, with trembling when attempting to use it; Magnetis poli ambo: Quivering twitching in one part of the palmar muscle of the thumb; Mezererum: drawing trembling outward below right knee, in metacarpal bone of left thumb; etc.).
Despite it takes a long time to write it all out, it only took a few minutes on the actual case, while I was still on the phone with the client and asking him some differentiating questions. Ambra grisea looked as a good choice as it matched the client's symptom very precisely (Trembling in the thumb; in short paroxysms), so I have followed the path of least resistance and proceeded checking the mind symptoms of this remedy.
Having ascertained that Ambra ranks well for (quoting various materia medicae)
- ...nervous "worn out"
- ...dread of people, and desire to be alone (also grade 3 in "Mind, misanthropy", in CR 2013)
- ...irritated mood, as if one had weak nerves and were impatient
- ...peevishness and quarrelsomeness
- ...he feels easily roused to indignation
- ...constant alternation of depression of spirits and vehemence of temper
- ...he was not able to reflect upon anything properly; he feels stupid
- ...his thoughts are weak; he has to read everything three or four times, and, after all, he does not seize the meaning of what he reads
I recommended the remedy and the result was quite spectacular, with a major improvement in 15 minutes after taking the first dose and holding well after several days (I have checked as I am cautious of improvements that happen too quickly). Would I recommend Ambra without having the "thumb symptom"? Not a chance. There are several remedies more famous for the worn-out-nerves symptoms so I would have preferred them for sure.
This case shows us several things:
- the importance of good case taking, not ignoring minor symptoms that don't concern the patient
- totality of symptoms and how one symptom can change the outcome of the case analysis (being a peculiar symptom)
- the necessity of studying materia medica for differentiation
- the necessity of either good synonyms support in MM software OR knowledge of the language of our materia medica (checking for trembling, quivering, shaking etc.)
- a practical example of missing remedies in a rubric (Object Repertory would address this and the following point too)
- a practical example of missing rubrics – no rubrics for right or left thumb despite existing old MM records
Donate and support Legatum Homeopathicum efforts
It may not be apparent, but since the official start of Legatum Homeopathicum there has been about 3000 person-hours of effort invested into developing its projects, maintaining the web site, providing new content, writing newsletters etc. There are very few volunteers helping us so we need to finance most of our activities and this costs many thousands of euros.
If you appreciate what we do, please make a donation to Legatum Homeopathicum, so we can keep coming with new material and advanced tools that may radically improve the practice of Hahnemannian homeopathy.
Question for André Saine
Q: How and when should we use information about the remedies that “follow well”, are “followed well by” or are “complementary” to other remedies, such as “Bryonia is followed well by: Alum., Ars., Kali c., Nux, Pho., Puls., Rhus, Sulph; Complementary: Alum., Rhus.” What about “incompatible” remedies, such as Phosphorus and Causticum? Shouldn't we give them one after another, if indicated, despite this information? How important or clinically valuable are these remedy relationships and how did they come to be?
A: The rubrics “Complements” and “Follows well after” are consulted when a patient has clearly responded well to either an acute or chronic remedy and the picture of the case is now dissimilar to the initial picture. You will then prefer to have a remedy that tends to follow well the remedy that addressed the acute disease, or a remedy that will... Read the full answer »
Do you have a question of your own? You can submit it here.
Recommended article – LIFE AND DEATH OF CONSTANTINE HERING
An article by E. Bayard drawing a summarized portrait of life and the last moments of one of the greatest names in homeopathy. Beside studying homeopathic theory and materia medica, it is always beneficial to get inspired by the perseverence, earnestness and zeal of the greatest practitioners of our method.
Read the article here. »
The newsletter archive of Legatum Homeopathicum can be found here.
To be informed about all activities and updates related to Legatum Homeopathicum, you can also follow us on Twitter.