in order to make our results the best they can be, the importance of case taking cannot be underestimated, as we have repeatedly emphasized in several issues of our newsletter. While making the process systematic will help a lot, there is an area where your own expertise and the ability to observe play an irreplaceable role – the case taking of the objective symptoms.
Objective symptoms are all symptoms which can be directly observed (and verified) – therefore we should observe and note them as we listen to and question our clients. This may seem self-evident, but it may prove quite difficult in practical reality as your brain needs to work in two different (incompatible) modes – one mode has to do with listening to your client, making notes of the symptoms, asking the questions in order to reveal complete information (location, time, modalities, concomitants etc.), while the other one has to do with pure observation of any objective signs and symptoms the client DOES NOT tell you about and you just need to notice them on your own!
There are many levels to this latter mode, ranging from noticing spots on the skin, through the client's fidgety fingers or feet shifting during the consultation, noting the tone and manner of speech to observing the FEEL of the person in front of you. While it may not be obvious from reading the provings, some people reacting well to the less frequently prescribed remedies actually make a very distinct impression during the consultation (if you are sensitive enough and not too preoccupied to note) that has nothing to do with what they say, it's just that their PRESENCE seems so strange or unusual.
While it requires some brain flexibility to be able to continually switch between these two modes throughout the consultation, the process can be made much less demanding by (again!) having a REFERENCE SYSTEM which will provide you with an idea of what to expect and what are the possibilities that can manifest in an actual case. Some are easy to note once you have TRAINED yourself to think about them and note them (Does he speak quickly or slowly?), some may require digging a bit deeper (IF he speak quickly, does it reflect quick mental processes OR does it feel HURRIED? If he speaks quickly, is it an uninterrupted flood of words or does it have integrity? The answers to these question determine whether you have a symptom or no symptom at all.) and some require even more acute sense of observation.
For example, noticing the well-known haughtiness of Platina can be really difficult as most people, if relatively stable mentally, will make an attempt to behave and will try to make a good impression, actively hiding all the possible quirks of character you may wish to observe. The beginning of the first consultation may be the only real chance to get that symptom as you are not yet used to each other and the probability of the "leak" is quite great – provided you are not feeling uncomfortable yourself, have yourself under control and are able to get the image from the net of what has been said, what has not been said, what has been implied and the overall feel of the situation. Missing such symptom, if present, could well mean missing the remedy.
Studying materia medica and the rubrics of repertory is very valuable for this purpose, but having a ready-made reference grid covering the topic would be much more beneficial and straightforward.
Question for André Saine
Q: What is your experience with homeopathic prophylaxis? I am familiar with Hahnemann's ideas on the topic, expressed in sections 101 and 102 of the Organon, but he based his recommendations (such as the use of Belladonna in scarlet fever) on the totality of symptoms present in the epidemics already occurring. Is it possible/rational to recommend homeopathic prophylaxis in cases where the totality of symptoms is not known? For example, someone travels to a country where malaria is prevalent, but we do not know what exact kind of malaria, what symptoms are prevalent, so how do we recommend a homeopathic prophylactic remedy with any degree of confidence?
A: What can be treated can also be prevented under the principles of similarity. Homeoprophylaxis is therefore not just for the prevention of infectious diseases but it can applied for any situation that can be anticipated, like it can be with physical or emotional trauma (surgery). The greater the degree of similarity between the remedy and the genius epidemicus... Read the full answer »
Do you have a question of your own? You can submit it here.
Recommended article – DISEASES OF INFANTS
An article by Constatine Lippe (a son of famous Ad. Lippe; died at the age of 45 as a result of wounds received during the American Civil War) providing valuable hints on treating diseases of children. The younger the child the more we need to rely on objective symptoms and the article highlights certain points of interest we can look at when dealing with such cases.
Read the article here. »
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