Homoeopathy in acutes – some points for ponderation…

sconesI received an invitation to a homoeopathic conference on acutes. Nice, I thought, as I perused the program, with coffee breaks and lunch artfully sandwiched between urinary tract infections, diarrheas, sunstroke and the like. I’ll have that coffee and cake thank you, with a nice heat rash on the side…

Which got me thinking about basics for treatment in acutes. Of course. So I’d like to offer up a few points for ponderation, alas, without sandwiches. Or cheese butties. Or even pita bread. But I digress.

  1. You may not be able to help someone in an acute. You may be all they’ve got, so you should definitely improve your skills and keep a stock of remedies on hand. But you have to be able to assess your skills and tools effectively, and not try to treat if you should be sending the sufferer off to someone else or even to the emergency room. And then of course – there’s common sense… no amount of Arnica in any potency, dry or in water, is going to stitch the wound or set the bone…
  1. Even if you can’t help – do not abandon the patient. Do not run off to hide in the corner, drowning in your self-loathing and disgust, or hightail it with a swagger and a “not-my-problem-anymore” attitude (even though admittedly, it can be a tremendous relief to shift the buck). This is not about you.  It’s a difficult lesson to learn, but often, even if we can’t help, the patient really appreciates us just being there. After all – we were the ones they turned to for help. Keep tabs on the patient, check in to see how they are doing, take an interest. If you couldn’t help at that crisis time, you may be able to help after the initial emergency, and they will want you to do so.
  1. There are a ton of books on what remedies to give in acutes, therapeutic directions, triads of remedies for treatment and more.   Perhaps my first major disappointments with homoeopathy were when I found that the books were… how shall I put it…fairly useless…  In acutes, as in all prescribing, look for what has changed. And in acutes, look often because things can change quickly. Are you really going to sit there wondering if your patient is yielding because they are blonde and blue-eyed, and do blonde highlights count anyway – when the patient is presenting Pulsatilla symptom after Pulsatilla symptom in ever increasing intensity? Are you going to ignore the presenting symptoms because “the book says”…? I think not. Forget all prejudice, there is no time for that. Focus on the presenting symptoms. Focus on what is there – not what is absent. The resulting remedies may surprise you – if you’re sure of the symptoms you’ve used and the materia medica you’re using, give them anyway.

Acutes can be the joy and the bane of a homoeopath’s practice. Witnessing what homoeopathy can do in acutes has brought many a doubter into the fold, and I think has kept many of us fascinated with the tool we have learned to use. On the other hand, treatment of acutes can involve a tremendous amount of nail-biting anxiety and frustration, when sometimes we see a case that has been progressing well turned over to allopaths and then relapsing, or when we hear the oft-repeated words “I think I was feeling better just before I started taking your remedy” or “I don’t think it was the remedy, I think it was Aunt Florence’s tonic of gin, mangoes, paprika and eye of newt which did the trick…” (perhaps less oft-repeated but you get the general idea).

Here endeth the soliloquy. Back to scones and sunburn… or perhaps just scones…

Aphorism 273: If something is not necessary it is not permissible…

just another IKEA philosophy statement...

just another IKEA philosophy statement…

As I think people reading this blog are aware, I have no patience with those who relegate the Organon the status of philosophy, and thus consigning it to dusty shelves rather than using it as a manual of practice. It’s a bit like calling the instruction leaflet you get with your IKEA kitchen / bookshelf / cupboard “the IKEA philosophy statement”, and not referring to it when you try to build the darn thing.

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Finally…a comprehensive, concise manual for Homoeopathic practice and methodology

doctor with bookTroubled in your practice of homoeopathy? Tried some books but nothing really helped?

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if there were a straightforward, short and to the point manual of homoeopathic practice and methodology which related to the following issues:

How to choose symptoms for repertorisation?
What kind of questions should we ask in case-taking?
How to get the best information in order to prescribe the most homoeopathic remedy?
What to do if the patient seems to be getting worse?
What to do if new symptoms come up – how do we deal with them?
How to work with mental symptoms?
How to work with LM potencies?
How to avoid “favourites” – remedies we always seem to prescribe?
How to work with the mentally ill?.
How to prepare remedies?
How often to repeat remedies?
When to change the prescription?
How to find the next prescription?
What is the probable healing mechanism involved in homoeopathy?
How to relate to issues of lifestyle and diet during homoeopathic treatment?
How do we run experiments to find out what remedies can do? What is the experiment protocol?
How do we treat intermittent fevers?

To name but a few of the questions constantly confronting us as homoeopaths (shown here in completely random order).

I wish someone would write a really clear manual of practice for homoeopaths, which answers all the above questions and more.



Someone already did. He’s called Dr. Samuel Hahnemann. You can find the book under the title “Organon of Medicine” – 6th edition. Amazon probably has it. Go read it.

Priscilla Rowbottom on Homoeopathy and the Nation-State

Now where did homoeopathy go, I'm sure I put it down somewhere...

Now where did homoeopathy go, I’m sure I put it down somewhere…

And now another post from my highly erudite colleague and close – but not too close – friend…to be taken with many grains of salt while the tongue is firmly embedded in the cheek…In the interests of political correctness, no offence is intended to any nation, state, or to anyone who happens to be called Priscilla Rowbottom…

Well, the day has come! I have finally had my homoeopathic epiphany! The trumpets sounded, the sea of confusion parted, and the glorious light of …enlightenment seared my vision… Continue reading

The “Aggravation Quiz” results

First of all, I acknowledge that the quiz I posted was essentially superficial.  My objective was to see what people out there think about aggravations in homoeopathic treatment.

Over the years I have heard so many people panic over new symptoms (OMG! it’s a proving…!), over extreme aggravations (what do I do?! what have I done?!) and more.  I have heard people express sentiments like “it’s just an aggravation, it will get better..” without thinking properly about what is happening to their patient.  I have heard of situations where patients were told “it’s just an aggravation” and landed up in the emergency room.  None of this does homoeopathy any good. Continue reading

So-called aggravations, in the words of someone who really knows…

Kangaroo with Pouch Resident

and where do you keep your copy of the Organon…

So there I was, working on an extremely erudite article on so-called aggravations, mildly and elegantly nuanced with subtle humour, sharp wit and penetrating wisdom…. And then I realized there was really not much point (actually I think I looked up and asked myself a question beginning with WT…). Because it has all been said before, by someone who knows the subject much better than I do (I think perhaps I win points on the subtle humour bit, but he has me beat on the sharp wit…) Continue reading

A quiz on aggravations – or an aggravating quiz?

sherlock holmesThe following is a rather unwieldy way of presenting a quiz on aggravations.  The responses are anonymous – but I thought it would be interesting to see what y’all think about aggravations before planned upcoming articles on… aggravations…

The answers aren’t straightforward, and sometimes more than one answer may seem to fit – if so, look for the most suitable answer and choose that one. Continue reading