Case-taking and analysis: “knowing” versus “thinking”

Cogito ergo erro...(sorry, Descartes)

Cogito ergo erro…(sorry, Descartes)

As homoeopaths we must be aware of perhaps the no. 1 pitfall in analyzing a case.  And once you notice it – it cannot remain un-noticed.

Homoeopathy is not a therapy based on hunches or intuitions.  It is a therapy based on observation of fact, and knowledge.  Just go back to the Organon aphorism 3 – or simply consider the obvious.  The homoeopath’s job is to observe and elicit the information about the disease (case-taking), to know what is curative in remedies (knowledge of provings, poisonings and clinical experience), and to find the appropriate remedy, administering it with appropriate potency and dosing.

However – and this occurs especially when assessing the patient’s mental/emotional situation but also happens with regard to physical symptoms – we find the expression “I think…” sneaking into the mix.  Compare the following examples:

Patient:  I think I’m angry at my husband/sibling/grandmother because of what they did.
Patient:  I’m furious!  I’ve never been so angry in my life!

Now you tell me… which of these cases demands that the symptom “anger” be taken into consideration?

And  what about this situation:
Homoeopath 1:  Why did you prescribe Nux-V?  The symptoms don’t seem to fit?
Homoeopath 2:  Well, they fit quite well, and I think she seemed more irritable today than previously, which clinched it for me.

Well, maybe she was more irritable, and maybe she wasn’t – but you must KNOW it, not merely THINK it.  And if you cannot say I KNOW – and if your patient is also demonstrating similar overthinking regarding a symptom – you significantly reduce the certainty of your case-taking and prescribing.

And on the physical plane:
Patient: I think I sometimes have a bad taste in my mouth in the morning
Homoeopath:  what does it taste like?
Patient: I think it’s kinda metallic, maybe sour sometimes…
Homoeopath: when did you last experience it…
Patient:  I don’t remember…

‘Nuff said…

And for those who want to KNOW…here’s Aphorism 3 – you may notice that there is no “thinking” going on here at all..:

If the physician clearly perceives what is to be cured in diseases, that is to say, in every individual case of disease (knowledge of disease, indication),

if he clearly perceives what is curative in medicines, that is to say, in each individual medicine (knowledge of medical powers),

and if he knows how to adapt, according to clearly defined principles, what is curative in medicines to what he has discovered to be undoubtedly morbid in the patient, so that the recovery must ensue – to adapt it, as well in respect to the suitability of the medicine most appropriate according to its mode of action to the case before him (choice of the remedy, the medicine indicated),

as also in respect to the exact mode of preparation and quantity of it required (proper dose), and the proper period for repeating the dose;

– if, finally, he knows the obstacles to recovery in each case and is aware how to remove them, so that the restoration may be permanent,

then he understands how to treat judiciously and rationally, and he is a true practitioner of the healing art .

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