“If it’s so easy, why isn’t everyone working this way?”
I was asked this question at a seminar I gave several years ago. This is a question that frequently puzzles us at the IHM. Because it is easy.
True, a lot of hard work is needed to get expertise, and then to improve expertise. To read, re-read, and analyze materia medica. To read and discuss cases. To comb the Organon and Hahnemann’s other writings for better understanding of the underpinning of homoeopathy – essential for prescription and case-management; for case-taking clues; for accurate work with remedies. It’s not always easy to get rid of our preconceptions regarding remedies, to learn to be able to prescribe Pulsatilla on prescribing symptoms whether the patient is a sumo wrestler or a petite, sweet blonde. It’s not always easy to focus on absolute, presenting symptoms when our learned “knowledge” is giving us all kinds of useless hints regarding constitutionals, core delusions, sensations and similar.
Jewish tradition records a story of someone who came to a venerable Rabbi and asked him to explain the entire teachings of the law while standing on one leg.
Well here’s homoeopathy on one leg. Take your case. Take only what has changed and is presenting for prescribing, against the backdrop of the patient’s life and habits. Only use symptoms you could swear to in a court of law. Use symptoms which show the individual expression of illness in your patient. Look for a remedy that can produce similar symptoms in the healthy, and thus create a similar, slightly stronger, artificial state in your patient. Find the core of that information in the proving. Prescribe.
Still standing here…
The thing is, once you drop the theories, the speculations, once you move away from trying to be clever and insightful, you start looking at what is in front of you. You work with the information the patient gives you about his state of illness (morbid state) – not with your speculations about his personality, or information about whether he’s always loved chicken, or whether he played with Barbie dolls as a child. You work with what you can know about remedies – information contained in the provings. You work with some information gleaned from poisoning and clinical work. Some of this information was chosen by Hahnemann for inclusion in his provings. This information should only be taken from the most reliable practitioners (in case you didn’t get it, at the IHM we focus mainly on Hahnemann and Boenninghausen’s work). You put it together and prescribe.
Aphorism 3, my friends. And as the learned Rabbi is reputed to have said, now go and learn the rest…