Vera Resnick-Weisz, DHom Med (Lic), IHM. Classical Homoeopathy. Local and online homoeopathic treatment available
My clinic is a pleasant place. My cauldron bubbles merrily on the fire, my black cat and familiar loves to wind herself between my patient’s legs, and my broomstick leans patiently against the wall in a corner, ready and waiting for my next trip to the shops. Herbal plants are lined up in profusion on my shelves, together with arcane books, bottles containing mysterious and unnamed objects, tinctures, and of course my old friend, a skull named Edgar with whom I hold the occasional spirited conversation.
OK, not true. It’s a wind-up.
His name is Rupert.
Despite the expectations of those for whom the word “homeopathy” conjures up strange and occult practices, the reality is far more ordinary. I usually see patients in my clinic on Emek Refaim Street, in what’s known as the German Colony, Jerusalem, in a consulting room with an ordinary desk, an ordinary couple of chairs – plus one chair which has an interesting way of descending very suddenly when anyone sits in it. I suspect that my room is the place where the clinic’s chairs come to die. But I digress. The room has a window, airconditioning, and a sink. Despite my pleas, no cauldron has been provided.
I don’t wear a white coat. This is very helpful when I’m working with children who have been deeply traumatized by human beings in white coats. One two-year-old with constipation who had been sufficiently prodded and poked to develop a complete phobia, came in screaming in fear, took one look at my non-white-coated person and instantly relaxed. Within a day of taking a remedy, the constipation too relaxed.
Let’s assume the patient is “you”. This saves me having to manoever around gender-correct formulations involving he/she/they…
This is how the process goes. You come into the consulting room and sit down. I ask some general details, name, age, email address, etc. and then we get down to the nitty-gritty. I ask you why you have come. My job at this point is to listen and make notes. I don’t ask many questions except “anything else?” I want to hear what is bothering you. I want to know about your main complaint, and also about any other symptoms that have come up. I also want you to report your symptoms in free associative flow. Any interruption on my part will disturb that flow and may side-track you from giving me some information that’s important for me to know.
Next step? Lots of questions. Everyone gets rashes, headaches, tiredness, coughs, stomach problems, menstrual problems and more. What I need to find out is what makes your complaint unique to you.
If you report a rash, bump, bruise etc., I will ask to look at it. Some very minor shifting of clothes or removal of socks may be involved. I will want to know if the area of the rash or lump is sensitive to touch, or if it is externally hot or cold.
If your back hurts I want to know what makes it better and what makes it worse. If you’re not sure, I may ask you to lean forward, backward, turn – if I hear screaming I usually stop. If your arm hurts I may ask you to raise it, lower it, extend it, bend it – all to get the detail of the complaint.
So many people are convinced that everyone experiences pain and illness exactly the same way they do.
Me: What were your flu symptoms?
You: Normal, nothing different from anyone else.
Me: and they are… (persevering with a sigh)
You: Well, like everyone else, my flu always starts with ear ache…
Now please don’t start to obsess over this. You’re completely normal even if your flu never starts with an ear ache.
It’s like examining a witness in court. However irritating – no leading questions are allowed. So I ask lots of open-ended questions. If I want to know what kind of pain you’re feeling, I start with…
“What does it feel like?”
“Duh,” you may answer (if you’re a teenager), “it hurts…”
Although correct, it’s not enough. In order to choose the best remedy, I want to know what kind of pain it is. Is it burning? Aching? Sharp stabbing pain? Pain like electric shocks? So I’ll keep going with the irritating open questions for a while, to see if when you think about it, you’ll be able to describe it better. If you can’t, I’ll ask again and offer four or five options, trying not to limit you to my suggestions.
I’ll ask you what time of day you feel bad. Whether you wake up with it, or whether it comes on during the day, or night.
I’ll ask you whether your complaint is worse before eating, or after eating, when you’re outdoors or inside, when you’re with others or alone.
You may feel you get headaches “like everyone else” – but usually that’s very far from the case. Your headaches may only start during sleep, or during the evening, they may be worse when you try to read, or when you watch TV, or when you talk, or when you go to the bathroom…
I focus on what has changed. If you started feeling bad several months ago, I’ll ask what else changed at the same time. Part of this is the “Sherlock Holmes” mode that every homoeopath will go into at some point. I want to know – did something cause your symptoms? A drug? A life-change? I’m looking for a way to join the dots. Sometimes I’ll find no remedy is needed, and the whole symptom picture is the result of side effects to a drug.
What other complaints or changes came on at the time of the main complaint? When the headaches started, did you also start to crave ice cold drinks? Since the nausea started, you tell me that you’re feeling very needy, and that usually you’re very independent. Anything that changed at the same time as your main complaint began may be part of the general picture of dis-ease, whether it relates to respiration, digestion or reproduction….
Some of my questions may verge on the gross (or totally drown in it). What color is the snot? What texture? Does it have a smell? When you cough up is there a texture? A color? A taste? Does the bowel movement have an odd smell? A different color from usual?
Believe me, family and friends tend to avoid us homoeopaths when we take calls from clients during dinner in restaurants.
“You what? It’s green, you say? Putrid? Slimy? Oh, you have diarrhea too? Ahuh… ahuh… also greenish… ahuh…vomit-“ at which point someone will either yell at us to put the bloody phone down or forcefully manhandle us into the street…
When I have enough information about the main complaint, I’ll ask head-to-toe questions to find out if there are any other problems that haven’t been mentioned, I’ll ask for the main points of your medical history, and more background information. I may ask you for blood test results, x-ray analyses and diagnoses.
I won’t ask you about every single trauma you’ve ever experienced in your life. I won’t ask you about all your relationships or details of your dreams in full technicolor. But if it looks like a trauma may have triggered or contributed to the symptoms – I will ask you to describe the main emotion you felt as a result of the trauma. Especially if you’re still feeling the anger, the intense sadness or the humiliation and self-blame that makes you cringe whenever you think about the event or relationship.
I’ll ask you about pills, recreational drugs, and booze. I’ll ask you for the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. So help me Rupert. And although the process I’ve described here is the tip of the painberg, so to speak, the whole thing will take an hour or less.
And now I have to go out to the shops. Dammit – where did I leave that broomstick…