Vera Resnick-Weisz, DHom Med (Lic), IHM. Classical Homoeopathy. Local and online homoeopathic treatment available
I’m writing this because lately I have been asked, on the one hand, why I prescribe so many remedies – and on the other hand, why I prescribe so few doses. It all boils down to videos, stills and nagging…
Do people essentially remain the same, or do they change the whole time? And when someone gets sick, does that mean they’re in a different place, a different state to when they are healthy – or are they still basically in the same state and just need a little tweaking?
In essence – is the human being a dynamic video, constantly shifting and changing, or are human beings just a series of stills photographs with occasional retouching?
Samuel Hahnemann, the founder of homoeopathy, saw the human organism as highly dynamic, constantly shifting and changing. The job of the homoeopath, as defined by Hahnemann in his Organon of Medicine (first version published 1810), is to track those shifts and changes, the different states a person goes through in the process of disease. Right at the beginning of his manual for how to do homoeopathy (i.e. – the Organon), he instructed homoeopaths to center their understanding of a patient’s disease state on what has changed, while taking background etc. into account.
Our first job is to identify a state of illness – a “disease state”. This centers around the changes from the patient’s usual state of health. For some of our patients with very chronic conditions this isn’t so simple, and here we unravel the changes, working through the timeline to see if at any point there were several significant changes occurring together, looking for events that acted as turning points. We do this against the backdrop of family history, hereditary conditions, and elements that could be prolonging the disease state. So basically, we ask a lot of questions.
From that point on, we’re looking at what changes after each remedy, physically, mentally and emotionally. In particular, we’re looking for an indication that the existing remedy has done its work for now and has gone as far as it can, and it’s time to move to the next indicated remedy. For some patients, one remedy constantly addresses the problem, and then we work through different potencies of the same remedy. For others, each step of the way opens up a new remedy.
This is why homoeopaths following Hahnemann’s way of working will prescribe more remedies.
To respond to the second issue – why do I prescribe so few doses? And sometimes the doses are diluted further until the patient says – “there’s hardly anything there!” But when patients repeat doses because they assume a dosing protocol similar to conventional medicine – they get an intensification of symptoms. From too much of that “nothing”.
I frequently compare dosing, especially with the LM potencies I use but actually this is relevant for all potencies, as asking someone to do something, and then unnecessarily nagging when they are in the process of doing it. Let me explain.
The homoeopathic remedy contains just enough of a stimulus to get the body to work on the problem, since it is a substance that can “press the buttons” of the symptoms involved – i.e. can cause similar symptoms in a healthy person.
When you ask someone to do something – whether it’s a kid who needs to tidy his room, or a clerk who needs to sort something out for you, the process can look like this when seen as a metaphor for dosing.
First dose: Tidy your room.
Second dose: You heard what I said? Get up there and tidy your room.
Response: Okay, okay…
Kid starts tramping upstairs, slowly. A few minutes you go up and see the kid is sitting on the floor playing games on the phone.
Third dose: That’s enough, put that down and get on with it.
The kid starts tidying the room while you’re watching.
As you’re standing there watching them, what will happen if you keep insisting that the child tidies the room – while they are actually doing what you asked for? Chances are they will stop, at the least, and may even become very angry. In the homoeopathic parallel – if you keep dosing when symptoms are shifting toward improvement – aggravation.
But things are dynamic after all – in the human organism and in human behavior. You leave the room. Suddenly you realize that it’s gone very quiet upstairs. You go up and – voila. The room is half tidy but the kid has gone back to playing games on the phone.
Fourth dose: Time to finish the job, you’ve done so well so far but there’s a bit more to do. Put the phone down, finish up and then you’re done.
With some people, and with some immune symptoms, one mild reminder is enough to shift the situation. Symptoms begin to change, either resolving or clearly indicating a changed disease state. Just as some kids need a very gentle approach, some people are very sensitive to remedies, aggravating very easily and requiring multiple dilutions. This doesn’t mean the remedy is wrong – just as if your kid cries when you ask them to tidy their room that doesn’t mean your request was inappropriate. But in such situations dosing will be careful and cautious, in the dose itself and in its repetition.
Individual sensitivity to remedies is difficult to know in advance, especially at the beginning of treatment. While it’s so convenient to go for “take once a day and contact me in a week” – if someone is sensitive to remedies they will start feeling worse and worse as aggravation sets in.
The system, just like the average person, does not like being nagged…