Speaking Directly From Source: A Revolutionary New Method of Homeopathic Case Taking and Prescribing - homeopathy360
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Speaking Directly From Source: A Revolutionary New Method of Homeopathic Case Taking and Prescribing

Abstract: As classical homeopaths, we tend to hang out with colleagues of our own kind. Yet, over the years, as we read this publication, we notice there are those practitioners using combination remedies, machine and muscle testing, and other methods that refer to what they are doing as “modern homeopathy” as if classical homeopathy were old-fashioned. All homeopaths stand on the shoulders of Dr. Samuel Hahnemann, the genius who introduced our science and art. We have tried in the article to justify the truth that research and new thoughts are always welcomed to make homoeopathy as much potent science.
Keywords: Contemporary homoeopathy, Evolutionary case taking method.
If You Want “Modern Homeopathy,” Here It Is
As classical homeopaths, we tend to hang out with colleagues of our own kind.
Yet, over the years, as we read this publication, we notice there are those practitioners
using combination remedies, machine and muscle testing, and other methods that refer to what they are doing as “modern homeopathy” as if classical homeopathy were old-fashioned. There could be nothing further from the truth. Certainly there are classical homeopaths who pride themselves on practicing much as Hahnemann did, look
with derision on more recent innovations, provings, and systems. They may even call
themselves “Hahnemannians”, as if the rest of us are not, which we find absurd. All homeopaths stand on the shoulders of Dr. Samuel Hahnemann, the genius who introduced our science and art.
Having studied closely for the past ten years with Dr. Rajan Sankaran of Bombay, considered by many to be the most brilliant and cutting-edge homeopath in the world and by others, such as George Vithoulkas, as a renegade who is tainting the pure waters of homeopathic philosophy and practice. From the moment we read Rajan’s first book, The Spirit of Homeopathy in 1993, we knew he was onto something.
We wanted to learn what he knew. Out of luck or grace, we were among the first few North Americans to study with Rajan and our practice has never since been the same. From that time on, Rajan’s continual development of ideas from case taking to
kingdoms, miasms, dreams and delusions, and materia medica have enlivened our practice. Kept it alive in way that is not always true after seeing patients for over twenty years. And, most importantly, we have been able to prescribe remedies and help
our patients in ways that we would have not been possible previously.
There is no question that classical homeopathy is challenging. Finding the one best
medicine out of more than two thousand is daunting although, fortunately, imperfectly matched remedies also act with some frequency. It takes time, patience, and persistence to get to know a patient well enough to prescribe. Every practitioner has his or her own temperament. Coming from mental health and Eastern
spirituality backgrounds, we love the depth understanding possible with spending long periods of time with patients in order to perceive them at their core. Of course, other practitioners with different temperaments, will not have the stamina or inclination
to practice in this way. But, when just the right medicine is found,
the changes can be so profound that all the study, time, effort, and expense on the part of the homeopath and the patient are more than worthwhile.
Plant Families and Miasms, Levels, Gestures
We recently returned from our eighth trip to Bombay to study with Rajan and his colleagues in ten years. The first time we were simply blown away. This group of
homeopaths, though younger than us and in practice about the same amount of time, were amazing. Aside from nearly encyclopedic knowledge of materia medica,
which is rather a given among Indian homeopaths, they shared a depth of perception, breadth of understanding, and plain old indefatigability. Not only did they work six days a week seeing a hundred or more patients a day up to ten o’clock at night, but, for
years, they met in a weekly study group discussing cases, often till three or four in the morning. Their pure excitement about their learning and practice was impressive….. and contagious.
The main focus over the past couple of years has been on the materia medica of the plant kingdom. Although a multitude of plant remedies exist, there are relatively few compared to the number of plants in existence. We may know Arnica montana quite
well, but there are many thousands of other Compositaes, the family to which Arnica belongs. Given the six or so billion of us on the planet, why would so many of us
need Arnica rather than its other cousins? Only because that is what we know. And so, the polychrest, or forty-five most common homeopathic medicines. Why only
forty-five? Is it because, as has been taught over the years, that more patients need these particular remedies than the others? We don’t think so. It is because the number
of substances in the world and, therefore, possible homeopathic remedies, is mind-boggling. If not infinite, then too many to count, much less prove.
In November, 2002, Rajan introduced to a group of forty or so of us students, mostly from Europe and America, his new concept of levels, The seven levels, including name, fact, feeling, delusion, sensation, energy, and consciouness, are Rajan’s
basis of leading the patient to progressive levels of expression and the homeopath to progressive levels of understanding. They also serve as makers for the case
taking process, for deciding which potency of a medicine to prescribe, and to assess improvement of the patient over time Also emphasized was the significance of patients’
gestures during the case taking process.
This was the first time that Rajan introduced these ideas beyond his Bombay colleagues
and, so, the ideas were fresh and new, tested out only by him and a few of his closest colleagues. Although we and others returned to our practices and did our best to
apply the new methods, they were not yet fully developed. We were successful in applying his recent schema of plant prescribing based on miasms and have cases that are doing well on small plant remedies such as Oenanthe, Cochlearia,
Teucrium, Acalypha, and others, Yet, the full extent of Rajan’s information on the levels seemed unreachable. When we returned again to the course in November,
2003, it was clear that many of us were in the same boat. Except for
Rajan, of course, who was far ahead of what he taught last year. Initially
there is that familiar feeling, when we study with him, of being left in the dust. Yet this most recent course solidified and clarified a lot of the previous information in
addition to, of course, moving still further ahead with new ideas and applications.
A New Case Taking Methodology
In The Organon, Hahnemann instructs the homeopath to listen careful to the patient
without interrupting, to listen without prejudice, and to ask only what is needed to clarify
what is communicated. During our homeopathy courses in naturopathic medical school,
we adhered to this advice only obliquely. Although we never reduced our case taking to that of a mere review of systems or mental status exam, we asked far more than necessary. We inquired about body systems and organs when we didn’t need to
and were told to ask every adult patient about sexual energy. Not to mention squeezing what the patient told us into the small number of rubrics with which we
were familiar. Fortunately those days are long gone.
Rajan went through his phase of focusing heavily on mental and emotional symptoms. There was relatively little importance given to physical symptoms, including the chief complaint, It was elicited but not explored in depth. This led to an in-depth understanding of the patient’s mental and emotional state, core delusion, fears, and, if available, dreams. There is a lot to be said for understanding the underlying
state of the patient but, again, this was not the whole story. In the past few years Rajan
has come to conclude that it is in the chief complaint, as perceived by the patient, that they energy of key to the case resides. It is the chief complaint that creates
sufficient concern for the patient to come to the homeopath in the first place, it is what the patient usually wants to address and resolve, and, consequently, it is what carries the energy of the case. One of the advantages of the Indian homeopaths is that
they have an enormous pool of patients to test out their theories. So, Rajan had thousands of opportunities, over a short period of time, to see what worked and
what did not. The more taking came to life.
Through experimentation with different ways of listening and of eliciting information from
the patient, Rajan developed a rather unique way to zero in on the chief complaint. In hindsight, it sounds very much like what Hahnemann had in mind, but
only he would know that and dead mean don’t talk. In any case, it seems to Rajan and to those of us who are using it, quite
fascinating.
The method is, as would any doctor, to ask what brings the patient to treatment. Once the patient has named the condition or problem and given some initial information about it, the homeopath begins to focus clearly on the precise words of the patient. Except in cases of relatively uncommunicative patients, the person will begin to use certain words and phrases to describe the chief complaint.
Or, more accurately, his or her experience of the chief complaint. There is an expression, “If you give him a rope long enough, he will hang himself.” It is much
the same here, but let’s say “cure himself.” In other words, the more you let a patient talk, in her own words, about what is most compelling, in this case the chief
complaint, the more you will zero in on the nature of that patient.
As soon as an expressions or phrases begin to emerge, which they generally do, and then it is the job of the homeopathy to simply repeat back to the patient with
a querying intonation those phrases that seem to hold the most energy. More words, phrases, and expressions will follow, eliciting even more clearly the experience
of the patient relative to the chief complaint. There is no question of leading the patient. It is a process of listening and inquiring, then listening and inquiring more.
The Case Unfolds
The job of the homeopath is simply to listen and to follow the energetic lead of the
patient. If a word or phrase has definite energy, the patient will use it over and over. Or that particular phrase will evolve into another that better describes the experience. It is a process of honing in more and more, always using only the words of
the patient herself. Now, a few things happen during this process. One is that,
as the patient speaks, there are indicators of the kingdom and miasm. Themes arise. If someone needs an animal medicine, victim-aggressor issues will arise, whether the complaint is a head injury or bipolar disorder. If the patient falls into the category
of a plant medicine, the patient’s words will reflect a particular
area of sensitivity again and again.
In the case of a mineral, the words and phrases that predominate will ring of loss or gain of structure and function. This process can take moments, in the case of an acute illness, or hours in some first-office calls. The trick is to listen, follow the energy, inquire, and listen again. Not to make assumptions about anything. It is one of most attentive listening processes we have ever engaged, yet it can be quite frustrating for some
patients. Explaining early on that we will be asking the patient to repeat certain words again and again in an effort to get to know him more deeply helps. We assure them, from Rajan’s cue, that it does not mean they are not expressing themselves clearly or
that we are not understanding them. Only that it is a process of going deeper and deeper until we find the best possible medicine to help them. If a patient seems
intent on “doing it right”, we reassure her that there are no right or wrong answers, that
whatever they say is what just right.
Nonsense Leads to Speaking from Source
What happens next, assuming the case is moving along without significant resistance
from the patient, is a curious phenomenon. As we continue to simply repeat back the energy holding words and phrases in an inquiring tone, the patient begins to say things that just don’t make any sense. It reminds us of Dr. Milton Erickson, the world famous hypnotherapist, and his confusion technique. Words come out that seem to have little
rational meaning. The descriptors appear to have less and less to do with the chief complaint.
This is a magical moment in the case taking process and it is very important to continue
to inquire, as if nothing had changed. The patient, at this point, may remark at how crazy it all seems. Or may burst into laughter at the absurdity of what she is saying. This is the point at which we know we are on the right track. The patient is speaking from source.
What is speaking from source? It is when the patient, having disconnected from the
rational, limited mind, begins to describe the substance from nature, or homeopathic
medicine, that she needs. Rajan says the most angst-producing moment is sitting down with a patient wondering if the magic will occur again. Then, through patience, listening, and inquiring, again it does and once more the patient reveals the medicine that
he needs, often even naming it without realizing that is what is happening. The wonder of it all for the homeopath is not having a clue what the patient will say next. Just waiting, engaging the process, and trusting that it will unfold.
Since we returned from Bombay in early December and have put this method into
practice, we can honestly say it is the most exciting time ever in our practice. It makes so much sense that there is some way that our patients can tell us what they
need if we allow them to guide us in the right direction.
The more this method spreads, the busier we will keep the homeopathic pharmacies
making up new medicines that our patients tell us they need. With only two thousand plus homeopathic medicines available, many others will be needed. Our biggest problem at the moment is obtaining as yet unproved, and sometimes,
unavailable, medicines, such as hermit crab. Soon enough we may
be wondering where in the world we will put them all. Our most recent cases are tremendously exciting to us. We’ll be writing about them in future columns as
soon as there is sufficient follow up to be sure the prescriptions are correct.
About the Authors
Judyth Reichenberg-Ullman and Robert Ullman are licensed naturopathic physicians, board
certified in homeopathy in practice for over 30 years. Authors of the best-selling Ritalin-Free Kids and Homeopathic Self-Care, as well as Rage-Free Kids and A Drug-Free
Approach to Asperger Syndrome and Autism, they have been pioneers in their field for over 30 years. Visit our redesigned, user-friendly website www.healthyhomeopathy.
com with lots of free articles, minbooks, as well as information about our 9 books and our practice. Please follow and friend our Facebook page Healthy Homeopathy. We live
on Whidbey Island, WA and in Pucón, Chile, and practice at The Northwest Center for HomeopathicMedicine in Edmonds, WA. We treat patients in person and by phone or
video conference.

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