Monthly Archives: December 2015

We posted this in 2012: Polarities.

4 years ago, P & W implemented a polarities feature into the Therapeutic Pocket book for trialing and testing. The results of our findings led us to conclude that the inclusion of the polarities model was detrimental to a homoeopathic  prescription.

In the entire writings and case examples of Boenninghausen, NO  WHERE do we see the numerical value of a rubric used as an arbiter for prescription.

The grading of the symptom rubric defines the occurrence or reliability or clinical observation of its usefulness for consideration, NOT its intensity or absoluteness in a symptoms presence.

A value of 1 or a value of 4, does not negate a choice of a lesser “value” symptom if the Materia Medica indicates that the remedy with the smaller numerical value is the most similar.

In short, a medical proving of a substance either shows the production of a symptom or it does not. An absence of a symptom is NOT included in a repertorization analysis, and should have no bearing on the choice of medication. Neither should a “lesser value” be taken into consideration as the combination of rubric choices should lead to a study of indicated remedies in the Materia Medica for sole selection of a similar.

The inclusion of the Polarities table, in our researched conclusion, is detrimental to the homoeopathic prescription. It is flawed from the beginning by making the Therapeutic Pocket the instrument of remedy choice rather than using the book as defined by Boenninghausen as a guide to the Materia Medica.

We would encourage every physician to concentrate on accurate case taking and learn to use the T.P.B. as intended for accurate, precise and repeatable good prescribing.

Below is a research trial documented, which concludes that the use of the polarities is efficaceous. We would point you to a single telling insertion in the study, which we believe is the weakness of the whole premise:

The study, being a rigorous clinical test of homeopathy, also unmasked weaknesses of the method. Due to a low percentage of initially correct prescriptions the suspicion arose, that parents do not report symptoms precisely. Analysis of 100 unsuccessful prescriptions in children who finally improved with another homeopathic remedy, enabled identification  of  misleading  symptoms.  Frequently  these  were sensations and mind symptoms, while modalities  (especially aggravations) and polar symptoms usually proved to be reliable information for repertorisation. The exclusion of unreliable symptoms led to an improvement of results,but also often resulted in oligosymptomatic cases, i.e., cases with only few usable symptoms. This problem was resolved by an experimental reintroduction of (pathognomonic) perception symptoms into repertorisation, which again improved our positive treatment results significantly.

The prescribers in this single paragraph, indicate a telling lack of knowledge of how to use the T.P.B. There is a singular and collective mixing of unrelated symptoms based on a lack of correct application to the case. The whole reason for initial case failure is contained therein.  This is not a criticism of individuals, just a scientific observation of their own findings.

[gview file=”http://www.heinerfrei.ch/downloads/Downloads%20Publikationen/DL_13_YHOMP474.pdf” cache=”0″]

 

 

 

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What has changed, or constitution? Aphorisms 5 and 6 revisited

By Vera Resnick

James Tyler Kent

So what should it be – Aphorism 5 or Aphorism 6? Let’s look at them… (text taken from 6th edition)

Aphorism 5:

Useful to the physician in assisting him to cure are the particulars of the most probable exciting cause of the acute disease, as also the most significant points in the whole history of the chronic disease, to enable him to discover its fundamental cause, which is generally due to a chronic miasm. In these investigations, the ascertainable physical constitution of the patient (especially when the disease is chronic), his moral and intellectual character, his occupation, mode of living and habits, his social and domestic relations, his age, sexual function, etc., are to be taken into consideration.

Aphorism 6:

The unprejudiced observer – well aware of the futility of transcendental speculations which can receive no confirmation from experience – be his powers of penetration ever so great, takes note of nothing in every individual disease, except the changes in the health of the body and of the mind (morbid phenomena, accidents, symptoms) which can be perceived externally by means of the senses; that is to say, he notices only the deviations from the former healthy state of the now diseased individual, which are felt by the patient himself, remarked by those around him and observed by the physician. All these perceptible signs represent the disease in its whole extent, that is, together they form the true and only conceivable portrait of the disease.

So – which one is it? If the information described in Aphorism 5 is what is needed to make an accurate homoeopathic prescription, we can understand the Kentian-style intake, lasting hours and sometimes even days. We can also understand how Kent – with a little push from Swedenborg, ok, a hefty shove – came to the concept of the constitutional remedy. A remedy which encompasses the patient’s entire soul and psyche, in this life and – depending on your beliefs – in all those that came before and will come after…

Since Kent’s time, homeopaths have worshipped at the altar of the Constitutional Remedy, the simple substance – a Swedenborgian, not Hahnemannian concept – and this is what most non-homoeopaths and homoeopaths alike believe Classical Homoeopathy to be.

But then what do we do about Aphorism 6? This Aphorism and its instructions have been swept under the constitutional carpets of so-called Classical Homoeopathy for so long that the simple clarity of focus and objective has been lost to many.

Hahnemann’s language in Aphorism 6 is very clear. “Take note of nothing but the changes in the health of the body and the mind”. How on earth is it possible to ignore that? But it is ignored.

The thing is – this is not an “either/or” situation. Both Aphorisms are essential, but they serve different purposes. We cannot take what has changed (Aphorism 6), if we don’t know what was before (Aphorism 5). We cannot assess those changes and prioritize them if we don’t know whether there is an exciting cause, a maintaining cause, a miasmatic origin (or something that is harming the patient’s health and can be removed – see Aphorism 4) – if we don’t do the work set out in Aphorism 5.

But the central focus, the torch that has to guide us through the often labyrinthine nature of a complex case has to be Aphorism 6. So many patients today are subjected to never-ending sessions where they are asked to disclose their most intimate thoughts, dreams and fantasies, their sexual urges, their emotional relationships past present and future, their failed expectations and unexpected successes. The process is usually emotionally draining, hugely time-consuming, potentially harmful in terms of the patient-practitioner relationship, and without the context set out in Aphorism 6, of no use whatsoever and potentially hinders us from finding the best homoeopathic prescription for the patient.

P&W book edition – reviewed

By Vera Resnick

v11I recently received my copy of P&W’s book version of the Therapeutic Pocketbook. And I must admit, it was love at first sight, and second, and third…

I must own up to being old fashioned. However much computers may have helped us in referencing many books, in finding correct rubrics, in the process of repertorization – it has reduced us to a bunch of small-screen addicts with heavy-duty tunnel vision.

One of the central flaws of science, replicated in the use of a computerized repertory, is that we determine what we’re looking for, and we look for it. Peripheral vision becomes irrelevant. Apart from synonyms, which can sometimes be useful, either what we’re looking for is there – or it isn’t. Anything interesting that may be lurking in the background becomes effectively invisible. Our gaze is honed in to what we’re looking for, what we find, and then to a search for alternative expressions of what we’re looking for.

I invite you now, if you will, to put down the mouse (or take your finger off the touch pad) and pick up the nearest book (no, no, a Kindle absolutely does not count). Flip through the pages without even looking for anything. Do you notice some ideas as you do so, some words that just jump out at you? If you’re doing this with a homoeopathic text, or something that interests you, you may even find yourselves noticing things you want to go back to, look at in more depth. It’s true – this can happen on the computer, but it’s a much easier process when you know what you’re looking for is sitting in your hand within the pages of the book you’re holding, and is not something you’re going to have to hunt through your browsing history to get at.

Tunnel vision is considered a problem because we are hard-wired to give importance to peripheral vision, although as a race we seem hell-bent on destroying any abilities we have in that area. We are programmed to notice something that is moving which should be still, something that has a different colour, a different shape, and our brains process a tremendous amount of information beyond that which lies in our direct focus.

The new P&W book allows us to do both. On the one hand, the book is quite large in terms of page size and lettering, and all sections are very clearly presented. When I’m looking for something specific, it’s very easy to find it. On the other hand – as I leaf through the Cough section looking for sweetish expectoration, I cannot help but notice all the other forms of expectoration appearing on the page. As I take a broader look at the page, I cannot help but notice how frequently Phos and Puls seem to stand out in their four point bold capitals, and notice the incidence of other remedies in these rubrics too. Looking at the page on Leucorrhea, I find myself wondering why I’m seeing much less of the Sepia I expect, and more of Mercury and other remedies to think about.

The point I’m trying to make is that while you can turn every computerized repertory search into a learning experience if you choose to do so, a hard copy book search will bring things to your attention just by looking through the book’s pages.

Another plus of the book is that it brings the Concordances section into focus and allows for clearer study and use of that section in repertorisation and case management.

The editors have kept their intervention to a minimum, and thus I know what I hold in my hands is faithful to Boenninghausen’s 1846 Therapeutic Pocketbook. To quote from the editor’s introduction:

“…We translated from the original German of the published first edition and had use of the handwritten printer’s edition in Boenninghausen’s own hand. We translated each rubric to bring it into modern English but retained the original meaning of each word and sentence…” P&W’s Synopsis program also has the original German edition, so it is possible to check back to the original rubrics as desired…”

Since I wrote most of the above, my software was knocked out by my antivirus gone rogue. Until I worked out the problem, which ultimately was easy to resolve, I was dependent on the book – and extremely relieved that I had it at hand. I think that for those of us who work constantly with computer software, having a hard copy which offers a faithful non-electricity non-computer dependent version is crucial for those days when nothing is working properly.

 

 

The book is available from ed@instituteforhomoeopathicmedicine.com

Drop an email and he will invoice you via PAYPAL for $85 plus delivery, usuallyabout $10.