What is a prescribing symptom?
According to Hahnemann:
§ 153 Sixth Edition
In this search for a homoeopathic specific remedy, that is to say, in this comparison of the collective symptoms of the natural disease with the list of symptoms of known medicines, in order to find among these an artificial morbific agent corresponding by similarity to the disease to be cured, the more striking, singular, uncommon and peculiar (characteristic) signs and symptoms of the case of disease are chiefly and most solely to be kept in view; for it is more particularly these that very similar ones in the list of symptoms of the selected medicine must correspond to, in order to constitute it the most suitable for effecting the cure. The more general and undefined symptoms: loss of appetite, headache, debility, restless sleep, discomfort, and so forth, demand but little attention when of that vague and indefinite character, if they cannot be more accurately described, as symptoms of such a general nature are observed in almost every disease and from almost every drug.
So while we follow and compile symptoms to form a true picture of the disease, the prescribing symptoms are the characteristic symptoms of the expression of the disease AND characteristic of a remedy.
A lot of practitioners do not understand that we cannot just throw all the symptoms into the computer and come up with an accurate remedy prescription, Neither can we elevate mental emotional states above essential physical symptoms. We have to separate the person from the disease, and in the disease picture, we have to isolate characteristic expressions of the individual reaction to the disease and not involve personality or preference or weaknesses or lifestyle as outlined in aphorism 5.
If we read the aphorism above, Hahnemann clearly states that general and undefined symptoms are not to be considered.
To test the understanding of students, I would give a case with 10 symptoms and ask them to grade them in terms of importance to the case. Sometimes it would take an hour and with some students it could take days. There is more to grading symptoms than I am mentioning here but all the instructions are in the Organon… and we teach it in our courses.
A few months ago, I was going through the TPB and wondering if it was possible to have a list of 3 or 4 essentials symptoms that only a few remedies had and know them as the characteristic prescribing symptoms of both a disease and a remedy. Vladimir came up with model to check this out and we soon decided that it was a non starter. Too many possibilities and too many nonsensical triads.
However, we pursued the idea and recently Vladimir put together a variant on the concept and Ive been working with it for the past week. Today I sent him an email with defined rules for the software and we will trial that when it is prepared.
However. I have gone through a lot of my old cases on the mark 1 version, and I have been surprised how characteristic remedies that cured the patient were found in two or three rubrics. It made me look at my rubric choices and re repertorize with only PRESCRIBING SYMPTOMS.
In a few cases where I had failed, I got remedy suggestions that I never considered. When I read the remedies, I was surprised how they fitted in all the key points.
I have taken 6 cases using the module this week, Based on the criteria Vlad and I implemented, at first the cases were not working out too well. In the end, I repertorized the cases with ONLY absolutes and within 3 rubrics, I had my remedy defined. Afterwards, I checked through all the ancillary symptoms, and found it was easy to get sidetracked as these were generally undefined and vague.
So what do I think of the module we are testing? Its a mathematical formula that is infallible in terms of finding connections based on what is possible to match and what is not. However, it can never choose the right rubric/s to input. Using the module has made me be brave and ONLY choose essential symptoms and disregard others. There are cautions in using it, and we are changing things to fine tune but………….. it works. We just need to be sure that we do not disregard something important. Its a work in progress, but the potential is enormous.
Of the 6 new cases I took using the module, 3 were acute. The remedies were found in less than 1 minute and ALL have worked. In one of the chronic cases, I saw immediately where I had misled myself and rectified the medicine immediately. I have no follow up results yet.
Exciting things ahead….