(AV= Anne Vervarcke AvdM= An van de Moortel)
AvdM: I already asked what happens to the vital disturbance after the similimum but maybe let’s go over the different possibilities of reactions after giving a remedy And first of all, let’s suppose it was the similimum/
AV: I wish I could conclude with “and the patients lived happily and healthy ever after.” Unfortunately it isn’t always that simple. As we said, even when the similimum is given, not everybody gets cured. But let’s start with the patients who received a similimum and do get cured. Sometimes the reaction is clear, quick and miraculous. Those are the easiest cases to evaluate, although not all of those cases ‘hold’. Usually it takes a while and sometimes impatient homeopaths ruin their own good work because they are too eager to repeat, or change the remedy too quickly. It is possible that even a similimum takes half a year, maybe even a year before it is clear to the patient he is much better. It can be necessary to stick to the remedy for a few years and repeat very infrequently to continue to support the healing process.
AvdM: The most difficult part I find is to be sure your remedy is right regardless of the complaints of the patient.
AV: It depends on the kind of complaints. If it is something serious and acute it might be necessary to interfere with another homeopathic remedy but this is rarely the case. Unless there is an emergency, I wouldn’t do this. There are many other healthy measures one can take and it is advisable for the homeopath to have a complete arsenal because the patients will want to do something when they have a complaint during the constitutional treatment. If it is a return of old symptoms we should by no means treat it with homeopathic remedies because that is a sure way to lose sight of your healing process. But the patient can use herbal remedies, Bach or other flowers, Aura soma, colloidal silver (which is a wonderful product against bacteria, more effective than antibiotics and absolutely harmless, antiviral and antifungal as well), you can recommend vitamin C, Tea tree oil, Clay therapy, aromatherapy and if not otherwise possible, patients can take allopathic medicine for the time being.
AvdM: Would you prefer that to homeopathy?
AV: Yes. I would because it won’t confuse the case. Even in a case of injury I wouldn’t use Arnica internally unless it is very severe because all remedies can provoke a state in the patient and bring about reactions and who can tell what is due to what if you take more than one remedy? Misha Norland said: “Each remedy takes you on a journey and if your journey isn’t finished and you take another one and in the middle of this one you change directions again with yet another one, you will surely get lost.”
AvdM: But homeopathic remedies are innocent, I thought… AvdM: In the hands of somebody who knows what he is doing, they are. But anything that is able to cure is equally able to harm.
AvdM: What can we expect after the similimum?
AV: People are all different and the one patient reacts promptly and the other slowly but in general we check the criteria for our prescription in the follow up and we expect the intensity to go down. This means that the sensitivities of the patient will still be there but he is less easily triggered and if he is, it passes more readily. But very often we notice the action of the remedy in indirect ways. The patient feels more carefree, has fewer anxieties and worries, is less emotional, the energy gets better and the physical pathology slowly recedes. Not all levels get cleared at the same time and expressions on one level can linger for a long time: that’s why we check all of them.
AvdM: This is precisely the difficulty I meant. Let’s say the patient’s chief complaint is sleeplessness and after the remedy he admits that his mother no longer irritates him or his partner seems to be easier to get along with lately but his sleep hasn’t improved a bit, … what to do? Isn’t this a sign the remedy was wrong after all? Or the potency was too low?
AV: If a patient improves as a result of the remedy on Level 3 or 4 and you first have to make sure that is the case this is a sure sign that it is deep acting and you can be sure it will influence Level 2 sooner or later because that is where the sleeping problem is situated. So, you don’t have to adjust the potency as long as you see a clear improvement. But you can give the patient placebo in order not to lose him and deprive him of the chance to get completely cured.
AvdM: Or sometimes other symptoms come up…
AV: We have to carefully question then: if it is a matter of old symptoms, we can tell the patient this is a very good healing reaction and he will be better after it. The procedure is simple: leave it alone and if necessary treat with the above named measures. If it is a new symptom, we have to evaluate how serious it is, on which level and what is happening on other levels. The main thing is to keep the overview of the general direction. Chronic symptoms in general evolve towards intensification. If after the remedy the direction changes, takes a Uturn and improvement sets in, all you have to do is to check if this process continues and if it stagnates, you repeat the dose or give a higher dose.
AvdM: In which situation?
AV: In general when the patient reacted clearly, deeply and for a long time after a particular potency, there is no need to change it. Let’s say there is a very good reaction for six months or longer on a 200K before a relapse, then repeat the 200K. If the patient reacted for two months and the reaction was mild, you can consider a MK. These are very general guidelines.
AvdM: So we said: check the direction of the totality, check all levels and don’t interfere with homeopathic remedies for minor complaints. Anything else?
AV: The most important thing is that the homeopath is realistic in his prognosis. What do you expect to happen? Chronic diseases of 20 or 30 years duration don’t vanish in two months, complex cases with all kinds of suppressive treatments will have a bumpy route towards cure and the vital disturbance will take a year or more to evaporate. I used to say to patients: “You will soon start to feel better but ‘total transformation’ will take a while”. If they ask how long, I estimate one or two years.
AvdM: But a lot of our patients expect instant miracles!
AV: That’s fine but not realistic and it is up to the homeopath to communicate what his expectations are. The cure is miraculous but it is not as quick as they would like. That’s why we should know what we expect and be clear with our patient. Even if he doubts if the remedy is doing anything at all, you can, after questioning carefully and checking your notes from the intake, evaluate if the intensity of the symptoms is still the same. The patient will use the same words to describe his complaints, he is the same person after all; he can’t tell the difference between 100% bad and 80% bad. But we can! Because we took notes and asked for details we know when he used to sleep only three hours a night and now he is sleeping four or five hours, he is still having bad sleep but it is improving. Then we know we are on the right track and it is only a matter of repeating the remedy when the process stagnates.
AvdM: It takes a lot of trust!
AV: Well, if the homeopath doesn’t trust his system, who will!
AvdM: Maybe it is not so much the system but trusting your own prescription that is hard.
AV: I agree. We tend to panic and think our prescription was wrong. We change remedies too quickly and then the case is lost because we will then jump from one remedy to another. Then it is only a lucky shot in the dark if we hit the case but basically we lost track. If your original prescription looked suitable to you, I would advise sticking to it for at least six months. If you doubted it from the beginning then look for a better one, of course. But if you leave your first and maybe your best remedy too soon, it might be lost forever to the patient. You won’t give it again and most likely if he finally sees another homeopath he won’t take the same remedy again because he already did and it wasn’t effective. In that way a similimum might be lost forever because the homeopath, who gave it in the first place, didn’t manage the case well.
AvdM: It’s a big responsibility, when you put it that way.
AV: Homeopathy is a serious business and we should be serious about it! We are responsible for the treatment we are offering….
AvdM: …”but not for the patient’s life”, that is another line I recall from the training.
AV: That was when discussing what to do if the patient doesn’t follow your procedure but still comes back and complains she’s not better. In reality it often means she took the remedy more than you recommended, or took other remedies in between for socalled acute or took another dose of your remedy. In that case I wouldn’t accept responsibility for whatever is the result. I wouldn’t even want to evaluate the effect of something I surely wouldn’t have suggested to do myself. The patient is free to do whatever he likes but he can’t expect me to be responsible for his actions, I claim responsibility only for my own treatment. That’s why I think we should aim at the best we can and not just try and prescribe something based on the patient’s local symptoms. I must say though that often those remedies, when not overdosed, don’t harm the patient; in fact many patients are in an overall better state after a few years of homeopathic treatment, even if they never got their similimum.
AvdM: What a relief!
AV: Otherwise homeopathy would have died a silent death long ago! A lot of remedies cover part of the patient’s symptoms and are capable of taking these away for a certain period of time. What we then observe is when the symptoms return, the next time you give the same remedy it won’t do much, or will do nothing at all. Whatever potency you try then, nothing will come forth. The homeopath looks for another remedy then and he thinks it must be the next layer now.