(AV= Anne Vervarcke AvdM= An van de Moortel)
AvdM: Now that we have all our information, would you like to say something about the analysis?
AV: As I said before, when the case is well taken, either the remedy or the qualities of the remedy we are looking for are clear. We can spot “what is to be cured”.
AvdM: This clear short sentence was a source of a lot of worry when we had to formulate this on our case examination sheets. We always tended to describe the physical pathology or the chief complaint, the emotional distress or the delusion of the patient.
AV: Which are all expressions of the vital disturbance. During their training, we tried to make the homeopathic student accustomed not to think in expressions but in the core of the disturbance. Many found it difficult to formulate this because in fact if you can define the vital disturbance, you define the remedy. In homeopathy, strange as it sounds, diagnosis and remedy are the same: a patient who suffers from Pulsatilla, needs Pulsatilla.
AvdM: But they don’t come in and tell you: “My problem is Pulsatilla!”
AV: That is our work. We have to try to discern the pattern in the patient’s expressions of the vital disturbance. For instance, the Pulsatilla patient may complain of painful menses, swollen breasts, headache in the sun, tearfulness and a feeling of abandonment. It is up to us to find the remedy with the unique combination of these characteristics. The more superficial the expressions, the less chance to prescribe a similimum because these symptoms will be shared by more than one remedy or even a whole lot of remedies. But if you can close your intake with the knowledge that you need an Animal remedy from the Bird subkingdom and it is a predator bird, the choices become much more limited.
AvdM: That is what you would call your analysis?
AV: The conclusion of my analysis, rather. If it wasn’t clear during consultation which kingdom we were in or what subkingdom, then the best thing to do is to take all the meaningful words and write them down on a piece of paper. Sometimes by doing this, the pattern becomes clear all of a sudden.
AvdM: I remember an Aranea Ixobola case of a huge dark man in his 40s. No student in the Master Class could quite grasp the kingdom, let alone the remedy. Then you colored red all the meaningful words in his case report and deleted all the other words and then the remedy jumped up in our face. It was unbelievable we missed the innumerable times he mentioned Spider words.
AV: Yes, We did this exercise with the red words many times. It demonstrates mainly our prejudices: when we think a Spider must behave or look a particular way, like a hyperactive child for instance or a mean woman, we miss all the other expressions, even if the patient tells us 50 times he needs a Spider. So many times I heard students say they didn’t think of this particular remedy, because they didn’t think a Nux could be a sevenyear old cute little girl or a Crotalus could be a shy young boy. We don’t prescribe on the personality but on the vital! The personality is only one expression and it is a blend of intelligence, upbringing, cultural and social background, family situation, education, biography. We can have many different personalities needing the same remedy and on the other hand the same personality structures all needing different remedies. Again the analysis challenges us to drop our prejudices and use nothing else than the language of the patient and the context in which the information comes to us.
AvdM: What I have understood so far is that there are two possibilities: either the remedy is clear after the intake or the remedy is clear once the meaningful words are extracted from the literal report of the patient’s words. But the remedy is not always clear from the first time!
AV: It is not, I agree. When the remedy is known by the homeopath or well presented in the software programs, it shouldn’t be a problem. In the first case, we can find it as we take the most important features of the case, in the second situation, we put those features in the repertory and the remedy the patient needs must come up in the first ten remedies. The difficulty is when we don’t know the remedy. In that case, we tend to try to fit the patient into a box of something we know. If we can prevent ourselves from doing this and keep searching in repertories and Materiae Medicae, then we have a good chance of finding the match. The more specific our search is, the more likely we are to find a solution. Let’s say you need a ‘kind of a mineral’ but you can’t get the patient into the box of a single element.
It might be a combination remedy or maybe a crystal. By ‘combination’ I mean for instance a stone like marble or limestone or Kaolin or Granite. We have good provings of those remedies! Or we know we need a Monera for this patient and then the search for the right bacteria or virus is supported by the disease symptoms of the patient and we can give the pathogen that best matches the physical syndrome. All this may be a long search from many sources but as a homeopath it is a learning experience as well. Actually, after five, six or seven years of study one has to learn from his patients and his daily practice.
AvdM: Now it sounds like every case is solvable….
AV: Well, you could say there is a best remedy for each one for that time. Jan Scholten called it the remedy for the biggest totality the homeopath can see at that moment. I think this is a very good description. And of course our goal is to attempt to find the vital remedy and in doing so treat the source of the problems instead of the expressions. But if the remedy is absolutely unknown to us and if it is not present in our books or other sources and there is no methodical way to get to the group of remedies the patient needs, then it would be very hard to find it indeed.
AvdM: You say ‘hard’, not ‘impossible?
AV: In my opinion everything is possible!