The Homœopathic Consultation
Homœopathy is individualised medicine.
To the homœopath, the name ascribed to a disease condition is of secondary importance when deciding on the best medicine for any treatment. Although, medical reports highlighting the location and pathology of the condition are examined, what is most important is the manner in which the condition affects the patient. Details such as how the patient feels and behaves during the illness are what is required to individualise or differentiate the patient’s condition. The clearer the picture, the more accurate will be the prescription and the more successful the outcome.
It will be helpful to consider the following questions in regards to your complaint before consulting with a homœopath.
What is bothering you most right now?
What part of the body is affected?
Describe the pain or discomfort you are experiencing?
When did it begin?
What was going on in your life at the time it began?
How does it affect you? What makes it better? What makes it worse?
Does anything else happen around the same time as your main complaint? e.g. sleepiness, insomnia, thirst, fever, vertigo etc.
Do you have other conditions affecting your health?
By considering these questions before consulting a homœopath, you will be able to greatly assist the practitioner select the best medicine for your condition. The following case examples further demonstrate the idea of individualising the condition.
Below are two hypothetical cases to demonstrate. Both patients are young woman, both suffer from recurrent headaches but each would require a different medicine.
Cathy aged 20, presents with a long history of recurrent headaches occurring approximately monthly. She tells me they have been a problem ever since around 12 years of age because she remembers having to take days of school from the time she commenced secondary school. After further questioning it becomes clear that the headaches had begun around the time of her first menstrual period and usually occur each month on the day before her period is due.
I would then ask her to tell me more about the headaches, specifically how they affect her if she doesn’t take pain killers. When she has a headache, what makes her better and what makes her worse?
The headache she says is always in her forehead and behind her eyes. Her head feels very heavy and it is difficult to do mental work. She also tells me when she has the headache she can’t stand being couped up inside the house. She feels much better if she goes for a walk in the open air. “The cool air really helps.”
I then ask Cathy if she notices any other changes around the same time. She mentions that before the period starts she tends to burst into tears easily, “the slightest thing will start me crying.” She says that she feels much better if she can sit down and talk things over with her husband. Both the headaches and her weepiness tend to go off after her period begins.
Summary Patient 1.
Headache behind eyes. Heavy feeling in forehead.
Comes on before her period.
Better in cool air or walking in the open air.
Very teary. Prefers company. Feels better talking to someone.
After considering all the information Cathy shared it is very clear that she would require the homœopathic medicine Pulsatilla nigricans.
Ella aged 23, suffers from recurrent headaches. Her headaches tend to come on after a night out. It doesn’t have to be a very big night but any time she loses sleep even one or two hours. She says she needs 8-9 hours sleep a night in order to feel her best. Ella will wake up the morning after the night out with tension in her neck, a bad ache in the back of her head and pressure on the crown of the head.
The headaches will be more intense if she has also been drinking and eating rich food. She is then likely to feel nauseous and may even vomit.
These headaches have been there on and off all her life but have become much worse since starting full-time work. Asked to describe her work, Ella says it is an office job but very stressful with a lot of deadlines.
What makes your headache better? “I need time out,” she replies. “I need to go away somewhere quiet and preferably lie down, keep warm and try to relax.” She becomes very irritable and also mentions that if anyone comes near to her she will probably ‘bite their head off.’
Summary Patient 2.
Headache on waking in back of head and crown.
Comes on after late night/ loss of sleep.
Worse if she has been drinking alcohol and eating rich food.
Irritable and snappish if disturbed.
Better for lying down quietly and keeping warm.
Generally worse as a result of stress at work.
Accompanied by nausea and vomiting.
Ella would require the homœopathic medicine Nux vomica to treat her headaches..
I hope this helps you to understand the importance of individualisation and the need to consider your complaint and how it impacts you personally, in order to gain the best possible outcome from your homœopathic treatment.
What do you need to tell the homœopath ?