Which Symptoms to Select | How to Draw the Picture of Disease
Whichever part of the organism is afflicted, this will be manifested through pain. Pain is therefore the first symptom to take, whether it is a pain in the throat, in the trachea, at the back of nose, in the stomach or in several systems.
What is important to notice here is how the pain is attending. People are so familiar and used with their pains that don’t pay attention to details and concomitants; they just say that it hurts. You must ask when it hurts, and what they feel; is it burning, is it stinging, is it tearing, cutting or pressing. Describing of the sensation of pain is one thing.
Another thing is the time of appearance, the aggravation and amelioration of the pain; these in homeopathy are called ‘modalities’. These are, next to the pain, very important to clarify. You must ask at what time of the day or night the pain is worst or better; also is there anything that makes it better or worse – like warm or cold room, fresh air, draft, warm or cold drinks, food, motion, lying, standing etc.
Next is to point out the specific symptoms. These will differ with respect to the part or the system which is disordered. If we take the upper respiratory again, then we will face nose obstruction, coryza, sneezing, discharge or no discharge, the type of the discharge; scrapping in throat, difficulty in swallowing, dry tingling cough, redness of the fauces, coating of the tongue; enlarged tonsils, suppuration, redness or other discoloration; hoarseness, coughing at speech, lost voice; dry painful cough, with or without expectoration; the type of spittle and many others. Each symptom must be assessed and clarified in the same manner as with pain.
Last but not least, as they say: not all the present symptoms must be taken. You must rely on the most intensive manifestation of the disease, those which interrupt in such a way the person, that he or she cannot bear them, or if he can, it takes much of his overall energy to do that.
And one more thing: the symptoms you take must be connected with the acute disease. That means these morbid alterations in the body functions, which occurred with the particular acute infection.
Sometimes you may feel overwhelmed by the so many symptoms to consider. Don’t rush in. When you assess the morbid state it is important to stay concentrated and calm. The few more minutes you take to better understanding of the disease will not make a difference in the condition of your patient but will be inestimable for you because due to them you will be certain in your prescription.
How to Choose the Remedy
When you know the type of the disease, which system is afflicted by it, which symptoms are the most intensive, and how are they characterized; and you know the modalities by which the symptoms are manifested, – then you dispose with the entire picture of the acute infection. Next step is to find a remedy which suites this picture more closely than other remedies for similar disorders.
Write down everything that you have. Each element is important. Search in the repertory the rubrics which best describe the symptoms you have in your notes. Cross the remedies and you will have the 20 most probable remedies for your case. But this is far from the success because you only need one.
If we take the symptom “Watery discharge from the nose”, we shall find about 200 remedies which cover it. Among them are Allium cepa, Arsenicum album, Arum-t, Chamomilla, Euphrasia, Graphites, Iodium, Mercurius. You must differentiate the remedies according to your picture of disease. For this you need to use modalities.
Let’s say that your patient’s watery discharge from the nose is worse in open air. Automatically your choice of remedies is reduced to 18, among which the most important are Arsenicum, Iodium, Nitricum acidum, Phosphorus, Pulsatilla and Sulphur.
Another way to differentiate remedies is to use the general characteristics of the person. I intend to make separate article for the signs which form the constitution of a person. The general symptoms are part of it, and sometimes in acute conditions they play important role for choosing the remedy. These are the cases where you don’t have enough modalities or specific symptoms.
How to Know the Cure is Progressing
When the correct remedy is given the improvement occurs inevitably.
First it is manifested in the general energy level. The person becomes calmer; muscle pains and entire soreness is diminished; the fever stops rising; the overall state of the organism becomes visibly stable.
Next is the retreat of the pain and the specific symptoms. Both decrease their intensity.
In acute conditions the law of Hering is not that visible, for acute symptoms arrive almost together, and also leave in the same manner. So here you won’t see how last appeared symptoms are first to disappear. The most important mark that your case is moving to the right direction will be the general amelioration and the decreased intensity of main complaints.
If you cannot observe those two sighs in short time, the remedy is wrong. Some acute conditions are slower in speed then others, so the main complaints may take more time to begin to yield. But the overall state of the patient must become better within 2-3 hours.
The more intensive the symptoms are, the more often the remedy should be repeated. With time the disease lessens, and the repetitions should be reduced.