Two people with the same health problem might need different remedies.
I give you an example:
Patient 1 consults me because of a persisting stomach-ache.
He tells me that he feels always hungry at about 11o'clock in the morning. He
has to eat something then, otherwise he feels weak or gets headaches. He feels
hot in general, especially on hands and feet when laying in bed: he has a desire
for sweets, feels better when laying on his right side. From his behaviour in
the clinic I get the impression that he likes to theorize, that he also likes
to hear himself speaking; I'm not really sure if he is exaggerating or not. This
would be typical symptoms for a condition which asks for the homoeopathic preparation
Patient 2 suffers from stomach-ache as well, but his emotional
and psychological state is very different from those of the first patient. This
time the patient is a woman, who is crying easily; she has all sorts of fears,
is melancholic, a bit childish sometimes, very emotional, her mood changes all
the time. She has a need for fresh air, an aversion against fat food, also her
symptoms change all the time. This condition may ask for PULSATILLA, which is
often used for women with a special complexion and has prooved to be very successfull
in the treatment of PMT (pre-menstrual-tension).
Most of the cases which
a homoeopath takes are not so easy to solve as those two which I described here,
because they show very typical symptoms for those two remedies. But there are
about 1500 different homoeopathic remedies, and most patients don't give a clear
picture about their symptoms. So the homoeopath has to read a lot between the
lines of that what the patient is telling him, to get through to really typical
symptoms which lead to a certain remedy.
All possible symptoms of illness
plus the information from clinical experience for over 200 years are recorded
precisely in two types of homoeopathic reference books: The Materia Medica
and the Repertory as well as on computer.
In the Materia
Medica mostly all remedy-pictures are described.
In the Repertory
all possible symptoms of illness are listed up - and the remedies which heal them.
give you another example: If a patient has the symptom 'dry cough' and I look
this symptom up in the Repertory, I will find about 250 different remedies which
can cause a dry cough (and which can heal it, after the principle that like
cures like). So which one is the right remedy for my patient? When questioning
him he points out that he feels remarkably better when driving in a car. When
I look up in the Repertory 'better when driving in a car' I find only 5 remedies
which have this characteristic. If this symptom is so remarkable I can almost
be sure that the right remedy for this patient has to be amongst these five. Now
I look up which of these remedies appear also under the symptom 'dry cough'. And
then I compare them with the history of the patient, with his character, his appearance
and of course with his other physical symptoms. I prescribe that remedy, who's
drug-picture is most
similiar to the picture I got from the patient.
This reminds a bit
if detective-work. The skill of the homoeopath is to be able to find out the relevant
symptoms of all those the patient tells him during the consultation to get through
to the essence of the case.