Classical Homeopathy & Homeopathic Practice
You cannot be an expert at practicing Classical Homeopathy simply by attending a Homeopathic school, reading countless number of homeopathic books or by attending seminars on homeopathy. You may be learned; however your clinical experience and ability to manage cases successfully with homeopathic medicines will indicate your proficiency and reliability.
There are so many schools of homeopathy in the recent past that homeopaths, especially those newly entering homeopathic practice, are confused regarding the ideal method of practicing this relatively simple, yet profound science.
Over the past 15 years my experience with homeopathy has been very fascinating and an eye opener. I have been fortunate to witness the effects of homeopathic medicines on thousands of cases at the different centres which we run, using different approaches in homeopathy. Having lost count, I can still say that over 60000 new cases have been seen at our centres and millions of prescriptions written out to patients.
When I started practicing homeopathy my initial prescriptions were influenced by and based on the recommendations and principles of our masters such as Hahnemann, Kent, William Boerricke etc, and were primarily homeopathic single remedy prescriptions. The outcome was fantastic in simple, clear cut cases; however when cases were complicated and when two or three homeopathic remedies were indicated it was a disaster. The problem which arouse was whether two homeopathic remedies, as long as they were complementary or at least not antidotal, could be prescribed covering different aspects of the symptomatology. This approach worked well too, in most acute cases where immediate relief was expected, as well as in chronic cases which need both a constitutional as well as a superficial, faster acting homeopathic remedy.
As my practice grew and my level of comfort in dealing with chronic conditions increased in routine practice, I was compelled to understand homeopathic medicines in more depth. I now approached cases by studying patients personality in depth and fit their individuals characteristics with our know polychrest remedies. This yielded wonderful results in patients primarily affected by emotional or psychiatric conditions as well as psychosomatic conditions.
Do note that there are some well-known groups of ‘Classical Homeopaths’ documenting cases extensively on the basis of mental symptoms as well as classify the person into homeopathic groups or kingdoms. It is worth reading such books; however in my opinion one must be cautious and not be overwhelmed by these contortions. You need to be the final judge by applying new methods in your own practice and realizing the limitations and advantages and their practicality in day-to-day practice. Unless you have an extensive knowledge of each and every remedy in our Materia Medica, you will end up prescribing a limited number of homeopathic remedies and will limit your scope of clinical success, drastically.
Do also note that homeopaths who delve into such research are already established and have a busy homeopathic practice. They can afford to take risks and would matter less if a certain percentage of their patients were not benefitted. You will also hear and read of homeopathic cases which have yielded a positive response to a certain new approach or remedy and never of the limitations or drawbacks of a certain method. The hurdles inexperienced, new homeopaths will face will arise from such distorted views and the birth of new approaches in homeopathy emerging worldwide.
Homeopathy can be practiced in numerous ways and the method you adopt cannot be challenged as long as you follow the basic principles which govern this science and have clinical evidence to support the same. It is in every homeopaths best interest to share their methods as well as discuss their drawbacks, which we seldom see, except from those wanting to market their practice or charm the homeopathic community for accolades.
‘Classical homeopathy’ is Homeopathy practiced as per the laws which are in the Homeopathic Organon and as far as the clinical application of the same is concerned, there are numerous ways you can achieve a cure, recovery or palliation. This process is constantly evolving and you have the right to experiment and learn as you handle cases.
The simple guidelines to start with are as mentioned below. You are welcome to email your views which will be added here in our next update:
The simplest way:
Start the treatment by prescribing a Homeopathic remedy which covers the totality of the patients’ general, physical and mental characteristics.
Homeopathic superficial & deep acting remedy:
Certain homeopaths prescribe a superficial acting homeopathic remedy (a remedy covering the physical, local or pathological signs and symptoms) with the intention of relieving the patient immediately (or palliating the condition in irreversible states), and periodically prescribe the constitutional or deeper acting homeopathic remedy at intervals, with the intention of a longer and sustained homeopathic cure.
You can prescribe the homeopathic remedy initially, then take a break, and resume the dosage if the condition relapses. For e.g. 3 doses of a homeopathic medicine can be prescribed on the first day, followed by placebo for a week. Reanalyze the condition and if the condition demands so, repeat the dosage.
In conditions which need palliation, the chosen remedy can be prescribed daily, the potency of which will vary with the intensity of the condition.
Zigzag mode of Homeopathic treatment:
This is useful in cases which present numerous symptoms and no clear indication for a single remedy. Start with the main indicated remedy which covers the totality of the most characteristic symptoms. As the signs and symptoms change or the degree of the symptoms change, the remedy or potency changes too. Be careful to distinguish between symptoms of the homeopathic remedy and those of the patient as you may prove the remedy in some cases. Do give time for things to subside and don’t be impulsive.
Intercurrent Homeopathic remedies:
Remedies such as Psorinum, Thuja, Tuberculinum, Syphilinum etc play a vital role in stimulating cases which does not yield any results.
Homeopathic remedy classification into kingdoms and groups:
There are numerous authors who have classified remedies into different groups or kingdoms and the symptoms common to them (Plant, Animal, Minerals and their subkingdoms). Definitely worth reading to get an understanding of their common symptoms and will help you streamline and classify patients as well. However, do not indulge into this if you aren’t familiar with the basic keynotes of homeopathic remedies. Your decisions can become biased and you will tend to ignore remedies which actually need to be prescribed.
Prescribing Homeopathic remedies based on single keynote symptoms:
Traditionally homeopaths have done this and an excellent tool when time is the essence. The results can be fantastic provided the symptom matches the exact symptoms (keynote, 3rd degree) as in the MM (e.g as in Allen or Boericke MM). Not as easy as you may think as you need to be a keen observer with thorough knowledge of these Homeopathic keynotes.
Homeopathic Doctrine of signature:
You may be aware that numerous remedies in Homeopathy are compared to their natural state or existence. A plant or animal’s anatomy or behavior when resembles a certain facet of our patient has useful relevancy and can be the guiding sign or symptom. Do not get carried away with this notion as it can be disastrous and misleading. You may have read published articles where homeopaths prescribe an animal remedy simply because the traits were like an animal; or, a remedy from the plant kingdom as the patients showed some vulnerability etc. You will end up becoming prejudiced, so be cautious. Do not ignore what is in front of you while creating some mysterious interpretation in your mind.
Rely on Homeopathic remedies which have been proven and documented:
Do not indulge into prescribing homeopathic remedies which haven’t been proven thoroughly or lacks clinical data. Relying on a handful of cases isn’t sufficient. If in doubt apply the same in your practice and judge for yourself. In the recent past a limited number of homeopathic remedies are repeatedly presented and documented in Homeopathic Magazines by ‘Classical Homeopaths’. They seem to have forgotten our common polychrest remedies and repetitively mention unknown and non-proven remedies. Very misleading indeed!
Don’t be obsessed by the term “Classical Homeopathy”
If you practice homeopathy as per the ‘Organon’ you are a classical homeopath, automatically. The word ‘Classical’ simply means that you practice homeopathy as per Hahnemann’s rules and does not necessarily mean that you indulge into taking lengthy case and family histories, as most new to homeopathy feel.
See cases as they are and not as you imagined it to be:
Only if you have a thorough knowledge of most of the homeopathic remedies can you make a sound prescription. If you are thorough only with the polychrest remedies and fail to appreciate the smaller ones, you will end up prescribing only a handful of homeopathic remedies. So keep reading…
Don’t be delusional or egoistic:
Most homeopathic prescriptions are based on the patients’ symptoms and will be the likely similimum. Do not criticize a homeopathic prescription or methodology simply because you fail to understand it or follow a certain school of thought. Your experience and clinical successes should speak for itself.
Ideal drug pictures of new and lesser known homeopathic remedies:
Cases presented by homeopaths in seminars or publications are based on the physicians ability to precisely fit the patients symptoms with that of the remedy and depends on his/her understanding of that remedy. If the same case was presented to another homeopath it is very likely that some other homeopathic remedy may be prescribed as the case may be perceived differently. There is no ideal or supreme homeopathic drug picture. There is only the most likely drug picture. You will learn to identify homeopathic remedies with time. Read and learn from your teachers and senior homeopaths, but do not follow them blindly. Learn from your own experiences. Do not expect miracles by blindly prescribing a homeopathic remedy which was found to be useful by someone else.
Learn from experience
Successfully managing cases of similar kind will make you popular and you may eventually be known as a specialist. Experience will teach you to manage similar cases with a handful of remedies. However, your chances of failing here too exist and your success will depend on your ability to recognize homeopathic remedies other than those you prescribe routinely.
Yes, homeopathy isn’t as easy as you thought and the process of learning and evolving will last for the rest of your homeopathic life. However, your chances of success will improve only by keeping an open mind, using only proven tools and your ability to recognize what is to be cured in a case, rather than your quest for the unknown.
Your views are most welcome and we do encourage you to email us.
Dr. Anish Vaknalli