How to Choose the Correct Homeopathic Remedy – Case Taking
The Homeopathic remedy’s job is to stimulate the body’s immune system just enough, so the immune system can bring about healing of the body.
This is done by matching the symptoms you are exhibiting to what is called the symptom picture of a Homeopathic remedy. The best way to know that you selected the correct Homeopathic remedy, is that you are getting results for your symptoms. When you are selecting a Homeopathic remedy you are matching the symptoms you are exhibiting to the remedy symptom picture of a specific Homeopathic remedy. Let’s use a sprained ankle as an example: If you have pain and or stiffness that is better once you start to move around, you will need a Homeopathic remedy that is better from continued movement (Rhus Toxicodendron). Selecting a Homeopathic remedy that is worse from movement (Bryonia Alba) will not address your sprained ankle. Although Bryonia is also used for pain it’s symptom picture is for pain worse from movement. When selecting a Homeopathic remedy for your symptoms, I recommend writing down your symptoms first, then looking over your remedy choices from class notes or in a self-help Homeopathic book. Eliminate the Homeopathic remedies that have the opposite symptoms you are experiencing. Using the above sprained ankle example: you would delete any remedy from the list of choices that are not better from continued movement. After going through the process of elimination, you will narrow the remedy list down to 2-3 Homeopathic remedies that closely match your symptoms. Lastly, look over these 2-3 Homeopathic remedies and see which one covers more of your symptoms. That Homeopathic remedy will be the one that you will start with. The other two Homeopathic remedies will be backup remedies if you should need them. It is common to have 1-2 backup remedy(s) after the process of elimination. In order to select the correct Homeopathic remedy, you need to follow specific criteria for case taking. Whether you are selecting a Homeopathic remedy from your class notes or from a self-help book, it is best to know the following information: location, sensation, modalities, time the symptoms occur, and etiology.
You may say “Why is location important? It is a sprained ankle.” I agree, when you have an injury you already know the location of the symptoms. Location is important when you have a cough, are you coughing from the chest or from your throat? I have had clients tell me they have a stomachache, but when I asked them to show me where it hurts, they point below their belly button. And I was thinking the symptoms were below the rib cage where the stomach is located. So, knowing where the sinus pain is, or where their head hurts is very important because the Homeopathic remedies are that specific. Some Homeopathic remedies are for specific sides of the body. Lycopodium for instance, is for a sore throat or swollen glands that start on the right side of the neck and in a matter of time the symptoms move to the left side of the neck. Selecting a homeopathic remedy for symptoms that are on the left side only will not address the sore throat or swollen glands.
Next you need to know the sensation. Are you feeling: dull pain or sharp or shooting pains? Does the throat burn, or does your throat fill splintery? The sensation can sometimes be hard for someone to describe, don’t get hung up on this. You will have other criteria to help select your Homeopathic remedy. I also like to use a Pain Scale of 1 – 10 as a way measure or determine the level of pain someone is experiencing.
Modalities is one area that will help in eliminating Homeopathic remedies that do not fit your symptom picture. What makes your symptom better or worse? A few examples are: When you have your sinus infection, do you breathe better from open air? Does your sore throat feel better from a hot or a cold drink? Or does your sprained ankle feel better or worse from movement? We are looking for what makes the symptoms better or worse without popping any medication or applying a topical to the body. You may need to try a hot drink and then a cold drink to see what actually does feel better or worse for your sore throat.
Times Symptoms Occur
The time you actually are more apt to feel the symptoms is also very important. Let’s use heartburn as an example. The time you experience heartburn is very important. The correct Homeopathic remedy will be selected based on this. Having heartburn soon after eating you may need China Officinalis, if you have heartburn half an hour after eating, consider Carbo Vegetabilis and, if you experience heartburn several hours after eating you will need Nux Vomica. But, if you wake up during the night with heartburn you will need Arsenicum Album. So now you can see why the time you experience symptoms is very important.
When you have tried several Homeopathic remedies for your symptoms and they are not working, you will need to look for what is called etiology (never well since) Which means ever since some event occurred, you now have a particular symptom or ailment. Great examples of this are the following: You have a child with a fever and you have tried several Homeopathic remedies for that fever. The remedies have either helped a little or did nothing at all to bring down the temperature. You ask the Mom “what has gone on in the last couple of days?” The Mom states “that the Father has left 2 days ago for a business trip.” The etiology here is the child feels abandoned since the Father left for a business trip. You give the child Pulsatilla and now the temperature starts to come down. Another example of never well since is, you have chronic sinus infections and have tried several Homeopathic remedies that have only helped for a brief time. In looking back in your case history, you stated that 10 or 15 years ago you had a head injury (concussion). So, in order to address the chronic sinus infections, the Homeopathic remedies Arnica Montana and Natrum Sulphuricum need to be given to address the concussion and now the sinus infection will improve and eventually go away. In taking a case, I recommend, let them tell you what’s wrong first. Then ask for more details using the criteria above. As you learn the different Homeopathic remedy pictures you will be able to ask better questions. As I mentioned, in most cases you can narrow it down to two Homeopathic remedies that closely match the symptom picture. Select the remedy that best fits the symptoms and use the second remedy as back-up.
Stay tuned for my upcoming Blog on How to Administer Homeopathic Remedies (Dosing) to learn more about how often to give the remedy, the next step in getting results.