This article received the prize of one guinea.
THE gentle art of Homoeopathy provides one with an extremely interesting hobby. It is very fascinating to be able to cure the minor ailments of people around one, and to remove their aches and pains with comparatively little trouble. I myself was spectacularly cured of nightly recurring attacks of asthma by Mr. L. Ellis Barker nearly two years ago. The frequency with which one nowadays meets cases of chronic rheumatism unsuccessfully treated by allopathic practitioners is a revelation to me and I cite the following case it has been my good fortune to come across.
On December 20th I was introduced to a lady suffering from arthritis. I felt I could not stand by and see anyone spending the rest of their days in pain when I could in all probability assist them and so the subject was inevitably broached. The lady, a Mrs. W., proved to be a willing patient and fortunately for me an extremely intelligent one with whom one could reason, and she proceeded to hand me one perfectly good symptom after another.
Her history was the usual sequence of visits to medical men with attendant heat and ray treatment interspersed with X-ray photographs of the joints, the last of which confirmed her own fears that there was a definite ” Leafing” especially around the thumb joints.
When I met her she explained that in addition to her painful joints she could never get warm and especially her feet, even in bed on the hottest summer night her feet would be icy cold. Her heat too was inclined to be unduly irregular, and in the mornings she felt as though it would stop. At this time of the day she also had a shortness of breath accompanied by a sense of suffocation which made her want to take deep breaths of air or she would faint.
These extremely clear symptoms seemed to indicate that she might be a Rhus tox. patient and so I put the question, ” Are your pains better after you have limbered up the joints by movement and are they worse in damp weather ? ” She promptly replied, ” Yes, they are”, and so Rhus tox. seemed to be the first remedy to try.
I was dissatisfied, however, that this was all the assistance her economy needed as she had not always had these troubles. On eliciting the information that she had suffered a very bad attack of influenza some five years before, which was immediately followed up by a severe attack of gastric “flu, and that her heart symptoms had commenced thereafter, I thought it would be as well to antidote the effects of these illnesses on her system.
It is unwise to confuse patients by suggesting more than one or two remedies at one time quite apart from it being an admission of ” Hit and miss” prescribing , and so I visited my stock of remedies (which are ready for all emergencies in a specially constructed cupboard with racks for the numerous little phials) and fetched Influenzin 200x and Rhus tox. Ix.
The Homoeopath must realize at an early stage that in certain remedies the strength or potency used governs very definitely the minimum time between doses. Generally speaking the higher the dilution the greater the interval between doses, e. g. a dose of 60 x potency should not be repeated until its primary effect has run its course, say four days later.
Continental experts tell us that the 200x potency should be taken three times a day once every three weeks only, and so on December 23rd Mrs. W. took Influenzin 200x. On December 25th, at 11 a.m. she took the first dose of Rhus tox. Ix. which I had given her to see how she reacted on this remedy. At 3 p.m. on the same days she reacted on this remedy. At 3 p.m. on the same day she suddenly started to produce the following very marked symptoms:.
1. Flu pains in the head.
2. Flu pains in the back and a bruised feeling in the skin.
3. Pain in most joints, especially on right side
4. Tailbone pain of exceptional severity.
6. Pain on right side (probably in liver).
This was precisely the sort of result I had secretly hoped for when giving her such a low potency of Rhus tox, and so I promptly gave her Rhus tox. 12x, one dose every four hours. On January 2nd I rang her up and found she was already very much better than she had been for many months saying, ” I dont know that I have a heart at all nowadays.” Apparently she had lost her shortness of breath in the mornings and was actually feeling a trifle warmer in spite of the acutely cold weather.
A careful interrogation as to her diet revealed her to be scrupulously careful in such matters and one simply had to let it remain unaltered, at least for the time being. I have now prescribed Rhus tox. 60x, one dose every four days taken first thing in the morning when the stomach is nearly empty as this dosage is less troublesome to remember than the frequently repeated dose.
She is continuing with Influenzin 200x three times a day every three weeks until no further effect is felt. Of course no one suggests her cure is assured but all homoeopaths will agree that she is well on the way to being cured, having in two weeks shown a good reaction to the indicated remedy. At all events Homoeopathy has stepped in and shown how simple it is relieve a rheumatic tendency.
To review the case to date we see that Mrs. W. is now relieved of her immediate and more worrying symptoms, but what of the arthritis? Will anyone in their ignorance of the subject point to its and say, “Yes, but she still has the arthritis formations”? To that person I say, ” We have merely taken the first step in her complete cure.” The arthritis formations are fortunately very slight so far and I expect to see their growth arrested completely only when I have discovered her constitutional remedy and applied it sedulously over an extended period. Chronic rheumatism is a constitutional disease and should be treated as such.
These growths have possibly taken years to make themselves thus unpleasant and one cannot effect a cure in a few weeks. As we leave the patient at present she is still showing favourable reaction to Influenzin 200x within a few hours of dosing. The next step when reaction is absent will be to try Influenzin 100x and then 60x until no further effects of her illness remain in her system. With regard to the continuance of Rhus tox. this must of course be dictated by what transpires as the weeks pass. It would be interesting to review the case in these pages in six months time and follow the cure step by step.
WANTED. Clarkes “Materia Medica,” second hand. E.C. BURTON, 514 Coventry Road, Small Health, Birmingham 10.