Ninety times out of one hundred the present day medical student approaches the college of his choice with his mind fastened on physiological and pathological problems concerning the human body. He wants to know all about diseases as such and how to eradicate them from their victims. He thinks about conquering diseases as diseases.
I venture to think he does not concern himself with how to cure the patient as a patient. Homoeopathy thinks of man as a feeling, thinking, acting creature who may be wholly in order, wholly in disorder or anywhere between these states. Homoeopathy seeks to understand the inner man, the man as a whole. It seeks to learn of the health or disorder of his mind and his soul as well as his body.
It recognizes that thought and feeling modify bodily ills, that functional disturbance precedes tissue change, hence that removal of diseased tissue cannot cure the man himself; also that cure of the inner man allows physical disorder to become orderly. Homoeopathy cure progresses from within outward, from mans spirit and his mind outward to his bodily tissues.
A homoeopathic diagnosis can be made through seeing the patient as a whole instead of a collection of parts. It is interesting to see how a diagnosis thus made compares with one made through laboratory methods.
This is a different concept from the one in general use in the present generation. Following this concept then in order to approach the heart of homoeopathic prescribing we are penetrating beyond the selection of remedies for present acute conditions alone, or for more or less local groups of symptoms, and reaching out to their background, feeling our way toward hidden causes and their effects. Following along the lines of such penetration there are certain fundamental statements to be made.
Homoeopathic prescribing is always constitutional, even in the most serious acute cases.
It is based on law with its corollaries and these never change.
It is carried out by correct case-taking, full detailed record keeping and free use of materia medica aided by good repertory study.
Homoeopathic drug prescribing is for the man sick emotionally, mentally, physically and every human disorder partakes of all these characteristics.
This sort of prescribing is based on inherited tendencies plus environment plus effects of former treatment. It becomes a study of resulting complexes of all three.
Let us put our minds on this concept of treating the sick and place on record some examples of cures resulting from various phases of it.
I. Mental Symptoms Lead to the Remedy.
Mr. G.B. a man about 50 years who all his life had a symptom complex which disturbed both work and play. Like many another victim he felt rather ashamed of his thoughts and feelings, so few acquaintances knew of them. He could not go into a crowd or a social gathering without fear that something would happen to him if he did not get out. If he did not escape he would become nauseated, wobbly on his feet, break out into profuse cool perspiration, turn pale, even feel faint. If he stayed on the edge of the crowd he might be able to stay through the gathering or meeting.
If he chose an aisle seat at church or a lecture he might not have to leave in the middle of the program. The fear of having to leave made him panicky. If he crossed a bridge he had uncontrolled fear of falling into the water. If in a high place he was attacked by fear of jumping off. If walking on a narrow street with high buildings a fear possessed him that these buildings might fall on him. And in every case came the same symptoms of nausea, pallor, sweat, trembling even to faintness.
Now this man had a certain type of indigestion, constipation or diarrhoea, insomnia, loss of appetite and weight, but these were symptoms common to so many remedies that one could not choose a remedy on them. It was the mental complex that solved the problem. This man has a fine character, is strong and courageous in general. I am not describing a weakling at all but a man with one uncontrollable mental complex which was spoiling his life and his happiness.
He received Argentum nitricum first in the 1m potency a single dose repeated when improvement stopped, then 10m, later 50m and cm. then back to 1m and the series over again. Each potency was repeated when improvement stopped as long as it would act, then the next higher as long as it would act and so on until cure was consummated. It is a great pleasure now to watch this man perfectly happy and at ease in his important work with groups of men. He is now full of confidence in himself.
Case 2. Mr. O.B.M. a tall slender bachelor man of 61 years, a conscientious government clerk whose diet had been restricted greatly by a former physician with suggestion of serious disease if he were not careful. He came to me with object fear written on his face and no amount of arguing with him would do any good. He had given up one food after another until he was half starved; he had lost thirty pounds, could not sleep much, dreaded meals in restaurants where nearly everything on the menu must be rejected for one reason or another.
This man, who used to be strong, healthy, a large eater of hearty food, was a puzzle until he confessed to “bad thoughts” on waking in the early morning. Finally I learned that he was sure he was incurable, that all attempts to get well would fail, that there was no use trying, he better go down and jump into the river. He struggled against such thoughts but became more helpless under the overpowering weight of them.
He was a pitiful wreck of his former self. I could see his remedy now. He needed Aurum and this in a series of potencies has brought him back to a well poised hearty eating man with no “bad thoughts” at all. I suspected a suppression somewhere and found it in the return of arthritis which was his condition long ago. This is responding now to Medorrhinum.
Case 3. Mrs. F.K.R. a middle-aged lady who had had good homoeopathic prescribing all her life and so was utterly devastated by the large amount of drugs given to her for a bladder ailment. A healthier type of person might have escaped unharmed but this lady had poor inheritance with tendencies to serious organic disorders. She was living where there was no homoeopathic doctor. When I reached her she had high fever, was delirious, excited, thrashing about. That same evening she attempted suicide by cutting her wrists with broken glass.
From then on for two weeks she went from Hyoscyamus symptoms to those of Stramonium to Opium and back again, suddenly changing from one symptom picture to another. She was brought to Washington against the advice of local doctors, placed in the hospital with two nurses and a doctor watching her most of the time. By giving the first of the three remedies, then the second and third as symptoms changed, she finally became normal mentally and did that suddenly. Weakness was pronounced of course and convalescence slow but no more delirium or even the original cystitis.
However, this patient went gradually into deep melancholia with suicidal thoughts and Aurum was prescribed most satisfactorily for that. Now for the climax of the whole case. While in the hospital nurses discovered advanced cancer of the left mamma, broken down and much tissue destroyed. Aurum, prescribed on the mental symptoms cured that cancer which had been pronounced inoperable and hopeless. Healthy breast tissue took the place of the hard mass, normal color returned, nothing was left but the deformity of lost tissue. The patient recovered good health, had eight years of real happiness, then suddenly developed cancer of the liver and died in five months.
II. The constitutional remedy causes quick recovery after epidemic attack.
Case 1. Mrs. D. W. a middle- aged, hard working housewife had to move on a certain date, with no one to help her. Preparations were well under way but far from finished when suddenly she came down with a hard attack of Flu with chill, hard aching, high fever and all the rest of it. This was six days before moving day and she went through it with flying colors because, after an acute remedy had cleared the actual symptoms away, her chronic remedy, Sulphur, furnished the pick-up she needed to feel almost quite like herself and do it quickly. If I had not known her chronic remedy, results would have been different.
III. Family chronic remedies help family disorders.
Polychrest remedies, those useful many-sided benefactors of mankind, often cure one member of a family with a characteristic group of symptoms and another of the same family with another very different group belonging to the same remedy. I recollect one case which puzzled me greatly because the symptoms given did not seem to “make sense”, until I remembered that another member, of the family had required Phosphorus and been cured by it.
Then this case fell in line as a Phosphorus case exhibiting another facet of this polychrest. I had the same experience with Silica in a family group, mother and two children needing that remedy but showing up different sides of it. Another family with highly nervous manifestations needed snake and spider remedies, two Tarentula and one Naja.