When I was a very small child, we had a homoeopathic doctor who had twinkling, smiling eyes and gray curls hanging all around his neck, a long curly beard, too, and a sympathetic understanding of children and grownups. Ten to one he would have one or two of us in his lap while he questioned by mother as to our ills. His long black bag on the floor aroused our curiosity; perhaps we each received a little bottle of pills. There was no thought of asepsis.
I am not arguing that asepsis and physical tests are unimportant. I would have both. I am emphasizing that the heart of the doctor was there, that his patients perceived that fact and responded with openhearted recital of symptoms, so the doctor could, almost by intuition, see the characteristic of the indicated remedy. That is, he could if he were a student of materia medica seeking the heart of his remedies.
Three years later in another city I had severe whooping cough complicated by lobar pneumonia because I had taken cold during the prodromal period. We then had another homoeopathic, doctor, a different type, a silent, quiet man with the same penetrating sympathy in his eyes but not the jollity. He came and sat by bed by the hour, watching, counting pulse-beats, counting respirations, listening to the cough, estimating effect of hard paroxysms on heart and vitality. He would go away for several hour, come back and watch again, day and night.
There were no clinical thermometers then, no blood pressure apparatus, no blood typing, no specifics for this or that type of pneumonia only the patients themselves to watch, effects of changes in behavior to estimate. I grew worse and worse, went along to a typical crisis, then turned to slow convalescence. I nearly died but I can remember that calm, friendly silent man by my bed watching and giving me courage.
Now, it seems to me Homoeopathy is like that, full of student minds, full of patients, eager to become acquainted with personalities and then to watch reactions of remedies prescribed according to homoeopathic principles. In the old days this sort of work was all the doctors knew and they made excellent reputations for themselves and for Homoeopathy.
Gradually in the intervening years, study of diseases as such grew in importance until today homoeopathic prescribing is snubbed and scoffed at. Medical students are advised to let it alone.
It is relevant to notice that while this development is going on and most of the genuine subscribers are old people, the thought of the deepest students in basic sciences, philosophies, social studies, religious groups is turning more and more to homoeopathic principles without these students recognizing the name of what they are thinking.
There is a meeting ground in all this and we hope to walk on it, just as we hope to find a meeting ground between our country and Russia.
The young homoeopathic prescribers in these days have been through thorough training in treatment of the patient as a physical machine. They search for specifics for diseases. Recently they are taught more of psychology and something of psychosomatic medicine. Whether they yet recognize that man is a triune being to be treated as a whole and not as a collection of parts is questionable, but they are on their way to a common meeting ground.
Homoeopathy, in my opinion, should walk along with these people; should acquire their medical education and then place Homoeopathy on top of it as a post-graduate study. Such homoeopathic physicians will then be read to use undergraduate methods for physicians of comparison only.
In order to reach common ground the regular physician must be willing to entertain a new concept with an open mind and the homoeopathic physician must be cordial to all phases of the thinking of the regulars. Homoeopathic principles will then be perceived in their true light and illustrations of them will be accepted.
Let us suppose that a physician graduated from a regular medical school studies Homoeopathy before he takes his internship. His mind has been strongly aroused; he wishes to practice this new method during internship; he has wonderful opportunities to compare it with his undergraduate training but he becomes confused because his undergraduate training keeps popping up and he is not yet sufficiently oriented in Homoeopathy.
At this point he meets a skilful and experienced homoeopathic prescribers who perceives his difficulties and tries to solve them by presenting cases which illustrate one and another-principle thus opening the way to resolve a difficult group of symptoms and lead to cure.
Here are a few examples of such clarifying methods of thinking:
1. Mental Symptoms Lead to the Remedy:
a. This tall, thin man, brought up on the rocky coast of Massachusetts, wanted a cure for his very frequent and severe colds. On the first symptoms given I gave him Kali bi. This remedy helped through three attacks but convalescence was too slow and incomplete. On his health background I then prescribed Tuberc. but this, too, did not reach the depths of the case. Then I perceived that he had deep nervous symptoms, began to question him further in this field and was amply rewarded:
Acute self consciousness: realizes it but cannot get away from it.
Fear of confinement: desperate, if difficult to get out of a crowd or an audience. Must have end seat or back seat; hated crowds, panicky unless on the outskirts.
Fear of high places, of bridges, in elevators.
Fear of disease, therefore afraid to travel alone.
Cannot stand extra responsibility, causes timidity.
Apprehension of failure.
Imagination pictures disaster, if someone does not meet an appointment promptly.
Worries as to weather he will dead when he dies.
Angry easily and then sick from it.
Miserable for fear these symptoms make him appear effeminate.
Physical symptoms in consequence of these mental suffering; chill, faintness, profuse cold perspiration and especially accumulation of gas in stomach and intestines; tendency to walk faster and faster when nervous. Endurance low; sleep much disturbed.
Of course you know the remedy; Arg. nit. has made a new man of him, removed his fears, given him poise, enabled him to do original constructive work, in short to feel like a real man. He has put on weight and his friends remark on his youthful, healthy appearance.
b. Another patient with poor inheritance was treated for at least five years for repeated colds with long convalescence following each time. I knew the miasmatic tendencies in the family; I had treated the patient since boy hood; I recognized deep-seated nervous tendencies with lack of reaction, but in his early manhood, it took five years of reporting to build up enough of his mental symptoms to make a clear picture of them-probably all my own all my own fault.
In the beginning of the years he began talking of vertigo; then of nausea and vomiting in his attacks; then of weakness driving his car; dyspnoea with the vertigo; nervous strain at least argument or fault finding; fear something would happen to him or his car; desire to stay quietly at home to avoid such happenings; fear of undertaking anything; perspiration with fears and weakness from them; staggering on the street; inability to meet appointments and so canceling them; appetite coming and going; digestion good, then bad; stools loose and later constipated; fear of fainting on the street; strong feeling of inadequacy; memory failing; power of concentration failing; shaking all over while lying on a cough; sensations if heart would stop would stop breathing; confusion talking, wrong work or a wrong letter in his work; nervous over anticipation followed by a sudden letdown; sensation in upper arms of great weakness; must put attention on them to be able to move them, or drinks be must.
Then suddenly, after failure of one drug after another, each of which caused temporary improvement, he told me the following: fear of being on the street among people along, something might happen to him; fear in a crowd, an audience, on bridges, up a height, in buses or street cars, on a wide street or in a large house, wants walls near him for protection. And lo! Arg. nit. stood out again and is making basic permanent improvement in a much suffering man. Most of you would have seen this remedy before I did, for it took me nearly five years to recognize it. I admire this patient for keeping his faith in me and in Homoeopathy.
These two cases illustrate the great advantage of getting mental symptoms and then seeking the heart of them.
c. A tall thin man nearly sixty-two years old, living in a one-room apartment and eating in restaurants for years. Did not know how to choose foods well, worried over this, gave up one food after another until half starved; then fasting until weak; then a victim of sleeplessness; early morning melancholia leading to thoughts of suicide, planning how to accomplish it, etc., confessed horrid thoughts in early morning hours which gradually settled into suicidal ideas.
Quivering in his stomach added to his miseries. he lost weight and strength steadily for many weeks. I gave him Aurum, 1M and a slow steady improvement took him back to normal weight and a good appetite with no more stomach symptoms. The first dose of Aurum was given in October, 1944. It took until July, 1945 to get rid of the last vestige of depression and “bad thoughts” early in the morning but they departed permanently them.