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.
As they departed and digestive disturbances with them, an old trouble dating way back in his life became more prominent-arthritis in all joints, large and small, especially knee joints. He could not tell definitely about early treatment for this but I have little doubt that strong suppression of arthritis weakened his resistance; brought on his fears and sent him to thoughts of suicide. His knees still bother and he uses cane he is smiling and can ear anything in reason.
The heart of this case is the suppression of arthritis although many might it is the depth of mental symptoms.
d. My fourth mental case is different and represents suppression, also, but suppression of what remains to be seen, for hits is a new patient, a young woman with her first baby seven months old. In the middle of pregnancy he husband told her he had seen a woman whose brother is mentally undeveloped. Immediately she felt as if this man had contaminated her, everything he had touched was dirty; she must wash her hands over and over to get them clean; later she must wash clothing, doorknobs, etc.
Sent a psychiatrist who did not pay much attention, she saw other mental cases in his office; then all her clothing was contaminated; can not wear the suit she had on that day; must go by it the closet and this spreads the contamination, etc., etc. She cannot talk about these ideas because others think them silly. Her husband works all day and all evening so she stays alone with her baby twelve hours consecutively and broods. She cannot sleep or eat properly; she loses energy and now she takes one cold after another. I have stared her on Syph. 1M and hunting for a lead to the suppression which could induce so deep delusions. She is perfectly reasonable about them but cannot throw them off. She is only twenty-six years old; poor lonely woman!.
2. The constitutional Remedy Cures the Acute Ailment.
a. A boy, now eight years old, had wonderfully healthy development through perhaps the first two years of life, then began to develop frequent acute attacks with high fever, marked enervation and slow convalescence, The acute symptoms were those of head and chest colds complicated by digestive disorders and earache. Prescriptions for such acute attacks helped them every time but gradually health between attacks deteriorated and the attacks became more frequent. Attempts to prescribe a curative remedy for the underlying miasm failed twice, then Tuberc. was given with prompt improvement in general health and longer intervals between colds. since then the few lighter attacks have been given Tuberc. in the beginning with abortive effect and health has been excellent.
b. Another deeply miasmatic patient always ailing from early childhood, growing up with spinal curvature, low vitality, tubercular symptoms apparently, weeks at a time in bed, exhaustion after light exertion, later prolapse of all abdominal organs, many more chronic symptoms coming and going. The first remedy long ago was Tuberc. which acted well for a time, giving her ability to stay up longer and do more. This did not last and Lach. became a good basic remedy. Puls. did good work, too. I suppose I treated this patient for twenty years without discovering the really basic chronic remedy.
As soon as I gave her Nit. ac. she began to sent for me less often until, after many months, she would go from three months to nearly a year without medicine When she did need some for an acute ailment, Nit. ac. brought rapid recovery. Of course she is never free from all symptoms or as strong as the average person but she is wonderfully, basically a different woman now at seventy-seven years.
3. It is saying that you all know to repeat that the constitutional remedy, given after an acute attack, shortens convalescence very much or transfers the patient period. We watch this procedure over and over and over again. One instance of it stands out in my memory of the long ago. A patient, past middle age, had a severe attack of influenza in the first overpowering epidemic of 1918. I saw her on a Monday; in the midst of her sufferings I discovered that her family to a new home the following Friday.
She had little or no help. Acute symptoms were decidedly better on Tuesday, about gone on Wednesday leaving her prostrated, the more so because of the rapidity of the action of the acute remedy. I had treated this patient for deep miasmatic symptoms for several years and knew her curative chronic remedy was Sulph. One dose of the 10M on Wednesday helped so promptly that she superintended the moving on Friday and was none the worse afterward for the experience. I had expected her to limp through the ordeal and almost collapse afterward. Nothing of that kind happened.
4. Past History Reveals the Remedy.
This, too, sounds familiar. One brilliant example is the development of a strong suspicion during the long recital or chronic symptoms dating way back to early life, that malaria suppressed by quinine lies at the base of the patients troubles. Oftentimes this discovery, corroborated by the patient, simplifies greatly the choice of the curative remedy. Several times I have found this to be Sepia, perhaps followed by Nat. m. Before such a suspicion was confirmed the array of symptoms was confusing almost to despair.
5. Family Chronic Remedies Help Family Disorders.
Our polychrest remedies have so many sides to them that it is quite possible for two or more members of a family to require the same one although each patient exhibits symptoms different from those of the others. Appreciation of this fact is helpful when the doctor is confused over the symptom picture and hesitates between two or more remedies. One family I have observed a great many years requires the snake remedies or spider remedies. In one instance a mother and daughter were cured of very deepseated miasmatic states by Tarent.. though it was hard to see, except through careful study, much resemblance of the one case to the other.
6. The patient takes strong drugs secretly through a period of treatment for deepseated chronic ailments. Confusion piled on confusion results in the doctors mind and not only discouragement but suspicion develops in the mind of the patient. One case of this sort when on to death from a vicious pharyngitis in spite of all efforts to save the patient. The day before she died the friend with whom she had been taking a “pan killer” for her frequent migraine attacks.
7. The Family Base(inherited tendencies) furnishes a key.
This may be tubercular, psoric, venereal, or wholly environmental. 8. A Combination remedy works when neither element given alone has the desired effect.
For example: one very difficult case did nothing after Calc.c., not after Phos. but Calc.p. made a brilliant cure and did not take long to show its capacity to do so. Of course the symptoms of Calc. and Phos. could be seen in the picture. 9. The epidemic remedy, when established in any epidemic, will cure one-sided, veiled cases of the epidemic disorder when no remedy stands out clearly.
10. When no remedy can be seen in incurable cases with almost wholly pathological symptoms, sometimes a drug selected on diagnosis alone will prove to be a deep acting palliative.
In one case of cancer of the tongue, Nit. ac. was a great blessing allowing the patient to go down to death with comparative ease.
11. Suppression is the key to be used in unlocking the case to uncover the original ailment.
a. A rather young woman was told by two specialists that she had a brain tumor with must be removed by operation. In desperation she and her husband grabbed at the straw held out in the form of Homoeopathy. She had violent almost constant headache, obscuration of vision, anaemia, malnutrition, weakness, etc. Questioning led nowhere for some time but finally she responded to an inquiry about perspiration of the feet. Oh, yes, she had had the most awful perspiration, soaking stocking and shoes, rotting show linings, and giving out a horrid odor.
A doctor gave her some kind of powder to use in her shoes and it went away entirely, had no trouble since. Sil. eased the headaches and later stopped them, improved vision greatly but never quite restored it, improved general health until she looked her former blooming self, and finally reproduced the foot former blooming self, and finally reproduced the foot sweat, odor and all. She is glad to have it in hits present mild form and gives Homoeopathy all the credit due.
b. A man had malaria in his youth suppressed by quantities of quinine. Later in life he became an epileptic going form bad to worse. His homoeopathic physician, Dr.Thurston of Boston, gave him the remedy the would have prescribed for the malaria when the patient had it. This lessened the epilepsy greatly and brought back the malaria which was then cured by the same remedy. This patient was not entirely cured of epilepsy but the rest of his life was comparatively comfortable and he lived to a good old age.
c. In another of Dr.Thurstons cases, the patient was apparently dying of cancer of the uterus. Many years before she had a bad attack of haemorrhoids suppressed by some strong local during treatment. The symptoms of that attack were sought and found. The remedy which would have been curative then cured the cancer and reproduced the haemorrhoids.
d. A little child had a bad eczema on his face wholly suppressed by application of some strong salve and them bandaging the whole head. Return of the eruption twice afterward received the same treatment. So it did not return again. The boy was weak, pale, languid at five years, unable to take his place in school, or to last through the day without throwing himself on a couch or the floor to rest, unable to digest food properly, irritable and altogether difficult, a poor sleeper, restless, nervous. Zinc. made this child over into a hearty, merry boy, curing one set of symptoms after another but never bringing back the eruption which had been suppressed so viciously.
c. An oversensitive, dreamy boy was terribly hurt by the jibes of other boys and his elders, too. Result: his emotions were violently suppressed, never to have free expression again. In early manhood gonorrheas was suppressed, an unsuitable marriage suppressed more motions, frustration in his chosen profession did not help matters and at fifty odd years he had a mental break with delusions of persecution so strong that he was a good candidate for a mental hospital, emaciated, anaemic, an old man with drawn features and hunted expression. Homoeopathy stepped in and gave him Zinc. The whole case cleared mentally and physically. He looked and acted himself again and actually over came much of his old sensitiveness.
This man has had abundant cause in recent years to go all pieces over harassing developments but he has kept good emotional balance and exhibited wisdom in dealing with deal troubles. 12. The use of the nosode as an intercurrent had been discussed, pro and con, many times in I.H.A. meetings. The concensus of opinion seems to be that Psor., Med., Syph., Tuberc. should be used on their own symptom pictures and not on their miasm names. They do excellent work as intercurrent and also as curative remedies during the whole course of treatment of some deeply miasmatic cases.
I want to discuss briefly the value of other nosodes taken from exanthemata and a few other diseases. We have a valuable list handed t us by Dr.Margaret Tyler of London who used them with great success in the later years of her long and glorious professional life.
Here is her list: Influenzinum, Parotidinum,. Lueticum, Typhlinum, Morbillinum, Streptococcin, Pneumococcin, Pertussin, Scarlatinum. I believe these can be procured from Ehrhart and Karl and Chicago. I have been astonished lately by results following the use of such nosodes.