After all the symptoms of a patient have been written out the Repertory should be taken up. The beginner should not attempt to abbreviate the anamnesis, but should write out the full general rubric for exercise, if nothing more. If melancholy by the word, the remedies set to the word should be written down with all the graduations., If the melancholy appears only before the menses let a sub-rubric b placed in a manner to show glance the number of remedies of the general class having the special period of aggravation. Many of the most brilliant cures are made from the general rubric when the special does not help, and, in careful notes of ten years, would bring down many of the general rubric symptoms, and furnish the best of clinical verifications. The longer this is done the more can the busy doctor abbreviate his case-not.
The special aggravation is a great help, but such observations are often wanting, and the general rubric must be pressed into service.
Again, we have to work by analogy., In this method Boenninghausen’s Pocket Repertory is of the greatest service.
Take Minton’s most excellent work, and we find menstrual agonies are ameliorated by heat, peculiar to Ars. and Nux., any by moist heat, to Nux-m. But the symptoms of one case are not like either of these remedies, and we must go farther into the Materia Medica. We can there form the anamnesis by analogy and make use of the general rubric, taking all the remedies known to be generally ameliorated by heat and warmth applied.
To be methodical, the general rubric should appear in the notes of the prescriber and the special below it. If this plan be carefully carried out, a comparison of ten years’ work be a most instructive perusal. What is true of a remedy generally may often be true in particular, especially so in the absence of a counter0-indicating exception, well established.
If this plan be followed by beginners, always reading up the Materia Medica with the anamnesis by the time business becomes plenty the work becomes easy and rapid. A young man can prescribe for a few patients a day and make careful homeopathic cures, and he can gain speed enough to prescribe for twenty or thirty a day after a few years. Any man who desires to avoid this careful method should not pretend to be a homeopathy physician, as the right way is not in him, as the desire must precede the act.
The patient does not always express the symptoms in the language that would best indicate the real nature of the symptom.
Then it is that judgment is required, that the physician may gain a correct appreciation of the symptoms. So often is this true that the young man and often the old are led fro theatre expressions of nature, and he will make an inappropriate prescription. the task of taking symptoms is often a most difficult one. It is sometimes possible to abbreviate the anamnesis by selecting one symptom that is very peculiar continent the key to the case.
A young man cannot often detect this peculiarity and he should seldom attempt it. It is often convenient to abbreviate by taking a group of three or four essentials in a given case, making a summary of these, and eliminating all remedies not found in all the essential symptoms. A man with considerable experience may cut short the work in this way. I have frequently known young men to mistake a modality for a symptom. this is fatal to a correct result. The symptom is the sensation or condition, and the modality is only a modification. The symptom often becomes peculiar or characteristic through its modality.
When a sensation is looked up in the Repertory, all the remedies belonging to it should be written out, and individualization began by modalities.
I am frequently asked what is understood by peculiar as applied to case. A little though should lead each man to the solution.
A high temperature, a fever without thirst, is in a measure peculiar, A hard chill with thirst for cold water is peculiar. Thirst with a fever, with the heat, is not peculiar, because you can safely say it is common to find heat with thirst, and uncommon to find heat without thirst. That which is common to any given disease is never peculiar. This may seem to simple to demand an explanations, but let him who knows it go to the next page.
Pathognomonic symptoms are not used to individualize by and are never peculiar in the sense asked for.
I am asked what I mean when I say to beginners, treat the patient and not the disease. My answer always is about as follows; The symptoms that is seldom found in a given disease is one not peculiar to the disease, but peculiar to the patient, therefore the peculiarities of the patient have made the disease differ from all the members of its class and from all other sin the class, and make this disease, as affecting this patient and individuality by itself and can only be treated as an individual. This individuality in the patient manifests itself by peculiar symptoms nearly always prominent, and always looked for by the true healer. The man who gives Aconite for fever knows nothing of the spirit of the law or the duties of the physician. The same is true of Colocynth for colic, Arsenicum for chill, etc.