Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Homeopathy- A Study of Individuals!

While studying homeopathy, we often come across the term Individualization. Despite many homeopaths and stalwarts in homeopathy have propounded the theory of individualization, there is still some kind of mystery surrounding the term individualization. More than mystery, we can say it is misunderstanding about the whole issue.

“Individual” is a person with definite traits. He or she is the being comprised of various types of personality traits, intelligence levels, developmental abilities, evolutionary wisdom, characteristic mentality, physical attributes, inner psyche, and outer masks. Yes, I said outer masks because these too differ from person to person, his approach to circumstances, and his innate ability to cope with the life’s problems.

Individualization on Physical Plane is Not Enough in Homeopathy!

Many times homeopathy is compared to psychology for the importance our science gives to “mind” of an individual. That’s why the individualization on mere physical plane is never enough. For acute complaints, however, we can consider the “Physical Individualization” as the only factor for determining the appropriate remedy in that particular case. Even in certain acute conditions, mind is involved in unique way. For example, a person with headache might be excessively irritable during headache only. So, this irritability becomes an important characteristic of that particular individual. But in acute cases, at times, we do consider only physical symptoms, though individual symptoms.

Does Mind Provide Real Clue to The Correct Remedy?

One controversy that is frequently aroused by conventionalists is that “Mind is such a volatile entity and the mental sphere in an individual keeps changing every now and then. Then how can you attribute specific mind symptoms as the guiding tools to medicine selection?” Well, quite not bad question! Mind has been compared with wind, so is its vagueness in direction of thoughts. BUT in this vagueness too, there are certain things we think about more frequently than others. A person having phobia to cats, is phobic to cats in whatever circumstances he is. There can be exceptions but these exceptions too then make characteristic symptoms in homeopathy. Certainly not easy to understand! But once we dwell upon certain characteristic traits of people, we can fairly derive a conclusion about a person regarding his psyche, mentality, and approach to life. Frequent changeability in his mental characters becomes an important thing to consider when we prescribe.

When these mental symptoms are concurrent with the physical signs and symptoms of the disease, they become more characteristic.

Constitutional prescribing is not easy for this reason. Studying the individuals in the right perspectives without having any prejudiced notions is a tough task. A Homeopath’s mind must be clutter-free for this and he should be able to write on a clean slate without developing any ideas after looking at a person. Only then, it is possible to view a case from third man’s perspective and give correct homeopathic prescription.

Many modern homeopaths have different ways of treating sick. Though the baseline remains the same, as per Hahnemannian principle, unless a remedy is applied as per the constitution and basic miasm of an individual, it does not act homeopathically. And we certainly don’t want any other action (like suppression) when we prescribe homeopathically. Therefore, study of constitutions makes the journey fascinating for any homeopath.

Study of constitution in health and study of constitution in disease can be two different aspects. However, this study should be comparative to enable one derive any specific conclusion, if possible, from it.

Individualization Applies to Dose of Medicine Too!

Mastermind Stuart Close says, “Under homeopathic principles, any potency may be required in any case. It is unreasonable to expect to cure all cases with any two or three potencies as it is to expect to cure all cases with any two or three remedies. The well selected remedy may fail utterly, or even do injury, because of wrong dosage. Dose as well as remedy must be adjusted to the patient’s need.” Thus individualization is the key for dose selection as well. The most basic rule however is that more the core (Individual physical, mental, and emotional picture of the person) matches to the remedial picture, higher should be the potency. But here too, we have to follow certain norms depending upon individual case and should consider its pathophysiology, susceptibility of the patient, requirement during specific time period, and depth of the remedy we expect in that particular case.

No doubt, study of individuals makes homeopathy a worthwhile study truly. With more practice and more number of cases, comes the precision with which any homeopath can select appropriate remedy and its potency. Let’s conclude it by saying, “Keep patients’ interest as your topmost priority!”

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