Monday, March 14, 2011

Homeopathic Posology (Potency Selection) as Perceived from Stuart Close’s “The Genius of Homeopathy”

Many homeopaths while practicing come across many hurdles. Right from the method of convincing people about the depth of homeopathic science, they often face difficulties while applying the different potencies (powers) during treatment process. I have met some homeopathic physicians who have propensity to choose certain potencies all through their practice. I have seen patients, who while self-treating homeopathically choosing 30C potencies invariably, as they think it is somewhat middle potency and will neither do any harm (as high potencies might do according to them), nor will they be too small to elude action!

Well, certainly as you can guess, choosing the potency is a very important decision when you want to give or take any homeopathic medicine. There are many chapters on posology (art of applying dosage) in homeopathic literature. Many views have been expressed in different books and one might find some remarks confusing wile searching for the right tool to believe in.

While reading Stuart Close’s “The Genius of Homeopathy” while in homeopathic college, I felt at ease. The reason behind this feeling was simple. The guidelines given by him are according to the homeopathic principle and are corroborative of Hahnemannian Classical Homeopathy. They are easy to comprehend and one can apply these guidelines in day to day homeopathic practice, rarely facing any failure while clinging to them. Therefore, this is an effort to put forth these guidelines once again in simpler fashion-

Let’s derive some points out of it--

(1)   Simply put, the posology is a science of dosage. In homeopathy, as with its eternal principle, we can add a word “art” too. Thus, it is a science and art of dosage. Many people come forward for homeopathic treatment with the notion in their mind that homeopathy means small doses. It is pleasant way to treat oneself without large tablets to be taken with harsh preparations. In right sense, it is true; however, it is necessary to impart knowledge in public regarding the depth of homeopathic medicines and their smallness of dose implying greater strength should be insisted upon for broader understanding of the science!

(2)   Dose is one thing in homeopathy that needs greater emphasis. Even while teaching homeopathy in schools and colleges, this aspect is not well-stressed. Dose is one of the essential elements of homeopathic system, the other two being the principle and the remedy. Even Hahnemann at one time, in order to bring an end to an endless debate on potency selection, proposes to treat most cases with the thirtieth potency; such was the controversies, confusions, and misunderstandings on the subject. Many homeopaths therefore try to solve this mystery by adopting what can be said as “Self-Law” when it comes to potency selection, which is not good for sure.

(3)   The fact of apt therapeutics however says that every practitioner should be free of prejudice when it comes to potency selection too. This is stated so because- “Under homeopathic principles, any potency may be required in any case. It is as 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. In either case, those who follow such a course are governed more by the love of ease and their prejudice than they are by their desire for efficiency. One must remember that a well-selected remedy may fail utterly, or even do injury, because of wrong dosage. Dose as well as the remedy must be adjusted to the patient’s need.”

(4)   The drugs in physiological doses create some set of symptoms; the same symptoms are cured by the smaller infinitesimal doses. Therefore, it is stressed that the physiological doses have nothing to do with their homeopathic use. Means, if you are using a drug in physiological dose, you aren’t using it homeopathically, because homeopathic medicines are never used in physiological doses. More appropriately, we can say that the homeopathic medicines are never used for their physiological effect. This is so because; the ‘physiological action’ of a drug is not its therapeutic or curative action. It is exactly the opposite of a curative action, and is never employed in homeopathic practice for therapeutic purposes.

(5)   On the contrary, therapeutic dose means curative, alleviating, healing. Depending upon the size and strength of the dose, susceptibility of the patient and the principle upon which it is given, action of the drug, whether pathogenetic or therapeutic is decided. Pathogenetic doses may be given to healthy subjects in order to make a proving. When we treat patients homeopathically, we do not want to produce the symptoms but want to remove them. This is therefore possible only with the help of a similar remedy in the minimum dose.

(6)   The temporary aggravation after giving homeopathic medicine is truly temporary, so much subtle that many times goes away unnoticed. If there are new symptoms after giving a dose, it is obviously indicative of either wrong medicine or wrong dosage.

(7)   If we come across cure of a particular person after giving certain remedy, we should take it as- ‘The medicine was right and the dose given is the maximum dose consistent with safety.

(8)   Homeopathic dose is always given in sub-physiological or sub-pathogenetic dose (minimal dose), because—

·         We intend to remove symptoms that are already existing and not producing more symptoms
·         Disease already renders the affected part sensitive. Large doses can add to the agony of the patient; however the least dose can modify the affection without any bad effects
·         Also the homeopathic drug is given (or should be given) singly so that the action is complete, unmodified by other drugs; so the small dose!

(9)   To all those people who ridicule the smallness or infinitesimal scale of homeopathic medicines, Stuart Close reminds that infinitesimal is a quantity and it cannot be thought as nothing. He quotes Hahnemann who says, “How so? The smallest possible portion of a substance, is it not an integral part of the whole? Were it be divided and re-divided even to the limits of infinity, would there not still remain something,- something substantial,- a part of the whole, let it be ever so minute> What man in his senses would deny it? And if this be in reality as integral part of the divided substance, which no man in his senses can doubt, why should this minute portion, as it is certainly something, be inactive, while the whole acted with so much violence?” Truly Hahnemann’s statement is indisputable!

(10)                      To stress the importance of proper dose, he states further that any curable disease may be cured by any potency, when the indicated remedy is administered; but the cure may be much accelerated by selecting the potency or dose appropriate to the individual case.

(11)                      Thus, in conclusion, five considerations are stated that influence the choice of the dose—

·         The susceptibility of the patient
·         The seat of the disease
·         The nature and intensity of the disease
·         The stage and duration of the disease
·         The previous treatment of the disease

Thus, one who masters the art of dose selection along with the remedy selection in homeopathy is the true healer!

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