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Behind the Homeopathic Prescription

Conventional medicine treats in opposites, giving a pain "killer" for pain and "anti-" substances for inflammation, depression and other ailments. People expect the same suppressive procedures to apply in the prescription of a homeopathic remedy. They do not.

Allopathic or conventional medicine treats symptoms, seeing these as the disease itself. Homeopathy understands that symptoms are simply the body's way of expressing an imbalance in the mental, emotional and physical energies. They are the bodies attempt at addressing the imbalance and must not be ignored - they are the guidelines for the homeopathic prescription.

The Key - Acute or Chronic?
To understand the homeopathic prescription, it is necessary to differentiate between acute and chronic illness. Acute illness is characterized by a latent period, a period of intensification and a period of decline. Chronic illness, in contrast, has a period of progress but no decline, and there is no tendency towards recovery without proper treatment.

Acute prescriptions are less complicated than chronic ones. The homeopath must first rule out the possibility that the acute symptom represents a flare-up of a chronic problem ( which it may often be ). She then compiles a complete "symptom picture" which is composed of the obvious symptoms with their modalities ( the conditions that make the symptoms better or worse ), their locations, extensions and sensations. The mental/emotional symptoms, if prominent, are used to further differentiate remedies.

As an example, an isolated case of diarrhea with the specific symptoms of profuse, offensive, painless, gushing stools with jelly-like mucus, worse in the morning, better lying on the abdomen, calls for the remedy Podophyllum.

The homeopathic prescription in chronic illness is much more complex. It takes into consideration the complete mental/spiritual, emotional/psychic and physical symptom picture throughout the patients life, as well as hereditary traits, causations and traumas, in order to form a total picture of the illness over a period of time. The homeopath looks for the point at which the energy became "tied up" and from whence the symptom picture began to emerge.

Classical homeopathy recognizes that there is but one disease and one imbalance - in chronic illness the body will show this imbalance on all levels. The prescription of a single remedy is addressed to the essence of the problem.

The symptom ( diarrhea ) shown in the acute example above would be considered much differently in a chronic case. For example, the patient may present the same chief complaint of ongoing diarrhea, but during the initial consultation the homeopath finds the patient to be very restless, fastidious, obsessed with order and preoccupied with many fears. The homeopath would investigate this emotional state and the patterns apparent throughout the patients life to find the essence of the problem.

In this particular instance, the chronic diarrhea is most likely the body's attempt to compensate for the extreme over-concern with order. this case most probably calls for a different remedy -Arsenicum album.

From the above examples, we can understand how specific and individualized the homeopathic prescription must be, and why a skilled homeopath is necessary for an accurate prescription.

Barbara Etcovitch is a British - trained classical homeopath. She has a practice in Ottawa, Montreal and Toronto.

This product was added to our catalog on Saturday 01 January, 2000.

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