Repertorizing Made Simple
Materia Medica (L), index of remedies and their pictures; Repertory, (R), index of rubrics (symptoms)
Homeopathy is not rocket science - it is simply remedy finding... finding the remedy that most closely matches the patient's symptoms. Is that so hard?
Well, actually, yes, it can be. With several thousand remedies to choose from, and ideally only one best remedy, it can get a little overwhelming. Not to mention the layers and layers of 'disease' we accumulate that may surface after a 'right' remedy and confuse matters. You may have felt the frustration of not seeing the results you were expecting after administering a homeopathic remedy, especially if you'd spent a lot of time looking for the perfect match. Take heart; perhaps there were good effects that went unnoticed - the body heals on the inside first.
Where can one find remedy descriptions?
Remedy bottles may list an indication or two, but those may be only two out of 100 common indications for using that remedy. (For a list of remedies for first aid, see NHM Volume 1, Issue 2, Do It Yourself - Homeopathic First Aid Kit.)
Remedy descriptions, aka pictures, are found most extensively and completely in a Materia Medica and other such books, usually in alphabetical order by the remedy name. One can find rubrics (the actual symptoms of the patient) listed in a repertory (a huge index), also in alphabetical order, by body sections and their specific symptoms (with a list of applicable remedies behind each symptom). Today there are computer software programs as well for quicker searching, and an online remedy finder at www.abchomeopathy.com which can be helpful. Reading and studying one remedy picture at a time until it becomes familiar is another way - and you can use your power of recall.
What makes it so difficult to find the right remedy?
Not knowing how to narrow down the remedy choices is one reason.
Not knowing which symptoms are the most important is another.
Add to that the difficulty of gathering symptoms from a being who doesn't talk, and it becomes very difficult. Good homeopaths definitely earn their keep!
Using Homeopathy Sensibly
Here's how even the most novice of homeopathy enthusiasts can succeed
at using homeopathy.
STEP 1. Attempt simple, acute cases only, and leave the complicated, chronic cases to the experienced homeopaths.
STEP 2. Write down your observations - the patient's behavior and disposition, bodily symptoms, habits, likes and dislikes, and times of day or other factors that make a symptom better or worse - in a notebook, and date everything. (This enables one to see patterns on down the road and perhaps seasonal factors.)
STEP 3. Note the patient's drinking, eating, urinating, sleeping, playing, and working habits; how they move, react to noises, breathe, etc.
STEP 4. If you have trouble observing or describing your patient, think about what makes this animal or person different from any others. Be specific. Note odors, sounds, and how the body feels to your touch, as well as what you see.
STEP 5. Number your observations in order of most peculiar to least peculiar. This approach will narrow down the remedy choices. Many, many remedies have many, many symptoms in common. Focusing on the oddities first can be more direct in your search. Look in the repertory or Materia Medica for these most unusual and other pronounced symptoms, especially behavior and disposition. Then read those remedy pictures for further symptom matching.
STEP 6. Keep it simple. Avoid second-guessing to find out why a symptom is there; variables may number in the millions and the way homeopathy works is to address what the body presents. So skip the pondering and focus on what the patient (that vital force) is presenting. That is the beauty of homeopathy - look at the specifics of the discharges, skin rash, and other outward symptoms. Use these details, along with behavior, to get to the matching remedy. (To understand the wealth of terminology used in the books, refer to Jay Yasgur's most valuable "Homeopathic Dictionary and Holistic Health Reference", available through www.homeopathyworks.com.)
STEP 7. Observe after administering a remedy. Some responses are visible immediately; others take time. Remember that the body may be responding favorably, even though it may look awful, such as in skin eruptions or loose stools as the body eliminates toxins to rebalance. If the patient seems comfortable, happy, and is eating, he is likely on the mend.
STEP 8. LET the body heal. The homeopathic remedy merely stimulates the body to do what it needs to do, to rebalance, get back on track, and heal. Repeat remedies only if the patient clearly needs another nudge. Change remedies as symptoms change.
Keep in mind that the law of similars - not exacts - is why homeopathy works. Getting close to the best match is very likely good enough to help things along. After the remedy has had time to do what it can, another remedy can be considered for what problems remain, or resurface.
One could spend several lifetimes learning all there is to learn about homeopathy; but to find a suitable remedy for now, just look at what is presenting itself to you.
For more information:
National Center for Homeopathy
801 North Fairfax St., Suite 306
Alexandria, VA 22314