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December 22, 2012
8:58 pm
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Alex
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https://hpathy.com/homeopathy-papers/questions-patients-ask-8/

 

I think, that these answers misleads patients and prevent them from good tretment. down

 

For instance:

 

Nowhere does he mention the importance of etiology–”ailments/from”–a lot of our prescriptions are based on “ailments from”, as you know. What about modalities? Gone! 

Wrong – this was discussed many time in this forum.

And of course, if you read his cases, you’ll notice that no one ever gets Lycopodium, Pulsatilla, Nux vomica, Phosphorus, Sulphur, Rhus tox or any of the other remedies that have been common in homeopathy up to now; instead, people are receiving remedies like Bung-c. and Dendro-p., and since YOU would NEVER have been able to come up with those prescriptions, you can’t argue with him! 

Wrong. I personally recieved hepar sulphur, barita sulphurica, nux vomica and many other remedies which names I do not know.

 

I see that worst enemies of homeopathy are some homeopaths.

December 22, 2012
9:59 pm
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David Kempson
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Yes it is a fairly misguided and shallow review of the method, I agree. However I do not believe Elaine is an enemy of homoeopathy – quite the contrary, she is very passionate about our art.

I think, like many other homoeopaths, they do not understand how sensational homoeopathy works, but they have heard alot of rumors, and then they review those rumours. I have seen it many times on forums now, the same arguments based on the same misconceptions. It is like a huge game of homoeopathic chinese whispers. 

One only needs to look more closely at the various discourses on the method by Sankaran, Morrison, Vermeulen etc to see that those misconceptions have no real basis.

Some of those common misconceptions are (notice that the method shares some of the mistaken criticisms leveled at classical homoeopathy too):

 

1. Someone who acts like an animal needs an animal remedy.

2. A single remedy is needed for the whole person’s life

3. The specific disease is not treated in favour of the ‘constitution’

4. Practitioners goes off on ‘tangents’ rather than following (exactly) what the patient tells them

5. There is a need to treat ‘layers’ rather than the totality (or that layers and totality are somehow exclusive)

6. Kingdoms can be boiled down to a few simple concepts or words

7. Sensation method cannot be used for acutes

8. Sensation method does not use etiology

9. The ‘polycrests’ aren’t used anymore

10. Practitioners only ask 3-4 questions seemingly unrelated to the patient’s complaints

11. Practitioners don’t ask questions specifically about the patient’s complaints

12. Practitioners are following ‘false leads’

13. Potency selection is based on something other than intensity of disease or vitality of patient

 

It is a shame, but I see the same bias all over the community, although perhaps a bit less now that several  respected homoeopaths are on board with the concepts.

December 22, 2012
10:07 pm
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Alex
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I agree. However I do not believe Elaine is an enemy of homoeopathy – quite the contrary, she is very passionate about our art.

 

Those homeopaths who make PR by slandering others homeopaths are not friends of homeopathy.

December 23, 2012
1:06 am
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David Kempson
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Well homoeopaths are hardly united in their beliefs about how homoeopathy works or should be practiced, so I don’t think that having a problem with one homoeopath or group of homoeopaths can reflect your attitude of homoeopathy generally, since there really isn’t one homoeopathy.

Homoeopathy is, and always will be, part Art which means there will always be differences in how individuals are able to use it. Sensation is just one way, and it has its own limitations (some of which the detractors are actually right about) but many of those people, quite rightly, act as a counterbalance to any theory that strays too far from the definition of homoeopathy. It is really the dynamic between those two opposing groups which helps to advance homoeopathy.

December 23, 2012
10:26 am
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Elaine Lewis
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How many times do I have to say that I have read Sankaran’s books?  How many times do I have to say that much of what he says is very enlightening?  I have added to my questionnaire based on what I’ve learned from him.  But what I said in my article was also true!  If you only present cases of obscure remedies, and you provide no information a standard case-taking would have provided, then the reader can only be in awe and the Sensation method wins again, it is beyond question!  “Wow!  I never would have come up with that remedy!”  But as I said, how often are you going to get a case of “that remedy” in your practice, vs. how often you’re going to get a case of Rhus tox?  But now you’re supposed to change your questioning so that you no longer catch Rhus tox cases, which are very common in a homeopath’s practice!  No, you’re supposed to let the person talk, interjecting only, “What is that like?  You said you were being attacked by your virus.  What is ‘attacked’?”  You’re not going to find Rhus tox this way; you find Rhus tox by asking for the modalities!  People who come to us are sick!  And finding their remedy is a logical step-by-step process that involves asking certain questions and you should know what the remedy is fairly quickly.   

And then, yes, you do apparently believe there are no layers and you need the same remedy today that you needed when you were born, regardless of what complaint you walked in with, and there’s no such thing as acute prescribing either because the acute is only useful to find the constitutional remedy–Sankaran said that!  So according to you, a Phosphorus person with a Gelsemium flu needs Phosphorus!  If I had to sum up the Sensation’s philosophy, that would be it: The Phosphorus person with a Gelsemium flu needs Phosphorus!  That’s your belief!  When it’s stated in that way, people can clearly see how troublesome that philosophy is because they know that Phos. is very thirsty and Gels. is thirstless and Phos. wants company and Gels. doesn’t…you see, now we’re in familiar territory; but, if a person with a Gels. flu comes to see a Sensation practitioner, and leaves with Bung-c., everyone goes, “Wow!  I never would have gotten that!  That is really brilliant!” 

December 23, 2012
12:35 pm
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Alex
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David Kempson said

Well homoeopaths are hardly united in their beliefs about how homoeopathy works or should be practiced, so I don’t think that having a problem with one homoeopath or group of homoeopaths can reflect your attitude of homoeopathy generally, since there really isn’t one homoeopathy.

 

It is not about my attitude, it is about  attitude potential patients. Sometimes homeopaths themselves are worst enemies of homeopathy.

The Elanie Lewis answers about sensation methods is very simlar to what pseusceptics write about homeopathy – I actually see no difference.

This critics is not constructive.

 

Homoeopathy is, and always will be, part Art which means there will always be differences in how individuals are able to use it. Sensation is just one way, and it has its own limitations (some of which the detractors are actually right about) but many of those people, quite rightly, act as a counterbalance to any theory that strays too far from the definition of homoeopathy. It is really the dynamic between those two opposing groups which helps to advance homoeopathy.


If homeopathy is part Art then no precise definition can ever exists.

Any methodics in homeopathy should be judged by results of those who can learn this method and not by those who do not understand it.

December 23, 2012
1:16 pm
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David Kempson
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Hi again Elaine,

I do want to say that I do not approve of Alex’s attack on you, and while we might get into a debate about these issues because of it, I believe it was very bad form.

I don’t think anyone said you hadn’t read Sankaran’s books, only that your understanding of the method was not accurate. I pointed out a number of statements you made that were not accurate interpretations of what the Bombay group teaches.

 

Firstly, I do NOT believe that everyone needs one remedy from the day they are born. Absolutely not. Only a person with no clinical experience would say that. I am being treated by two excellent Sensation prescribers right now, and I am now on to my third remedy. Each one has been necessary for different stages and states I have been in. All the sensation prescribers I know prescribe more than one remedy for most patients over a period of time, myself included. Sometimes a person gets cured from one remedy, sometimes not. This is not part of Sensation philosophy but an older argument about the nature of the simillimum (and perhaps even the definition of genuine cure).

However, when you question someone about their past, they will perceive it through their current state, they interpret the memories via the window of their remedy. When you question them again after experiencing improvement from that remedy, they will often see things quite differently, even though the memory should be the same. Questioning of a person’s past allows them more opportunities to confirm you are hearing the description of their state correctly. It is a misconception to think that their memory of the past is immutable – all of us know that is not true from our own experiences and our own memories.

I must also disagree that there is no such thing as Acute prescribing. That flies in the face of not only what Hahnemann says in the Organon (if one must go that far back for proof) but the experience of many practitioners of all kinds of medicine including myself. Acutes are self-limiting, and usually provoke a relatively sudden change of state in the patient. Acutes do not rely on the chronic weakness of the vital energy, but instead originate from external causes. Chronic complaints are degenerative, tend to show the same state even during ‘acute’ flare-ups, and orginate from a permanent derangement of the vital force. Chronic disease may show itself in different forms over a person’s lifetime but are all part of one ‘hydra’ lying deep inside the patient.  That is a very old, traditional homoeopathic viewpoint.

Let me also pull you up on a very specific misrepresentation of Rajan’s ideas that you have used several times when these ideas are discussed, this thing about giving a different remedy to the one that the patient is clearly showing they need. I will quote directly from the first book he published, Spirit of Homoeopathy, p. 113:

 

‘During the acute process the state of the patient has not changed from the one he had earlier, or in the acute process the state has changed.

We have to ask the signficance  of each of the above types. It is obvious that if the state has changed, it needs to be treated by another remedy. If the state remains unchanged, then we may be required to wait and watch, repeat the dose or go higher in potency, depending upon the intensity of the state.’

So in your example, the Phosphorous patient who moves into a Gelsemium state would not receive Phosphorous – only a fool would make such a prescription.

I have to say, if that is how you sum up Sensation, then my earlier statement about you not understanding it at all, was quite correct. I have to wonder what books you did read if that is all you got out of it. Certainly not the same books I have read.

Most likely I am right with my theory that most criticisms are actually being aimed at the rumours rather than the fact. It is a debate based on chinese whispers.

One of the strengths of using this case-taking method is that it expands the number of remedies you might consider for the patient, so yes I suppose some of those prescriptions might seem ‘obscure’ which I guess means ‘not often prescribed’. This is not a bad thing, since we have thousands of remedies that are barely used in most homoeopaths’ practices. I have many times been lead to ‘obscure’ remedies which cured the patient this way.

Of course what is unfortunate is that some people have taken that to mean the more well-known remedies are to be avoided, which is quite untrue. I have seen Rajan, Divya and Frans, as examples, give clear cases of polycrest prescriptions using the method. In fact the last seminar I attended where Rajan presented cases was almost entirely well-known remedies like Arg-nit, Aurum, Lachesis, Medhorrhinum, Mag -mur – those I remember. He showed how one could use rubrics, gestures, kingdom, miasm and so on all to arrive at the same place.

What I don’t understand is this concept of ‘not catching’ remedies like Rhus-tox because you change your case-taking. By not catching I presume you mean ‘prescribing the wrong remedy’ . The reality is that you will see just as many Rhus-tox cures as you would have any other way, because it does not cloud the genuine disease state. Rhus-tox patients will still look like Rhus-tox – in fact with the broader understanding of the group you might even ‘catch’ a few more Rhus-tox patients. You may also give out Rhus-radicans or Rhus-venata instead, to the patient’s benefit.

The whole purpose of this kind of case-taking is to remove practitioner bias towards certain remedies. One of the reasons Rhus-tox is so commonly used is because other similar medicines are not known about or are ignored. This is one way of trying to expand our perceptions to include all the medicines we are otherwise unable to see. Only prescribing remedies we know well only speaks of our own personal limitations, it is not some kind of homoeopathic truth.

I am a little confused at your objection to ‘letting the patient speak’ – that is a bad thing? You have seen, even in the books, that there are actual questions asked – describe this, where does that happen, what does that feel like, how often does that happen, when does it happen? Lot of modality questions actually. Some practitioners are  a little more directive than others, that comes down to personal taste. I have seen traditional prescribers sit and say almost nothing, while some sensation prescribers urge patients on. The important thing is just not to ask direct questions, to put the words of the materia medica or repertory in the patient’s mouth, so to speak. Modalities are part of the sensation, and many of the remedy groups are defined by their modalities. Nobody would be ignoring them.

Depending on the time you have, and how talkative your patient is, you may let them talk or guide them more firmly. It really depends a lot on who you have sitting in front of you and the situation.

But it is important to understand that things like Stiff, Tight, < First movement, > Continued movement, Restless are not just pointing to Rhus-tox, but to the whole Anarcadiacea family. Rhus-tox might help any person in that group, but in my experience it can just as easily aggravate them and not help them. I think I have no used quite a few of those remedies in that group now, and they all have differences as well, but the common themes are often marked. Group themes are quite real, and very valuable in expanding the amount of materia medica we can store in our heads.

I will have to disagree on your assertion that when a patient talks about something evocative or descriptive, asking about that something will not lead you to the remedy. I think that many homoeopaths have now proven that such a case-taking angle in fact can work quite well. Of course you have to ask about the right things, not just ask about everything, or about things you as the practitioner thinks are important. It really is an exercise in letting go of expectations and bias, especially bias towards only the remedies you know. This method has arisen out of a desire to avoid making patients fit into our own personal knowledge.

But if a patient is clearly giving modalities that point to a remedy, you would give that remedy, unless something in the case does not fit. This is just…homoeopathy. That is how it has always been. How that information is solicited is the true Art, and that has always been more of an individual thing.

If a patient says ‘attack’ once or twice only, I would not chase it. If the word was appropriate in the statement, I would not chase it. Many turns of phrase have nothing to do with the patient, because they are cultural and are learned. What would be appropriate  would be the word used where it should not be, in unexpected places, when it is overused, when it is culturally or situationally inappropriate. But it could very well lead you to Rhus-tox, if the reaction to that attack was to move around restlessly, or to feel stuck and unable to move etc. The idea is not to attach any special meaning to ‘attack’ but to merely allow the patient to bring out the meaning for you, to describe whatever inner feeling it represents. What it hopefully would stop from happening, is not going deep enough and prescribing straight away on such a word ie. Delusion attacked.

I would also have to disagree that case-taking as to be a logical step-by-step process that involves asking certain questions and you can find the remedy quickly. That seems to me you are saying you already know the remedy and you are just leading the patient to admit to it. I may be reading too much into that, but after 20 years of taking cases I rarely see any chronic case presenting itself so simply. Acute cases, yes. That is a different kettle of fish, but even then I prefer to let the patient surprise me, because once I am surprised I know that I have most likely seen the truth, since I did not cause it to happen via specific questions. There is always a danger that our knowledge of materia medica (which is always imperfect) will lure us into only asking the kinds of questions that will confirm that knowledge, rather than challenge it.

So this method is kind of a way of acknowledging that we don’t know enough, that perhaps we cannot ever really know enough. It is an acceptance of that. Rajan often says in his seminars ‘see how I thought I was smart, but the patient showed me the truth’. I cannot count the number of times I thought I saw a polycrest appearing in a case, and many years ago I would have stopped there, but in digging deeper something strange and peculiar comes to light. Then that Sepia case becomes an Oyster one, that Sulphur case becomes Ignis alcoholus, the Phosphorous case becomes Scarlet Macaw, or Calc becomes Pearl (all real examples for me). Just as often that Sepia case become Ph-ac or Nat-mur or some other well-known remedy. The point is, the method tries to break you out of any bias you approach your patients with, and encourages real objectivity, where you do not even try to guess their remedy until they clearly give it to you.

And of course the same people who cannot find remedies any other way, will fail when doing this. And you still have a lot of those people floating around trying to be homoeopaths. It is important to not let their failures and misconceptions close your mind to the possibilities presented through Sensation.

December 24, 2012
1:14 am
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Elaine Lewis
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Alex wrote:

The Elanie Lewis answers about sensation methods is very simlar to what pseusceptics write about homeopathy – I actually see no difference.

Elaine replies:

Alex, the difference is, the “skeptics” are against homeopathy knowing nothing about it except that it “sounds” ridiculous.  I, on the other hand, have actually read many of Sankaran’s books.  And you have no reason to assume that other “disbelievers” have not also read Sankaran!  (You know, homeopaths are very excited to read and learn.  So, you shouldn’t assume that those who question the Sensation method have not read the books or been to the lectures.  And you shouldn’t assume that we also reject everything Sankaran has to say because that isn’t true either.)

And now I’ll tell you something else I don’t like.  Here’s something that most people don’t realize or think about.  Sankaran has a Questionnaire!  It’s huge, it dwarfs mine by comparison and I ask 60 or 70 questions!  In it, all the standard questions are asked:  Etiology, diagnosis, onset, sensation, location, modalities, concomitants, discharges–color, odor and consistency–review of systems, medical history, etc., such that by the time he sits down with the patient, he already knows the remedy!  How can he not?  He at least has some idea, and what does that mean?  It means you can steer the discussion!  Ask yourself, as I have done, “Why did the practitioner let a seemingly meaningful remark go by?  Why did he follow-up on Remark-A and not Remark-B?”  It’s because the practitioner already has an idea about the remedy and so he’s not interested in irrelevant statements and lets them go by; but, YOU don’t know that!  Wouldn’t YOU have liked to have seen the questionnaire?  See, he’s taken the case I would have taken but he doesn’t tell you that!   He’s got all the information about the food and drink desires, the aggravation time, the way the cough sounds, the modalities… all the things we’re taught to ask, but you don’t have any of that information!  And then when the case is solved so miraculously, you can only be in awe at how “artful” the practitioner was!  

 

Alex, you said you were given Nux v. and other common remedies.  Then I would suggest to you that the practitioner knew the remedy before you even sat down and what you said in the interview only helped confirm what was already presumed.  For all we know, 80% of the practice is like this–Nux v, Phos, Ars., Sulphur, etc.–and the other 20% represents the very “impressive” cases in the books!   In a Hot Seat interview, I asked a Sensation practitioner how many cases of _____________ she sees in her practice, (or similar obscure remedies), and I did not get an answer!

Now, just because Sankaran has a vast questionnaire doesn’t mean that all his student practitioners, I have no idea, I only know that he has one, and that’s troubling enough to me because that fact is not mentioned in the books so there’s a bit of disingenuousness here that I don’t like.        

December 24, 2012
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David, thank you for saying I didn’t deserve a harsh personal attack; that was very nice of you.  Now, as far as what you said in your long post…………..  Your very long post…………  Yes, what you quoted was from the Spirit of Homeopathy, and I have that book too.  But remember David, that’s an early book!  Sankaran has changed his philosophy, it has evolved!  He has clearly said that the reason for taking the acute case now is because it is IN the acute case that the “real” remedy can best be discerned!  Also, you’re from Australia so you probably don’t follow our presidential politics, but, one of our candidates, Mitt Romney, became famous for denying everything he had previously said; and, I thought about Mitt as you were saying….We don’t believe in just one remedy!  We give many remedies!  Where did you ever hear that?  We don’t believe in not prescribing for acutes, where did you hear that?  That’s crazy!  and so on.

Well, it just doesn’t look good, having to walk all those statements back and defend Sankaran by saying, “Where did you hear that?  He never said that, that’s just a rumor!  All you people are passing on rumors!  And then quoting from an old book that pre-dates his current philosophy.  Also, David, you nit-pick about things which really bothers me.  You get bogged down in details never thinking that I probably already agree with you, like for example:

 

I would also have to disagree that case-taking has to be a logical step-by-step process that involves asking certain questions and you can find the remedy quickly. I’m referring to acute prescribing, David. That seems to me you are saying you already know the remedy No, I don’t know, hence the need for all the questions. and you are just leading the patient to admit to it. I may be reading too much into that, Yes, you are! but after 20 years of taking cases I rarely see any chronic case presenting itself so simply. See?  We agree!  I think chronic cases are anything but simple!   In fact, they’re usually a rat’s nest!  Acute cases, yes. See?  We agree again! That is a different kettle of fish, but even then I prefer to let the patient surprise me, Well, obviously, David!  My first question is, Tell me what’s wrong in your own words in as much detail as possible. because once I am surprised I know that I have most likely seen the truth, since I did not cause it to happen via specific questions. There is always a danger that our knowledge of materia medica (which is always imperfect) will lure us into only asking the kinds of questions that will confirm that knowledge, rather than challenge it.” We do not disagree on much! 

December 24, 2012
2:10 am
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Actually I would agree with Alex in that many of the criticisms leveled at Sensational prescribers also crop up when non-homoeopaths are criticising homoeopathy generally (especially in terms of how we take cases compared to allopaths). I think that the reason they think Sensation sounds ridiculous is for the same reason – they don’t know the facts, only the fiction.

Elaine, I still find it hard to believe you have read the books very closely or attended any of his seminars if you have made the statements you have made about it, many of which are completely incorrect, if not even the opposite to what the method teaches. I think if you are going to offer a professional opinion on something like this, you need to research it better.

I must once again disagree that ANY practitioner in the world knows what remedy a patient was before they sat down. Please show me a single bit of proof that this happens. Also, please explain to me how that happens – what skills do you use, does anyone use, to know a remedy without taking any symptoms? I am extremely sceptical that such a method exists – Sensation makes far more sense than the idea that there is some kind of homoeopathic ESP at work. This, once again, highlights the problem which Sensation was designed to solve – that practitioners are making assumptions about patients based on bias and limited knowledge of remedies. I would warn any practitioner away from the idea of ‘presuming’ what remedy a patient needs – this is counter to the basic philosophy of homoeopathy (individualisation).

Rajan has never hidden the fact that they have homoeopathic assistants taking down standard case information before he or any of the other doctors see them. This is in fact normal medical practice in India. I imagine they wonder how we do without such assistants. I have watched him take cases, watched many of the Bombay group, and they ASK those questions directly when they have no assistant.  Just as they have taught us to do when following the method. Also, 80% of his practice is NOT polycrests, I believe he has said it is closer to around 40% (but that figure goes up and down). It seems you are suggesting he is being dishonest?

Just remember, ‘obsure’ remedies to you mean only that you are not familiar with them. There is no objective ‘obscurity’ only subjective. A remedy that was ‘obscure’ to me before I prescribed it becomes more visible once I have seen it cure the patient, and then I have it in my mind to use it again should I see a similar state in another patient. Prescribe an ‘obscure’ remedy 5 times to cure 5 patients, and you will probably know the remedy quite well. Homoeopaths who organise provings will often say this about those remedies they prove, that they become quite familiar with them and use them with some frequency in clinic (and no, they are not all sensation prescribers).

I was given an ‘obscure’ remedy by the Drs. Joshi and it brought me back from the brink of death. So you will have to forgive me if I see your objections to using such remedies as fairly incomprehensible. Should I have died for the sake of the supremacy of the ‘polycrests’? Isn’t the only thing that matters the cure of the patient, however we do it? What would you do, wipe those remedies out of our materia medicas, never develop new remedies, narrow down our repertories to make sure no-one looks at ‘obscure’ remedies again?

I can tell you, if any of my patients heard your claims that the ‘obscure’ remedy that cured them should never have been considered or given to them, they would be amused and perplexed. I am certainly grateful to the advances in homoeopathy that have saved my life and allowed me to cure even more patients than I had been capable of previously.

If you wish to directly address some of my rebuttals feel free, I am always up for a debate about this and it helps to keep the discussion in the sight of both homoeopaths and the public.

December 24, 2012
2:39 am
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Looks like we are posting at the same time, so our replies will be a little off-kilter.

 

Let me quote something that Hahnemann wrote in the Organon which I think is relevent here.

Aph. 257 ‘The genuine medical-art practitioner will know how to avoid making favorites of certain medicines that he has happened to find indicated rather often and has used with success. Otherwise, he will often overlook more rarely used medicines that would be more homoeopathically fitting and therefore more helpful.’

It is in response to this aphorism that the need for Sensation arose, and the very problem it tries to solve.

 

I need to repeat though, that none of the teachers of Sensation have ever said that you do not prescribe for Acutes. This is an criticism levelled at some classical homoeopaths definitely. I would ask where you heard that exactly?

What Rajan has said, and Hahnemann said this too so it was not his idea, is that you can use acute flare-ups of the chronic to form a larger picture of the chronic state. Hahnemann also said that you cannot just treat those acute flare-ups in isolation and expect to cure the underlying cause (aph. 223). So I do not see how this concept invalidates Sensation since it is an accepted part of our traditional philosophy.

There is a difference between an real Acute and an acute exacerbation of the Chronic state. This is the point Rajan was making about using ‘acutes’ to see through to the chronic state – acute flare-ups not genuine acutes. It is important not to mix these two concepts up when discussing those ideas.

It is quite likely that much of our disagreement is only apparent, since we are not clearly defining terms – which is why I am doing that here. It also appears to me that you disagree mostly with misconceptions about Sensation rather than facts, which is probably my main point here.

December 24, 2012
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Any misconceptions I have come from reading his books, because I do not see much opposition to Sankaran, David.  I see quite the opposite, it seems to be all the rage, it’s what everyone is doing without questioning.  In fact, this is the first time I’m aware of that anyone has questioned this method in the hpathy ezine.  Where are people speaking out about it?  I have read no such articles. 

In one of my hot seat interviews with a Sensation practitioner, I asked “how do you manage acutes that pop up during the chronic case?”  She said “with yoga”.  Another one I talked to said, “I don’t take acute cases.”  Another one said, as I was explaining the reason for the questions in my acute case questionnaire, “I thought you were supposed to just let them talk.”

So, look, I think we should call a truce to this because you write so many things in your posts, David; it’s impossible to respond to them all; a lot of what you say I already know and you post it as if I don’t know, and it’s very patronizing; like this aphorism:

 Aph. 257 ‘The genuine medical-art practitioner will know how to avoid making favorites of certain medicines that he has happened to find indicated rather often and has used with success. Otherwise, he will often overlook more rarely used medicines that would be more homoeopathically fitting and therefore more helpful.’

If you saw last month’s Quiz (“Creeping Sore Throat”) you saw that the answer to the flu-like illness the patient had presented with was, oddly enough, Ignatia!  Is Ignatia a “favorite” remedy when I have a patient before me with the flu?  I’ve never prescribed Ignatia for a flu before!  So, I don’t need these kind of reminders, of what The Organon says.  Plus you over-react to things I say; like when I said that if you read the questionnaire before you sit down with a patient, its going to have an effect on how you hear your patient’s story.  And sometimes, you’re going to have a pretty good idea of what the remedy is before you sit with them because when you gather THAT much information from a patient prior to seeing them, it’s absurd to think you know nothing about them when you sit with them.  David, I take paper cases!  Almost every quiz in the ezine is an online case done from a questionnaire with perhaps with a few follow-up questions.  Yes, I think it is disingenuous to present a case in a book and not reveal what you have also learned from the questionnaire.  Yes, it is dishonest in a way because you completely render your readers powerless to form an opinion.  As I’ve said before, all they can do is be in awe.

December 24, 2012
8:34 am
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David Kempson
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I don’t know who you interviewed, but if they said those things then they were wrong to say them.  I have no idea why some homoeopaths are afraid to treat acutes, but that decision on their part is personal and not one encouraged by using Sensation. I have heard it levelled at classical homoeopaths as well, long before there was Sensation to blame. I treat acutes all the time, with a variety of methods *including* Sensation – they are so much easier than chronics I don’t really get it. Whoever these people were they were talking about their own preferences only. Sensation when used properly can get to an acute remedy in 15-20 minutes if you know what you are doing. Generally speaking I prefer to just take the symptoms and use rubrics if I can, since I find acutes are fairly well covered by our current repertories and materia medica.

I posted that aphorism to show that the Hahnemann himself saw that using only familiar remedies was actually a problem in practice. There was no ulterior motive in that. I am sorry you took it that way. It seems relevent to what you said about ‘remedies commonly seen in practice’.

I had no idea you did use questionaires before you see the client – most of the homoeopaths I know personally, myself included, do not use them so it is not something I would automatically assume. The way it was said implied something else to me, but I see I made a mistake there. My apologies for that. I can see how I marched off half-cocked about it.

I will say though about your last point, regarding the fact that he doesn’t mention the pre-consultation questionaires directly, is that it really does not matter. All the relevent information is given in the case as written. There is no dishonesty there, because most of that information will not be used to make the decision about the remedy *in those particular cases*. Why is that? Because for many of those smaller or unknown remedies, that information does not exist. You can gather all the food cravings and weather sensitivities you like, but if the remedy doesn’t have much of a proving (or any proving for that matter) they will not help you to understand why the remedy was given. I prefer to see what was important to the prescriber in making the decision, and/or watching the path they took in questioning them. I always assumed that there would be information left out – I have not seen any book cases where every single word the patient used was printed. The video cases would probably please you more – they are not edited so the patients often mention all sorts of generals and particulars.

We don’t have to agree over every aspect of case-taking, that certainly was never my point at all. I was just disturbed by the number of errors in that article you wrote about Sensation and felt compelled to say something to correct them.

December 24, 2012
1:12 pm
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May I jump in here?  Lately I’ve seen too many cases where homeopaths prescribe remedies this way:  She wanted to be free to fly away, so I gave her butterfly 1M. Or, he was slow moving so I gave him Snail 10M.  This thinking seems to be taking over homeopathy and Hahnemann’s ideas could easily be lost in a generation. Most of these homeopaths never learned the existing remedies, know little about miasms, have little knowledge of pathology and minimal listening skills.  Even if these folks are are poor examples of how to use sensation, their numbers are growing all the time.

I’ve read so many sensation cases where the homeopath says tell me about yourself. What are you like? Or some similar question (rather than “What’s bothering you” or “What symptoms are you experiencing?)  The problem with substituting  sensations and kingdoms for symptoms and modalities etc., is that is involves more interpretation and more speculation.  First, you’re speculating about the remedy, including its sensation, without any proving. Ie. it’s all done in someone’s head!  Look at how meticulous Hahnemann was in his provings!  He believed in information obtained first hand.

Second, you’re trying to infer the patient’s sensation from their responses (very subjective!).  People use language and express themselves in such individual ways.  Thinking you know what someone means, without lots of checking with them, is a fantasy.  Saying “Tell me more about this feeling “tense”, is NOT checking their meaning.   Checking meaning sounds like this “When you say you feel “wacky” do you mean confused, or something else?  And you have to do that repeatedly, because people use language in totally individual ways.  My wife will say something itches, when she means “burns”.

Sensation sessions often start with asking something like “Tell me about yourself”.  People simply don’t give up their inner selves because you asked them to. Maybe a healthy phosphorus, but not most people.  The psychologist Carl Rogers, over a period of 30 years developed a system of empathic listening to make it safe for people to reveal themselves. His was the most researched method in all of psychology.  Even the best practitioners of his method needed many sessions to get to the heart of a person’s issues.  It takes a kind of hubris to think you can get to the heart of someone’s being in a couple hours.

December 24, 2012
4:29 pm
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Alex
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Alan V. Schmukler said

I’ve read so many sensation cases where the homeopath says tell me about yourself. What are you like? Or some similar question (rather than “What’s bothering you” or “What symptoms are you experiencing?)  The problem with substituting  sensations and kingdoms for symptoms and modalities etc., is that is involves more interpretation and more speculation.  First, you’re speculating about the remedy, including its sensation, without any proving. Ie. it’s all done in someone’s head!  Look at how meticulous Hahnemann was in his provings!  He believed in information obtained first hand.

Actually if we look on how homeopathy probably work 

http://www.scientificexplorati…..walach.pdf

it is not a big suprise that sensation method in skillfull hands is more effective.

Second, you’re trying to infer the patient’s sensation from their responses (very subjective!).  People use language and express themselves in such individual ways.  Thinking you know what someone means, without lots of checking with them, is a fantasy.  Saying “Tell me more about this feeling “tense”, is NOT checking their meaning.   Checking meaning sounds like this “When you say you feel “wacky” do you mean confused, or something else?  And you have to do that repeatedly, because people use language in totally individual ways.  My wife will say something itches, when she means “burns”.

Actually those who work with sensation method ask again and again, and ask to show by gestures what is the meaning of some words.

Sensation sessions often start with asking something like “Tell me about yourself”.  People simply don’t give up their inner selves because you asked them to. Maybe a healthy phosphorus, but not most people.  The psychologist Carl Rogers, over a period of 30 years developed a system of empathic listening to make it safe for people to reveal themselves. His was the most researched method in all of psychology.  Even the best practitioners of his method needed many sessions to get to the heart of a person’s issues.  It takes a kind of hubris to think you can get to the heart of someone’s being in a couple hours.

Wrong. In sensation method patients often show their emotions by voice, my movements, by expressions of body and face.

This is how they reveal their inner feeling.

December 24, 2012
4:37 pm
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Snoopy said

 

Alex, the difference is, the “skeptics” are against homeopathy knowing nothing about it except that it “sounds” ridiculous.  I, on the other hand, have actually read many of Sankaran’s books.  

Many real  skeptics also read many homeopathic books – both popular and professional.

I talked in  the web with many such skeptics.

But nevertheless they think homeopathy is pseudoscience and quackery.

So books do not always help to understand that certain methods work.

 

George Vithoulkas and others  in his online interviews and articles  about sensation method make shame on themselves  and discredit 

homeopathy.

December 24, 2012
6:41 pm
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Dear Alex,

   To say that George Vithoulkas discredits homeopathy is really funny to say the least. He first showed the way by describing the essences of remedies, which can help vey much in more complex and unclear cases. Anybody who has been a student of his (including Sankaran himself) can attest to his very deep and holistic apporach where needed, without using new ‘novel’ theories. He is one of the most open minded teachers but he will not fall for or develop any new theory just to attract people. 

Sankaran’s method is just another way to phrase the same thing, while at the same time trying to discredit the people who have followed and developed the foundations of real homepathy, a 200 year practice… 

And the really serious problem is that, with a mix of theories, where the foundation is being lost and where all kinds of propositions are being proposed as ‘the new style’, the only sure thing is that homeopathy suffers as a practice. The world is full of ‘homeopaths’ who are ‘artistic’ and do not ‘believe in the old school’ and follow ‘modern homeopathy’ and have mediocre results. They are everywhere. Some of these people return to the basics and see results, but many stay within an imaginary world of beauty and meanings but no cured patients…

In any case, after a lot of hype and just too many words and explanations upon explanations, the initial enthusiasm about Sensation is starting to deflate, because it really does not offer anything of substance. Experienced homeopaths know very well this fact and a number of prominent people in conferences gossip about how overrated it is. It has been a huge marketing project that cannot sustain itself because it doesn’t really produce better homeopaths, just more eloquent ones maybe.

 
December 24, 2012
7:31 pm
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Alex
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You did not understand me.

In past GV contributed a lot to propagation  of homeopathy outside of Indian subcontinent.

But now in some of his  interviews and articles  he discredits homeopathy.

Here it is :

http://www.vithoulkas.com/en/h…..pathy.html

December 24, 2012
7:42 pm
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Snoopy said

 

Alex, you said you were given Nux v. and other common remedies.  Then I would suggest to you that the practitioner knew the remedy before you even sat down and what you said in the interview only helped confirm what was already presumed. 

Wrong. All these remedies was given after consultation. In case of hepar sulfur my homeopaths thinked for 3 days after my visit.

All visits recorded on video.

 

And I am sorry – I took  Nux Moschata and not Nux vomica.

December 24, 2012
9:47 pm
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Why does GV discredit homeopathy dear Alex? Because he attacks the wrong theories? Homeopathy is his life and he is the most decorated homeopath in the world. He is a professor in several medical universities and has received the highest possible awards. Have you seen Vithoulkas Compass? Or his e-learning? You think they are signs that he discredits homeopathy? 

If you want to deal with the real foundation of homeopathy read him dear Alex, you will learn a lot.

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