The Western College of Homeopathic Medicine (WCHM) has a unique student clinic format. Starting in the first year of studies through to their final fourth year, students attend and participate in clinic practice, working with live cases, video and sometimes paper cases. By the time the students graduate, they will have seen at a minimum 100 initial consults.
If time allows on a student clinic weekend, themes of the case are discussed. Places of energy, repetition, modalities of the main complaint, hand gestures…all are considered. The students then work on the case and submit their analyses to be marked. In a following clinic, the remedy given is revealed and a review discussion is held.
With this particular case, the Sensation Method as developed by Dr. Rajan Sankaran, was used to find the remedy needed to help support healing. Because of the high volume of cases in the four-year program students are able to use other approaches as well, so their clinical experience is quite broad and inclusive.
This case has been edited but the main consult points in the patient’s words have been kept so that the themes of the Conifers as presented in Dr. Rajan Sankaran’s work with Sensation are apparent.
HS/SH=Student Homeopath, P=Patient, H=Homeopath, HG=Hand Gesture
The Student homeopath takes the case for the 1st hour and then the Homeopath takes the case for the last 30 minutes.
P: Pain everywhere in my body, feet, ankles, my knees, back in my shoulders, fingers, in my wrists, everywhere. I thought at first the pain would go away, but it got worse and worse and worse. I still don’t have full range of my wrists, my fingers. I can’t squeeze things really hard like I used to. I used to be such an athletic person. I used to work out 7 days/week. Now I can’t do that anymore, cause my hips and my knees can’t stand it. I’m a nursing student and I started a really, hard, stressful class working at the hospital for 12 hours on Saturdays and Sundays. It’s a really busy unit. Either stress or being on my feet, my symptoms have gotten so much worse. I have pain everywhere now. Pain in my hips, knees, swollen ankles. When I come home I’m so tired. I can barely walk at the hospital, even at 1pm. I used to be able to get up, now I can barely get up in the morning. I can’t function normally (tears). I don’t feel like a 21 year old, I feel like a 90 year old. (crying) It’s really hard because I used to be so active and now the Dr.’s tell me I have fibromyalgia.
It’s dull right now, if I move in a certain way, the pain in my knees will get a sharp pain that shoots. It takes a while to get better and recover from that. In my elbows right now I can’t bend too far because it hurts too much. In my wrists, I can’t push against something because it hurts too much, feels like it’s gonna break.
In my hips, it’s like it’s so weird. I’ve felt like this for so long it’s hard for me to explain. In my hips the pain, it’s all in my hip, it radiates throughout my hip but it doesn’t’ go down, just stays in my hip. I almost have to waddle. Usually you can bend your knees to 90°, but I can’t do that because it hurts too much. My feet and ankles get swollen. I can see that they’re visibly swollen and I can feel that they’re swollen. My fingers in the morning get so stiff that I’m unable to flex my fingers. It just feels like you have your hands in thick pudding or cement and you can’t squeeze them.
Same with my back and the muscles in my back. I never had problems in my back, but I think my muscles are trying to compensate for what’s going on. I get lower back pain and it’s dull and it’s always there and if I bend my back in certain ways, then it hurts really bad. My shoulder blades, I can’t take off my shirt because it hurts my shoulder blades too much. I have to put one hand through my shirt and then take it off. My neck, I can’t do shoulder checks sometimes because the muscles in my neck are so stiff.
Basically the only way I can explain it is if you had gotten beat up really, really bad and someone kicked you so bad everywhere on your body and then you got up and tried to walk. I felt like someone took a bat and beat my legs, beat my hips, beat my back, beat my knees, shoulders, elbows, fingers, wrist, everything. Dull, then when it’s really bad, it’s shooting pain.
When I go to the gym and I’m in my own world, I feel like I can just…I feel so powerful. Most girls don’t like lifting weights, but I love lifting weights. I feel so powerful when I lift weights. I feel so strong. When I’d look in the mirror and see muscle definition I’d know I was getting stronger and it made me feel so good. I’m not as strong as I used to be. I worked so hard to get to that point. Within a matter of months this working out for 2 ½ years just went away.
Working out, I feel like a totally different person at the gym. I’m a strong, independent person.
I do a lot to try to help people, why I became a nurse, even if I can make the smallest difference in someone’s life, then I feel like I’m happy. Even at the hospital, it’s our job to take care of patients who’ve had bowel movements, and some of my peers, they hate stuff like that, if I can make someone feel comfortable, make someone feel more human, I feel like I’ve done a good job. I feel like I’m a really good person in that way. To talk to them, tell them what I’m doing, ask them if the water’s too cold or warm, if they’re comfortable, and ask them if they wanna to use the toilet even though they’re incontinent. That’s how I can make them feel more human and not like an animal.
I designed a tattoo that I wanna get after I get better. I’m gonna get the day that I start feeling better and the day that I can bend my knees without any pain or open my mouth and yawn without having pain in my jaw, I’m gonna get this tattoo and I look at the tattoo and it just gives me strength but at the same time what if I never get to that point?
It’s the word strength with a dumbbell on the back, cause I really like working out so then I thought “Strength” if I look at it, I’ll always know, I went through this really incredible time in my life, it was painful, but I learned so much about what I can handle as a person and what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger and I think I’ll always have it as a reminder that I went through this, so I can go through anything. But I can’t get it yet.
I have a fear of never falling in love. I really cared for this one person. It just didn’t work out. I tried my best with him; I tried everything except telling him that I like him. He didn’t really respond, so it scares me to think -what if every guy is like that? What if I don’t find the true love that you see in the movies? I imagine it being like in the movies, just look into the person’s eyes and you just know you’re in love. Being really happy, someone caring about you so much and you, caring about that person, not knowing how you ever functioned without them.
I found someone like that already, we’re best friends. I joke around with her that maybe I’ll find the man of my dreams, but I’ve already found my soul mate. She’s my soul mate. She makes me really happy; she’s the best person in my life.
*Now, the Homeopath takes over from the student Homeopath*
H: Tell me about the pain that’s affecting your life quite profoundly.
They don’t understand how agonizing this pain is!
It’s something I’ve never felt before. The pain is just so unreal! I’ve never felt anything like it before, I almost wish it was something physical, like I cut my arm or I broke my arm or something that someone could have a quick fix for, rather that it being so systemic, so internal that nobody really knows what it is.
It’s just so painful, it just feels like someone beat me up and I just get up and I feel like, if I went to the hospital, I feel like they’d say; “Oh, you have a broken arm or this or that”, and I don’t!