Title: From Similia to Synergy
Author: Dr. Rajan Sankaran
Published: Homeopathic Medical Publishers
Type: Hardbound / 474 Pages
Price: $90 USD
Reviewed by: Dr. Manish Bhatia
I’ll begin this book review with a quiz. Below are three quotes and you need to guess who has said these words:
QUOTE I: Over excitement with the ideas of delusions and dreams might have caused some of our prescriptions to go prejudiced or in the totally wrong direction.
QUOTE II: Proving symptoms are the most reliable. with direct symptoms from the provers, we don’t need to look elsewhere. There are no preconceived notions of remedy pictures, just the symptoms of the patient.
What can we understand from these cases? Before we go on to complicated theories, systems, concepts, themes, miasms, sub-kingdoms, sensations, and other ideas, we must be grounded and solidly based in the fundamentals of homeopathy; the understanding of holism and individualism; the significance of the peculiar symptom and of generalization; the importance of the concomitant symptoms and the search for the peculiar; locating the symptom in the repertory; seeing the exact expression of that peculiarity in the Materia medica; generalizing that peculiarity, sensation, or modality and seeing it as the main expression in the case; taking this understanding to our Repertory search. These ideas make for a solid, grounded foundation. A strong base is built on which modern research and new ideas can develop. If we lose these fundamental ideas, the building is shaky and insecure.
QUOTE III: Let’s not allow our enthusiasm for the Sensation Approach to cause us to forget our basic Materia medica, Repertory, rubrics and remedy pictures.
We are used to such comments from people bashing the Sensation Approach and Dr. Sankaran. So have you made your guess?
Now get ready for some surprise answers!
The first quote is by Dr. Jayesh Shah, written in the foreword of this book. And the other two quotes are from Dr. Rajan Sankaran himself! Yes, you heard me right. And these quotes more or less summarize the essence of this book.
This book is not about the Sensation Approach, it is about integration and synergy, and it is unlike any other book written by Dr. Sankaran. The book focuses on the need for a strong foundation in the basics of homeopathy like Organon, Repertory and Materia Medica. The book presents Dr. Sankaran’s own journey from being a student, to a classical homeopath, to a so-called neo-classical homeopath. And this journey describes many different classical schools with their clinical approaches and what lessons we can learn from each of them.
This book first describes the different stages or eras of development of homeopathy, right from the time of Hahnemann to the present. After that the book is divided into the following chapters:
1: Development (Hahnemann, Dynamization, Individualization, Prakash Vakil, Boenninghausen, Boger, Phatak, Kapadia, Koppikar, Nikam, Sehgal, Chakraborty)
2.Development (Provings, Case taking, PNEI axis)
3. Integration (Kingdoms, Miasms, Sensation)
4. Integration (Sensation approach as an addition and not a replacement)
5. The Value of the Repertory (Use of different repertories)
6. The Value of the Repertory (Reaching the center of the case, Confirmatory symptoms)
7. Materia Medica (How to study)
8. Illustrative Cases
Most of these chapters focus on the value of the homeopathic fundamentals and enforce again and again that every homeopathy student must have a solid foundation before trying to use any new approach in his/her practice.
The best part of this book is that every aspect of theory and practice has been explained through case examples. In fact, this book is brimming with cases – and nearly all of them good classical homeopathy cases. With 470 pages, this is a large book, but the cases do not let your attention deviate, even for a short time.
The range of subjects covered in this book is so wide that it is difficult to summarize them in a book review. The book talks about nearly everything homeopathic. If you are keen to learn about the sensation approach, this should be the first book that you read. If you do not follow the Sensation approach, you can still buy this book. You might disagree with some points but you are going to enjoy the book anyhow…and you will learn a lot.
The print quality and binding are very good. The content is excellent!
Good to see Dr. Sankaran say these words. We hope he would have said these 10 years back. It would have saved so many patients from rash prescribing at the hands of zealot followers of his method. Good move, sir! You have done the right thing.