The Synergy in Homoeopathy
An Integrated Approach to Case-Taking and Analysis
Homoeopathic Medical Publishers, 2012, Hardcover, 315 pages,
ISBN: 978-93-80355-84-9, Price EUR 53, U$ 70.
Reviewed by Harry van der Zee
Reprinted courtesy Homoeopathic Links- Autumn 2012, Vol. 25: 192 -196
This is an important book in which the author intends to illustrate how the Sensation Method he and his colleagues have developed over the past years can be and should be integrated with traditional Classical Homeopathy. Throughout the years I’ve regularly asked authors of Sensation Method cases to show how their prescription could be supported through repertory and materia medica. In the excitement of using a new method that allows a fascinating journey with the patient, solidifying the prescription through trusted tools was often lacking. I remember discussing this issue with Rajan some years back so I was happy when I heard that at the Toronto Summit in 2011 the integration of the traditional way of analysing a case and the Sensation Method was the main topic. “The Synergy in Homoeopathy” is a result of that process.
This integration was dearly needed as without an anchor in our fundamental sources homeopaths could easily lose track, for which the patient would pay the price. Also the colleagues that watched this new development with scepticism deserved to have explained how “the two approaches, traditional and Sensation approach, are not divergent, but convergent.” [p. 39]
The book discusses a wide variety of topics and summarises the author’s current views in the following chapters: Symptoms and System; Techniques in Case-Taking; Approaches in Different Situations; Repertory; The Genius. The book ends with Illustrative Cases, while throughout the chapters many case examples are given.
An important misconception Rajan clearly corrects is that Sensation Method can be used in all cases. It is one of the tools a homeopath can use and in its application the homeopath should be flexible by following the patient as “… probing can be a cumbersome, laborious – even torturous – process…” [p. 81]
A reliable prescription should be based on a triangle consisting of GENIUS (essential nature and pattern of the remedy), SYMPTOM (rubrics, toxicology, materia medica) and SYSTEM (kingdom, miasm, source, sensation). So any remedy that comes up by using the Sensation Method (which includes determining the kingdom and the miasm) should where possible be confirmed by the Genius of the remedy (for which Boger’s Synoptic Key is a recommended source) and the Symptoms (repertory and MM).
An interesting observation is that most of the steps the author has made throughout the years can be traced back in the works of Hahnemann and other masters and is firmly based in them. The main difference with traditional sources concerns the topic of miasms. Not so much the number of miasms identified, as an expansion beyond Hahnemann’s initial three had already been suggested a long time ago and is widely accepted. It is more the way in which the term miasm is used and applied in the selection of the remedy. Sankaran describes miasm as “the attitude, which arises from the depth of desperation that being infected with that particular disease brings about in the sufferer. This attitude, along with the pathology, makes up the pattern.” [p. 33]
Based on several years of experience of Sankaran and many leading homeopaths it is clear that using miasms in this way can be a useful tool to find a simillimum. Selecting a remedy on similarity to the pace of a disease may though not automatically mean that any miasms existing in the patient as such are then also treated. The attitude of a patient can for instance be syphilitic whereas a history of recurrent malaria may also suggest an underlying malaria miasm, and the malaria may only have started after gonorrhoea, suggesting again another miasm. Will Sankaran, like Hahnemann in “Chronic Diseases”, at some point conclude that focussing on the individual simillimum alone may leave collective roots – the miasms – untouched? The different sensations have one thing in common. They are all expressions of trauma. Is it actually trauma that is underlying the miasms? Are (epidemic) infectious diseases expressions of (collective) trauma? I don’t think Rajan’s journey has finished with the present book and I look forward to his next step.
The main question now is whether the book succeeds in keeping those applying Sensation Method on the right track while showing the fraternity it is firmly based on the main principles of homeopathy. In general I conclude it does, and besides that the book contains lots of practical tips and observations that should be valuable to any homeopath.
I’d love to make a few recommendations for a next edition:
- Follow-ups are at times short and reduced to “he did remarkably well”; for the explanation of the method more may not be needed but if bridging the gap with traditional classical homeopaths is a motive, long-term follow-ups including clinical data are recom
- Although the book highly advises basing a prescription on the triangle mentioned above, this is missing in many of the cases in the book; again perhaps not needed in the given example as such but recommended to underline the
- The index of remedies is not complete.
- The index of terminology is very limited and for the fourteen selected terms some important page numbers are
- There are several typos and some passages are even unclear (e.g., case on 94 – 95).
I highly recommend this book to any homeopath, including those that are under the impression that the Sensation Method is in discord with Hahnemann’s writings. “The Synergy in Homoeopathy” intends to show that the new ideas summarised as Sensation Method only complement and not replace time-tested methods. Synergy means in this context the interaction of methods that when combined produce an effect that each individual method alone could not obtain. In daily practice it simply means more cured cases. As it is our job “to restore the sick to health” we cannot ignore any serious development that can improve the results in our practice. “The Synergy in Homoeopathy” is therefore a must-read for any serious homeopath.
Very helpful review sir. I have this book since January 2015 and have similar feelings that finally sensation touch the ground and good move towards making it firm and fundamental. But cases are not of that complexity which we see in our practice. Its primary manual for students more then practioner. Thanks for such useful review again.