Clinical Cases

Adrienne’s Anger … Trapped In Her Right Knee

The author uses all her training to discover the emotional cause of knee pain in a healthy woman.

I was working with a young lass that I’ve seen periodically in our clinic since her birth fourteen and a half years ago. She is tall, beautiful, very healthy and comes only a couple of times a year when chronic or acute issues require homeopathic treatment. On this occasion, she had recurring inflammation in her left knee that was not responding to other physical modalities of treatment. As a competitive hunter-jumper and dressage rider, she can occasionally have musculoskeletal issues requiring support and attention.

At this time, nothing was working and so she graced my office with her presence, issuing forth her chief complaint. As I thumbed through the repertory, identifying the type of pain, and narrowing down whether the inflammation was located more in the patella or popliteal fossa, I started narrowing down potential remedies. I noted some likely candidates, like Staphysagria and Colocynthis, that may fit her symptom profile.

I then asked her about her state of mind. Adrienne offered that she’d been doing well in school, her grades high, that her friends were close and she was having great fun hanging out with them and that her family life was harmonious. I was looking for grist on this level as I find that, like Rajan Sankaran, if I can identify the state of mind of the remedy picture in conjunction with the physical symptoms it can take the usual 15-20% of point and shoot prescribing and raise the efficacy substantially. In Adrienne’s case, this was not proving easy, as she seemed a rare, happy teenager.

She continued by letting me know how she’d successfully won a number of red ribbons at a provincial competition with her horse. As she went on, I was feeling more and more mystified and confused as to the etiology of her pain and suffering. I scratched my head. What is it she’s not saying, I wondered?

At the Hahnemann College for Homeopathy and Heilkunst, where I was trained, we were taught to question what is not obvious. Our maxim, as with all homeopaths, is to use your supersensible organs to try to apperceive the unspoken. Sometimes you will hear a change in tone or timbre in the way the patient broaches a subject. Sometimes, as in this case, you’re dousing only with your gut instinct. I bided my time, waiting for my opening to chase the cause of her discomfort down its causal rabbit hole.

I knew that Adrienne had completed her sequential timeline of emotional shocks and traumas as per Dr. Elmiger, and completed a couple of rounds of chronic miasms as per Dr. Hahnmann, Rudi Verspoor and Steven Decker. At this juncture in Heilkunst Medicine, usually the patient has some Chthonic (Greek for fear and ignorance) Disease as per Dr. Paul Herscu or Ideogenic (spiritual) belief, as per Jeremy Sherr and Rajan Sankaran, that she’s working on. I’d been taught that this realm is what kick-starts the whole nature of one’s karmic themes and inherited diseases, flavoring the individual’s timeline occurrences.

As I went back to my training, dynamically piecing what was known together, some of the phenomenon began to crystallize in my mind. First of all, the Chronic Miasm Syphilis corresponds to the summer solstice we’re entering now in June (at the time of this writing). It did not feel like the resigned state of mind of May’s Carcinosin for sure and it definitely wasn’t Lyme, where the individual is more walled off from humanity. No, she feels happy, sweet and self-assured. Admittedly, her good health was making the case more difficult, as there was no lusty picture of a kaleidoscope of physical or mental issues pointing to the etiology. At that juncture, I wasn’t able to wholly apprehend the feeling through her functions and sensations. The elusive rabbit was definitely sneering at me.

I know that with Syphilis, there can be musculoskeletal issues. Bone pains at night, for example, are frequent with Syph. As per Narayan Singh’s Messages From the Body, knee issues are about an inability to bend down in supplication to the will of the almighty. I find that modern women have more and more difficulty harnessing their feminine wisdom, their “women’s intuition” as it used to be called. I find we’ve mostly lost our capacity to trust, discerning the messages of our inner guiding system, or even know through faith what outcome we’re projecting. The left side of the body represents the feminine so I knew that it had to do with with a lack of faith and wisdom in some aspect of herself.

The right side of the body seems to hold more issues around the will, or masculine side, and the left is related more to the feminine or wisdom. Negative karmic issues, related to unresolved issues with one’s mother and father, will be found in the soft tissue in these quadrants. My research has taken me into Wilhelm Reich’s Medical Orgonomy for releasing withheld emotions in the segments of the body from pre-verbal stages of life, when they were engendered. In essence, I’ve had to learn the nature of the body’s emotional code for harboring its issues subconsciously and what each of those segments signifies.

As I further considered Adrienne’s plight, I asked her if there was any recent event or trauma that had precipitated the inflammation in her knee. There was none, so I had to assume that this was an emotional issue. The Hahnemann College taught me that the tonic disease, Syphilis, does have a couple of pathic offshoots, including Staphysagria and Colocynthis, given the state of mind of anger, blame, criticism, and a general feeling of an insidious self-destructive tendency.

As the watch was ticking, I decided to test my intuitive feeling with our young Adrienne to see if I could catch light of that rascally rabbit. Our Materia Medicas remind us that suppressed anger is not always projected toward anyone or anything. Staphysagria patients can be quite sweet and demure, especially young women of a Pulsatilla constitution, which our Adrienne was. However, Staphysagria disease can be pretty volatile if suddenly provoked, but on the surface they’re quite loving, with a deeper hidden agenda of harbored hysterical rage, which is often well below the surface. Given that Colocynthis and Staphysagria were both possible candidates for our patient’s knee inflammation, I went after the state of mind that I suspected was hidden.

I sent in my homeopathic dowsing rod with the statement, “Adrienne, out of curiosity, can you make the statement for me ‘I am angry’.” As I watched her carefully as she processed my request, her eyes spontaneously flared widely and then gazed again at me normally. That clue let me know that there was fear in her ocular block and that the emotion was harbored down deeper in her nether man, as per Rudolf Steiner. Most folks are terrified of their own anger response and will avoid it at almost any cost. Often it is buried below a layer of grief and fear which lies closer to the solar plexus.

Silence hung in the air between us, which felt like a good sign. The calm before the storm. I repeated the question, “Even if you don’t feel anger, I’d like you to try the statement on anyway. Think of it like an experiment, if you will.” Adrienne looked quickly at me with utter disdain and then hid the revealing look with her intellect’s moral fibre, sending it back down into its nether reaches. She responded, “Ok, but I’m not angry.” She was stalling and I watched her brace herself, “I am angry?” she asked meekly. We both smiled as she realized that she’d softened the potential homeopathic statement, the similar suffering, by avoiding the intent of the exercise. I felt like Sherlock Holmes as I knew we had our man, or rather rabbit, and Adrienne did too. Her gestures spoke volumes in the spaces between the words. Both of us could feel, in our intuitive guts, what lay below the surface.

She looked at me, pulling herself up, mustering her courage this time, stating with vigor, “I am angry!” The air in my office felt as if cut with a knife. I watched her eyes close and then her face crumpled like a young child’s and the tears tore forth from her core as the emotion took her from the inside like a resonant lover. I stood by to give her comfort if needed, as a hug from a loving mother figure can help provoke the release. I watched her breathing to ensure that the strong, buried emotion wasn’t going to produce an anxiety attack or any hyperventilation of sorts.

This will happen on rare occasions if the system is too armored and the proper elasticity in the diaphragm will not allow for the content to surface easily from the gut where it is stored. Symptoms such as hiccups, headaches and hot flashes are indicative of nether content from the sexual realm being caught, and remaining improperly un-discharged in the web of the organism’s armor of beliefs.

About the author

Allyson McQuinn

Allyson McQuinn

Allyson McQuinn completed her 4 year medical program with the Hahnemann College for Heilkunst (, where she studied sequential therapy, including the principled resolution of the Genetic Miasms as per Rudi Verspoor. She then went on to do a post graduate research for another 4 years with Steven Decker to study Anthroposophical Medicine and Reich’s Orgonotic Therapies, a form of cognitive psychotherapeutics. Allyson has authored 9 books of her own, and is a regular contributor to a variety of magazines and other books. She lives with her husband and fellow practitioner, Jeff Korentayer, and her two children in Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada, often hiking by the ocean, and taking lots of pictures. Visit Allyson at her website:
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