Clinical Cases

Answer to Case # 2 of case solving contest: ‘The ‘Fasten Seatbelt’ Sign Makes Me Feel Trapped’

Written by Begabati Lennihan

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This is a Rhus tox case. While taking the case, of course I kept thinking of Rhus tox because of all the typical modalities of the joint pain. However, I usually think of Rhus tox as an acute remedy, not as a chronic remedy that can cover the totality of the client’s case including mental-emotional symptoms. When she got to the part about believing her ex-boyfriend wanted to kill her, that confirmed Rhus tox on all levels – it is the classic Rhus tox delusion about being murdered. It was clearly a delusion on her part, as it was influencing her behavior even years later, to the extent that she still had an unlisted phone number. The client did very well on Rhus tox, which cleared up all her joint pains. She referred her husband for homeopathy a

Characteristic symptoms:

bursitis, joint pain

in lower extremities
< wet weather
< first thing in the morning
< 2-3 pm
> moving around
< sitting still
< exertion (luggage)
> hot bath
> stretching but < too much exercise

controlling, perfectionist

gets angry when things don’t go as expected

other symptoms

easy weeping premenstrually
worries excessively, work-related (an argument could be made that this is a common symptom and therefore not characteristic to her)
canker sores
jaw cracks
believes ex-boyfriend wants to kill her even though he did not say so

Other possible themes: restlessness, overgrowth/excess

Rubrics could include (there are many variations)

K1047, Extremities, pain, joints
damp cold weather
exertion, after
K1048, Extremities, pain, joints
warmth amel.
K1063, Extremities, pain, lower extremities
morning on rising
move, beginning to
K1066 Extremities, pain, lower extremities
sitting, while
weather, wet
K1191, Extremities, stiffness
morning, bed, in
rising, after
rising, on
K1192, Extremities, stiffness, joints
on rising
sitting, while
K1193, Extremities, stiffness, lower limbs

These subrubrics are small and so could be combined

K45, Mind, fear, happen, something will
(or better yet in Synthesis, Mind, fear, control, of losing)
K16, Mind, conscientious about trifles (= perfectionist)
K29 Mind, delusions, murdered, he will be
K94 Mind, weeping, menses, before
K397, Mouth, aphthae (= canker sores)
K357 Face, cracking in jaw, when chewing (she didn’t actually say when chewing, but that’s the only repertory option for jaw cracking)

Rhus tox not only covers the joint pains and the delusion, it also covers the cracking in the jaw. The only other remedy we might think of for her is Phosphorus, which covers her outgoing nature and her love of dancing and travel. She may have a Phosphorus consitution underlying the Rhus tox layer caused by meeting the ex-boyfriend, however Phosphorus does not cover the joint pains which are so characteristic of Rhus tox.

About the author

Begabati Lennihan

Begabati Lennihan is director of Teleosis School of Homeopathy in Cambridge, MA. A Harvard alumna, she practices homeopathy at the Lydian Center for Innovative Medicine and teaches meditation at Harvard Health Services"™ center for mind-body medicine. She is an Adjunct Instructor in homeopathy at Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and has edited several textbooks of homeopathy.

1 Comment

  • nice prescription..nice analysis…but one can also think of calc.phos as underlying constituion, calc also being a complimetary to rhus tox.
    1) The other symptom block that come to mind are those of puls.(fearfullnes,submissiveness,mildness,premestrual tearfulness,etc), and thuja as an intercurrent remedy cosidering the clino-pathologico-miasmatic coorelation. of course rhus tox cleared the case, but u never know when and what block u will face while dealing with any case

    2)Please also mention the potency selected..and repetation.. to make things more clear..
    thank you

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