The pharmacy where I work as a homeopathic pharmacist is located in a shopping mall in a medium city in Normandy, France. A large portion of the population is on low income or on social assistance. Real economic and social poverty can be found there. People are often faced with the same failure when dealing with the limits of conventional or allopathic medicine. But the first remarkable point I noticed is the active role of good communication: generally, when they know nothing about homeopathy, they are always ready to try it after being informed about the principle. The main arguments in favor are low price, safety, no side effects, and of course consideration of their personal suffering.
The patients have often seen one or several doctors, tried one or more other treatments which failed, or a doctor said: “I can’t do anything for you any more” or “It’s just in your head! There’s nothing wrong with you!” I use to answer then: “No, it’s not just in your head, and yes, there is something you could try, and the more details you’ll give me about your symptoms, the more chances we’ll have to find the right remedy together!”
The second important point is that when they have heard about homeopathy, they are very happy and grateful when they find someone with homeopathic knowledge. Actually in France, there is a lack of homeopaths. This underscores the need for homeopathy practitioners with a high level of skill.
What I do prefer in my daily practice is enabling people to access the vast magic of the homeopathic healing power. It’s always a great moment of sharing and I’m so grateful to Samuel Hahnemann every time a patient feels better thanks to homeopathy.
Some Acute Cases and Practical Examples
Case 1: Jean
Jean is a little boy born in April 2011. He has a sleeping disorder, which is why his mother comes to the pharmacy. I’ve never seen him. Jean lives with his mother, but not with the father who stays in Paris during the working days and comes back home just for the weekend. Jean never asks after his father and never wants to speak with him on the phone. He lives with his mother and aunts, and one of his favorite activities is dressing up like a girl and putting on a show for them, dancing and singing. Amongst other details I note down:
- He has constant sinusitis and asthma attacks.
- He is kind hearted but quite stubborn.
- He is eating a lot (nutrition assimilation disorder).
- Perspiration during the night
- A lot of fears during the night
- A poor or slow wound-healing process (especially after vaccination)
As Hahnemann recommends in The Organon –searching for the rarest, oddest and most curious symptoms– I particularly noticed that the young boy never asks after his father, never calls him and does not miss him. He dresses up like a girl (I kept this as a symptom, considering it as a message from Jean). Where is the image of the father in this case? It is the key which led me directly to the remedy: SILICA.
Effectively, I based my choice not only on this odd symptom of Jean’s behavior, but also on his physical symptoms like sinusitis, night perspiration, nutrition assimilation disorder and slow wound-healing process after vaccination. After Silica 15C daily for two weeks, his mother came back and said: “Jean eats and sleeps more regularly, but there is a huge new thing in his life: he calls after his father every day! He wants to call him on the phone every day just to say hello, or to say have a good day! And Jean cries a lot when they have to stop talking together”.
After Silica, it was as if he had suddenly discovered he has got a father. He claimed the father! When I was studying homeopathy in Paris, one of my teachers described Silica’s main feature as the need for a structure, a reference point (in French: a need for “repères/re-père”). Nobody was in the right place in this family and Jean needed a family structure to grow up in a better way and to sleep well again.
Case 2: “A voracious baby”
This case is a very short one but one of my favorites, because it happened at the beginning of my homeopathic practice in the pharmacy, something like “beginner’s luck”. A young mother comes to the pharmacy to buy hygiene products and before leaving she asks me: “Have you something for my baby, he has got a white tongue, as if coated with a whitish deposit. The doctor couldn’t find anything!”
I ask: “What is he like? Please describe him to me.” She answers: “Oh, he’s a fat chubby baby; he does eat a lot!” And nothing else. I immediately see the picture of Antimonium crudum we just studied at the homeopathic school, and I remember the sentence so typical for Antimonium crudum: “the whitest tongue of the Materia Medica, and the picture of a voracious baby!”
After only three days with Antimonium crudum 9C, the mother comes back to the pharmacy and says: “Thank you! This is the first time since my baby’s birth (three months ago) that I am able to see the real color of his tongue! The whitish deposit has completely disappeared…”
Case 3: Marion
Marion is a young pregnant woman with a fetus in a breech presentation. It is her second pregnancy, she had first a boy by caesarean. This time she comes and asks: “Have you something for me? I don’t want another caesarean! For me, it’s as if the first delivery wasn’t normal, as if it was stolen from me! I want a normal vaginal delivery!”
The main repetitive symptom was frustration, and particularly “frustration resulting from bad experience with a caesarean”. Another problem for her was the breech presentation. Despite acupuncture and other methods, the fetus stayed in the position of breech presentation. She received one dose of Staphisagria 30C. A few days after, the fetus turned around and moved into a normal position. Marion had a normal vaginal delivery which made her very happy. She gave birth to another beautiful boy.
Case 4: A short case of aphonia-the snap action of homeopathy!
This is the story of a 33 year-old woman who had aphonia for several weeks. She lost her voice after being badly disappointed about a new job for which she finally was not selected. She had no pain and no visible abnormality. All the medical tests were OK after consulting an ENT specialist and a speech therapist, but nothing helped and she had still no voice.
She took allopathic drugs and and homeopathic remedies like Phosphorus (“painless loss of voice”), but nothing helped. It was a constant question for me -“What a curious symptom” …until I read the following on Dr. Robert Seror’s website: “Hysterical aphonia: Kalium phosphoricum”. I felt something hysterical in this person, so I suggested she take five granules of Kalium phosphoricum 30C in front of me.
The amazing thing is that she recovered her voice immediately after taking the remedy -she had still the granules in her mouth! So far her voice remains normal. I was really impressed by the instant action of the remedy. A great example for my homeopathic students or for clients at the pharmacy when they ask: “Homeopathy? It takes a long time to act, doesn’t it?”
Case 5: Marc
Marc is a five year-old boy. His mother came to me to get homeopathy because of his fears: he had a lot of fears! For example, he was constantly afraid of the air conditioning system, so afraid that he couldn’t enter the bathroom if the air conditioning was switched on. At school, he had a problem about socializing with other children; he often stayed by himself. He had a problem with the nanny too, particularly because at that time as she had another baby to look after; he was afraid of this baby and wouldn’t touch him. He was setting himself apart, withdrawn.
The fears were quite irrational, but there was nothing else to base the case on since Marc was in perfect physical health. How to treat then such a purely behavioral disease if not with homeopathy? Because of the lack of symptoms (fears are very common in children), I decided to look at the most important factors in Marc’s history. Marc was born under long lasting and difficult circumstances. His father was physically disabled after a motorcycle accident; his mother was beaten by her former husband. These are the burdens (summarized) the family carried subconsciously. Not an easy history!
Because they couldn’t have children, they went to Spain for fertility treatment after three failures in France.
It was a very hard time for them during several years, with a lot of heavy treatments and a lot of fears: they feared the fertility protocol wouldn’t work and they were always waiting for a positive outcome, i.e. a possible pregnancy and a baby. They constantly had a sword of Damocles hanging over their heads: constant fears before conception, during treatment, before results, after implantation, during all the pregnancy and the delivery.
Marc was conceived and began his life in a constant atmosphere of insecurity and fears. I remembered a description of a remedy often recommended for children who have been born in such a context, mainly based on the idea of “forcing”. Indeed, the central concept was that of forcing: forcing fertility, forcing pregnancy, forcing destiny.
This remedy is Causticum. It changed Marc radically as soon as he took the first 30C dose. Many of the fears disappeared; he was able to touch the other baby at the nanny’s place (it was impossible for him before) and said: “Look, I can touch the baby, he’s so sweet!” At school he could mix with others and was more open and less shy, generally much more relaxed and less afraid of his environment. It was a great pleasure to see him overcoming his irrational fears.
Causticum’s main theme -“the sword of Damocles hanging above one’s head”, was central here. It reminds us of the necessity to search in certain cases, for the early origins of the patient’s problem: delivery, life in utero, conception, and even before.