The system of Homoeopathy has been steadily evolving in terms of approach and methodology with a view to facilitating and expediting the identification of a suitable remedy. This objective has been a high water mark of all endeavour since its inception of our science a couple of centuries ago. Though homoeopathic philosophy, the materia medica and the repertory do constitute significant pillars of the science, they often need to be complemented by different approaches as the individual case demands to form a comprehensive analysis directed at better results.The Sensation approach is one approach which assists the process of remedy analysis.
The Sensation approach, founded and developed by Dr. Rajan Sankaran and his colleagues is based on the premise that the suffering of the patient along with his expressions when explored at the deepest level boil down to a basic theme, which encompasses the mind and the body. This is called the Sensation or the Experience. This experience is then matched with the experience of different substances in nature, elicited through proving, to come to a similimum.1
Dr. Jayesh Shah, a senior consultant and faculty at ‘the other song – International Academy of Advanced Homoeopathy’ is a renowned homeopath who specializes in the use of meditative approaches combined with the Sensation approach for treating and healing cases. Practicing for almost twenty-five years, he has gained a reputation as a skilled teacher and a keen homeopathic prescriber. He is much sought after as an educator and has conducted numerous seminars around the world. He developed a unique method of case-taking wherein he uses meditative and other intensive techniques to explore the patients’ deepest and core issues, leading to a very deep level of understanding, awareness and healing in any given case. The following note by Dr. Jayesh Shah gives an insight into the methodology he adopts for analyzing and treating cases.
Note to readers from Dr. Jayesh Shah:
“I would like to introduce my approach to cases that may be called a process-approach or life force-approach. This is based on simple phenomenon that the life-force has an inherent tendency to resonate with the similar. The method involves getting the patient into a state of experience rather than into talking about the issues. Anything experienced/expressed spontaneously or intensely has the charge to guides the patient to move into deeper levels of experience. This is done by a gentle suggestion from the physician to the client to close their eyes and experience the symptom, sensation, or the emotion that is expressed or experienced with intensity. This resonance creates an imagery or a dream-like state within the patient. As if the person has started seeing and experiencing a dream right in your presence. It feels like she/he is in a kind of a trance or non-ordinary reality. Once the person closes the eyes it is amazing to see the surfacing of parallel realities.”
This is a case of a 53-year-old man who has been suffering from severe psoriasis for the past 25 years. He was seen at the other song. The case is condensed and grammatically altered for easier reading. Index for abbreviations D – Doctor, P – Patient and HG – Hand gesture. The sentences in italics form the doctor’s analysis and understanding.
The patient had been to the best of physicians, skin specialists, tried other alternative forms of medicines and also visited some renowned homoeopaths as well, without any significant results. He was suffering from intense itching and had psoriatic patches all over his body, especially on the hands and legs. The intense itch was quite troublesome for him and the problem was worse from any form of stress. He worked in share market which involved a lot of financial pressure and this too triggered his psoriasis along with other familial and social stress.
As he entered the consulting room, Dr. Jayesh asked him how he was feeling in the moment, to which he replied that he was feeling a sense of anxiety or nervousness about what was going to happen and saying this he automatically closed his eyes.
When the patient closes his eyes spontaneously, it is one of the best things that can happen in the case receiving. This signals that he is ready to look within and get in touch with his experience. At this point, I always encourage the patient to keep his eyes closed and to talk about his experience in the moment.
With his eyes closed, the patient goes on saying that there were multiple thoughts in his mind, and he is thinking whether he should tell us this or that. He said that even when he was sitting out, he was thinking that he has to narrate all the points to the doctors and not miss out on any point.
This is a very common feature seen when I facilitate the meditative processes in patients. Here, it is important that the facilitator explains to the patient that these are the thoughts and that he should watch the experience accompanying these thoughts. Once this is explained to the patient, most patients shift to the experience mode from the thinking mode.
On explaining to this patient to observe the accompanying experience, he shifted into the experiential mode and immediately experienced “as if someone had done something to me.” He said that it felt as if someone has made him into a statue. It was as if he was standing for a race and that someone was standing with a gun and counting 3-2-1. But then he feels as if someone has stopped him (HG). In his words, he said, “I feel I am caught, held up and I want to run. Nothing should hold me back I want to go ahead.”
We see that the patient resonated with the experience of being caught and held. Once his vital force has resonated with this, my job was to facilitate this process. He is then just to be guided in a manner where he experiences his journey completely.
D: Talk more about this experience.
P: It is like a bird in a cage who is putting all efforts to come out. (HG – Both palms are facing each other as if holding something and then shakes his right hand). It is like when a pigeon is held and tries to set free, that is what I am feeling. It is struggling and shouting to come out. Feel like praying to everyone, save me, please save me. I feel as if I am alone in the dark and there is no one with me. I am in a lot of trouble and there is nobody to share my trouble. The darkness in the room is gripping me from all sides, coming near me. I become sad and then angry.
D: That grip, you are in centre and you are being pressed from all sides, give it all your attention. You became sad and then angry, give it all your attention. The thing that is coming close to you, give it all your attention.
P: It is as if someone is drowning in water and how he tries to escape or if someone presses pillow on the face of a person how he tries to escape.
As a person experiences this resonance with me facilitating his journey, there will come a point where his experience reaches its peak. This experience will be unbearable, distressing to the person for few moments and a point will come where the life force or the vital force will uncoil itself into the easy joyful experience.
P: I have accepted this situation. Nothing can happen, I cannot resist also and I will accept this trouble. Nobody is coming for my help. I feel like the stone has collapsed a bunch of cards, feel like dead body. I feel very hopeless nobody is there for my help. I am in closed room, there is darkness and I am sleeping like a dead body. It is like someone is paralyzed and not able to do anything. Initially, I thought that it is gripping me like this but now I feel everything has halted, that darkness has also halted at a point and the situation is also halted/stopped at this point, not worsening further. (H.G – both palms facing each other with fingers separated).
Here, as the situation is not worsening further, there is no reaction from my side. Also, I realize that the peak point is not yet reached. This is what I see in all cases where in the beginning the patient resonates with an experience then this experience reaches its peak which is very painful, distressing, and dark. Once he reaches to the peak of this agonizing experience, then at a certain point he starts to experience the ease and a sense of relief.
P: I felt like somebody was going to kill me and then situation changed. The person who wanted to kill me postponed the plan and went out of the room. That tension that I am going to die and pressure from all sides is not there now. This is very relieving for me. He starts to weep at this point.
As he weeps the fear starts to reduce.
D: How are you feeling in this moment?
P: Initially I was feeling powerless like dead body, now I feel powerful. The power in me is increasing. Previously I was sitting and now I am able to walk. The room which was giving me tension is not giving any tension now. My confidence is increasing, the darkness in the room is reducing and I see some light coming in the room. I feel like going out. I feel I can fight with that person now. The fear is almost gone. It’s a great relief and I feel God is with me and so are all the people. It is running out and coming out from the jail. I feel like running. I felt as if I was tied up and now I am totally free. (H.G – Showing tying and then spreads hands and fingers apart). As if how the whole body is tied with rope/whip, totally tied (H.G – Showing tying with hand).
This is the journey of his vital force. It began with feeling tensed as if in dark room where someone had stopped from moving ahead and this felt very helpless, hopeless and painful and pressurized. Then the vital force uncoiled itself and experienced the freedom, untied, running, as if free from being tied or out from jail.
As he experiences this ease, I allow him 5 minutes to experience this relief. The file in his memory of tied, caught, stopped, pressed has to be formatted and needs to be replaced by freedom, untied, joy and released experience which he was experiencing then.
After 5 minutes of focusing on the free, joyful experience, the patient says that he saw himself as a happy person, meeting his family members. He saw himself holding no grudges and thanking God. The case came to an end with the conclusion of meditation marked by the patient opening his eyes.
We see that this case is clearly manifesting at the sensation or the level of experience. According to the Sensation approach, the patient’s experiences are classified into 7 levels, which are:
Level 1: Name – Here, the patient expresses his complaint only as a diagnostic condition, e.g. I suffer from rheumatoid arthritis.
Level 2: Fact – The experience of the patient is in the form of local sensation or phenomena, which makes him experience his ailment as a local symptom only. e.g.: I have immense joint pain due to this condition which is more at night.
Level 3: Emotion – The experience of the patient due to the complaint is more at an emotional level, the emphasis of expression being on an emotional plane. e.g.: I get very irritated and extremely restless due to these pains.
Level 4: Delusion – The patient’s experience of any ailment will be in terms of imagination. So, he talks of what it feels like rather than what he feels about it. e.g.: The pains are just killing me, they are not letting go of me and not allowing me to rest in peace. Fears and dreams also belong to this level of experience.
Level 5: Sensation – This is the deepest level for a person as all fears and actions boil down to this basic theme. So this is the main Sensation / Experience. Sensation is a level deeper than that of delusion and it encompasses the mind and the body. e.g. – a person feels restricted due to his pains, and on exploring that restriction further, he says that he feels limited, hedged in, as if tightly bound, unable to move. This becomes the main Sensation, and since it manifests at the level of both mind and body, it is also called the Vital Sensation.
Level 6: Energy – The experience of the ailment or complaint will be in the form of an energy pattern.
Level 7: Seventh level – The experience at this level is of the space that supports the energy level, or which houses the energy pattern.2
After a clear understanding, that the level of expression for this case was Level 5 or the level of Sensation, we go on to analyze this understanding further. The main sensation that comes up in his case is the sensation of being stopped, caught, and tied up when he is into the meditation. This is experienced by the patient as if he is in a jail, or drowned in water, or in a dark room where he feels gripped.
After experiencing this sensation to an agonizing peak, he starts to experience a relief in the former sensation which was experienced like that of coming out of the jail, running and a sense of freedom. This freedom was felt as free of being tied with a rope or a whip.
Here, we have the sensation on one hand with its opposite on the other. The presence of these opposites of an experience gives us a clear indication of the plant kingdom. One of the peculiarities of the plant kingdom is we see a lot of synonyms and antonyms. When classified at the level of experience, the patients’ experience could be classified into three kingdoms – the Plant, the Mineral and the Animal kingdom. The main experience or the Vital Sensation of the plants has to do with sensitivity, of being affected and reacting. The main sensation of the Mineral kingdom is all to do with structure, whether I am lacking, if I have to complete self, or if I am losing my structure; while the main experience of the Animal kingdom is survival.3
Once the kingdom is clear, we have to carefully analyze the sensation so as to arrive at a family understanding. The patient says that he is caught, tied, gripped the opposite of which was being free, untied, running. This is the sensation of the plant family, Euphorbiaceae. The key experience words of this family are tied and untied, bound and unbound, tied and cannot do anything about it, desire to break free and the opposite of which is a person who is free, unbound and not tied up.4
Then we are to look from the perspective of the miasm in the case. Miasm is the depth at which sensation is perceived. According to the Sensation approach, depending on the pace, the rapidity and the level of desperation, miasms are classified into 10 categories ranging from Psoric which is the least and Syphilitic which is the most desperate. The other miasms included – Acute, Sycotic, Typhoid, Malaria, Ringworm, Cancer, Tubercular and Leprosy, each having a distinct character. In this case, the patient experiences tied, caught, gripped in a very hopeless manner. He feels there is no help. This sense of hopelessness and despair is an aspect of leprous miasm.5
The remedy Hura brasiliensis belongs to leprous miasm in Euphorbiacae family which is what he got in 1M potency.
It has been more than 24 months and he is doing much better. For the first few months into the treatment, there was an intense acute relapse of psoriasis. He underwent a meditative process with the resident doctors and was also given the constitutional medicine and a few days later the acute pain and itching subsided. After first 6 months, the frequency and the intensity of the relapse kept on reducing and after 1 ½ years of treatment he was more than 90% better in his complaints. Thereafter, his patches resurfaced again but the intensity of the pain and itching was much less. There has been no relapse for the past few months and he enjoys good health. He has been on Hura 1M and later Hura 10M, repeated infrequently over the past 2 years.
1,2 – Rajan Sankaran, An Introduction to the Levels, Sensation in Homoeopathy, Reprint 2009, Homoeopathic Medical Publishers, Mumbai
3 – Rajan Sankaran, Vital Sensation and the Kingdoms, Sensation in Homoeopathy, Reprint 2009, Homoeopathic Medical Publishers, Mumbai
4 – Rajan Sankaran, An Insight into Plants, Volume 1, Euphorbiaceae, Second Revised Edition, 2005, Homoeopathic Medical Publishers, Mumbai
5 – Rajan Sankaran, The Sensation in Homoeopathy, Miasms, Second Edition, 2005, Homoeopathic Medical Publishers, Mumbai
About the other song:
About ‘the other song: International Academy of Advanced Homoeopathy’: ‘the other song’ is a world class premium medical centre which puts good health and well being at the core of an academic culture dedicated to complete patient care. Situated in Mumbai, this institute is one in its kind where a team of 35 doctors headed by Dr. Rajan Sankaran (the pioneer of the Sensation Approach in Homoeopathy) come together and practice Homoeopathy. At the Academy, the students and practitioners are trained in advanced Homoeopathic practices, using new methodologies in combination with the traditional approaches, all with the use of state-of-the-art technologies. The Academy is also a meeting point for different schools of thought in Homoeopathy, where renowned homoeopaths – national and international are invited, to share their knowledge and experience, so that there is a constant flow of ideas on a common platform.