This is the second article in a series. I hope you enjoyed my last article : “How to understand a person by example of an Arsenic Case”. In this series I wish to make you aware of different case taking approaches and some artistic methods for producing consistent results. To grasp today’s presentation you will need some knowledge of the Sensation approach. In this approach I am going to select a medicine which is unusual and was largely unknown to me.
This is a case of my friend from Europe. She is in her mid-thirties and we discussed her physical and emotional issues by online chat.
D: Ok… tell me about your physical illness if any?
P: Poor circulation in feet/toes and the last 3 years have developed blisters on toes that are very painful. Recently had a biopsy to determine the cause as remedies not getting to it properly- seems to be chilblains type thing that only occurs in spring, because I wear sandals too early and get cold feet! Better since biopsy! The shock of needles in feet seemed to stimulate energy flow perhaps? Also have kept them warmer, but circulation still a problem; I feel my toes now getting cold because I’m sitting a while. A lot of my symptoms come from sitting, bad posture perhaps at computer. Dry throat in the spring is another symptom, on waking
D: Ok what do you feel in your toes?
P: Kind of tingling, like I want to scrunch them up, move them to wake them up
Cold, burning almost.
D: What you experience inside in your toes?
P: Tingling, as if something very small moving around inside.
My toes start to feel detached, a different sensation from rest of my body perhaps, although I feel cold easily generally, and come to think of it I do experience cold as a kind of burning. In winter my hands are very sore from the cold, but just the surface of the skin becomes sore.
D: Describe how it feel when any tiny thing is moving inside?
P: Worrying is something I feel often. Like something is inside me that shouldn’t be there. Like an infestation maybe! Sounds weird to say. My whole body is developing tingling in talking about this with you!
(That means she is at experience level, and she moved to sensation level very easily, so she might require a higher potency.)
(This person tuning with her deeper state. So in this kind of case I generally use to take another approach, “Meditative approach”, but in this case it’s impossible because we are not watching each other.)
D: Tell me about infestation?
P: I don’t know…something nasty, um…dirty perhaps unclean? Affected by something
Cold tingling all over. It worries me, makes me want to escape the feeling. Worrying and wanting to escape the feeling brings on a tension in throat; this is another common symptom of mine Toes, infestation, feel a bit like being bitten, tiny bites!
(So, now this tingling and dryness in throat also co-relate directly. It’s again indication she is really experiencing her deeper being in the moment.)
D: Tell me more. In reality does anything bite you? What do you feel?
P: Scared, shocked, worried….injured, as if being hurt by the universe!!
D: Tell more how anybody gets hurt by the universe?
P: It’s a strange idea I know, as if the universe delivers punishment/hurt communicated by an insect bite or something…. sorry this must sound strange!
D: No problem… I have am used to hearing strange stories… go ahead.
P: I have in my mind now a time when I was stung a long time ago by a hornet I think, it came from nowhere, and it shocked me so that I cried and felt as though I would collapse. I don’t know if this relevant Symptoms seem to come from nowhere and shock me perhaps. I will stop trying to analyze I think and let you just ask and me just answer!
D: What do you feel at that time? What happens in your body at that time?
P: Hurt, emotionally hurt, like I had been pinpointed by the forces of nature unnecessarily! My body became weak and floppy
(Do you see here how physical tingling comes up again in the form of hurt and pinpointed feeling? This is the way anybody’s state emerges during case taking in different areas of life.)
(Right now we don’t know anything about tingling and hurt and what does it mean in the case, but we know the state of the person is around this experience.
D: Say more about weak and floppy?
P: As if hit very strongly by a force greater than you that is powerful and hurtful, it takes all your strength away. As if I had no power
D: Tell me about ‘no power’?
P: To be powerless to the forces of nature? Like I am subject to forces greater than myself, helpless. Sometimes it affects me in ways I don’t understand and that scares me. The force is everything. It may be in the smallest thing, or the largest, but it is so strong that it overtakes me.
D: How does it overtake you?
P: I become weak, panicked, I keep seeing myself at this time with the hornet sting, I was paddling in the sea, and I wanted to collapse. Weak like I am drained of all energy. Tearfulness, tense throat, I feel kind of forsaken, as if I should be able to manage more, I feel lost, like I don’t know ‘where’ I am. Like I could disappear! But I stay present by being upset perhaps.
D: Okay, what happens in your body at that time?
P: Drained, as if drained of all life force and blood maybe, weak with tense throat though, always when I feel negative body or emotional sensation I have tension in my throat. It is as if my throat is pulled tight from within, as if it may close, maybe, but not quite that, it is like being strangled, but as if from the inside. I used to suffer panic attacks many years ago that started in this way. I don’t get them really anymore, slight hints of them maybe, but always they used to start with a tight feeling in throat, which I do still get, without the panic. They also felt as if overtaking me I suppose, like something I can’t escape.
D: Tell more about that tight feeling.
P: It’s hard to describe…I will try… there is something pushing into throat, as if pulling at or pushing upon the ligaments of the throat, as if it keeps me from speaking or breathing, although it doesn’t actually do this, it just feels as though it would.
D: How about anything that will pull/push in general… not in your throat?
P: It frightens me. When I used to get the panic attacks with it I would need to be outside, in nature to be distracted from the physical sensation to feel safe
D: Ok forget it…. What you feel when you go outside?
P: Supported, especially if it is a warm, nice day and especially if I have trees around, I feel safe and supported, nurtured, at one with nature. Sorry if I am being a difficult case to take!
D: Ok it’s easy for me…. just be with me… Tell more for supported, nurtured, safe?
P: Ok, supported, nurtured, safe means there is warmth and strength; things are at ease, relaxed, without strain.
D: What do you experience at that time?
P: Uplifting, light sensations, as if I am at one with everything, in a flow that makes sense and includes me harmoniously. It is a wonderful feeling, something like a child feels to be safe in a mother’s arms, as if there is no threat, as if everything is safe… feel my body filling with light perhaps, in little ways through all of me. There is both small and big in this sensation. I can be strong and little, vulnerable and safe all at once
Now, we see clearly one polarity:
(1) Weak, vulnerable, fearful
- Hit very strongly by a force greater than you
- Scares me, overtakes me, frightens me
- Pulled tight from within- like closed from inside
- You can’t escape
(2) Safe and supported
- Safe, supported, nurtured, warmth
- Like a child felt to be safe in a mother’s arms, as if there is no threat, as if everything is safe
D: Tell more for that small and big….
P: Oh, how funny this reminds me of a recurring dream I had as a child, of being first something small, then growing big and round and being scared of the big round feeling, then I would keep becoming big and small and big and small. It was very scary for me as a child. I would wake up feeling this strong physical sensation as if my whole body was expanding and contracting, I experienced this once as an adult whilst attending a vipassana course. It scared me then too.
D: Expands and contracts?
P: The sensation was as if my whole body swelled, hugely, grossly, roundly, expanding, then shrinking, smaller and weaker. This reminds me to say my toes when they first presented with symptoms swelled as if they would burst before the blisters began .
D: Ok forget it…. What is vulnerable?
P: Small, helpless, weak. Needing help, reassurance, needing support, needing understanding, needing lots. Small is beautiful.. but it is vulnerable…. but big is scary, although you would expect it to be safe.
D: What is safe?
P: Not needing help? Being calm? Feeling comfortable . Held in someone’s hands or arms, and being in nature. At home, warm, reassured, safe, blessed, small perhaps, but safe, protected.
D: What is protected?
P: Protected is safe! Sorry I know as practitioner that is frustrating answer…um… protected is held safely by a greater force than you, a force that will ensure you are not hurt/
(Now, do you see the meaning of hurt and pinpointed feeling!)
D: Ok, what is image of protection?
P: Again arms, being held in an embrace, or standing beneath a tree maybe, strangely I do think of safe arms being like a big sheltering tree. Because it is big, it shelters the little things! It makes a home for little things! I do hope my answers are ok for you?!
D: Yes…. forget tree… Describe home?
P: Home for has been a place where I may not feel safe, but in concept it is a place of protection from the outside world, where everything is safe… sorry if I keep saying the same kind of things. Home for me has been….warm, all encompassing, light, but solid…
P: It takes into account all there is and holds it together harmoniously. Brought together as one, as lots of little parts that form a whole, like the universe!
D: Ok talk for universe…
P: It is huge, so big, but it is made up of so many tiny parts, the hugeness of it is not possible without all the tiny parts working together, sometime the tiny parts may seem to work against one another but in the bigger picture everything is a part of the whole and works together.
D: Ok tell me about tiny and big?
P: Talking about the two together just takes me back to my dreams. I mentioned before that I had recurring dreams as a child and I have this horrible sensation of everything, in my body, expanding and then shrinking, I don’t like the contrast!
D: Ok go on…. In the dream what do you feel?
P: A horrible swelling, followed by a flaccid feeling, everything is of a rounded feel/shape and then it grows and grows, then I suppose it pulsates, the sensation pulsates, but it is the expanding that is really uncomfortable as a sensation. It’s like I need to grow, but I am scared of the feeling. Sorry this all sounds strange. I’m scared of the feeling I had with this dream as a child and it began with a child growing into a giant and then changed all sorts of things growing and expanding, when they were big. They were scary because they were fierce, gigantic, overpowering…The feeling of expansion for me feels like there are no boundaries and it feels dangerous, like a monster! I felt terrified; in my body I felt the sensation of getting bigger and smaller and bigger again, like a terrifying pulsating sensation. It feels safer to be small. There is too much possibility when things are big? Too much feeling, not enough boundaries to know where you are or what is safe. Sorry, I feel I am going round and round in circles with this.
D: When you are small what do you feel?
P: Like I can’t cause any harm, perhaps vulnerable, but like nothing bad can happen?
I don’t know any more if I’m talking about me, or other things, my sensation or the general meaning of big and small! I prefer to feel small though, it is non-threatening. But the feeling is that small is beautiful and innocent and safe; there is relief with the small feeling and intimidation with the big feeling.
D: Ok forget small and big… right? Tell me what is safe? How it feels?
P: Safe feels cozy, warm, bright and light, like when you snuggle up in a blanket in the warm. There is nothing unknown or unexpected. It doesn’t ask anything of you, it is not demanding, nothing is expected of you, you are just nurtured and protected.
Safe is like a cuddle, a child or a loved one held close in arms. I’m finding this process difficult, I feel a little upset, and my throat is tight.
D: Ok forget safe, just tell me about protected.
P: I don’t mind continuing, just letting you know my response, if you could see me; you would see me getting almost tearful and wanting to look away and pull myself into a little ball, a protective ball. (This is correlation of pulling physical sensation!) Protected is like a baby in a mother’s arms, like something small held by something big, and now we are back to big and small, and I am getting frustrated, not with you but with myself for going round and round the same words.
(This indicates there is nothing deeper than big/small and safe, protected and vulnerable)
(1) Small, unsafe, vulnerable
- Small then big- whole body was expanding and contracting, round
- Small is helpless and weak, needing help, protection
- Small is beautiful, but it is vulnerable
(2) Big, safe, protected
Big is scary, although you would expect it to be safe
- Safe- Not needing help? Being calm? Feeling comfortable, Held in someone’s hands or arms
- At home, warm, reassured, safe, blessed, small perhaps, but safe, protected
- Protected is held safely by a greater force than you, a force that will ensure you are not hurt
- It makes a home for little things
- Safe feels cozy, warm, bright and light, like when you snuggle up in a blanket in the warm
- Pull myself into a little ball, a protective ball
D: Ok we will finish very soon, just be with me and tell more about that protecting ball?
P: The protecting ball is just wanting to pull away from a feeling I do not understand and that is frustrating me. It’s like when a hedgehog curls up in its spiky ball.
D: Tell me how it curls up in the ball?
P: It pulls inwards, making itself as small as can be but with a protective layer on the outside so anything threatening will stay away. It curls nose to feet, like a child in the womb.
D: Ok, Tell more about protecting layer on outside?
P: A hard exterior, with spikes, like a chestnut shell, the spines of the hedgehog point outward and keep anything from getting to the vulnerable frightened animal within
D: Describe it more….
P: It is locking yourself away, as if there is battle going on around you that you need to hide from. Danger could pass over you and it might move you about but not touch the core of you, you would be safe mostly.
D: Describe that protecting outside more.
P: I see spikes that actually in texture may not be very hard, quite flexible, but they would deter anything close because there is a sharp point that would hurt if you touched it.
D: And how is that inside thing?
P: Sleeping, conserving energy, soft and warm. It trusts its protective layer
D: Ok, does it look?
P: Fluffy, brown fur, a little mammal, eyes closed, peaceful. I don’t know what else to say. I just see an image now of a fluffly warm hedgehog type creature, marsupial-like perhaps. It has a long nose compared to its face, a soft, furry belly and little limbs curled up into its fluffiness like a ball, or a foetus, face/nose pulled down into legs/feet. It’s like something small and delicate, or a helpless baby, but I think more of a flower with this word. It is like when you are alone and vulnerable.
D: Ok, how do vulnerabilities feel within us?
P: Delicate, small, pulled in. Like something would break if not treated carefully. I see the image of the marsupial again, the hedgehog without its spines, or a cub without its mother. It is small and only safe if it is protected by something larger (but does this contradict my notion of big being unsafe?). Sorry I am very on the thinking level it seems! Vulnerable things need help, it is nice to be helped (and to help) but if they are not in a place to receive the help needed they can be destroyed.
D: Okay, now talk more about the hedgehog?
P: Hedgehog is an animal I am fond of. In my imagination it represents a lot about childish nature, an innocence that needs protecting.. it can be playful, like a child but only if it feels safe otherwise you get just the spines.. just a difficult exterior that gives you no choice but to leave it alone. It has a soft quality, yielding. It is small!
D: Tell more…
P: Now I am thinking of soft, like something visceral- a womb lining perhaps, but it is also delicate like flower petals or butterfly wings…it is gentle and easily affected.
I think of holding something small perhaps protecting it, perhaps admiring its delicate quality…. to be delicate is to be beautiful….. I feel something in my stomach/abdomen when I think of vulnerable, a feeling of fluttering, light dancing fluttering.
(How, beautifully all things correlated with natural defensive qualities of hedgehog!)
D: Tell more for those abdominal sensations?
P: I feel the softness of my abdominal lining…as if there is a soft place within me there that resonates with the quality of something delicate and vulnerable, a part of me that appreciates those qualities.
D: Ok tell more…
P: And now I am aware of the softness of my throat lining too, the softness of tissues within the body that could also be vulnerable. I think by vulnerable of these body parts I mean parts that could be easily hurt if you were attacked.
D: Ok, tell about your childhood?
P: I have some vague memory, not even sure it is a real memory, but I like to stay in a warm cozy room. It’s my special personal room. It’s kind of like everything in the room, of mine was safe and peaceful and comforting, where I could play and explore my feelings and be happy, outside of the room things seemed looming, threatening…I was so happy to be given that room, on my own away from my sister! She ended up with a big room all to herself, but I loved my little room because it was mine and it was lovely.
D: What is difference you feel inside your little room and outside the room?
P: I feel I can fill the space in the little room with nice feelings. There are only my feelings and outside the room there are so much of everybody else’s feelings and troubles… I needed help out of the room, but not inside it because it’s cozy, safe, light-hearted, playful, unaffected by negativity.
D: Ok now forget about your childhood and tell about your nature in general?
P: I am quite changeable… I can be very open and bright and independent and productive, but then I swing sometimes to be very closed and moody and needing help. I do a lot though, I like affection and talking through feelings with friends. I have many interests… I enjoy being helpful and advocate kindness. I enjoy nature, dancing, and exercise, close intimate relationships are important to me. I worry a lot also. I question my ability to achieve things I want , but then I tend to get on and do things anyway.
D: Ok tell about your fears?
P: My fears….I fear very little in reality, but I often find myself thinking of worst case scenarios, particularly with my daughter in mind. I fear her hurting herself for instance, I fear her feeling unsafe, or uncertain like I did as a child. I fear my ability to mother well, but actually think I do very well. I think I fear my own anxieties more than anything real because I know I can be overwhelmed by just worrying thoughts sometimes.
The case is seems like hedgehog case, right? But when I encounter this case in reality I’m also a little scared and anxious, because the remedy that comes out after interview is completely new and even I don’t know any medicine prepared from hedgehog ! Fortunately I found a remedy as well as a proving in my Google search and the main interesting thing is, this remedy is proved by my well known facebook friend. She sent me the proving and I read it and read other interesting notes on other marsupials and finally made a prescription: Erinaceus Europaeus (Hedgehog) 1m and she starting to get improvement and till now she is alright. Her all physical issues are gone now and she is more confident and less emotional and tense. Totally she took three 1m doses and two 10m doses in almost two years.
This case is a beautiful example of the artistic way to prescribe a medicine which is completely unknown to you….provided you have enough knowledge and perfect understanding of how to explore the case and how to bring out the deepest experience of the person.