Bob Lawrence at the Helios Homoeopathic Pharmacy made the 12 c and 30 c potencies of Dama dama in October 2003 and these potencies and placebos were taken during this month by the 2002-2004 Dynamis, Malvern group, which included the authors. There were 21 provers, 2 placebos.
Bob made the remedy by obtaining a handful of tufts of fur from Philip May, the Manager of the Prinknash Bird and Deer Park in Gloucestershire (www.prinknash- bird-and-deerpark.com). Philip was able to clip the fur, as the female deer (doe) is tame enough to eat out of his hands. It was taken during the rutting season, but the doe was not pregnant. Bob cut the tuft of fur as finely as possible with scissors, then, with water, ground this to a paste and triturated it.
The doe was in good health and had not had an injury or trauma to Philip’s knowledge. If you visit the park or look at the website, you will see that there is a tranquil feel to this environment.
(Extract from Introduction by Sue Twigg and Mark Elliot. Dynamis School UK)
Fallow deer were present in Britain during the last interglacial period but became extinct after the last glacial advance. They were re-introduced in the 11th century by the Normans and established in parks or royal hunting preserves. Over the last century the wild population of fallow deer has steadily increased and there are now as many as 100000 as well as around 20000 enclosed within parks or farms. They may be found in most counties of England, Wales and regions of Scotland as well as in four out of the six counties of Northern Ireland, with feral populations close to the parks from which they escaped, They inhabit most woodlands with many grassy glades and good shrub vegetation from which to feed. They also feed on acorns, crab apples, cereals, legumes, fungi, berries, chestnuts. Their breeding season, or ‘rut’, is from mid-October to early November – the exact time of the proving, and this was significant for the proving themes and symptoms.
This article presents a case of Dama dama to illustrate some of the themes of this remedy. The case is interspersed with experiences of the provers to demonstrate why Dama dama was prescribed for this patient.
Dama Dama Case
This case of Multiple Sclerosis demonstrates some of the strong themes of Dama dama which revolve around caring, nurture, family and the home, as well as conflict between home and career. The full proving of Dama dama including many more mental and physical themes will be published in the future at www.provings.com.
Case taken by Jeremy Sherr in November 2003
Patient: Female. age 46 years.
Occupation: Decorative painter -“the easy stuff …”. Murals. furniture painting.
Presenting Complaint: Multiple Sclerosis. for the past five to six years.
Theme: Weakness/Numbness – extremities
Theme: Right sided/Left sided
The problems started with what the patient describes as, “tennis elbow. My arm got weaker, and my hand got weaker. My right leg also became weak – worse when I walked the dog.”
This was generally worse on the right side and was eventually diagnosed as MS. The MS symptoms started five or six years pre- viously and MS was finally diagnosed one year ago (November 2002).
She says she had no previous physical problems in her life.
There were many similar symptoms during the proving:
“Weakness in arms and hands, as if strained, worse left side, with tingling, – throughout proving” (prover 17)
“Heavy weakness legs. worse whilst walking” (prover 14)
“Left knee weak after walking” (prover 16)
“Knee pain and weakness in both knees throughout proving” (prover 20)
“Legs weak. tired, heavy, throughout proving” (prover 7)
“My foot and my leg were numb. A lack of feeling and left leg goes into spasm, like an electrode, I went to see a neurologist and I finally had the diagnosis of MS twelve months ago. Now takes a long time to turn on the TV screen because of MS,”
Desire to stretch. Desire to do a cat stretch.
Theme: Activity/Centred – Scattered/Restless
She describes herself as an outdoor person who needs to work continuously, to do things. She says that she works things off by activity, such as building a wall, mowing the grass. She loves doing things, being busy: “if I can do a lot I’m more centered in myself’, but she can also be disorganised and restless.
In the proving there are many examples of this opposition between being very active and focused or being disorganised and experiencing a sense of restlessness:
“Phenomenally busy at work but lots of energy, enthusiasm and centeredness.” (prover 3)
“Mind is scattered. Flighty and confused. Restless mind very active.” (prover 7)
“Quite distracted …very interested in other people about – restless” (prover 15)
Theme: Outside – Nature – Indoor – Hibernation/Home
The patient reads National Geographic. As a child she liked being outdoors and climbing. She still likes climbing, walking and nature, playing tennis.
The desire to be outside “in nature” was very strong in the proving:
“Aware of beautiful day and want to walk- much better outside in countryside” (prover4)
“Celebration. Grateful for glory of the day. Go into woods …feel happy, free” (prover 13)
“More desire to be outside in nature, especially with trees. Feel more comfortable with trees and woods” (prover 14)
“We sat in the sun in the woods -just lovely” (prover 15)
“Desire strongly to go into countryside. must go into woods. Can hear the inside of tree trunks,” (prover 17)
But the patient also says:
“Now I have to be still. But I reckon we should all be hibernating in winter,”
Again. similar symptoms to those of provers:
“I have an overwhelming desire to hibernate.” (prover 11)
“Felt very comfortable hibernating in my dark hole” (prover 17)
“During the day, felt I would like to hibernate.” (prover 4)
These feelings seem to relate to the whole central theme of caring and nurturing, in that the sense of hibernating is that of being warm and cozy and safe in the home, thus home is also an important aspect which links to caring, family etc. Provers felt a desire to stay at home, to be ‘homely’, with a marked interest in activities such as cooking/baking for the family and tidying and cleaning the house.
The patient says she doesn’t know where to live and dreams she has left home:
“We need roots, we need roots to grow. With plants it is all about location – they need the right place and people need their roots in the right soil. Plants in the wrong place die …”
She also likes things to be in order and says, “You can breathe in order. You can add chaos in order but you have to start from order.”
Central Theme: Caring for others/ nurturing – Unfulfilled nurturing
She says she is an angry person but doesn’t take it out on people or animals. She loves animals: “I understand animals and love them. I associate with my cats and dogs too much. They deserve respect – it’s up to us to look after them. I’m a minder. I mind people and animals.”
Not surprisingly, provers felt strong affinities to animals, with references to feeling like a deer, a dog, an owl. There was also sympathy for animals shown by provers
The patient goes on to talk about her unfulfilling role as a carer in various situations: “My mother is 81. She’s old, but she has a brain like a razor. I spend a lot of time accommodating – holding back the angry person and not letting my real self come to the fore. I understand other people too easily. I’m not being my real self -I put others first, myself second… I’m a minder”.
She lives with her mother and also looked after her sister and her two kids for two years while her sister had cancer. Her sister died aged 27 and she cares for the kids. She says: “I learnt to put myself in second place, I step down to allow the other person’s point of view, I put myself in other’s shoes -what would they want? I try to understand their choice rather than mine.”
The patient is not married and has no children and she says: “Most people my age are minding children. Their minding is fruitful but I minded a sister who’s dead, an elderly mother, my sister’s children. I feel sad – I would have been a good mother.”
Issues around nurturing and caring within the family group and the home manifested in provers as an increased desire to do so, or an aversion to or questioning of such roles. Five provers felt this strongly:
“Being acutely aware of my constant caring and providing role. Normally I have this need to be a care-giver – I have now dropped this.” (prover 7)
“Feels more responsible for patients -must be there for them, they depend on me” (prover 19)
“Anxiety about family member …about health and my children” (prover 21)
“Reluctant to communicate – especially with children” (prover 10)
“Friend with ME wants me to look after her totally -she went mad for me not giving her enough time. I wrote saying I can’t come again, emotional blackmail.” (prover 10)
“I have felt very content by myself. Husband away for three weeks and I felt very peaceful about it.” (prover 19)
The unfulfilled nurturer needs space for herself and needs to separate. The patient had a relationship for sixteen years with an older man, She says of this: “My father left when I was three. He (the relationship) was a father substitute. I’ve always been with older people. He never got to the core of me. He saw what he wanted to see. He didn’t see what I really was or needed. I disguised it. It felt suffocating, He never understood me. I was not a partner. I was not an adult. I’m a good actress. Most people have no idea of what’s going on in my head,”
She explained how she would spend a week in her relationship, and a week as a daughter with her mother and that there was very little space for her. Also, she says that as a child she didn’t have her own space and thus now cannot make her own personal space. She says: “I was never taught to make the cut -separate myself. Parents should set youngsters on their own two feet and say ‘you’re on your own’,”
These issues of dependence/independence and co-dependence are strongly connected to the main nurturing theme of the remedy, and frequently manifested as a desire to be alone, to have space and be separate, (which again links to the desire to hiber- nate):
“A desire to be less bothered with people, prefer quiet” (prover 14)
“Feeling I want my own space -having to talk to people is an effort” (prover 4)
“I want to be left alone. Reluctant to communicate” (prover 10)
“Many thoughts about independence. dependence and co-dependence” (prover 7)
“Irritated. Feeling I have no support and always have to hold things together” (prover 4)
“Feel like dropping out of the world and my responsibilities” (prover 17)
Theme: Artistic/aesthetic appreciation
The patient went to Art College and is now a photographer, also doing sculpture – they are functional pieces. She says;
“Sculptures are like horses – they express the joy of life and beauty. I also photograph weddings – I stay with the bride all day – It’s intimate, but there is no future of a wedding for me. I love beauty -beautiful houses and gardens,”
Again. provers expressed joy and celebration of the beauty of life and a desire to be creative:
“Thoughts of being a Master of an Art. A calling from within” (prover 32)
“I want to paint and do art. I look at paintings and think of the process of creativity.” (prover 19)
Her vision is poor. She lost the vision in one eye and had an operation on it. Three provers experienced distorted or blurred vision and there were various eye problems.
Her tongue is coated – from smoking and she has bad breath which is much worse from yeast. Four provers experienced change of taste in mouth/breath.
Her appetite is very good. Provers experienced this also, as well as a diminished appetite.
“I keep feeling hungry” (prover 17)
“Big appetite – bought fish and chips for lunch” (prover 3)
“I have had a huge appetite since taking the remedy” (prover 20)
Prescription: Dama dama 200C
The patient looks better. She reports that the remedy helped a lot. Her partner had a heart attack. She says: “I was amazed at how I managed. Nothing was a problem.”
The improvement lasted about four weeks.
She says: “I have been able to a lot. I am more relaxed and chilled out. I have a less frantic need to work. And I feel more balanced regarding work and play.”
The patient makes an interesting observation about herself: “I had a notion about myself as a personality – about me not being an adult yet.”
This is interesting as in the first consultation she makes a reference to ‘not being an adult’ when talking of her relationship, This was seen also in the proving with provers feeling ‘childlike’, ‘playful’.
She is coping with the MS better and her energy has improved. She says: “I was much better for three weeks (before the partner’s heart attack). He was in hospital – I had to do a lot to look after him, but I coped much better and more efficiently. I am more relaxed with friends and not driving myself so much.”
The numbness in the thighs has gone as has the tennis elbow, which she had for ten years. Her sleep is much improved.
She says: “I am less blindly trustful of people from the start, which I think is good. I am better at organising my work and I am not letting people impose on me.”
Her bad breath is gone and her vision is OK. She still needs to stretch her legs.
New symptom: pain in right shoulder.
She says her dreams came back and she remembers them more. She is more relaxed in her artwork.
She has got engaged and is moving in with her fiance.
After eighteen months
Over the next eighteen months the patient has continued to do very well, with occasional repetition of the remedy. There is a significant reduction of MS symptoms and a general continuation of overall improvement.
This case demonstrates some of the strong themes of Dama dama which revolve around caring, nurture, family, home etc. However, represented here is only a small part of the overall proving picture of this remedy. There are many other mental and physical themes. There are issues related to vulnerability, being attacked, a victim, as well as the theme of purity and innocence linked to the idea of authenticity. At a physical level, there are many symptoms related to menses, breast symptoms and symptoms similar to pregnancy which suggests a possible usage of the remedy in these areas. The full proving of Dama dama will be published in the future – please check www.provings.com for details.
1 Twigg S, Elliot M. Extract from ‘Introduction to proving substance’. 2004
2 Dama dama proving notes from partici- pating students. Malvern. UK: Dynamis School: 2002-2004
3 Langbein j. Chapman N. Fallow Deer. Fordingbridge: The British Deer Society and The British Mammal Society, 2003