Chat Room: The Chronic Miasms Today
January 22, 2008
Julie: I’m new to this. What is a miasm?
Henny H-M: It is a condition that is passed through the generations because one of the ancestors had a disease that was suppressed and the signs and symptoms of that suppression become evident in the diseases of the offspring. It is a very big question to answer in just a few words. My book explains more about what miasms are, how they are transmitted, how they manifest themselves in symptoms, how to identify them and how an understanding of them can guide our work in homeopathy.
Christina: Do I understand correctly that even if one identifies the miasm of the patient, one need not necessarily give him/her the nosode of that miasm?
Henny H-M: Yes, you understand this very well. You have to give the remedy that suits the characteristics of the patient AND the active miasm of the patient. It’s not necessarily a nosode.
Annette: What indicators do you use in a first remedy to decide whether to address the *miasm* or the present state?
Henny H-M: The present state belongs to the patient’s miasm, so we choose the remedy that fits the characteristics of the case, in the miasm that is present. With the first remedy, and with every remedy, we always address both the miasm (or miasms – that is another topic to understand!) and the present state.
Matt: If there are five different miasms, does each of the thousands of remedies have 5 shades?
Henny H-M: No, some remedies will have symptoms characteristic of one miasm, others of two, others of three, others of four, and others of five. For example, Calcarea Carbonica is one of the most psoric remedies, Thuja is one of the most sycotic remedies, Mercury is one of the most syphilitic remedies, Calcarea phosphorica is one of the most tubercular remedies, and Radium bromatum is one of the remedies that belongs most to the Cancer Miasm. Each of these contains some aspects of other miasms, even if only a very small amount. Some remedies, such as Lycopodium, have relatively equal symptoms of three miasms.
Judith: What role does the miasmatic history (individual and patient’s family) play in prescribing for the current state?
Henny H-M: Judith, this is such an important question. We are always prescribing for both the current state and the miasmatic background, because the miasmatic background is always informing the current state. If we don’t pay attention to the miasm that is present in the patient, we may prescribe a remedy that belongs to another miasm. The result will be nothing, or suppression. For example, take a patient who is warm, has green discharges, likes sweets, and likes fat; when this patient belongs to the psoric miasm, we prescribe Sulphur. With the same symptoms, if the sycotic miasm is present, we prescribe Medorrhinum. The miasmatic history helps to reveal the remedy he needs.
Maitreyi: Would you say that those who get cancer most probably have the cancer miasm in them? Would your answer to this question depend on whether the cancer developed early in their life or later?
Henny H-M: No, every miasm can produce tumors or cancer. The miasm or miasms determine how the patient expresses his symptoms during the time he has the cancer. We look at his symptoms in the mental, emotional, and physical fields, together with his modalities, generalities, emotions, mental symptoms.
Matt: Henny, do you overtly perceive and treat miasmatically in most or all of your patients?
Henny H-M: Yes. The miasms are the key to success, not only in finding the correct remedy, but also in guiding the case to cure over time.
Wyatt: Is there a straightforward way to find miasms? I have tried numerous ways suggested – even used facial analysis charts – that have resulted in different miasms on the same patient.
Henny H-M: Yes, there is a straightforward way, but there is no shortcut. The way is to study the miasms, to study the Materia Medica in light of the miasms, and to analyze the case in light of the miasms. Hahnemann said that the physician’s job is to understand remedies, to understand diseases (the chronic diseases being the miasms), and to understand how to apply the one to the other. This is a very involved process, but the results are well worth the effort.
Jentastic: What do you do when the main symptom seems to fit into one miasm while the whole person better fits another miasm? How do you know which miasm to focus on when a person seems to be as much one as another?
Henny H-M: There can definitely be multiple miasms in the same person at the same time. For this, we use a remedy that contains several miasms.
Maitreyi: If I understand correctly, in knowing the patient’s family history, we do not merely need to know the names of the diseases the members had (e.g. cancer, tuberculosis) – we need to know the manner in which these illnesses were expressed. Because, if I get this right, though these illnesses (e.g. cancer) go by a name which corresponds to a miasm, the person with that illness could actually have a different miasm?? Or is this only the case for cancer? And, can we assume in the case of other sicknesses (tuberculosis, syphilis) that those individuals probably exhibited those miasms?
Henny H-M: Maitreyi, how nice that you understand! The name of the disease only tells a little bit. How the disease manifests itself is the clue for us. For example, all miasms can have heart disease. Some have weakness of their heart; mostly this belongs to Psora. Some have dilated hearts, which belongs sometimes to overexertion, which might be a sign of the sycotic miasm. Some might have structural heart disease, which belongs to the syphilitic miasm.
Chat Room: Miasmatic Case Analysis of Allergies
January 23, 2007
Moderator: Welcome, Henny Heudens-Mast, who recently published her first book in English, The Foundation of the Chronic Miasms in the Practice of Homeopathy! We are pleased to have you answer all our questions this evening, even after a full day of teaching your annual case seminar in Florida!
Henny H-M: Thank you! It is wonderful to be here.
Jacquelyn: Do you look to treat miasms in any particular order?
Henny_H-M: No, wherever the patient comes from, the signs and symptoms of the miasm are the same in every person, even in animals. As to the order of treatment, I like to treat the miasms in the order in which they are presented in the patient. The miasm that is on the top is what you cover first; if the top miasm is sycosis, you treat that first, or if it’s psora, and so on. When the three miasms are together, you treat them together by using a tri-miasmatic remedy.
Lia: What reference books do you use to decide what miasm a remedy is best suited to treat?
Henny_H-M: In my practice, and in writing my own book, I consulted a variety of sources. I began my study of miasms with Hahnemann and then read all that was available at that time, such as Allen’s book and Ortega’s. I continued studying the miasms in my patients and how they are presented in this time. One especially reliable book that is available today is by Phyllis Speight, Chronic Miasms. Speight’s book lists the symptoms of each miasm in a schematic way, where in my book I give examples how to apply the miasms in practice. In my book I brought the miasmatic subject back to a modern and understandable way of the application of the miasms. My book expresses my understanding of the miasms as I have studied it in Hahnemann and seen it in my patients. It includes several cases that were treated from the beginning to the end with the remedies according to the miasms of the patients. It gives you an idea of how I think about the application of the miasms. The cases were presented at seminars, where everyone present could experience how we analyze the cases and help the patient.
Jeff: As a vet, I’d like to know whether you feel that miasmatic analysis in animals is useful, and if so, how do you feel animals get venereal miasms?
Henny_H-M: Very good question. Psora is stimulated in animals by suppression of skin eruptions; giving them artificial food, canned food, or dried food, instead of the real natural food that animals need; also by lack of fresh air; lack of exercise; etc. Syphilis will be provoked by inbreeding, for example. Sycosis will show its symptoms after vaccination. In animals, often the homeopathic treatment has a quicker result than in people. This is because animals do not think as humans do – they have no theories, so they are more themselves. The homeopathic prescription is based more on observation, and we are not misled by explanations. Also since the animal’s lifespan is shorter, many life processes take less time.
Lia: If someone has allergies as their chief complaint, may we assume that Psora is the predominant miasm?
Henny_H-M: No, not necessarily. It depends how and when the allergies present themselves and what the concomitant symptoms are. The diagnosis is not connected to the miasm – what is connected to the miasm is the particular way in which the patient exhibits the symptoms. Every patient has his own way of reacting with allergies. It’s not the allergies we treat; it’s the patient’s particular presentation. This is true of everyone we treat, regardless of the diagnosis. Similarly, in my book, I cover treatment of MS patients according to their different miasms.
Milli: How much can internal cleansing help with allergies? Aren’t allergies an expression of weakness when the system is overloaded with toxins? Thank you.
Henny_H-M: Maybe sometimes allergies are influenced by toxins. Cleansing is best done with organic food, and by getting out of the body the things that disturb – for example, metals (if possible), such as dental amalgam; some cosmetic products and anti-perspirants, and the best possible homeopathic remedy will assist cleansing.
Lia: Do you use any physical characteristics in analyzing a person’s miasm?
Henny_H-M: Yes, the different miasms can give physical symptoms which we can see during a consultation. For example, we see deformations such as crooked teeth, asymmetry of the face in syphilis. For psora, you can find the condition of the nails: brittle nails, weak nails; thin hair. For sycosis, you can see for example moles, warts. For the tubercular miasm, we can see the long eyelashes, the delicate body. For the cancer miasm, you can see the blue sclera, the cafe au lait spots, and so on.
Trish: What are syphilitic allergic manifestations?
Henny_H-M: Syphilitic allergic manifestations are, for example, excoriating, acrid discharges from the ears and nose; symptoms that are worse in the night; and so on.
Anja: After reading your book and the very interesting cases you present, I wonder how you keep your patients in compliance if you let them wait for months and months, even when they show no improvement for a long time? My experience is that people turn to all kind of suppression if they have to tolerate something like a skin eruption for more than a few weeks.
Henny_H-M: I tell the patients that the remedy will work but not immediately visibly on the skin, and that it can take a long time. The longest time needed to help skin eruptions is when they have been suppressed by cortisone or other creams, or other therapies. The less the patient has suppressed, the quicker the homeopathic remedy will cure. Most of my patients feel that I am really dealing with the problems, and they feel safe in waiting. In the meantime, the patient will feel better mentally and emotionally and can bear the skin problems better.
Barbara: What do you think of the Ringworm and other new miasms?
Henny_H-M: It is a new theory in the homeopathic world and it remains to be seen how helpful it is. This we can see only in the future after a great many cases have been treated in this way, and well documented. In my own practice, I find that the application of the five miasms of which I write in my book, is sufficient to deal with all the chronic cases that I see. There is also the possibility of new miasms emerging, as all the miasms have developed in populations over time.
Lia: In your experience, does treating both parents miasmatically for a few years before they conceive a baby, reduce that child’s chance of inheriting allergy?
Henny_H-M: Absolutely yes. Every child will be healthier after the parents are treated well with homeopathy. An allergy is not a hereditary condition, but the miasms of the parents will be present in the baby from before birth. If the baby is born after the parents have been treated well, the depth of the miasmatic heritage will be less than if the parents had not been treated. All children of parents who have been treated miasmatically are healthier, as long as the children are not treated with strong allopathic suppressive treatment and have not had damage from vaccinations.
Milli: Do you see the susceptibility to allergies as inherited or environmental, or both?
Henny_H-M: I do see them as inherited; also they are environmental. All the additives to our food, for example, introduce artificial things into our body, which must react to them. Together with the weakness that the child might get from the parents, I have seen several cases of children with allergies that started after emotional shock.
Andrew: If you treat someone successfully, are they likely to be more or less sensitive to new chemicals that will be introduced in the years to come? Will these patients be coming back to see me when new substances are introduced into their worlds?
Henny_H-M: I think they would be less susceptible, because we fortify the whole patient by our miasmatic treatment.
Nicolette: I’m a new student of Homeopathy… do you always treat the miasm first? Or do you treat the whole case constitutionally and include the miasm?
Henny_H-M: Yes, the latter. I always treat the whole patient constitutionally, and according to the miasms.
Deborah: How can you tell to which miasm a remedy belongs?
Henny_H-M: By knowing all the symptoms of each miasm. Every miasm has its own distinctive pattern of symptoms. When studying remedies, we look for those patterns in the remedy. By knowing the symptoms of each miasm, you will be able to identify the miasmatic symptoms in the remedy that you are studying.
There are remedies that are mostly psoric, some that are mostly syphilitic or sycotic, and some that have a combination of two or three or even of four or five miasms.
Chris: Certain remedies have not been assigned miasms in the repertory. Does this mean that these cannot be used as constitutional remedies?
Henny_H-M: No, it doesn’t. No repertory is complete, and the rubrics about the miasms are not clear in the repertories. Any remedy might be a constitutional remedy.
Moderator: Thank you, Henny, for all your thoughtful answers.
Henny_H-M: I wish you all good health and I thank you for having me here.