Doctors profess by far the most sensitive and the most responsible calling in society. In an age of specialization and super-specialization, we often forget that we refine our knowledge and insights by sharing our observation and experience with others. Homoeopathy is one of the therapies which constantly evolve through such wholesome traffic of give and take, of sight, insight, hindsight and foresight. The other song academy emphasizes feedback, discussion and mutual sharing in order to ensure optimum success in theory and practice of one of the most underrated and neglected systems of therapy: Homoeopathy.
As a prelude to our annual day celebrations, the other song organized a presentation competition (on our premises on 4th July, 2014 in afternoon) for our far flung alumni. This was designed to encourage experience and feedback sharing among and between fellow students with a view to fine-tuning their insights and build confidence. The response was very enthusiastic. Some of the participants submitted feedback which gave a tremendous boost to the morale of our staff and faculty. When presentation becomes a powerful representation, it promotes the sweetness and light with a multiplier effect.
The spectrum of case presentation from the alumni was divided into three categories i.e. a) Clinical practice upto 5 years, b) Practice from 5-10 years, c) Practice beyond 10 years. This classification enabled us to get a grip on how the acumen, confidence, and the success rate of the practitioner have evolved across the time scale. It also enabled the respondents to submit the benefits of seniority, maturity and above all the sessions of reorientations sponsored by the other song. Some of them shared with us that seniority is handcuffed to the calendar whereas maturity is a byproduct of exposure, study and introspection. The faculty of the other song was glad to discover from their feedback that maturity as a value is far superior to static seniority. Dr. Meghna Shah, Dr. Sujit Chatterjee and Dr. Shekhar Algundgi were entrusted with the onus of judging the presentations.
The first case presented was by Dr. Ramkrishna Valaki, our alumni from Gujarat. He shared a case of a 58-year-old ayurvedic physician, who complained of chronic sinusitis since 4 years and stitching pain in the knee joints since 12 years. Besides, he also had other complaints like vertigo, constipation, numbness in hands and perspiration causing itching. His past history included ailments like piles, fistula-in-ano and bronchitis. He had desire for sweets and rice and thermally he was chilly. He was addicted to tobacco in past and occasionally consumed alcohol. He was strongly attached to his family. He described his nature as being very sensitive, he used to feel sad when his daughters went back to their in-laws’ place after visiting him. He was very anxious and sad then and he got palpitations, was restless, perspired and experienced trembling all over his body. However, he had to control his emotions, or he would be sleepless that night.
When asked about the incident that bothered him the most, he recounted a fight between his father and his brother, where brother insulted his father in front of all. As he feels that we cannot disrespect our elders, he was very angry then and again experienced trembling in the body. He felt as if his blood pressure had gone up. Again there were many thoughts, which he had to control or he would be sleepless. The patient is very anxious for the wellbeing of his daughters. He once learnt of a distressing event at his daughter’s place, which made him very angry and he had trembling all over and he was unable to control his emotions. When asked about his fears, he stated that he was very scared of high places, thunderstorm and water. With fear, his experience was of shock, with trembling, perspiration and dryness of mouth.
The patient is a very sensitive person and with all his sensitive issues, be it hurt, anxiety, anger, he experiences shock, trembling in body, perspiration, restlessness and dryness of mouth. This sensitivity to issues that affect him and his reactivity suggests that his remedy should belong to the Plant Kingdom. Also the peculiar experience of shock, trembling, restlessness with morbid sensitivity, many emotions running together, sensitive to trifles are characteristic of the plant family Ranunculaceae1. His need to control and restrain his emotions, suggests that he belongs to the Cancer miasm2. At the same time on considering rubrics like trembling from anger, sensitive to moral impressions, fear of high places, desire for alcohol and tobacco, remedy Staphysagria which covered all rubrics and which belongs to Cancer miasm of the family Ranunculaceae was selected for the patient. The patient did very well with the medicine and there was improvement at all levels – the local, general as well as the emotional level.
Another case presented was by Dr. Avisha Joshi, a homoeopathic consultant from Pune. A 52-year-old lady came to her with complaint of repeatedly losing balance on the right side from any kind of motion or movement. She had been suffering from this for over 4 years. This affliction beset her with numerous problems. She also had a history of discharge from the ear. She was afraid of travelling alone. She was a very cheerful and a helpful lady. Her husband was frequently out of town in his capacity as a civil servant. In his absence, she had to manage all chores single handedly. Though by temperament she was very cheerful and caring, but the fear of sliding down and meeting with an accident filled her with undue anxiety and fear. She had dreams of falling from the stairs. She feared the possibility of becoming bedridden and dependent upon the care and support of her family. She was afraid that her family would suffer if they were to care for her. She was morbidly afraid of falling due to loss of balance.
The patient considered maintaining cordial relations a priority. Her elder son’s inter caste marriage and the younger son’s disinclination to marriage were a cause of stress and concern to her, causing sleeplessness, but she was not very vocal about it for the fear of it affecting her relationships. She had craving for sweets and salt and her perspiration was scanty. Her other fears included fear of illness, of being alone, darkness, water, accidents and she experienced palpitations with fear and anxiety. Hence the totality formed included the following symptoms: anxiety about family, sympathetic, sleeplessness from thoughts, fear of water, fear of dark, fear of being alone, fear of accidents, desire for sweets, and desire for salt.
In this case, the patient’s main experience was of insecurity due to her complaints and the need for support from family for her health and the importance she gave to relationships, makes us sure that she would need a mineral remedy with extreme care, affection and anxiety for family, causing sleeplessness. She was given Kali-phos which was a salt from the combination of Row 3 and Row 4 of the periodic table, which yielded very good results.
Dr. Preeti Doshi and Dr. Deepali Doshi presented a case of a 60-year-old patient afflicted with psoriasis with lot of itching and burning. He was under treatment since 2010, and a few doses of Sulphur 200, took care of his lesions. But a stint at a meditation camp caused his lesions to flare up. The patient referred to an incident in 1993 when he was duped and defrauded by a colleague in the housing society who had taken his signature on a blank cheque. Consequently, he was suspended and was rendered adrift and jobless for a year. He felt so depressed that he contemplated suicide and murder of the fraudulent colleague.
The patient suffered from a delusion of conspiracy. He felt tarnished and boycotted from the society. He was by nature amiable, gentle, kind and trusting. Ready to lead, he welcomed responsibility and hard work. He had been duped by a tenant who cheated him during his tenancy. He suffered torture and humiliation at both levels. He had dreams of violence, planning a murder and craving for spicy food, meat and sweets. Perspiration was more on neck and he was hot.
Considering his totality of symptoms: delusion that he had suffered wrong, strong sense of responsibility and duty, threatening and violence, Naja was thought of for him. Also, the feeling of political conspiracy, fame, unfair, cannot defend oneself, powerless, desire to injure others, shocked, planning an attack are all covered by Naja which belongs to the Elapidae family3 of snakes.
After single dose of Naja 200, when he was followed up after a month, it was found that his skin thickness had decreased but the burning and itching had aggravated. Intense burning which was ameliorated by cold water. His experience of shock like current through the skin and burning micturition, made the doctors select Apis mellifica 200, single dose, but as the patient was not better, his case was studied again where the patient complained of electric shock like pain in the head and the abdomen. On analyzing the case again, the main experience was found to be of shock and disappointment, with a sensation of numbness, a feeling of being an outcast by the society, almost a leprous feeling, where again the experience was of shock and being let down.
This made the selection in favor of plant kingdom, owing to patient’s sensitivity and the main experience of shock, which is the experience of family Loganiaceae4. Based on the feeling of suffering and being outcast from the society, the patient was given Curare 30, which belongs to the Leprous miasm. Within 15 days of administering the medicine, the itching and burning was better and his anger had reduced by 40%. Careful repetition of the medicine over a year ensured that his state and his psoriasis were much better and he was more stable now.
Dr. Shardul Joshi, M.D. (Hom) from Pune was the next presenter and he shared his experience of treating a 11- year-old boy with conduct disorder who was aggressive, abusive, irritable, and striking. He also complained of headache as if someone was pressing the head forcibly and the pain was ameliorated by hard pressure. During his early childhood, the boy’s father was an alcoholic and he would hit his mother in front of the boy. As a result the patient would be scared and would get frightening dreams at night, where he would startle and wake up crying. His parents separated when he was 3 years of age and then he stayed with his maternal grandparents and his mother stayed in another city owing to her job.
The patient always felt that his grandparents took him away from his mother. His mother always told him that his father never loved him. The child had a lot of anger towards his grandparents as they were doctors and were insistent on his studying well and following a time-table. In his anger, he felt like hitting his grandparents. He always felt that his father should not have left them, that he would have had a lot of fun with his father if they stayed together.
He liked playing football and basketball and on asking further he said basketball is a speedy game which required presence of mind. On asking to explain the word speed, he said it meant that you should not be seen and the ball also should not be seen and others should remain unaware why you are running.
He had dreams of being pursued by people with distorted, mutilated head and arms and blood pouring out from them with sticks and axes who were coming to kill him. In his dream, he kept running till a point when he was surrounded from all sides by these people and he felt helpless. He then hears a sound from the engine and sees a big stone bursting and monsters with human blood and flesh stuck to their face, pouring out from it and coming to kill him. He feels extremely scared during the dream and wants to hide in a safe place else fearing that those dead people would burn him and throw him away.
He wanted to be an army officer as he wanted to kill the enemy and fight for the country. Once he had a fight with a boy. He felt that if he was hurt, he would kill the boy by banging his head against something or shooting him with a gun. His mother reports that he gets very angry especially with his grandmother and he hits and punches or kicks her and tries to strangulate her. He is very dominant and a leader among his group of friends. He often likes to remain alone. If he does not like any clothes that are bought for him, he cuts them with scissors or burns them.
Another thing the mother added was that he wanted to look handsome and fair. He felt that all the girls in his class should pay him attention, so he used ‘Fair and Lovely’ to improve his skin complexion. Thermally he was a hot patient. During pregnancy, the mother said that there was a picture of Goddess Kali in her room and she always felt that she was coming to kill her. She also had developed an aversion to fish and sour food and a craving for butter.
The main themes in the case were of violence, murder, sudden reaction, morbid sensitivity, being pursued, striking, fright, abusive, startling, dead, and mutilated. The main experience as reflected through dreams was of intense fright and starting from fright. This is the experience of the family Solanaceae5. Also, the feeling that he should be appreciated and loved by his parents and father indicated the Leprous miasm6. This led to selection of remedy Mandragora 200, which was given in a single dose. Mandragora is also a symbol of demon, used in witchcraft and magic.
The link for Dr. Shardul’s presentation is http://youtu.be/4On4SvPJpFk
In his follow-up after 15 days, the patient said that he slept well, starting only occasionally. His relatives observed that his aggressiveness had reduced and he was calmer. Over a period of time, he was much better, his irritability and aggressiveness were better and he had started socializing. His concentration had improved and his appetite was better too. This case presentation was adjudged to be the most noteworthy on account of the very attentive case-taking, subsequent analysis of symptoms and appropriate application of the Sensation Approach to the total perspective of the case.
In the next group of practitioners having an experience of 5-10 years, Dr. Alpesh Oza presented a very interesting case of a 45-year-old lady who consulted him in February 2012 having a small kidney post pyelonephritis (2010). She complained of pain in the left flank which was aggravated by least motion. The pain was gradual to increase and decrease and was better when she was occupied or working. She felt a frequent uncontrollable urge for urination and had involuntary urination when coughing or sneezing.
Other symptoms in her case were: dislike for tea, perspiration with anxiety, dreams of dead relatives, irregular menses and menorrhagia on exertion or walking. USG at that time showed small left kidney with scarring and hydronephrosis, right kidney was normal.
The patient was not forthcoming about her nature despite probing for 40 minutes. She only said that she was anxious about her illness, whether her kidneys would function properly or not. She just narrated this and was looking down all the while. Her husband who accompanied her said that she was angry from least contradiction, not very expressive, sad most of the time, haughty and did not mix with many people saying that they were not of the same level as hers.
On this basis, Dr. Alpesh considered her totality as: sadness taciturnity with, haughty pride, anxiety perspiration with, dreams of dead relatives, occupation diversion ameliorates, pain appearing and disappearing gradually, urination frequent, menses – exertion brings on the flow. Based on the totality, she was given Platina 30 twice a day for 2 days.
After a week, her pain was better and in the follow-up after a month, her pain was better but coming and going, with dysuria. USG in June showed that the kidney had further shrunk in size. So she was given Solidago virgo on the basis of acute indication that there was pain in the regions of kidney with dysuria and kidney symptoms being sensitive to pressure, backache due to congestive kidney.
After a week of giving Solidago she developed dry cough aggravated on lying and at night. She had pain in throat with headache in the vertex which was aggravated by coughing, involuntary urination and loss of sleep, and ailment from taking cold. Here, we see both the acute and chronic state coming together. The new totality considered was: Pain pressing head, pain pressing flanks, slightest motion aggravates, urination frequent, cough during aggravation, cough lying aggravated, cough disturbing sleep. The remedy selected here should cover the pathology and should also have affection over the bladder and kidney. Squilla covered all the symptoms with the pathology.
In the follow-up after a month, Squilla was repeated twice a day for 3 days. She was better, however the complaints persisted, so she was given Squilla 200. USG after 3 months showed further shrinking of kidneys and renal function tests were normal. Till date she is doing extremely well so the shrunken kidney was presumably the residual effect of the disease.
Dr. Pravin Pente, M.D. (Hom) showed a very good case of a young child with ascites over two months. He was first seen on the 29th of September, 2013 at 6:30 a.m. MRI showed ascitic fluid due to lymphatic obstruction around small intestine. The patient was crying continuously since the previous night due to pain and had difficulty in breathing. He was weak, thin and emaciated. One of the characteristic observations was that the child held a cloth in his hand when weeping. Also, the room was stinking as the child had just passed stool.
When narrating the history, the parents said that he was completely OK till 2 months of age. Suddenly, he developed abdominal pain one night and was hospitalized and then was diagnosed of having ascites. His pain was aggravated at night around 9 p.m. He wept bitterly with the pain and always held on to something e.g. mother’s fingers, cloth etc. His pain gradually increased each day so he was admitted to a hospital and several times when his abdominal girth reached 49 cm, his abdomen was tapped and around 450 ml of fluid was removed. Since the situation was getting out of control, he was shifted to Mumbai at Hinduja hospital and was admitted there for a month with no improvement. Finally, they were advised to do a laproscopic surgery which the parents were not keen on.
On asking the mother about her pregnancy history, there was silence for two minutes and then she started to weep. She said that she was very stressed then as her husband was a chronic alcoholic. She was anxious about losing business, money and home. Her husband had lot of faith in his elder brother’s wife and was completely under her control. She demanded a lot of money from her husband and he gave her money all the time. This made the patient’s mother very angry but she was helpless.
During her pregnancy, she had dreams that her sister-in-law had cheated her husband making him sign all property papers. She was afraid that they would be homeless and she would take away all their property. These thoughts made her very restless and she had palpitations, trembling and helpless feeling and would weep alone. There were frequent quarrels with her husband as he was very careless, whereas she was very organized. She felt that everything should be kept systematically as you would never know what would be required in an emergency. She kept weeping and saying that she took best care of her son, kept her house so clean, yet her son developed this complaint. She was now scared that she would lose her son. The mother had desire for sweets, aversion to spicy food and thermally was chilly.
The patient was a normal child at birth. He needed to hold on to something when weeping. Since things with the mother and the child are going out of control it is indicative of cancer miasm. Issues of security in terms of money, home, job, protection and defense are indicative of Row 4 of the Mineral Kingdom7. Since the patient has fear of losing everything, the remedy belongs to the right side of the periodic table. The experience of weak, defending, cannot protect, sister-in-law is trying to take away everything, and the situation going out of control are issues of column 15. The prominent rubrics of the case were: stool offensive or putrid, holding or being held desire for pain on, respiration difficult lying on, abdomen dropsy ascites, aggravation 9pm to 5am, sleeplessness with pain in abdomen. The remedies coming up were Arsenic, Apis, Sepia and Sulphur. Considering the totality on one hand and the understanding through the Sensation Approach (coming together of the symptoms and the system), the remedy Arsenic alb was selected and given in a single dose of 200th potency.
Fifteen days after giving the medicine, the abdominal girth reduced from 49 to 35 cms. There was no pain on palpation, but the patient developed diarrhea and was dehydrated. The patient was repeated a dose and after a few days, he slowly recovered. He was quite well and active; he was also started on milk which was earlier restricted.
This simple and straight case was adjudged to be the best of the group because of the analytic and the synthetic understanding it brought to bear on upon the case. An overall understanding, with outstanding result won this case the first prize in the group.
For a glimpse of Dr. Pravin’s presentation go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jJTKFiSU4us&list=UU3SgNMYLYP0M9LilJiT7-HQ
The next group comprised of 3 presenters, the first one being Dr. Sunita Gandhi who is a student of the fist CCAH (Certificate in advanced homoeopathy) at the other song. She shared a case of a 34-year-old female seen for the first time in July 2013 with a host of complaints like excessive hairfall, acne since puberty and backache. After studying her case, she was given Calcarea carb and the patient seemed to be doing well with that. Then there was an incident in her life where when working with an organization, her female boss played dirty politics with her. The effect of this incident was so profound that she could not sleep for 8 months and would not allow her husband to watch TV. She would suddenly start shouting anxiously that something would happen to her. She was a very soft spoken person and after this incident, she resigned from her job. Calcarea carb was repeated for 4 months, without any results, so her case was studied again.
The patient started off by stating that she wanted to work but could not as there were a lot of thoughts in her head with a constant feeling that she would not succeed at whatever she did. She was still unable to accept that such a situation could have happened with her and that it could impact her so much. She said that it was like she had gone into some kind of a cocoon and all her friends were trying to pull her out of it by suggesting various job offers. If any of these offers had a female boss, she would reject as she did not want a female boss anymore. “I just want to stay in my comfort zone, don’t want anyone to come inside. I am very relaxed in the house as nothing can bite me here. My feeling is that I should get out of the house for some time and that will make me feel better.” On asking more about the feeling of biting, she said it felt as if she was restricted, was being watched, disrespected, disregarded, with no freedom of thought or speech. Restricted means unable to do what she wanted to do when she wanted to do without having to ask anyone. Restriction, she said could be external and internal. Currently she was facing internal restriction. She was working with a person and she always felt that she had to be careful as he could have a hidden agenda.
On being asked to describe a cocoon, she said that it was her comfort zone and only the people she wanted would be allowed in, others being kept out. She said, “It was like building my shell around me and doing things in a way that I feel free. You can imagine it is like an igloo (hand gesture). I can come in whenever I want to and go whenever I want but if someone else has to come in I have to do a lot of investigation. There is a fire wall which is a restriction, you have to pass that and then come in. There are a lot of inhibitions about people. Are they going to trouble or harm in anyway? Cocoon is a closed thing, people who I don’t like are not allowed in my thought process.”
The important themes that we see in the case are:
- It comes to bite me
- No freedom
- Watched all the time
- It’s so much so that somebody is giving me permission to breathe
- Don’t want a female boss anymore
This is a feature of animal remedies – restricted, no freedom, biting, you versus me. Testudinidae, a family of reptiles has the above themes as their main experience in the form of conflict that should I stay in or go out. She spoke about my cocoon, my shell, no freedom, restricted, igloo, ‘I want to stay in the comfort zone’. I take a back seat, which is the experience of the family Testudinidae8. And testudines are the most docile, herbivorous reptiles. The patient was given the remedy Tortoise.
After the medicine, she is mentally very stable. She feels at peace and is happy. Dr. Gandhi then showed a clipping of tortoise reacting to stimuli and danger in his surroundings by retracting into his shell, which was very similar to the patient’s experience.
This systematic understanding of the case with the Sensation Approach and a clear presentation, won her case the first prize in this category. To watch Dr. Sunita Gandhi presenting this case, please click http://youtu.be/EiuENUjP7Co
Dr. S.L. Parakh, a senior and a reputed homoeopath from Indore then shared a case of a 22-year-old young boy who complained of eruptions and itching for 2 years which would temporarily respond to allopathic treatment, but would again recur with the same intensity. The itching was so intense that the eruptions would bleed and if the same nails would touch the other parts of the body, the eruptions would also get infected.