Homeopathy Papers

Approaching and Treating a Case with Heilkunst

Written by Rudi Verspoor

Approaching and Treating a Case with Heilkunst

The essence of treatment of any case of ill-health is to determine the cause(s) using the most comprehensive assessment possible and then to apply the correct prescriptions based on this assessment. In addition, treatment must be carried out in the right sequence, according to rational principles grounded in natural law.

In this regard, there is a fundamental distinction to be made between:

(a) disorders involving essentially the sustentive side of the life force and
(b) those involving the generative side.

For (a), we are dealing with an imbalance that must be corrected according to the Law of Opposites. There is no disease involved. This is the realm of therapeutic regimen.

If there is a deficiency of something necessary to the organism, it must be supplied, such as Vitamin D or C. If there is an excess of something, this must then be reduced to that level necessary for health, such as in the case of an excess intake of salt or sugar.

Where there are substances or other influences that are harmful, these must then be eliminated, such as the use of synthetic chemicals in foods (Aspartame in diet drinks, for example), or living in “damp basements” or “marshy regions” (as noted by Dr. Hahnemann).

If these deficits or excesses are not addressed, they form what Hahnemann termed “obstacles to cure.” Thus, just as Hahnemann started his new system of healthcare by addressing the patient’s proper regimen and provided for them regimenal prescriptions (for body, mind and soul), we must first examine the regimenal status of our patients.

This ultimately requires a rational understanding of the functioning of the human being, which involves a true, dynamic physiology (beyond the bio-chemistry of allopathic medicine) so that what is proper and beneficial for each case is assessed according to basic standards and the relevant typologies involved (see article on Regimen).

As a simple example, take the case of the man, a landscaper who worked mostly outside, who came to see us for treatment of what had been diagnosed as arthritis. He wanted to avoid the use of the drugs recommended for his condition. The initial consultation, which examined his dietary habits, revealed that he drank no water at all, but 4-5 cups of coffee a day.

Since coffee, like all beverages, is dehydrating, and since dehydration can produce many serious symptoms, including arthritic ones (as has been proven by Dr. Batmanghelidj’s research), and since the man’s health was otherwise good, we simply recommended that he reduce his coffee intake and drink at least 4 cups of water a day to start. After a month the man had increased his intake of water on his own and he reported that his arthritic symptoms had gone away.

Another example would be the patient who complained constantly of fatigue. Being a long-standing vegetarian by belief, but being also an O-blood type, she was suffering from a deficit of certain proteins and factors contained in red-meat needed by such types. Despite the improvement of many other aspects of her health through Heilkunst treatment on the medical side, the fatigue persisted. Finally, she agreed to try a small amount of meat and within a month her energy increased dramatically and she felt very well.

The opposite can also be the case, where a patient is taking the wrong or too many supplements (vitamins, minerals, enzymes, anti-oxidants, etc.) and this excess impairs body function rather than enhancing it. This is often seen in the cases of the autistic children we treat (see the book Autism: The Journey Back – Recovery of the Self Through Heilkunst).

Many of the approaches to treating the autistic condition rely heavily on various supplements to treat symptoms and supply what is supposedly in deficit according to various tests. While there may be an initial positive response in some cases, in almost all cases the complicated and high level of fractionated vitamins, minerals and other products designed to address metabolic disorders eventually serve to only irritate the body and interfere with proper functioning.

As an example, while too many free radicals in the body can be harmful (anti-oxidants are necessary to keeping the numbers down), they are nonetheless a necessary part of body function, and too few can prevent the necessary level of metabolic interactions and lead to fatigue which happens if people take high levels of concentrated anti-oxidant supplements.

The Heilkünstler also uses various energetic formulas produced from extensive research by such dedicated individuals as Dr. Reckeweg (Homotoxicology), to assist the body in the removal of toxins such as heavy metals, as well as to offer support for the various organs of elimination such as the liver, kidneys, lymphatic system, lungs and the skin. In doing that, these emunctories are then able to handle the detoxification triggered by proper regimen, not to mention the removal of disease on the medical side of Heilkunst treatment.

Another area that needs to be considered is the nutrient-depleting effect of drugs and even herbs which, pharmaco-dynamically, are just somewhat gentler versions of synthetic drugs. Information about their effects is becoming more accessible and commonplace and in Heilkunst, in addition to published data on depletion effects, we use principles of pharmacology and pharmacognosy to establish the likely effects of a given drug or combination of drugs.

Consideration must also be given to the symptoms produced by and associated with a given drug, not to mention drug-drug interactions and drug-herb interactions. These are complex and often not documented, but again, given an understanding of the principles of pharmacology and pharmacognosy, a relationship can be established to help determine which symptoms of the patient are due to natural diseases and which due to iatrogenesis.

While Heilkunst is concerned with identifying which symptoms are due to drugs (and herbs), and seeks to minimize those while the patient still needs to be on them, it is not dependent on the symptoms of the patient (as is purely homeopathic prescribing) to determine the curative remedy.

Heilkunst treatment does not require in any way that patients cease their existing medication, though the effectiveness of treatment leads to the removal of the conditions necessitating their use, and to their eventual elimination.

In today’s world of chemical poisoning, de-natured food, polluted air and water, and high stress (with the corresponding high demands by the body for nutrients), not to mention the problems of multiple drug use, there are many obstacles to cure that must be addressed so that the medicines can then be effective.

At the same time, the very fact of disease, with its powerful impingement on the generative side of the life force, results in a host of dysfunctions at the metabolic level that cannot be addressed by therapeutic regimen alone. For example, a chronic miasm may be causing profound disturbances in the body’s ability to assimilate and utilize nutrients, such that no amount of supplementation can correct this. A case that comes to mind is that of a woman, a wholistic nurse who had very good regimen to begin with, and who had suddenly produced severe oozing eruptions on her hands that looked like severe burns, and almost all the skin had peeled off.

Tests determined that she had significant deficiencies of various nutrients, but supplementation did not correct the problem. Given that the eruptions occurred in the fall and also given knowledge of the woman’s health history and previous treatment, as well as a consideration of the symptoms themselves, Psorinum was given, along with Natrum muriaticum for some emotional issues, and within several weeks her hands had healed almost completely.

Another case illustrates the significance of the impact of disease on nutrient disturbance and metabolic dysfunction. There was a young woman in her early twenties who had lost almost one-third of her bone density in the past several years, and her bones were extremely fragile.

Despite high levels of calcium supplements, milk-drinking and drugs, nothing seemed to touch the progressive deterioration of her bones. A case history revealed emotional trauma from birth, plus signs of various chronic miasms, and tuberculosis and syphilis in particular.

Using a sequential approach (see article on sequential treatment of life traumas) to remove the emotional traumas as well as other shocks to her system which had rendered it extremely acidic, along with treatment for the chronic miasms according to Dr. Elmiger’s Law of Succession of Forces (see article on the miasms), the bone loss was arrested and the fragility of the bones was reversed. Whereas prior to treatment, any blow to the bones would have shattered them, after treatment the patient suffered the dropping of a file cabinet on her foot without any fracture.

Once the regimenal obstacles have been dealt with, the patient is ready for medicine. Just as the practitioner must qualify for medicine, so must the patient. While in theory therapeutic regimen would be applied first, followed by medicine proper, the previously noted complicating effects of disease on physiological functions and bio-chemical processes requires that the practitioner address both realms simultaneously.

The key to dealing with disease is to have a comprehensive nosology, which Hahnemann supplied, with his distinction between tonic and pathic diseases, and his principle to first treat the tonic or primary diseases. These diseases exist within specific jurisdictions (homogenic, pathogenic, iatrogenic, ideogenic to name the main ones) and are treated generally in the reverse order of their occurrence as verified by the detailed and extensive clinical research of Elmiger in Switzerland.

The sequential removal of a lifetime of shocks and traumas (drugs, accidents, mental-emotional shocks, vaccinations, physical traumas, past infections, poisonings) is done according to the law of similar resonance, the curative remedy for a given shock being determined by the principle governing the particular tonic disease involved. For example, the iatrogenic jurisdiction is governed by a relationship between the iatrogenic agent and the curative remedy, such that a disease engendered by cortisone would be removed and eliminated by a dynamized and potentised dose of Cortisone, an MMR vaccine disease being cured by a similar dose of MMR vaccine material. Thus, where Hahnemann despaired of being able to remove iatrogenic effects, it can be safely done by means of this principle.

One of the aspects of treatment in this way is that the practitioner is not dependent on the symptom picture to prescribe, following instead the life force as it seeks to tackle and remove disease according to the natural principle of cure proceeding in the reverse order of occurrence of the traumas.

Thus, absent any acute indications to the contrary (usually indicative of a pathic disease that needs to be treated), the practitioner can simply treat for the deeper, underlying primary diseases that are shown on the timeline of traumatic and dramatic events in a person’s life to know what remedy to give next. This can very much simplify treatment. Treatment is then extended into the realm of the chronic miasms based on Elmiger’s Law of Succession of Forces (see article on miasms).

In one dramatic case, a mother came on an emergency basis to our clinic with her child who had suddenly developed certain symptoms that had puzzled and stumped the doctors she had consulted. About half a dozen times a day and roughly at the same time, the child had begun to suddenly stop breathing, turning blue, falling unconscious and then recovering with no apparent untoward effects.

The child was also in treatment by us for various health problems; when the file was examined, the solution was clear. The child had not been seen for over six months and was due for the next anti-miasmatic remedy, in this case for tuberculosis, which is Tuberculinum.

A quick check of the materia medica confirmed that such symptomology could be related to the chronic miasm, tuberculosis, and the mother assured us that no other traumas had intervened since the last treatment. So, based on the Law of Succession of Forces, Tuberculinum was given, and within a few days the episodes ceased entirely.

What had happened is that the life force had continued on its journey according to the map laid down by nature and had decided to tackle the tubercular miasmic disease on its own, thus throwing up the symptoms mentioned. It could not successfully complete the effort without the curative remedy. Once the remedy was given, the life force was able to then turn its attention to healing and the restoration of balance.

In many cases, the apparent cause is not the real cause, as there are several levels of causation – active, directive, productive and ultimate, as philosophy has taught over the centuries. So while a given trauma may have triggered a particular set of symptoms, this only occurred because of other, earlier traumas plus the existence of one or more chronic miasms.

In one case, a woman in her mid-30s developed a swollen and painful knee after a rubella vaccination and was told she had rheumatoid arthritis. Treatment for the shock of the vaccination partially relieved her symptoms but as treatment continued through the various shocks in her life, her knee continued to improve until just before the rubella vaccination she had received as a child.

At that time her knee swelled up again, then got better until treatment for the sycotic miasm, when the symptoms returned with a vengeance albeit briefly and this time without pain, and then went away again. Her knee has been fine for more than twelve years.

Beyond the miasms lies an entire realm that Hahnemann termed the “highest disease,” namely those that relate to the human mind and consciousness, and stem, as he put it, from ignorance, leading to beliefs and superstition. Cases are often so intractable that the symptoms persist until the practitioner is able to go all the way up to this realm of ideogenic disease.

While the map here is more tenuous and sketchy, there is a great deal of work being done both by ourselves as well as by others, such as Rajan Sankaran and Jan Scholten, that addresses the problem of the development of the self and the removal of the false ego. The work of Reich and orgonomic medicine is also very helpful in this regard, not to mention the scientific mapping of the supersensible and subsensible realms by Steiner and anthroposophic medicine.

For example, Reich’s work on character analysis, extending the insights of Sigmund Freud regarding the ego and the various blockages to the attainment of genital primacy resulting in neurosis, has allowed for a rational application of the insights of Scholten regarding the Lanthanides – namely, in seeing the various Lanthanides as a series of fourteen stages in the freeing of the true self from the grip of the false ego.

As adult patients have had the traumas from this lifetime removed, and have been treated in sequence for the chronic miasms, the higher issues of the proper development of the true self, previously hampered by these blockages, now emerges but meets with various difficulties related to what Reich termed stasis and psycho-neurosis due to certain beliefs, illusion and delusions (mostly lying in the sub-conscious) that seem to render autonomy for the self impossible.

These psychic blockages can be helped by using a Lanthanide that addresses the particular false belief regarding autonomy as linked to the various stages set out by Scholten, and linked and grounded rationally in the periodic table arrangement of these elements. In addition, each stage can also involve a particular conflict over greater autonomy, linked to a fear of the loss of some connection to a person or persons.

We have found the use of the Lanthanides at the proper place in a patient’s development, along with the relevant conflict remedy, allows the patient to move forward. In one case, a patient had made great strides in her health but felt that every effort to become more independent was being resisted by various forces and influences around her.

Analysis of the case also revealed that she feared that her greater autonomy would lead to the loss of friendships, on which she depended greatly in her life. She was given Dysprosium phosphoricum in various potencies over several months and experienced a greater sense of confidence to move forward in decisions that put her in greater resonance with her internal, objective desire function without the fear of the loss of existing friendships.

She realized that her current friendships were actually holding her back and that she no longer really had anything in common with the people involved. She also trusted that she would develop new friendships and indeed experienced the formation of a few new relationships that supported her in her voyage of self-discovery.

The understanding of Hahnemann’s polarity of the deeper and higher diseases coupled with the work by Paul Herscu (in his book, Stramonium), allowed us to understand various clinical cases of deep-seated fear that had created strong destructive and self-destructive disturbances, often with a component of sexuality.

Reich’s work on the effect of the blockage of the life force in terms of secondary drives and the host of destructive and self-destructive behaviors (neurosis and psychosis) gave us the rational framework we needed to map out this deeper realm of the human experience, which Steven Decker termed the chthonic realm (from the Greek chthonos for “underworld”).

From all this we were able to match various remedies to a given disturbance of one of the four members of the human Leib based on Steiner’s work, as well as to polarize these remedies between the understanding of the upper and nether being of each individual. This understanding has allowed us to treat many cases of violence, sexually-inappropriate behavior and other behavioral issues that are now given various labels, such as Oppositional Defiance Disorder (ODD).

In one case, an 8 year-old child suddenly began laughing and giggling inappropriately, wanting to go to her room to mast-urbate dozens of times a day, would jump up and down on the bed and refuse to settle down at night. The symptoms and situation fit Bufo and several doses significantly improved the situation.

In another case, a mother reported being afraid of her 3-year old daughter as the daughter had threatened to kill her with an icy and chilling intensity, once grabbing a knife and trying to stab her. The mother said she was afraid to go to sleep at night. The daughter’s eyes had no sense of life or soul, creating an eerie effect and giving the impression of a possession by evil spirits.

In this case, Hyoscyamus was given and over a period of several months, the child acted more normally, the life and soul returned to the eyes and she acted more like a three-year old. In cases of extreme rigidity and obsessive-compulsive disorder, Baryta carbonica has been used effectively to bring a greater willingness to allow change in a person’s life and routine.

The chthonic realm has various layers, and more recently we have started to map these deeper layers of fear using insights into the snake remedies that have emerged with Sadhana Thakkar’s work (Insights into the Consciousness of Snake Remedies) and that of Farokh Master (Snakes to Simillimum).

The broader understanding given to us about human existence and functioning that comes from the works of Steiner and anthroposophical medicine allows us to place such clinical research into a rational framework and within the context of the patient in a way that allows for the emergence of a comprehensive diagnosis from the top down, and rational therapeutics to match, that is from the bottom up.

Most cases today are very complicated and deep and contain many diseases and disorders acting and inter-acting in a complex and often confusing manner. Success comes from having both the largest rational map of the human condition and the causes of the range of disturbances of that condition, as well as the rational principles that allow for the successful matching of the cause of the disturbance with the curative remedy, whether from the side of regimen (the law of opposites) or from the side of medicine proper (law of similars).

About the author

Rudi Verspoor

Rudi Verspoor is Dean and Chair Department of Philosophy Hahnemann College for Heilkunst, Ottawa. He was Director of the British Institute of Homeopathy Canada from 1993 to early 2001.

Part of his time is spent advising the Canadian government on health-care policy and in working for greater acceptance of and access to homeopathy. His publications include:
Homeopathy Renewed, A Sequential Approach to the Treatment of Chronic Illness (with Patty Smith);
A Time for Healing; Homeopathy Re-examined: Beyond the Classical Paradigm (with Steven Decker);
The Dynamic Legacy: Hahnemann from Homeopathy to Heilkunst (with Steven Decker).
Visit Rudi Verspoor at the Center for Romantic Science

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