‘the other song – International Academy of advanced Homoeopathy’ had organized a 2-day seminar by Dr. Rajan Sankaran, on the 10th and 11th January, 2015, at Pune. The seminar marked the beginning of ‘the other song’ joining hands with ‘Prana: World’s first homoeopathy yoga centre’ situated in Pune, to fulfill their common aim of providing premium homeopathic education and clinical training to students and practitioners. This seminar was also supported by the Indian Homoeopathic Forum (IHF)
Dr. Sankaran, the chief speaker at the seminar highlighted bedrock homoeopathic concepts important for our practice. Sharing from his vast clinical experience of 30 years, he explained the skillful and practical application of these concepts in cases and their utility in remedy selection. He demonstrated the art of case-taking through cases, with special emphasis and importance of going with the patient flow and being a good listener. He emphasized the significance of the integration of the old and the new approaches i.e. by the application of ‘Synergy’ in Homoeopathy. Dr. Sankaran put forth case after case, where the symptoms when amalgamated with the Sensation, viz the system understanding, lead to surer and definitive results which were also reproducible.
Dr Sankaran shared a case of a man, 50 years of age, seen at the other song on the 6th September, 2012. The patient complained of pain in the lumbar region of the back over the last 5 years and was diagnosed of having L1-L5 degeneration on MRI scan. He could not lift his left hand and complained of pain in shoulder area. When asked to describe the exact location of pain, the patient pointed to the deltoid area. When asked to describe the pain, the patient said that he could not raise his hand and the pain was better when he relaxed it. The pain was worse by exercising, > holding on to support. The pain was mainly in the deltoid region.
Besides, he also felt the pain in back, so he did an MRI of back, which diagnosed the problem as prolapsed intervertebral disc. This pain was worse from riding a bike, lifting heavy weights or long travelling. He felt as if his muscles had become incapable of working and that their capacity had decreased. To elicit other modalities, the patient was then asked to bend and stretch to see the effect on pains. On this the patient said that he was better when bending and worse when stretching. He also stated that he had a habit of swinging holding on to a fixed support and this often helped the pain in his shoulder as he felt that the joint relaxed then, this has no effect whatsoever on the back pain.
He had knee pain, which was felt more in left knee when walking. Pain is more at the medial side of the knee joint. The pain in knee is better by rest too and is worse on waking and when ascending the stairs. It felt to him as if his bones are pricking. Last year, both his big toes had ingrown toe nails. There was a gap between skin and nails, and to him it felt that it was because of cigarette smoking. He did shirshasan (yogic posture which involves the person balancing the body weight on head) and pranayam, so that if there is deficient blood supply in the body, these could help. His son who was in 3rd year of B.H.M.S (Bachelor of Homoeopathic Medicine and Surgery) told him that it could be because of smoking, so he immediately stopped it.
This is as far as the symptoms go. Dr. Sankaran said that each symptom was elicited in detail with regards to the location, sensation, modalities and possible concomitants. Symptoms thus carefully characterized by eliciting these, are peculiar and can directly lead to a group of remedies. What is important is that the symptoms have to be asked again and confirmed, so that we can be completely sure. The symptoms thus carefully noted, in themselves form a clear totality. Now, that the symptoms have been elicited in detail, we move on to the other aspects and ask about the patient’s nature.
When asked about his nature, the patient said that he was a perfectionist by nature and expects things to be done in the same perfect way each time. He always felt that if the work was not done, his reputation would be affected. He is an engineer and prides himself on doing good work. If the work is not properly done, he would feel that he is cheating; he would feel guilty thinking that he has not given good value for client’s money. The patient feels very bad when he was wrongly blamed, feeling that despite behaving so well, people did not respect him and dominated him.
He was highly ambitious. The feeling was always that he should be best at whatever he did. If he was the best, he would have a good name in the society, would earn good money, and would be financially stable. He would be able to successfully fulfill his family and social responsibilities and would be economically stable. This would make him happy and would keep his frustration at bay.
When he was asked about his hobbies and interests, he said that he liked playing chess and also likes to read up about medicines, like the materia medica. He was of the opinion that everyone should have some basic knowledge about life and also of medical knowledge as it was closely related to daily routine. He studies pranayam and yoga. He likes exploring philosophical readings in depth. He felt that philosophy was a vital part of our life, without which life would be vulgar. When asked about vulgar, he said that, ‘Vulgar means you drink alcohol, you are not accepted in the society. You will be arrested and as a result will get no work. Then life will be difficult. You are unable to help and run the family because of lack of money. You lose all reputation in the society. So you should set up a good self – image. Try and maintain status. Maintain a good routine and keep in good health. Keep good company. All these will help.’
According to the patient, it is important that one studies legal matters. The patient does property evaluation, so it was important for him to have complete knowledge about these matters or he would be dominated. Someone could file a case on him for a small mistake and he would be arrested and may end up in jail. His character would be affected. No one would then come to him for his consultancy services. He would be treated as if he is a rank criminal, and his career would be destroyed. It would seem like he is a complete failure if this were to happen, especially since he has worked so hard to achieve money, name and a good career. In such a situation, he would be guilty, because it would be his fault if this happened.
The patient was then asked about his experience in such a situation. He said that he would feel like a complete failure. No one would love and respect him. There would be no use to his life. He would feel it would be better to end his life slowly and become a saint. And then live a life of renunciation and just meditate. There would be no worry of living, dying or no botheration about the society. He is very sensitive to criticism and when criticized wrongly or falsely accused, he got very angry. If someone contradicted him he felt like hitting the person or throwing things at him as he felt insulted and his self confidence and self respect was affected.
The patient had a lot of anxiety about health too. He felt that if he was completely fit, then 3 years down the line all his body cells can be rejuvenated. Earlier, he did not care for his heath as much, as he was busy making a name for himself. Now, he regretted, with a feeling that if he were careful about his health, he would not have had these complaints in the first place. He now felt that he has to maintain his health first in whatever state it is, it should not deteriorate any further.
When asked about his dreams, the patient said that he dreamt of flying, as if he was flying from the terrace of one building to the other, naturally using his wings. He would see that he would complete a task at one place and take off flying to another village immediately. He would enjoy this immensely, and would feel free and happy as he saw this type of travel incurring no expenses. He saw that he is almost floating; gliding as there is not much movement of the wings. He concluded that he always fantasized about this mode of travel and jokingly added that even his joints would not have been affected if that would have been possible. He continued to see this dream till 28 years of age, and thereafter it stopped, as he then started travelling on his own bike.
Dr. Sankaran said that we can form a totality of the symptoms which have been elicited in detail as regards their location, sensation, modality and concomitants. For this our case taking has to be very sharp and focused, only then can we get clear characteristic symptoms. This clear, sure totality acts like an anchor in this case. We see that the patient has pain in the left deltoid region. The region of affection when very specific can form a characteristic symptom. Besides the patient has lumbago, which is better by rest and lying down.
Also we see that the patient complains of knee pain which is worse when walking. And the pain is more in the left knee.
When we add other peculiar symptoms from the patient’s narration to the existing totality of the chief complaints, we have symptoms like:
(Roger van Zandvoort, Complete Repertory, Mac Repertory, 8.2.01, Professional, Kent Homoeopathic Associates)
Germanium comes up very strongly through this totality. Now once the symptoms are clear, and the remedy derivation is well understood through the repertorial totality, we need to confirm it through the System understanding.
According to the Sensation Approach, a systematic and prolonged study of cases led to a definitive understanding, that when classified at the level of experience, the patients’ experience could be classified into three kingdoms – the Plant, the Mineral and the Animal kingdom. The main experience or the Vital Sensation of the Plants is to do with sensitivity, of being affected and reacting. The main sensation of the Mineral kingdom is all to do with structure, whether I am lacking, if I have to complete myself, or if I am losing my structure; while the main experience of the Animal kingdom is survival.1
If we are to look at the case from the perspective of the System, we see issues like money, society, health, legal issues, fear of being jailed, fear of losing and trying to maintain. These are indicative of mineral issues and more so of the 4th Row of the periodic table. The fear of loss and the need to maintain indicate the right side of the periodic table. This is the issue of Germanium which belongs to the right side of Row 4, the need to maintain and to protect when the damage has already happened. Germanium belongs to column 14 and this column has issues of:
- The structure has failed.
- The loss has happened.
- It could not be prevented.
- Can it be restored?
- ‘Can I undo it?’
- Desperate efforts to replace the loss (of security, creativity or power/control).
- For example, “The thief has already come into the house. Can I chase him out or not?”
“I am the captain of the ship which has already sunk, whatever had to happen has already happened.”
Germanium has the feeling: Failure to protect security in face of attack. Couldn’t do anything. The feeling is, ‘I have lost my ability to protect.’ Make desperate attempts to restore it.2
All these issues are seen in this case.
The patient was given Germanium met 200 in infrequent doses. His back pain is much better. He is no longer anxious about health. He was > 70% after a year’s time.
Dr. Sujit Chatterjee, Senior Consultant and Faculty at the other song also shared his experience through a case of multiple sclerosis in a female of age 21. MRI brain and cervico-dorsal spine, in November 2011 exhibited left optic neuritis and demyelination. She complained of seeing sparks before eyes, weakness of knees and numbness of hands, legs and soles. She was constantly stressed about job fearing that her boss will scold her. She was shy by nature and adjusted and compromised a lot in every situation. She was very afraid of heights, falling, pain, darkness and being alone. She felt acutely for orphaned children, always wondering why they should be alone. About dreams, she said that she had dreams that the trees were swinging very fast and were falling down and she saw that she was still alive in the dream. Besides, she also had dreams of nakedness, where she saw herself running out of shyness and wanting to cover herself. She relates to this dream feeling that someone is trying to abuse her so that her image is spoilt and the society sees her in a different way. She has aversion to milk and has craving for eggs.
If we are to mechanically repertorize just the symptoms, we get Calcarea carb covering rubrics like fear of high places, fear of falling, fear of pain, fear of dark, dreams of nakedness, aversion for milk products and desire for eggs. However, with his past experiences, Dr. Sujit knew that there was much more to her case, so he arranged for a second interview. During the interview, it came up that the patient was extremely sensitive about children who are without mother and family and also about child labor, child abuse and the way they are beaten. She feels very sympathetic for these children, because she felt they must be constantly riddled with the questions, ‘Why my mother left me?’ She also spoke about freedom, restriction and being pressurized which she abhorred.
Interestingly, the patient then said, “I like watching those funny videos related with animals like monkeys. Also about child & parent. Their total behavior draws me. Like how they train the young ones. Human being should learn something from them. Where ever they are, they recognize their young ones from their voices only (even if they are in huge group). How they protect their young ones from crocodiles or going into water. How parents take care of them.”
The second interview gave a more complete and clearer understanding to the earlier information. Dr. Sujit then referred to a remedy under Dr. Sankaran’s Proving themes in which was written,
- Alone/neglected/ left out/ Children/ adoption
- Miscellaneous :
“I am having a bath but forgotten to lock the door. My sister in law opens the door and walks in despite having seen me shout at her to go out but she refuses. I feel intensely embarrassed and hide behind the door
- Dreams, Embarrassment
- Hiding from danger
- Dreams of pursued of being
- Dreams of Beaten being
- Dreams of friends meeting
And having the themes as:
- Seeing others off his group being beaten and abused by the authority
- Being not cared for by the person who should be caring.3
This was the exact picture of the remedy Lac defloratum. The patient was given Lac defloratum 0/6 once a day for a month and the potency was gradually stepped up each month to reach 0/10. In her follow up dated 5th January 2012, the patient said that she was 98% better, had no vision problem and no numbness. The weakness in knees was absent now and her moods were quite calm now. The MRI dated July 2013 showed complete resolution of demyelinated lesions in brain and spinal cord.
Dr. Rishi Vyas, an In-house Consultant and Faculty at the other song also presented a case of a 39-year-old female diagnosed with Rheumatoid arthritis. She complained of pain in joints, i.e. elbow, wrist, cervical joints, knees, shoulders, lumbo-sacral joints and toes, since 6 months which was worse over the past 2 months. She described the pains as jabbing, piercing type of pains which shifted from one joint to the other. She was worse in damp wet weather, cold weather, from change of weather and by pressure. All the pains were better by stretching and warmth. With the complaints she used to be very irritated, tired and week. She was on Folitrax (Methotrexate) 15 mg every week.
Talking about herself, the patient said that she had shifted to Mumbai a year ago and had to manage all things alone at home. She had an autistic child and often felt depressed and anxious with no one to help her with the work. The experience in the situation was very hectic, suffocative and she was constantly on her toes. She was very emotional and sensitive by nature and she would be greatly affected by her mother-in-law finding faults with her. Her husband would hurt her by saying that she was not doing enough and that would make her feel guilty. He talked very loudly and rudely with her as a result of which she felt insulted and disrespected. Her inner experience of this was intense anger and sadness which she described as ‘blind rage, intense heat in the chest region rising upwards with palpitations and trembling.’ She felt like hitting, banging or cutting herself and would get an impulse to commit suicide. She had even attempted suicide by cutting herself once in past.
Dr. Rishi then explained his analysis saying that for this patient he needed a remedy which would have joint affections with shifting, wandering pains with a sensitivity to being rude and disrespected and would experience rage with trembling, palpitation, weeping, throwing and breaking things, which has a suffocative pace with psychosomatic affections.
On repertorizing her characteristic symptoms at the level of the body and the mind, we get:
(Roger van Zandvoort, Complete Repertory, Mac Repertory, 8.2.01, Professional, Kent Homoeopathic Associates)
This gives us the analysis through the traditional approach. At the same time, if we are to look from the perspective of system, we see that the patient is very sensitive and reacts by experiencing rage and impulse for suicide. This sensitivity and reactivity indicate that she needs a plant remedy. The psychosomatic affections with sensitivity to rudeness, insult and indignation with experience of anger with trembling are characteristic of the plant family Ranunculaceae. The constant, hectic and suffocative pace is characteristic of Tubercular miasm. The remedy belonging to Tubercular miasm under Ranunculaceae family is Cimicifuga.4
Also, when we read up Phatak
Many of the symptoms are irregular, changeful or they alternate in groups; alternation of physical and mental effects.
Hering’s Guiding Symptoms:
Puerperal mania: does not know what is the matter with her head, it feels so strange, talks incoherently, screams, clutches her breast as though in pain, tries to injure herself.
PUERPERAL: MANIA: HEAD FEELS STRANGE, TRIES TO INJURE HERSELF. 0>1>05
She was given Cimicifuga 200 in infrequent doses. After 1 ½ years, she was much better. She has stopped Folitrax within a month of starting homoeopathic medicines. Her pains are better by 95%. She is now calmer and has no impulse for suicide. She is quite fine handling her autistic son and she no longer feels suffocative and hectic. Her sensitivity to being remarked also has gone down.
Dr. Gajanan Dhanipkar, a Consultant and Faculty at the other song also presented a case of a 38-year-old female having sensory neuropathy and polyarthropathy since a few months. She was already on modern medicines prescribed by a neurologist without any relief. She complained of pain in lower limbs from thighs to feet with severe burning in soles. The pain was aggravated by least touch and slightest movement and was worse especially in morning. The only position that relieved her complaint was drawing her knees to chest. The pain was so severe that she could not walk and had not slept a sound sleep for the past two months. On being asked to describe the pain, she described it as neuralgic pain felt like an electric shock. On examination, all joints of lower limbs were tender and small joints were markedly inflamed and tender to least touch.
The patient had desire for milk and pickles and perspired on her forehead. Describing herself and her life, she said that her mother-in-law always dominated her but she could not react. She felt very angry but could never express her anger. She experienced a lot of trembling with anger. Her husband and son do not stay with her due to some family problems. As a result, she was very sad. She recounted that she was most stressed when her son was hospitalized and the doctors said that the chances of his survival were very low. When she heard this news, she felt trembling throughout her body with electric shock like pains accompanied by a numb sensation all over.
On repertorizing the characteristic symptoms of her case, we get Staphysagria coming up as the most prominent remedy.
Simultaneously, if we look at her experience, we see that the patient is easily angered and upset. There is rawness of nerves. With anger, there is lot of trembling and shock like pains. This sensitivity and psychosomatic affections with trembling indicate a plant remedy from the Ranuculaceae family. So, now if we are too look at the patient, we see that she needs a remedy, which has marked affection on nerves and nervous affections with trembling, belonging to the Ranunculaceae family and covering all her characteristic symptoms. All the criteria are exactly matched by Staphysagria.
Here, we see the system and the symptoms coming together effortlessly to a common remedy, forming a perfect Synergy. In the follow-up after 6 months, the patient came walking without support (when she could not even step earlier). She no longer complained of any pain or any neuropathy. She slept very well and her general state was good. She reacted rationally to her mother-in-laws comments and was not that affected by them any longer.
The seminar thus provided many insights into the clinical aspects of practice highlighting on the need of versatility and resourcefulness as seen through the experience of seasoned teachers and practitioners. The main objective of the seminar was to reach out to students and to inspire them to practice Homoeopathy by demonstrating wonderful results achieved. These results, as has been observed, have been achieved through training under skilled veterans and learning from their experience over a period of time. In order to help attain this, the other song has training modules where the participants are exposed to the live practice of the expert consultants at the academy. The collaboration of Prana and the other song is the next step in carrying forth the objectives of ‘treating, training and transforming’ at the other song by training homoeopaths in and around Pune. This alliance marks the beginning of exchange of academic thoughts and ideas through a live relay of some of the lectures and the courses at the other song academy to Prana. The emphasis at the seminar was to learn and practice Homoeopathy as both a science and an art by backing up traditional approaches with recent advances in the field.
1 – Rajan Sankaran, Vital Sensation and the Kingdoms, Sensation in Homoeopathy, Reprint 2009, Homoeopathic Medical Publishers, Mumbai, Page 289.
2 – Rajan Sankaran, Row 4, Structure : Experiences with the Mineral Kingdome – Volume 2, First Edition 2008, Homoeopathic Medical Publishers, Mumbai.
3, 5 – Michael Hourigan and David Kent Warkentin, ReferenceWorks Pro, 18.104.22.168, Kent Homoeopathic Associates
4 – Rajan Sankaran, An Insight into Plants, Volume 2, Ranunculaceae, Second Revised Edition, 2005, Homoeopathic Medical Publishers, Mumbai.
About ‘the other song: International Academy of Advanced Homoeopathy’: ‘the other song’ is a world class premium medical centre which puts good health and well being at the core of an academic culture dedicated to complete patient care. Situated in Mumbai, this institute is one in its kind where a team of 35 doctors headed by Dr. Rajan Sankaran (the pioneer of the Sensation Approach in Homoeopathy) come together and practice Homoeopathy. At the Academy, the students and practitioners are trained in advanced Homoeopathic practices, using new methodologies in combination with the traditional approaches, all with the use of state-of-the-art technologies. The Academy is also a meeting point for different schools of thought in Homoeopathy, where renowned homoeopaths – national and international are invited, to share their knowledge and experience, so that there is a constant flow of ideas on a common platform.