Methods & Techniques of Repertorisation
For using a repertory effectively and to derive maximum benefit, one must thoroughly acquaint himself with it . Hence the need for its constant handling and frequent use.
Every repertory follows its own philosophy and construction suitable for different types of cases. Methods have been evolved as per the given philosophy underlying each repertory. Hence a case must be handled keeping in mind, first and foremost, the particular philosophy and the construction of each repertory, and not just its method.
It is commonly found that many practitioners use just one repertory for working out all cases. Such a practice is not all too desirable. Every case has its own dimension which decides the selection of repertory, and every repertory has its own methods of repertorisation.
Dr. B.K.Sarkar in his book Lectures in Homoeopathy ( 1956 ) has described the following methods of working out the cases :
1) Hahnemann and Boenninghausen’s method = where complete symptoms are available.
2) Kent’s method = Where Generals ( mental and physical ) and particulars are available.
3) Third method = Where mental symptoms are lacking. Here one starts with physical generals; next mental symptoms and then particulars.
4) Fourth Method = Where Generals are lacking. Selection of a striking, peculiar as a key symptom, and then medicines are differentiated with the help of other symptoms.
5) Fifth Method = Where the case presents only common symptoms or pathology. Here physician makes use of every means at his command , including
(a) Patient’s personal and family history ,
(c) Complexion, color and texture of skin,
(d) Particular organs and tissues affected,
(e) Location, character and physical aspect of lesions, and
(f) Probable etiological factors.
(6) Sixth Method = Technical nosological terms are selected as main headings.
The methods described above have their own advantages and disadvantages.
Techniques of repertorisation
(1) Old methods : ( using plain paper sheet )
In this method, rubrics are arranged according to the hierarchy, and medicines are listed against them. All the medicines with their grades are written by hand against the symptom. At the end, common medicines which cover all the rubrics are found out. The are further differentiated with reference to Materia Medica.
The advantage of this method is that while writing the symptoms, referring to the rubrics and noting down the medicines, one learns to use repertory in a better way. It leaves a lasting impression on the user’s memory. As a result, acquaintance with the repertory and knowledge of Materia Medica considerably improves. The only disadvantage is that it consumes more time in working out a case.
(2) Modern Method ( using repertorial sheet ) :
Repertorial sheet used contains a list of medicines alphabetically arranged and also a number of longitudinal and horizontal columns for noting down the marks against rubrics.
Whether we use old or new method, two basic logical processes are involved. They are :-
a) Total addition process, and
b) Eliminating process.
a) Total addition process :- All the medicines against all the rubrics are noted down and finally total marks against medicines are calculated. Medicines obtaining higher marks are further differentiated. The advantage is that the possibility of omission is less. However, it takes more time.
b) Eliminating process :- Select the most important symptom in the person without which we can not think of a prescription, preferably generals. Now, this symptom should be placed on the top and the rest of the symptoms are placed below it according to hierarchy. While repertorising, take only those medicines which cover the first symptom. Further rubrics can be referred to and marks added to those medicines only.
Some prefer to use the second rubrics also, while others even the third.. There are also who use all the rubrics till the end for eliminating purpose. This process is called continuous eliminating process. A few cautions may be borne in mind, namely,
1) If evaluation of symptom is not strictly practiced, eliminating process would prove disastrous.
2) Hierarchy of symptoms should be adequately accurate.
3) However important the rubrics may be, do not take it for the use of eliminating process if it has only one or a few medicines.
4) Preferably generals should be used for the purpose.
If the above cautions are followed properly, eliminating process will be the most suitable working method for the purpose of repertorisation. It is time saving, less confusing and easy to practice.
There are several other working techniques which are suggested by busy practitioners, but the above two methods are generally used for systematic working out a case.