The Pillars of good homeopathic prescribing - Case Taking

The aim of case taking is to get a totality of the patient's symptoms. A balanced case should include both the mental and physical picture. Two or three mental rubrics combined with three or four general rubrics will provide a solid basis for prescribing.

We have been taught that conventional medicine is inappropriate because it just focuses on the physical body and disregards the mind; however it is equally as negligent to ignore the physical body and look only at the mental state. The mental aspect is seductive and often the most interesting part of the case but beware that your interpretation is correct.

The use of themes can help in this area. A theme is a continuing pattern in a patient's life and is displayed by the events that surround them. Understanding that we attract these events to us means these events represent our energy. Events can be translated into mental rubrics even where that patient doesn't display them personally as a character trait.

SOME CASE TAKING TIPS

  • Let the patient take you where-ever THEY WANT TO GO - make a mark against any interesting point and go back to it later to clarify
  • Only speak when absolutely necessary - wait to ensure they have finished before asking questions
  • Keep your questions as open as possible - "Can you tell me more" "What was that like" "Explain that to me as best you can" "So what happened then" etc
  • If a patient is uncomfortable talking about themselves move on to physical symptoms - physical generals will form up to 60% or more of your case - don't underestimate their value
  • Use the "head to toe" method to get information about your patients physical state (both their symptoms now and any past symptoms)
  • Have a box of tissues ready in the event of tears
  • Provide a glass of water for your patient
  • Remain impartial and non-judgmental
  • Remove miasmatic or remedy thoughts from your mind until the consultation is over - otherwise you will bias your results