The Pillars of good homeopathic prescribing - Head to Toe Method

A thorough way of getting the totality of the physical state is to use the Head to Toe method. Patients who are uncomfortable talking about themselves at a mental level will relax and feel comfortable with the physicals first. Often a description of a physical symptom, that may either be occurring now or have occurred in the past, will open up a story that is pivotal to their case. Open chatty patients on the other hand will discuss their stories endlessly and time will have to be allocated at the end of the consultation to cover their physical state. Either way the information is always required.

For every part of the body where there is or has been a problem get all the following information:

Sensation of pain, type of discharge, modalities, onset, frequency, concomitants.

Starting at the top of the body ensure you cover as much as possible. The following is an example.

Head - hair, scalp, headaches

Eyes - allergies, conjunctivitis, styes, itching, vision problems

Ears - pain, infections, hearing, discharges

Mouth - ulcers, bleeding, taste, salivation, dryness, cold sores

Throat - infections, pain, mucous, swallowing problems

Larynx - voice problems, mucous

Chest - asthma, bronchitis, pneumonia, pleurisy, general respiration

Heart - blood pressure, palpitations

Stomach/abdomen - digestion including pain, bloating, eructations, flatus

Appetite - food cravings (strong), food aversions, food aggravations - check food types - sweet, salty, sour, spicy, meat, vegetable, fruit, cheese, eggs, bread, fats, butter, hot food, cold food

Thirst - high, low, when, hot drinks, cold drinks, alcohol, milk, coffee, tea

Elimination - constipation, diarrhea, pain, bleeding, stool type, frequency

Urination - pain, frequency, sensation, type, colour

Menses - onset, frequency, duration, clots, pmt symptoms, pain

Menopause - onset, flushes - frequency, sensation, perspiration, direction - mood changes

Female - cysts, fibroids, discharge, warts, eruptions

Male - discharges, eruptions, prostate

Back - pain, stiffness, modalities

Extremities - pain, hot, cold, perspiration, cramps, restlessness, bones, nails

Skin - eruptions, warts, discolouration, moles, itching

Environment -desire/sensitive to wet, cold, wind, heat, sun, seasons, air, draughts, storms, thunder

General - desire/sensitive to rubbing, massage, touch, scratching, motion, rest (these should

Perspiration - better for, worse for, suppressed, location, type, aggravations

Sleep - patterns, going to sleep, during sleep, waking, position, thermals, waking times, thoughts

Dreams - patterns, repeating, memorable

Fears - heights, animals, ghosts, intruders etc

History of illness, operations, accidents

Family history - two generations on each side

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