☼ Confusion about potency:
Being an old-school classical Hahnemannian homeopath, I realize that the issue of homeopathic potencies is unclear. I am going to address the issue of potency with an example of treating a sprained ankle with the homeopathic remedy of Arnica montana.
The interesting thing about treating acute injuries like falls, fractures or burns, is that you want to treat the acute injury until it is healed. Otherwise, that injury will become a pesky chronic problem, as the acute case was not taken care of properly. In some cases you may need another homeopathic remedy to heal an acute injury. In other cases you won’t need another remedy and you will continue with the remedy that is working well until you are better. Please note, it is always a good idea to consult with a classical homeopath or another health care provider.
☼ How does homeopathic medicine work?
Here’s a brief summary of the philosophy of classical homeopathy: the homeopathic remedy acts to mimic the disharmony going on in the body. So, in our sprained ankle example, we can look in our homeopathic books as to what Arnica helps with — bruised, sore, achy, trauma induced injuries. Let me be clear here, there are thousands of symptoms that arnica can help with. But as a classical homeopath, we treat the combination of all the person’s symptoms – mentally, emotionally and physically. Not everyone who is sore and achy needs Arnica. So please don’t misuse this remedy that way.
The remedy acts just like the body is feeling. Hence, the “like cures like” principle. The remedy sort of tricks the body and takes over. This is the primary reaction of the homeopathic remedy. A good example of primary reaction and a secondary reaction is coffee. With coffee the primary reaction is we feel perky and experience having more energy. The secondary reaction is we fill more sluggish and tired than we did prior to drinking it.
It’s essential to understand these very important principles of primary and secondary reaction, so that we can successfully use classical homeopathy and let the remedy go into secondary reaction. Our goal is always to let the remedy do its magic by going into secondary reaction.
☼ Our example, Homeopathy for sprained ankle:
Let’s take the example of a sprained ankle as they are so common and troublesome. You need to start with the right potency once you realize that this is really an arnica acute injury.
As classical homeopaths, we must determine what symptoms are the client’s chronic ones and what are the true acute symptoms. One easy way to find out is to ask this question: “Does your ankle normally hurt like this?” If the client has chronic sprained ankles this is not an acute and needs to be treated with the constitutional or chronic remedy. Consult a trained classical homeopath for this.
If it is a true acute we start by analyzing how bad it is. This is how we figure out what potency to start off at. We ask our injured client to tell us what the pain is on a number scale from 1-10, ten being the worst pain ever.
☼ The progression of homeopathic potencies is as follows:
30C (weakest) to 200C to 1M to 10M to 50M to CM (strongest).
30c is the lowest potency and CM is the highest. It is very important to use the scale in this order of ascending potency when you figure out where to start on the potency scale. Begin by giving the correct potency. In our example of the sprained ankle, we are going to begin with a 10M as this is the best way to treat a sprained ankle.
Most Arnica acutes do not need to start at 10M but a sprained ankle does.
Wait a half an hour to see if the homeopathic dose did anything. If it did nothing at all, then it is probably not the right homeopathic remedy. If it were too low of potency, it would most likely do a little bit for a very short time. If it did a little something but didn’t hold very long, you probably needed a higher potency.
If a remedy works (meaning that the presenting symptoms go away), you wait until symptoms come back before giving more of the remedy. The timing for the next dose is unique for each person. Sometimes if you hit exactly the right dose, you may only need one dose of the remedy. More likely, you will need to give another dose in an acute case. A dose may last a few minutes to several hours, depending on the situation, potency and severity of the injury.
So, let’s use the example that you gave a dose at 10M for a sprained ankle and it worked well. All the symptoms, or most of them, went away and then in an hour the symptoms all came back. Now it is time for the next dose. Never give the same potency twice in acute prescribing. The life force needs something a little stronger as the sensitivity for the remedy at the first potency has been satisfied. The next step would be what is called “plussing the dose.”
☼Plussing the dose (to make the same potency stronger):
In this example, you would start with the 10M of Homeopathic Arnica, put a pellet in a jar or cup with 1 cup of water and either shake the jar ten times or cascade with a spoon (pulling the spoon up in the water and letting the liquid drop down). Then give a teaspoon of that liquid. You can plus a dose (meaning next time symptoms come back shake ten more times or cascade ten more times) until the plussed dose doesn’t help anymore. Sometimes, it is possible that one can plus a dose three or four times. If a plussed dose doesn’t do anything, it is time to move up to the next potency if the remedy is still needed.
☼ Moving to the next potency.
In this example, the next dose would be the 50M. Always begin by giving the dry dose (one pellet) and the next time the remedy is needed you plus the dose in water. Repeat the plussing (only when symptoms return) until it doesn’t hold anymore then go to the CM dose. Remember to run boiling water over the jar and spoon to inactivate the remedy, before re-using the same jar, cup or spoon and letting that cool before creating new remedy. At a certain point, the action of a remedy will continue to hold and you won’t need another dose. If you need to treat the remaining state, more characteristic symptoms will come back. The client could move into another state, which might need a different remedy.
☼ How do you know if a remedy is still acting?
You may only need the 10M of Arnica. If the remedy is still acting, it is like a snowball going down a mountain. Which means you don’t want to interrupt a remedy that is working well. This is not an aspirin that one takes every 3-4 hours. This is about really listening to the signs and symptoms of the body as when the pain, discomfort or swelling comes back. That is the only time you take another dose. Otherwise, you are interrupting a properly working remedy which is not a good thing.
You may plateau on a dose and not need any more. Of course, icing and elevation of an ankle is always helpful. And being careful to not re-injure it.
The Treasure of Classical Homeopathy
The best form of defense for any issue is to be on a constitutional homeopathic remedy. True health is adaptability, and being able to stay healthy in all the circumstances of life. If you have been on the fence of wanting to do Classical Homeopathy, there is no better time than the present. Email or call for your complementary homeopathic phone screening to see if we are a match to work together. And to see if classical homeopathic treatment is for you.
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