I have practised and taught homeopathy for 22 years and I listen with a sinking heart to patients who tell me they were under homeopathic treatment for many years before coming to me. What they are actually saying is a practitioner who they have trusted with their health for years as not been able to treat them successfully. If they still need another opinion, why else would they be seated in front of me?
Through the posts on this blog and though my teachings in various countries, I explain that the homeopath can be sure that the patient has completely healed when they undergo a complete transformation, in both mind and body. Anything less is tantamount to symptomatic treatment and suppression, which is the antithesis of this healing art and science. Practitioners who fall prey to these methods are guilty of what I call the Sin of Oversimplification.
We All Need A Remedy!
Most of us are so divorced from our true selves, defending against the stress and strain of life, grappling with its traumas and overcoming the odds that our constitutions are far from optimum levels. So even when we don’t have any obvious ailments, we are far from a state of balance and well-being. Conversely, if the patient arrives with only a ‘physical complaint’, it implies by default that his/her constitution is out of whack and their body and Mind need to be brought back to a state of balance,
The case I have selected for this post is one that shows how an emotional disturbance directly impacts the disease process and causes a chronic disease to flare. It perfectly illustrates how an emotional crisis can throw the constitution completely out of gear and literally make a individual sick. (This is the best visible manifestation of the intertwining of Mind and body at the physical level) By implication, if you don’t exactly fall ill when you’re deeply troubled, don’t for a moment imagine that your body is not taking a beating inside.
When the Burden Lifts...
Click here for details of this case
What must the practitioner do when they are confronted with a patient, who through the course of treatment, seems to take a U-turn in their health? I repeat from previous posts – the homeopath must ask: what is the patient defending against and how exactly has he/she been defending against it? The answer to these two very basic but powerful questions will reveal the right rubrics and therefore the right remedy. In other words, it is the Key To Cracking The Case.
What does all this mean? Well, homeopathic remedies are derived from the natural world, and the sources of these remedies can be broadly classified into three Kingdoms – plant, animal and mineral. Each kingdom is defined by a basic set of characteristics that apply to all members of that kingdom. In much the same way, human beings, and the way they react to the world around them, too exhibit the very same basic characteristics and themes. Our basic constitutional nature determines the kingdom to which each of us belongs and, accordingly, the right remedy is determined by our Kingdom. I spent the first decade of my practice learning from the teachings of Dr Sankaran and I have found his Kingdom Theory to be an excellent entry point to a case.
Classifying a patient according to Kingdom is not difficult but it takes some practice and the homeopath must discover the underlying theme of the patient’s basic nature as it pervades their entire being – their perception of the world, their reaction to it or, in other words, their very experience of it. Amazing, isn’t it?
Are You A Plant, Animal or Mineral?
So what are Plant, Animal and Mineral people like?
Kingdom: Plants are rooted to the soil and the only way they can grow and flourish are by being sensitive to their environment. And since the environment is constantly changing, they need to keep adapting.
‘Plant people’ are typically soft, sensitive, emotional, easily hurt, moody, mercurial and whimsical. Some are nervous and fragile, and they hyperventilate over minor issues or even non-issues. They get ‘inflamed’ easily and cry at the slightest provocation. Their thoughts seem random and they lack structure. Their core issues centre around support and nurturing. They are hypersensitive in their relationships as they get hurt easily. They are also dependent on people and need to be anchored by someone. (The “I can’t do without you…” syndrome)
On the creative side, people in this kingdom have highly developed aesthetic sensibilities and may be creative and artistic.
Animal Kingdom: Taken from evolutionary biology, the Animal Kingdom in homeopathic practice comprises individuals who view the world through the prism of competition and a struggle for survival. They are always in a predator versus prey or persecutor versus persecuted predicament. ‘Animal people’ are typically concerned with sexuality (mating), competition, territoriality and hierarchy.
They compete in every area of their lives… in love, friendship, family, even a seat on the bus! Life is all about winning, not losing. ‘Animal people’ are either better at everything than everyone else or they suffer from low self-esteem because they feel they are just not good enough. Acceptance is crucial to them and they are also excessively concerned with domination and authority figures. Social status means the world to them and they need to feel powerful.
People belonging to the Animal Kingdom are a colourful lot. They are vibrant, extraverted, magnetic and charismatic personalities. Their nature and disposition ranges from affectionate, caring, warm and possessive to dominating, aggressive and even downright cruel. They tend to be aggressive, pushy and may attack if provoked. Jealousy and envy are central emotions. This polarity of positive and negative aspects of their disposition sometimes causes a ‘split’ in their perception of themselves.
Mineral Kingdom: At the chemical level, every mineral has a definite structure comprising chemical bonds. People caregorised as minerals are therefore crave structure and organisation. In fact, their raison d’etre is maintaining the structure, fafety and security of everything that concerns them – their relationships, families, work, finances and performance. But their need to perform and achieve stems out of a need for safety and security rather than to compete as in the Animal Kingdom.
‘Mineral people’ are also rigid, inflexible and perfectionists who are fastidious about details. They usually opt for careers in accounting, computer science, engineering and quality control.
But this kingdom is a little more complex than the first two, and may be sub-divided into two further groups: salts and metals. ‘Salt people’ are particularly sensitive to relationships of all types. Thus their core disturbances also revolve around relationships and attachments. There is a pining to be nurtured or a feeling that they cannot live without a particular person. They may have troubled relationships or they may be overly dependent on someone significant in their lives. The nuances are many.
People who are Metals are concerned with their identity, social status, performance and power, family, financial status, health and home. It’s all about maintaining the ‘structure’ and integrity of these aspects of their lives.
The above illustration is an oversimplification of Dr Sankaran’s Kingdom Theory but, for the lay reader who wonders how the homeopath assesses their patients, it does provide a valuable insight into this healing science. It is a vital part of my own approach and will always remain one of the cornerstones of classical homeopathy.
Re-awaken the healer in you…
- Dr Anita Salunkhe, MD