The Art of Healing
§ 253 – Sixth Edition
Among the signs that, in all diseases, especially in such as are of an acute nature, inform us of a slight commencement of amelioration or aggravation that is not perceptible to every one, the state of mind and the whole demeanor of the patient are the most certain and instructive. In the case of ever so slight an improvement we observe a greater degree of comfort, increased calmness and freedom of the mind, higher spirits – a kind of return of the natural state. In the case of ever so small a commencement of aggravation we have, on the contrary, the exact opposite of this: a constrained helpless, pitiable state of the disposition, of the mind, of the whole demeanor, and of all gestures, postures and actions, which may be easily perceived on close observation, but cannot be described in words.1
1 The signs of improvement in the disposition and mind, however, may be expected only soon after the medicine has been taken when the dose has been sufficiently minute (i.e., as small as possible), an unnecessary large dose of even the most suitable homœopathic medicine acts too violently, and at first produces too great and too lasting a disturbance of the mind and disposition to allow us soon to perceive the improvement in them. I must here observe that this so essential rule is chiefly transgressed by presumptuous tryos in homœopathy, and by physicians who are converted to homœopathy from the ranks of the old school. From old prejudices these persons abhor the smallest doses of the lowest dilutions of medicine in such cases, and hence they fail to experience the great advantages and blessings of that mode of proceeding which a thousandfold experience has shown to be the most salutary; they cannot effect all that homœopathy is capable of doing, and hence they have no claim to be considered its adherents.
In all diseases, mainly in acute diseases, the effect of the medicine would be minute from the beginning. All may not be able to observe. Slight amelioration or aggravation may be seen in his general behavior. It becomes a clear-cut guide. If that slight change is in the shape of amelioration, it mostly relates to the mind. Peace of mind, free will and thinking, good enthusiasm etc., are developed in him and the patient tends to work in a natural way. If a serious situation is developing, the symptoms would be opposite. The mental disposition would appear as if contracted seeking mercy in helplessness. This would be noticed in the patient’s attitude and action. The doctor has only to observe but cannot be described.
Whether the action of the remedy is favorable or not would be visible from the beginning. Changes start first in the mental sphere. These cannot be observed by all but can be perceived by a doctor, who is capable of understanding the behavior of the patient.
Within a few hours after using the medicine without anybody’s advice, he regains courage, freedom of mind, tranquility etc., which are indications of improvement in the beginning and they will be known clearly in course of time.
The signs of aggravation are however opposite i.e., grief, as if no freedom, helpless state of mind, seeking sympathy etc. The doctor should be able to find out this change from his talk, expression, movement of the organs etc.
§ 254– Sixth Edition
The other new or increased symptoms or, on the contrary, the diminution of the original ones without any addition of new ones, will soon dispel all doubts from the mind of the attentively observing and investigating practitioner with regard to the aggravation or amelioration; though there are among patients persons who are either incapable of giving an account of this amelioration or aggravation, or are unwilling to confess it.
Thereafter, the doctor should observe whether any new symptoms are produced and old symptoms cleared off or whether only old symptoms disappeared without new symptoms. According to these indications, the doctor should understand whether the treatment is on correct lines or not. There are patients who can notice ameliorations or aggravations but cannot express. Some patients though notice, would not like to accept. The doctor should be careful in such cases.
Some patients cannot notice amelioration or aggravation by themselves. In patients suffering from palpitation, joint pains, and skin diseases, when medicine is favorably acting, palpitation ameliorates and itching of the skin aggravates. The patient complains to the doctor that sufferings are increasing. Sufferings in their language mean itching. If the medicine is not the correct one, itching ameliorates and palpitation aggravates. Out of ignorance the patient may say that “suffering reduced a little”. Such statements should not be believed blindly.
Some people do not like to accept relief. Some people believe in the false idea of getting a better prescription, if no relief is reported. At last there are people who stop treatment at their will at a stage when all the complaints are getting cured, for want of saving money. Such people report everyday aggravation of all sufferings and no relief. They decline to say when asked about the relief of each symptom in detail. They exclaim that “on the whole, all the sufferings have increased.” The doctor has to administer suitable drugs after careful personal observation of the behavior of the person, his miserly attitude and abstacles out of his ignorance. There are people in patients, who confuse and frighten the doctor.
Patients suffering from chronic diseases with mental symptoms mainly coming under Arsenic Albutm Arnica, Hyosyamus, Ignatia and Anacardium, behave like this. The doctor has to decide each case with peace of mind and clear understanding.