Originally, I planned this to be a two-part series, but I discovered that it required more. My goal is to give you as much on this subject as possible; hence this is Part 2 of a three-part series.
Last week in Part 1, I wrote about the kind of results one should look for when using homeopathy to address acute situations, such as fever, otitis media, sore throat, bee stings, etc.
Acute problems are relatively straightforward compared with what to expect when dealing with chronic conditions.
Nonetheless, when using homeopathy for chronics, there are also signs along the road that we can look for to reassure us that we are on the correct path or to redirect us if we are on the wrong path.
First, when addressing a chronic illness, the length of time that we need to stick with a protocol is generally about 8 weeks.
Some people actually will obtain very good results sooner than this, but this is generally dependent on the age of the individual, the number of drugs that they have been subjected to in the past and the length of time that the illness has been present.
Let’s take sleeplessness as a very common example.
A four-year-old who has never had any drugs or vaccines and who has only been suffering from insomnia for a year will almost always show improvement within a much shorter time frame than a forty-year-old adult who has been suffering from this on and off since the age of three and using psychotropic drugs for decades.
In general, it’s usually best to observe a chronic protocol for about two months before a serious assessment. To give you an idea of what this means, for a four-year-old, I’d expect sleep to be reestablished within a few weeks.
This is where I stress how important, how crucial, it is to take notes at the onset of taking the case, along with numerical values (more on this later) and comparing them to a two-month outcome.
We are so prone to forgetfulness and inaccuracy when it comes to illness. This is particularly so when dealing with the sufferings of loved ones.
“Mommy, do something!” or “Honey, isn’t there something you can do NOW?” are only a few of the pressures that can be relieved by adhering to diligent record-keeping to help us gain an objective view of how the wellness is progressing (or not).
Interestingly, I encounter folks who, at the follow-up appointment, declare that they’ve seen no improvement. I actually believe that we humans are blind to certain improvements unless they are striking.
The problem is that expectations are unrealistic, particularly for conditions that have been around for years. Some, who are familiar with homeopathy’s swift results in an acute condition, expect the same for a chronic one.
Take my cousin Maria, for example. She’s suffered from anxiety, insomnia and hot flashes for approximately ten years.
When asked to give me a number as to how severe she’d rate her insomnia now on a scale of 0-10, with 10 being horrible (referring to my notes because I asked her the same question two months earlier), she responds, “It’s about a 4, and I was hoping it would be gone by now because I’ll be in a play next week and need it to be gone.”
My notes, however, reveal that she rated it a 10 last time. When I ask her how often she is sleepless, she reports that she’s able to fall asleep most nights now, with the exception of the night before dress rehearsals. (“Great!” I’m thinking).
And the anxiety? “Oh! I forgot about that! I guess I haven’t had any since the first week of using the remedies.”
My job is to put things into perspective, remembering that I might have to face that things are indeed not improved and that the obligation is on me to get back to the drawing board and reconstruct the plan. (More on this next week.)
There’s no doubt that folks are impatient to feel well, but dates and goals are not likely to be met in the same fashion as financial goals. The nature of the human body simply doesn’t work that way.
We‘re going for the gold. Hence, our standards are solid, and they may take a little longer to achieve. Meanwhile, we can enjoy knowing that improvement has been shown and more will come. This means we continue with the remedy choices. No veering, mind you. If you get impatient, you may spoil your results.
SLOW and STEADY is a good, conservative way to achieve genuine health.
Having said this, interestingly, there are plenty of others who tell me that they’re very much improved after two months of taking their remedies.
For example, they may report that their anxiety has melted away, sleep has been restored, and their bloating from bread only happens occasionally now. Even the arthritis that they’ve had for years now only presents when they overexert themselves.
It’s the job of the homeopath to assess the problem, choose the remedy and its application, keep notes and gently remind the sufferer how things have improved and make adjustments as needed.
Here’s a tip for determining whether improvement is ensuing. Generally, it is seen first within the spheres of the emotions and the generalities – things like energy, mood and overall vitality. In other words, watch for improved mental acuity, fewer emotional discords and less need for naps, for example.
Then there are my three solid ways of measuring these improvements. I call them my Magic Markers of Improvement, and the presence of any one of these indicates that we’re on the right track and have chosen the correct protocol.
The Magic Markers of Improvement
The first marker is that the symptoms are now appearing with less intensity. Let’s say the problem is chronic migraines that occur weekly. It may be the case that after 8 weeks, the migraines are still occurring weekly, but they are much less intense. Whereas before, they were a 10 on a 1-10 pain scale, now they seem to be a 6 from time to time.
The second marker is shorter duration of the event. In this scenario, the migraines are still occurring weekly, and they are still a 10 on the pain scale, but instead of lasting for several hours each attack, they are only lasting an hour.
The third marker is longer periods between events. In this scenario, the migraines still last several hours and may still present as a 10 on the pain scale, but instead of occurring weekly, they are occurring every fortnight or monthly.
It’s as though we’re placing our hands on the person’s shoulders and turning him in the direction from whence he came. Each step brings him closer to the previous state of wellness before the chronic illness presented.
Mind you, these are examples of what might occur, so don’t hold these degrees to specific scrutiny.
It can take time, perhaps months, but it is a march in the direction of wholeness. Along the way, you must see improvement prompting you to continue with your remedies in the same fashion. When they are apparently working, we must not tinker with success. Get as much from the remedy as possible. Once the remedy no longer acts, that is, improvement is no longer realized, then and only then is it time to abandon it and move on.
Undeniably, three steps forward with a step or two back, followed by greater and greater strides over this time holds vital evidence. But if this information is not realized simply because the information wasn’t logged properly and referred to with accuracy, it will toss the prescriber and the sufferer about like a schooner without a rudder.
So while any of the above three scenarios shows clear improvement, it also shows why observation and record-keeping are so important.
When we have clear proof in the form of our case notes, showing us that, yes, things are getting better, not only does it let us know that we are on the right track and should stick with it, but it reignites our hope for the future.
Hence, when taking notes for your case records, the questions to ask and then compare every two months need to include:
On a scale of 1-10, what is the intensity of the symptoms?
How often do the symptoms occur?
How long do the symptoms last?
So dear reader, look to Part 3 to be published next week for a further fleshing out of these concepts and feel free to join in a discussion below.
Then plan for a year of learning here and in as many of my other forums (CDs, systems and courses) as you find manageable in your busy life.
When we put ambition into motion, accomplishment is the result.
What a great way to bring in a new year!
May yours be a triumphant 2015.