Homeopathy Tips for 11/13/12 The Importance of Symptom Selection

The initial consultation is very important. The client comes with a big story of their suffering and their life. How we understand this as a homeopath is most important. We can only know the true portrait of their dis-ease by the symptoms they have. These can be objective as in physical observations or subjective as in the way a certain malady feels to the client. The most important task the homeopath has is to understand what is asking to be healed. Without symptoms we could never know.

To understand symptoms we must understand the difference between health and dis-ease. Without a comparison we could never perceive the most appropriate symptoms to select rubrics during repertization. One of the biggest mistakes in this process happens with the selection of common traits of a person that has aspects of the dis-ease but does not fully reflect what is asking to be healed. An example is the person worries about their children. This is very common and may not be reflective of the core of the case. Yet I find many students who would choose this as a symptom and select a rubric like, Mind; Anxiety, children, about his. This is normal and healthy, but can not be a part of the case when the core of the case is something else. It will only muddy the remedy selection choices after repertization.

Separating health from dis-ease  can be difficult at times. This is why it is important to choose symptoms that speak to the core of the person and are undeniable. Often these symptoms are difficult to translate into rubrics. They then must be held as a concept or part of the totality and considered in what is asking to be healed.

Because every case is different there is no set way to understand symptoms. Some cases come on a silver platter and leads directly to a well know remedy. Other cases need to be examined closely to discover those symptoms that are reflective of the dis-ease. Some guidelines for symptom selection can be made though.

  • Always choose symptoms that are undeniable. This means that no matter who would observe the client or their testimony could ever dispute that it fit their case.
  • Always choose symptoms that are reflective of a bigger thread or picture in the case. If they choose a word to describe a subjective symptom over and over then using this symptom will help understand the energy of the dis-ease that is expressing. This becomes a valuable symptom in the final selection of the remedy because it should reflect the energy of the remedy also.
  • Choose a symptom that is strange, rare or peculiar. Not all clients will come with them, but when you hear or observe some part of their symptoms that just are uncharacteristic, then pay close attention to these symptoms. When you can choose a rubric that reflects this unusual symptom it will have fewer remedies and will possibly be a determining factor in the remedy selection.
  • Always choose the mental symptoms wisely. Mental/emotional symptoms can sometimes be many. Choosing the most appropriate symptoms that best reflect the case is very important.  They must reflect the fundamental core of what is asking to be healed.
  • Choose clinical symptoms sparingly. It is good to know a western diagnosed disease name but rarely will this help in the individualization of the clients symptoms. It is helpful to know the organ or body part to help select the most appropriate remedy but rarely will a disease name be a symptom as such. Symptoms are the unique language of the vital force that shows the dis-ease.
  • Always look for concomitant symptoms. These are symptoms that occur along side or with the chief complaint. They help show the unique expression of the dis-ease. An example may be ; the chief complaint is diarrhea but the concomitant symptom might be extreme weakness when a stool is  passed.

With these simple guidelines you can usually find two or more particular symptoms that a case can be used in repertization. The selection of the symptoms and the rubric selection are most important. Knowing the difference between health and disease is absolutely necessary. If you confuse healthy expressions of the person with their disease your case will surely fail. Not all mental/emotional symptoms  are to be used in selecting rubrics. You will have a real mish-mash of a case if you do.

Many times the client will have so many symptoms it may be difficult to pare down which symptoms are most important. Remember to come back to the bullet points above and use them as a guide. It may take a very confused case and simplify it a great deal. Once symptoms are repertized, then the remedy selections will either be created or destroyed. Keeping your rubrics to a minimum can often be a better solution to cases with lots of symptoms.

11 comments so far

  1. A. A on

    Easy said than done! Excellent advice but how do I implement it for I always get tangled in a plethora of symptoms. How do I train myself not to do that and home in on the right things to pick?

  2. Rooksie on

    Robert, Thank you! This is an excellent and clear guide on how to distinguish relevant rubrics from a litany on symptoms. This should really make a difference in honing in on the correct remedy.

  3. Frank O'Neill on

    Clarifying, as usual. Thanks!

  4. Asghar Ali on

    Dear Dr. Robert – Your skills to educate us are really admirable. What we need is to put your tips into practice and this is what I would suggest to A.A to train himself with.


    Asghar Ali

  5. Mah-jabeen on

    Thanks ,Robert, It is a good way of define perfect remedy This is an excellent and clear guide on how to distinguish relevant rubrics from a litany on symptoms.

  6. Tarakeshwar Rao on

    Thank you sir, It is very good and use ful for learners.
    Tarakeshwr Rao

  7. Tariqul Alam on

    Thank you for the article on how to select the similimum from a lot of symptoms a patient comes with. It has focused on the technique and system of choosing the remedy from a crowd of symptoms being sifted through repertorization. In this case, the article has also warned us that not all the symptoms elicited from the patient are important rather they might be misguiding and muddy the selection of a remedy appropriately. It has stressed the need for taking into consideration the symptoms which are the most uncommon, strange and peculiar. This article will no doubt give good insight into the beginners regarding this. But, it would have been better, had the writer given more examples of how to to interpret different symptoms into rubrics with more examples. However, thanks a lot once again for this.

  8. Abdul Waheed on

    Thanks for the guideline…pl. guide, what one is to do , when he recalls a number of remedies that cover the symptoms-..how far it is advisable to give 3 or 4 remedies which cover the full disease picture…….

    • Robert Field on

      Hi Abdul,
      It is never a good idea to start a case with more than one remedy. You will not know which remedy is helping or not. This will also have the effect of inspiring the vital force to respond to all of the remedies risking the confusion of the vital force. Cases like this become very “muddy” and you will loose the healing response quickly. Stay to perceiving the essence of what is asking to be healed in the case and then prescribe the remedy by it’s essence. With this formula you can not go wrong.

  9. Dr.Sarfaraz, Islamabad on

    Excellent article.Serious symtoms should be delt first

  10. Sarfaraz ali'Islamabad on

    Thanks for continous efforts for keeping keeping us abreast with the new ideas and different angles of home practice.

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