Homeopathy Tips for 4/08/14 How to Study Homeopathy

Every student has their own way to study. Some do best with flashcards. Others do best with memorization. But for the serious self directed student of homeopathy there are some tips in helping to learn. This is not a guide for studying for the student of homeopathy who is going to a school and having to study to pass their tests. These are a few ideas that will help a person learn about remedies and really get it. These tips will help indefinitely and can be used to investigate remedies that are considered for prescribing also.

First off, learning should be fun. Any time I set my mind to learning anything, if it is not fun, it will not be as useful. Make your study time fun. Embrace your study time with enthusiasm and imagination. Be light-hearted and free. You will have the best success this way.

Many times I will pick up Materia Medica and just open to a page. Often there will be a very small remedy I know nothing about. I will read everything about this remedy from all Materia Medica sources. First I will study the substance and everything I can find out about it. Is it a plant, animal, mineral or something else? With an open mind I will try to imagine what it would be like to be that substance. There is a metaphor in all substances that relate to man and his sentient experience. Feel what this might be.

When reading about a remedy pay particular attention to the mind symptoms. Imagine what it means to see or feel being a person experiencing the symptom. The words paint a picture. It is our job to understand that picture. Feel that picture. It is imperative to understand the words that describe the symptom, especially in the mind section. These words have a very definite meaning and there can be subtle but big differences in their definitions. If you don’t know the meaning of a word, look it up in the dictionary.

Always read about the main areas of influence in a remedy. Some remedies effect the liver primarily, others the bones, etc. Most Materia Medicas have a clinical section where the primary illnesses are mentioned. This will give a clue as to when the remedy is most called for and used. It is its primary sphere of influence. You can learn much about a remedy in it’s general terms in this section. Now go to the headings of the body parts and see the symptoms listed. Imagine having an illness that these symptoms are describing. You will now be getting a feel for the physical part of the remedy.

When reading Materia Medica always look for the descriptive words. Those adjectives that describe the pain or sensation. These are the sensations of the remedy. When they appear in the text anywhere it is a part of all aspects of the remedy. When it is supported by the nature of the original substance you can really get a feel for the remedy. Take Apis Mellifica for example. The Honey Bee. It stings, has stinging pains and there is something in the energy of the remedy that is busy like a bee. Just knowing this much about the nature of the substance gives many clues about the remedy. There are many remedies in our Materia Medica that have an equally transparent quality and learning about the substance gives insight to the energy of the remedy.

Another great way to learn about the remedy is to look at all of the remedies that are related to it. Doing a word search of snake for example will lead to all snake remedies. Study them all. See their similarities and their differences. You will learn about all of the snake remedies this way and have a clearer picture when to prescribe them. You can do this with plant families and minerals from the periodic table. Read about all of the remedies from a particular line on the periodic table and you will learn about the series as well as the individual remedies. There are no accidents in nature and it is revealed in the plant, animal and mineral kingdoms. There is great order in all of these associated substances.

By studying using association as a tool you will develop this quality in how you see things. It is actually activating the right and left half of the hemispheres of your brain. You will make connections easier this way. When a person gives their case you will then be increasing your ability to “hear between the lines” and make connections from different parts of their story. This is strengthening our intuitions and enabling us to understand the client much better and deeper.

Another trick is to just flip the pages of the Repertory or Materia Medica with the book help upside down. Flip them quickly from the back to the front of the book. Just let your eyes scan each page as it is exposed. You will be amazed at how much the mind will record of this. There will be a time when you have a case and say “Oh, I know there is a rubric for that.” or “I’m sure I’ve read about this before.” Your mind will know that the information is there and you will then seek it out. I know this may sound weird but I have done this many times and still am amazed that I knew something that I wasn’t that conscious of before. The mind records everything!

Another fun exercise is doing cases while watching movies. It’s fun to select a character and pay particular attention to what you perceive as being off in the person. Literally do their case based on the movie character. Make notes during the film and then repertize the case afterwards. Look up different remedies for the case and make a decision as to which is the very best remedy you would give. You can not do this wrong and the whole time you have learned much about rubrics and remedies. Every time you read it gets recorded. To this day even when I know the remedy for the case cold and without any doubt, I will still open the book and read about the remedy. Amazingly I learn something I didn’t know before.

Try one of these suggestions sometime. Be happy when you do it. Make it fun. Set the intention to be receptive during your study time. Open your mind. Don’t make it difficult or feel that you have to pass a test about this. This is an open-minded and open-hearted study time. You will retain more information this way and your studies will have compound returns. Good luck.

9 comments so far

  1. Suresh on

    Hi Robert,

    Your article came in at the perfect moment for me. All my back of the mind questions have been so well addressed. Thank you.

  2. Ashok RajGuru on

    One effective tool I often suggest to my students is to use Wordle or Tagxedo. These are graphical word count tools available online (free use). Simply copy a remedy’s symptoms or the URL [like homeoint.org], from any classic and paste them on Wordle or Tagxedo and create a ‘word cloud’. The words occurring most frequently appears largest.

    You may initially paste it on a word processor and delete prepositions, conjunctions and articles like a/an/the etc. Then you may need to do a few more iterations [often up to 10] deleting words that are obviously not related to symptoms [e.g., like, general, about, some, condition, etc]. Suppose you try Ars. from Kent’s Lectures. You will find the prostration, the chill, the burning, the characteristic discharges, anxiety, and restlessness of Arsenicum staring at you boldly in the face! It’s an excellent tool for comparative study too.

    Wordle or Tagxedo will create a graphic which will help you form an image in your mind – a visual model to recognize a case. There are many shapes, fonts and colors to choose from.

    The Complete Repertory (free download – browser version) is another effective learning tool. The ‘Find’ menu offers wonderful options to search for strange, rare and peculiar symptoms. Simply choose a remedy, and reduce the rubric size to as small as 1, 2 or 3. Boolean operators, AND (+), OR (/) and NOT (-), can help you with differential analysis or finding commonalities in families, comparisons, searching regions – the possibilities are immense and limitless.

    Of course, as Robert suggested, there is no substitute for reading the Materia Medica and sifting through the Repertory. But one must find out how a symptom found its way in these texts – are they from provings? from clinical findings alone? from theoretical constructs like periodical table? or group meditation provings?

    Despite all these widgets, I still love to read the words of Kent or the Master himself or Farrington’s early work on comparative MM when it comes to portraits of remedies.

    • Robert Field on

      Hi Ashok,
      The word cloud idea is great. Thanks for sharing this wonderful tip.

  3. Michelle on

    My daughter and I were watching an episode of Sherlock Holmes done by Jeremy Brett where, towards the end there is a woman sitting in a carriage who is in somewhat of a stupor having been rescued from a coffin where she had been buried alive in the coffin under the corpse. I turned to my daughter and asked her what the rx was. Without hesitation she said, “opium”. Very nice- stupor and ailments from fright. Yes, I often see rx in characters while watching movies.

  4. anvandemoortel on

    I always try to figure out what remedy ‘Fresh Air’ -Terry Gross’ guest could be … but her interviews most of the time don’t go deep enough, though knowing that the vital information is on all levels all of the time, I do try! And I always wish Terry Gross would be trained as a homeopath;how we would get a true understanding of the person, what drives this person, … I love to see what is the remedy sensation in the person, and I am impressed each time how beautiful people can be.
    Another way of truly hearing the Materia Medica and the remedy coming alive is in live cases; (not only because I organize this type of training) I would like to add that the Vital Approach Master’s Apprentice Class has given me a true understanding of the core sensation of a remedy: One of the homeopaths does the intake and the master-homeopath supervises, and comments on case-taking. Together we discuss the information we gathered on all levels, and with the group using all our homeopathy tools available we manage to come to a remedy at the end of the class. And when that remedy turns up in my own practice, I spot it very clearly.

    • Robert Field on

      Hi Anvandemoortel,
      This is the whole foundation for the Resonance School of Homeopathy’s training program. Live cases! And lots of them. Our program is training homeopaths with experience of case receiving and understanding. In the first year of the online program alone there are 52 new cases to work with. The same is for our live classes in Reno,NV. Stop by sometime and check us out.
      Robert Field

  5. A. A on

    Hi! Its always heart warming to see other people who are as mad as me and find fun in reading the Materia and seeing people in Homoeopathic terms! Thanks a lot for the tips Robert and Ashok.

  6. Richard on

    Very good ideas, some of which I never considered. I see people all the time and I seem to know their psychological remedy. A few are very noticeable. Lycopodium men are everywhere. Ignatia and Sepia women I see in church by the way they dress and carry themselves. I hear people tell their symptoms of the flu they had and know what they need. In movies I see many characters that are stereotypical because of the way plots and stories are written in screen plays to make them interesting. The problem is that makes many movies predictable.

  7. Dr.Sarfaraz Ali on

    Very useful guidance

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