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Causation can be the key

This article
was excerpted, with permission of the publisher and author, from Impossible
Cure: The Promise of Homeopathy
(Copyright ?2003 by Amy L. Lansky, PhD).
To find out more about Impossible Cure, visit:

[One] aspect of a symptom that can make it more characteristic (indeed, perhaps
its most important feature if it's available) is its causation—the physical
or emotional event that seemed to have triggered or preceded it. In my own experience,
simply reflecting on what happened just before a symptom appeared can sometimes
get rid of it. The next time you get a cough or headache, think about what happened
just before it began—perhaps an upsetting or aggravating event. If you
process this information rather than suppress it, it is often enough to remove
the physical symptom entirely. The following story from my own experience underscores
the importance of causation in homeopathic prescribing.
     Several years ago I received a very disturbing
phone call from my schizophrenic brother. Right afterward, I developed a short
tickling cough. Just an hour later, I seemed to be really coming down with something.
Soon, I developed a fever and was feeling quite sick. I called my homeopath,
and he recommended a low dose of Aconite, a remedy that can quickly nip colds
and coughs in the bud, especially if they come on quickly and if Aconite is given
right at the onset. Somehow, though, I had forgotten to tell him about the phone
call from my brother; it had slipped my mind.
     The Aconite helped quite a bit that evening, but
the next day, everything got worse again. I developed a high fever and was completely
prostrate. Rather than dosing with Aconite again, my homeopath decided to switch
me to a new remedy. Over the course of the next few weeks, the remedies he recommended
helped somewhat, but they never cured what eventually turned into a persistent
bronchitis. Each night, I would cough and cough, and the remedies only palliated.
     After a month of this, I began to reflect more
about the whole episode. Suddenly, I remembered how it all began—with that
phone call from my brother. I called the homeopath, and he suggested that I try
Aconite again—this time in a much higher dose. By the next morning, my
bronchitis and cough were completely gone. Why?
     Besides being an excellent remedy for the early
stages of acute coughs and colds, Aconite is also one of the most important remedies
for ailments resulting from fear. Remember, Aconite had helped me considerably
that first night. But the single low dose I had taken was not enough to cure
me. If my homeopath had been aware of the causative event for my cough, he would
probably have followed that initial dose of Aconite with another—because
Aconite embodied the state that led to my illness. As Phatak writes in his Materia
Medica: "The rapidity of action of Aconite determines its symptomatology. Its
symptoms are acute, violent, and painful. They appear suddenly ... Mind is affected
by such emotional factors as fright, shock, vexation. Nerves are excited and
the patient remains under emotional and nervous tension ... Great anxiety. Agonizing
fear and restlessness accompany every ailment however trivial."
     My main reaction to my brother's call had been
fear. And just as Aconite causes quick and dramatic physical effects, often in
reaction to fear, my reaction to my brother's phone call immediately triggered
a cough that quickly developed into bronchitis. I was in an Aconite state. Even
after I had erroneously taken other remedies for my cough, I was still in an
Aconite state, weeks later. For this reason, another high dose of Aconite terminated
the whole affair. Afterward, I began to feel stronger and less fearful about
my interactions with my brother as well.
     One of the reasons why a causative event can be
the key to finding a curative remedy is that, quite frequently, this event says
something about the nature of a person's "central disturbance" [a term coined
by Indian homeopath Rajan Sankaran to denote the core state or central issue
in a case]. Perhaps the causation is a traumatic physical accident, an acute
illness, an upsetting emotional event, or exposure to a toxic chemical or drug.
All of these things can dramatically alter a person's state. Often, a patient
will report that they have never been quite the same since that time. In cases
like this, the triggering event has actually caused the patient's energetic state
to become frozen. They have assumed a psychophysical "stance" or response in
order to deal with the event, but they have remained in that stance long after
the event has passed. As a result, they now see the world through a lens that
doesn't quite fit anymore. Eventually, their psyche and body will become distorted
by this unsuitable posture, and the net effect will be disease … If a
homeopath can tease [this situational stance toward life] … out of the
many mental and physical symptoms reported by a patient, and then match it to
a remedy, they will be very close to finding the patient's simillimum.

About the author:
Amy L. Lansky, PhD was a Silicon Valley computer scientist when her life was
transformed by the miraculous homeopathic cure of her son's autism. This prompted
her to make an unusual career move: she became a student, writer, promoter, and
most recently, practitioner, of homeopathic medicine. In April 2003 she published Impossible
Cure: The Promise of Homeopathy
, a comprehensive introduction to homeopathy
that includes the story of her son's cure along with dozens of other cure stories
for a wide variety of physical, mental, and emotional conditions. Lansky has
studied with the Devon School of Homœopathy and completed the Homeopathic
Master Clinician's program with Lou Klein. She served as coeditor of The American
for two years and is an executive board member of the California
Health Freedom Coalition. Lansky is also an avid amateur musician; she sang in
local rock bands for 15 years and is now focusing on classical piano composition.
She can be reached at