How Homeopathy Is Practiced

heart murmur in dogs

When choosing a remedy do any of you use a repertory that was compiled for humans or one specifically focused on animals? Is there a preferred or recommended repertory for canines? Some homeopathy books for pets have limited repertories in them, but all seem to differ on the remedies included and sometimes even contradict each other on the uses for each remedy. Is there a definitive volume out there? Also, do any of you use software when working up a case? Which product?

~ Sam

Dr Jeff Feinman

Hi Sam,

Before I answer your question, let me restate it. Some readers may not yet understand how homeopathy is practiced. As many know, homeopathy is based upon the law of similars or, “like cures like”. Homeopathic stimulation of the body’s defense mechanisms normalizes the energetic imbalance that leads to dis-ease, Arriving at the homeopathic medicine that is indicated for any set of symptoms is based on symptom manifestations. Some are more significant (characteristic) of the patient than others. The job of the homeopath is to act as a “translator” and find equivalent symptoms in the homeopathic literature. The vast majority of this literature is based on human animals.

After the homeopath chooses characteristic symptoms, we now have to match them to symptoms of the patient. Homeopaths know which of the thousands of homeopathic medicines to use by knowing the previously documented alterations in physiologic symptoms which they cause. The knowledge of the specific effects of the various medicines we use is learned through a proving of the homeopathic medicine. Provings as developed by Hahnemann were the first basis for scientific use of any drug.

The repertory is a dictionary of all known symptoms that have been seen to occur both in provings and in clinical cases cured by homeopathic medicines. Most of the repertories that exist are based on what human beings experience during a proving and during treatment. Subjective phenomena are called symptoms. By definition, animals don’t have symptoms. Instead, they have objective signs. Repertories contain both signs and symptoms. Despite this difference most homeopaths classify all deviations from the normal state of functioning as symptoms.

Since many of the changes which occur during a proving are subjective, e.g. sensations, nature of pains, dreams, etc., full provings can only be done on people that can communicate these perceptions. It is important for the good prover to be very aware of changes within his body so he can record and report them. Not all well-verified symptoms of a drug are based on provings. Biochemically and radiographically-evident tissue changes are usually determined over the years in clinical cases. All of these symptoms can then be used homeopathically. The more proving and clinical experience, the better known the remedy.

Some subjective symptoms of homeopathic medicines are not very useful to veterinary homeopaths. However, it is relatively simple to translate objective signs exhibited by animals into the language of the repertory. For example, human arms become animal front legs, our legs are their rear legs, paws become hands and feet, etc. Anal sacs are one part of the dog not present in people and which therefore doesn’t exist in the repertory. Instead we use the more general rubrics related to glands.

A few veterinary repertories do exist. Two colleagues and accomplished homeopaths, Drs. Richard Pitcairn and Wendy Jensen have recently written one. Proper use of any good repertory like one of these can help guide a homeopath to successful resolution of a case but should not preclude judicious reference to the other homeopathy literature. One of the many benefits of computers is the ready access to huge amounts of information including multiple repertories and other sources. There are many computer applications available for doing homeopathy including useful online tools. Personally I use MacRepertory, ReferenceWorks and RadarOpus. These are used most often by professional homeopaths around the world.

Harmony in life and living, homeopathy for health and healing.

Dr. Jeff

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