One of the saddest things in a 30 year career is realising that several years of my practice were conducted using incorrect information and wrong thinking.
I have had the privilege of being able to travel the world and spend time examining original documents and being able to commit to the study of Hahnemann’s writings in detail. Once I undertook this mission I made the decision to accept the answers without prejudice or leaning towards my own inclinations and compare his instructions and conclusions with those of every other homeopath who took the time to write a book, a treatise or an instruction manual.
The facts I uncovered both in relation to the practice of homoeopathy by Hahnemann and the generally accepted practice using Kent’s methodology were quite surprising. I found in general that Kent did not practice according to Hahnemann’s directions. Kent along with many practitioners of the American school belonged to the Swedenborg church and had incorporated the religious philosophical views of Swedenborg and overlaid them on Hahnemann’s writings meanings and intentions. So much so that if one was to look at the practice methodology employed by the majority of Kentian physicians, one would see the reason why there is only approximately a 30% success rate in the clinic. While many would scoff at this figure, this would appear to be the norm. One of the problems with the Kentian approach is that it is based on quasi-spiritual understanding of health and disease and therefore the parameters for concluding a person is getting better is whether or not they feel better regardless of a lack of progression towards health in the disease that the patient consulted for.
A world-famous homeopathic practitioner a few years ago, was consulted by a group of people with some very serious medical problems including multiple sclerosis. After initially treating the practitioner returned a few months later to evaluate the progress of the medication. He declared successful treatment was being made because the patient with multiple sclerosis said he felt mentally better. However the reality is that prior to treatment the patient was walking and after treatment with the disease progressing he was now confined to a wheelchair. It is my contention following Hahnemann’s directions, observations and conclusions that this is not a progressive cure to restoring health. It is a misapplication of Hahnemann’s words and based on Kent’s philosophy.
From 1846 onwards, for the next 50 years homoeopathy as defined by Samuel Hahnemann when practised properly, and using Boenninghausen’s therapeutic pocketbook, was seen to be one of the most successful medical therapeutics in general use.
When teaching students the use of the repertory, the IHM spends considerable time examining the history and development of the repertories. We compare and contrast always to the materia Medica and point out the weaknesses and strengths of each repertory. In examining Hahnemann’s directions and thinking involved in case taking, we have found that the therapeutic pocketbook by Boenninghausen comes closest and is most accurate in reproducing Hahnemann’s thinking for the benefit of the patient.
The staff and members of the IHM almost exclusively use the pocketbook to analyse the essential points of each case. Where the pocketbook does not elicit an answer based on the symptoms chosen, we use the search module contained within the P and W computer repertory and search directly within the materia Medicas. This enables us to see if our selection of symptoms defines the disease properly as expressed by the patient or requires us to go back and re-examine the case and elicit prescribing symptoms.
In order to use the therapeutic pocketbook properly and benefit from it, the practitioner will need to change from the Kentian method of prescribing to the Hahnemannian method. It is not a big change but will require application to Hahnemann’s principles and an understanding of what symptoms are essential.
To be completely comfortable with the methodology and make it successful in nearly every case it will entail some time spent in examining well-known Organon aphorisms and learn the real meaning and not the Kentian overlay. Whilst this may seem to be heresy for those that are steeped in Kent, the facts show that the differential approach of the great magnitude is in action. We as a research organisation merely point out the differences and ask the practitioner to examine carefully and make their own decision.