☼ The confusion with potency:
Being a very old school homeopath, meaning not a modern one, I was perplexed when I realized how much the use of homeopathic potencies is misunderstood. It should be as it is confusing topic and there are not many if any books on the topic. So, I am going to just tell you all the best way to treat a sprained ankle with Arnica montana homeopathic.
The interesting thing about treating acute injuries like falls, fractures or burns is that you want to treat the acute until it is finished. Otherwise, that injury becomes a pesky chronic injury as the acute was taken care of properly. Sometimes you will need another homeopathic remedy to finish off an acute injury.
Sometimes you won’t and you will continue with the remedy that is working well until you are better. It is always a good thing to also realize when you are over your head and need to consult with a homeopath or another health care provider.
☼ How does this medicine work anyhow?
It is really good to understand philosophy of homeopathy to get what is really going on here. The homeopathic remedy “acts” to mimic the disharmony going on in the body. So in our sprained ankle example, we can look in our homeopathic books what Arnica helps with bruised, sore, achy, trauma induced injuries. Let me be clear here, there are thousands of symptoms that arnica can help with. But as a classical homeopath, we treat the combination of all the persons symptoms – mentally, emotionally and physically. Not everyone who is sore and achy needs Arnica. So please don’t miss use this remedy that way.
Back to our example here…
Its like this, the remedy acts just like the body is feeling. Hence, the “like cures like” principle. The remedy sort of tricks the body and takes over. This is the primary reaction of the remedy. It’s just like how coffee has a primary reaction and a secondary reaction. Unless we get how these very important principles of primary and secondary reaction we can’t use homeopathy with much success as we never let the remedy go into secondary reaction. In the primary reaction of coffee we feel perked up. The secondary reaction of coffee is we are more tired than we were to begin with.
In our homeopathic remedy, the primary reaction is what symptoms are matching the symptoms of the body. The secondary reaction is the complete opposite or how homeopaths view cure.
So, if we improperly keep giving a remedy when it is not needed we keep the person in primary reaction. And our goal, is to let the remedy do its magic by going into secondary reaction.
☼ Our example of the sprained ankle:
Let’s take the example of a sprained ankle as they are so common and troublesome. You need to start with the right potency once you realize that this is really an arnica acute injury.
One must determine what symptoms are the patient’s chronic ones and what are the true acute symptoms. One easy way to find out, if it is a true acute symptom is to ask this question: “Does your ankle normally hurt like this?” If the patient has chronic sprained ankles this is not an acute and needs to be treated with the constitutional or chronic remedy. Consult a trained homeopath for this.
If it is a true acute start by asking yourself and analyzing how bad is it? This is how you figure out what potency to start off at. Ask your injured patient to tell you what the pain is from a number scale from 1-10, ten being the worst pain ever.
☼ The progression of potencies is as follows:
30C to 200C to 1M to 10M to 50M to CM (strongest).
I am just posting the full potency scale above as folks seem to not get it. 30c is the lowest potency above and CM is the highest. It is very important to use the scale in this order of ascending potency when you figure out where to start on the potency scale. This might be tricky to get this potency if you don’t have a homeopathic practitioner around but perhaps not.
Begin by giving the correct potency. In our example of the sprained ankle we are going to begin with a 10M as this is the best way to treat a sprained ankle.
Most Arnica acutes do not need to start at 10M but a sprained ankle does.
Wait a half an hour to see if the dose did anything. If it did nothing at all, then it is probably not the right remedy. If it were too low of potency, it would most likely do a little bit for a very short time. If it did a little something but didn’t hold very long, you probably needed a higher potency.
If a remedy works (meaning that the presenting symptoms go away), you wait until symptoms come back before giving more of the remedy. The timing for the next dose is unique for each person. Sometimes if you hit exactly the right dose, you may only need one dose of a remedy. More likely, you will need to give another dose in an acute case. A dose may last a few minutes to several hours, depending on the situation, potency and severity.
So let’s use the example that you gave a dose at 10M for a sprained ankle and it worked well. All the symptoms, or most of them, went away and then in an hour the symptoms all came back. Now it is time for the next dose. Never give the same potency twice. The life force needs something a little stronger as the susceptibility for the remedy at the first potency has been satisfied. The next step would be what is called “plussing the dose.”
☼Plussing the dose (to make the same potency stronger):
In this example, you would start with the 10M of Arnica, put a pellet in a jar or cup with 1 cup of water and either shake the jar ten times or cascade with a spoon (pulling spoon up in water and letting the liquid drop down). Then give a teaspoon of that liquid. You can plus a dose (meaning next time symptoms come back shake ten more times or cascade ten more times) until the plussed dose doesn’t help anymore. Sometimes, it is possible that one can plus a dose three or four times. If a plussed dose doesn’t do anything, it is time to move up to the next potency if the remedy is still needed.
☼ Moving to the next potency.
In this example, the next dose would be the 50M. Always begin by giving the dry dose (one pellet) and the next time the remedy is needed you plus the dose in water. Repeat the plussing (only when symptoms return) until it doesn’t hold anymore then go to the CM dose. Remember to run boiling water over the jar and spoon to inactivate the remedy, before re-using the same jar, cup or spoon. At a certain point, the action of a remedy will continue to hold and you won’t need another dose. If you need to treat the remaining state, more characteristic symptoms will come back. The patient could move into another state, which might need a different remedy.
☼ How do you know if remedy is still acting?
You may only need the 10M of Arnica. If the remedy is still acting, it is like a snowball going down a mountain. Which means you don’t want to interrupt a remedy that is working well. This is not aspirin that one takes every 3-4 hours. This is about really listening to the signs and symptoms of the body as when the pain, discomfort or swelling comes back. That is the only time you take another dose. Otherwise, you are interrupting a properly working remedy which is not a good thing at all.
You may plateau on a dose and not need any more. Of course, icing ankle is always helpful. And being careful to not re-injury it.