2007 May

Elaps in HNP

by Dr. Manish Panchal

In Sept. 1996 I saw a case of 45 year old gentleman under unusual circumstances. During that time I had few homeopathic interns working at my clinic. The patient’s daughter was a friend of one of the interns at my clinic. The lumbar backache was very severe with no response to oral painkillers as well as painkiller injections. The orthopedic physician suggested surgical intervention and in the meantime advised bed-rest with complete restriction in moving, not even turning in bed nor moving his hand and feet or any part of the body. So the patient was lying absolutely still in his bed, but still in agony. Since the patient and his family never wanted surgical intervention, his daughter asked help from an intern in my clinic.

He was prescribed Aconite by the intern because of sudden pain, feeling of suffocation and desire for light. He was not better, in fact becoming worse. At this moment I came in the picture when the intern narrated the case to me. We decided to visit patient’s house and review his case. So that day after my clinic hours I went to see the patient along with interns of my clinic who were eager as well as curious to see what homeopathy can do. In the meantime in my mind I had already decided the remedy, stramonium because of suffocation and desire for light and I wanted to ask about fear or fright to confirm.

When we reached patient’s house the whole family was waiting anxiously for us with worry on their face. Too many people watching what we are going to do now. During all this commotion I realized that even before case-taking I had decided on the remedy. I was being prejudiced. This self awareness then helped me to observe and receive the case with an open and unprejudiced mind.

Here is the information received from the patient:
He was lying in bed absolutely motionless. He was very anxious regarding his illness. He was anticipating something very dreadful as if something terrible is going to happen to him. Then after some re-assurance he was a bit relaxed and started talking freely without any reservation and for a moment forgetting about his pain. In fact he was loquacious whereas a moment ago he was very anxious and worried about pain. The X-ray showed prolapsed disc between L5 and S1 vertebra producing unbearable lumbar pain on the left side. The pain started with a sense of suffocation. He experiences this sense or fear of suffocation in many situations in his life. e.g

1. While traveling by train during evening rush hours he is reluctant to enter inside the train, what if I will get suffocated ? What if I would not get enough air to breath?

2. When I see C-T scan machine, I get scared. They put the patient inside the machine, what if I get stuck or trapped inside and if the exit door does not open, I feel I will suffocate and die.

3. When I am watching a movie on television where people are put in a gas-chamber and then gas is released inside, I shudder with fear thinking if I was in their place in the gas-chamber I would feel really suffocated. It is then unbearable for me to watch further, I switch off the television.

4. I avoid walking on a narrow street for fear of suffocation.

5. If there is a bird in the cage, I feel how the bird is able to live in such a small space, will it not be feeling suffocated ? So I am totally against having a pet bird in a cage. I would want to release the bird and set them free.

6. At some religious places there is an underground cave whose entrance is narrow and then you reach inside the cave to pray to the deity. I feel what if I get trapped at the narrow entrance, what if no-one is able to pull me out again? Then I would suffocate and die. I am more scared of suffocation then dying.

He is very sentimental.
I cannot see anybody in sadness or in distress, immediately tears fill my eyes I become so much emotional. If there is a sad scene on television my eyes are full of tears. If I am watching a serial on TV I feel now a sad situation is anticipated I do not like it. I feel everyone should be happy. During auspicious occasion we family members and family friends read religious books (Ramayana or Mahabharata or Bhagwad gita), while I am reading the anecdote about a character I get so overwhelmed emotionally that I am unable to read any further, my voice is choked with emotion and eyes full of tears. If there is a sad movie I cannot watch it without weeping. If one person is happy and another is sad I keep on thinking why that person is sad and I feel like helping him. If someone is sick and hospitalized, I am not able to visit them because I cannot see them in suffering. I always avoid seeing accidents on the road, I shudder to see the blood.

I had always stayed in a house which was airy and having a lot of natural light and breeze. I was brought up in such a environment so I enjoy light. I therefore do not draw the window curtains. I let the light and breeze come in, I want everything open, don’t close the window or the curtains. I would put on all the lights in the house. Doctor I have stayed in such an open environment with a lot of natural light and breeze so I get almost nostalgic about it. This feeling of nostalgia and sentimentality was being misunderstood before as desire for light.

I like to do new things in life, to learn new thing or to achieve in some new venture. I liked the stock market. I used to predict and it used to turn out right. I would derive many thrills from my correct prediction.
He said this with sense of pride and achievement. Since last year my predictions have gone wrong and I have lost a lot of money, but I am confident that I will recover my money. With a sense of pride and boasting he said he had a lot of guts before, now it is a bit less, maybe my age is catching up. Before I would walk with so much confidence that people would be in awe of me and at the railway station the ticket-checker would never stop me to check my railway ticket. Now I do not take a chance (boasting, bragging and showing off, but after losing a lot of money he feels more down. After a high, now fallen low down and less confident).

I like to travel a lot. I like luxury. If we decide to go for a vacation I would insist on going by aircraft than by train, staying at 5-star hotels and enjoying the luxuries. I derive the pleasure in showing-off. I feel that like others I can also afford such luxuries, I like them and I can also show-off. I am also crazy about imported foreign cars. I attend all the exhibition of cars. I am curious to know which new model of car they are displaying, what are the features of the car etc. When I am walking on the street and an imported car passes by, I just stop and stare at the car. I feel; what a car, when will it be launched in India, I am thrilled (inquisitive and also a desire to have a luxurious, imported car). I was also fond of new, costly and branded clothes.

Craving: I am fond of sweets (chocolates, ice-cream, mango, dry fruits). For a year I am not eating sweets because I should not suffer from diabetes.
Sweat: Mostly in axilla and head, no stains or odor.
Sleep: Sound and peaceful. I cover only up-to the neck, never over the head for fear of suffocation.
Dream: My breathing has stopped. I am in a crowd and feel it difficult to breath, i.e a feeling of suffocation.

Other Complaints:
Hypertension, esp. diastolic in range of 100 to 110 (on anti-hypertensive drug). Vertigo due to chronic cervical spondylitis.

Are you found of nature, greenery and walking bare-footed on grass ?
At our country house I do not like to stay inside the house. I enjoy more in open, green agricultural field. Rain is falling and there is greenery everywhere.

Understanding the Case:
The important features of the case are:

1. Sense / fear of suffocation.

2. Loquacity despite unbearable pain in back.

3. Sentimental and sympathetic.

4. Boasting, bragging, trying to show-off, foppish.

5. Ambitious, desires to achieve more, desire for luxury.

6. One moment on the top (high- making lot of money, traveling by aircraft, 5-star hotel, costly branded clothes, desires imported car) and then a great fall to the bottom as if falling from high place into a pit or in abyss.

7. Weeping from slight emotion, reading an anecdote from religious book.

8. Fond of nature, beauty of nature (greenery, rains) and open space.

9. Anxiety as if something terrible/ horrible will happen and a craving for sweets.

All the features suggest a snake remedy. Craving for sweets, fascination for beauty of nature, desire to travel, desire to reach high and fear of falling deep down and anxiety/ apprehension as if something terrible will happen (apprehensive of some fatal disease- Clarke’s M.M ) pointed to Elaps.

Elaps 1m , single dose at midnight and placebo. Advised to inform me next evening at my clinic.

After taking the medicine he went to sleep, sleep was very peaceful and he never had to wake due to pain. He was so peacefully sleeping that he was not even aware that he turned in bed without pain. This was the first time in many days that he was able to sleep without much pain. When the patient woke up he was surprised that the pain was so much reduced and he was able to move now. The patient was now buoyant, but he was advised to take a few precautions such as avoiding lifting heavy things, driving and physical exertion.

After 2 weeks:
B.P is 110 / 90.
The backache is so much better, he can move about without discomfort, he started going to work and commuting on trains. Sleep is sound with no dreams of suffocation. While watching the serial on TV I do get emotional even now, I avoid watching the next episode of the serial if there is going to be any sad situation. I still do not like to draw the window curtains even when there is sun at the window. Placebo for 2 weeks.

After another 2 months he continued to remain better and also showed improvement mentally. His emotional nature is now more sober, he can now watch sad or disturbing situations on a TV serial without any problem. No longer does he get overwhelmed emotionally with tears in his eyes. His fear of suffocation is less, no dreams of suffocation now. Sleep is fine.

He was given Elaps 1m twice afterward when he lost a lot of money in business. He was tense, blood pressure once rose to 140 /110 and vertigo due to cervical spondylitis. He was also panicky about his financial situation, his wife had cardiac failure and he had to arrange money for his daughter’s marriage. Though his physical symptoms improved after repetition, there was still a maintaining cause due to financial and business loss. He needs to be treated for more time, but he is irregular with the treatment.

After 4 months:
When there was no further improvement in the vertigo, cervical pain and there was a craving for sweets again I changed the potency and gave Elaps 200, a single dose, since the 10m potency was not available that time. His vertigo, cervical pain improved. The last dose of Elaps 200 was given after another 6 months.

During one year of treatment he improved physically as well as mentally. B.P is okay 130/80 despite business tension. His sleep is okay, vertigo, cervical pain, and lumbar backache is better. No dreams or fear of suffocation, less emotional, less crazy for imported cars, though still desires to do well in business and enjoy 5-star luxury again. Wants to enjoy greenery. In retrospect I feel I should have repeated the remedy in a plussing method because that time only 200 and 1m potency of Elaps was available. This limitation could have being overcome by a plussing method where with every repetition of the dose the potency is slightly changed, hence we would have more range of potencies available to us.

Understanding Elaps:
It has features common to all the snakes;
Choked/ suffocation, intolerance of constriction in any form, egotism, deceit/ slyness/ manipulation, competition, jealousy, suspicion, attractiveness, venomous/ malicious, loquacity, fear or dream or fascination for snakes.
I have also observed that all snakes are complaining, sentimental/ sympathetic, weeping after slight emotion. At the same time when persecuted they become venomous/ malicious.
Lazy (snakes are lazy creatures they hunt only when they require food) and better by discharges.
Elaps is known as the most beautiful snake by snake lovers. In addition to common snake-features it has its own peculiar characteristics physically and mentally.

1. Chilly, desire for oranges, banana, salads, sweets, sour, milk (also aversion), ice, sweetened buttermilk. Aversion to meat, milk and < fruits.
2. Right sided, blackish discharges, headache from fasting and if hunger is not appeased at once. Violent thirst, coldness in the chest after drinking and coldness in the stomach after cold drinks/ fruits.
3. Dreams: falling from high place into a pit / abyss, dead persons, business.

1. They are playful, artistic, creative and fascinated by beauty of nature (greenery, rains, walking barefooted on grass). Love of colors, music and appear less confident. They love to travel.
2. They want to stay away from the hustle and bustle of cities. Away from crowds so they escape to the countryside, but at the same time they are afraid of being alone because they feel something terrible is going to happen. Fear of robbers, rowdies breaking in their house injuring them, or an apprehension that their disease is going to be fatal and then they desire company.
3. Desire to reach high and then fear of falling down from that high place.

Dr Manish Panchal
Dr Phalguni Panchal
Centre for Homeopathy / India

Categories: Remedies
Keywords: lumbar backache, self awareness, sense of suffocation, emotional, light, breeze, nostalgia, sentimentality, showing-off, snake, elaps, plussing method


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ajmer singh
Posts: 6
Essence of Elaps
Reply #1 on : Fri October 09, 2015, 12:56:16
The dream or sensation of falling from height is essence or keynote of Elaps.On the strength of this symptom alone i have cure many chronic cases with this wonderful remedy.Y0ur portrait of Elaps the exact archetype of a snake remedy.Beautiful description highlighting the essence of this remedy.