2006 January

Students, Is Scholten's Element Theory the Way of Future Homoeopathy? An Address to __

by Ai-Ling Makewell
Introduction
There was a revolution in the world of homoeopathy. It is the most significant one since Hahnemann. Yet, it didn’t seem to have had much of an impact on the way we practice as homoeopaths or the way we learn as students a decade later. This so called “revolution” is Jan Scholten’s “Element Theory.” His first book, Homoeopathy and Minerals was published back in 1993, then Homoeopathy and The Elements in 1996.
I consider Scholten’s Element Theory to be a revolution for reason that it has the potential to change the face of homoeopathy completely in terms of case taking, case analysis and remedy selection. What the Element Theory offers is that it has all the necessary ingredients and tools to assist homoeopathy to evolve from a rubric dependent system to a “Person Centred” approach. In this, it affords an in depth understanding of the themes and the essence of both the remedy and the individual patient.
Insight into the essence of the remedies allows us to know their intrinsic healing properties. And the essence of an individual can be observed from where one makes manifest his or her reality in the material world, “As above so below, as inside so outside.” Therefore, one’s diseases and wellbeing are a reflection and an integral part of one’s expression. They are aspects of a person’s life experiences in joy and suffering.
Granting that, homoeopathy was far from my mind when these two books were published. When I started my studying and training in 1999, his work was not even mentioned in our curriculum. Looking back from my limited yet very significant experience as a homoeopath, this was an over sight and a neglect on the part of the homoeopathic training and teaching body.
It is in this respect that I wish to share my experience on the path to become a student of homoeopathy with others in hope that the students and the homoeopathic training bodies in countries world wide may start thinking more seriously in employing and teaching Scholten’s Element Theory in case taking and healing the sick. This change to and adopting his method in our practice can be instrumental in assisting homoeopathy as a medical profession to mature from adolescent to responsible adult and from piecemeal approach to holistic.
As such, I will begin by giving a brief account of my own journey that puts me on this path and the wonderful and gratifying experiences I have in adopting Scholten method. Then, the significance and the potential impact of his methodology in the way we practice homoeopathy will be discussed. Lastly, a selection of case studies from my own practice will demonstrate the ease, elegance and simplicity when employing Scholten’s Element Theory. At the same time, I will also give two example cases while using Sankaran’s Miasmatic approach.

My Journey
First, similar to the experiences of many homoeopaths I stumbled into homoeopathy out of sheer necessity owing to personal health problems. After years of doing the circuits between orthodox, herbal, Chinese and homoeopathic medicines without resolution, I set out to study homoeopathy in the hope of healing myself. Although I was quite taken by homoeopathy more than twenty years ago, to this day, I could still remember my reaction to it when I first came upon Boericke’s Repertory - “No way, I am going to study this!” It looked insurmountable.
How little did I know that life has a mind of its own in spite of my ego desires (trained as an artist). Homoeopathy has become my passion over the past few years as my understanding deepens with increasing experience. Also along the way, I was steered in the direction that changed my thinking.
Many a times, practising homoeopathy has been a humbling experience and taught me much; the least of all is to be more open minded and less critical. Especially, each of us at any given time may only be able to perceive one aspect of homoeopathy and not all of it. Today, we have the opportunity to be of service to humanity with this wonderful healing modality called homoeopathy is because we are standing on the shoulders of giants, the past and present Masters of homoeopathy.
This said, I completed my study and training of homoeopathy in the shortest time I could possibly manage not because I was in a hurry to begin a practice but I needed to have an overview of the scope and parameter of homoeopathic medicine in order for me to have a firm grasp on how it could be applied.
During which, while I enjoyed learning every component of homoeopathy, especially the philosophy, the most frustrating part was having to select the relevant rubrics for each paper case in the hope of finding the “right” remedy. It was frustrating because it made very little credible sense for the reasons in selecting certain rubrics and not others, which is always open to debate and psychologising. In other words, the act of selection is rather random and self-limiting. This is where I am taking issue here.
There are three aspects to the problem of rubrics dependent case taking and remedy selection in homoeopathy. First, the choice of rubrics in a case is a random act of which one can select four rubrics or twenty, the outcome of which can be quite different. Although a homoeopath’s experience can make a significant difference in the outcome with this method, it is still piecemeal and limited in scope because, often, information related by a patient is NOT repertorisable.
Then, the choice of certain rubrics is inevitably influenced by a homoeopath’s perception and interpretation of what the patient is saying. More often than not, one’s perception of another is coloured and influenced by own experiences in life that is a conglomerate of the individual’s emotional, mental and spiritual patterns. Perceptions change as one gains more experience in life and grows in maturity. Therefore, how we perceive of others reveal more about who we are than about the other person, which explains the phenomenon of differing accounts from witnesses viewing the same events – it is subjective and selective viewing. In this process, what a homoeopath may miss is the essence of the person which is reflected on every level by his thought patterns, emotional expressions and physical diseases.
Lastly, our dependence on the repertory potentially prevents an in depth understanding of the person and the case. In this, the dictionary with which we rely on to help us understand the meaning of certain words is NOT the language. The art of writing and speaking the language can never be expressed by stringing the words together from a dictionary. Just as the map of a city can show us the way without getting hopelessly lost it is not the city – the map is not the territory. So the repertory whilst a good guide to the choice of a possible remedy it is NOT the Art of homoeopathic practice. Certainly, it should not be the main focus of our work.
Having said this, my experience in clinical cases has changed my view of how repertory may be used. My training gave me the idea that one ought to depend on the repertory for any possible “correct remedy” selection, yet my personal experience through employing Scholten method showed me the contrary to be true. The universe has a sense of humour.
Over the past four years, I only turned to repertory for specific symptoms (e.g. case 5), and applied Scholten (then, Sankaran’s) methodology in understanding the essences and themes of an individual to find the specific remedy.
It was increasingly clear to me, from the very start of my practice, that the repertorisation method falls far short of its promises and yielded very little satisfaction for me. What it lacked was the “Aha!” moment after having selected a probable remedy. Moreover, it was the absence of a general sense of well being that supposes to come over the patient after the remedy was administered. The result was rather like patch work that it could have come apart at the seams anytime. Following this, I was forced to seek alternative way of looking at the cases in order to elicit the result in a patient that will give me the satisfaction that homoeopathy promises. I remembered Scholten’s big blue covered book, and the rest is history.
I have not looked back since. The outcome of employing Scholten’s way of understanding the cases is far beyond what one could have ever expected of the promise of homoeopathy in healing the sick. More so, I have come to realise that the universe accommodates always; my limitations as well as my expansions; the remedies needed for each person, in my work, started off from simple and more familiar ones (e.g. Magnesium muriaticum) to the new and previously unknown remedies (e.g. Ruthenium to Cerium). This is the reason for my writing and relating my own experiences in employing Scholten method because the reward is infinitely greater than what one could have ever imagined while using a repertory.

The Potential Impact of Scholten’s Methodology in Changing the Face of Homoeopathy
Repertory has been an integral part of homoeopathic practice for over the past two hundred years. It served us well for the most part though the rate of cure remains low (one Journal article stating that it is below 30%), which is far short of that which one ought to expect.
Given that, the internal logic in the use of a repertory is akin to the functions of a dictionary – a mechanical device without the artistry intrinsic to a language in expression. Repertory contains the proving as well as the clinical symptoms of the drugs from polychrests to small remedies. Therefore, if one could select all the relevant (appropriate) symptoms and string these together then, one can “more or less” find a remedy for the patient who exhibits these.
However, the inherent problem with the use of repertory is the tendency in overlook the so called “small remedies,” which often prove to be extremely effective when the method of selecting remedy does not favour only the polychrests (case 5, and the cases given in the section on Sankaran’s method). More to the point is that our dependence on the use of repertory can prevent us from perceiving the essence of our patient and without knowing what makes the person tick or how the diseases manifest themselves.
In a sense, this way of finding the simillimum is similar to reading a poem whilst knowing the meaning of all the individual words but without understanding the subtle nuances of meaning and depth of feeling that it conveys. In this process, nothing is changed; neither the poem nor the remedy administered has touched the soul.
Having said this, I am not saying that repertorisation is devoid of any possibility in finding the simillimum. Under certain circumstances repertory works brilliantly but it is time that we grow beyond our dependency upon it solely in our practice of homoeopathy. Scholten Methodology is the bridge that serves this maturation process.
Within this consideration, there are two main implications to the Scholten method that can potentially have a significant impact on changing the way we practice and the way we THINK in terms of how we understand the remedies, perceive the patients and finding the simillimum. All of these seemingly separate parts are in fact the two sides of the same coin. Each reflects and affirms the other. Otherwise, there could never be “Similia Similibus Curentur” (Makewell, 2004:106)
First, Scholten’s Element Theory advocates group analysis of themes of which allows us to study a whole group of remedies that have shared characteristics (similar physical, emotional and mental symptoms) in a unified and systematic way. In turn, this approach helps us to perceive the essence of our patients in themes (red thread) from an array of symptoms.
In regard to the first implication, it opens up an entire field of remedies that were either not available or inaccessible to us previously. Although Vithoulkas said emphatically in the Journal LINKS (1999) that there is no need for new remedies as he has never had to use these. However, for others like myself, it is and has been a blessing (the majority of my patients needed remedies from the periodic table).
The reason for this difference may be found in what Tinus Smits suggests (cited in Serban, LINKS 2002 (2):99). Smits considers that it is the individual homoeopath’s resonance with their remedies that enables cure. In this case, Vithoulkas cures many of his patients without having resort to the “new remedies.” My experience is quite the opposite.
In that, had I not investigated Scholten’s Element Theory I may have become a part of the statistic (90% of the homoeopathic students do not end up practising). However, my point here is that as students of homoeopathy we would be well served to keep an open mind and to explore new ways of thinking (Scholten’s and Sankaran’s) for ourselves even if the new thought is quite alien to what we have been taught and appears to be “anecdotal” to the traditional knowledge and practice handed down the generations.
The old repertory dependent way of arriving at the simillimum may work adequately for many and for most of the times, but for some, we may need to investigate and to have the knowledge of the new in order to discover our own resonance with certain groups of remedies.
The second implication is that Scholten’s group analysis of themes and concepts assist us to perceive our patients from a more objective stance, truly of Hahnemann’s “unprejudiced observer.” In this, how we understand the remedy (whether it belongs to the mineral, animal or plant kingdoms) is the same as we understand the individual sitting in front of us without having to “translate” what is being related to us by the patient into rubrics. More importantly, what is being said by the patient often conveys a sense of the core essence of the individual, at that time and space, which cannot be broken down to pieces (rubrics) and, then, put back together in the form of a remedy so hope that the parts equal the sum.
Having stated that, the advantage of applying the group analysis in our work is that it not only potentially reduces the possibility of interference from personal bias, prejudice, and projection but also helps us to understand the patients in much greater depth and insight (Makewell, 2004). Hence, prescriptions will be much more accurate with higher percentage of cure.
Following this, what takes place in the consulting room is that we begin to perceive our patients not as individuals made up of mental, emotional and physical symptoms (via repertory) but as sentient, feeling, thinking and spiritual beings whose sufferings are expressed through “symptoms” manifest on different levels. In other words, there is always a story behind one’s dis-ease manifestations.
Moreover, “the sum is always greater than its parts” and, that the individual human being is much more than his symptoms. As such, the case taking process in Scholten’s way ultimately honours their spirit of who they are in their dreams, desires, fears, and aspirations.
The fundamental approach in Scholten’s group analysis applies not only to the periodic table but also extends to other kingdoms such as plant and animal. In this, if we understand the themes of a series, i.e. Carbon (Lithium, Berylium, Boron, etc.) or a family i.e. Solanaceae (Belladonna, Hyoscyamus, Stramonium, Capsicum, etc.) then, when we recognise the same theme in a patient we can find the remedy with considerable ease. Many times, the remedy needed may only be a “small one” (less familiar and not used frequently). As a consequence, in Scholten’s own words: “Homoeopathy can be that simple, which doesn’t mean it is always simple” (2002, Melbourne Seminar).
In closing, given that the themes and concepts are ways of understanding both the essence of a remedy and an individual, one can then also look upon Scholten’s Element Theory in terms of it serving a similar purpose as Ariadne’s ball of thread that can guide us through the labyrinth of symptoms without getting hopelessly lost or stuck. In this sense, understanding an individual’s pattern or theme is to perceive his/her inner state from where all manifestations spring.

Case Studies
Case 1 Ferrum-metallicum
This is an interesting case. Rob first came to see me was back in 2002 (age 68) after having ITP (Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura) for five years. This was managed with Prednisone (Corticosteroid, 5mg a day for five years), danocaine (steroid, been on it for two years, 500mg a day), Mintec (1 to 2 tablets a day), pepcid (H2 Blockers, 1 to 2 tablets a day), loperamide (anti-diarrhoeal drug, 1 – 2 tablets when required), Lomotil (diarrhoea, when required), Paracetamol (500mg when required – to counteract the side effects of Danocaine (Azol)). Mintec, Pepcid, Loperamide, and Lomotil are taken to counteract the side effects of Prednisone.
Apart from the ITP, he lacks energy generally. Rob then proceeded to tell me a bit about himself, “I plan my day, set my goal of what I want to achieve in my mind for that day then, carry out what I planned.” He is very methodical and meticulous in his approach to work (Ferrum) and is quite talkative. He goes on to say, “I get frustrated when I can’t get things done as I planned – I’d say: “you beat me this time, but I’ll get on top of it.” I have a place for everything, otherwise they get piled up.”
He retired from the Air Force (Ferrum) many years ago, but cannot just sit still and do nothing, so he works for one half day in the mornings as a hobby (voluntary) for a whole sale company that builds model trucks. He has been doing this for the past three years. He says: “I have a tendency to drive (Ferrum, stage 8) myself to finish things. I used to be quite ambitious to achieve things.” “I also rant and rave and give a young worker hell because he doesn’t appreciate what he has got, he is lazy and sloppy in his work attitude. Working with models requires a lot of patience and skill.”
He is extraverted, does not hold grudges and tends to get over things in five minutes. He used to sleep well before he had to take all the needed medications (goes to sleep on the left side and wakes up on the right), now he doesn’t sleep so well since the illness. He also had his gall bladder out in 1996. The spleen was taken out in 1998, and three hernia operations over the past two years (showed me the scars across his abdomen).
He was warm blooded before his illness, but now feels the cold because of the low blood platelets count. He has eczema in winter, and burns easily under the sun.
He likes all vegetables, particularly tomatoes (Ferrum), and enjoys plain food, dislikes spicy food. He cuts down on the intake of meat because it causes his stomach to become distended, very flatulent. He also drinks a lot of water especially during the summer, very thirsty.
Prescription: Ferrum-metalicum LM1 on daily basis, stop when feels better.
Analysis: Work and duty are the central theme in this case. These are his main focus in life as he spent most of the consultation time talking about work. I can be quite sure that I am looking for a remedy from the Ferrum series. It is stage eight because he is inclined to force and push himself hard to finish things he planned out with certain rigidity in his approach, and sees the “jobs” that he cannot complete as being “beaten by the opposition.” He also has many Ferrum symptoms; blood disorder, desires tomatoes and meat. The fact that he was in the Air Force (discipline) also points to Ferrum.
There was no indication for a combination remedy, so it is Ferrum metallicum. I gave LM 1 because of his weakened condition.
Response: I posted the remedy out to him (lives in another town) and did not hear from him for six months. Then, he rang out of the blue to make another appointment. While on the phone, I thought I’d better ask him what happened after the remedy (for all I know, it may not have had any effect). Surprisingly, he said “Oh, I threw away my medications, the blood platelets count is almost normal (only just below).” “I took myself off Prednisone (over a number of weeks), which I have been on for the past five years, and it is 9 to 1 chance that it caused hernia, which took a long time to heal after the operations. Then, I took Danocaine off down to 200mg (was 500mg, been on it for 2 ½ years) and I now feel much better.”
He was able to give up Danocaine completely later and told me, “I haven’t dared to tell my Doctor about the homoeopathic treatment I received but I’ll do that.” He did not come again after two more visits (the last visit, he was on Ferrum-metallicum 200C).

Case 2 Argentum phosphoricum
This is a girl, Sue, aged 6 at the time of consultation in the early 2003. Sue was treated by another homoeopath for two years previously with moderate success and frequent relapses. By the time she was brought to me all of her original complaints were still present.
She has dark auburn coloured hair and is thinly built. There are many complaints; frequent ear infection, tonsillitis, asthma, cough, shingles, and colds with runny nose of clear thin mucous that runs down the back of her throat. She also has dry lips, plantar warts on the left foot (sweaty feet with strong odour), colic when a baby, and stomachache (hunger pain). Her ear aches come on after getting a cold, which causes her to blow her nose a lot that leads to nose bleed.
Sue has a big appetite, gets hungry frequently and likes to eat when feeling bored or sitting in front of the television. She desires spicy food and chilli, shell fish, olives, salads, pesto, cucumber, chocolate, and sweets. Not a big meat eater and dislikes fat. She has slight food allergy to shellfish which causes skin spots and eczema. Sue does not drink (water) much and feels the cold.
Sue sleeps well though grinds her teeth. She dreams of fighting with her sister (“leave me alone!”).
Sue is sensitive to criticism, smart and has an artistic temperament, “I am an artist!” – she draws and make things for the “gallery” (mother’s room). She is happy with her own company; draws and does creative work, but at the same time, enjoys being with friends. She participates in gymnastic activities after school. Sue has marked fear of thunderstorms, of going to gaol, and that her mother will forget to pick her up from school. She went through a phase being very fearful and anxious about robbers and burglars. She has a competitive nature especially with her sister but tends to behave more passively with friends. She loves to help others, is affectionate, and sympathetic with a love for animals, and feels herself to be special (sits on teacher’s lap).
Her mother says that Sue is hyperactive, hot tempered, yells and screams when frustrated and this is the Italian trait in her – very expressive, and can be rebellious.
Prescription: Argentum phosphoricum 30C, 1 dose
Analysis: The themes in this case belong to the Silver series and Phosphorus. Her feeling of being special, her creativity and self-proclaims to be an artist point to a remedy from the Silver series. Sue’s sympathetic nature, love of animals, fears thunderstorms, stomach pains, talkative, and competitive with sister (older) even dreams about fighting with her all point to Phosphorus. Other symptoms such as her lack of thirst, not liking meat much, aversion to fat, and loves sweets, talkative and anticipatory fears point to Argentum.
Response: On her first returning visit, the mother says that Sue’s behaviour is much better. Now, her ears hurt, sore throat, slight fever, and she was dragged kicking and screaming to see me. A repeat of Argentum-phosphoricum 30C was given.
Two day later, Sue’s tonsils were swollen though not very red, drinking a lot of water. She is back to her usual talkative self and looks well though there is nose discharge.
I advised the mother to give her another dose of Argentum phosphoricum 30C.
Two months later, Sue’s mother brought her back to see me to report that Sue is much less fearful (not needing light on at night anymore), and more settled. There is a bit of cough (caught a cold) and tonsils are a bit swollen but not serious.
Repeat Argentum phosphoricum 200C one dose. After this visit, she is well ever since.
I have found that children who need this remedy, Argentum phosphoricum, are quite self-contained and can play by themselves happily though they do enjoy companies and friends too. Often there is seriousness to their temperament.

Case 3 Lithium phosphoricum
This is a boy of thirteen, thin built with red hair (natural colour). He was first brought to see me in March 2004. His mother says that he is very reserved and is inclined to keep things to himself, does not talk to others (e.g. mother) about anything that bothers him. He has an acute sense of being an outsider; at school and with friends. He feels that he is a misfit though he does have a couple of close friends. Normally, he and his friends get together and sit around play miniature army games.
He is creative and very imaginative; often he forms the vision in his mind’s eye first about building the soldiers, castles and other bits and pieces for the battle games then he proceeds to build these from his imagination. This is his creative outlet and he does these by himself (solitary pursuit, he needs time to be by himself and be alone). As a child, he can be calmed down, when agitated, if given pencils and crayons.
He also has the tendency to be very emotional but is unable to express it. His behaviour towards his (younger) brother and sisters is very changeable (stage 1); sometimes he gets on well with them other times he wants to be left alone and pushes them away. Generally, there is a lack of confidence though he is quite capable; he hesitates at the beginning of doing something and then, his confidence increases as he pushes himself to do it.
At school, he understands the concept of mathematics but he finds it very frustrating. Sometimes he does really well with school works and sometimes not (changeable, stage 1). His concentration is weak with mood swings. He can get very depressed and doubts the validity of his own existence and the meaning of life (Carbon series). As such, he also gets disappointed with friends thinking that he is a misfit and feels not belonging. His mother says that he is “greedy;” if there is a better offer comes along even after he has made up his mind to do something else he will accept that one instead.
He used to be very fearful of water; whenever his brother or sisters got too close to the water he “herds” them away from it. He is not a fussy eater will try anything though prefers warm food, curry, and spicy food. There is hardly any physical symptom except that he has dandruffs and is quite restless before going to bed.
Prescription: Lithium phosphoricum 200C, 1 dose.
Analysis: Although this boy shows a great deal of creativity, the central theme of this case is about how he feels as an individual, the personal “I.” He can get quite depressed and questions the meaning of his existence. This theme belongs to the Carbon series. His needs to be alone, feeling of not belong, and being changeable in his behaviour towards brother and sisters and in his school performance indicating stage one. Additionally, there is a lack of ability to reflect in the way he makes decisions (he takes the better offer). This leads to Lithium.
He has trouble dealing with his brother and sisters and at times, becomes disappointed with his friends at school and fluctuation in his school work performance point to phosphorus.
Response: There was feeling of being more relaxed within minutes after taking the remedy (the remedy was given on the spot) .
Return visit one month later. After the remedy, he was getting out and about, visiting friends more often than before. No dandruffs. Although still likes his privacy but is less so and begins to communicate more with others. He could let his mother give him a rub on the back but is just beginning to back off. He thought he was fat before and now he hasn’t mentioned it. He is not as restless before bed as prior to taking the remedy. He is not as changeable towards his brother and sisters in the way he relates to them. His concentration is much better, did well in his last school work test.
Repeat Lithium phosphoricum 200C, two doses to take home. His mother telephoned to say that everything is going well with him four months after the last visit. End of case.
Up-date (23/12/2005): I telephoned, prior to this publication, to enquire about his health. His mother reported that he is much “lighter” personality wise, and is very well ever since.

Case 4 Antimonium muriaticum
This is an interesting little case. A little girl, Eryn, with big eyes and blonde hair, was three and a half when the mother first brought her to see me (4/2004). She just started kindergarten although enjoys learning going to school is a big problem. She is anxious about going to school and worries about being with a lot of children. Although she is happy to help her teacher out and achieve high standard of work, she does not like going to school. Her mother has to stay with her for at least one half of an hour in order to settle her down enough for the mother to leave.
Personality wise, Eryn wants to do everything perfect, she gets very frustrated when could not meet the high standard she sets for herself. Eryn is quite obsessive about having to dry every part of her body after a shower. This behaviour began after she started school. Otherwise, she is quite confident and meticulous (very tidy), in charge of and controls everything, wants to complete the set task from beginning to end. Also, her mother says that she is self-contained, and is very creative, enjoys drawing, craft, and writing, and plays “theatre” and talking to (herself in) the mirrors. She dreams of a big snail chasing her.
However, the other side to Eryn is that she has a bad temper; can get very angry that she has trouble controlling herself. For this, she was given Magnesium-phosphoricum (did not have much of an impact) at the age two and a half by another homoeopath. On further questioning, Eryn’s mother says that she disliked being touched or being looked at as a baby. The birth was rather an easy delivery but she could not breathe because there was a lot of clear and slimy mucous stuck in the air passage. Eryn was also very clingy and shy and it took a long time for her to get used to people.
Prescription: Antimonium muriaticum 200C, 1 dose.
Analysis: Eryn’s creativity and being self-contained point to a remedy from the Silver series. There are a number of symptoms indicating Antimonium; lots of mucous caused difficulty in breathing when she was born, and aversion to being touched or looked at. Her clinginess also points to Antimonium which may stem from a feeling of being unloved and alone (Sankaran).
At first, I was considering a combination with Phosphorus for reason that the mother says, “going to school is a problem, and she begins to get anxious on her way to school.” However, after some thought I realised that the school is not the problem because she enjoys learning and she does settle down afterwards. It is the separation from her mother that troubles her and going to school means separation. Therefore muriaticum was the choice.
Response: Return visit one month later. “Amazing! It’s been really good” the mother says. Eryn’s mood changed one week after taking the remedy. There was fluctuation of her mood during the week, there is still problem about the shoes (there are certain shoes that she refuses to wear). Apparently, she also found clothing touching her skin irritating and that is why she has resistance to school uniforms also. Her obsessive behaviours are gone (hysterical, fantasy about not being completely dry after shower). There was a two week of school holidays in between her visits. On the first day back to school, she was still screaming, did not want to go back when the term started and start feeling anxious again. On the fourth day, the mother stayed with her for one hour, but since then she was fine. She is much happier, much better, this was not like her usual self. “I must say that I was amazed by it and very surprised” – the mother says.
Repeat Antimonium muriaticum 200C two doses. Eryn is fine ever since, which is almost a year ago.
Up-date (10/2005): Eryn has been really well up to now. There were returning of old symptoms four weeks ago; similar problems with having showers (must dry herself completely), separation anxiety, and says that she can’t sleep but does fall asleep. Eryn’s mother says that these symptoms were triggered off by hearing a family friend’s having had a stroke. Eryn became very anxious and fear that her parents might get it too. Her father has also been away a few times recently.
Repeat Antimonium muriaticum 1M, 2 doses. Mother reports (12/2005) that Eryn is doing well. Initially, after taking the remedy, she had a few nightmares but was well ever since; no more nightmares and all the problems disappeared two weeks later.

Case 5 Ferrum picricum
This is a man aged 64 who came to see me in 2003. One year ago, he went to his Doctor for a prostate check up, then, six months later found that there was hardening of prostate. The Doctor put him on a drug to dilate the urethra so that he did not have to get up three times a night to relief himself. The drug he is on now cause stiffness all over especially the limbs and the back. The last straw that pushed him to seek alternative treatment was when his Doctor suggested that he takes another drug to combat the side effect of stiffness.
He says that he has been married for forty-four years, now retired but still reasonably active. He worked hard, and never drank or smoked excessively. His family is farming people from England. At the present, he is in the process of putting up a fence though the knees, shoulders and back all stiff from the drugs. “I still shear a few sheep and am feeling really stiff and my groin is painful.” “As soon as I came off these drugs, the stiffness was gone, but then, it comes back as soon as I start taking these again.”
He has been retired for three years, enjoys the lifestyle they have now. He is a kind of even tempered man, pretty gregarious, organised and disciplined, and disagreeable things do not really worry him much. He loves tomatoes and pride on his good management of his shop.
Prescription: Ferrum-picricum 30C, 6 doses.
Analysis: This man has a Ferrum personality; strong work ethics, always hard working, persevering and forceful (try to build a fence even though he has little mobility), nothing bothers him much (Case 1 – does not hold grudges). The question here is “which Ferrum?” I looked up the repertory under “Prostate gland general,” Ferrum-pic was the only Ferrum present. I gave him the remedy on the spot, he felt much less stiff within five minutes and was able to move with ease. He did not need a follow up. End of case.
Up-date (12/2005): I telephoned to enquire about his health prior to this publication. He reported that he was well ever since and feeling healthy. No more problems.

Case 6 Cerium phosphoricum
This is a more recent case (8/2004). However, the result is immediate. Julie is an eight year old girl. Her mother brought her to see me because she has difficulty in going to sleep over the past three weeks, she feels anxious about time (not falling asleep straight away). This started during the school holidays. Although she gets up in the morning still feeling happy Julie gets very upset and cries when she couldn’t get to sleep. She goes to bed at 8:00 pm but at times Julie could stay awake till 1:30 or 3:00 in the morning. She is a light sleeper, grinds her teeth, tosses and turns in bed, and has nightmares that cause her to cry in her sleep. Her inability to fall asleep easily causes her to feel frustrated and anxious.
Julie loves sweets and ice cream, chocolates, fish, eggs (boiled), tomato sauce, McDonalds (once a week treat) and Chinese food, frozen yogurt, Rockmelon and strawberries. She dislikes fat.
She is a very serious child, did not smile (during consultation) and did not talk to me. But her mother says that Julie is always happy and talks to anyone.
She loves drawings, dances and sings to music. She plays with a few friends, and is communicative, very imaginative and happy to play by herself; sits in her room, draws and listens to music (self-contained). She loves learning, and writes stories. She is confident, friendly, but she also has a fiery temper and fights with her older sister. She gets upset easily and does not think that her sister likes her very much. In addition to those, she also enjoys sports such as running (came second in a race) and football. Julie does not seem to have any fears except that she becomes scared when everybody is asleep at night.
Prescription: Cerium-phosphoricum 1M, one dose.
Analysis: At first, I thought that this is easy. A clear case of Argentum-phosphoricum as Julie has all the Phosphorus symptoms – relationship with her sister, communicative, nightmares, unable to sleep, loves fish, and chocolate, etc. My choice of Argentum was based on her being anxious and cries from nervous irritation when not able to fall asleep, a love for sweets. Moreover, her creativity and love for music, writing, and sports made me think of a remedy from the Silver series. As such, I gave her Argentum-phosphoricum 200C one dose, and waited for a reaction. After five minutes, I asked if there is any sensation in her body . Julie shook her head, no. I thought that we should wait a bit longer. While we were still waiting and talking (10 minutes passed), Julie’s mother then, turned to Julie: “Weren’t you good! You just got on the ski for the very first time and went down the hill and skied really well.” When I heard this, I knew that Argentum-phosphoricum is not the right remedy and there was still no reaction by this time.
The remedy is Cerium (stage 4 of the Lanthanides). Scholten describes Cerium this way: “They can’t stand failure. This is more so because then others will try to help them and that’s the last they want. Because they will lose their independence. So they start thinking and imagining how it can be done. It’s as if they practice in their mind instead of reality. And when they have practiced enough in their mind they suddenly can do it. They are the children that have a big fear to undertake new things, but suddenly they can do it without practising. …”
The remedy is Cerium-phosphoricum 1M 1 dose. Julie said that she feels sleepy within minutes after taking Cerium-phosphoricum.
Response: Julie’s mother rang the next day and says that she went to sleep with no problem at all for the first time in a long time. Julie didn’t need to take up the second visit which is always included in the first consultation fee. Julie is still well up to the time of writing this.

Two example Cases using Sankaran’s Miasmatic Approach
This is a preamble. After I attended Sankaran’s seminar in Sydney 2003, I came away with a profound sense of being de-skilled as a homoeopath. The reason being that I neither had any idea in how to take cases the way Sankaran showed us nor was I clear about the different states of being; sensation, passive reaction, active reaction, and compensation. There was a lot of information cramped into two days for me to digest quickly. My usual reaction is that I need time to assimilate and digest the information I received. However, enveloped by such feelings of inadequacy and despondency I thought that one alternative was to put all the material and knowledge Sankaran had given us into a cupboard and never think about it again. Of course, this would be the most idiotic response to something “unknown” and “unfamiliar” - a total waste of time attending the seminar. Another option was just try it regardless how inadequate and ill equipped I felt I was.
However, after a few days feeling rather anxious, I thought I need to just jump into the deep end, sink or swim. Although I cannot take the case like the way Sankaran does, I can do it my own way and see what happens. It was truly amazing! Once again, the universe always accommodates. In a short few days I not only prescribed the remedies obtained from Sankaran’s chart, but also of those remedies that I had no prior information about their properties. They worked beautifully. The two cases below are examples showing the wonderful results Sankaran’s approach can yield.

Case 1 Lysimachia nummularia
This is a man aged thirty-eight. He had recurrent tonsillitis ever since he was a child. Although the tonsils were removed between the ages 5-6, however, a small part got left behind. He did not have tonsillitis for the next sixteen years since the operation. Then, he had an attack while living in Papua New Guinea (PNG) at the age twenty-one. After which he was free of it for another ten years. Then, he had tonsillitis three times in a row in 2000, and ever since then he has had it around the month of May (end of Autumn and beginning of winter) every year (he came to see me in May 2003).
During a tonsillitis attack, he has sore throat, a high fever up to 40°C which lasts up to one week. His other physical symptoms include a slip disc owing to incorrect lifting, which he did some Yoga and stretching to ease the pain. He has eczema in the scalp and some around the ears, and ulcers appear in the corner of the mouth when feeling run down. Occasionally, he gets headaches when not drinking enough water.
In addition to all of these, he contracted Malaria while living in Asia and has had three attacks since. He also had one bout of Hepatitis A. Once he was hospitalised after 4-5 days of very high fever without any signs of improvement.
There is also swelling accompanying high fever, which comes on within twenty-four hours. He is emotionally resigned, while he is sick, with a sense of helplessness and loses sense of time.
Now, he gets quite worried when taken sick, as he doubts his ability to recover and feels that he is letting his wife down; he becomes a burden rather than support to her. I asked him “what do you do when you are sick?” He says “I just sleep constantly, unable to move and feeling sluggish.”
He did a lot of travelling in his twenties, but “since my marriage and having a family, I do not travel anymore and tend to stay at home, though at times, I still have the desire to travel and go places.” This man is a horticulturalist, so he is working out doors, often quite hard physical work and is on the move constantly.
Prescription: Lysimachia nummularia 200C, one dose.
Analysis: It is clear from the above that the theme of this case belongs to the Primulaceae family, as he is unable to move during an attack with high fever (sleep constantly). There is also the polarity showing a desire to stay at home (aversion to going out) and the desire to travel and to move. He travelled widely in his twenties and now is quite content just staying at home though the desire for travel is still at the back ground. The miasm is Malaria (he contracted it) and that he feels “attacked” by his illnesses, and is stuck in a dependent and powerless position (feeling a burden to his wife). The remedy is Lysimachia nummularia.
Response: Return visit was four and a half months later. He reported that his swollen glands, a lump on the side of neck cleared up immediately after taking the remedy the first time.
This time, the sensation in his throat made him think that it was going to develop into a full blown tonsillitis again. The reason for this development was that he went to a football game on the weekend and participated in a drug binge; had some cocaine, marihuana, ecstasy over the twenty-four hour period. His nose is now totally blocked up unable to breathe through it.
Prescription: repeat Lysimachia nummularia 1M. He was able to breath through his nose within ten minutes of taking the remedy.
His next visit was two and a half months later after the last one. Again, he feels the onset of tonsillitis with sore throat (< left side). He is run down, stressed out, and has not been sleeping well. He loses appetite, lacks energy and becomes irritable and impatient with the sensation of developing into full blown tonsillitis.
Prescription: Lysimachia nummularia 200C, 3 doses.
I last saw him was in the middle of 2004. He was feeling unwell and under the weather. Usually, he tends to get tonsillitis and flu at this time of the year but this did not happen this year. Repeat of Lysimachia nummularia 1M, 3 doses (2 to take home). End of case.
Up-date (12/2005): He has been well ever since, though at times felt run down never was bad enough to having take time off work.
Repeat: Lysimachia nummularia 10M, 2 doses.

Case 2 Agnus castus
This is a thirty-three year old young man. He is at the prime of his life and yet has no energy and feeling sluggish all over. He saw a naturopath for the last two years with very little results. The main problem is his digestion (bloating) and elimination of waste. He used to have very sluggish bowel movement but it is firmer lately by changing his diet (diarrhoea and constipation depends on what he eats). He has to be very careful of what he eats. Gluten and grain type of foods can make everything worse – including neck and shoulder pains, inflamed sinus on the left side which gives him constant pain spread across the face, fogginess in the head, unable to concentrate or think clearly (this gets worse when he is emotionally affected). All symptoms seem better if he only eats meat and vegetables, but then he does not have enough energy. When he takes in too much dairy food he can become sluggish with sinus pain, feeling of heaviness, lacks energy, and becomes very constipated.
He started noticing this problem in 1993. Yet, the problem of constipation started since his teens. His pattern is to overeat (he got fat a couple of times, otherwise a slim person) because of emotional attachment to food. He used to drink a lot of alcohol and was hospitalised in 1997. There is an inclination to excess with everything he does; he is over sexed when younger (in his twenties and had a lot of different partners), over eat cocoa powder (stuff the whole tin down the throat in one go), binging on chocolates, nuts and seeds. Yet, the nuts and seeds that he loves cause polyps in the nose with post nasal drip. He has a strong desire for chocolates, cocoa, nuts (cashew and almonds), and rice. He also has stabbing pain when urinating and tinnitus in the ears.
He is sensitive to weather changes; dry wind can cause foggy feeling in his head, energy drains when the weather is hot, and feels better when rains. He is a chilly person with cold feet.
As a child, he binged on chocolates to shut out his dysfunctional family, and inclined to turn to food for comfort as it provided him with emotional calmness especially when become emotionally up-set over life’s vicissitudes.
Father was an alcoholic and became violent when he got drunk. As such, as a child he anticipates violence and punishment every time when his father comes home drunk. Frequently, he’d keep out of his father’s way by going to bed early and staying in bed in the morning until his father left for work to avoid being beaten. There was a lot of tension and apprehension in his early home environment.
He was emotionally very sensitive in the past but learned to be indifferent (he says). His brother committed suicide in 1993 after which, he decided that he will become strong so that he will not go on the same path.
His childhood experiences have made him quite cynical about life, and he also feels quite ashamed of his uneducated, troubled, and dysfunctional family. As such, for a long time, he was very ambitious, vowed to be successful and focused his attention totally on material gains despite the pressure that this has caused in his life. He says that he was “hungry and greedy.” Because of his tremendous desire to succeed in the corporate world, he tried to push himself to fit into a group that he does not really fit (he has a rather sensitive and mild temperament). He eventually got out of that world and now begins to pursue a Ph.D., and at the same time, come to accept that he missed out on the father and son relationship. At the present, he is also separated from his wife without any resolution; he is not sure whether they will get back together or not especially he is about to go overseas.
He has not had dreams for a long time, but when things are going well for him he has happy dreams. In the past, he dreamed about flying up and down. He also experiences the floating sensation when he meditates.
Prescription: Agnus castus 30C, 4 doses one a week.
Analysis: The first remedy I gave him was Ulmus campestris, which he had no reaction what so ever after five minutes. The reason for choosing this remedy is that his physical sensation being heavy and compressed, together with the lightness and dream of flying and floating sensation when meditating showing the theme belong to the Hamamelididae family. It is the cancer miasm because he has feeling of weakness within him yet there is the need to perform very well and live up to (his) expectation and desire. His problem with digestion and bowel movement has been a continuous and prolonged struggle without respite from tension. His childhood experiences also gave him the feeling of prolonged struggle and weakness.
Then, on careful consideration, I realised that the central theme of this man is about excitement and the lack of it, the Labiatae family. The polarity of excitement and dullness is played out in his personal life; high degree of sexual excitement in his twenties and now there is dullness (has no real relationship, whether there is any sign of impotence or not he did not say). This polarity is also manifesting on his physical level; he has a great deal of problem with constipation and loose motion (sluggish bowel movement). There is also craving (excitement) and aversion (dullness) in his approach to things. In this, he thinks that he is a superman, then, realises that he just can’t do it so loses enthusiasm, so he goes through the peaks and troughs.
Response: Return visit one month later just before his departure to take up a post for his Doctorate studies. He related that his digestion was going well and has not felt so well for a long time. Now he craves rich food and is eating a lot of things, going overboard with cakes, cocoa, almonds, and sweets. Neck and shoulder pain returned for a short while, then, disappeared. Body elimination of waste is good and effective, fogginess of the head is gone. He has much more energy. Nasal is clearer and concentration is much better though tinnitus is still there.
Repeat of Agnus castus 200C, 4 doses. I also gave him 2 doses of 1M so that he won’t be short of remedy and not able to source it while overseas and asked him to send me e-mails if any problem occurs. I did not hear from him since presumably well and recovered from all his complaints. End of case.

Conclusion
From the above case examples, I have shown that the Scholten (and Sankaran’s) methodology not only conveys simplicity, ease and elegance in case taking and remedy selection but also it takes a giant leap in assisting homoeopathy to grow and mature.
While my experience as a homoeopath is limited, it is enriched and deepened enormously by employing Scholten methodology in case taking, understanding remedies and in finding the simillimum. What Scholten’s method (and Sankaran’s) revealed to me is the immeasurable possibility and scope in our practice of homoeopathy and its fulfilment in the art of healing. Moreover, Scholten’s methodology can hone one’s skill as a homoeopath much more finely as time goes on.
Like any other fields of knowledge, homoeopathy is and must be continuously developing, changing and growing. As such, all I want to say to would be homoeopaths is that in the palm of your hand holds the future possibilities of homoeopathy. Considering this, we should not let prejudice, narrow mindedness, and limited vision to constrict us from becoming an instrument of healing and from advancing homoeopathy. One never knows what wondrous journey life takes one on if we are open and be accompanied by certain degrees of humility.
With this in mind, we need to embrace change with courage, consideration, knowledge and understanding rather than blindness, ignorance, and fear. Every now and then, there will be geniuses who come to change the existing familiar ways of being for the better and that the reverberation of such will benefit millions of people. Hahnemann was one and to my thinking and understanding, Scholten and Sankaran are the modern day geniuses. Scholten’s methodology (and Sankaran’s) is a timely revolution that has the potential to change the face of homoeopathy for the better, from a juvenile rubric dependent system to a mature “Person Centred” approach. If we embrace it with openness and thoughtfulness, the possibility is endless.

References
Hiwat, C. & van der Zee, H. (1999), “A man with a mission – Interview with George Vithoulkas.” Homoeopathic LINKS, Winter 1999, Vol. 12 (4).
Makewell, A (2004), “Scholten Methodology and the Treatment of Children with Eczema”, Proceedings of the Australian Homoeopathic Medicine Conference 2004.
Sankaran, R. (1999), The Substance of Homoeopathy, Homoeopathic Medical Publishers, Santa Cruz, Mumbai, India
Scholten, J. (1996), Homoeopathy and the Elements, Stichting Alonnissos, Utrecht, The Netherlands.
Scholten, J. (2004), “Seminar Lanthanides”, Stichting Alonnissos, Utrecht, The Netherlands.
Serban, G. (2002), “What is it that cures the patient?” Homoeopathic LINKS, Summer 2002, Vol. 14 (2).

Categories: Remedies
Keywords: Scholten, Sankaran, elements, families, categories, analysis, Ferrum metallicum, Ferrum picricum, Argentum phosphoricum, Cerium phosphoricum, Lysimachia nummularia, Agnus castus
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Scholten
Reply #2 on : Fri October 01, 2010, 08:44:39
When I first started using Scholten's element theory five or six years ago, I found it hit and miss. Sometimes I would hit the nail on the head with a remedy I would never have come to through a standard repertory and at other times I missed wildly, when I should maybe have gone for something simpler and waited until I understood the patient better.

It was only after a seminar with Jan on the Lanthanides that I started to really understand the stages - to be able to intuitively feel which stage someone was at. He explained it using cases in Dutch, which was surprisingly effective, as one could focus on body language and emotion, rather than simply words. After this seminar, I focussed on the stage and series until I understood the ballpark I was looking at. Once I got there, the final tweaking comes with choosing which salt (phos, sulph, carb etc) or whether to give the pure element.

It is an elegant, brilliant method, which I find easier to use in chronic cases. I hope to be able to extend mu understanding to use the method in acutes also - but for now I just stick to the old tried and tested three legged stool!

I look forward immensely to reading more of Scholten and other's work on the plant kingdom.

Thanks for this article - it was very inspiring!

Posts: 2
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Comment
Reply #1 on : Sat August 19, 2006, 08:09:15
As I am trying to learn these methods I found your cases instructive. It is both daunting and stimulating. Daunting because it depends on very fine distinctions between symptoms; these approaches do not entirely solve the problem of homeopathy: how to find the remedy with the greatest certainty. Also, Scholten's and Sankaran's pictures are not the same; there are similarities but also differences. Of course it is all a work in progress; gradually things should get clearer.
I have had some good results applying these methods but sometimes I go for the opposite extreme, such as the Boenninghausen method where one focuses on the presenting complaints and past diseases of the patient, a more clinical approach. This works well too in suitable cases.

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