You open the door and it becomes bigger and bigger: a case of Lac leoninum
29 January 2011
The patient is a 42 year old professor. His chief complaint is severe headaches that develop before weather changes, especially from cold to warm, or any abrupt changes of temperature; onset during the day and better after sleeping. In the last two years, the pain has been extreme with nausea and mood changes. Localized on the left, the pain occasionally extends to the right, encompassing the eye region.
“I was 27 when the headaches started, diagnosed as orthostatic hypotension. I find it difficult adjusting to atmospheric pressure. My body is slower than other people. I’m afraid it may happen while driving and affect my reaction times. It could be dangerous for me and others.
“I like to enjoy my family but not with a headache. I feel it’s taking over me, controlling me. I can’t be my usual self, dealing with students.
“I used many medicines for colds. These colds were killing me.
“At work, I’m in competition with other groups. I would blame students. Not shouting, not killing them-- I know they look up to me. I try not to repeat what I didn’t like in my supervisors. I try to correct that.
“But I’m inflicting pain without purpose. It’s not rational. It’s self-destructive behaviour. I don’t want to become the same as the abusers I had. I was unappreciated by my supervisors.
“I don’t need it from the entire world but someone of high calibre not appreciating me makes me feel bad. You feel close to that person in spirit but they don’t recognize you. I felt I could be as good, but my potential wasn’t recognized.
“My daughter could pay for my mistake if I am acting unconsciously, driven by emotions, inflicting pain. A person of authority will automatically repeat mistakes until someone breaks the cycle. The only way to break the cycle is empathy.
“It’s painful to hurt people. I honestly care for my students. I’m like a parent in that respect.
“I dream of lions since I was a kid. They can be threatening but they are extremely friendly. I’ve felt for these animals since I was a kid, their power, strength, wild and instinctive, reminding me that there are instinctual aspects needing to be integrated.
“I’m aggressive, competitive, in work. I want to be the best. I’m ambitious with a will to be better. If I neglected those aspects, I’d be committing a crime against my nature. It’s always a fine balance trying to not hurt people or at least not without purpose. I don’t mean violent, I’m not beating people up in the street.
“Sometimes, I’m trapped in everyday things - the future is known, all is provided if you adhere to the rules. I can’t fully accept that. I struggle to find my own place, irrespective of where people want to put me. There’s joy in going toward your own nature but where it takes you off the beaten path, it’s scary. I’m envious of others without this urge, living in a society that takes care of you. I feel I cannot do that. I find happiness in following my own path.
“I don’t drink milk. I’m vegan for ethical reasons.
“I’m fascinated with sharks, a powerful animal, living in an obscure environment. Whatever they bite they don’t let go. When I bite, I don’t let go. I won’t let go until I reach what I want to reach.
“Animals have two sides. I’m attracted to the man-eaters, and I’m scared of them. Uncertainty scares me but I have a curious nature, stronger than my fear.
“I have two wills and a continuous struggle to make the animal part of my life integrated. The more you bring parts of the animal in, the more it asks to be part of your life. The unconscious instincts are much bigger than our rational, not in opposition but as a necessary process to becoming who you actually are.”
9 March 2011
After the first prescription, he had a headache within the first hour. Two weeks later, another headache began that did not respond to repeating the remedy. He was weak with headache, a new symptom. He dreamed of bulls being released, free to do what they wanted in the city. One bull was enraged, so he climbed a tree to safety. He was walking in a corridor and smelled lions! A smell he recalled from a childhood visit to the zoo - a pungent, musky, wildcat smell.
“It’s not a dead carcass that’s been eaten by a lion smell but the animal itself. I associate it with a group of lions. I associate it with the colour yellow, with the sun. It’s primitive, like the warmth of summer. I don’t like cold.
“I love that pungent smell of lions. If I had a vial of that smell, I’d spend hours with my nose in that vial. It smells like home, a natural, normal smell of where I belong. But in the dream it meant, be careful.
“The fear of being eaten by a lion. They’re beautiful: the king of animals; a royal appearance, strong, powerful, courageous. I also associate it with a sense of family and protection for family. It’s primitive. When a male lion takes over a pride, any cubs will be killed. I couldn’t rationalize that until I had a daughter: how deeply primitive is the love for your progeny. You love without restriction. After having a daughter, I can’t imagine adopting. The thought that they aren’t mine touches something primitive. I understood the urge the lion had to kill. I realized how close we are to animals. What separates us is that animals act directly, unlike humans. We share a common heritage with animals before becoming human. These ideas are dangerous. It all depends on the filter that keeps you from acting in agreement with those feelings. If that filter breaks down, it’s a problem for everyone. Aggressive, protecting feelings: the more you accept them, you open a door and it becomes bigger and bigger. It is our heritage as animals. In this way, I feel similar to lions.
“You can’t talk of good and evil here. Evil comes into play when you can make a choice. Animals aren’t able to make choices. Evil characteristics are human and require the human ability to choose. Some don’t have the capacity to choose rationally. That’s not evil either, but not having the ability. I don’t see evil in that individual acting on feeling. I associate evil with reason, and not feeling.
“The most dramatic impact is death.
“It is always my impulse to control my violent behaviour. I recognize myself being defiant of authority. Freedom is one of my most important things in life, the feeling of being free. I am free. It has no price. I don’t agree with directly challenging authority but in the end, I don’t recognize authority as having value. Respect is a value but needn’t be authoritarian. People who use authority to obtain respect inspire the opposite.”
Analysis: Incorrect initial prescription: Lac humanum
Animal issues of competitiveness, aggression, abuse. Struggle between instinct and humanness. Headaches, aversion milk, love for children. Lions, killing, authority, and freedom.
Prescription: Lac Leoninum 1M
20 July 2011
“I had the same frequency of headaches in the beginning. They would start and subside within the hour. I haven’t needed the remedy in four months. Recently, a severe headache did develop. I used the remedy with good results. I’m surprised. I have no rational explanation for this.
“I stopped dreaming of lions. I’m more energetic. I have a reservoir of courage and more ambition. Some energy has been released, the fear that I’m not good enough, or that I can’t compete with those people – now I just go for it, as if those energies were always there and I opened a door to let them out. I used to think I had reached my potential and couldn’t improve further. It takes courage and energy to admit that you were not as good as you thought. Being better than others doesn’t matter when you’re not as good as you can be. You need courage to admit you can do better.
“In the past, the effort was to control my instincts. Now, I’m not trying to control them but to let them do what they do best: analyzing, rationalizing, finding rules to help my students, and finding exceptions to the rules. Sometimes, you have to disobey the rules. The change in my perspective is in doing for others as opposed to for me. I’m now trying to reach out, to help my students.”
No coldness or weakness with recent headache. No violent impulses or dreams.
Analysis: correct remedy, correct potency.
Prescription: continue Lac Leoninum 1M, as needed for head pain.
17 December 2011
“I have only needed the remedy once since July. A couple months ago, I had one of those special headaches. Within 10 minutes after taking the remedy, it suddenly went away and never returned. The first remedy you gave stabilized the headaches when they came so they didn’t get worse. This remedy made the pain rapidly disappear.
“Normally, this time of year would be triggering headaches; however, I am doing very well. Difficulties I encounter or challenges, I react in a positive way. Not that I accept everything, but – for example – I submitted a manuscript and it was rejected without review. Normally, I would have reacted badly, identifying myself with what I do and investing passion into it. I used to take it as a rejection of me, not only my work.
“This time, I thought let’s take their criticisms to heart rather than giving up, to relieve the pressure, or publishing at a lower level, to get rid of it. No, let’s understand more, regardless of the pressures. A year ago, I would have felt this as a defeat, that I am unwelcome here. Now, the emotion is, ‘I am welcome somewhere else.’ Both may be true but in the past I focused on the negative, feeling trapped.
“Now, I focus on the positive and I’m ready for a new challenge. I can’t help but think that part of this is due to the remedy. It’s as if I’ve been handed cards to play with and all of a sudden they’re re-shuffled and I’m handed a new set of cards. I don’t get the feeling anymore, ‘oh, how bad will this be?’ Instead, I am excited, like opening a present.
“I was trapped when I first came here and sorry for it, and without the energy or enthusiasm to change. After the remedy, the energy necessary, all of a sudden, became available. It must have been there somewhere, used for the wrong thing.”
No dreams of lions.
“Previously, the focus was to control instincts for fear of hurting others. Now, I’m not afraid I will hurt them, but realize if I’m holding back for fear of hurting you, I may not hurt you but you will not see my love, my affection either. It’s impossible to only hold back the negative. In the end, you hold back everything. Aggressiveness is the bad side of being extroverted in expressing affection, love, and care.
“I still get excited about the smell of lions. It smells like home. As a child, I spent hours every Saturday in front of the lion cage at the zoo. It’s a strong smell! You wouldn’t want your home to smell like that!”
Analysis: correct remedy.
Plan: continue Lac Leoninum 1M if needed for head pain.
Jessica Jackson lives and practices homeopathy in Edmonton, Alberta. Website: www. edmontonhomeopathy.ca
Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Panthera leo bleyenberghi Zoo Leipzig; Appaloosa
Keywords: headaches, dreams of lion, man-eaters, competition, instincts versus humanity,
Remedies: Lac humanum, Lac leoninum