Case-Taking: Totality & Timeline


Words: Dr Barbara ETCOVITCH

The treatment of illnesses through homeopathy is a unique adventure that encompasses the totality of the patient’s mental, emotional and physical symptoms from the past and present as well the unique inheritance of the patient presented in miasms, through ancestral traumas and by the predisposing factors, aetiology [causes], triggers etc.

The true totality exists as a continuum and can be seen as a series of occurrences that marked and were inherited by the patient; beginning before birth, at conception, and encompassing all the physical and psychological influences of the future offspring’s parents and ancestry.

Ancestral Trauma

This is a relatively new area of investigation. It can either be put on the patient directly through a hurtful and damaging occurrence by a forbear, or parent, of the patient, or it can be a trauma that has happened in the life of an ancestor that has reverberated down the family line to the client, who is the latest family member affected. It may also be a result of that which the patient carries from a previous life into the present one.

Homeopathy views dis-ease as an imbalance in the vital force, or guiding energy of an individual — the severance of a ray, or rays, which serve to connect the energy force of a person. The disconnection, or disassociation, parallels a severance of the earthly from the divine state of being.

The individual as a continuum, both divine and earthly, does not exist exclusively in time present and the illnesses that a person manifests do not arise solely from and in time present.

As a person moves through time from conception and birth onwards, they carry the constitutional totality with which they came into this world along with the ancestral heritage.

The true totality, therefore, must be understood as a series of occurrences, a canvas upon which all that is and has been personally, or ancestrally, experienced, is written.

Our ancestry gives us a personal predisposition towards certain illnesses. In taking the case, it is, therefore, important to seek out and assess trends in families. Parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents, and so on, will all contribute physical and psychological factors.

The trends in families is known as a miasm, and by definition is “the infectious principle, or virus, which, when taken into the organism, may set up as specific disease.” As part of the totality, a miasm which has been ‘grooved’ and passed from generation to generation can exert its influence.

“The entire psychophysical constitution of the patient can be altered by the presence of a miasm. The organism becomes predisposed to certain specific illnesses and to various perturbations with their own character and modalities.” [Source: Notes on the Miasms, Dr P S Ortega].

The Miasm Factor

In treating patients, the totality in its largest timeframe must consider the existence of the miasm.

By taking all these factors into consideration and by then creating the Timeline Model of Analysis which plots all the events chronologically, a meticulous picture is constructed, and the correct remedy is revealed.

Against a background of the symptoms, the timeline charts the stresses experienced during a lifetime, and the changes caused by events that have markedly changed the patient’s existence, such as the ‘never well since events.’ Triggers are considered and Ancestral Traumas are noted.

The initial visit to a homeopath begins the process of investigation with a gentle enquiry into the individual’s life and the issues that are troubling the patient. As the visits progress and the homeopath delves more deeply, additional clues are uncovered and a more comprehensive picture of the patient is revealed.

The best part is patients may also explore as deeply as they wish and return to homeopathy many times during their lifetime to peel off the layers that have interrupted, or severed, the ray, or rays, which connect them to their divine nature. 

Editor’s Note: At The Professional Homeopathic Doctor’s Clinic

You may not be so used to talking to your conventional [allopathic] doctor about your emotional feelings, or problems, in your personal life, or idiosyncrasies, or sundry, as much as clinical and other sophisticated tests, or diagnosis.

For a professional homeopathic doctor, as you would have seen, or experienced, your emotions, your temperament, likes and dislikes, sensibilities and sensitivities, including idiosyncrasies, matter the most.

Your homeopathic doctor ‘taps,’ or ‘vets,’ everything you’d have said during a previous consultation, because they would have recorded your case meticulously.

Most homeopathic doctors will also be able to tell whether, or not, you are feeling stressed, anxious, or upset, just by looking at you.

Yet, it is important to be open with them, if you are having any emotionally-driven feelings. There is no need for you to go behind the mask. It always helps to be candid, because homeopathy is mind-body medicine. For it to work well and effectively, the mind-body ‘connect’ in health and illness is as important as your symptoms.

When you speak openly, your homeopathic doctor will be better able to figure out whether there are any underlying causes for your illness. If your symptoms aren’t triggered by such factors, or possibilities, your homeopathic doctor will, again, be able to address your health concerns, based on the ‘nature’ of your unique, individualised personality, temperament and symptoms.

In addition, your homeopathic doctor may also suggest ways and means to improve your physical, psychological or emotional health, while treating you as one whole — not just parts, or compartments.

If, for instance, your negative feelings don’t ease, or are too powerful that they prevent you from living your life to the full, it’s important that you speak candidly to your homeopathic doctor.

This applies equally to stress-related disorders, or depression, just as much as it does to any other emotional illnesses. Because, most of our illnesses start in the mind — even if they are ‘loaded’ with physical undertones, or overtones.

This is also precisely the reason why each person is treated, effectually and safely, with ‘personalised’ or ‘individualised,’ homeopathic remedies. This is yet another important principle of homeopathy. It works on the idea that the mind and body are so powerfully linked that bodily, or physical, conditions cannot be successfully treated without understanding the person’s ‘individuality’ and ‘constitution.’

Homeopathy treats the individual; it just does not limit its treatment to the diagnosis of the illness alone. When you are ill, your illness has its own unique pattern of symptoms. You will tend to also get illnesses that result from the particular pattern of imbalance — one that is unique to your mind, body, temperament, emotions and environmental factors.

Yet, the interesting fact is — people with the same illness, or diagnosis, for example, depression, anxiety, and so on, will not need the same homeopathic remedy. There are dozens of homeopathic remedies, for instance, for depression as for pneumonia.

The illness you present with will require a homeopathic remedy that matches your particular, or unique, pattern of symptoms. Your colleague, or someone else’s illness, although having the same clinical diagnosis, on the other hand, will respond to an entirely different homeopathic remedy — depending on their distinct, or unique, set of symptoms.

Dr BARBARA ETCOVITCH is a Classical Homeopath, Interfaith Minister, freelance writer, and lecturer. She has a BA from Sir George Williams University, a MA in Literature from the University of Ottawa, Canada, and a Diploma in Classical Homeopathy from the School of Homeopathy, Devon, England. She was ordained by the All Faiths Seminary International in New York City in 2004. She has been in homeopathic practice for 30+ years treating human and animals alike, from her office in Montreal, Canada, and worldwide via Skype.

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