Back when Ally and I were students, when we were studying the homeopathic constitutional types (the six basic personality types), we would go to a restaurant together to play “the constitution game”. We’d sit adjacent in a booth, and observe all the other customers in the restaurant in order to figure out what we thought each of their constitutions were.
“Is she a phosphorus?”.
“Is he a Lycopodium?”
We would share our observations with one another in detail, to understand what we were thinking in order to come to our respective conclusions. “See the look of scorn on his face as his eyes search for his waiter? That’s the Lycopodium feeling.”
If you have some background in Classical Homeopathy, I’ll need to re-educate you now about some of the fundamental mistakes that have been incorporated into its dogma around homeopathic constitutions. As such, this dogma has missed out on some of the most important aspects of what a constitution is, and how it is prescribed for. First of all, the key concept of what a constitution is, is lacking within Classical Homeopathy — that is, it represents a basic state of health in the patient, as it appears in the absence of any disease or stress. Unlike all other remedies which are prescribed on the basis of the symptoms or causation of a given disease, the constitutional remedy is only prescribed to help to support and balance the underlying state of health.
Hand in hand with this missing concept, goes the lack of understanding of the different typologies which can be applied to understand the different levels of a human being. Without understanding typologies in nature, it would not be possible to have any system of medicine, as there would be no commonalties to base any treatments protocols on.
Once you get to know these distinct six different constitutions or personality types, and once you’ve had enough experience with them they “lift off the page” for you, and become real living entities that are easy to identify in real life. Back then, as students, when we were just learning what the basic characteristics for each type, our work was to get our textbook knowledge to “leap off of the page”, and come to life before us. The restaurant game was one way we invented to help us fast track in this process.
I remember the zing of excitement as this skill started to crystallize for me, as it was like one of those 3D drawings that you need to look at in just the right way to see the image leap off of the page. Something which was initially so obscure, and buried in so many text book details to wade through, suddenly came to life before me, in a living, breathing image embodied by a real life person before me. I’m grateful for the time and effort we put into this as students, as now I am able to “see” most people’s constitutions with the first few moments of speaking with them.
Sometimes, it’s as if my clinic office still has that restaurant booth for Ally and I to sit on, as I assess the constitution of the brand-new patient. The only thing missing is the server coming by periodically to take our order, but that “zing” of excitement is still there at the moment of recognition. Many years later, and Ally and I are still sharing our clinical thoughts and observations, as we continue to sharpen our vision of what’s hidden inside each patient. You may still catch us on occasion at a restaurant playing the constitution game!