OH, a Broken arm WITH grief — why didn’t you say?

At the conclusion of my clinical internship (which was the last component of my Heilkunst studies before graduating), my clinical partners and I were treating a case which I’ll always clearly remember in terms of the lessons that I learned from it. One month of this treatment, in particular, stands out in my memory. It was the point on the patient’s time line where we were treating her for the time she had broken her arm.

A broken arm is a certain kind of physical time line trauma and requires a particular combination of remedies to address it, which we gave her as part of her treatment that month. This was one of the more straightforward time line events we had treated in this patient (or so we thought!)

She came back the following month, however, with a completely unexpected reaction to the remedies — a strong headache had emerged for a few days after taking these remedies, which was not at all a typical symptom for her. This was a symptom which wasn’t related to the symptoms of a broken arm, nor to the following item on her timeline (which is often where the life force spontaneously goes when it is ready to move forward to the next necessary treatment.)

“Did anything else happen when you broke you arm? Maybe you struck your head at the same time?”

“No,” she said.

When we questioned her further about the broken arm, she revealed that there was another element to the story of her broken arm — it had occurred within another context, which was that she had just received news of the passing of her Uncle just before she slipped on the stairs outside the door of the house and broke her arm.

Ah ha! This headache is one of the typical physical symptoms we will see in a patient when they are going through a state of grief, whether related to a current event, or a past event on their time line. We immediately treated her with this grief remedy, to complete the whole event of the broken arm, before we knew we could logically move on to the next event to treat on her time line. Normally, we would have treated the broken arm with the grief remedies at the same time, in a compound event like this.

There were some very key lessons I learned from this :

  • To be very thorough in case-taking, and not to make assumptions.
  • The patient isn’t always sure about what to include on their time line, and needs to be guided and prompted to complete all the information.
  • The patient’s life force will always tell you exactly what it needs, whether it is a conscious knowledge in the patient’s mind, or not. Without following it, the treatment will progress blindly, and often ineffectively.
  • In other words, the time line is a great map of the territory, but the living, breathing movement of the life force is the necessary guide to navigate through it.

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