How does a Heilkunst treatment session work? Of course, the variety of issues and stages of health which patients bring will lead to a very individualized form of treatment, but there are a number of areas which form a backbone for the type of content that I might explore during each session.
The purpose of every Heilkunst session is ultimately determined by the patient, and what their current troubles and/or health goals are. Giving the patient an opportunity to tell their own story in their own words and their own style is the most important guiding principle in the case taking. Addressing their most immediate concern is always the first order of business.
To the degree that we are working on deeper chronic issues, or long-term goals, I’ll draw from any number of the following categories of inquiry:
- Specific reccomendations for their immediate concerns: Which homeopathic remedy or remedies will help them with current symptoms, (which we call ‘pathic’ prescribing)? Which lifestyle or nutrition modification would be most useful? What have they already tried, and what were the results?
- The basics of regimen : I like to ask the patient what his or her “nutritional habits” are. This phrase tends to prompt a much more accurate picture of their lifestyle than the idealized word “diet” tends to evoke, and usually prompts the patient to tell me what they think they should be eating, rather than what they actually are. There are any number of issues which need to be addressed in a patient’s regimen, starting with the basics of hydration and nutrition as a foundation.
- The basic life functions : How are the patient’s basic life functions? Is sleep deep and refreshing? What about the appetite, digestion, and assimilation?
- Assessing the time line of shocks and traumas : Particularly when the issue is of a chronic issue, I’m looking at the patient’s time line history, to determine which blockages might need to be addressed sooner than later. Although we normally follow a treatment logic of a reverse chronology for the time line, sometimes I will jump the queue to a particularly strong event, or one which has an obvious bearing on the present issues.
- What are the larger themes in the patient’s life? (ie not missing the forest for the trees) : Going beyond the specific details of the patient’s time line, a broader theme or themes of their whole life begins to emerge, such as “the eternal victim”, or “looking for love in all the wrong places”. Prescribing a specific homeopathic remedy in a dropper bottle (ie for long-term gradual use) will be included in their treatment for this aspect, coupled with appropriate counselling.
- What is the patient’s constitution? : I’ve written about some of the homeopathic constitutions, or ‘genotypes’ elsewhere (see “Living With a Sulphur”, for example), which are the six fundamental personality types and their corresponding homeopathic remedies. Using this remedy over the long-term helps the patient to feel more balanced and grounded within themselves. There are also six additional types called ‘phenotypes’, which are not fundamental constitutions, but the typical patterns that a personality will get frozen into under various long-term stress or trauma.
- What is the patient’s character type? : I’ve written elsewhere about some of the character types, as originally derived from Wilhelm Reich’s work. Like the phenotypes, these are also not natural states, but distortions of the fundamental flow of life energy which gets frozen in a variety of conflicts to a natural flow and expression, and which manifest by certain characteristic behavioural or character patterns, such as being eternally pleasing (the “passive femine” type) or eternally combative (the “phallic” type), for example.
- The health history in the family tree : What diseases have run in the family? What have been the causes of death in previous generations? The picture here reveals a focus and depth of predisposition in the patient which may not be obvious in their current health picture, and allows the opportunity for a truly preventive form of medicine.
- Emotional life : What is the patient’s current emotional landscape? What is the satisfaction they have in their life, overall? How are their relationships? Nurtruting? Conflicted? Ultimately this picture will reveal what the underlying relationship that the patient is with themselves.
As I mentioned above, the uniqueness of each patient will guide the direction of their treatment, and not all of these elements need to be investigated with every patient. The human being is multi-dimensional, and the well-trained Heilkunst physician will be fluent in all of these areas (and more!).