A look at this season’s chronic miasm : Sycosis (Medorrhinum)

I periodically touch down into the materia medica of the chronic miasms (inherited disease tendencies), and today is the perfect time to have a look at the Sycotic miasm, which is best known through the remedy Medorrhinum. The 8 universal chronic miasms map out over the 4 seasons of the year, 1 pair per season. The Spring Equinox marks the time of year when the daylight will start to overtake the night, and the many implications for new life and rebirth abound through nature.

This time of incredible manic expansion of life is the natural home for this miasm. Medorrhinum is full of extremes in all forms of physical, mental, and emotional symptoms. Here in Saint John, we are already seeing the seasonal extremes of this time of year — last week we enjoyed a couple of sunny 27°C days, while a grey, wet, cold weekend has led to a waking temperature this morning of minus 17°C with the windchill! This miasm is a strong root behind medical conditions such as bi-polar disorder, allergic asthma, and 3D skin conditions, such as warts or skin tags. It is also a very strong factor behind family histories which contain any forms of heart disease.

The general theme running through all the symptoms of this miasm is of an expansion caught by a restriction, which either causes pain, swelling, or inflammation, and a tendency towards exploding outward. In terms of the mental-emotional state and behaviour of this miasm, there are many extremes. Extremes of behaviour and mood punctuate a characteristically brilliant but unpredictable personality, as is often portrayed in the lives of certain creative artists. Aggression and even cruelty are not foreign to this state.

As an artistic impression, you could say that Medorrhinum is represented by the city of Las Vegas — the hometown of “sex, drugs, and rock ’n roll” — where every impulse and wish can be granted, no matter how perverse. It’s interesting that the expression “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas” actually represents the emotional aspect of this state of mind. The case study I wrote about last month is an illustration of this state of mind of a guilty feeling which was hidden away inside a little girl.

A drive towards having extremely exciting experiences is characteristic of this miasm. Whether pressing down on the accelerator further than usual on a sunny day with the volume on the radio turned up, engaging in “extreme” and dangerous sports, or pursuing forbidden or perverse sexual experiences, you will recognize this same underlying theme. There is a degree of ‘armoring’ within the medorrhinum state which is attempting to break through at the hand of these types of extremes.

As with all of the chronic miasms, once you understand its most essential characteristics, it becomes relatively easy to identify it as the root of so many varied physical and mental-emotional symptoms. As part of an effective system of medicine, understanding the roots is so much more important than trimming the leaves or branches.

A Journal of Best…. Compensations?

I enjoyed this week’s episode of This American Life, which included the story of  David Finch who recently authored a book called The Journal of Best Practices, about his coming to terms with his late-discovered diagnosis of Aspergers Syndrome, and how he learned to compensate for his social incongruencies and emotional deficits within his marriage.

As is often the case, the receiving of this disease label (or so-called diagnosis) actually provided a great relief to the couple, who had been struggling in their relationship without having a framework for what the issues were. Some of the typical complaints by women about their husbands are multiplied that much more in this condition, which is defined in terms of an absence of basic social skills, including a feeling and expression of empathy, as well as basic interpersonal skills.

He describes the elaborate efforts he went to in order to learn how to behave in more socially acceptable ways, and ultimately mimic the behaviors of empathy and compassion, but without actually being able to feel them himself. He spent a long time, for example, studying David Letterman and Howard Stern, in order to learn how small talk was supposed to work. He would note everything down, such as “Remember not to change the radio stations while Kristen is singing along”. While some of this narrative was humorous, I also felt the sadness of this situation, in the fact that since a true process of diagnosis was not being engaged in, the true roots of the disease(s) were not being addressed, and he is in effect condemned to live in this well-decorated jail cell aka a “condition label”.

This hit home when he described how he’s gotten to the point of being able to display empathy with his wife, or at least the outer behaviour of empathy — he doesn’t actually posses the inner feeling. This is precisely where a true diagnosis would lead to a deeper treatment, and actually address such emotional impairments, rather than just changing the outer behaviour. “Aspergers” is a condition label which hides more than it reveals, and these emotional roots behind his condition would be much more beneficial in the long run to be the focus of his treatment. Compensation is not cure, and the more accurate the diagnosis in each individual case, the better will be the choice of treatment.