When a patient visits a Homoeopathic doctor for the first time he is very anxious and nervous, as he has heard that homoeopaths take about an hour for their first consultation. He is also confused about the questions asked by his consultant, which are usually different from what he must have experienced with his doctors.
The short answer for those who have never visited a homoeopath is: The homoeopathic visit consists of asking questions and more importantly listening most attentively to the answers. Here is why.
The homoeopath asks you about what food you like to eat, what is your posture during sleep, how much do you sweat, your nature, what are your dreams, what are your feelings, perceptions and the sensation to the different situations in your life etc. The focus of the homoeopath is to understand everyone as a whole and to determine what it is that seats him apart from others, what it is that makes him individual with the ailment. What are those deeper sensations, feelings and delusions that are different from the others. Each one of us differs from others around us, not only in our appearance or manner of talking, but also in the way we feel and think, in the way we react, in the way we view the world, around us, in our natures and temperaments, in the foods we like to eat, also in the kind of diseases we suffer from. If there is an epidemic, say of influenza some people, not all, will come down with the infection. How does this happen?
Each of us has our own individual reactivity, and so the symptoms and the pace of infection differ in every case. In any situation people react differently. Think of a tragedy and different people feel differently and react differently to events. Identical twins developed from the same single cell can also have startlingly different natures. There are a lot of differences between individuals, and the homoeopath tries to identify these differences as individualizing features in each patient.
Man can be considered to be a combination of two essential parts: the spiritual and the material. The two cannot be separated, but for the sake of convenience let us understand each of them separately. The material part consists of his body, his various organ systems, his glands, his tissues and fluids, his brain. The spirit is the nonmaterial part that gives life to the body that governs it and controls its functions. It permeates each and every cell of the body. Without the spirit, the body is dead. We call this spirit "the vital force." The vital force is also responsible for our natures, what we feel and perceive in a particular situation, what sensation we have in our body and our energy pattern. It is what we call 'the soul' in common language, or 'aatma' in Hindu philosophy or Chi in Chinese. Let us take a simple example. Say someone pinches 5 peoples. All five will say I felt a pinch. When asked to describe it in term of sensation we may get this. "It hurt me so badly it left a bruise, it was like a punch in the stomach", another could say "it was like a knife driven in to my body" another could say "I hardly felt it, It was completely painless" and another "why did you do that?" and finally "it reminded me of when my brother used to do it to me, I still remember that pinch, same sensation I get with all my emotional disturbances." The same stimulus and yet different reaction and different way of perceiving the sensation each one valid and revealing there own sensation and of the remedy needed.
The Homoeopath regards disease as a disturbance of the Vital Force. This disturbed Vital force causes the disturbances at the energy level, which in turn causes the disturbances at the mind and the body level. And when human being can’t cope-up with these disturbances at mind and the body level then the disease starts. So for homoeopath disease is not just sum of few symptoms, but the disturbances at energy level, disturbances at the mind (Which includes feelings, fears, thoughts, perceptions and reactions to all theses) and body level (Which includes sleep, desires and aversions, appetite, thirst, thermal modalities and symptoms related to each systems).
Here it differs from conventional (Modern) medicine. Modern medicine looks at the physical disease (Diagnosis) and homoeopathy looks at the whole disturbed phenomena at the mind body and the energy level.
And so in taking your case the homoeopath will explore all the Area of mind and body, including feelings, thoughts, fears, perceptions, sensations, reaction to thoughts, feelings, perceptions, sensations, fears etc and the way he/she cope-ups with all this. In Homoeopathy, each person is regarded as a sum of his innermost feeling, perceptions, thoughts, sensation plus the reactions to thoughts, feelings, perceptions, fears and sensations plus the way he cope-ups with all this and his diseases.
The feelings, delusion and the sensations are always there but not felt because they are covered with conscious mind (mind developed due to environment).
In order to explore these, homoeopaths need to explore areas where these things are expressed completely. These things are best explore in patients fears, dreams, incident which had impact on him, his interest and hobbies, childhood nature, fantasies and desires, imaginations, complains which bothers him the most. This is the reason why homoeopath asks about all this areas.
Main aim in homoeopathic treatment is not treating the disease only but brings the harmony between mind and body. Homoeopathy helps patients to increase his own healing powers, so that his body can take care of his problems. At mind level he becomes aware of his thoughts, fears, feelings, his perceptions (Delusion) and the reaction association with all this. At body level he becomes free of the disease, his sleep, appetite, thirst improves. He becomes aware of the sensation and reaction association with it, which are the deeper then the mind and body. Awareness of this sensation brings awareness of all one’s movements, impulses, thoughts, feelings etc.
In order to achieve this higher goal homoeopath need to understand the every aspect (Mind, Body and Sensation) of human being. Total time of this journey from patients to patients depending upon how much he is aware of his deeper self.
Once the homoeopath has derived a complete picture of you as an individual he attempts to match you with a very similar picture from homoeopathic textbooks. Homoeopathic remedies are described in a lot of detail; each remedy is described as if it were an individual. He has already studied these remedies and he tries to find one that matches the person in his physical symptoms and in his mental makeup. It is like finding the key to a lock. Any lock can only be opened by one particular key. In the same way any one patient requires a remedy whose description he matches.