I’ve been practicing homeopathy for 40 years, and there is an in-depth interview process that I go through with each patient when we first meet.”
The purpose of this in-depth interview is three fold: to know the patient as thoroughly as possible, to establish a conventional diagnosis if needed and to elicit a thorough symptom picture which leads to the successful prescribing of a homeopathic remedy.
Physical examination and laboratory testing are also done as needed and may provide additional important information. However, there are many times that a patient’s physical exam and laboratory testing are normal, but still the patient is suffering from troublesome symptoms. By prescribing a remedy based on the symptom picture cure is effected.
The taking of a patient’s case leading to a homeopathic prescription often takes longer than a conventional medical consultation because so much depends upon the precise characterization of the symptoms. Dr. Samuel Hahnemann who developed homeopathy laid out a method, questions to be asked which is sill used effectively today.
The method relies on listening and observing with as few interruptions as possible. The patient identifies his concerns starting with the chief complaint and then the concerns are gone into in complete detail. We begin with the localization in the body, time of occurrence and the characteristics of the pain. Then modalities are identified– what causes the symptom to intensify or get better.
Although a patient may come in with one particular problem she wishes to have cured, a complete review of all systems and symptoms is made for a thorough understanding of the patient’s health. In most cases all the symptoms are interrelated and although the patient has come in for the treatment of one particular problem, with the correct remedy she will see an improvement in all her symptoms.
In addition we also go over what are referred to as “generals”- what makes a person fell better or worse in general such as foods, temperature, weather, sleep, sleep position.
Mental and emotional symptoms whether or not they are the chief complaint will also be discussed.