I had a great day in the office the other day. It was a day of follow-up appointments, and it was a day filled with patients who told me they were having nothing but hum-drum, boring dreams, mostly about the previous day’s events.
This sort of—yawn—day may not make for great blog entries, but it was a great day for the homeopath. This is a sign of doing good work in homeopathy. Do I need to also mention that these patients had no complaints, either at the physical or mental level? It is not a 100% correlation that boring, hum-drum dreams coincide with health, but in the context of homeopathic treatment, it is fairly high. In all these patients, having boring dreams represented a dramatic shift from their anxious dreams of the past. The shift in the dreams in turn pointed to a shift in the underlying 4th level state (see my Levels of Healings on the right).
Patients have often called me the “dream doctor.” Not all homeopaths are “dream doctors.” but if they want to fulfill the holistic potential of homeopathy, they should be. Most of us feel the mind-body split that conventional medicine thrusts on us. The conventional doc chooses not to see the connection between the anxious, pressured dreams at night and the high blood pressure he measures during the day. The psychiatrist writing a Ritalin prescription looks past the connection between the child’s daytime hyperactivity and nighttime dreams of being pursued by monsters.
The homeopath makes a conscious choice to find the connection between the dreams and the sensations of the body. Years ago now, I spoke with Dr. Divya Chhabra about a case I was having trouble solving. I summarized the case to her. As we were discussing it, a dream this patient had came to mind. It bothered me, because in the context of the case, the dream made no sense. Mid-way through the discussion, I told Dr. Chhabra the dream. It became clear that I had dealt with this troublesome dream by throwing it out, stamping it in my mind as “confusing anomaly.” Observing this, her comment was, “Well, you can’t ignore it.”
Indeed, you can’t. There’s always that tension in homeopathic casetaking. You are three hours into the case and a small voice whispers I have no idea what this patient is telling me or what remedy he needs. Feeling uncomfortable in this uncertainty, there is the strong urge to grab for solid ground. Thinking you’ve got it, you breathe an inner sigh of relief. Ah, there it is you think, another case solved. Yet, it turns out be the wishful thinking of an unsettled mind. To find that solid ground, you screened out some critical information that didn’t quite fit your amazing solution.
It’s that piece of information in the case that does not fit that is often the doorway into deeper levels and the correct prescription. In my experience, to choose to ignore the “confusing anomaly” brings the patient back no better and still dreaming anxiously. Training myself to not screen them from view has been a major part of my development. This requires a bit of humility.
Learning to sit, comfortable in the uncertainty, is the spiritual core of the homeopath’s discipline. The case often does not come clear through hard-headed analysis. Rather you may have to hold a space for it to enter, like a guest who arrives late and mistakenly knocks at the back door. You want to give a remedy and bring inner peace to the patient in front of you. Yet to do that is to learn to be that inner peace yourself, being as if an eye of a hurricane. Practicing homeopathy is inseparable from spiritual development.