Emma was 55 year old patient who was referred to me by another homeopathic doctor for a consultation. Thirty years earlier she walked into a closet and struck her head on a shelf. The pain was intense so she rubbed the top of her head vigorously to relieve the injury. From that point forward she continued to habitually rub her head. Soon, she began also rubbing her eyebrows to the point where she had rubbed off all of the hair on her eyebrows and the top part of her scalp. She had developed a condition known as trichotillomania. After 45 minutes of case taking I had only one reliable symptom that I could use: the sensation that her brain was rocking back and forth inside her skull. It took me another 30 minutes of searching my computer database and several homeopathic reference books to find a likely remedy. I prescribed daily doses of the remedy Belladonna and referred her back to her original homeopath. Three weeks later I called her homeopathic physician to check on her progress. He reported that after 30 years of torment, Emma had stopped the habitual rubbing! Finding the similimum, the correct homeopathic remedy, is nothing short of amazing. I had been in practice for about five years at that time and had had my share of stunning successes but this was my first case where the use of only one symptom had lead to a cure. Usually a homeopath must perform a detailed symptom analysis of many symptoms to individualize the prescription and to select the most useful symptoms as a guide to the correct remedy. In a chronic case success usually comes slowly after many months of dosing with changes in the remedy selection over time. Cases with a strange, rare or peculiar symptom are the exception to the rule of individualization. In these cases, the symptom is so rare or strange that its uniqueness holds incredible power to cure the patient and more common symptoms can be ignored. Needless to say, I was happily stunned by the result but also deeply humbled by the recognition that I was heir to the great work of a long line of master homeopaths who had come before me.
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