Dr Biswo Ranjan Das
Let us know, what is Analysis? It means differentiation of different elements in a compound, What we do in the laboratory. E.g. Salt Analysis. But in a case, it gives an idea about the type of case in respect of its nature and the varieties of symptoms in a patient.
In earlier time, Hipocrates comments on symptoms as the expression of natures healing powers. Nature is more powerful than humanbeing and the perspiration is regarded as an eliminating process of poisonous substances causing the illness. So, therefore the treatment should be targeted to work with its and not opposite to it.
According to Hahnemann, Symptom is the any deviation from a former state of health perceptible by the patient, around him and the physician.
J. N. Kanjilal says that, Symptoms to a Homoeopath are guiding lights in the path of cure and more we disturb or put out these lights, the more is the path of cure darkened
Therefore, the disease is studied through signs and symptoms. Its progress will be known to us by the changes in the symptomatology. Hence the understanding of this process of evolution is quite essential. The uniqueness of Homoeopathy lies in the inherent character of its philosophy, it can identify the disease at the dynamic level , and give prime importance to finest alterations in sensation and functions.
What is Analysis of symptoms?
“Analysis of symptoms” means resolving or separating a symptom into its elements or component parts.
Here symptoms of present complaints are analyzed into four dimensions such as:
a. Location with radiation, b. Sensation or character with intensity, c. Modalities including Aggravation and Amelioration, d. Concomitants or Associated symptoms.
Let us assume that a patient is having following group of present symptoms and how one should proceed to make analysis.
- a) Burning pain in occiput since three years, < Cold / motion, > Heat / pressure associated with nausea and vomiting.
- b) Burning pain in both foot since three years, < From motion / cold, > Warm/rest, associated with constipation.
- c) Vague pain the abdomen (Right Hypochondriac region), < After food/pressure, > In empty stomach.
Location with Radiation Sensation/ Pathology Modalities Concomitants
1. Occiput Burning pain < Cold /motion Nausea, vomiting
> Heat /pressure &
2. Foot Burning pain < Motion/cold Constipation
3. Abdomen Vague pain < After food / pressure
(Rt. Hypochondriac region) > Empty stomach
- From above it is understood that No. 1 & 2 symptoms are completed in four dimensions but 3rd symptom is lacking with concomitant.
- Characteristic particular symptoms are differentiated from common particular symptom as they are completed in all dimensions.
- “Burning pain” is a particular symptoms but are found at two parts/locations/ organs, therefore it is upgraded to the level of general. Similarly “Motion aggravation” is general one.
- Headache is relieved by pressure where as abdominal pain is aggravated by pressure which is an example of the study of differential modalities.
From the above discussion we can conclude that the objectives of Analysis of symptoms are as follows:
- Whether the symptoms are collected in all dimensions or not, can be determined.
- Characteristic particulars and common particulars or unqualified particulars are differentiated from each other.
- Symptoms of general categories are brought out of it or particular symptoms are made general.
- Differential modalities can be studied by the physicians.
Hahnemann advocated the following fundamental concepts which are accepted universally by all:
- Nothing can be known of disease except through symptoms.
- It is the patient who is ill and not his parts or organs.
- Symptoms furnish the only unfailing guide for selection of remedy.
- The remedy is hardly ever indicated by a single symptom however peculiar it may be.
- Peculiar, characteristics, individualizing symptoms in the case and not common symptoms denote Similimum.
Analysis of symptoms is also otherwise known as classification of symptoms.
Different methods of Analysis or classification of symptoms according to many stalwarts
- Kentian Method
- Hahnemannian Method
- Boericke’s Method
- Boenninghausen’s Method
- Boger’s Method
- Spalding’s Method
Kentian method: Kent has classified the symptoms into three main categories:
A) General B) Common C) Particular
A) GENERAL SYMPTOMS: All sensations or symptoms that the patient predicates of himself or in the relating of which he uses the personal pronoun – are general symptoms.
Examples : I feel cold, I have cold, I am sleepy, I am thirsty, I am burning all over etc.
As the general symptoms affect the patient as a whole, they are naturally of higher value than the particulars, it can overrule any number of even strong particulars.
The general symptoms are divided into two categories: Mental and Physical.
a) Mental General: All mental symptoms are classed as generals as they reflect the inner self and individuality of the patient. These symptoms are of highest value in case taking.
Among the mental symptoms changes of will and emotion come first e.g. love, hate, loathing, suicidal tendencies, lasciviousness, sexual perversion, fear, hurry, weeping disposition etc. followed by the understanding e.g. delusion, delirium, hallucination and mental confusion, Lastly, the symptoms of intellect e.g. memory, concentration, mistake in writing, speaking etc.
b) Physical Generals: These are symptoms which deal with reaction to heat & cold, physical love and sensations of body as a whole.
The highest importance is given to perversions of sexual sphere including menstrual generals. The second importance is laid on those symptoms pertaining to appetite, desire, aversion, thirst. The third importance is given to symptoms affecting the entire physical body, time, weather, climactic influences, food that aggravate, extremes of temperature, position, motions, sleep, clothing, bathing, external stimuli etc.
B. COMMON SYMPTOMS:
These symptoms are valueless unless qualified with modalities. Common symptoms are common to any patient suffering from the certain disease or complaint. They are of least importance because they will be found in almost every drug disease in one form or other.
Examples: Blood in dysentery, Rash in measles, Headache in fever
Common symptoms become peculiar when circumstances are peculiar.
Examples: Headache relieved by profuse urination
Leucorrhoea alternates with piles. Etc.
C. PARTICULAR SYMPTOMS:
Symptoms relating to the particular part or organ of the body.The first grade particulars are those that are peculiar, uncommon, unexpected, unaccountable, rare, unusual, and odd. The second grade particulars are particulars with marked modalities.The third grade particulars are those having no appreciable modality.
- Hahnemannian method:
Hahnemann classified symptoms into two types:
- a. General symptoms
- b. Uncommon symptoms
Hahnemannian concept of general symptoms is same with the common symptoms of Kent.
Uncommon symptoms: Any symptom which is unaccountable, unexplainable, absurd or paradoxical. This symptom found is few patients in the provings of few medicines.
Examples: Coryza relieved by cold bath, Burning relieved by application of heat
The uncommon symptoms which reflects the individuality of the patient are of great value in the selection of the homoeopathic medicine.
Boenninghausen’s method consists of the following seven points:
Quis: Personality of the individual – age, sex, bodily constitution and temperament.
Quid: Nature and peculiarity of the disease.
Ubi: Seat of the disease.
Quibis auxilus: Associated symptoms
Cur: The cause of the disease
Quomodo: The modifying factors
Quando: The time of appearance, of aggravation and relief.
Garth Boericke’s method:
Garth Boericke has divided the symptoms into two classes:
a) Basic or absolute symptoms
b) Determinative symptoms
a) Basic or absolute symptoms are those that appear in every proving and are of a general nature and usually diagnostically important.
Example: Malaise, headache, weakness, anorexia, eructation, fever and pain, etc.
They are of little value to determine the homoeopathic drug indicated, but taken together furnishing a suggestive beginning.
b) Determinative symptoms are individual or personal ones found in a patient or a characteristic, keynote or guiding symptoms found in a drug’s pathogenesis.
Determinative symptoms whether encountered in disease or in a drug proving are alike and usually consist of – modalities, mental symptoms, qualified basic or absolute symptoms, and strange, rare or peculiar symptoms as mentioned by Hahnemann. These symptoms help in the individualization of the patient and thus help in the selection of homoeopathic remedy.
Boger has classified the symptoms like following manner.
- Time dimension
- Causative modalities
- Tissue affinities
- Pathological generals
Spalding’s Method: He has classified the symptoms like this.
- Mental generals
- Physical general
- Special senses
- Strange, rare & peculiars
- Objective or pathology
- Mohanty N. “Text Book of Homoeopathic Repertory” Fourth Reprint Edition, September 2007, Indian Books & Periodical Publishers, New Delhi
- Tiwari S.K. “Essentials of Repertorisation” Reprint edition 2006, 2007, B. Jain Publishers (P) Ltd. New Delhi.
DR. BISWO RANJAN DAS, M.D.(Hom.) PGDHHM,
Senior Research Fellow (H), RRI (H), Puri under CCRH, New Delhi
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