Knowing why responses to a remedy differ, and what they mean, will help you get the best from your homeopathic treatment. With that in mind, lets have a look at the process involved.
Once you have taken your first dose of a homeopathic remedy, one of seven things will happen. You will experience either a:
- Curative response in which your symptoms get better and go away.
- Similar aggravation in which your symptoms first worsen, then improve.
- Dissimilar aggravation in which new symptoms appear for a short time but current ones stay the same.
- Accessory symptom in which current symptoms improve but one or two new ones appear for a short period.
- Return of old symptoms in which existing symptoms improve but symptoms from the past reappear for a short period.
- Surrogate discharge or eruption that appears for a short time.
- Non-event- nothing happens.
Each of these responses reveal whether or not the correct remedy was prescribed. If interpreted correctly, they also provide valuable information a homeopath can use to adjust treatment if necessary.
Let’s take a look at them in greater detail.
1. Curative Response – Symptoms Improve and Then Fully Resolve.
What this means
The remedy matched the person’s symptoms (the most important part of treatment) and was given in the:
- Right strength (potency)
- Right amount (dose)
- Right number of repetitions (frequency)
This is the result that everyone wants and usually, this is what happens.For acute complaints such as cystitis or a gum abscess, it may occur quickly – sometimes with just one dose of one remedy. For chronic problems such as recurring tonsillitis or asthma since childhood, treatment will take a little longer. If a number of diseases or problems have built up over years, a series of remedies and potencies may be needed to fully return the person to good health.
What to do next
Nothing – all is well.
2. Similar Aggravation – Symptoms First Worsen and Then Improve.
What this means
The remedy was correct as it matched the person’s symptoms but they were overly sensitive to it.
the dose was too strong for their sensitivity. ; before their body could produce a healing response, the symptoms produced by the remedy acted as a temporary ‘overdose’ of their existing symptoms.
Even when the remedy is a correct match for the person’s symptoms it may temporarily intensify them if:
- The dose is too large,
- The potency incorrect, or
- It has been given more often than needed.
This similar (homeopathic) aggravation occurs as the overly strong effects of the remedy combine with your existing symptoms.
Fortunately, similar aggravations are usually mild and short-lived, settling as the energetic nature of the remedy leaves your system. Your own vitality then rebounds against the disappearing remedy, triggering an improvement in health. Similar aggravations confirm that the correct remedy was prescribed – your homeopath now has to fine-tune the next dose to better suit your sensitivity. On the rare occasion that an aggravation is prolonged, your homeopath may antidote it with another homeopathic remedy.
What to do next
Notify your homeopath. They will most likely advise you to let the similar aggravation settle naturally so an improvement in your symptoms can follow. Future similar aggravations can be avoided by your homeopath adjusting the dose, potency, or number of repetitions of the remedy to suit your sensitivity.
3. A Dissimilar Aggravation – New Symptoms Appear for a Short Time but Your Old Ones Stay the Same.
What this means
The remedy was incorrect; it did not match your symptoms but you were sensitive enough to feel some of the different symptoms it can produce.
When an incorrect remedy has been prescribed (one that poorly matches your symptoms) you may experience a dissimilar or unhomeopathic aggravation, especially if you are sensitive to the remedy. The remedy will have produced some of its own symptoms in you in the same way it can during a proving (see tutorial 6 on Provings for more information). As these symptoms are different to your original symptoms, it is called a dissimilar rather than a similar aggravation (see tutorial 1 on the Law of Similars for further explanation). Because of the lack of similarity between symptoms, this remedy will not help you.
Fortunately, like similar aggravations, dissimilar aggravations are usually mild and short-lived. They settle as soon as the energetic nature of the remedy leaves your system. Unfortunately, they do not trigger a self-healing rebound effect. Your homeopath will have to prescribe a different remedy that is a closer match to your symptoms. On the rare occasion that a dissimilar aggravation is prolonged, your homeopath can antidote it homeopathically.
What to do
Notify your homeopath. They will retake your case so that a remedy that better matches your symptoms can be prescribed. Your homeopath will be particularly interested in the symptoms you experienced during the dissimilar aggravation, as these can help guide future treatment.
In Conclusion – A Word About Aggravations
Aggravations, while not a necessary part of homeopathic treatment, are sometimes unavoidable. Aggravations occur when a person is either very sensitive to a remedy, or when a poorly skilled prescriber has given a remedy it in too large or too frequent a dose. For this reason, better practitioners always give test doses at the beginning of treatment to check the person’s sensitivity. They will also prescribe the remedy as a liquid rather than in pills so it can be easily diluted if a gentler dose is needed.
When aggravations occur, they are usually short-lived, mild, and an interesting phenomenon to experience. Their one benefit is that they act as a challenge to the person’s vitality and so can strengthen resilience.
Next tutorial we will learn what it means and what to do when either:
- Your existing symptoms improve but new ones appear for a short period.
- Your existing symptoms improve but old symptoms from the past return for a short period.
- A surrogate discharge or eruption appears.
- Absolutely nothing happens.
- Homeopathy: an Introduction
- Tutorial 1 – The Law of Similars
- Tutorial 2 – Law of Similars Discovered
- Tutorial 3 – Potentisation
- Tutorial 4 – Three Scales of Potency
- Tutorial 5 – Benefits of Potentisation
- Tutorial 6 – Provings
- Tutorial 7 – The Vital Force
- Tutorial 8 – Potentised Remedies and the Vital Force
- Tutorial 9 – Palliation, Supression or Cure?
- Tutorial 10 – Direction of Cure
- Tutorial 11 – Return of Old Symptoms
- Tutorial 12 – Homeopathy and Other Medicinal Therapies
- Tutorial 13 – Finding a Good Homeopath
- Tutorial 14 – That First Appointment
- Tutorial 15 – What to Expect (Part A)
- Tutorial 16 – What to Expect (Part B)
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