This podcast is an excerpt from Dr. Robin Murphy, ND's "Women's Health Care" Lecture CD Set. Dr. Murphy introduces the Homeopathic Case-Taking Timeline and the importance of the "never well since" keynote.
Women's Health Care
Introduction to women's health care, casetaking, repertorization and potency selection. Includes a review of common hormonal imbalances with the menses, pregnancy and sexual functions, sterility and infertility, amenorrhea, problems during pregnancy, (morning sickness, miscarriage), problems during labor, fibroids, mastitis, ovarian cysts, vaginitis, dysmenorrhea, varicose veins, toxemia, PMS, breast tumors, and cancer. Also a review of various rubrics in Kent's repertory with updates and additions which pertain to women's health care.
The full Women's Health Care lecture is available for streaming access.
[The] main idea in homeopathic case taking is what's called a timeline. I think we talked about that a little when we did psychological here. The timeline is just a medical history based on chronology. What has happened to that person and in what order, and you will find the most amazing things. Someone will come in and they've had weight gain, depression, migraine headaches, chronic vaginitis, and they've had a grief and they're severely depressed. You say, how long? Five years ago. Everything started five years ago. And you say, what was going on in your life five years ago? And they said, “Nothing.” Were you under lost stress? Did you have any injuries? Did you get any medical treatments? You're checking on the timeline what could have precipitated all their problems. Nothing comes up. But you know what all those symptoms I just said mean. Those are symptoms of side effects of the birth control pill.
So, you sit back and say, “Were you ever on a birth control pill?”
They say, five years ago they started it. I've seen women have divorces since the birth control pill because they lost their sex drive, they became depressed, became irritable, their relationship fell apart, their health fell apart and you trace it back and the only etiology we find is the birth control pill, then we had the symptomatology to confirm it. Then we give a remedy like sepia for those symptoms, and it works. Okay?
“Never well since” is a very important statement in homeopathy. So, this can go all the way from puberty or even before. A lot of times we're going to really emphasize the hormonal state. Before puberty, you'll just get the regular medical history, plus any shocks or traumas. We call these milestones. A lot of times, you'll see, especially when puberty is very bad, the delayed onset of the menses, or since the first period they've had a lot of psychological problems or headaches or their health went down. Then you want to look into the pre-puberty state, and you will see a lot of times, psychological etiologies, some psychological trauma, a grief, abandonment, a neglected child, an abused child, rape, incest, and these types of things. And you will see these and then as soon as puberty hits, they've never been well since. And we'll go back and talk through those – about those things. And from puberty on you want to make sure you get a section of the menses, their menstrual history, [there are] many questions you can ask. One, is it regular? Is it painful? Do they have any premenstrual symptoms? [Have they] had any periods in their life where they had no menses, which is not that uncommon. We talk about amenorrhea and the remedies for that. And then another thing here you want to check with their menses is the psychological states that accompany the menses, depression, irritability, weeping easily, and these types of things.
You want to look into their reproductive history; miscarriages, abortions, use of contraceptives, IUD, birth control pills, these types of things. How many pregnancies they've had, what were the pregnancies like? A lot of women have problems. They're never well since three years ago, and they have a three year old child, okay? They bled a lot, they had postpartum depression, they lost their sex drive, they've had all these problems since a pregnancy, or they had a lot of morning sickness and it messed up their metabolism, [and] they've had a lot of digestive problems or food allergies since. You have to always go back and pick up the thread, okay? Someone will come in with a chief complaint. You always take that chief complaint and you trace it back to its origin. If you trace it back to sometime in here, then you want to check all around the different areas and see what could have precipitated that chief complaint. Even if it's a migraine headache or PMS, anything like that. Herpes, vaginitis, always trace them back. When you get a good sense of the person's pathological process, then you can draw lines and these determine what we call which layer to treat first. Everybody understands that? The layer is a section of the case. The person has never been well.
For example, a woman has been healthy from age – all the way up to age 25. From age 25 to 30, she had a period of a lot of menstrual problems, menstrual cramps and depression. And then from 30 on, she started getting hot flashes and other things, okay? So, you have two things. You trace it back from age 30 and she took some treatment, and then that brought on the hot flashes. So, your first homeopathic treatment will be aimed at the first layer, the first section of the timeline, okay, where there's an etiology and existing symptoms. The danger in this is that you should never prescribe for things that were in the past that are not now. You want to prescribe for those things that were in the past, that there still are effects from it. You see the difference? They've never been well since. That means you're still in the same layer. [If] they used to have menstrual problems, menstrual cramps as a teenager, but now they don't, you're not going to prescribe for them, okay? And now they have something else. So, in general, on this timeline, you're going to always look at the most recent and most limiting symptoms. The more I practice, the more I rely on the timeline. And it gets so you can do it in your mind. They will tell you this problem and this problem and this problem, [and] you say, what year? How old are you? Most important follow up question, okay? And then you will get a sequence of events, and then it all clicks. They had this hysterectomy, then this happened, then they were given premarin, and then this came out, and now this happened and you see them way down the line they have breast cancer. And you see it way back here. It started with hysterectomy because of the fibroid, but they still have their hot flashes. And these things since the hysterectomy with the breast cancer. Then you think, okay, you're in the same layer. So, you want a remedy that has hot flashes and breast cancer. Okay? Or someone else may have a hysterectomy and have hot flashes, then get breast cancer and all the hot flashes go away. Then you want a primarily breast cancer remedy with their specific symptoms. Okay?
So, you have to treat what's real, what's there, what you perceive that has to be treated. And if you don't know, you ask the person, what do they want cured? Okay, if you can change your health, how would you change it? They say oh, yeah, now I understand. Well, I have low energy, I get emotional for the periods, I get severe cramps, low sex drive, and they’ll give you a nice list and then you put them in chronological order and see which section of these can you take off first, treat first.