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Extra-Diagnostic Aid in Homeopathic Prescribing

by Anjan K. Nath

According to Homeopathic philosophy, organic disease is an ultimate, the result of preceding changes in the vitality of the patient and which are manifested by functional changes and subjective symptoms. As has been noticed is often the case, organic disease is generally foreshadowed by functional changes. It is these changes or symptoms of a disordered vitality which are of importance in selecting a constitutional remedy with the object of correcting and curing the malady. However, in practice, it is found that these symptoms are the most difficult to elicit from a patient, and this may be due to a number of factors, the chief among them being that the patient is not conscious of the changes, especially the changes wrought on the mind.

Hahnemann taught that the measure of a man's personality and his deviations from the normal lay largely in his mental and spiritual reactions. He further held that the emotional cause of disturbed functions was an important factor in reestablishing a state of equilibrium. He believed that the disturbed emotional sphere might manifest itself in long and varied circumstances and conditions of environment, training and convention. The consequences of these disturbed states, while often so deep that they appear to be permanent, do not always manifest themselves clearly in the mental sphere, and the homoeopathic physician, in solving one of these difficult problems, therefore, might have to take recourse to some extra-diagnostic aids in determining the choice of remedy.

As a man is, so he writes. In this paper we will see how an individual's handwriting reveals his spiritual or material orientation, or a practical nature. But before we examine this aspect, we need to understand the graphological factor called "zoning."

Handwriting Zones

There are three zones delineated for purposes of handwriting analysis. For the sake of understanding the implications better, we shall begin by taking up the characteristics of zone 2.

Zone 2

Zone 2, or the middle zone is the area of mundane reality. It is the zone where writing, and therefore thinking begins, which is why it is dealt with first. The middle zone consists of the letters a, c, e, i, m, n, o, r, s, u, v, w, x. Handwritings that emphasize development of letter forms in zone 2 are characteristic of individuals who have not committed themselves to either the realm of spirituality or the plane of materialism. Their primary concern is with social relationships and transitory matters of the ego, with no real dedication or interest in the pursuit of the profound life.

Zone 1

Traveling upward, we see that zone 1 symbolizes the abstract plane of existence. It is on this level that man rises above mundane interests and finds expression for the needs of his spirit and mind. Emphasis on forms which reach into zone 1 symbolizes the character of the spiritually and philosophically minded. Letters involving the execution of stems and loops in the upper zone are b, d, f, h, k, l, t. When the stems or loops of these letters are traced to extreme heights, they indicate that the writer's nature is dominated by mental processes which operate beyond the control of reason. Depending upon other characteristics of the writing, over-extended loops and stems are the signs of creativity, or of thoughts overshadowed by dreams and fantasy, ruled by illusion.

Zone 3

Zone 3 is the area of material and sensual interests. Handwritings which place the strongest emphasis on formations in the lower zone reflect the orientation of individuals whose primary motives are self-preservation and satisfaction of those needs originating in the physical senses, including the sex drive. Letters requiring descending strokes into zone 3 are f, g, j, p, q, y, z. When the stems and loops of letters which relate to zone 3 descend below the logical limits of the zone, we find the normal trends indicated there are distorted and carried to depths where the conscious mind no longer exercises control. Individuals whose writings are thus characterized are in the grips of forces which drive them to seek outlets in sexual fantasies, actions which show regression to earlier levels of development, and criminal acts.

Zone Limits

A word needs to be said here about how to determine the logical limits of the three zones. The height of zone 2 (middle) is determined by the height of the letters requiring no ascending or descending strokes. The logical limit of zone 1 (upper) is determined by the height of the ascending strokes in relation to the letters of the middle zone, and that of the depth of the strokes of zone 3 is also determined in relation to the height of the letters of the middle zone. We have to deal with the middle zone first because this is the zone in which the trends towards zone 1 and zone 3 begin.

Case Histories:

Case 1: A man of 73 years came to see me on Dec. 15, 1977 for treatment of a severe cataract in the left eye. The right eye was clear and was never affected. The left eye had been operated upon a few times, but each time the cataract grew back after a few months and increased in severity each time. After orthodox treatment, the patient tried homeopathy for a while with apparently no benefit. The patient was in otherwise good health in spite of his age and could give no other symptoms on which to make a correct homeopathic diagnosis.

Cineraria Maritima Sucus (Wilmar Schwabe, Germany) to be instilled in the eye three times a day and Silicea 30C once daily in the morning on an empty stomach, was prescribed. After a month the patient wrote to me (as he lived far away and could not make a visit) saying that he had got no benefit from the medicines.

The handwriting immediately caught my attention as the stems and loops of the upper zone (zone 1) were indented on the upper left portion and the top of the loop was either very faintly traced or broken in parts in an otherwise robust writing written with an even pressure. On noticing these characteristics I wrote back to my patient asking him whether he had ever seriously injured his head and whether he had been having suicidal tendencies. Both my observations were confirmed and a few others obtained by a visit in-cognito by the patient himself a few days later. Natrum Sulph 10M, a single dose, was now prescribed along with Cineraria much to the delight of the patient (and myself). Along with the amelioration of his mental symptoms the cataract began to respond and eventually thinned out in a remarkable way which I had not seen before and have not again.

Case 2: A lady aged 32 and of a rather delicate constitution had been under treatment for several years by some of the most eminent physicians of the country for a uterine ailment. She later decided to try homeopathy and got some benefit, but never felt "cured." Some common friends referred her case to me and the patient herself had carefully and neatly written out her symptoms in the strictest homeopathic schemata that I have seen of a lay person, but omitting any reference to the mental symptoms. But alas, her handwriting proffered more information than she had.

The "t's" were looped and very faintly crossed at about the middle of the stem and her writing as a whole was inclined to the left, showing a person of an introverted and taciturn nature given in to tenderness of disposition and conscience with a love for solitude. Ignatia, Natrum-mur, and Carcinosin flashed through the back of my mind and when I met the patient I learned that her problems began after a prolonged period of "blues" resulting from a disappointed love affair. She seemed to have this feeling of "never being able to love or be loved again." From knowing better at the time, I gave her both, Ignatia and then Natrum-mur in several potencies, but they did only limited good. I then decided to give Carcinosin, beginning with 200C, which had immediate effect. Not having had much experience with this remedy, I was hesitant in continuing with the higher potencies and later switched to the LM scale of potencies and eventually went up to the LM/6 with very good results. The case was lost to follow-up as the patient left town the following year.

Case 3: A young man (BBD) once wrote to me asking for a special appointment as he "wished to discuss some problems of a personal nature" with which he was afflicted.

The lower zone (zone 3) of this writing was highly exaggerated, going well below the second and even the third lines of the writing, showing a man of intense sexual passion. This observation was confirmed by the heaviness of the writing pressure; moreover, the loops of the lower-case letters were often doubly looped, showing a pre-occupation with sexual subjects. And the fact that this man chose to write rather than come directly or telephone for an appointment showed a timid person apparently lacking in self-confidence.

I sent a single dose of a high potency of Staphisagria and a number of placebos by mail to Mr. D and gave him an appointment for a fortnight later. He did not appear on the day appointed, but came to see me well after a month to tell me that he was well on his way to recovery and did not wish to discuss the earlier problem and would I repeat the prescription I had sent him. On showing him the notes I had taken on his handwriting, he was taken aback and readily admitted that that was the problem he had meant to discuss.

Case 4: In a similar case as the above, a lady (Ms. LC) wrote to one of my patients to find out from me whether Homeopathy could be of any benefit to her. Her description of her ailments seemed to indicate Platina and this I amply confirmed when I saw her handwriting. The main feature of this writing was the way in which the capital "I" was written--large, with a very prominent head--indicating an extremely egoistical person; this was further supported with an equally flamboyant signature. The lower zone letters were also strongly emphasized with the loops being triangular in shape, denoting a person (female in this case) preoccupied with her own sex and personal beauty. Platina was prescribed and Platina cured in a relatively short time.

The above cases have been cited at random as illustrative of how a knowledge of Graphoanalysis could come to the aid of a homeopath in certain cases where the indications are clear and where there are a paucity of clear cut indications and mental symptoms on which to base a prescription. As has been stressed over and over again, the mental and moral symptoms are of the utmost importance in the proper selection of a remedy, yet, these are the very symptoms which are the most difficult to get the patient to volunteer. The physician, therefore, rather than be left to guess and chance, has in the patient's handwriting an extra-diagnostic aid towards confirming a diagnosis.

Copyright 1997 Anjan K. Nath.

Dr. Anjan K. Nath is Associate Professor of English Language and Literature at Tunghai University and Providence University, Taiwan. He has been actively involved in Homeopathic studies for over 25 years and is currently pioneering the teaching and propagation of Homeopathy on Taiwan; he has held several seminars and workshops at the Department of Acupuncture, China Medical College, Taichung. His other interests include psychology, myth and mysticism, and Yogic and Vedantic philosophy.

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