Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients
Alternative Medicine Conference Calendar
Who are we?New articlesFeatured topicsArticles onlineSubscriptionsContact us!
Check out recent tables of contents
From the Townsend Letter for Doctors & Patients
February/March 2003

Healing with Homeopathy
The Best of Homeopathy: Learning Directly from a Master
by Judyth Reichenberg-Ullman, ND, DHANP LCSW and Robert Ullman, ND, DHANP

Our February /March 2003 cover
Order back issues
Advertise with TLDP!
Order this issue!
Search our site

The Tradition of Mentorship
There is no better way to learn any art than to study in the presence and under the guidance of a master. Homeopathy was in its infancy when we began to practice in the late 1970s. Training has taken a quantum leap since that time but true masters are still difficult to find. Not only must a master be capable of imparting wisdom based on an extensive depth of experience, but, most ideally, a certain genius quality. An ability to take innovative leaps far beyond what has been done in the past. And not only must a master be able to put this knowledge into practice himself or herself, but to develop a system to truly impart that knowledge to students. And to be willing to genuinely share all he or she has to give, rather than to impart some and hold back the rest to prevent the student’s success exceeding that of the teacher. Many a brilliant genius has been woefully unable to share his unique perceptive abilities with anyone else. Being an expert is one thing; teaching it yet another.

We searched for our own homeopathic teachers for many years before arriving at the doorstep of a master whose system was practical, reproducible and continually evolving. Having studied with a number of prominent homeopaths but never having found the dynamic,comprehensive, and method we were so sincerely seeking, we happened upon a new book, "The Spirit of Homeopathy" by Dr. Rajan Sankaran in the winter of 1993, almost ten years ago. Since that time we have spent as much time with Rajan and, earlier, his colleagues, both in Mumbai (Bombay) and the United States. Over the past decade his influence has allowed our practice to deepen considerably in our understanding of patients and of remedies.

Dr. Samuel Hahnemann, the founder of homeopathy, kept asking himself, "What is the mechanism by which people become ill and how can they be healed?" Later in his life, when he observed that some patients responded quite well to his homeopathic prescriptions and others did not, he questioned, "What is that prevents some people from recovering from chronic disease?" This led to his discovery of miasms (inherited predispositions to disease.)

In the same way, Rajan, who followed in the footsteps of his father, also a brilliant and renowned homeopath, has continued to inquire why some of his patients became well through his prescriptions and why others did not. This investigation led him to write a number of books including "The Spirit of Homeopathy", "The Substance of Homeopathy", "The System of Homeopathy", "The Soul of Remedies", and, most recently, his two-volume "An Insight Into Plants".

The hallmark of this recent plant series is a chart of some of the main remedies in particular plant families which correspond to the following miasms: acute, typhoid, ringworm, malaria, sycosis, cancer, tubercular, leprosy, and syphilis. It will be interesting, and surprising, to readers familiar with the homeopathic miasms, that Rajan has found no plant remedies that he believes are truly psoric. In process is a third book in his plant compendium and another encompassing some of the materials in this article.

Our Sojourns in Mumbai
We were Indiaphiles before we ever went to Mumbai, Judyth's first trip being in 1980 to 1981. Nevertheless, we continue to have a bit of a love-hate relationship with going, although we have now been there six times.

The city, like Mother India, is a paradox. Sublime on the one hand, and utterly chaotic on the other. The seemingly endless number of near-starvation dogs everywhere you wander. The errant cow (this time our auto rickshaw maneuvered in gridlock right past an elephant. The inevitable rats if you stay in one place watching close for long enough. The lepers and destitute, often deformed, children begging for rupees or pens.

On the other hand we have found what we consider to be the best homeopathy in the world and some of the most profound spiritual teachings in the world. The most refined and breathtaking classical music and dance anywhere. The most beautifully prepared and delectable cuisine, often costing a few dollars a person or less.

This year, for the first time, the course was held at a five-star hotel and, after some initial resistance along the lines of "How can we possibly spend so much on a hotel in India?", we gave in and thoroughly enjoyed our luxurious, seaside digs. One by one, many of the other students made the same decision throughout the two-week course and were seen moving over from various ashrams and two-star hotels.

Our most recent course with Rajan was our fifth in India since January 1994. We remember feeling that first time as if we were learning homeopathy for the first time, although we had been in practice for 10 and 12 years respectively. Once we finally grasped Rajan's method of study and practice, we were able to follow along reasonably well and the effects on our practice bore ample fruit. The areas that changed the most were our casetaking, study of materia medica, understanding of miasms, ability to delve deeply into the mental and emotional state of the patient, and to connect much more tangibly the patient to the remedy. Also invaluable was the study of remedies in families, the concept of mineral, plant, and animal kingdoms, and the ongoing evolution of the study of the periodic table in homeopathy.

Then, last fall, at his course for 15 practitioners from around the world in Mumbai, the rules sort of changed. Rajan had again reviewed the successes and failures in his practice and asked himself how he could find a more foolproof method of prescribing. The emphasis shifted from a more receptive style of casetaking with much listening and little questioning and a strong focus on the core delusions, dreams, fears, and "state". Instead Rajan came upon the notion that everything in the case could evolve from a thorough, much more hands on, investigation of the sensation of the chief complaint.

Say, for example, a patient's chief complaint was migraines. By asking that patient to explain the sensation, usually a type of pain or discomfort, in that chief complaint, a description emerges. Through a rather relentless process of asking the patient to further explain the sensation or sensations that arise, sooner or later the entire picture of the case comes out. The patient will eventually connect that sensation to everything else that is important about his life. This is accomplished specifically by continually asking the patient to define, explain, and elaborate on what he or she has just said. Once this process is developed skillfully, the kingdom; miasm; plant, mineral, and animal family; and, ultimately, the remedy will become clear. So, according to Rajan's recent work, is the potency. Not only that, but the process is much more enjoyable and less effortful than any method of casetaking we have used in the past.

A Map of the Homeopathic World
Rajan, following on what we just mentioned above, is creating a map of homeopathic methodology and clinical practice. A system that can be duplicated and reproduced. He is keenly aware that others have not been able to achieve the same results in prescribing as he has. This has led to frustration on the part of doctor and patient, to sloppy or shortcut prescribing, and, often, to less than stellar results which give the impression that homeopathy is slow, ineffective, or not worth the time and effort. The results that he, and, recently, his students, are getting with this new method are astounding. And, realizing that he can’t begin to treat all the patients who seek him out or even teach in all the countries to which he is invited, he has wholeheartedly dedicated himself to pass on his method to his serious students. Fortunately, we are among the most avid.

The following are the most cutting-edge concepts that Rajan has introduced. We also include one of his cases, since, having just learned this new approach from him ourselves, it is too early to include one of ours. For the first time, he is even willing to have his videos shown abroad by his students if it advances the learning of his new system. However, in the five weeks since we have returned from this recent course, we have experienced more breakthroughs in our practice than ever before. This summary comes from our having spent eight hours a day over a twelve-day period observing Rajan take live cases followed by case discussion, watching his video cases with five months to a year of followup, and a few lectures and question and answer periods. Normally at homeopathic conferences, at least one year of followup is required, however this method is new and many patients seem to have a rapid, positive response to the remedies.

Concepts of Rajan's New System
Levels: We experience life at seven different levels: 1) Name – that which we call or label anyone or anything; 2) Fact – the details or features of any experience; 3) Feeling – emotions such as happiness, sadness, anger; 4) Delusion – our imagination of the experience; 5) Sensation – That which we experience physically as well as mentally such as a feeling of being trapped or pulling or attacked; 6) Energy – the energy pattern devoid of sensation as represented by movement, sound, and color; 7) Unnamed as of now – the blank screen on which everything happens. (we would call this consciousness but Rajan left it unnamed.) These seven levels, according to Rajan, occur everywhere: as stages of life, continents, levels of the brain, of physical symptoms.

Hand Gestures: One of the ways that patients express their energy overtly is through hand gestures. They may express a feeling of expansion and contraction, for example, by making a opening and closing sensation with their hands. When these gestures are expressed spontaneously, energetically, and, in many cases, repeatedly, the energy becomes apparent.

At this point in the case it is possible to ask the patient just what the gesture means. The pace, speed, and motion of the gesture can also be key to understanding the energy and the patient.

Potency Selection: Rajan has hypothesized that the level of the patient indicates which potency of the remedy will act most effectively as follows:
Level 1 - 6C repeated
Level 2 - 30C (may be repeated)
Level 3 - 200C
Level 4 - 1M
Level 5 - 10M
Level 6 - 50M
Level 7 - CM
There have been numerous theories about when to prescribe which potency and, so far, we haven’t found any of them to hold true all of the time. This idea of posology (potency selection) makes sense to us and we are putting it into practice. Time will prove or disprove its merit.

Casetaking – There is a specific method of casetaking designed to elicit the levels and, consequently, the kingdom, miasm, family, remedy, and potency. Rajan has made this method as systematic as possible. After twelve days of watching him take cases, we began to catch on and it seems to be working for us as well. He also taught us a number of bypasses to use in taking the case in order to arrive at the levels. These are still too new for us to comment upon.

We have provided only the briefest summary of this new method with the goal of sharing what we feel are the most exciting advances in homeopathy in years. This bare-bones introduction will also serve as a foundation for many of the cases we will be presenting in the future.

Rajan's Video Case of a 15-Year-Old Suicidal Boy
These new concepts probably sound quite theoretical but in fact work very well on a practice level in casetaking. The best way we can think of to illustrate this at this point is to share one of Rajan's cases verbatim so that you can see the system in practice.

This patient, a 15-year-old boy was brought by his mother, also my patient. She had requested an urgent appointment as the boy had attempted suicide. Before he came into the room to give his history the mother gave the following details:
"This is my son from my previous marriage. My husband left me when he was eight months old, and later we were divorced. When my son was four years old, I got married once again. He continued to stay with my parents, while I moved to my husband's house. Initially my husband had agreed to accept him but after we were married he had a problem with it. My parents are very difficult people and my son developed a hatred for them. All the while he was with them he believed that they are his parents, and that I am his sister. Last year my husband was ready to accept him and called him to be with us. Now he has this confusion about whether I am his mother or his sister.
"Also in the last year his attitude has changed. From being very mild and subdued he has turned aggressive. He says that he is carrying a lot of baggage with him. He has behavioral problems and seeks a lot of attention. When he does not want to go to school, He complains of pain in the stomach. My son resorts to escapism and does not want to take up responsibilities. The day before yesterday we found him sleeping in an odd position, and sometime later we realized that he had consumed sleeping pills. Later, when we talked to him about it, he confessed to have attempted suicide even in the past. He says he is depressed with regard to his studies, that he cannot handle the pressure of studies. That he afraid of his class ten exams, especially of math. Before every exam he develops a high fever (104-105 degrees F) and he goes into a complete trance. In the last year he’s gotten very high fevers eight or nine times. He also complains of a backache. He is not very alert while talking and can go into a trance, and then one has to give him a jerk."

The mother then left the room and sent the boy in. D= doctor and P= patient.
P: I have some headaches and backaches.
D: Tell about the headaches.
P: Mostly on the top (points to vertex area) and the back of the head.
D: Describe the pain.
P: It is quit sharp. It comes for sometime and then goes. It comes suddenly and it is unbearable.
D: Tell about sharp.
P: It is like someone is taking a knife and putting it in your head.
D: What is the feeling?
P: Poking the knife hard.
D: Describe the pain.
P: It is like a pin or a poke.
D: Describe it more. You are doing very well. More details.
P: It is pain, a lot of pain. It is sharp.
D: Describe that sharp.
P: The pain is in a particular area. It is like a pull. It is like someone is taking a knife and poking it into my head. [gesture with making a fist with left hand and digging nails into palm]
D: You said before that the pain is sudden; describe that sudden.
P: It comes anytime I may be playing or sleeping.
D: Tell about this sudden.
P: It comes without your knowing. It increases and then stops.
D: What is without knowing?
P: You may be talking to somebody and suddenly the pain starts.
D: Tell about this situation.
P: You maybe doing something else, like reading a book or watching TV.
D: First there is no pain? Then what happens?
P: It starts paining quite a lot. It starts quite a lot, then it increases, and then it suddenly goes off.
D: The pain starts and gradually increases?
P: No, it starts a lot
D: What do you feel at that time?
P: Heavy headed.
D: Tell about heavy headed.
P: Drowsy.
D: Tell about drowsy.
P: I feel like going to sleep. I just go on the bed and lie down. I am not sleepy, but I just feel like going to sleep. I become drowsy. I feel like going and lying down. When it goes of I feel better.
D: It goes off gradually or suddenly?
P: It goes off suddenly.
D: How long does the pain last?
P: Five to ten minutes.
[Here Rajan told us that he knew the remedy because of the feeling of a
sudden, unexpected attack, but you will see later.]
D: How often do you get the pain?
P: Two or three times in a week.
D: What is the effect of this headache on you?
P: I do not feel like working or doing anything. I just feel like going to bed.
D: This is the phenomenon; what is the effect of this on your life?
P: It stops me. It takes up my time. It stops me work, because it comes up at odd times, at any time. These are important times for me, and I have to do important work.
D: What is the effect on you?
P: I lose time. It is very important time.
D: What is the effect on you?
P: I feel bad, sad.
D: Tell about this bad and sad feeling?
P: I feel like I have missed something, like I have done something wrong. I have wasted someone else's time and wasted my time.
D: Tell more about this bad and sad feeling.
P: It depends on what happens in the surrounding.
D: Give an example.
P: While playing I feel happy…
D: Tell more about this bad and sad feeling.
P: I feel like I have lost something. Sometimes because of me time has not been used. Like I have wasted something. Because of me others are getting hurt.
D: What is the feeling?
P: I get angry.
D: Tell about playing or watching TV when you feel happy?
P: When I am talking to anyone I feel happy.
D: What are the things that make you feel happy?
P: Talking to my friends, playing on the computer, playing and sleeping.
D: What things you do not like?
P: Fights.
D: Tell about fights.
P: Fights with anyone. You get angry and fight.
D: Tell about this.
P: I don't like it.
D: Give an example.
P: If someone tells me to eat something that I do not want to eat. Or if someone is making me do something I don’t want to do.
D: Give an example.
P: If I have to do something, like go out at a wrong time. If I have to go out then it makes me very angry.
D: What else makes you angry?
P: If I want to watch TV and I don’t get to see it. If I want to go out and I don’t get to go out.
D: What else makes you angry, or made you angry in the past?
P: I get very angry.
D: What do you do?
P: I argue, or then I just sit down and keep quiet.
D: What else do you do; anything like shouting, hitting, throwing things etc.?
P: Sometimes, in extreme anger. I have done that a few times.
D: Give an example.
P: I wanted to study at night and they did not allow. I was very angry, and I threw something and started shouting.
D: What else makes you extremely angry?
P: No response
D: What else do you so in anger, apart from throwing things?
P: Shouting. If there is someone of my age then I will fight.
D: How will you fight with him?
P: With my hands.
D: You have done that?
P: I have done it twice.
D: Tell me about that
P: Once I was talking with my friend and one person came and started abusing me. I first told him to be quiet , but then I lost my patience and hit him. He was abusing me, using bad language.
The other time I was at a camp and I was the leader. One person started fighting with me. He said, "Are you a big leader?" I lost patience, and I started fight with him.
D: What dreams do you get?
P: Of daily things.
D: What are the dreams that are not of daily things?
P: Going out to places I like, going on vacations.
D: What are the dreams that have been unpleasant or frightful?
P: As a child I would have ghost dreams. I would dream that the ghost would take me.
D: Describe the ghost.
P: I do not remember. There was some fire.
D: What about fire?
P: The ghost looked like fire.
D: What else could the ghost do?
P: It could eat me.
D: What would happen?
P: -
D: What if he eats you?
P: I would be scared.
D: Scared of?
P: Scared of the ghost.
D: Any other scary dreams?
P: No.
D: Tell me about one situation in your childhood which was very scary?
P: I got scared once when I had been left alone at home. It was evening and the lights went off. It was dark and I was scared.
D: Tell about the fear.
P: I was scared that anything can happen, anyone can come and do something.
D: Who can come?
P: Any robber or person.
D: And what can they do?
P: They can take me.
D: Then what would happen?
P: I would be left alone without anyone. Someone could kidnap me.
D: What can happen?
P: They can kill me.
D: How?
P: They can do anything. They can make me beg on the roads.
D: Which is scary?
P: Both are scary.
D: How can they kill you?
P: They can choke me, or kill with a knife.
D: Tell about that.
P: They can just choke my neck, or they can kill by putting a knife in my neck or stomach, anyhow.
D: And what about begging?
P: They can cut off my hands and legs and make me beg.
D: What is the feeling there?
P: Scared.
D: Tell about that scared?
P: Scared of being there, of begging on the road without hands or feet.
D: What is the feeling?
P: Bad, sad.
D: Tell about that bad and sad feeling.
P: Feel frustrated, guilty, scared.
D: Tell about frustrated.
P: Frustrated because…
D: What is the feeling in frustrated?
P: Why do I have to do something like this? Why do I have to be like this?
D: Why do I have to be like this meaning…?
P: Why do I have to be like this without any mistake of mine?
D: What other feelings will you get?
P: Guilty, although I am not guilty. From inside there is a fear.
D: Describe this feeling more.
P: It is an odd feeling. I don’t know what to do after reaching this stage.
D: What is the feeling there?
P: What to do next?
D: What do you have to do next?
P: Just being there. I would feel like I am stuck over here.
D: Tell about this stuck?
P: There is no outlet, no way to go.
D: Describe that.
P: Nothing to do. Just be in that situation, and live like some unfortunate person and just be over there.
D: Is there any fear in that situation?
P: Of what is going to happen?
D: What is going to happen?
P: They can harass me.
D: How?
P: By making me beg, by taking what I earn.
D: What will they do?
P: They can do something I don’t want.
D: Like what?
P: They can hit me with a knife.
D: Where?
P: Anywhere, on the hand.
D: What is the feeling?
P: Fear.
D: What is the sensation?
P: Hurting. Like someone is taking a knife and cutting.
D: What is the sensation?
P: A bad sensation, like some cut.
D: In food and drink what are you very fond of?
P: Chicken, sea-food, lobsters.
D: Anything in vegetable?
P: Cauliflower.
D: Anything that do not like in vegetables?
P: Spinach. I like cabbage.
D: What about carrots?
P: I like to eat them.
D: What are your interests and hobbies? Is there anything with movies?
P: I do not like movies much.
D: Are there any that you did like?
P: I am fond of science fiction. I liked this legend movie called "The Thirteenth Warrior". It is about this one guy who is banished from his kingdom and he decides to fight. He beats the thirteenth warrior. I like to see him winning, doing something. I also like science fiction movies like "The Matrix".
D: Tell about "The Thirteenth Warrior".
P: He has a good heart, but he is not a person who can do much. He doesn't know how to fight; he is a peaceful person. He knows how to work. he does not behave like a great person. He learns to fight by himself. He is brave. He does what he wants to and he does not bother about anyone.
D: What situation in your life right now causes you depression and anger?
P: I do not want to do any work. I just want to sit, watch TV and play I do not like to study in the vacations. During play if I am not performing well, if I am not getting what I want I get very tense. I get angry when I have to do something that I do not want to.
D: What thing would you want to get rid of?
P: The tenseness. And the headaches and backache.
D: Tell about the tenseness?
P: I get tense very soon. I get angry when I have to do something that I do not want to.
D: For example?
P: When I have to eat when I don't want to. I get tense, frustrated.
D: Does this happen often?
P: It happens very often, everyday.

This case, like many presented at this course, was from the plant family. This is determined by the patient's degree of sensitivity, as well as the lack of any evidence to give him a mineral or animal remedy. The feeling of unexpected, sudden attack (other sensations in this family are abused, smashed, raped, injured) suggests the Umbilliferae (also known as the Apiaceae or Carrot/Celery family). The miasm, or method of coping, with his symptoms is malarial because he feels harassed by his intermittent symptoms. In Rajan's schema, the remedy that corresponds to this family and miasm is Sumbul (Musk-root). This remedy is, in fact, well-known in the treatment of malaria. Rajan prescribed a 200C potency.

Video followup 6-06-02:
Feeling much better. More confident. Not shy. Not scared to talk with boys. Earlier would be shy.
D: What difference has that made to you?
P: Feel better.
D: How is your temper?
P: If I get angry, then get angry very much. Get angry over silly things. Shout in anger.
D: Dreams?
P: Don't remember. Last night got a dream of all of us going to market then woke up.
Parents: Better, stable. But lot of mood swings. Shouts, throws things. Indigestion, not passing stools. Can't face sunlight, want to sit in dark room. Objects very strongly.
More confident. The pressurized feeling is much better. The feeling of being forced is much improved. More responsible.

Video follow-up 3-10-02:
Sleep good. Restless. Concentration is good. Can't see light straight. Temper is okay, not getting angry easily. Studies are good. No headaches. Backache sometimes.
Mother: Much better. Negativity much better. Confident. No fear about taking his math test.
P: Can talk to people openly. Earlier would feel shy.
D: What was the feeling?
P: Would always stop from talking. Would feel if I do something wrong, what will he say.
D: Any fear?
P: Yes.
D: What would he say?
P: He would say "No", would disagree. Now don't care what he thinks, I can talk to him.
D: What difference has that made?
P: Can talk openly.
D: What is the feeling?
P: Happy.

D: What is the change in him?
P: Calmer. Was extremely restless. Now much reduced. Concentration is better. Aggression better. Lot of things pent up, anything, would take on his stride. Now 50% change.
D: How is the violence?
P: Earlier would shout, throw things, get physical, that frequency is improved. Learns to control. Would give lot of problem in eating, that has disappeared. Would not eat anything, now better.
D: How is his restlessness?
P: Was very hyper, even while sitting hands were moving, now better. Remains by himself.
D: How is his concentration?
P: Earlier could not concentrate at all. Books were like "No, no", hatred. Now makes an attempt.
D: How is his confidence in meeting people?
P: Earlier would sit in one corner or go in another room. Now makes an attempt. Was very shy before. Would feel insulted, humiliated, ridiculed. Would say, "if he laughs at me", would feel very bad. Even in class would not be able to answer, now stands up and answers, even asks questions if teacher is going wrong. Previously would just keep quite.
D: What difference has that made to him?
P: Maturity level is better. Earlier behavior was like a six-year-old child, now behaves like his age. He is very happy. Earlier there was lot of negativity. Now there is not.

System in Process
As with any system, the evidence for its validity needs to be gathered over time. We have found this method to revolutionize our practice more than any other that we have learned since our initial study with Rajan. Casetaking is flowing more gracefully, we understand our patients better, and are arriving at remedies that we never before would have found. Our prescriptions are more varied than ever before. We will we be using this method with out patients and are teaching it to the promising new homeopath who has joined our practice, Ian Luepker, ND. It is now our turn not just to give seminars but to follow in the tradition of mentoring. It is Rajan’s hope that the more we, and other students of his, test out these methods, the more its effectiveness will become apparent.

Judyth Reichenberg-Ullman and Robert Ullman are licensed naturopathic physicians board certified in homeopathy. Their books include "Ritalin-Free Kids"," Rage-Free Kids Prozac Free", "Whole Woman Homeopathy", "Homeopathic Self-Care", "The Patient’s Guide to Homeopathic Medicin"e, and "Mystics, Masters, Saints and Sages-Stories of Enlightenment". They teach and lecture internationally and practice at The Northwest Center for Homeopathic Medicine in Edmonds, Washington and Langley, WA. For their schedule, see their website below. The doctors are currently participating in a free study funded by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) researching the effectiveness of homeopathic treatment of ADHD. They treat patients by phone as well as in person and can be reached by telephone at 425-774-5599 or by fax at 425-670-0319. Their website is

Visit our pre-2001 archives

Search our pre-2001 archives for further information. Older issues of the printed magazine are also indexed for your convenience.
1983-2001 indices
; 1999-Jan. 2003 indices
Once you find the magazines you'd like to order, please use our convenient form, e-mail, or call 360.385.6021 (PST).

© 1983-2002 Townsend Letter for Doctors & Patients
All rights reserved.
Web site by Sandy Hershelman Designs
October 10, 2003