Problems in Perception of Keynotes

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					                               Problems in Perception of Keynotes
                                     (Keynote Prescription)

Page | 1         One of the greatest challenges of homeopathy is the sheer volume of
           information the student or practitioners has to contend with. The quantity can be so
           overwhelming that sometimes the only way to understand case taking, case
           analysis, material medica and our patient is by breaking the pieces down and
           looking at them from different angles—even looking at thing we thought we

           In every field of endeavor, it is the things we assume we understand that often lead
           us to failure.

                  These problems of perception are the blind spots we frequently came across
           in our experience of busy practice. We often think that learning another rubric or a
           new remedy will solve these difficult cases but generally speaking, going back and
           addressing the blind spot is much more rewarding.

                  The subject of keynotes perfectly illustrates one such problem. The
           understanding and definition of keynotes has numerous variations, many of
           conflict with each other. Many homeopaths claim that keynotes are strange, rare
           and peculiar symptoms that point to a specific remedy. After going through
           different books (Guernsey to Murphy) on keynotes some of them represent the
           common symptoms of remedy.
                  Others say that keynotes are symptoms that fit only one remedy or a few
           select remedies, and yet many of our best keynotes fit many remedies. It seems a
           keynote can in fact, be strange, rare and peculiar, and it can be common, it can fit
           one remedy or many remedies, it can be a pathologic symptom that fits the disease
           or a physiological symptom that does not.

           So what is Keynote?

                  According to Webster dictionary keynote means the basic ideas or ruling
           principle as of a speech or policy etc. Every patient has keynotes of various
           remedies. The more remedies you know the more keynotes you can find in any one
           individual. To be specific, in any individual case did not have 3 or 4 keynotes of a
           dozen remedies, let alone a single keynote of scores of remedies. So the problem is
           which knots do we use, if we can even agree on the definition of a keynote?

           Dr A.Udani
           It appears fact, in our profession, that the definition of keynote is rather ‗fluid‘. We
           believe that understanding this fundamental issue in homeopathy is essential to
           helping our patients get better.
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                  If you look at any remedy in our material medica, you will be struck by the
            fact that three are larger general trends running through the symptoms. This point
            has struck every classical homeopath from Boenninghausen onward. You could in
            fact, make list of very one of those large trends and find that some of them fit into
            even large trends.

                 For example, Sulphur‟s 20,000 symptoms can be classified into a couple of
            dozen main trends, and from there into less then ten main ideas. For sulpher, the
            heat of the head, eyes, face, lips, throat, etc can all be compressed into the general
            trend of heat.

                 By looking at the large general trends of a remedy, the landscape becomes
            uncluttered and it becomes clear why certain symptoms are keynotes. In fact
            keynotes have nothing to do with how rare a symptom is, as is sometimes
            mentioned. Keynotes are examples, sometimes chief examples of symptoms that
            point to large general trends in a remedy.

                The reason ‗Sticking the feet out‘ is a keynote of sulpher has little to do with
            how rare the symptom is. In fact, when we come across the different cases, about
            15% of cases have this symptom. Rather ‗Sticking the feet out‘ is a keynote
            because it is chief example of the heat sensation of sulphur.

                  Once we see a keynote as an example of a large trend we can understand
            how to use them and how they have been misused. Kent says, ―The great trouble
            with keynote is that they are misused, the keynotes are often characteristic
            symptoms, but if the keynotes are taken as final and the generals don‘t confirm
            there will come failures‖

                 According to Boger running after keynotes while paying scanty attention to
            the general harmony of the picture has spoiled many cases and it leads to

           Dr A.Udani
                 Other great stalwarts like Guernsey, Hering, Lippe, Boenninghausen, all
            used keynotes but only when the keynote represented a larger general process of
            the patient or remedy in question. This is the point that has been misused by our
            Homeopaths, and the point that has led to many errors in prescribing.
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            There are some references keeps in mind dealing with keynotes

                 Today many people have been studying keynotes as a one-way process.
                 They study the remedy and when patient comes in with those same
                 keynotes, they “recognize” the keynote and prescribe on it.

                 Once we find the keynotes that represent the larger issue of the patient
                 we can investigate those. We do not have to pay attention to symptoms
                 that exist in the patient if they do not fit their general state. Every
                 patient has many keynotes of many remedies. This process shows you
                 which symptoms to pay attention to and which ones to avoid.

                 One of the biggest problems that this model highlights is that we often
                 „wrap‟ our patient‟s symptoms into a preconceived notion rather than
                 trying to understand the whole patient and their general trends as
                 described by Hering and Boenninghausen. We have left out the step of
                 finding the general symptoms of the patient and then finding the
                 keynotes of those general trends.

           We can finally understand why symptoms make it into keynote books. Look at the
           material medica in this fashion: not as a haphazard list of symptoms but as
           symptoms that represent large, general trends. Then you see that keynote books are
           listing examples of those large trends, having little or nothing to do with how
           strong, weak, rare or common symptoms is.

           Dr A.Udani

         After the different view from stalwarts we should come to the conclusion that ―We
         have to more emphasize on general picture of case and keynotes use as
Page | 4 differentiating point just like we would use as modalities.”

               1 Allen‘s keynotes with leading remedies of the Materia Medica &
                 Bowel nosode- H.C.Allen
               2 C.M.. Boger‘s Collected writing-
               3 The Genius of Homeopathy-Stuart Close
               4 The genius of Homeopathic remedies by ‗Gunavante‘
               5 The lesser writing of C.M.F Von Boenninghausen- T.L.Bradford
               6 The principle and practice of Homeopathy – Richard Hughes
               7 Robin Murphy‘s Commentary on orgnon of medicine

         Dr A.Udani

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