The Sensation Method of diagnosis developed by Dr. Rajan Sankaran is the most important development in homeopathy since its discovery in the late 18th century by Dr. Samuel Hahnemann. The Sensation Method explains that our experience and perceptions of life's stresses are shaped by an inner pattern, or "song," connected to one of the three kingdoms in nature-animal, plant, or mineral. Revealing itself as a constant underlying sensation felt in both the mind and the body and expressed through illness and chronic ailments, this inner song of reoccurring reactive patterns-be it that of a competitive lion, a sensitive daisy, or structured phosphorus-drives our emotions, dreams, ambitions, careers, and relationships and is the underlying factor behind why stress affects each of us so differently. Explaining that there are 7 levels to our experiences, Dr. Sankaran reveals how a trained homeopath can decode the words and gestures we use to describe our pain, emotions, and health conditions, allowing us to probe more deeply into our experiences of stress and illness to determine what animal, plant, or mineral is "singing" within us. Showing how this core identity can be used by homeopathic physicians to treat our problems at their source, he reveals how becoming aware of our inner song can reduce the intensity of its negative effects, leading to less stress, better health, and more harmony in our lives.
DR. RAJAN SANKARAN is an internationally renowned homeopath who has been in practice since 1981. The creator of the Sensation Method of homeopathy, he gives lectures and seminars throughout the world. The author of several books, including The Spirit for;’ Homeopathy, The substance of Homeopathy, and the Sensation in Homeopath, he lives in Mumbai, India.
WHAT IS IT that makes each one of us who we are? What is it that makes us feel, perceive, experience, and act in a unique manner? Wherein lies this uniqueness and its source? What is it that generates stress in each of us? Questions like these are not merely interesting and intriguing but also vital to an individual's understanding of his persona. "Know thyself" is but the way to "Heal thyself."
I had an opportunity to explore these questions in my own life when I was invited to country X for a seminar. The process of getting there was interesting. I applied for a visa and was told I would have to go to Delhi for a private interview. I wrote to my hosts in country X to ask if they could talk to their ministry to arrange that I be allowed to talk on the phone for the visa interview rather than go in person. They left a message with the ambassador and then told me to telephone him. When I called, however, the embassy said that he was away on vacation for one-and-a-half months. In his absence, the vice-consul didn't do phone interviews. So I wrote an e-mail. There was no response for ten days. What to do now? They said they would arrange for me to speak to the vice-consul. "We don't promise. However, send your papers." So I sent them the papers, but after two weeks there was still no response. It was now three months since I'd initiated the procedure, and there was still no result.
At this point I was supposed to be leaving in a week for a big world trip of seminars, and all my papers were delayed. After thirty to thirty-five phone calls, they told me the visa was ready. I sent somebody to pick up the papers at 9:00 a.m., and they made him wait until 4:00 p.m. and then told him to return the following day. The next day the same thing happened. They said my papers were not ready. The papers were for a different Sankaran, who wanted to leave on the same day. Then they asked for a bank paper, which would take a week to process. In the meantime the ambassador had returned, so I phoned him. I said, "Give me my passport back, with or without the visa." He said, "You are an honored guest, you must go!" So again I sent a messenger. He arrived at 10:00 a.m., and throughout the day they told me they were putting the visa in his hand, while he reported he was still waiting outside. He got the visa at 7:30 p.m.
Why am I telling you this story? This is a typical stressful situation, and it provides a good opportunity to inquire into the nature of stress. If we can perceive what stress is in this given situation, maybe we can get an idea of what stress is in general. Surely I was very stressed in this situation-but what was happening within me that I labeled as "stress"? What did I feel and experience throughout this process? I could observe that simultaneously there were different things going on, as if there were different levels of experience within me.
I had a need for a visa so that I could go to that country. I needed my passport back so that I could go to the other countries on the lecture tour. I needed the passport back within a particular time so that I could make my scheduled flight. I had to calculate what to do in case I did not get the visa, what changes my itinerary would require. A practical mind was working out these facts. This was one level of my experience at that time.
On another level-namely, emotional-I was angry and anxious. The anxiety led to physical symptoms, such as palpitations. I was very upset.
At another level I was speculating as to what might be causing the delay. Why was it not working out? What could be the reason? Several theories came to my mind, but a prominent thought was wondering if this was deliberate on the part of the embassy. Was it a conspiracy?
I can now see that this kind of suspicion and perception is not limited to this particular situation and is familiar to me from other situations in my life, past and present. But if you were to ask me to go deeper into myself and ask what I was actually experiencing in the moment-not what feelings I had, or what I imagined about the situation, but what was I experiencing? What was I feeling in the very core of my being? For the most part, I (like most of you) am not aware, not conscious of this aspect. However, I let myself go into that experience, observed it, and got in touch with a deeper level of experience. It was a sensation I could feel intensely within my whole being. I can only describe it as a kind of gagging. The word alone is insufficient to describe my experience. It was a choking, a constriction that went up my chest into my throat. To fully express it I needed to make sounds and gestures. If I went deeper into this sensation, I could see it as a part of an experience of being caught, trapped, and overpowered.
This sensation (and the overall experience) actually had nothing to do with the ambassador, ministry, visas, or conspiracies. It transcended the barriers of time and space. It is an experience I have had many times in my life and that I will have in any future stressful situations.
This experience has no name, no fact, and no emotion to it. It is intrinsic to my unique, inexplicable experience of reality. This experience is part of a pattern that is deeply embedded within me. The deeper I perceive this pattern of experience in my life, the more I realize my state and the root of my stress. This is true not only for me, but for you as well. Awareness of this pattern is the path to liberation from it.
We all desire to minimize our stress and suffering; we desire peace. We try to find the solution to the problem we see as the cause of stress. We try to avoid situations that are stressful. We attempt to change our job, our partner, or our location. We try to change ourselves. We read self-help books. We meditate. We go to religious services. We talk with people about our problems. We seek professional help. I'm sure you are familiar with whatever you do to deal with your stress.
When we have an argument with someone, when we feel hurt in a relationship, when we are having difficulties in our work or face a business loss, we tend to see the problem as being outside of us, something we need to solve. We analyze the issue to find logical explanations or reasons why such a situation has occurred and determine what we should do about it. We might say, "The problem between my wife and me is that she simply does not understand me; I think we need to go to a counselor." We tend to justify our emotions; for example, we may say, "It is natural for me to be anxious when business is so bad," or, "Who would not get angry when his friend acts like that?" We classify situations, give people labels, sometimes even give a name to our own state. We could say, "That man is a tyrant," or, "I have an inferiority complex."
None of these attempts to solve the issue has lasting effect, for one simple reason: We have not gotten to the root of the issue. The problem is not outside, but in our experience of it. When we communicate with others, we reason or we argue but we do not see that we are not get-ting through. We are saying something, but it is not what we say that is important. What is important is where it is coming from, and that is a deep level within us, beneath or beyond our consciousness. Until that level is touched by us, within us, our communication and dealings with the outside world will remain problematic, superficial, and ineffective in the deeper context of our inner peace.
Let us use an everyday example to illustrate this idea. You come home from work and see that your parking space has been taken by someone else; a neighbor, perhaps. Your emotions are excited. This is not the first time he has done this. You have told him before politely, but he has done this too often. What happens? At one level you know what needs to be done, and this level is simply fact. There is no stress here, only a calculation. But at another level there is anger: "How dare he? Who does he think he is?" This level is stressful, your nerves are excited, and your mind is working overtime. When you look into this experience, you will see that this stress does not come from the situation but from your perception of it-your innermost experience of that anger, your feeling of being victimized, trapped, caught, helpless against a stronger opponent in your struggle to survive.
BY WAY OF background and to trace for you the path I have traveled, let me briefly explain homeopathy and the development of my ideas.
In 1790 a German physician, Dr. Samuel Hahnemann, made a very significant discovery. At that time cinchona bark (from which qui-nine is derived) was very well known and used for its curative effects on malaria. Eager to discover what gave the bark its curative power, Hahnemann tested this substance on himself while he was in a healthy state. He saw that it produced within him symptoms similar to those of malaria: chill, fever, and sweat. This led him to suspect that certain sub-stances can not only produce certain symptoms and signs in a healthy individual but also cure someone with the same symptoms. This was the beginning of homeopathy, which is based on the principle of "like cures like."
After this, Hahnemann started testing various substances on him-self and some volunteers to ascertain what effects they could produce in healthy people so that he could use them when he found similar symp-toms in sick people. He started meticulously recording the elicited signs and symptoms of each substance tested on healthy volunteers in a book called the homeopathic materia medica (literally, medical matter).
What Hahnemann also ascertained is that disease is not localized but affects the whole being. Therefore, when a person is sick, it is not merely a part but the whole of him that is sick. Likewise, a substance affects the whole being, including the mind. The homeopath thus keeps these factors in mind when treating a patient.
During the initial consultation a homeopath records all symptoms as well as the patient's state of mind. This is then correlated to symptoms of the various remedies in the materia medica, and then the single remedy that is the closest match is given to the patient.
Hahnemann also recognized the need to sometimes use certain substances that would be poisonous in their natural state, for he fore-saw their utility as great remedies. Recognizing there was no way he could use them in their pristine form, he decided to dilute them. To his surprise he saw that the more he diluted the substances (with vigorous shaking), the more their medicinal effects increased. This process of serial dilution of a drug substance is termed "potentization."
The serial dilution was carried to such an extent that hardly any of the original substance remained in these dilutions, yet their effects were powerful. This led Hahnemann to conclude that diseases are not material states but dynamic conditions. Thus, healing also happens dynamically. He postulated that there is a dynamic life force within each of us, and it is at this level that both disease and healing occur. Disease is the disturbance of this force unique to each individual and manifested as a state of mind and through different physical symptoms.
Sickness can be compared to a sitar (an Indian musical instrument with many strings) that is out of tune. Naturally there will be discord. However, it is the faulty tuning itself and not the individual notes that need to be addressed. Similarly, homeopathic treatment is at the same time holistic and individualistic. The inner disturbance needs to be corrected and restored to bring health and balance to the whole being. A person's state of being, his perception of and response to the world, is an essential part of his individuality and as integral to his disease as the pain in his limbs or the ulcer in his stomach.
The inner disurbance of disease causes discord in a human being that can be compared to the discordant music produced by a sitar that is out of tune.
In homeopathy everything that a patient says, however strange, rare, or peculiar, is a symptom. For example, if you feel hot in a cold room, it is a symptom. In other words, a symptom is an inappropriate response to the existing situation. It is as if the person is perceiving and reacting to a reality different from what actually exists. In a cold room he responds as if it were a hot room.
Disease is thus an affliction of the whole person, a posture adopted as a survival mechanism to suit a particular situation that is perceived rather than real. This posture causes us to react to reality in an unsuitable and disproportionate manner due to our false perception of it. Naturally, this in turn produces constant stress in us. For example, when a man is being chased by a lion, the posture of running fast, being afraid, and so on is appropriate, because his survival depends upon it. However, if he is in such a state with no lion to justify it, or he adopts such a posture even when chased by a little dog, or if he is in such a panic that he cannot think (a reaction that is in excess of what is needed in the situation), then this is disease. It is as if he were functioning on a false perception of reality, a delusion that makes him react in an inappropriate manner. This is the root of his stress. This delusion is further reflected in a person's fears, dreams, and hobbies and colors all aspects of his life as if he were wearing tinted glasses at all times.
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