Which approach do you use, Boenninghausen or Kentian?
Today, I will share my experiences of working at Stage 3 using both Kentian and Boenninghausen approaches right from my very first introduction to them.
Final year in Medical School
During my last year of homeopathic medical school, we had to compare and study the two predominant approaches in homeopathy ie Kentian and Boenninghausen. It included the study of both repertories, their structure and the philosophy behind them in great detail.
Some part of this research was really a drudgery. I am not someone who enjoys statistical details of these repertories but what I enjoyed was comparing the usefulness of each approach in the real clinic.
Hence I loved observing various professors using these repertories in the hospital OPD's. I realised that most found the Therapeutic Pocket Book quite limiting, hence the Boger-Boenninghausen repertory was the preferred book when using the Boenninghausen approach. Whereas the Kent's repertory and the Synthetic repertory volumes were the most used books when using the Kentian approach then.
I was always fascinated by the simplicity of Boenninghausen's approach right from the start. I loved the lateral thinking behind the generalisation concept. It simply meant that I did not have the limitation of using just the proving data of a remedy.
I found that the Boger- Boenninghausen repertory was used very successfully in the paediatric OPD's and to this day I find it invaluable in children's cases.
Although I found the mental state very interesting, I did not prefer breaking it into individual rubrics as sometimes the essence of the mental state was lost while being converted into the rubric form.
I saw a lot of sense in repertorizing just the peculiar physical generals and then comparing the mental state of the final remedies by directly reading them from the materia medica.
Hence the Boger Boenninghausen remained my default repertory for most of my assignments during the final year.
My Final Exam
I still remember this incident which changed the way I work today. We had to solve a paper case of a man with chronic malaria in our final exam.
I decided to use the Kent's repertory just because the case had qualified mental symptoms which were quite prominent. I arrived at the remedy Nat muriaticum after spending about half an hour on the case.
However it being a fever case, I tried the Boenninghausen approach using the BogerBoenninghausen repertory. This repertory has an elaborate fever section and using just a few simple rubrics I arrived at the remedy Muriatic acid.
I again glanced at my Kentian repertorization and found it was the fifth remedy in my remedy list but I had missed it because the patient seemed so very Natrum Muriaticum. The patient was never well since the first malarial attack and quinine, he had a history of disappointment in love and was even aggravated by contradiction!
Later we found out from the professor that the patient was a Natrum Muriaticum patient constitutionally but it did not help his fever. It was Muriatic acid which had cured this person perfectly during the fever.
This helped me gain a lot of insight into both these approaches and the pitfalls that could occur using one or the other.
I have found it very helpful to confirm remedies using multiple approaches for the same patient when working at Stage 3. This eliminates any bias about a personality using a Kentian approach or the restriction of not being able to repertorize qualified mental symptoms using a Boenninghausen's approach.
This way I can use the best of both approaches and compare the final common remedies.
For those who want to understand how this can be done, I have created a short video.It shows how you can solve the same case using both approaches and ways to avoid pitfalls.
Today I understand homeopathic approaches in terms of the stages concept which has made it even more easier to classify the growing number of approaches in homeopathy. You can read more about it in my ebook series The Quest for Simillimum.
When I realise that my patient can travel to multiple stages during a consultation then I try and confirm my prescription using more than one approach or stage. This has increased the accuracy of my prescriptions rather than just limiting myself to one single approach.
Hope this helps you in your cases too. I would love to hear about it. Please share your experiences of working with these approaches. What works for you in practice?