In this case,
the non-verbal element expressed through the body motions is very important;
the text mainly serves to complement the motions that lead us to the remedy.
Patient (P): I
come for two things. I always have sore legs, in my muscles; my doctor thinks
it’s fibromyalgia. What’s more, at night, I’ve got restless legs – I just can’t
stop moving them, and that disturbs my sleep. I’ve also got problems with the
JTC: Tell me
about the problems with the menopause.
I get hot flushes and night sweats from time to time – it’s not regular. I’ve
also got pain in my lower abdomen and my back; my osteopath can’t find
anything, and my gynaecologist says it’s hormonal. Sometimes, I can’t remain
sitting. I’ve also got pain in the whole right side of my head.
bothers you the most?
P: My legs. It’s a really old symptom. My thighs hurt in the daytime and
sometimes, even my feet hurt. At night, when I am in bed for about ten minutes,
I start to toss and turn. I move like this (she becomes animated, like a dance,
moving her back first, then her shoulders, then her legs). I think it’s all
nerves, in my legs and in my body, that keep me awake for hours. The
restlessness wakes me up at night and I get up. I take a shower and I have to
move. I move my legs, but at night, it’s something I can’t stand. In the
morning when I get up, I’m not fit at all. It happens in the daytime, too, as
though I have tics.
JTC: You make
this gesture (like a crab with its pincers) and you say “it gets on my nerves.”
Could you explain that a bit more?
P: It is as
though there is something that grabs me. It’s not me, I am overtaken by
something. I don’t know what it is. It starts in my back and then. I feel it in
my legs and arms. In bed, it is unbearable. I feel like I’m not myself anymore,
and it is so dreadful that I have the feeling I could do something stupid when
it happens. It is so strong, I feel like I can’t explain this force. I hit my head
against the wall; I want it to go, to leave me. It exhausts me physically, and
mentally it is unbearable. Sometimes, I say that there is something wrong in my
head; there must be something wrong in my brains, something that doesn’t
function right. My doctor has given me antidepressants, but it hasn’t helped,
so I stopped taking them. He says I should increase the dose but I don’t feel
like doing that.
JTC: You say
“it’s not me.” Tell me a bit more about that.
don’t master my body; it’s not me who is doing that, but I don’t know what it
is. I don’t know where it comes from. If I could be myself, I would be able to
master this, but I can’t. It is overwhelms me.
P: At night, I don’t see it very well, because I want to be stronger
than this thing, and in the daytime, I don’t think about it. In the daytime, it
bothers me, but at night, I do all sorts of things, hitting, tossing and
turning. That’s why I say “it’s not me.” I don’t have that temperament, it’s
not like how I usually am; it is something that comes in the night but I don’t
know what it is.
JTC: How long
has this been happening?
P: For a long time, with ups and downs. Ever since 1995-96, I’ve been having
sleepless nights. This wakes me up at night. I lost my brother, and I thought
that that was the end of it, but it continued. I was sleepless before the
illness of my brother, but only from time to time, and I was given medication.
JTC: So, even
before the illness of your brother, you were having this problem?
but not as bad as it is now, and only from time to time. When I was small and
it overtook me, my mother used to say: “You see? The moon is changing.” When I
was young, I couldn’t fall asleep. I had periods of being really restless, or I
would wake up. There always seemed to be a reason, either the full moon, or I
JTC: What do you
experience in that state?
It’s as though I have bugs (she scratches her arms). It starts in my spine and
it goes down. It goes everywhere, as though I have something between my skin
and my flesh; something that is there, like an alien. I don’t like to watch
films like that. And then, it goes everywhere, and I have to move (she wriggles
in her chair). It is as though something wants to enter me. I don’t know what
it is, maybe scabies. It is something that makes me scratch, it excites me. It
is as though something says: “I am here, I don’t know why I am here, but I am
here to pester you.” It starts at my back, then it goes to my head, and then
through my whole body. I say to myself: “I am not quite normal.” I have to
move, something in me tingles. The most bothersome is what happens in my head,
it is unbearable, and I start to hit my head against the wall. It is as though
something wants to take my place, something that wants to become “me”. In the
morning, I hurt everywhere. It feels terrible to not be able to master myself.
JTC: What do you
experience when you feel like that?
P: It feels like someone is trying to harm me, but I don’t know who. At
first, I thought it had to do with my brother, and I felt guilty. Was there
something I hadn’t done for him? Maybe he was waiting for something? I thought
I had done all I could, but because it was already there before he got sick, I
thought it might have to do with someone else. Finally, I stopped thinking like
that – it didn’t seem to be the right track. This problem comes back as soon as
I am relaxed.
JTC: Tell me
what happens at times like that.
I will show you with gestures: it is something that penetrates me, it is
difficult to explain. It is like electric tension, and it makes me move
(frenetic gestures with her hands). It is really strong, and when I move like
that, it releases the tension (she makes
movements like kicking a ball). It is like I want to unblock something, like a
channel that is blocked. It doesn’t come into me all at once, it takes its
time, it comes and goes. I think that my body tries to resist this thing, and
it keeps trying a different route instead. “If you do that, I’ll do this.” It
is looking for an entrance, and it tries everything imaginable, like a
JTC: What does
that mean for you? You frown when you talk about it.
P: It is such a bother, and it’s difficult to describe. I can’t expulse
it. I grit my teeth, I swallow. When there are problems in the family, I hold
myself together, I close up and grit my teeth. When I wake up, I have sore
JTC: What sort
of medical problems have you had?
P: I’ve had depression in 1984 and 1995 that lasted a long time. I go
beyond my limits. These last years, I’ve had fibromyalgia. When I was 12, I saw
everything “black”; it was a severe depression, after moving house.
(She talks of
her childhood, and of feeling inferior. Her mother was depressive and suffered
from anorexia. “I was close to my mother, and to my little brother.”)
JTC: You say you
feel like you have something under your skin?
P: It feels like scabies. My son had it.
JTC: Are you
P: I am often very chilly. Sometimes, I can’t warm myself up, even if it
is 50 degrees F. I could put on heaps of clothes and still be freezing. The
only thing that helps is to have a hot water bottle on my back. Sometimes, I am
icy cold to the touch.
JTC: What do you
like to eat?
Sweet things. I don’t have any aversions.
Prescription: Psorinum 200K, with remedy X in mind as
Second consultation, three weeks later (abbreviated): there is a general
improvement. The crises return just before going to sleep, and they wake her
up, but are less strong and they are shorter.
P: “I feel less
“eaten up” than before. It still bothers me, but it does not go as deep into my
skin. My legs are not moving as much. I am still full of tics. I feel like
there is a burning in my legs, like needles in there, a fire in my legs, with
cold legs; inside it is hot, and my skin in cold. I have pains in my heels,
too. I am not questioning myself as much. I used to say to myself “you can’t
just let yourself be taken over like that,” otherwise I could panic.
JTC: You talk
about a “little thing that could enter you. Tell me more about that.
P: It is a
little thing, it tries to get in, wriggling. It penetrates. It looks like an
octopus, with lots of arms and a little head, a head that searches. It is a
black bug with big jaws, and it tries to get in. It is not big, but it has lots
of legs (she makes a movement to show the legs moving). The worst thing is that
I feel like I am helping it to enter me and that I am yielding to it. When it
reaches my head, I bang my head against the wall. It’s terrible, I feel like
I’m going demented. I could really hurt myself. When I feel like that, my tongue
gets swollen, it doubles in volume and I feel like I could suffocate. The first
time it happened, I thought I had an allergy. It is something that tingles in
my mouth. I move my tongue around. It feels like my head could explode, it
makes me frightened and I panic. I am afraid of doing something really stupid,
of not being able to control myself.
JTC: What would
be the worst?
P: In my dreams, I see myself murdering someone when I am angry.
P: I feel like I am going into another world that I don’t know at all. I
don’t feel like I’m going crazy, but I have crises of madness. There is
something in me that is disjointed. My head is boiling, (makes circles around
her head), it is like a whirlwind.
Sometimes it happens at night, when I am not even aware of it, and in
the morning, I am sore everywhere. It comes quickly and goes quickly. I don’t
really believe in those little pills of yours…
Third consultation, six weeks later
There has been a
repeat of the crises. In summary, the following points are of importance: annual periodicity, especially
worse in spring (February-March) and autumn (October-November). Periodicity
during the day: worse around 22:00 and at night. Better from rocking herself,
from hot showers, from movement. Worm infestation (oxyures) as a child.
Prescription: Sarcoptes scabiei 200K
Fourth consultation, two months later
JTC: How is it
Not bad at all. I have periods where it is like this (she makes a horizontal
line with her hand, with some ups and downs at the end.) It might be going in
the right direction. Sometimes, I wake up at night, but it doesn’t last for
long and it is not unbearable. It doesn’t prevent me from sleeping, so in that
sense I’m satisfied. It is much less
strong. The crises are less frequent, and they don’t last as long, maybe
fifteen minutes now, whereas they used to last up to three hours. It is not
regular; sometimes, I don’t have it at all. These days, I wake up but I go back
to sleep straight away, and I don’t get up like I used to. It is just very
short. Something in me is changing for the positive.
JTC: How do you
experience that change?
P: I live from day to day. I don’t tell myself that I need to be doing
something good. I say “tonight, it will be good. I’ve taken something good,
we’ll see.” I’ve tried lots of things that went well at first, and then
afterwards, it went very badly.
JTC: You say it
goes quickly, in fifteen minutes?
P: I tend to go to bed early now. I’m tired in the evenings and I go to
sleep easily; in the past that wasn’t the case. Then, I wake up at night. It’s
a bother, but it doesn’t last long. I massage myself, scratch and wriggle,
tossing myself around in bed, and then get back to sleep easily. In fact, it’s
quite short. It is still quite intense,
but not so long. It has a crescendo; it gets worse and worse and it used to be
almost unbearable but now, it is not so terrible. It is a bother, it wakes me
up, but it is much less intense and it is shorter. It is nothing like it used
to be. It is still a bother at night, but it does not affect me the next day in
the sense that I am tired and sore everywhere.
JTC: What about
the pain in the legs and the muscles?
P: At the moment, it’s fine.
Follow up over six years
The feeling is
still there, but much less intense and less frequent, and the patient does not
want to talk about it anymore. I treat her husband, who tells me about his
wife’s situation. He says that there are profound changes, and that she has
become optimistic. She sleeps much better, and has no problems with restless
legs anymore, so they can share a bedroom again. The pains in her muscles have
completely disappeared. The only symptom that remains is the hot flushes, which
were resolved with Sepia. She has had no more signs of depression.
scabiei is known as the human itch mite; it bores into the skin of mammals and
Photos: Wikimedia Commons
Scabies ; public domain
Sarcoptes scabiei ; Alan R Walker